Reviewing the Review: Battleground 2014

We’re a few days past Battleground now and there has been a few differing opinions on the show. Some people have said it was horrible while others say it was only kind of bad. The show was nothing more than a bridge to Summerslam but my level of interest was actually high. Let’s get to it.

The pre-show matches saw Adam Rose, with Layla and Summer, beating Fandango and Cameron beating Naomi. There’s nothing to say about either of these except that Cameron was horrible in the ring. I mean like REALLY horrible.

The pay per view opened with an awesome Tag Team Title 2/3 falls match with the Usos defending against the Wyatt Family. The first two falls were there so the match could be 2/3 falls. They weren’t bad but they could have been on any given Raw or Smackdown. The story of the match was that the Usos were barely bale to hang in there against the monsters and could only beat them with a quick rollup.

Then the third fall happened and everything went nuts with some INSANE near falls. Stuff like this is what makes tag team wrestling so fun as the drama is incredible and leaves you wondering when it’s going to end. The double splash from the Usos was a great big finisher and there was no way Harper was kicking out after it. The feud needs to be over now as they’re probably not going to be able to top this, but who do the Usos fight now? Ryback/Axel? I’d love to see them against the Ascension but WWE doesn’t seem to want to call them up.

I’ll cover all of the Rollins and Ambrose segments at once. Rollins was in the back when Ambrose attacked him. HHH ejected Ambrose from the building and said the match wasn’t happening. Later, Rollins came out and had himself declared the winner by forefit, but Ambrose attacked Seth again because wrestling security sucks. HHH came out again and had Ambrose handcuffed, allowing Rollins to jump him again. Finally, Rollins was trying to leave but Ambrose popped out of the trunk of his car and attacked Rollins one more time but Seth got away in said car.

Obviously there was no match and the more I think about it the less I like it. It felt like a cheap way to get people to watch the show and probably pop some Network buys. That’s a common wrestling practice but it doesn’t mean it’s something that I want to see happen all the time. The match will be fine when it happens, but you could have easily done a quick double DQ or countout and still had the match without a conclusive ending. This felt like a cop out and that’s not a good thing.

AJ Lee retained the Divas Title against Paige with a Shining Wizard. This was an odd match as they were trying to do something special but it came off sloppy. I can understand this not working better than I can most other matches as the girls don’t have anyone at this level to practice on. Paige has spent weeks fighting Paige and Cameron so doing anything complicated is out the window. Here she tried to do something a few steps higher and clearly needed more practice. AJ was far from perfect though.

Orton talked to Kane and tried to form an alliance but got nowhere.

Rusev and Swagger had a watchable match that ended in a Rusev countout win. The story of course was Lana’s promo before the match, saying you can’t blame Vladimir Putin for “current world events”, referencing the Malaysian plane crash. This caused a bunch of bad mainstream publicity for WWE, whose response was “we’ve been doing this story for weeks.” That really doesn’t make it any better, but it puts WWE in a strange place.

Rusev and Lana are going to get real heat because Putin is a real life crazy and possibly evil man who may be responsible or at least linked to the death of nearly three hundred innocent people. Whether the characters are directly referencing it or not, people in the media are going to complain. Why? Because media has a tendency to run off at the mouth and not understand the vast majority of what they’re talking about and complain before they know what’s going on. WWE had to know this was coming and really has no right to complain about the negative attention. Yeah a lot of the complaints are stupid, but they were coming no matter what Lana said.

Goldust and Stardust continue to talk about the Cosmic Key. This is starting to intrigue me.

Chris Jericho beat Bray Wyatt in a disjointed match. The chemistry really didn’t work and neither guy seemed to be on the same page. I still haven’t heard a logical reason for Jericho to win. The next night on Raw would see Jericho laid out by Bray, but Wyatt already lost a clean match. Yeah I’m sure Bray will win the blowoff match, but why didn’t he win both matches? I see absolutely no reason for Jericho to win at all. He has nothing to lose and there’s no need for Bray to lose to a guy in his third or so match back. The Summerslam win will help, but it’s taking a few weeks to get there.

Miz won the Intercontinental Title in a battle royal. The match was nothing special, much like most battle royals. I was hoping for Bo Dallas, but Miz’s Hollywood character is growing on me. The biggest surprise here was Slater dumping Cesaro which seems to have gone nowhere. It seems like Miz vs. Sheamus to unify the titles might be coming, even though that would be the stupidest thing they could do. One interesting note here: Del Rio went under the ropes before being knocked to the floor.

The main event was exactly what you would expect as the match started slow, got hot at the end saw Cena pin Kane to retain the title. Reigns looked like he was destroying everyone, though he’s not ready to be the top guy. That’s where WWE is in a good place, as they can build him up for several months. In theory he gets the title at Wrestlemania, but at least he’s got eight months to get there.

Overall the show was a disappointment as the buildup was far better than I was expecting but the execution really failed. Only the opening and closing matches were any good with the rest of the show being worthless. This is a show that could have been eliminated and used on a longer build to Summerslam, much like Fully Loaded 1998. It wasn’t the worst show ever, but it was pretty easily the worst show of the year. That’s saying a lot given that this really wasn’t horrible.

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  1. Cockadoodledoo says:

    you can barely kinda see it but when del rio was in the apron, he kinda put his leg over the top rope to hit the cross arm breaker. so i guess that sort of explains his elimination?

    btw how dumb is it that the night after winning the championship they’ve been building up for a while, the champion loses?

    klunderbunker Reply:

    It’s dumb but not surprising.

    Hubcap Dave Reply:

    It’s not that dumb if it sets up an angle between Miz and Zigs. It also has the effect of pleasing the Ziggler fans in the cro—er, Universe.

    Cockadoodledoo Reply:

    there was no need to have miz lose tho. they already had an angle with the way miz eliminated ziggler, they could have gone with miz wanting payback or something.

    Hubcap Dave Reply:

    This is old-school booking: have the challenger win a non-title match, thus setting up the argument for a title match.

  2. Jordan says:

    The Tag match definitely stole the show to me, just great stuff. Most of the card was pretty underwhelming though. Y2J/Bray just never clicked and I don’t like the finish. Miz winning the IC title is fine as it sets up Barrett to come back and take the title from him. Ambrose/Rollins stuff was great and it just makes their eventual match at Summerslam even bigger. 4 Way was fine and Cena retaining was the only choice.

  3. klunderbunker says:

    Minor correction: it’s old school booking for a champion to lose by countout or DQ, almost never by pin or submission.

    Cockadoodledoo Reply:

    wouldn’t it have been better that way?

    Hubcap Dave Reply:

    Not in this case.

    Cockadoodledoo Reply:

    Why not? miz walking away from the match or gettin DQ’d sets up the match without making the champion lose. add the battleground battle royal finish and you got a nice angle for the IC, instead of the champion gets pinned do guy automatically gets a shot.

    Hubcap Dave Reply:

    For a title match, I’d agree with that.

  4. Hubcap Dave says:

    To Cockadoodledoo:

    Why not?

    The story, as it seems to be playing out, is this: Zigs was essentially screwed out of the title by Miz playing possum. Having Zigs go over in the match on Raw reinforces the point that the Miz doesn’t deserve the title, and justifies his case for a title match. This makes sense to me. Moreover, the crowd seems into it. It’s not devaluing the value of the IC belt, it’s giving someone who’s over a push by pursuing it. Once the title matches are set up, then you can do the DQs and Count-outs until you blow off the feud.

    Cockadoodledoo Reply:

    i dont know man, the same thing could have been accomplished if the Miz had walked away from the match when Ziggles was about to beat him. it would have fit the Hollywood Miz character perfectly but i guess i can see how it makes sense the way you said it.