Good evening! This is going to be my first commentary of a WWE pay per view event. I watched a brand new pay view called Stomping Grounds. It seems like a less significant event compared to Summer Slam, the Royal Rumble, and WrestleMania. But it's a good place to start for someone who hasn't talked about wrestling events yet.
I should begin with some basic facts that are useful for beginners. Many of you are probably inexperienced with professional wrestling. The most significant wrestling organization in North America is the WWE or World Wrestling Entertainment, Inc. Unlike other sports, professional wrestling is choreographed, scripted, and staged. There's a mixture of characters, storylines, and actual wrestling matches. I like to think of it as a soap opera with athletes, but some wrestling fans might not share my views. Even though the shows are staged, real injuries happen frequently. It's a lot of wear and tear to put on a human body. Wrestlers compete to win various championship belts that represent their domination and achievements. A face is a good guy character while a heel is a bad guy. Wrestlers usually alternate between face and heel personas throughout their careers, especially in the modern era. The pay per view events have multiple matches and many of them are title fights. Pay per views tend to be expensive, but it's quite cheap for anyone who subscribes to the WWE Network streaming service for $9.99 a month. In fact, the pay per views are included in the subscription for no additional charge.
Here's a general layout of each fight. The kickoff show included a triple threat match between Drew Gulak, Akira Tozawa, and Tony Nese for the Cruiserweight Championship. Basically, the cruiserweights are smaller and more agile wreslters. Their matches incorporate a lot of acrobatics and moves that require great finesse. It was a very entertaining match with high flying moves and submissions. Actually, I thought it was one of the better matches on the entire card. Ultimately, Drew Gulak knocked Tony Nese out of the ring and used a torture rack neckbreaker to beat Akira Tozawa. Gulak pinned Tozawa and won the Cruiserweight Championship. I felt happy with the results because Gulak has a new storyline and he seems to be a far more intimidating wrestler at the moment. I'm not sure how long he'll hang on to the belt, but this was a nice win.
Becky Lynch fought Lacy Evans for the Raw Women's Championship. It seems like Becky Lynch is the most popular wrestler in the WWE for the time being and she ultimately won the match to retain her title. She used her signature Dis-Arm-Her submission to take the win. Unfortunately, it wasn't a very compelling match. It wasn't very creative and a tad clumsy. Both wrestlers have likeable traits. Lacy Evans is an effective heel with a Sassy Southern Belle persona, but she's still inexperienced compared to many women on the roster. Becky Lynch gives really good promos, but her wrestling skills can be a little bit hit and miss sometimes.
The next match was predictable. Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn defeated The New Day in a rivalry match. Truthfully, this match didn't have any stakes. It was just part of an ongoing storyline. The New Day is an energetic, charismatic, and popular trio of wrestlers. Xavier Woods and Big E represented the group against Owens and Zayn. At this time, Owens and Zayn are heel characters and they lost quite a few matches earlier in the season. So, I figured they were going to win this one. Kevin Owens used a stunner on Xavier Woods and pinned him for the win. This match was just part of a rivalry.
Samoa Joe attempted to defend his United States Championship against newcomer Ricochet. These wrestlers are completely different from each other. Samoa Joe is a hardcore heel and a really big, strong guy. I have to admit, he's an effective heel. Audiences love to hate him. Ricochet is brand new to the roster and he's more like a cruiserweight. He focuses on speed and aerial moves. Eventually, Ricochet climbed on the turnbuckle, performed his dynamic 630 finisher, and pinned Samoa Joe for the win. I wasn't sure if Ricochet was going to win because he's so new, but I was thrilled with the results. With all due respect to Somoa Joe, I'm never going to root for him to win. But I suppose that's how we're supposed to feel about bad guys.
The SmackDown Tag Team Championship was on the line between Daniel Bryan and Rowan versus Heavy Machinery. I'm not a fan of Rowan because he's pretty dull, but Daniel Bryan is a really fun heel. He's so obnoxious, quirky, and loud mouthed. Heavy Machinery is literally a tag team of heavy guys, but that's part of their gimmick. The match was okay, but not great. I didn't think Bryan and Rowan would lose their belts to Heavy Machinery. Again, Bryan and Rowan have been around longer and now they have a much bigger story in the WWE. Daniel Bryan performed a roll up on Tucker for the pin and that's about it.
Next, Bayley defeated Alexa Bliss to retain the SmackDown Women's Championship. It was a pretty entertaining match, although short. Bayley is a classic babyface character and her rival Alexa is playing a manipulative heel. This match was an extension of a story that's featuring these two women and another wrestler named Nikki Cross. Alexa is pretending to be the victim of bullying and Nikki is falling for the act. During the match, Alexa used Nikki as a shield at least once, but this didn't seem to tarnish their relationship afterwards. Ultimately, Bayley uses her signature Bayley-to-Belly suplex and pinned Alexa for the win. At some point, I think Nikki is going to turn on Alexa within the next handful of weeks. Maybe it will lead to a fun story.
The next match was useless. Roman Reigns defeated Drew McIntyre in a standard match. Both of them are really big and strong guys who aren't particularly agile. It's typical for bigger wrestlers to have an emphasis on brute strength. Roman Reigns is the good guy who's making a comeback from his real life encounter with leukemia. Luckily, he's in remission and in excellent health. Drew McIntyre's nickname is the Scottish Psychopath, so it was a standard face versus heel battle. Roman Reigns won the fight by pinfall with his Superman finisher and a spear, but it wasn't a memorable match. In fact, I wasn't sure why it was on the main card at all.
After that, Kofi Kingston defeated Dolph Ziggler to retain the WWE Championship. This match was part of big story because Kofi is the first African American to hold the WWE Championship belt. I assume he'll retain the title for quite a while. Dolph Ziggler went on some type of leave a while ago, but apparently he's back. This was a cage match and the rules are different. Usually, there aren't any disqualifications in cage matches and the winner needs to pin his opponent or escape from the cage. Eventually, Kofi leaped out the cage and won the match. I didn't care about this match either. If Kofi is going to retain the belt for a while, the company needs to do something interesting with his story.
The main event was a match with Seth Rollins against Baron Corbin for the Universal Championship. Rollins is a very popular wrestler and he's one of the major faces in the WWE. Likewise, Baron Corbin is a huge heel who usually cheats to win. Leading up to this match, Corbin was looking for a special guest referee who would help him win the Universal Championship. Along the way, Rollins has been beating up these referees, so Corbin would have to start at the drawing board again. Corbin tried something different and chose Lacey Evans to be their guest referee because Rollins would never beat up a woman. During the match, it seemed like everything was going in Baron Corbin's favor until Becky Lynch stormed the ring and pummeled Lacey Evans. A neutral referee stepped in the ring and took over. In the end, Seth Rollins knocked out Corbin with a superkick and used his signature Stomp to win by pinfall. The good guy wins with a little help from a special friend.
In general, this was a very forgettable pay per view. This wasn't a great start for the Stomping Grounds name if the WWE wants it to be a recurring event. It certainly had some good moments, but I felt rather indifferent when the event finished. Honestly, I think the WWE is having too many pay per views. There's at least one pay per view every month. Hopefully, the next one will be more impressive. I'm not going to cover every WWE pay per view, but there's room on my blog for some of them. All right, I'm sure many of you had no idea what I was talking about on this post because you don't watch professional wrestling. You can learn a lot more about each character by checking out the WWE Superstars website. Every wrestler has a bio and it's really useful if you're searching for a crash course. You can also watch wrestling shows at any time without feeling lost. It's not difficult to figure out what's going on.
I'll leave a link for the Superstars page. Are you a fan of professional wrestling? Do you think people like me are crazy for watching this type of entertainment? Let me know in the comment section. If you're planning to watch some wrestling shows, Raw airs on Monday evenings and SmackDown follows on Tuesday nights. Both shows air on USA Network. Additional shows air on the WWE Network, including NXT, 205 Live, and NXT UK. Thanks for reading my inaugural wrestling post and I'll return next week with a brand new topic. Enjoy the upcoming Fourth of July!
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