Welcome to Fightful.com's live coverage of WWE Battleground. We're bringing you full coverage and analysis, followed by a post-show podcast right after the PPV.
Our coverage starts at 7 PM EST for the Kickoff show, which you can to watch live here on Fightful.com.
Live coverage is underway...
The Usos vs Breezango
First off, special thanks to the Usos for going Shirts and Skins, thereby providing ease of identification in the ring.
Fast action in this match. Both teams look great here, with Breezango debuting a couple new tandem moves and the Usos dishing out Superkicks left, right and center. The match ends with Breeze laying in the center of the ring, and Jimmy on top of the turnbuckle, ready to drop an Uso splash for the win. But Fandango delays things by grabbing Jimmy's leg. Jey takes out Fandango with a Suicide Dive, and Jimmy finally goes for the splash, but Breeze gets his knees up, and goes directly into the small package pin for the 1-2-3.
This is honestly one of the better pre-show matches in recent memory.
Winner: Breezango via Pinfall
Charlotte & Dana Brooke
Sasha Banks & MYSTERY PARTNER
This is everything we've ever wanted.
And the crowd goes berserk. But the champ and her protege cut the celebration short by attacking the babyfaces while their backs are turned. They assault Bayley and keep Sasha out of the ring for a bit. Bayley takes the heat, but hits a springboard elbow and tags in Sasha. She takes the fight to Charlotte, but the champ regains control by flinging Sasha into the turnbuckle forehead first. Dana works Sasha over, but Sasha gets away with a slap to the face and makes the hot tag to Bayley. Bayley comes in like a house afire.
The heels take control, Dana putting Bayley in a surfboard.
Charlotte and Sasha are tagged in simultaneously, and Sasha is able to put Charlotte in the Banks Statement. Dana grabs Charlotte's foot. Relax, she doesn't try to put it on the ropes. She pulls Charlotte all the way out of the ring. Bayley gets involved, brawling with Dana on the outside. With Charlotte back in the ring, Sasha nails the backstabber and transitions directly into the Banks Statement again. This time there's no escape, though, and Banks basically pulls Charlotte into a 90 degree angle.
It's a brutal finish, and Charlotte has no choice but to
Winner: Sasha and Bayley via Submission
Bayley and Sasha stand tall and hug it out in the middle of the ring.
It's a beautiful thing, you guys.
The New Day vs The Wyatts
The New Day comes out, celebrating that they're now the longest reigning W...W...E...World...Tag....Team....Champions in history. They mention that this is the last time we'll see the Wyatts team together, since Bray and Rowan are on Smackdown, and Strowman was drafted to Raw.
The beginning of the match is fun, with Xavier getting in to face Braun, then stopping short when Bray tags himself in, so Kofi tags himself in, but Xavier is so transfixed, he doesn't get out of the ring.
Please please PLEASE don't end this thing with The New Day squirting the Wyatts with SuperSoakers full of lemon juice while making fart noises or something.
The Wyatts are in control for most of this thing (a good sign) with Big E doing some damage on a hot tag. (Always fun) Then all hell breaks loose and everybody does all their moves to everybody else. (Best part of a multi-man tag match)
However, the big thing about this match is the Bray/Xavier story. At one point, Xavier saves Kofi from a Sister Abigail, but is basically hypnotized by Bray's unnerving stare. However, he breaks out of it, and goes nuts, hitting running dropkicks on Bray and Rowan and a rolling elbow to Braun, who is standing on the apron. Braun shrugs it off and grabs Woods by the throat, but he's nailed by that amazing Big E spear through the ropes. Xavier turns around to see Wyatt doing the spider bridge thing, freaks out, and eats a Sister Abigail.
A good match, though I don't know where this goes from here, since they're basically on different brands.
Winner: The Wyatts by Pinfall
Rusev vs Zack Ryder
Ryder wearing patriotic ring gear, because US TItle match. He looks like he's cosplaying as 1995 Lex Luger.
Ryder is fun, but hopelessly outclassed by Rusev. Rusev toys with Zack for a while before hitting the spinning heel kick off the ropes, then going for a bearhug on the mat. Ryder fights back with elbows and forearms, and goes for the Broski boot, but Rusev just catches the kick and nails Zack with a knee to the ribs. He goes for a vertical suplex, but Ryder counters with a neck breaker, then hits a boot to the ear. Rusev rolls out of the ring, and Ryder follows. Rusev drops Zack across the barricade, then charges him with a shoulder, which Ryder dodges. He hits a missile dropkick off the barricade. Rusev back into the ring before the ten count, Zack hits the Rough Ryder and goes up for the El-bro drop, but Rusev gets the knees up. He kicks Ryder in the back of the head, and locks in the Accolade. Ryder fights admirably, but eventually, like all victims of Rusev, he has no choice but to
WINNER: Rusev by Submission
Rusev continues to beat on Ryder after the bell, and then BY GOD THAT'S MOJO RAWLEY'S MUSIC! He sprints down to the ring and gets right in Rusev's face, yelling and screaming and frothing at the mouth.
HYPE BROS ON THE MAIN ROSTER CONFIRMED.
Rusev just stands there looking at him, like "Who are you, crazy man?"
Or maybe he remembers this:
And knows he has nothing to prove. He calmly exits the ring as Mojo continues to behave like a man off his meds.
Sami Zayn vs Kevin Owens
It's back and forth for a while, until KO counters Sami's ropewalk tornado DDT by crotching him on the top rope and hitting the Cannonball in the corner. Then KO just works him, even taking Sami to Chinlock City. When the ref asks Sami "Do you want to give up?", Sami says no, and Owens says "Yes he does. YES YOU DO!"
Zayn regains control by hitting a clothesline, followed by a Michinoku Driver (which, miraculously, Michael Cole refrains from calling a Blue Thunder Bomb).
Sami botches a Springboard maneuver to the outside pretty badly, landing on his head and shoulder on the apron, but they continue. He hits a Blue Thunder Bomb for a two count, (called correctly by Cole, will wonders never cease) then goes up top. Owens rushes him, Zayn jumps over him, then turns around into a Super Kick. Only a nearfall.
Zayn fights back, hits an exploder suplex into the corner, but Owens avoids the Helluva kick. Zayn lands a BRAINBUSTER ON THE APRON. Owens back in to the ring to beat the ten count.
They do the "punch punch punch punch" spot (you know exactly the one I'm talking about). and Zayn gets the advantage. Owens rolls to the outside, and Zayn tries for the tornado ddt through the turnbuckles, but is met with a superkick. Owens nails a cannonball in the corner with Sami still parked there. He hits a Bullfrog Splash for a nearfall. Sami hits that ropewalk Tornado DDT and then hits not one but two half nelson suplexes. Two Count.
Sami runs in for the Helluva Kick but gets Pop Up Powerbombed for his troubles.
Foot on the ropes.
"WHY WON'T YOU STAY DOWN?" Slap!
"WHY ARE YOU MAKING ME DO THIS?" Slap!
Sami gives the bring it on gesture.
Owens does. but Sami hits an Exploder into the corner. Then another. Then a Helluva Kick.
OWENS IS OUT.
Zayn looks at him like "You poor dumb sonofabitch."
He props Owens up in the corner, and hits ANOTHER Helluva Kick.
And these guys just both earned World Title runs.
WINNER: Sami Zayn by Pinfall.
Becky Lynch vs Natalya
Somehow these ladies have to follow THAT.
To her credit, Becky doesn't seem to care. She rules the first part of this match, coming out like a house afire.
PICTURED: BECKY LYNCH
Nattie catches her with a kick to the knee and it's all Hart's Dungeon limb work from then on.
A couple of brief Becky comebacks aside, this is Nattie firmly in the driver's seat.
Nattie is able to drag herself to the bottom rope to break the first Sharpshooter, but not the second.
Winner: Natalya by Submission
Hey guys, we get to see one of these Becky-Nattie matches every Smackdown PPV for the rest of the year! Yay?
The Miz vs Darren Young
Darren Young looks great, I've gotta hand it to him. He has his Twitter motto emblazoned on his ring gear: "Block the H8."
He takes it strong to the Miz, but gets distracted by Maryse yelling at him, and gets shoved off the top turnbuckle to the outside, where Miz drops him rib first on the barricade.
Miz locks in a rest hold and talks trash to Bob Backlund. He thwarts a comeback attempt with a
bigmedium sized boot, but gets caught with a clothesline out of the corner.
DY hits his backdrop onto the apron spot, and gets a two count. Miz runs Young into the ropes, then exits to walk up the ramp, taking a powder. But Bob Backlund is standing there in his way, and Young brings him back into the ring. Maryse slaps Backlund, and Backlund tries to hulk up or something, attempting to rip his shirt off and somehow just transmogrifying it into strait jacket. Maryse just falls over for some reason. She tells Miz that Backlund hit her, WHICH HE MOST CERTAINLY DID NOT DO. Miz shoves Backlund down and DY locks in the Crossface Chickenwing. Well, it kind of looked more like the Million Dollar Dream, but whatevs.
The ref calls for the bell because 10 count, I guess?
Darren Young backs up the ramp looking at his hands like .... well, like this:
The announce team puts this over as Darren Young was so affected by seeing Miz put his hands on his new life coach, he just snapped.
But I hope it's the beginning of a respectfully told May-December gay romance story, and Darren Young was sticking up for the love of his life, like George McFly decking Biff Tannen.
John Cena and Enzo & Cass
The promo. My god, the promo.
Enzo is white hot fire. He is molten lead. He is the surface of the sun. Big Cass is ... well, Big Cass is like soup you have to blow on before you eat it.
But here's the main thing. Cena NEVER EVEN GETS ON THE MIC.
I mean, if The Face That Runs The Place ceding the stage to these two isn't meant to be a passing of the torch, they're doing it wrong.
Styles is in the ring with Enzo to start, and the DC crowd hits him with a "Soccer Mom" chant. Which is just fantastic. From AJ's reaction he shoot thinks so too.
With Karl Anderson in the ring, Enzo & Cass get in all of their stuff, with Enzo being thrown, launched and dropped at all parties involved.
But soon it becomes what we knew it would be: Enzo in peril, with the Club taking turns beating on him. There's a great moment where Enzo finds himself on the outside, across the empty ring from his teammates, and he sprints across the ring only to be cut off by an Anderson flying knee.
It starts getting crazy from here: Guys hitting moves everywhere, against their own men on accident and against the other team on purpose. Highlights include a jumping DDT by Enzo to Anderson off the ring stepts and Big Cass postively BEHEADING Styles with a boot on the outside before taking a Magic Killer from Gallows & Anderson in the center of the ring.
Oh, did I mention that Cena and AJ are the legal men? Because they totally are, and have been for the last ten minutes.
Cena clears the ring of bald, bearded Club members and hits an avalanche Attitude Adjustment from the top rope to get the duke, because smark memes are important and must be validated.
Winner: Cena, Enzo & Cass by Pinfall
Well, this is weird.
Randy Orton is making jokes about Chris Jericho's hair making him look like Ellen and talking about how much he loves his kids and burying Fandango (not cool Randy).
Orton says that it takes 20 suplexes to get to Suplex City but only one RKO to get to Viperville.
"No Enhancement Needed."
Jericho goads Randy into giving him the RKO that we all knew was coming.
Man, I can't wait for that F-5 countered into an RKO spot.
IS IT SUMMERSLAM YET?
The Shield Triple Threat
Dean Ambrose vs Roman Reigns vs Seth Rollins
Mick Foley, Stephanie, Shane and Daniel Bryan are out to watch this match from ringside.
D-Bry gets a huge pop. That "Yes!" chant is going to be over long after we're all dead, I swear.
Rollins is out first.. Then Reigns, to a chorus of deafening boos.
Ambrose gets a really nice pop from the crowd.
Before we are inevitably disappointed by the outcome of this match, I want to go on record that this is the perfect time for them to fully turn Roman heel. It will not happen, there is no chance of it happening, but if they did it, now would be the perfect time.
Okay back to reality as the bell rings and a "Roman Sucks" chant breaks out.
First let me say that I really like Roman's suspension beard.
You can tell these guys have been thinking about how they would agent a match between the three of them for like four years.
It really shows.
First Dean and Roman gang up on Seth. Then Dean tries for a surprise Schoolboy roll up. Roman kicks out and Dean looks at him like, "Hey, I had to try."
At one point, Roman has Seth up on his shoulders, maybe going for the Samoan Drop, and Dean hits him square in the chest with a front dropkick.
Later, Roman and Seth are going at it on the outside and Dean lands on Roman from the top turnbuckle.
Later, Roman and Seth are going battlling in the Timekeeper's area and Dean jumps on them from the announce table.
Later, Roman kicks out of a Dean pinfall attempt, and Dean rolls right into getting Frogsplashed by Rollins.
Later, there's a great spot where Rollins gets Super Punched and Reigns immediately gets Wacky Clotheslined.
Later, Ambrose and Rollins team up to double powerbomb Reigns through the Spanish announce table, only for Rollins to immediately turn on Dean and hit him with a chair, then put the steel to Reigns.
Later, Seth does his Superplex into Falcon
'sArrow spot, which should never be kcked out of ever. (Dean does.)
Later, Dean has Seth up on the top turnbuckle, going for the superplex himself, only to be powerbombed by Reigns. Rollins jumps from the top, lands right into a boot to the gut, then gets powerbombed himself.
Spot after spot, after reversal after reversal, and finally,
Bucklebomb into Superman Punch into Spear, into Dirty Deeds for the pinfall.
Wow, what a match. Seriously.
But the best part is I know they're holding something back for the next one.
WINNER: Dean Ambrose by Pinfall
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