Battleground 2017 (also known as Battlefield in Germany) was a professional wrestling pay-per-view (PPV) event and WWE Network event produced by WWE for the SmackDown brand. It took place on July 23, 2017 at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. It was the fifth event in the Battleground chronology.


Battleground was 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, Jinder Mahal defeated Randy Orton to retain the WWE Championship. On the following episode of SmackDown, Orton explained in a sit-down interview that he lost focus after The Singh Brothers (Samir and Sunil Singh) attempted to attack his father, "Cowboy" Bob Orton, who was seated at ringside for the match. He said that he understood having allies, referencing his time in Evolution, The Legacy, and The Authority, but he would not tolerate people disrespecting his family. He said that he was no longer concerned with becoming a fourteen-time world champion, he only wanted to hurt Mahal. Later that night after Mahal defeated Luke Harper, Orton attacked The Singh Brothers, and then Mahal, who escaped into the crowd. The following week, Orton said that he wanted a rematch for the title and that if he did not receive it, he would continue to attack Mahal anywhere he saw him. Commissioner Shane McMahon, who sympathized with Orton over Mahal and The Singh Brothers disrespecting his family, gave Orton a title rematch at Battleground, but allowed Mahal to choose the stipulation. Mahal came out and chose a Punjabi Prison match, made famous by The Great Khali, marking the third Punjabi Prison match in WWE history and the first since 2007. On the July 4 episode, Orton said that he would punish Mahal in the Punjabi Prison match. Mahal responded and said that he would be bringing the Punjabi Prison to SmackDown the following week.

At Money in the Bank, The New Day (Big E and Kofi Kingston with Xavier Woods) defeated SmackDown Tag Team Champions The Usos (Jey and Jimmy Uso) by count-out, thus The Usos retained. On the following episode of SmackDown, The New Day taunted how The Usos backed out of the match and Big E defeated Jimmy. The following week, after The Usos defeated The Hype Bros (Mojo Rawley and Zack Ryder), preventing them from becoming the number one contenders, The New Day confronted and challenged The Usos to another title match at Battleground, and The Usos accepted. On the July 4 episode, The New Day and The Usos had a rap battle hosted by Wale. The New Day won after The Usos took offense and attacked The New Day. The following week, Woods defeated Jey.

On the June 20 episode of SmackDown, then-United States Champion Kevin Owens issued a U.S. Championship Open Challenge to any local competitor. AJ Styles came out to accept the challenge, but Owens denied him since Styles was not from Dayton, Ohio. American Alpha's Chad Gable then answered the challenge, claiming he had moved to Dayton "[that] morning", but Owens retained in the ensuing match. The following week, Styles confronted General Manager Daniel Bryan and said that Owens did not know what an Open Challenge was. Owens interrupted and said that Styles was complaining. Bryan then said that when John Cena hosted the U.S. Championship Open Challenge, it was open to anyone. Bryan decided that for the July 4 episode of SmackDown, there would be an Independence Day Battle Royal, where the winner would face Owens for the United States Championship at Battleground. That episode, Styles defeated Gable to qualify for the battle royal and subsequently won the battle royal. After Styles' victory, Owens, who was seated at ringside, attacked Styles, but Styles fought him off and posed with the title belt. Three days later, despite becoming the number one contender for the title at Battleground, Styles faced Owens at a WWE live event in Madison Square Garden and defeated him to win the United States Championship. On the following episode of SmackDown, the new champion issued his own U.S. Championship Open Challenge, which was accepted by Cena. Before the match could occur, however, Owens and Rusev confronted and attacked both Cena and Styles. Styles and Cena defeated Owens and Rusev in a tag team match, and Owens invoked his championship rematch for Battleground.

After WrestleMania 33, John Cena went on a hiatus from WWE to film the second season of the television series American Grit. On the June 6 episode of SmackDown, it was announced that Cena would make his return to the SmackDown brand on the July 4 episode. However, on Raw the following week, it was announced that Cena was a free agent, and had become a free agent during the 2017 WWE Superstar Shake-up. Also during the Superstar Shake-up, Rusev was moved to the SmackDown brand, but at the time, he was out for a shoulder injury that required surgery. Since then, he appeared in a couple of videos demanding a WWE Championship match at Money in the Bank, but was not granted his request. On the July 4 episode of SmackDown, Cena made his return and announced that he would appear for both the Raw and SmackDown brands. He was then interrupted by Rusev, making his first appearance for the SmackDown brand. Rusev complained that he did not receive any commercials for his eventual return, unlike Cena, who did. He said that the "American Dream" and the United States were a joke, after which, Cena challenged Rusev to a flag match. Rusev accepted and General Manager Daniel Bryan scheduled the match for Battleground. The following week, Rusev attacked Cena after Cena had accepted AJ Styles' U.S. Championship Open Challenge.

At Money in the Bank, Naomi defeated Lana to retain the SmackDown Women's Championship, and again in two back-to-back rematches on SmackDown. On the July 11 episode, Naomi confronted Commissioner Shane McMahon about who her next opponent would be. Charlotte Flair interrupted and said that she should be the next challenger, followed by Becky Lynch, Tamina, Natalya, and Lana. Shane decided that at Battleground, the five would face each other in a fatal five-way elimination match to determine the number one contender for the SmackDown Women's Championship at SummerSlam. Charlotte and Becky then teamed up in a losing effort against Natalya and Tamina due to a distraction from Lana.

At Money in the Bank, as Shinsuke Nakamura was making his entrance for the titular Money in the Bank ladder match, he was attacked by Baron Corbin, which took Nakamura out for a majority of the match; Corbin ultimately won and received a contract for a WWE Championship match. On the June 27 episode of SmackDown, after witnessing Corbin defeat Sami Zayn, interviewer Dasha Fuentes asked Nakamura if he would like a one-on-one match with Mr. Money in the Bank. Nakamura replied that although Corbin was dangerous, he was afraid of Nakamura. Backstage the following week, as Fuentes was about to have another interview with Nakamura, Corbin attacked Nakamura with his Money in the Bank briefcase and said that he was not scared of Nakamura. The two were set to have a match on the July 11 episode, but the two fought before the match, and their match was rescheduled for Battleground.

On the Backlash pre-show, Tye Dillinger defeated Aiden English. On July 18, a rematch between the two was scheduled for the Battleground pre-show.



During the pre-show, Tye Dilinger faced Aiden English. In the climax, English performed the Director's Cut on Dilinger to win the match.

Preliminary matches

The actual pay-per-view opened with The Usos defending the SmackDown Tag Team Championship against The New Day (Kofi Kingston and Xavier Woods with Big E). In the end, Kingston performed Trouble in Paradise on Jimmy, which was followed by Woods performing a ropewalk elbow drop on Jimmy to win the title. This marked the first time that Woods scored a pinfall to win a championship in WWE.

Next, Shinsuke Nakamura faced Baron Corbin. Corbin executed Deep Six on Nakamura for a nearfall. In the end, Corbin attacked Nakamura with a low blow, thus Nakamura won the match via disqualification. After the match, Corbin struck Nakamura with his Money in the Bank briefcase and attacked him with End of Days.

After that was the fatal five-way elimination match to determine the number one contender for Naomi's SmackDown Women's Championship at SummerSlam. After Becky forced Tamina to submit to the Dis-arm-her, eliminating Tamina, she forced Lana to submit to the Dis-arm-her immediately afterwards, eliminating Lana. Natalya then pinned Becky with a roll-up whilst holding her tights, eliminating Becky. After performing a roll-up into the corner on Charlotte Flair, Natalya pinned her to win the match. After the match, Naomi offered a handshake, with Natalya refusing and departing.

In the fourth match, AJ Styles defended the United States Championship against Kevin Owens. In the end, as Owens and Styles traded counters, Styles applied a Crossface on Owens, who shifted his weight on Styles into a pin to win the title for a third time.

Next, John Cena faced Rusev in a flag match. In the end, Cena attempted an Attitude Adjustment on Rusev, who countered into a Jumping Sidekick and applied the Accolade on Cena. Cena fought back and performed an Attitude Adjustment through two tables on the stage on Rusev. Cena then planted the U.S flag to win the match.

After that, Mike Kanellis (with Maria Kanellis) faced Sami Zayn. In the end, Maria got in the ring and prevented Zayn from performing the Exploder Suplex on Mike, and Mike tried to take advantage. However, Zayn countered and performed the Exploder Suplex into the turnbuckles followed by a Helluva Kick on Mike to win the match.

Main event

In the main event, Jinder Mahal defended the WWE Championship against Randy Orton in the third-ever Punjabi Prison match. Orton and Mahal went back and forth, preventing each other from escaping three of the doors of the inner cage. Orton called for the fourth door to be opened and then performed on RKO on Mahal, but The Singh Brothers appeared from under the ring and pulled Mahal out of the door, forcing Orton to climb over the inner cage. After Orton escaped the inner cage, he prevented Mahal from climbing over the outer cage and fought off The Singh Brothers, including knocking Samir off of the cage through an announce table. Orton then attacked Sunil and Mahal with a steel chair before attempting to climb the outer cage. Midway up, Mahal's music played and The Great Khali appeared for the first time since 2014. Khali climbed the cage and choked Orton, allowing Mahal to escape the outer structure and retain the WWE Championship.

Match Preview

Tye Dillinger vs. Aiden EnglishPreview
Jinder Mahal vs. Randy OrtonPreview
The Usos vs. The New DayPreview
John Cena vs. RusevPreview
Fatal 5-Way elimination matchPreview
Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Baron CorbinPreview
AJ Styles vs. Kevin OwensPreview
Sami Zayn vs. Mike KanellisPreview


Numbers in parentheses indicate the length of the match.
(c) refers to the champion(s) heading into the match.

Fatal 5-Way elimination match

Eliminated Wrestler Eliminated by Method of elimination Time

Tamina Becky Lynch Submitted to the Dis-arm-her 8:08

Lana Becky Lynch Submitted to the Dis-arm-her 8:27

Becky Lynch Natalya Pinned with a roll-up 8:40

Charlotte Flair Natalya Pinned after a roll-up to the bottom turnbuckle 11:00

Natalya N/A

Other on-screen talent

Ring announcer
Pre-show panel

See also

DVD release

External links

Battleground 2017 previews

Tye Dillinger v Aiden EnglishJinder Mahal v Randy OrtonThe Usos v The New DayJohn Cena v RusevFatal 5-Way elimination matchShinsuke Nakamura v Baron CorbinAJ Styles v Kevin OwensSami Zayn v Mike Kanellis

2017 World Wrestling Entertainment pay-per-views

NXT TakeOver: San AntonioRoyal RumbleElimination ChamberFastlaneNXT TakeOver: OrlandoWrestleManiaPaybackNXT TakeOver: ChicagoBacklashExtreme RulesMoney in the BankGreat Balls of FireBattlegroundNXT TakeOver: Brooklyn IIISummerSlamNo MercyHell in a CellTLC: Tables, Ladders, & ChairsNXT TakeOver: WarGamesSurvivor SeriesClash of Champions

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