Randy Orton and Ryback def. Sheamus and Big Show via Pinfall
A great way to kick the show off. Randy Orton and Sheamus played up their feud, while Ryback impressed with a few new moves. The Big Guy’s ring work has improved over the last few months. Perhaps actually getting more ring time instead of competing in squash matches has helped him show off his true capabilities.
Dean Ambrose and Bray Wyatt never starts
Reigns attacked Wyatt before the match could start. To be honest, I wasn’t looking forward to Wyatt vs Ambrose anyway. I’d rather see Wyatt and Reigns push their feud forward instead.
The Prime Time Players and Mark Henry def. New Day
The New Day are completely synced with each other. Their chemistry in the ring feels natural. The Prime Time Players and Mark Henry, however, came off a little disconnected. I was really hoping that Neville would have remained with the group considering how well he meshed with PTP. But it seems like WWE has other plans for him judging by his match later in the night. Despite TND’s aggressiveness, Henry eventually hit the World’s Strongest Slam for the victory before joining PTP in a Millions of Dollars chant.
R-Truth def. King Barrett via Pinfall
R-Truth vs King Barrett has become the new restroom break. Not only have they faced each other entirely too often, the King of the Ring gimmick is starting to lose its credibility as a prestigious title. Long gone are the days of Macho King Randy Savage, King Booker, and The King of Harts, Owen Hart. In 2015, the title is just the aftermath of a WWE Network special put together at the last minute for exclusive content to get new subscribers. To quote from another source of nerdom, “Any man who must say, ‘I am the king’ is no true king.”
Rusev def. Kevin Owens and Cesaro via Pinfall
*Match of the Night*
As amazing as the match was, Rusev gaining the victory was a huge mistake. Cesaro carried the momentum from last week in to this match, and had the crowd behind him the whole time. I understand the reason behind WWE giving Rusev the win. It makes sense for him to gain a few victories after being out of action for a while. But the truth is it was obvious that neither one of the two had a chance at defeating Cena for the US title. So why not push the guy with the most momentum? Cesaro could have scored the win and faced Cena afterwards with the ending of the US title match remaining the same. Rusev is currently in a feud with Ziggler. Cesaro, on the other hand, has nothing going on at the moment. Owens screwing him out of the US title could have set the grounds of a Cesaro/Owens feud after Battleground. The match was incredible, but the ending screamed missed opportunity.
Rusev def. John Cena via DQ
The match was more of a way to sell Owens vs Cena than an actual battle between the two. It’s understandable considering that Rusev immediately started the match right after competing against Owens and Cesaro. But once again, it felt like a wasted opportunity for Cesaro to capitalize on.
Stardust def. Neville via Pinfall
As a comic book nerd, I felt it was a brilliant idea to use Stardust as a villain to Neville’s superhero gimmick. The match was short, and Stardust used cheating tactics to score the win, but it was more of a beginning to a promising feud than an actual match.
- Brock Lesnar offering to take Rollins to Suplex City at the beginning of the night.
- Kane being reminded that he is just The Undertaker’s little brother.
- The women of NXT showing WWE’s Divas roster how it’s done.
- Seth Rollins botching on the mic and acknowledging it by telling the audience to shut up.
- Cesaro delivers a double German Suplex.
- Rollins attacking Kane and berating him while he’s down.
- Nikki Bella on the microphone.
- R-Truth’s ridiculous celebration after scoring a victory over King Barett.
As far as go home episodes of Raw are concerned, this was definitely one of the best ones we’ve witnessed in a long time. Mainly because it not only sold Battleground well, it also delivered great in ring action as well. This is the level of entertainment an episode of Raw should deliver on a weekly basis. If you’re able to sit through an entire three hour show and come away from it feeling like it flew by in no time, then you have been thoroughly entertained. And at that is all we, as fans, ask for.