We are 24 hours removed from the Smackdown exclusive Battleground Pay-Per-View. If you are reading this it means you have either survived watching the Punjabi Prison match or you just don’t care and you wish Summerslam was a tad bit closer. I totally understand your pain. That being said, who walked out Smackdown Tag Team Champions? Who walked out with the United States Championship? What the hell is Steel Reinforced Bamboo? Well all that and more will be answered, let’s get to it.
The Usos (c) vs. The New Day for the Smackdown Live Tag Team Championships
They say third is the charm when it comes to anything and life and this statement holds true for The New Day. After falling short two other times this summer, The New Day finally captured the Smackdown Tag Team Gold for the first time in their career. This was an incredible match and a showcase for Xavier Woods. We usually don’t get to see Woods shine, but if there was one match where he fired on all cylinders, this was the one. It was also nice to see the crowd pop for this one, it made me realize why the brand split is so important. The New Day winning the Smackdown Titles has revitalized them and refreshed them as a team.
Shinske Nakamura vs. Baron Corbin
I was a big fan of Shinske Nakamura in NXT and saw a bright future for him on the main roster, but the booking of him as of late has been atrocious. Maybe it is my dislike for Baron Corbin, but this match did nothing for me. It was mostly Corbin beating down on Nakamura and then Corbin getting himself Disqualified via a low blow to Shinske. Nothing to see here.
Natalya vs. Tamina vs. Charlotte vs. Becky Lynch vs. Lana in a Fatal Five Way Elimination Match to determine who faces Naomi at Summerslam for the Smackdown Women’s Championship.
This was a good match between the five women. It was also a nice touch that Ellesworth didn’t get involved with a multi women match for once. The crowd was heavily behind Becky for most of the match and Natalya was the foil to all the steam Becky was building. The eliminations all happened at the end of the match and eventually Natalya picked up the submission victory on Charlotte to become #1 Contender for the Smackdown Women’s Championship. This is starting to look like a Carmella cash in at Summerslam otherwise one would assume that Charlotte would have picked up a victory here.
AJ Styles (c) vs. Kevin Owens for the United States Championship
This was a match I was really looking forward to as these guys can really steal a show. However, I felt like it was a lackluster match for these two. It wasn’t bad by any means, but it seemed to fall short. Not to mention, something was really screwy with the finish. The ref gets knocked down and there isn’t a pinfall or tap out while the ref is knocked down which is the first confusing part. As the ref comes to, Owens hits a really sloppy roll up cover and the ref counts the 1, 2, 3 really slowly. Owens once again regains the United States Championship, but leaves me asking why have a ref bump? This is looking like it is going to lead to Styles grabbing the championship back at Summerslam.
John Cena vs. Rusev in a Flag Match
Where do I even start with this one. Last time we saw these two feud it ended with a lukewarm Russian Chain Match and I can’t say this was much better. This match reminded me why I ever hated John Cena in the first place. It was your classic “foreign heel” beats down on John Cena and then Cena comes back with some big move and wins. In this case, Cena hit Rusev with an Attitude Adjustment off the Flag Podium and through two tables. Cena then put the American Flag in the post and won. Not to mention, the American Flag was dragged all over the floor throughout this match which I’m pretty sure is illegal.
Mike Kanellis vs. Sami Zayn
This was a rematch from Smackdown Live and Sami Zayn got his win back. Nothing to see here. It is matches like these that are making these Pay-Per-Views feel more like a glorified weekly episode of Smackdown.
Jinder Mahal (c) vs. Randy Orton for the WWE Championship in a Punjabi Prison Match
Ahh the match we have all been waiting for, The Punjabi Prison. If you took this match seriously it was pretty bad, however, if you take it lightly and as a joke it is ridiculously funny. I mean Steel Reinforced Bamboo!? Is that why Pandas are on the endangered list because they are breaking their mouths on Steel Reinforced Bamboo? Quick hits for this match, a lot of kendo stick and chair action along with ramming into the walls of the prison. Unfortunately the “bamboo” didn’t make a great noise when either competitor hit it. One of the Singh Brothers took a nasty bump off the second wall and through the announce table. The finish though, the finish was something I didn’t see coming. The Great Khali comes out as Randy Orton is climbing and reaches through the bamboo to choke Orton out. Meanwhile, Jinder climbs out and retains his Championship. The show goes off the air with Jinder and The Great Khali standing hand in hand with each other, holding up the WWE Championship. I would be lying if I said I wasn’t curious where this was going. It is kind of like a train wreck happening right in front of your eyes.