WWE Battleground Review
Welcome to my review of the inaugural Battleground PPV which emanated from Buffalo, New York. On this evening Randy Orton will battle Daniel Bryan for the vacant WWE Championship. Before we could find out whom the new Champion would be Dolph Ziggler takes on Damien Sandow in the Kickoff Match.
Just in case anyone cares tonight’s expert panel is Josh Mathews, The Miz, Titus O’Neil and Tensai.
Damien Sandow makes his way to the ring and on his way there he tells us he is going to decimate Dolph Ziggler and if things go the way he thinks they are then this won’t be the last time we see him tonight. A bit of foreshadowing perhaps?
Battleground Kickoff Match- Dolph Ziggler pinned Damien Sandow (**3/4)
Nice little match to start off tonight’s action. There was a nice near fall in the match when Sandow went for his neckbreaker finisher and Dolph reversed it into the Fameasser for a long two count. It amazes me how the crowd reacts to that spot considering Dolph has never beaten anyone with it to my knowledge.
Sandow took of his knee pad to create more damage when he dropped his knee on Dolph. It seemed to backfire as he tweaked that knee which led to Ziggler hitting the Zig Zag for the win after about ten minutes. In a match featuring two guys that never win, one had to. I’m surprised at just how much dirt they keep shoveling on Sandow.
After the opening video package and pyro we are ready to kick off the PPV in a big way. The World Heavyweight Championship Match gets things started.
Battleground Hardcore Rules Match for the World Heavyweight Championship- Alberto Del Rio beat Rob Van Dam via Submission to retain the Championship (***1/4)
This was a nice choice for the opener. It was a good match that got the crowd into the evening’s events. It never turned the corner to be truly memorable since it took a while to set the spots up and the action never really flowed.
The weapon of choice was a ladder but early on RVD almost won the title when he slingshot himself into the ring and DDT’d ADR onto a steel chair. As the match progressed, Del Rio was able to lock RVD in the Cross Arm Breaker. Before RVD could tap, Ricardo Rodriguez attacked Del Rio with his bucket. Del Rio took some punishment but ADR would eventually take him out with a kick on the floor. As ADR was attempting to get back in the ring, RVD baseball slid the ladder into Del Rio. The ladder fell on top of the Champion and then RVD hit the Five Star Frog Splash off the apron onto Del Rio and the ladder. Awesome spot.
The action made its way back to the ring and RVD attempted the Van Terminator but he missed crashing and burning. ADR set up a chair and dropped Van Dam on it trapping his arm on it. Del Rio stomped the chair a few times before locking in the Cross Arm Breaker. RVD was left with no choice but to tap and Alberto Del Rio retained the title at the 15 minute mark.
We cut to the back where Zeb Colter is with The Real Americans. Apparently he has moved on from making racial stereotypes about Mexicans to making racial stereotypes about Canadians. We the People then thought it might be a good idea to deep fry The Great Khali and Santino Marella.
The Real Americans defeated The Great Khali and Santino Marella (*1/4)
I normally don’t get excited about Khali matches being added to PPVs I’m watching. I was when this one was added early Sunday afternoon. Only because I wanted to see Antonio Cesaro do the Swing to Khali. He did and it was awesome. The crowd gets so jacked up to see it too. It’s one of the best spots in WWE today. After the swing, Cesaro pinned Khali to pick up the win for his team. As for the rest of the match, there’s a reason I skipped right to the end.
WWE Intercontinental Championship Match- Curtis Axel pinned R-Truth to retain the Championship (*1/4)
This was a match that could have been done on RAW tomorrow night. I don’t think anyone thought Truth was going to win and because of that the crowd was dead for the match. The majority of this eight minute match was dominated by Axel. Truth had a brief flurry of offense but Axel caught him in his finisher where he slams his opponent’s head into the match for the win. That move really needs a name.
WWE Divas Championship Match- AJ Lee beat Brie Bella to retain the Championship (*1/2)
Pretty solid for a Divas Match. Brie has worked hard to make her competent in the ring and AJ’s always been a solid performer. There was a nasty bump early in the match. Brie was on the apron and AJ kicked out her leg and then whipped her into the post. Brie’s whole body hit the post pretty hard.
AJ was able to ground #BrieMode by working on her arm but Bryan’s Bella made a comeback and looked like she was about to win the title after a running knee. Brie noticed AJ’s enforcer Tamina Snuka choking out her sister. Brie went to check on Nikki and this allowed AJ to roll up Brie for the win after seven minutes.
The beautiful Renee Young is with the Rhodes Family. Each man takes his turn talking and hyping the match that is coming up next. The highlight of this whole thing was when Cody mentioned that they weren’t the perfect family and Goldust did that bark chomp thing he does over Renee’s shoulder. Classic.
Cody Rhodes and Goldust defeated Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns (***1/4)
It was nice to see the Buffalo crowd wake up for this match. We hadn’t heard a peep out of them since the World Heavyweight Championship Match. Fun, drama filled tag team match. It was slow at time which hurt the overall rating but still very worthy of the PPV time they were given.
Cody and Goldust were a house of fire early on. Cody hit a beautiful moonsault and Goldust decided to follow suit but he didn’t have it in him so he turned it into a very nice crossbody block.
The Shield stemmed the early onslaught from the Rhodes and took control of the match after Goldust missed a running body block and took a spill to the floor. Roman Reign’s power is phenomenal. Every time that man is on my TV screen I’m further convinced that he’ll main event WrestleMania one day.
The match broke down and Dusty Rhodes and Dean Ambrose had a standoff on the outside. Dusty cracked Ambrose in the face with his belt buckle and then blasted him with the Bionic Elbow. Reigns went after Dusty but Goldust took him out leaving it to Seth Rollins and Cody in the ring.
Rollins tried to capitalize on Cody paying attention to the action on the outside by rolling Cody up. Cody kicked out at two and then hit a huge Cross Rhodes for the win after 13 minutes. The Rhodes are now employed by WWE once again.
After the match, the locker room came out to congratulate The Rhodes family.
We head to the back where RAW General Manager Brad Maddox is on the phone with The Authority. It is then we learn that Triple H and Stephanie are not at the PPV. Vickie Guerrero walks in and Maddox says he needs her help because The Authority has put him in charge of the PPV. She says that it’s all on him, cackles and leaves.
Bray Wyatt beat Kofi Kingston (*1/4)
This match really didn’t click until the end but by that point the match already went on too long. The crowd was dead silent for this match and it made the match even harder to watch.
Kofi went for the Trouble in Paradise but missed and then Bray nailed that vicious crossbody he does. He went in the corner and hung upside down like he does before Sister Abigail but when he came out of the corner he did some weird crab walk which freaked Kofi out. Kofi bailed to the outside and the match went on some more. Kofi went for the SOS and Bray countered it into Sister Abigail for the win.
After the match, Harper and Rowan attacked Kofi and then Bray told us to Follow the Buzzards.
CM Punk pinned Ryback (**1/4)
Maybe it is my fault for expecting more from this match but it just didn’t do it for me. It wasn’t bad, just very average. It’s like a RAW match that you know the guys were saving something for the PPV. The problem here was that this was the PPV.
The match started slow and picked up when Punk, to use an MMA term, was in Ryback’s guard and then started blasting Ryback with forearms and elbows. Paul Heyman saw his man was in trouble and got on the mic to declare himself the Best in the World. This allowed Ryback to get back in the match with the Meathook and then he got a two count after a Powerbomb.
The match went back and forth with each man trading big moves from there on out. Ryback was clobbering Punk on the apron. Heyman was going to crack Punk with a kendo stick but the referee saw what he was going to do. The referee began to admonish Heyman and while he did that Punk nailed Ryback with a low blow. That was enough for the win after 15 minutes. What a weak ending to the match. Ryback was booked poorly in a big match again but why should I be surprised at this point?
WWE Championship Match- Randy Orton and Daniel Bryan ended in a Double Knockout (***1/4)
I figured the match would end in some kind of a non-finish to set up a blow off match at Hell in a Cell but this was just ridiculous. The match was just kind of going along which is fine because you knew it was all about the ending. The D-Bry hit a huge Flying Crossbody off the top rope to the floor. The match picked up from there. Bryan hit a Flying Headbutt and then five running dropkicks in the corner.
Bryan was about to finish off Orton with the big head kick and Orton caught him in a nice T-Bone suplex. WWE was using a slow-mo replay during this match where you could see just how much impact these guys’ bodies take on these moves.
The match went back and forth until Bryan locked in the Yes Lock. Orton looked to be in trouble when The Big Show’s music hit. He pulled the referee out of the ring and the KO’d Bryan. Show had that conflicted look on his face. We then see Brad Maddox on the ramp as he send fired referee Scott Armstrong into the ring. Armstrong begins to count Bryan down and just as it appears that we have a new WWE Champion, Show pulls Armstrong out of the ring and knocks him out. Show goes in the ring and Orton begins to yell at him and then he gets knocked out.
Both Bryan and Orton were left knocked out on the mat as Show’s music hit and the PPV ended with The Big Show, not either man in the WWE Championship Match standing tall in the ring.
This was easily the worst PPV of the year for WWE. The crowd was dead for the majority of the night and there wasn’t one blow away, show stealing match. Three matches were just above three stars but we get matches like that on RAW all the time. We expect more from PPV matches.
My major gripe and what really cemented this as the worst PPV of the year was the main event. Specifically the ending. You’re asking your fans to spend $44.95 or more to see a new WWE Champion crowned and then you don’t crown one. What makes it so egregious was that The Big Show came off as the star of the match and not either one of the combatants in the match. I wasn’t expecting a new champ tonight but they could have ended the show in a mass brawl. The way it ended made The Big Show overshadow what is supposed to be the most coveted prize in the company. I didn’t care for that.
This PPV was the wrestling equivalent of watching my Giants start the season 0-5. Battleground gets a 4/10.
(That’s what she said.)
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