Four men walked into the ring tonight at WWE Battleground with dreams of championship gold. Only one could emerge WWE champion.
Such is the binary nature of professional wrestling. While there is certainly the possibility of glory in defeat, there can only be a single winner. This isn't baseball, where teams get 162 games to prove who's best. In wrestling, it all comes down to one night.
Kane, Cena and Orton have been WWE mainstays for over a decade. For them, Battleground is just a line item on their resumes—yet another big win or loss in a career filled with each. The match may be a momentary distraction on the road to Raw, but it won't be special.
For Roman Reigns, it would have been different. This isn't the middle or end of a great career. We are watching a legend being created before our very eyes. When Reigns wins, it will be his first world championship. That's special. That matters.
Tonight wasn't his time. But it's coming. And likely soon.
Of course, one match does not a card make. Did Battleground deliver? As a whole, the answer has to be no—but there were several shining moments worth discussing. What follows is our trademark instant analysis and letter grades for each and every bout on the show.
Disagree with our assessment? Feel free to sound off in the comments.