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RingoPlaysDrums

[2016-07-24-WWE-Battleground] Kevin Owens vs Sami Zayn

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After Zayn cost Owens the IC title at Mania, they had a match at Payback and then this here is the last time they wrestle for a while. They had just had the draft for the second brand split that week and I remember people being surprised that they'd both been drafted to Raw. Zayn picks up the win here but their careers would soon take quite different paths on Raw. KO would be Universal Champion within a couple of months where as Zayn seemed to be forgotten about a bit as I recall. This match is really popular. It's the 3rd highest rated WWE match of 2016 on cagematch, 13th overall. At the time I think I ended up watching it twice because it really didn't click with me the first time and while I thought it was good I didn't really love it to the same extent as others. These guys know each other so well and are meant to hate each other but it takes a while to really get going for me. It's Zayn's botched springboard moonsault that ends up leading to the best aspect of the match - Zayn's selling of his shoulder. I've seen it suggested that the "botch" was intentional but I'm not sure about that. It's terrifying when he bounces up vertically and you realise he's going to come down on his head. It could've been a lot worse. The final third of the match is really good stuff but I wasn't completely wowed like some. The double exploder suplex spot was very well received by the live crowd and perhaps it didn't do as much for me because I've seen that kind of thing in Japanese matches a lot, idk. A real good match that I still don't see as a genuinely great one. Still, it was great to see Owens and Zayn take their friendship/rivalry all the way to the WWE and get to put on a show stealing match on PPV. This was the pinnacle of their feud in terms of spotlight.

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Just when you think you are sick of seeing these two fight each other, they deliver a match like this! This has a fairly subdued start, with the crowd not really looking interested and the sole highlight was Owens trash talking and mock chanting the pro-Zayn chants. I'm not sure if that springboard moonsault spot was an intentional choice or a botch, but it added to the drama to the match as Owens starts to work on Zayn's shoulder straight after. This has a big movez finishing stretch with a satisfying climax when Zayn boots Owen's head twice, just to make sure that's he's not kicking out. 

★★★★½

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