Sunday was the inaugural Battleground pay-per-view.
And if you have been on social media in the last day or so, you’ve seen what the popular opinion of that event is. People didn’t like it. In fact, they hated it and thought it was probably the worst event they’ve ever seen/purchased from the WWE. I don’t think it was completely unfortunate but I don’t think it was the worst either. I take each event as a chance to improve and this is just another learning experience. So, let’s start breaking down the event!
Overall, I thought that the event was good. (Please don’t rip me a new one wrestling fans!)
What took me by surprise was some of the matches on the card. They had Curtis Axel face R-Truth and Kofi Kingston facing Bray Wyatt, Kofi and Truth’s spots should have been reversed. It just didn’t make any sense to me to have R-Truth go for the Intercontinental title. Kofi had a fantastic match with Axel at the last event, putting these two in a feud makes SOOOOOOO much sense. The extra letters emphasize how much I wanted that to happen. Kofi Kingston and Axel had history, it may only be a bit but it’s still history. The two of them facing off made perfect sense. R-Truth facing off against the Wyatt Family made sense. I just want to think that something got lost in translation and it is all just a colossal mix up. The matches were pretty good but you could just tell that something was a little off. Each superstar put forth a solid effort and it was reflected in the work that they did. I think what the biggest problem was that the fans could pick up on the mismatched opponents. It was a slight slip up but a slip up no matter how you slice it.
And that weird crab walk thing Bray did just creeped me out.
I thought that RVD versus Del Rio was pretty good but I just don’t like Del Rio right now. I find him almost as bland as Randy Orton, he just has no distinguishing characteristics to me. I remember when they had Alberto as a face, that was such a glorious time. I get that gimmicks need to change but I just don’t like the way he is going right now. I don’t like that he is just beating up people for the sake of beating them up. A hardcore style match should have been right up Del Rio’s alley but the king reigned supreme. Who is that king you ask? Well, it’s ROB VAN DAM!
I thought that this was a fairly strong match, with RVD getting the upper hand (although he did not secure the win). Coming from ECW, I expected Rob Van Dam to have the advantage in a hardcore match. Del Rio doesn’t really strike me as the hardcore type. Sure, he can be a little brutal sometimes but it’s nothing compared to what ECW would consider hardcore.
Another thing that didn’t really make sense was that they had Brie Bella facing Aj Lee for the women’s title. I really thought that they were going to go with Natalya for this one, just because of the on-screen tension between her and Aj on commentary and backstage. Honestly, I just want anyone but Aj to have the title. I don’t like her that much and this whole crazy girl thing she has going is wearing thin on me, she has some great moves but she just isn’t my favorite. The divas division is riding high on the success of their reality show and this is the time that they should be switching up the champion and pumping some new life into the championship picture. Someone like Natalya, with talent and beauty, could really carry the women to the same heights as their male counterparts.
The shining light of this pay-per-view was the Rhodes family versus The Shield. There aren’t enough good things that I could say about this match and anything I do say won’t do it any justice. It was simply one of the most beautifully fought matches I’ve ever seen. Storytelling was an integral part of this feud and it worked to that match’s advantage. It boiled down to good versus evil and good prevailed. The Shield is such a strong team, they know each other so well and really use their strong dynamic as a tool to defeat their opponents. The Rhodes family have had their differences and it was quite difficult to predict how they would do working together as a team. My personal favorite moment during the match was when Dusty dropped that bionic elbow on Dean Ambrose. That crowd went insane, as did I.
The truly touching moment came after Cody won the pinfall, securing the jobs of his family. Some of the WWE roster, disgruntled with how the company is being run currently, came out to congratulate the Rhodes family on a hard-fought victory. Emotion is what sold this story and it is what kept the fans interested and invested in what was happening.
What people will remember this event for mostly is the five-minute blackout that happened all across the world. I initially thought that it was just my cable provider but Twitter confirmed that it wasn’t just me. They resolved the issue and we got treated to a kind of mediocre WWE Championship match which resulted in four people being knocked out. It also resulted in apparent chants of a not so nice word towards the superstars and the company.
On Monday Night Raw we did get treated to a lot of rematches and a lot of story building towards the next event, which is Hell In A Cell (a personal favorite of mine!).
The WWE also addressed the mediocre ending to Battleground and made amends for what had happened. It takes a lot to scare me, but the images of Stephanie slapping and then firing the Big Show will haunt me for the rest of my life. In all actuality, I thought it was really cool how they brought up what happened during the pay-per-view and just dealt with it. A lot of companies would have just let it go but WWE chose to deal with it and I really feel like it worked in their favour. Another thing that it did was further the story and make the interaction between the authority figures and the rest of the roster have more depth. Sure, they had the Rhodes family come back but they never went after the guy in charge. Big Show knocked Triple H out cold, left him laying in the middle of the ring like a lump. It was beautiful.
The crowd lost their mind and all was well in the wrestling universe.
The real shocking moment of the night was when it was revealed that the real-life superhero, John Cena, will be returning to face off against Alberto Del Rio for his World Heavyweight Championship. Even I was shocked, that actually took me by complete surprise. Cena was estimated to be out for approximately four to six months with the most grotesque injury I’ve ever seen, his elbow looked like a baseball. I don’t think this is just a move for ratings, I think that WWE acknowledged that they had some displeased fans and wanted to make things right. How many companies actually do that?
I hope that Cena does take his title. John Cena holding the World Heavyweight title doesn’t mean he is ‘lowering’ himself, it doesn’t matter what title he holds. When you’re a strong wrestler and a great entertainer, any title around your waist looks like a million dollars. I personally can’t wait for Hell In A Cell, it is going to be a turning point for some of the superstars on the roster. Titles will change hands, allegiances will dissolve, and there is going to be a whole lot of fantastic wrestling coming our way!