WWE Battleground- DVD Review
(Out January 6th, 2014 via Fremantle Media)
By D.R Webster
From Extreme Rules to Summerslam, WWE had a great run of PPV’s, it started to go down hill at Night Of Champions and the slide continued at here with Battleground in what was probably the weakest PPV of the year so far.
Hardcore Match for the World Heavyweight Title: RVD w/ Ricardo Rodriguez v Alberto Del Rio
A fast paced match to start which spilled to the outside with RVD hitting a nice moonsault from the barricade before a chair was introduced in a nice leapfrog DDT spot by Van Dam, the chair was the main weapon of choice in what felt like just a normal match with some weapon attacks thrown in, RVD brought out a ladder which was used sporadically in some decent spots, along with a trashcan. After trading signature spots and finishing moves, RVD went for a Van Terminator with the chair but missed it allowing Del Rio to take advantage, destroying Van Dam’s arm wrapped in the steel chair then locking in the cross armbreaker with the chair making RVD tap out to retain title.
Doctor’s Diagnosis- A decent match with some good spots, it didn’t feel like a real hardcore match but just like every other Extreme Rules match WWE has done in the PG Era in my opinion. Also no MITB cash in for Damien Sandow who they played up as suffering a knee injury in the pre-show match defeat against Dolph Ziggler. With RVD gone for a break after this PPV, Del Rio moved on to face John Cena at the PPV after this, Hell In A Cell.
Santino Marella and The Great Khali w/ Hornswoggle v The Real Americans w/ Zeb Colter
This match was what you would expect with several comedy spots from Marella, some slow stiff work from Khali, the only moment worthy of mentioning was the awesome big swing from Cesaro to Khali in an amazing feat of strength and memorable spot which thankfully gave The Real Americans the win.
Doctor’s Diagnosis- Not sure how this one got on the card, the Primetime Players or The Usos should have faced The Real Americans to showcase the best of the tag division. This match was a waste of time on the card and felt like a filler from Raw but at least The Real Americans won and started to get over as a team at this point.
Intercontinental Title Match: Curtis Axel w/ Paul Heyman v R-Truth
Axel spent a lot of time on the outside and the match had a slow pace from the get go with the most significant move being Axel driving Truth into the barricade on the outside. R-Truth took control with a scissors kick and a front sitout suplex until Axel turned the tide with a flapjack to the turnbuckle then nailed his neckbreaker finisher to end and retain the IC title.
Doctor’s Diagnosis- Like the tag match before it, this match felt like something from Raw, the feud had very little buildup given to it meaning most people didn’t care about it and the slow boring pace and predictable match didn’t help at all, crowd were either dead or chanting boring, which is obviously never good for any match.
Diva’s Title Match: AJ Lee w/ Tamina Snuka v Brie Bella w/ Nikki Bella
Brie started out going after AJ and controlled most of the action, the tide turned when AJ smashed Brie off of the ring post in a hard shot, then went to work on Brie’s arm with several strikes and holds, Brie managed to mount a comeback and nailed her knee to AJ’s face and was about to set up her finisher closing in on the win until Tamina grabbed Nikki Bella on the outside distracting Brie, allowing AJ to steal the victory with a rollup.
Doctor’s Diagnosis- This match was more enjoyable than the previous two, some decent in ring work particularly from AJ with Brie also improving. The crowd actually got involved some cheering AJ, some of Brie’s spots also, either way they got more reaction than Curtis Axel and R-Truth.
The Shield w/ Dean Ambrose v The Rhodes Brothers w/ Dusty Rhodes
The match started fast going back and forth with quick tags & offense from both teams until The Shield managed to isolate Cody Rhodes, the crowd were behind the Rhodes as Cody managed to make a hot tag to his brother Goldust who took control with some signature offense, even hitting a nice cross body from the top. After missing a running cross body, Goldust was almost counted out as The Shield took control again isolating Goldust for a while until he managed to make a hot tag to Cody who exploded on Reigns and Rollins almost beating Rollins in two close falls, then the match then broke down, Ambrose distracted Cody to give Rollins the advantage until Dusty Rhodes got involved and nailed Ambrose with the bionic elbow in a great moment, Goldust took out Reigns and Cody finished off Rollins in ring with Cross Rhodes to a massive pop, winning their jobs back.
Doctor’s Diagnosis- This match felt like a PPV quality match and was by far the best match of the night with everything previously feeling like a pre-show warm up, the feud had a great build up which made people care about the match and it’s outcome. The match itself delivered, it was great, the storytelling aspect was done very well with the crowd were very much behind the underdog Rhodes family and popped big for the win in a defining moment early on of the Authority storyline and what felt like an important and memorable moment.
Kofi Kingston v Bray Wyatt w/ Erick Rowan and Luke Harper
Kingston got some offence in at the start of the match with some kicks but Wyatt took control early and brought the match to a slow pace. Kingston managed to take back control hitting his signature spots before trying for Trouble In Paradise which Wyatt countered with a stiff modified spear then performed a creepy crab crawl like something from a horror film. After taking out the whole Wyatt Family with a flip over the top rope Kingston set up Wyatt for SOS however got nailed with Sister Abigail out of nowhere for the three count. Afterwards, Rowan and Harper destroyed Kingston.
Doctor’s Diagnosis- Again not much build for this match and a come down from the great build, action and crowd interest of the previous match. It started slow but ended with some decent spots and action, it looked like Kingston may pull off the victory buy Wyatt took the victory out of nowhere.
Grudge Match: CM Punk v Ryback w/ Paul Heyman
This match went back and forth with both men on equal ground, Punk had some success early on however Ryback soon took control with a variety of power moves. Punk made a comeback with his signature moves and was setting up the GTS until Heyman got on the mic and distracted Punk by screaming about being “the best in the world” allowing Ryback to take back control almost putting him away with a powerbomb, Punk came back again and went for another GTS which Ryback countered into a slam, Ryback then put Punk in between the ropes as Heyman went to use a kendo stick however the referee caught Heyman which allowed Punk to low blow Ryback for the win.
Doctor’s Diagnosis- I didn’t expect a lot for this match and didn’t get a lot from it, the Heyman-Punk angle had cooled in the weeks leading up to this PPV and the end was near for the feud in the form of a Hell In A Cell match at the next PPV between Heyman/Ryback and Punk with Punk moving to a feud with The Wyatt Family.
WWE Championship Match: Daniel Bryan v Randy Orton
After a power cut delay, the main event began, the match started out quite slow, with both men trading holds in a feeling out process with both having control at different times. The pace stayed like this for a while and finally both men shifted gears and started trading their signature spots with several close near falls, after around twenty minutes it looked like it
Bryan was going to take the title after taking everything Orton had thrown at him and managed to lock in the Yes! Lock. Then out came Big Show, firstly taking out the referee before he could end the match, looking broken while doing it, Bryan was hot at Show and started to scream at him until Show knocked him out which brought out Raw GM Brad Maddox who called out the previously fired official Scott Armstrong to screw Bryan, Orton made the cover however Big Show changed his mind, pulling out Armstrong and nailed him with a KO Punch also. He then got in the ring and an irate Orton got in his face which Show responded to with his third KO Punch, leaving Maddox shocked on stage as he stood triumphant in the ring to bring the show to an end without a new champion being crowned.
Doctor’s Diagnosis- A disappointing match in my opinion with an even more disappointing finish, these two have had better matches previously, this encounter seemed to take too long to heat up which didn’t fit well with a PPV full of filler matches and slow encounters, it needed to be something special in my opinion which it wasn’t, Big Show was obviously going to be involved but have him cause a no contest was a bad call to end a underwhelming PPV.
Although not one of the best PPV’s produced by WWE this year, you should definitely pick up this DVD in January if only for the fantastic match put on by The Shield and The Rhodes Brothers, it was recently nominated for Match Of The Year at the 2013 Slammy Awards going up against matches like Undertaker v CM Punk at Wrestlemania 29 and Triple H v Brock Lesnar at Extreme Rules, showing the quality and drama of this match.
Many thanks to Elle and Jeremy at Fetch PR for providing this content to review.
The following are the extras include on the normal DVD version, including backstage interviews after the PPV and segments for the next night on Raw, providing some insight of the fallout of Battleground.
Battleground – October 6, 2013:
- Rob Van Dam Contemplates His Future in WWE
- Randy Orton Reacts to Battleground
- Josh Mathews Interviews Daniel Bryan
Monday Night RAW – October 7, 2013:
- Cody Rhodes, Daniel Bryan & Goldust vs. The Shield
- Renee Young Interviews Big Show
Released on the 6th January 2013
Pre-order here: http://www.wwedvd.co.uk/battleground-2013-p-11770.html