WASHINGTON, July 25 (UPI) — Former Shield brothers Dean Ambrose, Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns battled in a triple-threat match for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship Sunday at Battleground.
The main event, which marked Reigns’ first return since being suspended in June, would determine which brand, Raw or Smackdown Live would walk away with the World Heavyweight Championship following the draft.
With the odds stacked against him, defending champion Ambrose of Smackdown, stopped at nothing to remain the top guy in the industry, even working with Rollins to help neutralize the amped up Reigns.
In classic Shield fashion, the former friends and now rivals worked together to power bomb Reigns through the announce table, calling back to how the group would regularly defeat WWE Superstars during their heyday as the top faction in the company. “Through the announce table goes @WWERomanReigns thanks to his former brethren!,” WWE wrote on Twitter alongside a clip of the moment.
Alliances did not last long however as Rollins immediately struck Ambrose with a chair, reminiscent of how The Architect originally broke up the group.
As the battle continued, Ambrose eventually gained the upper-hand during a wild exchange of finishing maneuvers that ended with The Lunatic Fringe planting Reigns with Dirty Deeds for the three count after Rollins had been taken out by the spear.
The entire roster of Smackdown Live, including John Cena and showrunners Shane McMahon and Daniel Bryan, then rushed the ring to celebrate Ambrose keeping the WWE World Heavyweight Championship exclusive to the blue brand. “Congratulations to #SmackDownLive’s @WWE Champion @TheDeanAmbrose! The #NewEra has begun,” the company noted on Twitter with a photo of Ambrose celebrating with the roster of Smackdown Live. Stephanie McMahon of Raw who drafted Rollins and Reigns looked visibly upset.
In terms of the women’s division, WWE Women’s Champion Charlotte and her protege Dana Brooke kicked off Battleground by taking on Sasha Banks and a mystery partner in a highly-completive tag-team match.
Kept a secret for weeks, Bayley was revealed to be Banks’ partner much to the crowd’s delight. The fan-favorite and fun-loving Bayley has developed a passionate following during her time in NXT where she has held the NXT Women’s Championship.
With Bayley’s help, Banks was able to make the champ tap-out as Charlotte was defeated with the Bank Statement. Afterwards the tag-team partners celebrated in the ring with a hug, happy that Bayley’s WWE debut was a successful one. “THERE’S A HUG! What a win for @itsBayleyWWE and @SashaBanksWWE,” wrote WWE on Twitter.
Other notable matches from Battleground include John Cena with Enzo Amore and Big Cass defeating AJ Styles and The Club, The Wyatt Family teaming up for the last time to take down The New Day, Rusev retaining his United States Championship against Zack Ryder, Sami Zayn besting Kevin Owens and Intercontinental champ The Miz holding onto his title against Darren Young.