Battleground 2016 was a professional wrestling pay-per-view event and WWE Network event produced by WWE. It took place on July 24, 2016 at the Verizon Center in Washington, D.C.. It was the fourth event under the Battleground chronology, and the final event before the newly reinstated WWE brand extension goes into full effect.
Nine matches were contested at the event, with one match contested on the pre-show. In the main event, Dean Ambrose successfully retained the WWE Championship in a triple threat match against his former Shield teammates, Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns, thus keeping the championship exclusive to SmackDown. The show is also notable for Randy Orton's first appearance in a WWE ring after a nine-month injury and former NXT Women's Champion Bayley's and Mojo Rawley's main roster debuts.
Battleground featured professional wrestling matches that involved different wrestlers from pre-existing feuds, plots, and storylines that played out on WWE's primary television programs. Wrestlers portrayed villains or heroes as they followed a series of events that built tension and culminated in a wrestling match or series of matches.
At Money in the Bank, Dean Ambrose won the Money in the Bank ladder match and subsequently the WWE World Heavyweight Championship by cashing in his contract on Seth Rollins, who had just won the title from Roman Reigns. After a #1 Contender's match between Reigns and Rollins ended in a double countout the following night on Raw, Ambrose requested to defended the title against both Reigns and Rollins. Accordingly, Shane McMahon scheduled a triple threat match between all three men for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship at Battleground. On June 21, two days after Money in the Bank, Reigns was suspended for 30 days for violating the WWE's Wellness Program, which uses drug testing to detect substance abuse. Pro Wrestling Torch reported that WWE knew of Anoaʻi's violation before Money in the Bank, leading to Reigns losing his world title at the event. With Reigns's suspension ending before Battleground, WWE continued to advertised Reigns as part of the Battleground main event. On the June 27 episode of Raw, both Rollins and Ambrose acknowledged Reigns's suspension on television. However, Stephanie McMahon opted not to remove Reigns from the Battleground match, and instead gave AJ Styles and John Cena the opportunity to qualify for the match by matches against Ambrose and Rollins. Styles and Cena lost, when they each interfered in each other's matches. On June 29, the WWE World Heavyweight Championship has been renamed as the WWE Championship.
In December 2014, at the NXT Takeover: R Evolution, Sami Zayn won the NXT Championship from Neville. After the match, Zayn's friend Kevin Owens, first congratulated and then attacked Zayn. In February 2015, at the NXT Takeover: Rival, Owens defeated Zayn to win the NXT Championship. Zayn moved to WWE's main roster at the Royal Rumble and eliminated Owens from the Royal Rumble match. At Payback, Owens defeated Zayn. At Money in the Bank, both men failed to win the Money in the Bank ladder match. On the June 27 episode of Raw, Zayn challenged Owens to a match at Battleground during Chris Jericho's Highlight Reel, which Owens accepted.
At Money in the Bank, Natalya and Becky Lynch lost a tag team match to Charlotte and Dana Brooke. After the match, Natalya turned villainous and attacked Lynch. The following night on Raw, Natalya attacked Lynch again, and proclaimed that she's solely focusing on herself. On the June 27 episode of Raw, Lynch attacked Natalya, who was in commentary, before her match against Summer Rae. On the July 4 episode of Raw, a match pitting the two was scheduled for Battleground.
At Money in the Bank, AJ Styles defeated John Cena after The Club got involved. The following night on Raw, Styles and Luke Gallows attacked Cena during his match against Karl Anderson. On the June 27 episode of Raw, Cena and Styles costed each other a chance to be involved in the WWE Championship match at Battleground and then Gallows and Anderson delivered a Magic Killer to Cena on the ramp. On the July 4 episode of Raw, The Club again attacked Cena until Enzo Amore and Colin Cassady saved Cena. Later that night, a six-man tag team match was made between the two teams at Battleground.
On the July 7 episode of SmackDown, Zack Ryder won a match against Sheamus and then challenged Rusev to a WWE United States Championship match. On the July 11 episode of Raw, Rusev attacked Ryder after his match against Sheamus and accepted Ryder's challenge for Battleground.
On the June 20 episode of Raw, The Wyatt Family made their return and was interrupted by WWE Tag Team Champions The New Day. The two teams adressed each other in their promos over the next few weeks. On the July 4 episode of Raw, The Wyatt Family invited The New Day to their family compound, which New Day accepted. On the July 11 episode of Raw, The New Day showed up at The Wyatt Family compound and the two teams brawled until New Day ran away. On July 12, Renee Young announced on a Facebook exclusive that the two teams will face in a six-man tag team match at Battleground.
After her return in early June, Sasha Banks reignited her feud with Charlotte, who had formed a tag team with Dana Brooke while Sasha was on hiatus. On the June 20 episode of Raw, Sasha rescued Paige from an attack from Brooke and Charlotte. On the June 27 episode of Raw, Sasha and Paige defeated Dana and Charlotte. Over the following weeks, Charlotte and Dana continued to provoke Sasha. Hoping to earn a title match with Charlotte, Sasha defeated Dana on the July 11 episode of Raw and again on the July 14 episode of Smackdown. Later that night, Charlotte and Dana were scheduled to wrestle Sasha and a mystery partner at Battleground.
Michael Cole, John "Bradshaw" Layfield (main show), Mauro Ranallo (pre-show) and Byron Saxton (all matches) served as the English commentators, while the Spanish and German commentators also called the matches live at ringside. Greg Hamilton and JoJo served as ring announcers.
|The Usos vs. Breezango||Preview|
|Charlotte & Dana Brooke vs. Sasha Banks & TBA||Preview|
|The New Day vs. The Wyatt Family||Preview|
|Rusev vs. Zack Ryder||Preview|
|Sami Zayn vs. Kevin Owens||Preview|
|Becky Lynch vs. Natalya||Preview|
|The Miz vs. Darren Young||Preview|
|Six-man tag team match||Preview|
|Dean Ambrose vs. Roman Reigns vs. Seth Rollins||Preview|
- Numbers in parentheses indicate the length of the match.
- (c) refers to the champion(s) heading into the match.
- Kickoff Show: Breezango (Tyler Breeze & Fandango) defeated The Usos (Jimmy & Jey Uso) (5:30)
- Sasha Banks & Bayley defeated Charlotte & Dana Brooke by submission (7:25)
- The Wyatt Family (Bray Wyatt, Erick Rowan & Braun Strowman) defeated The New Day (Big E, Kofi Kingston & Xavier Woods) (8:47)
- Rusev (c) (w/ Lana) defeated Zack Ryder by submission to retain the WWE United States Championship (7:01)
- Sami Zayn defeated Kevin Owens (18:22)
- Natalya defeated Becky Lynch by submission (9:03)
- The Miz (c) (w/ Maryse) vs. Darren Young (w/ Bob Backlund) ended in a double disqualification in a WWE Intercontinental Championship Match (8:41)
- John Cena, Enzo Amore & Big Cass defeated The Club (AJ Styles, Luke Gallows & Karl Anderson) (14:30)
- Dean Ambrose (c) defeated Roman Reigns & Seth Rollins in a Triple Threat match to retain the WWE World Heavyweight Championship (18:03)
Other on-screen talent
- List of WWE pay-per-view events
- World Wrestling Entertainment/Event history
- Money in the Bank
- Event gallery
- Battleground 2016 Official Website
- Battleground 2016 on WWE Network
- Battleground 2016 Kickoff Show on WWE Network
- Battleground 2016 at CAGEMATCH.net
- Battleground 2016 Kickoff Show at CAGEMATCH.net
- Battleground 2016 at Online World of Wrestling
|Battleground 2016 previews|
The Usos v Breezango • Triple Threat match • Sami Zayn v Kevin Owens • Becky Lynch v Natalya • Six-man tag team match • The Miz v Darren Young • Rusev v Zack Ryder • The New Day v The Wyatt Family • Divas Tag team match
|2013 • 2014 • 2015 • 2016|
|2016 World Wrestling Entertainment pay-per-views|
Royal Rumble • Fast Lane • Roadblock • Takeover IX • WrestleMania • Payback • Extreme Rules • TakeOver: The End • Money in the Bank • Battleground • Back to Brooklyn • SummerSlam • Backlash • Clash of Champions • No Mercy • Hell in a Cell • TakeOver: Toronto • Survivor Series • TLC: Tables, Ladders, & Chairs