WWE – Battleground 2015 (Cert 15)
1 Disc DVD/BD (Distributor: Fremantle Media) Running Time: 162 minutes approx.
After the run of three PPVs crammed into a six week period we are given a decent break between Money In The Bank and the third annual Battleground show. The latter show ended with another controversial finish but one that was largely ignored by way of ending the Dean Ambrose – Seth Rollins WWE World Title feud.
Needing a new challenger for the title logic once again went out of the window as The Authority reinstated Brock Lesnar and granted him his title rematch. If you recall, Lesnar was originally suspended the night after Wrestlemania 31 when he went on the rampage after Rollins cashed in his MITB contract and won the WWE Title from him. Apparently we’re supposed to overlook how the very people who suspended Lesnar to protect Rollins now bring him in to face their man for the title!
This show also saw the start of the so-called the Divas Revolution – I say “so-called” as this should have been a big deal but once again, the alleged Creative Team managed to stuff it up right out the gate. Instead of having the NXT ladies show up on RAW militant style and cause havoc, Big Steph decides to give herself the rub by simply bringing out the new faces, appointing them to a team and telling them to get on with it. And they wonder why no-one takes the main roster women seriously…
Taking place on July 19th 2015, at the Scottrade Centre in St Louis, Missouri before 11,000 fans, your commentators as always are Michael Cole, Jerry Lawler and JBL, and while no results will be given away but expect some opinion.
Sheamus vs. Randy Orton
This is fast becoming the WWE equivalent of Sting vs. Flair – or ironically even Cena vs. Orton – in that this is a match we’ve seen a million times with the returns diminishing each time. Historically the crowds always turn on this match-up so it is fortuitous that the renewal of this interminable feud begins in Orton’s hometown so the crowd are more tolerant towards it. Solid opener but nothing we’ve not already seen before.
WWE Tag Title Match – Prime Time Players (c) vs. The New Day
The inevitable rematch from the Money In The Bank sees the fans beginning to warm to the heels by actually chanting “New Day Rocks” when they should be chanting “New Day Sucks” which is what they chanted before and was the reason the group turned heel in the first place! Match was fine but too short to be considered nothing more than a RAW match at best.
Bray Wyatt vs. Roman Reigns
With Reigns not taking off as the next big thing and Wyatt being dead in the water after being crushed by Cena, these two were brought together to distract us from the fact that they are both going nowhere. Wyatt decided to interfere in the MITB ladder match at the last PPV and cost Reigns the victory to start this feud off which is a continuation of the great Shield vs. Wyatt Family of 2014. The longest match of the show and it felt like it too. Some hard hitting stuff with a typically screwy finish this was better than it had any right to be.
Triple Threat Match – Sasha Banks vs. Charlotte vs. Brie Bella
On RAW the battle lines were drawn with the creation of three stables – Team Bella, Team BAD and Team PCB (originally called Submission Sorority until someone pointed out that was the name of fetish porn site) – two of the three NXT call ups are given a chance to show what they can do. As it happens, the third, Becky Lynch, received “We Want Becky” chants during the match! The best worked and best received WWE woman’s match in literally years, this was a whole lot of fun with Sasha Banks in particular proving unequivocally that she belongs in a main roster ring. The action was mostly Sasha vs. Charlotte but Brie played her part too, keen to not be left behind. A promising start to this “revolution”.
WWE US Title Match – John Cena vs. Kevin Owens
The rubber match in this feud comes two weeks after Owens dropped the NXT Title to Finn Balor in Japan, allowing Owens to make this a challenge for Cena’s US title. While a strong match, this had a different feel from the previous two matches in this series, most notably a lack of psychological structure. By that I mean they basically went at it and hit all their big moves, often more than once, and kicking out each time, like an ROH/Indie match. While it admittedly provides some drama, it ultimately nullifies the effectiveness of these big finishing moves! Still, it’s better than most Cena matches.
There was supposed to be an IC Title Triple Threat match but champion Ryback was out with a staph infection on his right knee. So The Miz, one of the challengers, came out to flap his gums and waste time, only to be interrupted by the third man in this equation, the Big Show. For the record I think Show turned between face and heel about six times in this segment.
WWE World Heavyweight Title Match – Seth Rollins (c) vs. Brock Lesnar
After Brock’s rampage on RAW, which included the infamous car door incident, and the destruction of The Authority’s henchmen, Rollins enters this match alone. The result? Two words – Suplex City. However after eight minutes of Lesnar slowly eviscerating Rollins the lights went out and…well, the crowd seemed to ignore the fact that they were denied a decisive result to this World Title match and embraced the action in the ring instead. Our first Summerslam match already decided perhaps?
For the first time since Wrestlemania there is a positive sense of change occurring coming out of this PPV and quite remarkably it comes from the much maligned and mistreated Divas division. With the simple injection of three very talented fresh faces who can actually wrestle there is a reason to be excited about the ladies of the WWE. But, the track record of the so-called WWE Creative Team and the caprice of Vince McMahon brings with it an air of caution, or rather pessimism so this may be a case of enjoy it while it lasts.
Elsewhere the rest of the roster continue to tread water in their same old spots while again the stale main event title picture suffers from more of the same maladroit madness. Having booked themselves into a corner with the World Title picture they used a surprise but risky way to get out of it and frankly got lucky with this crowd reaction. The fact remains however this is the third PPV in a row in which the Main Event had a screwy finish – not a good way to treat your paying customers, WWE Network or not.
Best match – Sasha Banks vs. Charlotte vs. Brie Bella (yes I’m sticking my neck out for this one)
Battleground Kick off Show – Battle For The Crown – King Barrett vs. R-Truth
Post Match Interview with Team PCB plus a Special Guest
The New Day Teach The Power Of Positivity To Jojo
Monday Night RAW – June 22nd 2015 – John Cena Tells Kevin Owens “The Champ Is Still Here”
Smackdown – June 25th 2015 – Prime Time Players & Lucha Dragons vs. The New Day & Bo Dallas
Monday Night RAW – June 29th 2015 – No DQ Match – Roman Reigns & Dean Ambrose vs. Seth Rollins & Kane
Monday Night RAW – July 13th 2015 – WWE World Heavyweight Championship Contract Signing
Rating – ***
Man In Black