Welcome to PWInsider.com's ongoing coverage of WWE Battleground 2016 from Washington, DC!
Battleground Kickoff Show:
The Pre-Show panel is Renee Young, Jerry Lawler, Corey Graves and Booker T.
Tom Phillips, in the social media lounge, announced they would have Mick Foley and Daniel Bryan later tonight doing a Q&A based on Twitter questions.
They discussed the WWE championship main event and noted that Roman Reigns returned to action over the weekend.
They then pushed the Club vs. Cena, Enzo and Cass, running a video feature on that six man tag.
After they aired a New Day vs. Wyatt Family video, the panel discussed who would come out victorious. Graves said New Day, as long as Xavier Woods can get his head in the game. The others called Wyatts.
Backstage, Andrea D'Amarco interviewed Zack Ryder. Ryder said that tonight was familiar territory for him and he can't listen to people that doubt whether he could win the United States championship. He said that last time people doubted him, he won the Intercontinental championship at the biggest Wrestlemania of all time. He said he was taking the belt to Smackdown live.
They talked about the Sasha Banks mystery partner. Lawler picked Summer Rae. Booker predicted it would be Lita. Corey Graves suggested it could be Nia Jax. Renee noted that Nikki Bella was seen at the WWE Performance Center and perhaps it's her because she hates Charlotte as well.
They played a great video feature on Kevin Owens vs. Sami Zayn tonight. Cesaro joined the panel to discuss the rivalry. Cesaro said it will come to a head tonight and they will blow the roof off the building. He said it frustrates him that he's sitting at a table watching it because he's on the sidelines. He said it was pouring salt in the wounds because he was on a role and they cost him the IC title every time he had the Miz beaten. He said that it's been frustrating for him and from a personal standpoint, he hopes it's over after tonight. They were playing up Cesaro crossing the line with what he said as a play on his Draft Center interview. He said it's going to be the best match on the card but he's the best wrestler and doesn't want to be on a panel - he wants to be in the ring. Booker asked Cesaro what it was going to take for him to get a chance. Cesaro said he's already got that chance. He said that he spoke his mind and said what a lot of other people were thinking about him after the Draft. He said that he wanted his chance and he wanted to be in the ring. Cesaro called Owens would win. Lawler agreed. Booker said Sami has made him a believer and he's going with Sami.
Tom Phillips introduced Mick Foley, who he called a Hall of Famer. Foley said Bryan was a Hall of Famer as well but Bryan had to correct him. Foley seemed surprised then noted that he was thinking of the speech Bryan gave for Connor the Crusher.
Bryan said it was all about taking the power from the management and to give it to the talent. Bryan said he doesn't want there to be The Authority deciding who should be champion. He said that there is a focus on him and Shane right now because The Draft just happened, but he hopes in 2 months, no one is thinking about him and instead thinking about Apollo Crews or Baron Corbin.
They were asked what Hall of Famers they would have picked for their brand and why. Foley picked Terry Funk because he was someone who thrives on giving advice. Foley said that in an age like now, it's hard to despise someone because of the respect factor that comes in with working hard weekly. He said that Funk was great at incorporating those great moves and still making people hate you on a visceral level. Daniel Bryan said he would pick Shawn Michaels and said he could still go.
When asked what they would do in revitalizing the brands, Foley said that he was taking from Bryan's answer and said that he wants the focus to be on the talent and action. He said that he wants to make the stars the best they can be because they need to carry the show, while noting they have three hours to fill, so they are going to have to tell their stories as well. Bryan said they have lots of crazy off the wall ideas that they are going to try. He said they want to compete and was happy Smackdown had a better rating this week when compared to Raw. He said he wants there to be big competition. Foley said he wants to see Raw remain the flagship while seeing Smackdown improve.
They showed Darren Young preparing for his match with some Hindu Squats, along with Bob Backlund. On the other side of the venue, Miz was flirting with his wife and having his face made up.
They went to ringside where Mauro Ranallo and Byron Saxton were going to call the action.
The Usos vs. Tyler Breeze & Fandango
It was all Usos early on with some double team maneuevers on Fandango. Breeze tagged in but was met with a series of chops from Jey Uso. Breeze caight him with a Stun Gun and catapulated him into a Fandango forearm. They worked over Jey, scoring a near fall. Fandango cinched in a side chinlock. Jey tried to fight his way out but was caught with a knee and brought back over the opposing corner. Breeze tagged in but Usos nailed a pair of enziguiris, setting up the hot tag to Jimmy Uso.
Jimmy came in and nailed Fandango with clotheslines and superkicks. He nailed a Samoan Drop on Breeze and then one for Fandango. He nailed the running hip attack in the corner on Fandango. He superkicked Breeze but was caught with one by Fandango for a near fall. He placed Jimmy on the top turnbuckle. He attempted a superplex but Jimmy blocked it. Breeze was knocked off the apron to the floor but returned to save his partner from the Electric Chair. Jimmy was still able to nail a flying bodypress on Breezango for a two count.
Fandango was able to knock Jimmy off the top to the floor. Breeze was sent to the floor. One of the Usos went for a tope but was nailed by Fandango. Fandango tried to grab him by the boot but the other dove through the ropes to the floor to wipe him out. Usos went for a top rope splash but Breeze got his knees up and packaged him for the pin.
Your winners, Tyler Breeze & Fandango!
Real good opener. All action. Big pop for the winners from the crowd as well.
They aired a really good video piece on the main event to close out the Kickoff.
WWE Battleground 2016.
Good opening video with all the talents standing tall with their flags.
Lots of pyro. The announcing team is Michael Cole, Byron Saxton and JBL. JBL noted he was going home to Smackdown. They introduced some of the international teams.
WWE Divas champion Charlotte & Dana Brooke vs. Sasha Banks & mystery partner.
Banks came out alone. It was BAYLEY! The crowd was chanting for her before her music hit and Banks had a huge smile on her face waiting for this.
Dana and Charlotte attacked them before the bell and double-teamed Bayley after sending Sasha to the floor. The referee held them away and made sure Bayley was OK to go. She said she was and they rang the bell. They went right after Bayley. She was able to tag to Sasha. She nailed a scary looking rana off the ropes on Charlotte.
Dana tagged in and took control on Sasha, using rear chinlock. Banks fought her way out and slapped Banks away. She made the tag to Bayley (who ot a BIG pop). Bayley cleaned house and nailed the running shoulder in the corner. She went to the middle turnbuckle but Charlotte distracted her, allowing Brooks to sweep her legs. Bayley crashed backwards into the buckles.
Dana cinched in a surfboard. Bayley escaped and rolled her up for a two count. Charlotte tagged in but Sasha made the hot tag in. Sasha cleaned house. She went to the top. Brooke charged across the apron but was kicked down. Sasha came off with a bodypress. Charlotte cut her off and nailed Natural Selection. Bayley broke up the pinfall. Bayley wiped out Brooks and they went to the floor.
Banks locked Charlotte in the Bank Statement but Brooks got involved. Bayley made the save. Charlotte drilled her on the floor. Sasha cut her off and nailed the backstabber into the Bank Statement. With no one to help her and nowhere to go, Charlotte tried to hang on before tapping.
Your winner, Sasha Banks & Bayley!
Fun opener with lots of good athletic wrestling and with the crowd being into everything, it made everything seem so much more important. This obviously sets up Banks vs. Charlotte for Summerslam. A great debut for Bayley.
They aired a video piece on New Day vs. Wyatts.
WWE Tag Team champions The New Days vs. The Wyatt Family
New Day got off a great line, saying the Draft split the Wyatts like a Taylor Swift relationship. Ouch.
The story early on was that Woods was freaked by the Wyatts. Kofi tagged himself in to start off with Bray, who quickly tagged out to Strowman. Strowman used his power to crush Kofi early on. The Wyatts tagged in and out, beating down Kingston. Bray scored a two count with a back senton splash. The crowd tried to rally Kingston with "New Day Rocks" chants. Bray wiped out Kingston with a big lariat. They focused on Woods being concerned and worried.
Strowman and Rowan tagged in and continiued to maul Kingston. Big E finally tagged in and nailed a series of clothesline and a big belly to belly suplex. He nailed a splash. He nailed another suplex. Strowman interfered. Rowan nailed E for a two count but Kingston made the save. Strowman charged with a running big boot but crotched himself and went over the top to the floor. Kingston nailed a flip dive to the floor. That looked great.
Wyatt grabbed Kingston and went for Sister Abigail but Woods made the save. They faced off and Woods was in a trance. Kingston tried to come off the top but was nailed. Woods snapped and attacked Bray. That got a big pop. He nailed a splash in the corner and went for another. Wyatt elevated him over the top to the apron but Woods came back with a kick. He nailed Rowan with a kick through the ropes and began working over Strowman with punches, stunning him enough to set up for Big E nailing a spear through the ropes to the floor.
Woods turned back to Wyatt who was pulling himself up in the upside down bridge. Woods got spooked but snapped out of it and went for a big boot. He was caught in Sister Abigail for the pin.
Your winners, The Wyatt Family!
Good match. The Woods stuff led to a big pop when he finally attacked Bray, so that story paid off. Strowman took some really big bumps here and it was obvious either how hard he's worked to improve or how much more he's being allowed to do. Overall, an entertaining bout.
Coverage continues on Page 2!
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