WWE will hold its first Stomping Grounds event in just under two weeks, and so far the card might as well be called RematchMania.
Five matches have been announced for the show, with four championships up for grabs — all for the top titles in the men’s and women’s divisions.
Three of the four title matches are return bouts from either this past weekend’s Super Showdown event in Saudi Arabia or last month’s Money In The Bank.
What does WWE have in store for this new Network special, and will we see the pavement laid for the road to SummerSlam?
Universal Championship Match – Seth Rollins (C) vs. Baron Corbin
Rollins managed to escape Super Showdown with the Universal Championship, first defeating Corbin and then avoiding a cash-in attempt from Brock Lesnar.
The continued emphasis on Corbin is baffling to me. Sure, the guy gets booed, but it’s not because the fans hate the character he’s playing. It’s because they just flat don’t want to see him.
Still, with the benefit of a stateside event and another couple of weeks to promote the match, hopefully these guys can pull a rabbit out of a hat at Stomping Grounds and at least keep put together something interesting in the ring.
Steel Cage Match For The WWE Championship – Kofi Kingston (C) vs. Dolph Ziggler
KofiMania continues to roll on and so, surprisingly, does Dolph Ziggler’s presence in WWE.
Both guys put together a perfectly watchable match at Super Showdown, and they have the talent to tear the house down if the chimps with typewriters on WWE’s writing staff can manage not to ruin it.
The steel cage stipulation is interesting, but I’m not sure I see the need for it considering interference hasn’t been any kind of real theme in this feud. If I had to speculate, I’d suggest that Kevin Owens will somehow make his presence felt in some fashion.
He had been the originally-intended opponent for Kingston at Super Showdown before declining to make the trip to Saudi Arabia.
KO running in at Stomping Grounds could lay the groundwork for a potential triple threat match at SummerSlam or the July event, Extreme Rules.
Raw Women’s Championship Match – Becky Lynch (C) vs. Lacey Evans
Here’s another rematch, this one from Money In The Bank, where Lynch was forced to defend both her Raw and Smackdown Women’s Championships against Evans and Charlotte Flair, respectively.
The Man survived the encounter with Evans but dropped the SmackDown title to Flair in the following match.
WWE continues to be high on Evans, but her match against Flair on last week’s Monday Night Raw left a lot to be desired. Evans showed her inexperience in the ring a few times too many, which could hinder her push.
She needs to have a strong showing against Lynch on a big stage, and Lynch needs to re-position herself as the biggest thing WWE has going for it.
Either way it goes, there’s a lot to watch for in this Stomping Grounds bout.
SmackDown Women’s Championship Match – Bayley (C) vs. Alexa Bliss
It’s been a rough year for Bliss. At January’s Royal Rumble, she made her return to the ring after being sidelined for months due to injury.
Then she found herself on the injured list again. That injury resulted in her removal from the women’s Money In The Bank ladder match last month.
As for Bayley, Money In The Bank proved to be a turnaround event. She won the ladder match and cashed in on Flair the same night to become the SmackDown Women’s Champion.
In a similar situation to the Raw women’s title bout, there’s a lot on the line for both of the women in this contest at Stomping Grounds. For Bliss, it’s about establishing herself as a major player in the women’s division. As for Bayley, it’s her time to prove whether or not her big night at Money In The Bank was a fluke.
Roman Reigns vs. Drew McIntyre
I never thought I would say this. But Roman Reigns needs to win this WrestleMania rematch.
We covered the embarrassment that was his loss to Shane McMahon at Super Showdown. Now the Big Dog needs to bounce back.
WWE has more or less sabotaged whatever big plans they might have had for McIntyre. They sealed his fate by aligning him with the universally-hated Corbin and then made it worse by booking him as a McMahon lackey.
Reigns needs to dominate this match. Otherwise, all the good will he’s managed to draw from the WWE fans since his return at WrestleMania is likely to fizzle out.
More matches will likely be announced on this week’s Raw and SmackDown shows.
WWE will stream Stomping Grounds live from Tacoma, WA on the WWE Network on Sunday, June 23. The preshow will begin at 6 p.m. ET with the show proper following at 7 p.m. ET.
All images courtesy of WWE.