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WWE Battleground 2017 Discussion Thread - July 23, 2017 from Philadelphia, PA (#5)

TPIB

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The fifth annual WWE Battleground will be a SmackDown LIVE exclusive pay-per-view and will come to you, live on the WWE Network, on July 23 from the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, PA.

The official theme song for Battleground is "Whatever It Takes" by Imagine Dragons off of their newest album, "Evolve", which is available now on iTunes and Spotify.




Confirmed Matches/Events

WWE Championship: Punjabi Prison Match:
Jinder Mahal (c) vs. Randy Orton

United States Championship:
AJ Styles (c) vs. Kevin Owens

Flag Match:
John Cena vs. Rusev

Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Baron Corbin

SmackDown Tag Team Championship:
The Usos (c) vs. The New Day

Sami Zayn vs. Mike Kanellis

Five-Way Elimination Match to Determine Naomi's (c) Opponent at SummerSlam:
Becky Lynch vs. Natalya vs. Lana vs. Tamina vs. Charlotte Flair

Breezango to Prepare to "Close The Case"

Kickoff Match:
Tye Dillinger vs. Aiden English
 
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Matthew Penny

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What an awful poster! Featuring a guy who may not even have a match, and how does time to shine relate to 'Battleground'?

They've lost the plot!
 

TPIB

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What an awful poster! Featuring a guy who may not even have a match, and how does time to shine relate to 'Battleground'?

They've lost the plot!
Haha. That's not the real poster. It's just a placeholder until WWE releases the real thing. :lol:
 

TPIB

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Judging by what WWE put on their website, the poster will probably have the Punjabi Prison on it in some form.

I usually Google posters for events and, if WWE doesn't have an official one yet, I pick one that someone made that has the correct date and everything on it. :thumbup2:

EDIT: I added the official poster. :thumbup2:
 
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TPIB

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A rematch between Sami Zayn and Mike Kanellis has been announced for Battleground. They also announced another Kickoff match between Tye Dillinger and Aiden English.
 

Matthew Penny

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So excitement levels for this? I feel especially since WM and since Road Dogg has taken over SD - the show has turned to rubbish.
 

TPIB

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So excitement levels for this? I feel especially since WM and since Road Dogg has taken over SD - the show has turned to rubbish.
I'm not sure how long Road Dogg has been in charge but I will agree that SmackDown LIVE has been on the decline lately. However, I theorize that RAW has been better than SmackDown lately because that's the way Vince wants it. I absolutely do not put it past Vince to make sure that SmackDown does not look better than his favorite child, RAW. I can envision SmackDown pulling ahead of RAW in terms of interest from the fans and Vince putting a 'glass ceiling' in place so that the "B Show" doesn't overtake RAW. Or maybe it's because RAW has over three hours to stretch out their segments as much as they want.

In any case, I digress. I am actually one of the few people kind of looking forward to Battleground. Whether the Punjabi Prison Match is good or a complete train wreck, I'm interested to see what they do with the match this time around. Plus, it's nice to see WWE actually bring back an old gimmick match instead of relying on the same gimmick matches we see on a regular basis (Steel Cage, Hell in a Cell, Last Man Standing, etc.). The argument could also be made that Jinder and Orton are more capable wrestlers than the guys involved in the previous two Punjabi Prison Matches (Undertaker, Big Show, Khali, & Batista). At the very least, the match is boring but at least we can say they tried something out of the ordinary for a change.

The U.S. Title rematch has the potential to be a Match of the Year contender if Styles and Owens are given the time to work the match to the best of their abilities. AJ has yet to have a bad match on pay-per-view so I expect he will disappoint this time. While it's been a while since we've seen Kevin Owens give it his all in a match, we do know that he's capable of it.

I don't really care about the Flag Match too much. I'm sure Cena and Rusev will have a decent enough match but it's practically a certainty that Cena is winning, which is a shame. I want to see Rusev get a proper main event push but I just can't see it happening right now. For whatever reason, WWE just doesn't seem willing to push Rusev again. Maybe I'm wrong (and I hope that I am) but Rusev seems to only be in this match for two reasons - To give Rusev something to do besides sit on the sidelines and because he's Bulgarian. Other than that, his only real purpose seems to be to lose to Cena.

I also don't care about Nakamura vs. Corbin. This match should have just taken place on SmackDown to be honest. It's not that these two aren't big enough to be on pay-per-view but the build has been so flimsy and they just don't seem to have a whole lot of chemistry in the ring.

The only interest I have in the SmackDown Tag Team Title match is who is winning the match. WWE has done a pretty good job over the last few weeks of making it seem like either team could legitimately walk out as the champions. The Usos have been doing the work of their careers as heels and The New Day have been....well, being The New Day. Maybe it's because The New Day just had a historic title reign not too long ago but I think it's too soon to put the titles on The New Day. However, with that said, The Usos have run out of tag teams to feud with on SmackDown so having The New Day win the titles would likely extend this feud until SummerSlam. In any case, I'm hoping The Usos come out of this feud as the champions.

Since it's elimination style, I expect the Five-Way Elimination Match to be given a decent amount of time on the show. The way I see it, Becky and Charlotte are the only two who have a real shot at winning this match. I cannot see WWE booking Lana to be the #1 Contender at SummerSlam when she just had three title matches in less than a month and I can't see WWE having either Natalya or Tamina be #1 Contender for the SmackDown Women's Title at a show as big as SummerSlam (assuming the SmackDown Women's Title match doesn't get bumped to the Kickoff). As it stands, Becky winning makes the most sense as I don't remember the last time Becky has had a one-on-one match for the title (she might have not had one since Alexa was the SmackDown Women's Champion). Plus, I wouldn't be surprised if they do Naomi vs. Becky at SummerSlam just to work an angle between Becky and that UFC fighter Cris Cyborg. There's no confirmation that Cyborg will be in attendance at SummerSlam but I could absolutely see them having her there.

Just a side-note but if Naomi doesn't defend the title until SummerSlam, isn't that in violation of that 30-day defense rule WWE sometimes like to use? It's worth bringing up since Naomi's first reign as champion was cut short by an injury and, when that happened, they had Daniel Bryan mention that Naomi had to be stripped of the title since she couldn't defend it within 30 days. This is one of those examples of WWE's inconsistent booking that bothers me; they have a rule book that they use for most matches and angles but they just forego it randomly when it suits them. I have a similar problem with how #1 Contenders are determined; sometimes, wrestlers are just given title matches without having to earn them (like The New Day for example) while, other times, WWE has to book #1 Contender matches to decide these things. Then there's the 'rule' about someone earning a title match by pinning the champion. By that logic, then Nakamura is owed about three U.S. Title matches from when he pinned Kevin Owens (when Owens was U.S. Champion) about three times, both in tag matches and one-on-one matches.

I really wish they would have saved Mike Kanellis' in-ring SmackDown LIVE debut for pay-per-view. I have no clue why they decided to do Sami vs. Mike on SmackDown less than a week before Battleground. I usually think it's kind of weird when WWE books a rematch for a pay-per-view when the original match took place on free TV. It seems to diminish the importance of the wrestlers involved.

Honestly, the most intriguing angle heading into Battleground is the one involving Breezango. I would not be the least bit surprised if they find out that Tyler Breeze trashed the office while Breeze was using one his alter egos. I don't know if I read it somewhere or just imagined it, but there's a rumor going around that the responsible party might be a tag team from the past. I'm thinking that, if this is true, then it would make sense if it was The Headbangers. Considering that Breezango are fashion police and Mosh & Thrasher wear skirts and whatnot, I think it would make sense.

As for the Kickoff Match, who really cares? It's yet another match between Tye Dillinger and Aiden English with no build-up or anything; it's just a match randomly thrown together to fill time on the pre-show. Both guys (especially Dillinger) deserve a lot better than this.

I would love if WWE actually put forth some effort for Battleground but I fully expect WWE to put their focus on SummerSlam and just treat Battleground as a way to build to SummerSlam (much like WWE did with Great Balls of Fire). I hate this mentality that so many of the "B" pay-per-views (the pay-per-views that are not part of the Big Four) are often used as stepping stones to the bigger pay-per-views. Every PPV should feel like a PPV and not just a special edition of RAW or SmackDown.
 
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DC

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Smackdown has The Fashion Files, so I'll forgive any and all other sins.
 

RFDL

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Can't say I am looking forward to it. Usually, I look for potential match quality when looking at the card. I can only see two - the US Title and the SD Tag Titles that can deliver. The rest of the card is up in the air as far as match quality goes.
 

Matthew Penny

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Can't say I am looking forward to it. Usually, I look for potential match quality when looking at the card. I can only see two - the US Title and the SD Tag Titles that can deliver. The rest of the card is up in the air as far as match quality goes.
Yes match quality is of course important but for me, if I am not invested in the people involved.. The storyline.. The match quality becomes a little bit irrelevant. I couldn't care less about WWE title match as the build is crap, the people involved are crap..
 

TPIB

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Yes match quality is of course important but for me, if I am not invested in the people involved.. The storyline.. The match quality becomes a little bit irrelevant. I couldn't care less about WWE title match as the build is crap, the people involved are crap..
I don't know about that. Jinder has been steadily improving as of late (at least as far as his promo skills go) and Orton has remained quite over throughout this feud.
 

Matthew Penny

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I think his promo's are pretty bad (of course this is partly down to the writers) In ring he is passable but they're hardly matches to re-watch. Orton has been stale for years now except the time in the Wyatt's.
 

TPIB

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I think his promo's are pretty bad (of course this is partly down to the writers) In ring he is passable but they're hardly matches to re-watch. Orton has been stale for years now except the time in the Wyatt's.
Orton is stale because he wants to be. It just seems like he's phoning it in most of the time.

Jinder's strength is his promos for the most part. He's kind of bogged down with the stereotypical "evil foreigner" gimmick but when he has some promise. Plus he's got the best entrance in WWE right now.
 

Matthew Penny

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Well safe to say the PPV was an absolute flop. WWE Title match was the worst in a long long time. The crowd were dead. Great Khali returning was so so obvious and even then - they used Mahal's music for him!! Have they lost Khali's music??
 

H}{H-Evolution

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Well safe to say the PPV was an absolute flop. WWE Title match was the worst in a long long time. The crowd were dead. Great Khali returning was so so obvious and even then - they used Mahal's music for him!! Have they lost Khali's music??
They probably want to put him out as Jinders's newest goon.
 

TPIB

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Well safe to say the PPV was an absolute flop. WWE Title match was the worst in a long long time. The crowd were dead. Great Khali returning was so so obvious and even then - they used Mahal's music for him!! Have they lost Khali's music??
I disagree. Everyone has such a negative attitude about the show. Just because you didn't like it doesn't mean it's an "absolute flop". I legitimately did not see Khali's return coming and I think that, even though it was slow early on, the Punjabi Prison Match was better than expected and got pretty good towards the end. For me, the two best parts of the pay-per-view was the Punjabi Prison Match and the SmackDown Tag Team Title match.

As far as the music goes, I guess they used Jinder's music for Khali because Jinder, Khali, and The Singh Brothers are going to be in this stable together. Though I wouldn't be surprised if this was a one-off appearance for Khali.

The Usos and The New Day just keep having awesome matches which makes me kind of glad that The New Day won the titles because that will likely keep the feud going at least a little longer. The Usos have had the run of their career as heels and, hopefully, they find a way to keep The Usos in the title picture for a while.

I only saw bits and pieces of the Kickoff Match but what I did see was pretty impressive and I was genuinely surprised that they gave Aiden English the clean victory. While I've hated the booking (or lack thereof) of Tye Dillinger lately, it was nice to see Aiden be treated as more than just a jobber.

With the exception of Nakamura selling Baron's clothesline by landing on his face, the Corbin/Nakamura match was pretty meh (as I expected). Corbin and Nakamura are just two opponents who don't mesh well and the DQ finish just means that this feud is going to keep going but, hopefully, it ends on SmackDown LIVE because this feud does not need to drag on until SummerSlam.

The U.S. Title match left me with a lot more questions than answers. The match itself was standard; neither AJ Styles or Kevin Owens really did anything spectacular in the match that's worth noting but the finish is what I have questions about. Given the referee bump and what initially appeared to be a double pinfall, I thought WWE was doing the screwy finish angle where both men's shoulders were down so it ends up being a No Contest or the title gets vacated or something like that but they didn't. They just had Owens win the title back in the most anticlimactic way possible. Now my guess is that there will be some sort of follow-up angle on SmackDown LIVE where the referee's decision is called into question because he was still recovering from being knocked down but regardless of what they do with it, it ended what could have been the match of the night with a questionable finish that really didn't make any sense.

This title match is a good example of this trend WWE has with it's brand-exclusive pay-per-views nowadays; both Battleground and Great Balls of Fire were, for the most part, treated as a stepping stone to further angles for SummerSlam and pay-per-views should not be used like that. If I was still having to pay nearly $70 for a WWE pay-per-view, I would be enraged by these tactics. Just because the WWE Network is dirt cheap and you can run an absurd amount of pay-per-views in a calendar year doesn't mean you should only try booking competently when it comes to the Big Four. When you think about it, WWE is doing a similar thing with the U.S. Title that they did with the RAW Women's Title last year by hot-shotting the title back and forth so that they can stretch out one feud much longer than necessary. I don't mind long feuds as long as they are done correctly but having Styles win the belt at a house show in Madison Square Garden for the sake of his DVD just to lose the belt a few weeks later does nothing for either the title or AJ Styles.

Then there was the Five-Way Elimination Match. I have a few problems with this match (like how Lana didn't seem to know that it was an elimination match) but my biggest problem is them having Natalya become the #1 Contender. I get that WWE wanted to have someone win who nobody expected to win and that Natalya has been around a long time without much to show for it but I think I'm in the majority when I say that I have no interest whatsoever in seeing Naomi vs. Natalya for the title at SummerSlam. I would not be the least bit surprised if this match gets bumped to the Kickoff. You could tell when Natalya won that nobody in the crowd really cared. Once Becky was eliminated, my interest was lost. I don't care about face/heel dynamics, I just want the best possible match.

Where do I even begin with the Flag Match? First of all, I repeatedly forgot that this match was on the card so that tells you a lot about how I felt about it. Secondly, if you want a surefire way to expose the gimmicky, ridiculous side of professional wrestling, this is a great way to do it. Of all the match types in wrestling, the Flag Match concept has to be one of the dumbest. The amount of time Cena and Rusev spent actively not trying to win the match was mind-boggling when you think about it. Had WWE just stuck with the original rules for a Flag Match and not added the extra bit where you have to carry the flag and put it on the correct pedestal, then this match might have been more tolerable or, even better, just had a regular wrestling match between Cena and Rusev. The match was lame and predictable while doing nothing but burying Rusev even further. I don't know what Rusev did to Vince McMahon but he must have done something pretty terrible. Was this whole match just so Cena could be the proud American beating the "evil foreigner" in the city where the U.S. Constitution was signed? I absolutely believe it if it was.

The Breezango segment was pretty entertaining (as is basically all their segments) but it was really short and didn't really establish much of anything. This is one of those cases where WWE sees something catch on so they milk all they can out of it. The problem with doing that is that they're getting dangerously close to stretching it too thin.

What's there to say about the Sami Zayn/Mike Kanellis rematch other than it belonged on the Kickoff? This match was purely filler and it seems to me that WWE has given up on Maria & Mike before they even really gave them a try. I don't have a problem with Sami winning but this feud is just destined to go nowhere.

Everybody was so down on the Punjabi Prison Match heading into it and, yes, it did drag quite a bit early on and, yes, there was that weird bit where Orton and Jinder just kept staring at each other like they forgot what they were supposed to do next but, overall, I think it was better than expected. In what has become standard of Jinder/Orton matches, one of the Singh Brothers took a crazy bump through a table and kudos to Samir for taking said crazy bump because it really elevated the quality of the match in my opinion. Sure, the match wasn't an instant classic or anything but both Jinder and Orton did the best they could to make the match tolerable and they did a pretty decent job of it. Khali coming back is something I did not expect (partially because I wasn't even sure if he could still walk or not) and I think having Jinder win was the right choice. Sure, Mahal will probably go on to lose the title to Cena at SummerSlam or get cashed in on by Baron Corbin on a random episode of SmackDown LIVE but having Jinder win in the match that he chose with the help of the man who WWE billed as being the match's creator made the most sense.
 

Matthew Penny

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I just cannot reply to everything on that post but I think it was universally accepted to be a flop of a PPV. The sooner Road Dogg stops writing the show - the better. I knew WWE would give up on Mike and Maria the minute they debuted and it baffles me why they even bother hiring these people and just give up on them. The flag match was awful (Poor Rusev) Naka vs Corbin was absolutely terrible. Watching opinions on Twitter just shows that it was a SMH moment. You just wanted to cringe and forget it ever happened. Severely worried for Naka.

Hated punjabi match. It was slow, horrible, uninteresting and the best part was the crazy fall from Samir. Dave Meltzer has said the plan is Cena/Orton vs Khali/Mahal. If this is true, SDLive will remain unwatched by me.
 

TPIB

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I just cannot reply to everything on that post but I think it was universally accepted to be a flop of a PPV. The sooner Road Dogg stops writing the show - the better. I knew WWE would give up on Mike and Maria the minute they debuted and it baffles me why they even bother hiring these people and just give up on them. The flag match was awful (Poor Rusev) Naka vs Corbin was absolutely terrible. Watching opinions on Twitter just shows that it was a SMH moment. You just wanted to cringe and forget it ever happened. Severely worried for Naka.

Hated punjabi match. It was slow, horrible, uninteresting and the best part was the crazy fall from Samir. Dave Meltzer has said the plan is Cena/Orton vs Khali/Mahal. If this is true, SDLive will remain unwatched by me.
I can't imagine they wouldn't have the title on the line at SummerSlam. I can't imagine they'd put the belt on Corbin between now and then either. Having Khali wrestle again is a big mistake as is putting Cena & Orton as a team for the second biggest show of the year.

You can't let Twitter opinions influence your own opinion so much. You're acting like this was the worst PPV ever.

My theory is that Vince intentionally ensures that SmackDown remains less popular than RAW. It's the only reasonable explanation for the decline.
 
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