In the litany of specialty matches that have graced WWE, few gained the infamy of the Punjabi Prison. Nevertheless, the Prison will return at WWE Battleground.
Yes, with the focus on Jinder Mahal as an Indian champion, WWE is bringing back the match created by The Great Khali. Randy Orton came out on SmackDown Live and said he would continue to attack Mahal until he got a rematch, as Jinder disrespected his family in front of him. While Shane McMahon came out and pointed out, correctly, that Orton had done the same to other wrestlers, he did grant the rematch. However, Mahal would get to pick the stipulation. Mahal immediately came out and announced that because of the respect he had for The Great Khali (ignore that Jinder Mahal's arrival in the WWE was to feud with Khali), the match would be in the Punjabi Prison at Battleground.
The Prison match takes place like a cage within a cage match. The cages are made of “bamboo” and you have to escape both to win. There are additional rules governing the doors of the inner cage, such as when you can and cannot use them. This is the third time the match will be used. The first was supposed to be The Great Khali vs. The Undertaker. I say “supposed to be” because Khali had to be pulled from the match before because of a test that had revealed high liver enzymes, and Big Show took his place. So yes, Khali did not even compete in the first iteration of a match made specifically for him. He later did get the match, facing Batista in the structure.
The first two Prison matches were not received well, but, then again, one had a last-minute switch, and one featured The Great Khali. We'll see whether the third time is the charm.
The rest of SmackDown Live:
>>In the main event, Carmella successfully regained her Money in the Bank briefcase. This match ended more or less how everyone wanted the first one to end. James Ellsworth again interfered, though this time when he tried to climb the ladder, Becky Lynch stopped him. However, the time spent dealing with Ellsworth gave Carmella time to recover, and she attacked Lynch with a chair. She was then able to scale the ladder and get the briefcase. It raises the question of why they didn't just do that in the first place, but in the end this was the correct result.
>>Speaking of women, Naomi again defended her title against Lana, and virtually squashed her. Yes, Lana got off her spine-buster move, but Naomi kicked out, and then almost immediately hit Lana with a split-legged moonsault for the win. I'm not sure what the plan is with Lana, but this was a bad look for her.
>>The Usos successfully defended their tag titles against the Hype Bros. The New Day came out after and the two teams had some words … while rapping. The rematch between the two was made for Battleground.
>>Another Fashion Vice vignette was shown, this time with Fandango and Tyler Breeze interrogating The Ascension. While they were talking, someone else destroyed the Fashion Police's office. Most likely it's The Colons, as they're the only other heels on the roster, though I do wonder … where has American Alpha been in all this?
>>Baron Corbin beat Sami Zayn on SmackDown Live. Two interesting things came from this. Before the match, Maria and Mike Kanellis came out to cut a promo but were interrupted by Sami Zayn's entrance. It looks like that could be the first feud for the first couple of SmackDown Live. Also, during the match, Shinsuke Nakamura was shown backstage observing. After the match, he cut a promo on Corbin, saying that Corbin was afraid of Nakamura.
>>AJ Styles complained to Daniel Bryan backstage about Kevin Owens not allowing him to compete in the open challenge last week. This led Bryan to make a battle royal for next week, which will include Styles among others, where the winner will get to face Owens at Battleground. You have to wonder: Will John Cena be in that match?
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