Segunda Caida

Phil Schneider, Eric Ritz, Matt D and occasional guests write about pro wrestling. Follow us @segundacaida

Sunday, July 23, 2017

WWE Battleground 2017 Live Blog

1. Aiden English vs. Tye Dillinger

ER: I really really like English, so I'm just happy he has a job and is showing up on a PPV in any way at all. I assume he's been showing up on some secondary Network only shows, I really should go through and just quickly write up any 2017 English matches. He's a great hand to have around as he knows how to stooge with early frustration, and the moment where he turns the tables always looks great. He gets cheap shots, because he makes his cheap shots look nasty. Most guys wouldn't use a stiff knee as a cheap shot. He also knows how to talk smack during a resthold. Dillinger's comeback is a little silly, he has one of those sets of moves that he has to hit in a specific order, but he throws a fine spinebuster and English knows how to whip into the mat on a spinebuster. And English somehow WINS!? That is wonderful. He does have a few stupid finishers that look like 2001 Edge offense, but that's okay because we usually go months without seeing his finisher.

2. Kofi Kingston/Xavier Woods vs. The Usos

ER: I don't recall seeing a version of New Day where Big E was on the floor and not in the match. Big E is like 85% of the reason to watch New Day matches. Not gonna lie though, I like New Day's American flag tights. They seem like an acid version of something that babyface Virgil would wear. There's a Network Error (first in a year plus) right when the Usos hit a double team backbreaker/axe handle on Woods, with Woods getting dumped on his head afterwards. I can only imagine they did a preemptive "Technical Issues - Please Stand By". Woods hits a nice missile dropkick and Jey bumps it great all the way across the ring. Kofi gets the hot tag and I have no clue what any of his moves are actually supposed to be. His delay clothesline looks even worse than normal, he does a leaping stomp that I only knew was a leaping stomp because an announcer called it that, he hits a punt from the apron with the biggest thigh slap you've seen. Kofi bums me out sometimes. We get some pretty great blocks on the floor from Usos, back in the ring and Woods is nuts enough to get slammed neck first into the buckles and take the alley oop Samoan drop. And then THAT superkick. Woods commits fully to a huge elbow drop and gets NAILED with a superkick on the way down. I cannot believe that was a 2 count. And then we get some more quite surprising 2 counts. This match is crazy as it was worked as a super traditional tag through the Kofi hot tag, and in traditional WWE tag structure which dictates the Usos would have won just a couple minutes after that Kofi hot tag. But then instead of the finish - the spot where the finish would have been in 95% of WWE tags - both teams just started breaking out their nastiest moves. Pretty awesome stretch run, and Xavier's elbow across the whole ring was highlight reel worthy. Both teams had some great misses to set up big moves by the opponents, and the switch getting flipped in the match was welcome.

3. Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Baron Corbin

ER: This is a little slow to start, but willing to see where things go. The standing hammerlock spot didn't totally work, but I liked Nak flopping around for a big boot after. I like bearhug spots but for a match already being worked this slow, this probably wasn't the spot to do it. I do love that the crowd was chanting that Corbin sucks, so then he locked on the bearhug. Nak whiffs on a kick that gets sold, but some of his strikes in the corner look nice. Things snap awake when Corbin runs in with a huge lariat, Nak bumps it in appropriate ragdoll style. I always like Nak's grounded knee strikes, Nak hits a nasty axe kick to the back of Corbin's neck...and then Corbin goes low for the DQ. Well most of this was disappointing.

4. Becky Lynch vs. Tamina vs. Natalya vs. Lana vs. Charlotte

ER: Ahhhhh a match with 5 people in it, this should be terrible. Within 30 seconds of the match two of them have already disappeared despite taking next to no offense. Lana is great in one of those "not quite trained" kind of ways, so she's stomping uncomfortably on Charlotte's hamstrings and then drops an elbow that sees her hip land on Charlotte's face. And wow it took Lynch so long to get back into the match. These odd-person multimans are almost always so bad. Now everybody else completely disappears so Lynch and Charlotte can do things. Seriously where do they go? Do they lie on the floor and hug the apron so they don't show up on camera? Nattie and Charlotte always match up well, and I like the way Charlotte flies into her 360 clothesline. Lana has a proper flip out after only getting a 2 count, and Lana acting as a female John Tatum is the best. I also like how Tamina keeps saving Lana's butt (well, arm) from Lynch, but then Tamina gets eliminated first because Lana stays the hell out of it. BUT, then Lana gets eliminated right after, meaning the two of them have a long awkward walk to the back. I do hate the stupid traditional elimination match rules of all the eliminations bunching up within one minute of each other. It always happens, and it's always dumb. Natalya wins, because okay? "Incredible match" says the WWE announcer who may be Tom Phillips.  "Incredible movie, with an incredible woman," Tom Phillips says while walking out of Transformers: The Last Knight, accompanied by a woman who was set up with Tom through a mutual friend, moments before she tells him that she doesn't think a second date would be a good idea.

5. Kevin Owens vs. AJ Styles

ER: Owens and Styles proceed to have a very Owens and Styles match, though the part in the first few minutes I actually like the most is Owens laying in a headlock. His smack talk during the headlock is great ("I can do this all day!") and a chubby guy lying down with a headlock always makes it look like the opponent is being smothered. So I don't know if I'm easily impressed, or what. AJ's post-headlock strikes looked good and the DDT on him looks good. Back to the headlock and I'm kinda sold. Styles does a great springboard 450 right into knees. Tom Phillips (?) almost completes bad announcer bingo when he states that Owens has bad intentions. JBL tries to save him by making an awesome historical leap, saying that AJ Styles attempted a torture rack and that Lex Luger was a long time US Champ. I absolutely love his attempt, as if these two were working a match as a historical road trip through the US title heritage. "Owens' misses a splash, much like former US Champ One Man Gang, following in the lineage of famous Canadian US Champ Roddy Piper!" Styles getting tossed into the ref looked great, and the ref does a great "struggle to pull myself up the ropes". Nobody could possibly be excited about that finish. Styles sells his loss like someone who is forced to wait slightly longer than normal for the valet to get his car.

6. Flag Match: Rusev vs. John Cena

ER: Big fan of the country-specific flag stands in the entrance way. I love how these two match up, so regardless of the stip I'm interested in what they can do. And I already like Rusev clonking Cena with fists to head, and Rusev taking a bulldog off the top. Crowd is already really quiet for a Cena match. Rusev looks to be in really great shape, maybe #bestshapeofhislife!? To build off a reference from last match, this match feels like a Hogan vs. One Man Gang house show match so far, but probably not as good. We just hit the Hulk up lariat comeback, only it's shoulderblocks and the blue thunder bomb. I want some flag-related violence, guys!! Both guys are working really slow. Either the show was going short and they got told to stretch it out, or....Okay I have no "or". They're still doing the big spots (Cena getting caught in a powerbomb while trying the legdrop off the top was pretty dangerously messy), just a lot more time in between those spots. It's oddly jarring after Cena spent last year working PWG homage matches. This is really being stretched. I like Rusev attempting to AA Cena off his American Flag platform. That's the most insulting way to pull off the "use opponent's finisher" trope. Rusev beats Cena with the flag holder, and somehow knowing the flag holders aren't bolted down CHANGES EVERYTHING. Seriously, this match would have been 100% 6 1/2 star glorious bullshit if the whole match had been based around Rusev just destroying Cena's flag stand/holder, eliminating the only way that Cena could win the match. Start the match with one chairshot to give Rusev a headstart on destroying the stand, then base the whole thing on Rusev just trying to dispatch Cena so he can wreck a flag holder. If you want to work comedy into it, you can even have Rusev try hiding the flag holder a couple times. Have him through it into the WWE UNIVERSE behind his back, oooooooo or have him lock it in a box!!!

7. Mike Kanellis vs. Sami Zayn

ER: Oh my god if Rusev had locked that flag holder in a giant, comical crate, I would have lost my shit. Match starts, Rusev immediately jumps out of the ring and begins rummaging around under the ring. Camera cuts to Cena doing his typically great incredulous face, hands on hips, motioning to some random guy in the crowd who he didn't actually make eye contact with but 35 people in that section will later claim that Cena was "looking right at them!" "What is Rusev looking for!?" and then Rusev pulls out a Masterlock, pauses, looks up at a quizzical Cena across the ring...and sprints down the aisle to the flag holder. He grabs that flag holder, keeps running to the back, a camera is already there waiting, anticipating Rusev running around back there because this shit is fake and was scripted out way in advance, and Rusev pulls out this GIANT crate, covered in chains, and maybe even a comically stenciled "This End Up" painted on the side, and you KNOW that shit is painted on upside down. Rusev tosses that holder in the crate, locks up up tight, and then shoves that crate back in the middle of 20 other crates that look EXACTLY like that crate, pulling a full blown Raiders of the Lost Ark on Cena. NOT ONE PERSON EVER MENTIONS "Um, why didn't Cena just grab his own flag and steal Rusev's flag holder while Rusev was taking 15 minutes to hide a crate within a bunch of other crates?" Nobody ever says that. Because people aren't total shitheads who just exist to ruin somebody else's good time. Everybody just lets people enjoy the things however they like. I like Mike Kannelis's tights. They're like beta cuck Rick Rude tights. The "M+M Forever" is totally in the H&M font. But they're great fucking tights. Helluva kick to finish looks like something that should finish this match.

8. Punjabi Prison Match: Jinder Mahal vs. Randy Orton

ER: Okay, so no matter how we feel about this match, everybody knows that the name Punjabi Prison is an all time great jingoistic fear mongering pro wrestling match title. I remember - because of pro wrestling - asking my dad what was so bad about a Mexican Prison. Somebody must have made a reference to it as an "ultimate threat" and my dad actually answered it!! My dad totally worked me and immediately said that they fed you rotten food, and when you refuse to eat it, they bring back the exact same food the next day, and now it's a day older! Punjabi Prison would have probably blown my mind if I had heard that term at age 7. And the set looks spectacular, like a gorgeous Apocalypse Now prop. I should have listened to the stipulations of this fucking match instead of typing all of that. Escape rules? We'll go with escape rules. I wonder how many households have someone, watching this PPV tonight, who made some sort of joke like "I wish they would throw Barry Hussein and Killary into a Punjabi Prison. They'd probably like that." I'm setting the line at 170 households have "that guy" tonight. You take the over or under? Jinder throws a nice back elbow. A guy can go pretty far in my book if they throw a nice back elbow.

"Hey John, you've been in all kinds of structural matches..." is such a great start to a sentence. You know he liked it, because he stopped it once and started it again. I can't blame him, it's a great line. You picture Lance Russell saying that line, and it all clicks, so give credit to whoever said that (it wasn't JBL, it was one of the other 7 white guys they have sitting out there with him). This stipulation match is silly but I'm kinda loving it. Orton struggling to slowly get to one of the doors, as the timer is counting down, and once the timer hits 0 the ref drops the rope holding the door open, and it slides shut? That's awesome. I did pick up that there were 4 doors, and they close as the match goes on, making for less escape options. God I would love to see Low-Ki climb out of this nasty looking thing. You know he could do it. that guy would scramble out of the first one and then leap to the outer one, and it would look amazing. Randy disappoints me by not letting one of the doors drop guillotine style on his arm or neck. That would be a great KO blow visual, a door dropping on a guy's head like Luke dropping a spiked gate on the Rancor in Return of the Jedi. Jinder continues showing off those back elbows, nailing Orton in the gut while they both climb the outer prison wall. We get a lot of climbing related spots, and with the Singhs around they find a couple interesting things to do. Man that Singh bump is brutal, especially when you see the angle with his legs facing the camera. You really get a sense for how fast the human head whips back when you see that angle of the table bump.  And GREAT KHALI comes back!!! AND THEY MAKE HIM CLIMB PART OF THE CAGE!! Orton does a lot of great falling off the cage teases, and Khali grabs him by the throat and Orton dangles in a great theatrical way. Jinder wins, Tom Phillips COMPLETES HIS BAD ANNOUNCER BINGO CARD by dropping several "Not like this! Not like this!" on us. You did it buddy. JBL gets amusingly crossed up and calls Khali "a true giant". "THAT, son, is a true giant. Not like those two children wearing a giant trenchcoat that you previously thought was a giant." I don't actually know if this match is 1 star or 6 stars.

ER: This was a PPV with almost no good matches, yet I had kind of a blast watching this show. Maybe the heat has made me delusional, but the bad was always amusing. I thought the tag match was really good, liked the Aiden English pre-show match, and disliked the rest. But somehow had fun watching all of it. Best Bad PPV?

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Blogger Yerfuneral said...

WWE get over your WCW/NWA bias. The promos for this totally screamed Great American Bash. All the history for the US title brought up during the match had to do with it's pre WWE days for the most part. I just had to say that.

1) Another solid opener with two guys with gimmicks I dislike. There is a reason they have pretty much gotten rid of that collar on the Marvel character Iron Fist. May have worked in the 70's not so much today Dillinger. The 10 thing and patriotism would have thought we were in an Olympic year.

2) Smackdown never really lets a tag match get going since they are working with 2 hours and when I got around to returning to wrestling the New Day were ending their historic run and Kingston was injured so they were pretty much sidelined. So I got something that showed why I like tag wrestling and reminds me that I don't get why tag team wrestling is an afterthought and way to protect non regular tag wrestlers.

3) I liked the psychology of this match. Shinsuke is pushed as this striker. The way to weaken a striker is to stay close. That unfortunately makes for a boring match and even if the announcers went out of there to explain it wouldn't have helped but would be a little less ridiculous then more than once pushing how great of a striker Corbin is. That really was never a factor in his offense. I don't understand either why they keep doing the long wait game with the one specific finishing move Shinsuke wants to do. A wrestler of his background and pedigree would be closer to AJ Styles who has like 4 or 5 different finishers. I remember seeing him do it in NXT and would later see some of his Japan stuff and don't recall seeing the idiocy of waiting around.

4) NXT multi-women matches better put together, imo, though still didn't understand not seeing one spot of the Aussie girls not trying to pin one another in a first pin fall match when promo hinted at them sharing the title if one of them won it. I digress but Whoever is putting them together needs to coach the main roster folks. You get a lot of the same faults but done in a way that makes sense. Though the elimination rules is part of the reason for people disappearing so long. Makes sense to stay out but have them running around trying to stay out of the action until the time is right. That is what I expected from Lana.
I also kept waiting for them to shove a segment on the new Barbie style dolls from San Diego Comic Con but guess they will fill us in on that during the regular show.

3:43 AM  
Blogger Yerfuneral said...

5) They never replayed the pin so expecting some kind of controversy Tuesday about the ending.
I loved all the US Title history stuff. Back in the 80's really only had the WWE weekly Saturday show, once in a blue moon Main Event, and when the WWE ppvs came to the video rental store. Lots of stars vs jobbers and the USA Network show at the time was to much like a talk show with matches interspersed. So much more immersed in the history of NWA/WCW, AWA, and World Class.
My biggest disappoint is the Open Challenge is on the back burner or never coming around. That concept sounded exciting to me in at least getting some new matches and maybe finding some new blood. Styles I think is a good candidate for helping us see other sides, get second looks, and bring out the best of some of these guys stuck on the sidelines.

6) I couldn't have fun with this. So many moments made no sense and couldn't get myself into a wrestling logic kind of mood. I was constantly taken myself in and out of the ppv because of breaks for Game of Thrones and Big Brother. Not sure if I saw all of this match since WWE Network wasn't saving my stops in the action and had to fast forward and remember where I left the action. This needed to play up the silliness of it all even more. I would have eaten this match up if it was on Lucha Underground because I expect dumb action flick. WWE plays to much of a straight face this is real angle. I kept waiting for someone to slip up and get impaled on those flag stands.

7) I like Ascension keep faking it to get camera time and remembered. Maybe Emma needs to do something like that instead of Tweeting or maybe her Tweets are the forgotten follow up to her and Dana Brooks whatever that was on the preshow for the last RAW ppv.
I still have no clue what to think about Mike Kanellis. All I ever seen was some commercial blips during Big Brother After Dark on POP that is all I ever saw of TNA. I like how Maria is a distraction for both him and his competitor so kind of covers the early loss in his fledgling WWE career though was expecting some screw job ending but guess someone decided Zayn needed a win so he isn't a complete lovable loser.

8) Like the flag match so much of the psychology and logic were off for me. Almost every time the ref was locking up a door they would both just stand or lay there watching. Orton showed really quickly the advantage of actually just climbing that first cage. Especially during the Khali choke I questioned whether Orton and Jinder could have just as easily slipped between the bars like one of the bros at one point. So many shake my head moments.

Your review makes me thinking maybe I am being to harsh on this show. I think one of my problems because of my breaks to do other things is I actually watched every moment and didn't pick up my phone, magazine, make a grocery list, or whatever. The more I think about it this show was so AWA unfortunately I didn't find the bad so bad it is good. Maybe if The Patriot came out to help Orton instead of Khali to help Jinder would have saved it for me. Yes I know The Patriot didn't show up until the demise of AWA but fits more of the theme of the night then The Trooper.

3:48 AM  

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