You know what they say: When the sports-entertainment gods close a door (or cash in a contract), they open a window. In this case, they handed a 30-day suspension to Roman Reigns, giving Seth Rollins the opportunity to capitalize on the controversy and try to get The Big Dog booted from the long-brewing Shield Triple Threat at WWE Battleground, thereby giving him a cleaner shot at Dean Ambrose’s WWE Championship.
Ambrose, of course, wasn’t about to let Rollins get his way, and things quickly got even more complicated when AJ Styles and John Cena threw their names in the proverbial hunt for the title. It fell to Stephanie McMahon to make the executive decision (and point out that Shane wasagain absent this week), and not only did she preserve Reigns’ spot in the match, she handed Cena and Styles “win-and-you’re-in” matches against Rollins and Ambrose, respectively, for later in the night. So much for an open window.
The Champ is … not here. Not yet, anyway, since John Cena failed – on the 14th anniversary of his WWE debut – to make it past Seth Rollins in a match that would have given the 15-time World Champion a crack at Title No. 16 at WWE Battleground. In all honesty, though, Rollins should probably send The Club a fruit basket or something; after all, the good brothers intervened at the exact moment Cena had positioned himself to win the contest, locking in a potentially match-ending STF after a neck-and-neck battle that took up the better part of 15 minutes.
Cena released the hold when The Club circled the ring, but it turns out AJ Styles and Co. were just there to provide a distraction. Rollins was more than happy to capitalize, booting the preoccupied Cena in the gut and quickly pouncing with the Pedigree for the victory. Hey, a win is a win. And a Triple Threat Match at WWE Battleground is – for the moment, anyway – still a Triple Threat Match.
Everyone knows that Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens kind of hate each other. And everyone knows that said hate has kept both men from a variety of championships over the last six months, as they inevitably take their eyes off the prize and end up going to town on each other. So, like Sami said last week, it’s time to put the rivalry to bed.
That, at least, was the conclusion the two came to as guests on Chris Jericho’s “Highlight Reel,” where Zayn 1) demanded that Owens come clean about how he's always been jealous of him, and 2) laid down a once-and-for-all challenge to The Prizefighter at WWE Battleground. Owens accepted (he didn't quite admit jealousy, however), but Jericho wasn't done with their meeting. Instead, he riled up the two enemies to the point that, upon his attempt to deliver "The Gift of Jericho," both Superstars superkicked him in perfect sync. Turns out they can get along when the mood strikes.
Sure, the sports-entertainment gods may have closed a door and opened a window, but it seems that Seth Rollins has decided he’ll take the door after all. With John Cena barred from the WWE Battleground main event, Rollins had no choice but to throw his support behind Dean Ambrose’s efforts to keep AJ Styles from joining July 24’s marquee match.
Luckily, Rollins got his wish, and oddly enough, he has John Cena to thank: When the rest of The Club showed up to thwart a surging Ambrose, Cena sprinted down the ramp to fight them off, allowing the WWE Champion to plant The Phenomenal One with Dirty Deeds. While The Club swarmed and dropped Cena with a retaliatory Magic Killer on the entrance ramp, Rollins jumped Ambrose from behind with a pair of Pedigrees. WWE Battleground is set. Consider the opening salvo fired.
In other action... Sasha Banks & Paige def. WWE Women's Champion Charlotte & Dana Brooke... Titus O’Neil def. U.S. Champion Rusev via Count-out... Enzo Amore & Big Cass def. Carlos Hershey & Mitch Walden... Becky Lynch attacked Natalya... Kane def. Intercontinental Champion The Miz via Count-out... Cesaro & Apollo Crews def. Sheamus & Alberto Del Rio... and The Wyatt Family confronted WWE Tag Team Champions The New Day.