Sean Ross SappleGround! (7/23): WWE Battleground Match Ratings, Notes, Analysis

In Memory Of Daryl Takahashi

NOTE: There will be no "Sean Ross SappDown Live" this week, as I'm traveling to Canada.

Gisele Shaw Talks About Her Decision To Come Out As Transgender, Not Wanting To Be A 'Poster Child'

Rating guide

10- Perfect, 9- Excellent, 8- Great, 7- Good, 6- Above Average, 4-5- Average or slightly below, 3 or below: Poor


  • AJ Styles is given a really generic, Vince McMahon approved promo backstage, while Owens cuts a really good one.
  • Carmella did well at the pre-show table, and I'm glad they got her on the show.
  • Mike Bennett: "MY strategy? You wanna know what MY strategy is?" Son of a bitch, y'all. 

Aiden English defeated Tye Dillinger

  • Not the best of spots, but glad to see Dillinger and English get a match.
  • People will say that Dillinger's chant is all that's over, but many would kill for that. 
  • JBL putting over Aiden English's voice was good
  • Dillinger gets a spinebuster. I'm more of a fan of a nice 180 spin with it, but hey, to each their own.
  • Aiden English busted out the finish that Seth Rollins used for a week or two with that front DDT.
  • Tye Dillinger is the only guy the ten punches work for.
  • Aiden English wins a match, and he's one of those guys who we're seeing use offense for the first time. Shout outs to him for using stuff you don't see every day. 

Smackdown Tag Team Championships
New Day (w/ Big E) defeated The Usos

  • Xavier Woods took a NASTY bump on the back of his head from that Decapitation.
  • New Day are in super patriotic gear. Xavier could have just worn his TNA gear and been fine.
  • Usos catch a Kofi trust fall with a powerbomb. SWEET!
  • An inverted Infrared from Xavier Woods is an incredible sight.
  • At no point in this match did the Usos feel out of control of it, even when New Day were on defense. Great heel work. 
  • Xavier gets caught off the top rope with a superkick! Incredible. What a camera shot, too!
  • That was not the Midnight Hour, Tom. That was a backbreaker/flying stomp. 
  • This is an unbelievable match. New Day kick out of a Superfly Splash and end up getting the win.
  • A lot good about this. Good wrestling, good production, good finish.

Shinsuke Nakamura defeated Baron Corbin via DQ

  • A bearhug in a Nakamura match.
  • I saw a tweet from Justin Henry that said "Can Baron Corbin cash in *during* the Punjabi Prison match, remain outside the cage, say, "Hey, I'm outside", and win?"
  • Corbin knows how to work Nakamura's WWE-style match and is physically able to implement the old style, too. He's familar with striking and grappling.
  • I'm a fan of Corbin using the old Bossman spot where he runs out of the ring and back in. Just don't wanna see it every match.
  • The only thing more annoying than me constantly bitching about moves being called as "OH!" every two seconds is the act itself.
  • Corbin kicks Nakamura in the balls. DQ. Corbin doesn't care, and he shouldn't. Briefcase shot, End of Days.

Top Contender Match
Natalya defeated Tamina, Lana, Becky Lynch & Charlotte

  • I remember when Lana was one of the most over people in the company a couple of months ago.
  • Lana doesn't have Eva Marie's gimmick. Eva Marie wasn't dancing, she was avoiding fights at all cost. Lana asked for the champion several times.
  • Lana looks Alexa Bliss' size next to Tamina and Charlotte.
  • Tamina did a junior YOLO dive.
  • I don't see the hate for Lana here. She's done really well in her limited action and hasn't looked bad or exposed anyone else.
  • I had no clue this was an elimination match. Tamina and Lana are submitted back to back, then Becky is pinned.
  • Charlotte sold the struggle of the powerbomb from the triangle BEAUTIFULLY
  • Natalya gets the win, good for her. 

WWE United States Championship
Kevin Owens defeated AJ Styles (c) to become WWE United States Champion

  • AJ said that it's his "belt". Owens screamed that it's a "championship".
  • This is one of those matches that you won't see a lot of notes for, because you've seen most of what these guys have to offer, but they're so good at it. 
  • These two do things like modify their signature moves, get knees up at crucial times, have clever counters and always make it smooth.
  • Styles' strength is really underrated.
  • Owens slings AJ into the referee. Really awesome ref bump.
  • The finish is unusual and fell flat, Owens wins the title. This was good, but it's hard to top the tag match.

Flag Match
John Cena defeated Rusev

  • This is just every stereotypical John Cena match for the first 7-8 minutes.
  • Rusev tries to hit a powerbomb on a flying Cena, but it just doesn't work.
  • I'm sure Cena explained that you have to get the flag up the ramp at some point, but this whole thing is a farce.
  • Cena really yanks that leg with no regard when applying that STF.
  • Cena should never do a dropkick again.
  • Cena doing the slow stumble up the ramp. This is really bad. 
  • The best part of the match is on the ramp. A fallaway slam for Rusev, AA through tables.
  • This sucked.

Fashion Files

  • The Ascension say they attacked Breezango, and everyone is let down. Kind of funny.
  • Breezango end up getting attacked by someone. It's not over!

Sami Zayn defeated Mike Kanellis (w/ Maria Kanellis)

  • Maria saves Mike from a suicide dive.
  • Mike just isn't much of anything that interests me. Him catching a kiss and punching Sami with it was funny though.
  • Sami Zayn is really good, it's just an uphill battle to make me care about Mike Bennett. The idea that someone is their gimmick 24/7 is hard to get behind. There are some exceptions, but Kanellis isn't one of them. 
  • How is Maria allowed in the ring? So we can see a third match that we don't care about?
  • Zayn wins. He was good. Kanellis was fine. I just can't be expected to care.

WWE Championship
Punjabi Prison
Jinder Mahal (c) (w/ Singh Bros.) defeated Randy Orton

  • Showing the Indian announce team during Mahal's entrance was a good move, in my opinion.
  • I wish they would take the "one opportunity to make it through a door" rule in regular cage matches. Or eliminate the door altogether. 
  • I hope they sell a lot of these Punjabi Prison toys.
  • Mahal could be heard checking on Orton during the match.
  • There are a couple of fine spots that are ruined by the calls of "OH!" and "WOW!" Mahal getting crotched on the top rope, and Orton suplexing Mahal into the bamboo.
  • This is what we get when WWE tries to use the title to make people care about two people they just don't. A 100 day feud.
  • The Singh brothers are under the ring and pull Mahal through the first structure.
  • Orton vs. Mahal- Worst SD Feud Of The Year
    Orton vs. Singh Brothers - Best SD Feud Of The Year
  • THE GREAT KHALI RETURNS. How in the shit did 44 year old Khali climb at all?!
  • This was a terrible show. 
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