PPV14

WWE – The Best PPV Matches Of 2014 (Cert 15)

3 Discs DVD (Distributor: Fremantle Media) Running Time: 528 minutes approx

2014, it has to be said, was not a great year for the WWE, behind the scenes at least. TV ratings are down, PPV buyrates are down (internationally), live attendance is wavering, the much lauded WWE Network has not been the immediate success it was hoped to have been and stock in the company took a huge hit, causing Vince McMahon to lose $842 MILLION of his personal fortune!

And that is before we get to the actual wrestling part of the company, which was also beset with many problems, stemming from injuries, backstage politics and a stale creative process which is pandering to the “audience of one” whose initials are VKM. Oh and John Cena is still main eventing shows and PPVs even when he is not champion and “defying the odds” at every turn to boot. The more things change…

This was the year in which the fans forced Vince to rethink his desired Wrestlemania 30 main event of Randy Orton vs Batista (yes, in 2014!!) to accommodate the fans overwhelming support of Daniel Bryan, despite him being effectively mistreated in the booking when he was finally given the WWE title in 2013 only to be screwed out of it at every available turn.

The fans at the Royal Rumble in Pittsburgh were hoping Bryan – who had competed earlier to Bray Wyatt – would do double duty and win the Rumble match. When the last competitor Rey Mysterio came out, he was booed out of the building and eventual winner Batista was similarly rejected. Even a stubborn old mule like Vince had to cave in and we got our fairytale ending at WM 30, although it would soon fall apart when Bryan suffered a potentially career threatening injury and was forced to vacate the title (only for it to immediately go back to you-know-who).

Elsewhere CM Punk quit the WWE the night after the Royal Rumble under acrimonious terms which he discussed in the now infamous podcast with his old friend Colt Cabana. While Punk admittedly his wrestler mentality for working hurt, he openly chastised WWE doctors for failing to recognise a near fatal staph infection which was draining his energy and thus his passion for wrestling. Numerous backstage issues and broken promises fuelled Punk’s decision to quit. It didn’t end there when WWE would mess Punk around over royalty cheques and finally sent him his dismissal notice on his wedding day!

Alberto Del Rio was also fired in 2014 when he slapped a WWE.com writer for making a racist joke and refusing to apologise for it. This lead to outrage and threats of lawsuits over Del Rio’s no compete clause which was later settled amicably but his adverse publicity didn’t help the WWE’s public image especially as it contradicts the WWE’s anti-bullying campaign Be A Star. Oops.

Despite the premature break up of The Shield and the Wyatt family to create new faces fro the singles ranks, and the impressive rise of Rusev, once again the majority of the roster have been treading water while Cena and Orton hog the spotlight. Guys like Cesaro and Dolph Ziggler teetered on the cusp of a breakout until Vince “I’m not out of touch” McMahon once again pulled the rug out from under of them. It didn’t help when on Steve Austin’s podcast, Vince said that the current locker room aren’t hungry and aren’t grasping for the “brass ring” like Cena did, causing both wrestlers and fans alike to bang their heads against the wall!  

Brock Lesnar shocked the world when he ended the Undertaker’s streak at WM 30 and eventually earned a WWE title shot against Cena at Summerslam which he won. However Lesnar is on a limited dates contract and only appears when he feels like it and most of his dates have already been used up so while this makes him something of a special attraction it also presents a bit of a problem for the WWE’s title picture, mostly in the wake of the Daniel Bryan situation.

In the storyline Bryan was forced to give up the WWE title because the company couldn’t have an inactive champion and not have the title defended on a regular basis. Bryan’s injury was unfortunate but Lesnar’s issue is a contractual one and as a result, the last three PPVs did not have a WWE title defence or the WWE champ present (along with the two due to Bryan’s injuries)! Oops again!

While RAW regularly drops below the dreaded 3.0 rating mark and Smackdown fails to bring even 3 million viewers, the WWE Network arrived with more a splutter than a bang with many technical issues for users, people unhappy with the content – not to mention the roll out internationally has been painfully slow (we Brits are STILL waiting!) – so the forecast million subscribers by the end of the year is still off in the distance with cancellations coming in droves, despite free months, all PPVs on the network and other incentives.

Thankfully though, the in ring product has been strong throughout the year and while no real classics have taken place this year (unless you count NXT where the talent are on fire!) we’ve had a fair share of really good to great big time matches, hence this annual compilation. Most of the notable bouts have been included here along with a few which hardly qualify as “the best” but hey ho.

Most of the hard workers who have kept the match quality up, such as Bryan, Paige, The Shield, Ziggler, The Usos, Wyatts, Cesaro, etc are given as much feature time here as the same old faces, to remind us that even when the booking sucks (which it does) the wrestlers are still working hard for our entertainment.

Because these matches have already been reviewed on this site as part of their parent PPV DVD releases so to avoid repetition I’ll simply link to that review page.

 

Disc One:

Daniel Bryan vs. Bray Wyatt Royal Rumble – January 26 2014

Originally reviewed HERE

 

The Shield vs. The Wyatt Family Elimination Chamber – February 23 2014

Originally reviewed HERE

 

WWE World Heavyweight Title Elimination Chamber Match – Randy Orton (c) vs. John Cena vs. Daniel Bryan vs. Sheamus vs. Cesaro vs. Christian – Elimination Chamber – February 23 2014

Originally reviewed HERE

 

Winner Earns a Spot in the WWE World Heavyweight Title Match – Triple H vs. Daniel Bryan – Wrestlemania 30 – April 6 2014

Originally reviewed HERE

 

WWE World Heavyweight Title Match – Randy Orton (c) vs. Batista vs. Daniel Bryan – Wrestlemania 30 – April 6 2014

Originally reviewed HERE

 

Disc Two:

WEE-LC Match – El Torito vs Hornswoggle – Extreme Rules Kick Off Show – May 4 2014

This was a…ahem… “short” comedy match, complete with midget spoofs of the announce team – JB Elf, Micro Cole and Jerry Smaller. It was all plunder and…erm.. “high” spots but was actually quite fun. Even the respective full sized team mates (3MB, Los Matadores) got involved to spice thing up a little. Much better than it should have been and probably would have worked on the main show.

 

IC Title Match – Big E. (c) vs Bad News Barrett Extreme Rules – May 4 2014

Originally reviewed HERE

 

The Shield vs Evolution Extreme Rules – May 4 2014

Originally reviewed HERE

 

US Title Match – Sheamus (c) vs. Cesaro –Payback – June 1 2014

Originally reviewed HERE

 

Last man Standing – John Cena vs. Bray Wyatt Payback – June 1 2014

Originally reviewed HERE

 

Money In The Bank Ladder Match – Seth Rollins vs. Dean Ambrose vs Rob Van Dam vs. Jack Swagger vs. Dolph Ziggler vs. Kofi Kingston Money in the Bank – June 29 2014

Originally reviewed HERE

 

WWE Tag Titles 2 out of 3 Falls Match – The Usos (c) vs. Erick Rowan & Luke Harper – Battleground – 20 July 2014

Originally reviewed HERE

 

Battle Royale for the Vacant WWE IC TitleBattleground – 20 July 2014

Originally reviewed HERE

 

Disc Three:

WWE Divas Title Match – AJ Lee (c) vs. Paige – SummerSlam – August 17 2014

Originally reviewed HERE

 

Flag Match – Rusev vs. Jack Swagger – SummerSlam – August 17 2014

Originally reviewed HERE

 

Lumberjack Match – Dean Ambrose vs. Seth Rollins – SummerSlam – August 17 2014

Originally reviewed HERE

 

WWE Tag Title Match – The Usos (c) vs. Goldust & Stardust – Night of Champions -September 21 2014

Originally reviewed HERE

 

Randy Orton vs Chris Jericho – Night of Champions -September 21 2014

Originally reviewed HERE

 

WWE Title Match – Brock Lesnar (c) vs. John Cena – Night of Champions -September 21 2014

Originally reviewed HERE

 

WWE IC Title 2 out of 3 Falls Match – Dolph Ziggler (c) vs. Cesaro – Hell in a Cell – October 26 2014

Originally reviewed HERE

 

Winner gets future WWE Title shot Hell In A Cell Match – Randy Orton vs. John Cena – Hell in a Cell – October 26 2014

Originally reviewed HERE

 

Rating – ****

Man In Black

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2 thoughts on “WWE – The Best PPV Matches Of 2014

  1. Sounds like things are rocky at the WWE. Perhaps they will have to give up on their sports entertainment strategy and revert back to the days when wrestling was the most important thing.

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    1. Not while Grandpa Vince is still running the ship!

      The WWE isn’t in any danger of going under just yet and will remain on top for quite a while to come but creatively they are not progressing at all, what with SuperCena (and Orton) still being on top and invincible after 10 boring years!

      However the fans that have abandoned the product are not coming back and Vince isn’t offering them anything to entice them back, still believing in his own outdated vision which is hampered by his ever changing mind.

      At least NXT is exciting because he has nothing to do with that 😛

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