WWE unveiled a new pay per view this evening entitled Stomping Grounds that was accompanied by the tagline, “It’s time to kick ass and take names.” Perhaps the prolific use of the word ass is WWE’s attempt to become “edgier” for FOX while still painstakingly maintaining a PG rating. To me and many longtime pro wrestling fans, June will always be known as the month that once belonged to the classic King of the Ring show but for now, this is what we get. Despite my seemingly negative perception of WWE and their current product, I continue to remain optimistic that Triple H will have the opportunity to bring his booking prowess to the main roster currently utilized on the real “A show” of WWE, NXT. This evening’s show emanated from Tacoma, WA and featured eight matches with six titles contested - not to mention the ominous overshadowing of Brock Lesnar looming with the Money in the Bank briefcase in tow.
RAW Women’s Chamionship
Becky Lynch (c) vs. Lacey Evans
Winner: Becky Lynch via submission
With Lacey Evans continued ascension to main event competitor in full swing, she earned her first pay per view title shot against The Man this evening. Lacey brought the fight to Lynch in a very competitive opening contest that set the tone for the show. In the end, The Man was able to retain her title against the overzealous Evans as she cinched in the Disarmer for the victory.
Kevin Owens & Sami Zayn vs. Xavier Woods & Big E
Winners: Kevin Owens & Sami Zayn via pinfall
In an effort to keep these four men from becoming involved in the WWE Championship match (because that always works), they were thrown into tag team competition. KO certainly had the crowd behind him in this tag team encounter which held a frenetic pace throughout. KO was able to solidify the victory for his team after he paid homage to Stone Cold Steve Austin with a stunner that laid out Xavier Woods. A notable mention should be made to Woods, however, as he continues to don his Iron Sheik-esque boots - although nothing compares to his old TNA/Impact persona, Consequences Creed, which to me was reminiscent of Afro Thunder from the classic boxing game Ready 2 Rumble.
United States Championship
Samoa Joe (c) vs. Ricochet
Ricochet earned this opportunity against the Samoan Submission Machine after he exited a Fatal Five Way match as the victor on RAW last Monday. In a rather shocking turn of events, Joe dominated virtually the entire match until Ricochet hit a Codebreaker (which Michael Cole dubbed a “double knees to the face”) and scaled his way to the top turnbuckle from which he masterfully executed a 630 splash to earn his first United States title.
Smackdown Tag Team Championship
Heavy Machinery vs. Daniel Bryan & Rowan (c)
Winners: Daniel Bryan & Rowan via pinfall
ASU alumni Tucker Knight and his partner Otis Dozovic put forth a spirited effort in their conquest for the Smackdown tag team titles and I dare to say it was better than the three matches that preceded it. The final moments saw Tucker take flight from the top turnbuckle to the outside where he flattened out Rowan with a sickening collision. As Tucker reentered the ring, Daniel Bryan rolled him up quickly for the pinfall victory.
Smackdown Women’s Championship
Alexa Bliss w/ Nikki Cross vs. Bayley (c)
Bliss had Bayley set up for Twisted Bliss when Nikki Cross entered the ring in an attempt to exact revenge on Bayley. This distraction allowed Bayley to intercept Bliss on the turnbuckles but The Goddess was able to knock Bayley back down to the canvas. As Bliss again attempted Twisted Bliss, Bayley got her knees up and subsequently executed the Bayley to Belly suplex for the victory.
Drew McIntyre w/ Shane McMahon vs. Roman Reigns
Winner: Roman Reigns via pinfall
After Reigns was embarrassed by Shane at Super Showdown, his path to redemption continued this evening with McMahon’s “henchman,” The Scottish Psychopath Drew McIntyre. Roman was able to overcome the adversity of Shane’s presence at ringside, including dragging the referee out of the ring at one point to allow him to land a Coast to Coast on Reigns. The conclusion of the match saw Roman land a punishing spear on McIntyre to secure the pinfall.
WWE Championship Steel Cage Match
Kofi Kingston (c) vs. Dolph Ziggler
Winner: Kofi Kingston via cage escape
After Kofi retained his title over Ziggler at Super Showdown thanks to help from Xavier Woods, Ziggler demanded a rematch within the carnal confines of a steel cage. In a rather uninspired match, where it even seemed as if WWE lowered the crowd volume at one point as they booed, there was a surprising lack of high risk maneuvers attempted considering the combatants. In the end, the cage door was open as Dolph attempted to crawl out only to have Kofi vault himself over the top rope (and Ziggler), through the door, down to the arena floor to retain his title.
Universal Championship Match
Seth Rollins (c) vs. Baron Corbin
w/ special guest referee Lacey Evans
Winner: Seth Rollins
After Rollins had all of his special guest referee selections suffer vicious beatings at the hands of Rollins and a steel chair, Corbin selected one who he knew Rollins wouldn’t attack - Lacey Evans. After Evans persisted with her one-sided shenanigans, such as changing the match to a no DQ contest, Becky Lynch came down to ringside and opened a can of whoop ass on her. This allowed referee John Cone to take over much to the chagrin of Baron Corbin. Corbin attempted another End of Days only to have Rollins escape and execute a super kick followed by the Curb Stomp to retain his title.