The Big Takeaway: The main event of Battleground will be Dean Ambrose defending the WWE World Heavyweight Championship against Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns in a Triple Threat match. That match was ordered after Reigns and Rollins fought to a double countout in tonight’s main event. The Wyatt Family made their return to set up a new program with The New Day. Xavier Woods appeared to be put in a momentary trance by the Wyatts. Sasha Banks also returned and went after Charlotte. The show also built up the draft on Smackdown. It was a show run by Shane McMahon as Stephanie McMahon had the night off.
Dean Ambrose opened the show in a pretape, getting out of a taxi cab wearing all black. He really is a lunatic because it reached 120 degrees in Phoenix this weekend. He tossed the cab driver a wad of bills. Just as the cab pulled away, Ambrose stopped him and pulled the WWE World Heavyweight Championship out from the backseat.
Ambrose did an interview with “You deserve it” chants. He said last night was a long night and dropped a reference to the Cleveland Cavaliers winning the NBA World Championship. He told Seth Rollins that last night was a lesson where what goes around comes around. He said if Roman Reigns called himself “The Guy,” does that make him “the dude?” He said the reason why he patched himself together after getting knocked down every time was because he wanted to win the WWE World Heavyweight Championship.
Reigns came out. He got booed before he started speaking. Reigns said last night wasn’t his night, it was Ambrose’s night. He congratulated Ambrose, then asked “What did it feel like to cash in against Seth?” Ambrose said he would have cashed in against Reigns, too. Fans started a loud “You can’t wrestle” chant. Reigns told all the dudes to relax, take a sip out of their beer and shut up. Reigns brought up that he had a rematch clause. Then Rollins showed up saying he rehabbed his injured knee for seven months, beat Reigns fair and square, but Ambrose had his championship moment stolen from him. Reigns said “it doesn’t feel good, does it?” Rollins said at least he did to to Reigns’ face.
Rollins claiimed he never lost the championship. Reigns wondered why it was then on Ambrose’s shoulder. Reigns said there was an easy way to settle this and wanted to fight Rollins, who shot back there was nothing to settle because he beat Reigns. Shane McMahon came out and said Reigns and Rollins should wrestle to determine who faces Ambrose first. Rollins wanted to know if Shane consulted Stephanie first. Shane pretended Stephanie was there, then said she wasn’t here tonight so he’s running the show tonight. So Shane ordered Reigns vs. Rollins tonight for the #1 contendership tonight.
Michael Cole announced the draft on Tuesday, July 19th. JBL told Byron Saxton that he could get drafted to ECW.
They aired the HHH tweet congratulating the Cavaliers on winning the NBA Championship. They’ll be getting the next custom made WWE World Championship strap. They also showed LeBron James getting off the airplane wearing an Ultimate Warrior t-shirt. That led to one writer tweeting that Stephen Curry should wear a Renegade t-shirt.
Sami Zayn defeated Kevin Owens (8:47)
Sami Zayn won when Kevin Owens attempted the Pop-Up Power Bomb, but Zayn reversed it into a victory roll. They opened with a hockey fight sequence which Zayn got the better of. Owens spent the first part of the match trying to walk out, including trying to get away through the crowd. Zayn chased him back in, but was thrown into the dasherboards. Owens hit a Superkick at the end for a near fall.
Postmatch, Owens attacked Zayn as he was celebrating. Owens tried to power bomb Zayn off the ramp to the floor, but Zayn blocked it with a double-leg takedown and they had a pull-apart brawl. They continued to fight backstage, where Owens threw Zayn into trunk cases. Zayn recovered, then took a page from Larry Holmes’ brawl with Trevor Burbick where he ran onto the cases and jumped on Owens again. Finally, Fit Finley came in and pulled Zayn off.
John Laurinaitis was this week’s throwback authority figure. He came out wearing a red blazer, red pants and white shoes. JBL said he looked like Craig Sager. Shane wondered what John was doing there. Laurinaitis said he wanted to run Smackdown. Shane said SmackDown wouldn’t be run by a corporate yes man. Shane said he was running SmackDown. John said he wanted to run Raw and mentioned “People power” as he disappeared.
Enzo and Big Cass came out with Enzo Amore comparing sneakers with Shane. Enzo called him Johnny Laryngitis and did his “No dimes” line saying that’s the amount of money he would have every time something worthwile came out of Laryngitis’ mouth. Cass said Laurinatis may have been “Ace Dynamic Dude” back in his day, but in the new era he was “Sawft.”
Enzo and Big Cass defeated the Vaudevillains (2:55)
Amore pinned Aidan English after the Rocket Launcher, which has been redubbed the “Bada Boom Shaka-Laka.” Vaudevillains lost in less than three minutes and didn’t get a ring entrance.
Returning to the Cleveland celebration, they showed Kevin Love in the locker room copying Steve Austin where he guzzled two beers at once.
A.J. Styles came out after his win over John Cena. Styles said he should be happy because he’s envisioned beating Cena for years, and then it became a reality. But the win was tainted. Styles maintained he beat Cena and repeated it twice. But it didn’t go down the way he dreamt it would because Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson had no business in his business. He called Gallows and Anderson to come to the ring and give him a public apology.
Anderson and Gallows came out. Styles said he didn’t need their help. Anderson said they were just trying to help. Styles said they gave Cena an excuse. They dragged his name through the mud by interferring. Styles asked for Karl to look him in the eye and apology. Anderson looked at Styles and, in the most condescending way to the fans and Cena, apologized to Styles. Gallows did the same. Styles acted like that was proof he had no idea he knew about it and then asked them to apologize to Cena.
Cena came out in his new t-shirt designed after the PBR logo. Cena said he didn’t need an apology because he and Styles had a signed agreement and Styles broke it. Gallows said Styles didn’t know about the interference. He apologized. Anderson said Cena and Styles signed a contract last week, but he and Gallows didn’t. Anderson said he was sorry. Styles tried to pass that off as proof.
Cena wasn’t hearing any of it. He said Styles is struggling to survive in the WWE and got a win last night by any means necessary. Styles said he was using the apology only to hide he isn’t as good as he says he is. Styles says he was using the Club as an excuse because Cena isn’t as good as he says he is.
Cena says he respects the win because that’s how you advance in the WWE. But above the win is your win. And when you’re a champion and your back is against the wall, you have two things: your balls and your word. Last night, Styles proved he had neither one of them. That got loud “Cena” chants.
Styles said Anderson and Gallows did Cena a favor by giving him an excuse. Styles said he would give Cena a chance to fight any member of the Club he wanted. Cena immediately said Styles. But Styles said he couldn’t fight him because he has to do the Stone Cold Podcast. And he’s already beaten Cena. Cena asked if it even mattered because one will be in the ring and the other two will be at ringside. Styles said Cena was wrong. The Club huddled and Styles said Anderson would fight Cena one-on-one and would prove Cena isn’t as good as he thinks he is.
John Cena defeated Karl Anderson by DQ (2:22)
Match was a total squash with Cena getting all of the offense. He hit the AA on Anderson before Styles and Gallows ran in for the DQ. Anderson and Gallows delievered the Magic Killer on Cena, following Styles orders. Styles followed with the Styles Clash on Cena and they posed over him to mostly boos.
JoJo interviewed Rollins about his match with Reigns. Rollins said last night was about proving things to the world, and when he defeated Reigns he proved he was the best and Reigns didn’t deserve to be champion. He said Ambrose also proved something last night. When he stole the WWE Championship from him, Ambrose proved he was a cockroach and a thief. Rollins said he’ll beat Reigns tonight and prove who the best member of the Shield really is.
Becky Lynch did an interview with Renee Young after Natalya turned on her last night. Lynch said she’s had three friends turn on her since debuting on Raw. She said she was going to start looking out for herself when Natalya came up and jumped her from behind. Natalya said for the first time in years, she’s going to worry about herself.
Baron Corbin defeated Zack Ryder (3:02)
Baron Corbin won with the End of Days. Zack Ryder had a chance to do the Randy Savage elbow before losing.
They showed the press conference in China. It was the first appearance by HHH on Raw since the Monday before WrestleMania. Cena was also featured. They also highlighted the first Chinese athlete signed to a developmental contract, Bin Wang.
Paige started to do an interview with Young, but Charlotte and Dana Brooke interrupted her. Charlotte said when Team PCB broke up, she rose to the top of the women’s division while Paige sank like a rock in the ocean. Brooke said “Timber!” Paige treated her like an airhead and said Charlotte’s championship would look great around her waist when she beats her tonight.
Charlotte (C) defeated Paige to retain the WWE Women’s Championship (8:23)
Finish appeared to be somewhat screwed up. Paige hit the Rampage. Brooke was supposed to put Charlotte’s boot on the rope. But Brooke couldn’t do that before the referee finished the three count. So whent the referee looked up, he had to pretend he didn’t see Brooke holding on to Charlotte’s boot, which the viewers at home did. The referee looked like he had someone screaming in his earpiece because he belatedly ordered Brooke to the back. Brooke didn’t go to the back. In the midst of all this, Charlotte hit Natural Selection for the win.
After the pin, Sasha Banks came out to a huge pop. Charlotte ordered Brooke to go after her, but Banks decked her with one punch. Banks went after Charlotte, but Brooke jumped Banks from behind. Paige awakened and sent Charlotte and Brooke out of the ring. So they’re finally getting to the Charlotte-Banks program.
Reigns did a promo with Jojo saying tonight he would be the guy for defeats Rollins.
Bray Wyatt, Erick Rowan and Braun Strowman made their return. They got “Welcome Back” chants. Wyatt asked if the fans missed him? Wyatt said they had been locked away, but through it all they have never forgotten what they stand for. He said the Wyatts are as strong as they have ever been. Then the New Day came out with their regular routine. They have rainbow socks now.
Xavier Woods siad Bray had been talking way too long “you need to cut it.” Big E. said Rowan has a big, ole booty. Kofi Kingston said whenever the New Day comes out, the fans have fun. It wa the power of positivity that allowed them to be WWE Tag Team Champions. However, as Kofi talked, Woods walked towards the ring like Wyatt had put him in a trance. Big E. had to snap him out of it, but Woods again looked like he had fallen under Wyatt’s spell.
Wyatt said he saw the New Day’s future. And it goes “New Day Falls. New Day Falls.” The segment abruptly ended. So they’re forgetting about Wyatt’s face turn when he teamed with Reigns just before his injury in April.
The newest Life Lessons with Bob Backlund featured Darren Young saying that he had been reading lots of poetry that motivated him. Backlund said Young shouldn’t take advice from anyone. Young asked if that includes Backlund, who said he doesn’t give advice, he gives orders. He then ordered Young to do 100 knee raises.
Lana was in the ring, as Ric Flair would say, looking as only as she can look with a black dress. She introduced Rusev. This led to a Titus O’Neal interview. He was furious over Rusev telling his kids last night that their father was a loser. He screamed that Rusev should never disrespect his family. He would have made his point much better if he had looked in the right camera when delivering that line.
Rusev vs. O’Neal never started. It was simply a brawl around ringside. O’Neal was much more intense as they traded hard knees and punches. O’Neal ended it when he whipped Rusev towards the timekeepers table and clotheslined him over the barricade. Rusev walked to the back.
The Miz and Maryse did another promo from the set of the Marine 5. Miz talked about how he liked to enjoy lunch with the members of the crew. Then someone walked up to him with a plate of food. Miz threw it back in his face because the plate didn’t contain quail. Maryse fired him. Miz screamed how no one on the set can do anything right as the rest of the crew stared at him blankly as they were eating. Miz did an about face saying everyone was doing a great job, but everyone still glared at him.
Chris Jericho met Shane backstage. Jericho claimed that Shane had hated him for 16 years. Shane cancelled the Highlight Reel and hadn’t made him #1 contender for Ambrose’s championship. Shane brought up that Jericho didn’t win the Money in the Bank match last night and lost to Ambrose at Extreme Rules. Jericho said he had 60 thumbtacks in his back after that match. He went on to say he’s drafted to the brand that Shane isn’t on because he would rather work with 10 Stephanie McMahons than one of Shane. Shane warned him that he would be running both brands and Jericho would be a loser either way.
Roman Reigns and Seth Rollins went to a double countout (17:26)
Very good match that ended with the Spanish announce table coming into play. Reigns speared Rollins onto the table. I’m not sure if the table was supposed to break, but it didn’t. Neither man could get back in the ring before the ten count. Lots of good near falls, including Rollins kicking out of the Superman punch. Rollins hit a springboard knee that Reigns escaped from. Earlier, Rollins attempted a kneedrop off the apron, but missed and Reigns gave him a big boot. Fans had a loud “You can’t wrestle” chant aimed at Reigns early on. Ambrose was on commentary. Though he threw in a few jokes, he wasn’t acting like Reigns’ little buddy anymore.
After the finish, Shane came out and said there had to be a number one contender. Ambrose’s stepped in and said he would face Reigns and Rollins on the same night. Shane then ordered a triple-threat match between the three as the main event for Battleground. Reigns looked like he had something to say to Ambrose, but Ambrose gave him Dirty Deeds, then started to leave. Rollins was about to deliver the Pedigree on Reigns, but Ambrose ran back in and gave Rollins Dirty Deeds, as well.