The former WWE heavyweight champion returned to the company at Battleground, which took place at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on 23 July. After using a steel chair to dispatch of Mahal and Sunil Singh, The Viper finally seemed destined for victory before the originator of The Punjabi Prison, The Great Khali entered the arena.
To cap off the night, John Cena came out on top in a wild back-and-forth Flag Match, before the Punjabi Prison match came to a thrilling end when The Great Khali came out of the tunnel to help Jinder Mahal retain his title.
"The Punjabi prison match is nothing short of grueling". A flag match is never going to be awesome as the stipulation itself tends to only lead to one storyline narrative with lots of slow climbing to retrieve the flag and a slow build to place it for victory; which is exactly what they did. With the WWE Championship on the line in one of the most unique and risky matches in WWE history, can Randy Orton survive the Punjabi Prison Match and walk out with his fourteen World Title or will Jinder Mahal prove that he doesn't need The Singh Brothers to survive as WWE Champion?
AJ Styles (C) vs. Kevin Owens.
After going through a good period of not passing around Championships, it appears that WWE is leaning back to passing belts back and forth simply for the goal of having a title change with Kevin Owens regaining his United States Championship just weeks after losing it at a house show.
With that exhausting schedule in mind, as well as a new engagement to fellow WWE star Nikki Bella, it is no wonder Cena is thinking about wrapping up his WWE career.
To open the show, Owens and AJ Styles exchanged promos over the United States Championship. To his credit, Jinder is a way better wrestler than Great Khali (oh poor 2007) but he's still a bit limited in the ring. As Cena's music began to play, it was cut off by the general manager, who said Cena does not make the matches and that opportunities must be earned on SmackDown Live. This led to the two brawling up the ramp, including a final table spot with Cena sending Rusev through a table before placing Old Glory on the podium for the win.
AJ only won the U.S. belt himself a matter of days ago by defeating Owens at a house show, and though WWE is no stranger to short-term title reigns, it seems unusual that they would put the championship back on its former holder so soon.
It's time for a New Day celebration, as they won the Smackdown Tag Team titles.
In a bit of an unusual circumstance, this match is considered cashing in the rematch clauses for both AJ Styles and Chris Jericho, so if they both lose, Kevin Owens will have a new challenger.
WWE has been looking to expand in India for years, and they see Mahal as a potential money-maker inside the vast Asian country. The rumored match heading into SummerSlam is a tag team match between Khali and Mahal vs. Cena and Orton, which would be an interesting pairing to see.
Starting 28 August, SuperSport will air WWE's flagship shows "Raw" and "SmackDown" as well as WWE specials, including "WrestleMania" and "SummerSlam". At the very least, it's going to be a decent match in the kickoff, but either Dillinger wins to propel himself forward or English wins to start an actual story. Tonight, the WWE Champion and "Modern Day Maharaja" made his presence felt on SmackDown Live, demanding an opponent for SummerSlam. Jimmy and Jey drag Xavier and Kofi out on stage, and slams them into the video wall.
Shinsuke Nakamura def. Baron Corbin by DQ after an intentional low blow.
Becky Lynch elim. Tamina by submission to the Dis-Arm-Her. Becky tries to lock in the Dis-arm-her and Lana runs screaming for the tag.
Natalya elim. Charlotte Flair by pin after sending Charlotte Flair head-first into the bottom turnbuckle. We have an anti-American champion, who continues to bring backup to win his matches.
The superstar WWE wrestler John Cena has revealed his WWE future plans recently. Even though The Singh Brothers said that they wouldn't be ringside, they ended up interfering in the match anyway, helping Mahal escape the first cage.