Battleground

WWE – Battleground 2013 (Cert 15)

1 Disc Blu-ray / DVD (Distributor: Freemantle Media) Running Time: 167 minutes approx.

Despite having an already loaded PPV schedule WWE decided to stick another one in during the month of October meaning fans were expected to shell out for three PPVs in a six week window (with Hell In A Cell and Survivor Series appearing in quick succession of each other). With buy rates falling on a monthly basis and Summerslam drawing much lower than expected, this additional show is quite the risk. Did it pay off?

The show took place on October 6th at the First Niagara Centre in Buffalo, New York, in front of 11,700 fans and our commentators as always are Michael Cole, Jerry Lawler and JBL. As ever, while my match review won’t contain any results, expect plenty of opinion.

World Title Hardcore Match – Alberto Del Rio (c) vs. Rob Van Dam

RVD was at the end of his short term contract so the result was inevitable but that didn’t mean he wasn’t intent on going out with a bang. A clash of styles as RVD did his usual high risk stuff with the plunder while Del Rio tried to fit in with this. A solid and at times painful (for the wrestlers) bout this was a good opener but nothing more. Only in wrestling can an everyday object like a ladder or a table get a standing ovation!

 

Santino Marella & The Great Khali vs. The Real Americans

A bonus match that no-one asked for. Despite the hard work of Swagger and Cesaro this was a filler TV match at best, notable only for Santino botching a kip up and the Cesaro Swing on Khali.

 

WWE IC Title Match – Curtis Axel (c) vs. R-Truth

Thanks to CM Punk’s distraction Truth scored a non-title pinfall on Axel on RAW leading to this title match. The crowd was so invested in this match that they started chanting for JBL and Michael Cole and later “Boring”. Not a good sign.

 

WWE Divas Title Match – AJ Lee (c) vs. Brie Bella

This is the latest instalment in the seemingly never ending AJ vs Total Divas feud that no-one cares about, in which heel AJ is the face in the fans’ eyes. Not a bad match actually with Brie Bella showing some signs of improvement while AJ is awesome as usual. In case you have trouble telling the Bellas apart, one has fake breasts, a lousy dropkick and is dating John Cena; the other has real breasts, a decent dropkick and is dating Daniel Bryan. Nuff said really….

 

Rhodes Family Careers On The Line match – Cody Rhodes & Goldust (w/Dusty Rhodes) vs. The Shield (Seth Rollins & Roman Reigns)

Great story leading into this match. Cody was fired after losing a match on RAW to Randy Orton with Goldust being given the chance to win Cody’s job back against Orton a few weeks later. Dusty Rhodes was KO’d by Big Show at Steph McEgo’s behest when he confronted her about this. The final chance being given to the Rhodes family was to win their jobs back by beating The Shield, or all three will be gone from WWE for good.  Great match with Goldust impressing all with a superb performance after spending the last few years lost in a lazy wilderness.

 

Kofi Kingston vs. Bray Wyatt

 

Nothing much to see here except for Bray Wyatt’s creepy upside down Spider Walk and a late big dive from Kofi, otherwise this was more akin to an overlong TV match. Bray is a great character outside of the ring but this has yet to translate to anything successful inside the ring. Erik Rowan’s sheep mask is more over than Kofi right now.

CM Punk vs. Ryback

A year ago at Hell In the Cell 2012, this was the main event for the WWE title. Now, with Punk feuding with former manager Paul Heyman and his “guys”, his next opponent is the latest recruit Ryback. While the first match had the big intrigue attached to it over who would win with Punk the then champion going up against the then undefeated Ryback, no such drama was to be found here. Even with the crowd support and Punk working hard this was an unspectacular and disappointing bout.

 

Match for the Vacant WWE Title – Daniel Bryan vs. Randy Orton

After Scott Armstrong’s lightening fast three count at the end of the Night Of Champions match, Triple H stripped Daniel Bryan of the WWE Title and fired Armstrong – despite being the architect of said screw job – and thus the title was held in abeyance. Honestly these two have had better matches on TV and while this was no dud it was pretty good up until the horrible finish, which is another rant for another time.

Bottom Line:

After the fiasco that was the fall out from Night Of Champions, a number of fans in the US demanded – and received – refunds from their PPV providers as they didn’t get the conclusion they paid for. It may not have been a huge number but the fact it happened is a tell tale sign that the current booking of the main event feud is offending fans. Suffice to say that the same thing happened after this PPV went off the air. As if the dropping buy rates wasn’t enough of a message, how much of a wake up call do the WWE need to see they are alienating fans with this bait and switch booking? It doesn’t really matter if you enjoyed the rest of the show, to end on such a sloppy and inconclusive note puts a bad taste in the mouths of the fans.

The wrestlers worked hard but this was clearly one PPV too many and it showed, resulting in what is basically a one match show that wasn’t even the main event! An ultimately disappointing and skippable PPV marred by a horrible denouement.

 

Best Match – Cody Rhodes & Goldust vs The Shield

 

Extras:

English & Dutch Subtitles

German & French Language

Battleground Kickoff Show Match – Dolph Ziggler vs. Damien Sandow

Rob Van Dam Contemplates His Future in WWE

Randy Orton Reacts to Battleground

Josh Mathews Interviews Daniel Bryan

Monday Night RAW 7th October 2013:

Cody Rhodes, Daniel Bryan & Goldust vs. The Shield

Renee Young Interviews Big Show

 

Blu Ray Only:

Monday Night RAW 16th September 2013:

Triple H Holds the WWE Championship in Abeyance

Monday Night RAW 23rd September 2013:

CM Punk Returns to Chicago

Monday Night RAW 30th September 2013:

Rhodes Family Summit

Daniel Bryan and Randy Orton Face-to-Face

Smackdown 4th October 2013:

Alberto Del Rio vs. Dolph Ziggler

 

Rating – **

Man In Black

 

Trailer:

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