WWE Stomping Grounds: Seth Rollins retains Universal title

John Pollock's coverage of the WWE Stomping Grounds card from Tacoma with Seth Rollins vs. Baron Corbin, Kofi Kingston vs. Dolph Ziggler & more.

Welcome to POST Wrestling’s coverage of the WWE Stomping Grounds event from the Tacoma Dome in Tacoma, Washington.

Wai Ting & I will be LIVE after tonight’s show with our Stomping Grounds POST Show. Double Double, Iced Capp & Espresso members of the POST Wrestling can listen/watch our POST Show at this link.

QUICK RESULTS:
*Drew Gulak over Tony Nese (c) and Akira Tozawa in 11:19 to win the Cruiserweight title
*Becky Lynch (c) over Lacey Evans in 11:25 to retain the Raw women’s title
*Kevin Owens & Sami Zayn over Big E. & Xavier Woods in 11:05
*Ricochet over Samoa Joe (c) in 12:20 to win the United States title
*Daniel Bryan & Rowan (c) over Heavy Machinery in 14:18 to retain the SmackDown tag titles
*Bayley (c) over Alexa Bliss in 10:39 to retain the SmackDown women’s title
*Roman Reigns over Drew McIntyre at 17:19
*Kofi Kingston (c) over Dolph Ziggler in 19:56 in a Steel Cage match to retain the WWE title
*Seth Rollins (c) over Baron Corbin in 18:23 to retain the Universal title

The kickoff show featured Jonathan Coachman, David Otunga, Charly Caruso, and Booker T. on the panel.

Xavier Woods & Big E. were interviewed on the panel featuring Woods discussing Kofi Kingston’s match and E. dousing himself with water.

Daniel Bryan cut a promo backstage after a referee walked into the shot. They are defending an ‘idea’ to save the tag division from people like Heavy Machinery. He put over the athletic accolades of Tucker & Otis and they go out and thrust their hips.

Shane McMahon and Drew McIntyre were backstage, McIntyre said Roman Reign was too emotional when he mentioned his family.

TONY NESE VS AKIRA TOZAWA VS DREW GULAK FOR THE CRUISERWEIGHT TITLE

Nese used a combination O’Connor roll and bridging German to both opponents for a two-count to Tozawa & Gulak. The audience reacted to Tozawa hitting a suicide dive to Nese followed by a running somersault off to the apron into Gulak against the barricade.

During the break, they aired the Becky Lynch vs. Lacey Evans and Roman Reigns vs. Drew McIntyre spots with each including the ‘kicking ass and taking names’ language that sounded jarring hearing them in each package back-to-back.

Gulak applied the Gu-Lock to Nese and was broken by a senton from Tozawa off the top as the camera was zoomed in on Gulak and Nese.

Nese came back with his moonsault splash off the middle rope onto Gulak with Tozawa saving, again.

Nese missed with a 450 splash onto Gulak, recovered and hit a Dude Buster onto Gulak and Tozawa stopped the cover with a shining wizard. There were a series of near-falls that followed and the audience was with them throughout.

Nese was sent off the apron with a flying boot from Tozawa and then hit with the torture rack slam from Gulak, who pinned Tozawa.

WINNER: Drew Gulak to win the Cruiserweight title at 11:19

Excellent opener and being on the kickoff show worked with the audience getting into it with all three working super-hard.

BECKY LYNCH VS LACEY EVANS FOR THE RAW WOMEN’S TITLE

The audience was energetic and reacting to everything involving Lynch. The audience chanted, ‘Lacey sucks’ as Lynch was in control until a shot to the mid-section and pulled Lynch around the post by the hair and leg. The next chant was ‘you can’t wrestle’.

Evans attacked Lynch’s ribs. They were on the turnbuckle where Lynch applied a flying armbar that Evans escaped from. Evans pulled out her cloth, Lynch grabbed it and stuffed it into Evans’ mouth. Evans punched her in the injured ribs.

Lynch missed a leg drop from the second turnbuckle, Evans leaped over and was supposed to land on Lynch’s knees, but it didn’t come off well. Evans hit a cutter out of the corner and hit the ribs for a two-count.

Evans climbed the turnbuckle, was yanked down and Lynch applied the Disarmer for the immediate tap.

WINNER: Becky Lynch at 11:25 to retain the Raw women’s title  

This was better than their match at Money in the Bank but it still had several miscues and poorly timed elements. Lynch sold the ribs well and worked with a lot of fire to compensate and to their credit, had a strong reaction throughout the match.

There was a promo for Ali.

Paul Heyman came out of Baron Corbin’s locker room and was interviewed by Kayla Braxton. He was asked if Brock Lesnar is here tonight and Heyman asked if Kofi Kingston and Seth Rollins are here tonight? He said they are and asked if that presents an opportunity for Lesnar while the audience booed the notion of Lesnar cashing in.

Baron Corbin walked out, he has chosen his referee who will call it down the middle and will be unbiased.

SAMI ZAYN & KEVIN OWENS VS BIG E. & XAVIER WOODS

Owens attacked Woods with several superkicks and a Swanton from the top for a two-count. Zayn tagged in and hit a Blue Thunder Bomb for another two-count, Owens hit a frog splash for a two-count, and they couldn’t believe it Woods was still in it. This continued for a long time, including Zayn applying a crossface and then pulls Woods back to their corner.

After six-and-a-half minutes, Big E. was finally tagged in. Woods lifted E on his shoulders and E splashed Zayn. Zayn avoided Up Up Down Down and sent Woods into the corner and hit a Helluva kick into a pop-up powerbomb that E broke up.

All four were down after a lariat to Zayn, superkick to E, and a rolling elbow by Woods to Owens. The audience was applauding the match.

E speared Zayn off the apron to the floor. Woods was knocked from the top and Owens hit a stunner to win.

WINNERS: Kevin Owens (pinned Xavier Woods) & Sami Zayn at 11:05

I thought this match was going to be good, but these four came out with the intention of having a blowout match and they did a great job. It was not the usual tag formula with the near death of Woods throughout the beginning and then turning into a solid tag match. The audience was into it and it was a strong win for Owens & Zayn, who needed this.

Nikki Cross was excited for Alexa Bliss’ match with Bayley. Cross is convinced she has seen Bayley’s true colors and hopes everyone else sees it. She is excited to be in Bliss’ corner tonight.

SAMOA JOE VS RICOCHET FOR THE UNITED STATES TITLE

During Ricochet’s entrance, he did a back flip and slipped on the canvas in the ring, which is a rarity.

Joe stopped Ricochet on the floor and ran his back into the apron. The match became Ricochet trying to stand up to Joe and being beaten down with his striking and Ricochet selling the effect. The announcers are explaining Ricochet is being grounded and his high-flying is a big part of his game.

Ricochet got him off his feet with a springboard clothesline and hit a Fosbury Flop onto the floor. He hit a quebrada for a two-count. Joe hit a powerslam out of nowhere. Joe caught Ricochet off a handspring into a snap German and inside-out lariat for a two-count. Joe took him by the leg and flipped him onto his back, went for the Coquina Clutch and Ricochet broke it with a snap on the rope.

Joe avoided the 630-splash, went for a lariat and Ricochet attempted to land on his feet to hit a codebreaker. He climbed to the top and Ricochet hit the 630-splash and won the match.

WINNER: Ricochet at 12:20 to win the United States title

It was a really well-paced match that told a great story of Joe’s striking and size being able to ground Ricochet. It was a different type of match from Ricochet, but I enjoyed it a lot. His comeback at the end looked great and Joe was tremendous. If there is anyone you can categorize as way more valuable than their current position, Joe is one name that stands out as he has a main event level presence.

Seth Rollins, Charlotte Flair, Heavy Machinery, Curt Hawkins, Zack Ryder, Carmella, and Paul Levesque congratulated him backstage. This transitioned to Heavy Machinery’s entrance for the next match.

DANIEL BRYAN & ROWAN VS HEAVY MACHINERY FOR THE SMACKDOWN TAG TITLES

Daniel Bryan received the loudest reaction on the show, so far and the audience chanted for him as the match began. Tom Phillips acknowledged they were in ‘the last stronghold of the Yes movement’.

The audience booed Otis when he sent Bryan to the mat after a collar-and-elbow tie-up. Otis lifted him for a vertical suplex and handed Bryan off to Tucker to complete it. Rowan was tagged in and they chanted, ‘Please recycle’ and later ‘Drive a Prius’.

Bryan wrapped Tucker’s left leg around the post. When he made the tag, Otis was soundly booed as he fired up with Bryan. Bryan hit two running dropkicks and was caught on the third with a sit-out powerbomb from Otis. Bryan landed the Yes kicks and Otis just powered up and started shaking as Bryan continued with more kicks and stopped him with a T-bone suplex.

Otis hit the Caterpillar onto Bryan and catapulted Bryan into a uranage from Tucker. Bryan attacked Tucker’s injured leg with kicks. Tucker stopped Bryan and missed with a top rope moonsault.

Bryan landed a flying knee to Otis from the top. Tucker cut off Bryan and then took out Rowan with a dive to the floor. He returned to the ring and was caught by a small package from Bryan.

WINNERS: Daniel Bryan (pinned Tucker) & Rowan at 14:18 to retain the SmackDown tag titles

Another good match on the show and Heavy Machinery’s best showing since their call up. They didn’t let the audience’s reaction to Bryan derail the match and it made for a fun atmosphere with the simple explanation that they’re in Bryan’s hometown, so of course, they are behind him, it’s not detrimental and Heavy Machinery were total pros and worked a good match.

Bryan was the glue of the match but the other three had their shining moments.

BAYLEY VS ALEXA BLISS FOR THE SMACKDOWN WOMEN’S TITLE

Bliss was frustrated as she had the advantage and Bayley was kicking out of her pin attempts. Bliss stopped in her tracks and slapped Bayley in the corner. Bayley hit a somersault into an elbow drop before getting cracked with a right hand. Bayley caught Bliss with a running knee strike to the head.

Bliss pulled Bayley into the post and she grabbed the right shoulder. Bayley came back, sent Bliss to the floor and took out Nikki Cross with a suicide dive. Bayley missed Bliss and ran into the steps allowing Bliss to hit a Code Red on the floor. Bliss was ready to his Twisted Bliss when Cross went for Bayley and messed it up.

Bayley was sent back down in position, got her knees up on the Twisted Bliss attempt and hit the Bayley-to-belly for the win.

WINNER: Bayley at 10:39 to retain the SmackDown women’s title

This was more about advancing the story of Bliss and Cross with the miscommunication at the end and how Bliss will react. Cross was consoling Bliss after the match as Bayley walked to the back.

It was an average match with some creative elements.

They recapped Drake Maverick’s 24/7 title win over R-Truth last Tuesday at SmackDown when Maverick dressed up as Carmella. Then, they aired the footage of Truth winning the title back during Maverick’s wedding to Renee Michelle.

Ricochet was taking photos with the United States title when Karl Anderson & Luke Gallows walked in followed by AJ Styles and they took a photo. Styles told Ricochet that he will see him ‘tomorrow night’.

DREW McINTYRE VS ROMAN REIGNS

They began brawling on the floor after a dive from Reigns. Reigns went after Shane McMahon through the crowd. Reigns returned ringside and caught by McIntyre as he flew over the barricade, McIntyre sent him into the steps and took over. The audience was restless with McIntyre in control. McIntyre hyperextended the arm and grounded Reigns for a long time.

Reigns hit a Samoan drop and they started trading strikes. Reigns called for the Superman punch and sent McMahon off the apron with it and another jumping off the steps. Reigns missed the Drive-By allowing McIntyre to hit the inverted Alabama Slam to Reigns onto the announcer’s desk.

Reigns kicked out when they returned to the ring, McIntyre set up for the Claymore and Reigns avoided it with a backslide for two. McIntyre hit a Glasgow kiss, he leaped off the top into a Superman punch and McIntyre kicked out.

Reigns hit a spear and McMahon pulled the referee to the floor. McMahon hit a coast-to-coast dropkick on Reigns. McIntyre went for the cover and Reigns kicked out.

Reigns landed a Superman punch to McIntyre, sent McMahon to the floor and one final spear to win.

WINNER: Roman Reigns at 17:19

It felt too long a match at this point in the show and could have been more effective with 5-6 fewer minutes. It was not a hot match until the final five minutes with the near falls, Shane McMahon’s involvement and a strong finish that the audience reacted well to.

The announcers called this ‘definitive’ and the end of the chapter involving Reigns with Drew McIntyre & Shane McMahon.

KOFI KINGSTON VS DOLPH ZIGGLER IN A STEEL CAGE MATCH FOR THE WWE TITLE

Ziggler was in control and taunting Kingston until he fought back and rammed Ziggler into the cage. Ziggler attempted the famouser and it was blocked as Ziggler was sent into the cage.

They fought on the turnbuckle with Ziggler rammed into the fence and falling to the canvas. Kingston climbed and then hit a reverse crossbody.

They fought on top of the cage with both seated, they landed back in the ring and continued striking. Kingston hit the S.O.S. for a two-count. Ziggler stopped a Trouble in Paradise and attacked Kingston’s right knee.

The door was opened, and Kingston was draping over the edge but Ziggler held onto him. Ziggler kept hold of the leg, Kingston broke free and was caught again as Ziggler had an ankle lock applied, Kingston reversed and applied his own ankle lock and this didn’t get any reaction. Ziggler hit the Zig Zag and was out.

The crowd started to get behind Kingston, Ziggler went for the door and Kingston grabbed hold of him and Ziggler gouged the eyes. Ziggler attempted to crawl out as Kingston dove over top and landed on the floor to win.

WINNER: Kofi Kingston at 19:56 to retain the WWE title

It had a clever ending and looked great on television. This was another long match and the audience didn’t lift this up. It didn’t seem they accepted Ziggler as a legitimate challenger and it never got to the next gear for me.

Big E. and Xavier Woods celebrated with Kofi Kingston afterward.

Drew McIntyre and Shane McMahon were interviewed backstage by Braxton, she said Roman Reigns got the last laugh. McMahon announced a handicap match tomorrow night with Reigns for Raw tomorrow night.

SETH ROLLINS VS BARON CORBIN FOR THE UNIVERSAL TITLE

Corbin went to announce the special referee and Rollins took the microphone and threatened to attack the referee with a chair. Corbin announced Lacey Evans as the referee.

Corbin attacked from behind and used the chair on Rollins before Evans called for the bell. The audience chanted for Becky Lynch. Corbin attacked him on the floor as they chanted, ‘this is stupid’ and then chanted ‘AEW’ and ‘CM Punk’ while Corbin had the advantage. Next was a ‘boring’ chant.

Rollins fought back, he clotheslined Corbin to the floor and landed a suicide dive, hit a springboard knee and superkick. Evans was slow making the count as Corbin kicked out. Rollins ducked under and lifted Corbin from the apron and powerbombed him through the announcer’s desk. Evans made a slow count and then told Mike Rome there are no countouts.

Rollins was caught on a dive, chokeslammed onto the apron and kicked out when Corbin went for the pin. Rollins came back and hit a top rope splash, Evans counted two and her arm was hurt and couldn’t count three that Graves attributed to the Disarmer from earlier. Rollins was distracted with Evans, went to the floor and Corbin hit him with chair strikes.

Evans tells Mike Rome there are no disqualifications.

Evans slapped Rollins as he got in her face, she kicked him and then hit a low blow. Corbin hit End of Days as Becky Lynch ran in and attacked Evans for a big pop.

John Cone took over and was the referee from the Super Showdown match. Rollins hit the stomp and pinned Corbin.

WINNER: Seth Rollins at 18:23 to retain the Universal title

It wasn’t a great match and the audience was checked out for most of it. If you were hoping for a great Seth Rollins pay-per-view match, this wasn’t it and felt like they are building to a mixed tag match involving the four.

For whatever negativity there was for the match, the finish got over big from Becky Lynch’s run-in to the closing sequence with the stomp and Rollins winning.

About John Pollock 1000 Articles
Born on a Friday, John Pollock is a reporter, editor & podcaster at POST Wrestling. He runs and owns POST Wrestling alongside Wai Ting.