Sports

WWE Gets Its Mojo Back With The Stomping Grounds PPV

So, I wasn’t overly excited about Stomping Grounds heading into the pay-per-view (PPV); however, last night’s show was a pleasant surprise.

So, I wasn’t overly excited about Stomping Grounds heading into the pay-per-view (PPV); however, last night’s show was a pleasant surprise. From the preshow kickoff Cruiserweight match (and title change), to the main event, the entire PPV delivered, and here’s why.

Great Storytelling

The WWE Universe was privy to some solid storytelling last night. To be frank, we can all agree that overall, WWE television has seemed scattered, chaotic, and unfocused lately. The buildup to Stomping Grounds was below average at best, but the talent seemed very committed to turning this all around. The stories told in that ring was the A-typical good versus evil, and it worked very well. I wouldn’t grade Stomping Grounds as the greatest PPV of all time, or even of the year, but with the low moral among WWE fans at this point in time, it reminded all of us as to why we love this “sports entertainment” brand, and the reason why we are so invested in the characters that lay within.

We were also reminded of why NXT works so well in this entire process. There is a feeling that NXT stars are called up to the main roster without a real purpose, and when Johnny Gargano, Thommas Champa, Aleister Black, and Ricochet called up earlier in 2019, there was certainly a feeling that there was zero strategy around their debuts. Ricochet’s U.S. Championship win against Samoa Joe will not only unleash an interesting program on the horizon (whether that be against the OG Bullet Club members and AJ Styles or Joe himself), but also launch this talent into the spotlight. Heavy Machinery has not been overly used since they landed on SmackDown LIVE, and their performance helped to create a connection with main roster fans. Sure the crowd was behind the NEW Daniel Bryan and Rowan, but Otis created a huge impact that night with audiences watching at home, and here’s hoping we see more of this entertaining duo moving forward.

Great Outcomes

There wasn’t one closing that had me thinking, “what the heck?” To be frank, each end to each match, whether heels or faces won, made sense. Having said that, the Kofi Kingston versus Dolph Ziggler gets a special mention, because to be frank, (as many have mentioned on Twitter), I don’t think I’ve ever seen a steel cage match end in that fashion; the anticipation kept me on the edge of my seat as Ziggler inched towards that door, with Kingston so far away. The leap of faith to win and retain his WWE Championship last night is one of the many things Kingston will be remembered for during this title run, and something that continues to solidify a solid reign for him.

Great Entertainment

Overall, all matches were solidly entertaining, and I was pleasantly surprised with the spots in the Roman Reigns versus Drew McIntyre match, and Alexa Bliss versus Bayley bout. Some may have wanted to see Brock Lesnar come out and cash in; I have to say I’m glad he didn’t. I did like the fact that the WWE swerved a bit and used a female talent as a special guest referee. In a blog before Stomping Grounds, I predicted Shayna Baszler could be a potential candidate, having the idea that her friendship with Ronda Rousey could catapult her into the main roster, and launch a program against her and Becky Red Belt pre-SummerSlam season. Lacey Evans did the trick too, as she wasn’t someone that many may have thought could fill this role. In the process, she placed further heel heat on their program, which is slowly winding out, and creating a unique spin with The Man, helping out her man. The ending to the PPV was feel-good, and if nothing surprising could come out of the main event, then having WWE’s current super couple walk out with both Red titles held high; the heels tried with all their might to bring them down, and they simply could not. That’s storytelling at its best, and what makes wrestling so darn entertaining at times.

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