Tuesday, 8 October 2013

WWE Battleground

WWE Battleground 2013

WWE opened its battleground arena on Sunday 6th October 2013 live from the First Niagara Center in Buffalo, New York. Would the debut show begin strong, hold character and crown a WWE champion for WWE? Would the lacking card failing to impress PPV buys make up for shortcomings or simply crumble with ill thought practice?

World Heavyweight Championship
Hardcore Rules
Alberto Del Rio (c) Vs Rob Van Dam w/ Ricardo Rodriguez

Is Ricardo just an undercover plant for Rio? Or has Rio decided to forgive and repay him forcing him to gain info before returning? Hey, it’s an angle WWE couldn’t think of.

For all those Sandow sceptics out there, WWE made its message clear. He sustained a knee injury heavily debated on commentary. WWE informed you, he will not cash in. Ziggler defeated him on the pre-show in order to highlight that.

Barricade moonsault outside from RVD onto ADR. Steel chair involved as ADR runs into as Van Dam jumps in ring and DDT’s Rio onto it. Rio counters with a backstabber. Two fall. Chairs by ADR. Chin lock. Strong boot to head. Ladder into fray. Rio grabs and RVD jabs into the gut of Rio. Top kick from turnbuckle. ‘Bertie hit into ladder hurled outside from running impact, followed by run into Alberto on ladder attack which misses and lands atop, whacked by an enziguri from Rio into ladder, where Van Dam falls back with ladder on top. Two fall. Wicked trash can smash on RVD’s back with strong presentation for Rio. The announce desk reiterated that they recycle here at WWE. Being green is a serious issue in this biz. RVD counters the bin attack from the top turnbuckle.  The defending champ was then dropped onto the ladder by RVD. Split leg moonsault from RVD to Del Rio on ladder. Two fall. Legs to arm attacks knock Del Rio on ladder again. Rolling thunder miss on ladder pains RVD’s spine. Seizing opportunity, Rio clasps on the armlock. Ricardo runs in to save Van Dam to smash a tiny pot over Del Rio’s head. Van Dam then took a very close near fall.

Tossed out, Rio and Ricardo stare each other down with the bucket. Ricardo gives that bucket to Rio, who extends his arm until he was tricked and smashed but Rio outside hurls Ric into the barricade and smashed a swift kick to his face for such a betrayal. Ricardo bit the hand that fed him the announce team add and agree. That’s bad for business. RVD knocks Rio down under ladder, hits onto Rio. Back inside. “We want Tables” the audience add. Van Dam takes a chair out for crowd approval as Lawler adds the audience were asking “We want chairs” instead. Van Terminator was soon missed as Rio moved. Rio sets the chair in the ring. Trip down toe hold from Rio smashes Dam’s forehead into the strategically placed chair. Colossal kick to face from Rio after. Traps arm in chair with cross armbreaker follow up on Rob Van Dam who had no choice but to submit to Alberto Del Rio, who walks out of Battleground as World Heavyweight Champion.

Tag Team

The Great Khali w/ Hornswoggle and Santino Marella Vs Antonio Cesaro and Jack Swagger w/ Zeb Colter

The Unamericans, Real Americans are a late addition to the card in a tag battle. Mouthpiece Zeb with Cesaro and Swagger rants on. After criticising the town of Buffalo, they went back to their Mexican onslaught, mentioning Del Rio. They then went further with Canadian immigrants and added a buffalo wing as Buffalo’s greatest achievement to its name before pledging to dip Santino into Crisco. Then Niagara Falls was shown. Strong abuse levels raised alongside tons of sexual innuendo. 

Yes, WWE added a late match up and more so, Khali. Yet they wonder why “The People” of America refuse to pay for such an infeasible PPV. Jerry then promoted overseas residents were welcome to “come see us. You don’t have to sneak over the border.”

Swagger and Santino begin to lock up. Arm wrenches and shoulder barge. Chants of “We the people” may tell WWE’s ignorance that they are doing a good job. The only reason they cheer, and WWE know it, is because the crowd is bored. Santino draws out the Cobra as Hornswoggle approached Swagger outside with a mini cobra for Jack to rip off and dismiss. Cesaro tagged in for an uppercut and tags back out. Cesaro adds a club when ref doesn’t see. Swagger bomb followed by Cesaro leapfrog drop on Santino as Zeb chants “very good.” It was slightly bungled. Both too tall. Swagger back in shortly after. Both sides tag Khali and Cesaro as Khali destroys Cesaro with uneventful clubs mimicking a clothesline. Khali clubs Swagger after trying to halt Santino. Cesaro from behind is nabbed with an elbow. Gets best of Khali from behind. Cesaro begins rotational spins of Khali with his new dizzy dialler. Antonio Cesaro was allow to feasibly cover for a three count to win for him and Jack Swagger. At least he has his rugby pads back on, be them very short. Cesaro needs out of this, pronto. Implement honourable turn over the next month pronto.

Intercontinental Championship
Curtis Axel (c) w/ Paul Heyman Vs R-Truth

Michael Cole added Battleground would end perfectly, you’ll see.

R-Truth began dominating Axel and sent him out the ring early on. Truth certainly looked like a strong challenger. Axel was initially seen as the lamest IC champion in a long time exposed. Axel kicked Truth into the barricade hard. Then a lift and run into body hold which was somewhat awkward and careless of Axel. R-Truth in headlock by Axel. “Boring!” chants became louder and louder as the match was lacking. Curtis Axel then won the match with a quick three fall not thirty seconds later.  

WWE Unified Women’s championship
Brie Bella w/ Nikki Bella Vs AJ (c) w/ Tamina

The Unified title in the form of the Diva’s butterfly design was up next. Out strolled the Divas instead. AJ has now sought the services of heavy Tamina, whom WWE styled as a butch lesbian version of Kaitlyn clad in full leather. Yeah…

Scrambles with Brie and AJ as AJ crawls outside flanked by barrier Tamina. Insane yells from Brie instantly after working AJ into the corners inside. Sit up on turnbuckle dropkick off by Bella. Tamina got great hoop earrings though. AJ tiny leg jab at Brie’s feet then slamming her off outside into turnbuckle post assault full bodied and face. Jabs from Brie and kicks from AJ. Reversal on the spot arm work into a DDT by AJ. Shrieks (!)  from AJ.  Guiding Bella with words to place into spots dire. Brie constant screams. AJ counters with her own yells and screams. AJ skips around. Runs into a dropkick. Brie Bella disgracefully slips under legs of AJ with no skill in botch spot. AJ hoisted and dropped so pathetically and careless consideration on a backdrop of AJ. Tamina outside wrangling Nikki and shoves into side of ring as Brie edges forward, leaving AJ to rush behind and score a roll up victory to retain the title. Could it get any more piss poor than that?

Tag Team
Cody Rhodes and Goldust w/ Dusty Rhodes Vs Roman Reigns and Seth Rollins w/ Dean Ambrose

The stipulation was simple. Should the Rhodes family win they receive WWE contracts. If, however, they lose, they will “never” work in WWE again.

Upon entry a guy playfully messed up Ambroses’ hair. He weren’t too happy with that.

My goodness, it’s like a redneck Wyatt Family built on nuclear burial ground. The Rhodes family had a cowboy, mutant and go go dancer.

Moonsault form Cody takes out Rollins. Reigns and Goldust, with knee down slap to face got better of beefy Roman. Glow in the dark Black Reign shone through. Ten punch turnbuckle count along. Plants Reigns in corner. Cross body as Reigns kicks out. Reigns displaying strong level of respect for Goldust in ring protocol. Rollins in and attacks Goldie to barricade outside. Goldie crawls in at a close nine count. Tag with Rollins flip over into ring on Goldust. Miss dropkick on Goldust. Reigns tagged in. Leg up by ‘dust. Hard scoop slam by Rollins. Goldust tags out as Rhodes now clears house and leg kicks the groin terribly. Lame swing atop shoulders. Two fall on Rollins alone. Close two fall saved by Reigns as Goldust joins in but Reigns knocks him out as disaster kick on Reigns added and Ambrose taken out with ease. Rollins attack. Ambrose and Dusty outside battle with American Dream Dusty knocking Ambrose back. Goldust attacks behind. Cross Rhodes on Rollins by Cody Rhodes allows for the random placed win with Goldust. Congrats you won. But the landscape has changed of who you work for. WWE so desperate for stars it hires back the uninteresting Rhodes calamity filled with ignorance to its fans. The Shield were dropped way to easily. The Rhodes couple were congratulated by all the WWE jobbers ploughing onto the stage. A job squad welcome back. Thrilling.

Best of night will go very smoothly. Triple H and Stephanie had to leave the show forcing complete control onto Brad Maddox’s shoulders. It was “spiralling out of control” he mentioned to Smackdown General Manager Vickie Guerrero. He asked Vickie for help. Vick gleefully laughs at Brad’s misfortune. It’s all going wrong. Oh dear.

Kofi Kingston Vs Bray Wyatt w/ Luke Harper and Erick Rowan

“This is the creepiest entrance but you can’t look away from it.” – Jerry Lawler says. Michael Cole ponders the cryptic messages Bray Wyatt delivers to subjects prompting them through ignorant and unappreciative behaviour. He was sending messages and gives answers to them the announce desk contemplate.

Swamp monster Wyatt receives kicks from Kofi only to begin laughing at Kingston’s feeble attempts.  “If you can explain the cryptic riddle to me?” JBL asked, still confused.

Crowd were soon so bored it began a take on Fandangoing. They began singing the lyrics of the theme tune. Michael Cole chimed in with error. “One word, one people” People? Plurality in a sentence built on singularity? Oh my!

“I am the message of purity” Wyatt adds whilst Kofi clamped in a headlock. Slam down on Kofi after over rope launch by Kingston. Two fall. Kofi back pin into DDT come back/shoulder breaker move. Bit weak. Charging back with high flying punches and Boom Drop. Setting Trouble in Paradise, Wyatt ducks and Kofi runs into devastating mid elbow full body launch.

Wyatt then stragenly tipped upside down. He then stretched into the crab. A position where on all fours with an inverted bridge, which “freaked” Kofi backwards in the ring. It was a good sell of Kingston’s fright. Heads outside. Kofi tips Bray over outside and runs an impressive over the rope launch onto the three Wyatt’s. Jump drop from top on Bray inside. Bray garbs Kofi as both locked into embrace, Kofi Kingston counters as does Bray Wyatt quickly smashing Kofi’s head into the floor with a tough DDT for three fall win.

Rowan then lifts Kofi up afterward, backbreaking him and throws into Harper with running clothesline.

“There is no right, there is no wrong. All that is left are the mannequins trying to force-feed you their ideals of what purity are. I promise you in time there will be none of them left. They will all fall. Follow The Buzzards.” -Bray Wyatt.

CM Punk Vs Ryback w/ Paul Heyman

“He’s trying to bully you. Don’t let him bully you.” Heyman to Ryback regarding Punk. Punk dived outside after “You suck!” to Ryback from crowd. Caught by Ryback. Punk slips away and shoves Ryback into turnbuckle on outside. Climbs atop inside. Follows with hard kicks and a knee. Flung into head pad on turnbuckle “You can’t wrestle” plagued Ryback. Pro CM Punk fantasists cheered the only consolation in a Ryback match, the opponent, in defiance. Punk slid into the post.

“Goldberg” chants mar the match. Any match that wants to grow cant with Ryback as lead. This is proof enough. The Universe don’t want Ryback as a Heyman guy and they will never accept him so repackage Ryback with strong thought and choose someone else capable for Heyman quickly.

Clothesline from Ryback. A club from Ryback. Couple more. Leg push roll over of Punk. Very slow run into shoulder block of Punk. “Ryback sucks!” Punk punches atop Ryback to try and get in the game yet none of Punk’s punches are effective enough. Ryback charges into corner post as Punk avoids. Swing neckbreaker. Signals GTS symbol as Heyman takes microphone and talks of being “Best In The World.” I pinned Punk with both arms tied behind my back Heyman adds, as Ryback smashes from behind of Punk. Two fall only. More covers happen, as bellowed by Heyman. “Powerbomb him again!” Punk gets to his feet and escapes such powerbomb with a jab to Ryback for some time.  Terrible hit and move lummox Ryback goes to centre ring. Punk climbs top turnbuckle, once again. Elbow drop. Two fall. Ryback catches Punk who counters, Ryback timidly elbows his way out of GTS with slam down instead. Two fall. Ryback clubs again. Ryback adds four more clubs. Another four count of clubs. Heyman gets a Kendo stick from outside but is caught by the referee. CM Punk kicks Ryback with a low blow on Ryback as the referee stops Heyman involvement to follow through with a pinfall to win on a cheap technicality.

WWE Championship
Randy Orton Vs Daniel Bryan

After WWE allowed Bryan to win the title for an evening last month after the Night of Champions debacle, then vacating the title on Raw the previous evening, tonight WWE aim to crown a new champion. The WWE title, in transit, had three options. Bryan, Orton or no-one. Place your bets now.

Would WWE change the WWE title shot for Sandow from World title to WWE Heavyweight instead? Hey, this is WWE and desperate times in WWE land call for such desperate measures. They’ve done it before.

WWE suffered a technical difficulty spanning a rough seven minutes where they lost transmission of the PPV broadcast. The arena blacked out, not TV and cable companies. It wasn’t a WWE set up, though they may use it one day. Once back the action from WWE continued. They did not begin without the match. William Regal probably pulled the plug out. Conspiracies of the government shutdown rang with some. Don’t start Zeb Colter off on that one.

Technical tussle. Clean break after. Back into headlock with Bryan control. Shoulder takedown by Orton. Slow match beginning but made up for with in ring psychology from both. Kicks from Bryan shortly. Dragon Screw. Knee to Orton into a leg lick twist. “You have to watch this guy at all time, especially if you’re his opponent.” Lawler adds. Mid arm launch clothesline from Orton from top turnbuckle. Heard calling spots by Orton. This powercut may have thrown the reshuffle of match outlay. Ten punch by Randy.

Bryan launches outside to get back in the game and hurls Orton to the barricade. Bryan scales top rope into a bungled powerbomb counter from Orton. Rand sits over Orton with a Boston Crab. Orton outside backbreaker on barricade after hurling him into everything outside almost. Breaks count throwing Bryan in at early nine call. Perfect double suplex off top rope by Orton. Huge bounce on landing. A game of uppercuts to sit on the WWE throne followed by both. Bryan tries to hurl Orton in ring from apron with suplex. Failed twice as Orton flips Bryan to outside instead. Table dismantled. Bryan misses from powerbomb raise. Kicks and smashes Orton into steps. Bryan broke count at eight and saved Orton. Wasn’t ending so cheaply for Bryan now. Orton smashed by Bryan with a starfish opened flat-out outside. Delicious. Back inside Bryan nailed diving headbutt. Orton survives at a two fall only. Bryan charges into Orton in corner adding dropkicks up to five times. The crowd was electric at this point. Knee kicks to Orton caught by Orton in body grab and a hurled Fall Away Slam modification. Quickly caught by Orton on ropes and double rope DDT’ed by Rand. Feeling the surge Orton cheers “YES!” as he gears the stomps for the Viper. Orton countered, into a roll up for two as Bryan rolls through the YES! Lock. Big Show instantly storms to the ring and assaults the referee leaving Bryan flabbergasted and asks Show “What are you doing” as Show instantly swings the KO Punch on Bryan. Maddox signals a new referee which is previous controversy Scott Armstrong. Orton clambers over Bryan for three as remorseful Big Show then pulls the ref out and clobbers him too. Now would be prefect for Sandow. Fans wanted it, more so. Show argues with Orton. He jabs Randy down too. Maddox is perplexed at the titantron in his efforts to please Stephanie and Hunter. It was entirely obvious that the title would remain vacant as Battleground had no WWE champion crowned despite the entire month long dysfunction for a WWE champion to surface.

PPV Rating - 4/10

Men/Women of their matches - Alberto Del Rio, R-Truth, Brie Bella, Seth Rollins, Bray Wyatt, CM Punk, Daniel Bryan

Man/Woman of the PPV – Big Show

The Orton/Bryan saga continued and no champion may further be a good angle if done correctly, so far, decently, but WWE need to have strong options before, in place for champ named, and after. Their match tonight become a categorical mess despite WWE’s mishap. Mid way they clawed it back with a fair ending highlighting both’s ability to work well in situations and with one another for a live crowd.   

After Big Show’s knock out punches, a fan yelled “Please retire.” Show did not look happy. However, going out of Battleground, WWE made it all about Big Show not Bryan, Orton or the title.

Interestingly Battleground added an extra match to make up on time then lost it due to a power cut. The tag and Orton/Bryan’s bad start was painful to watch.

Punk/Ryback was all about Heyman/Punk again. Ryback did dominate the match, for all the wrong reasons. Goldberg chants, among others mentioned where compact disasters waiting to happen. WWE need to consider repackaging, firing or dealing with it. Even the great Heyman can’t work this one. The more defiance from WWE, the more defiance from the crowd. It’s a stalemate that will have no solution and a complete waste, which will soon infuriate viewers so much that the hate for Ryback will go beyond fan heat. You can never come back from that, so don’t let it get to that level. The crowd aren’t into the block muscle, six foot type any longer, if at all when lacking no skills at all.

Crowds were mad for Sandow to cash in. If WWE did make an exception under Maddox’s huge desperation and reverted the title match, something we are usually against, this would have been best timing. Then WWE should raise this intense level for when Sandow needs to cash in on the World title. Even Maddox could possibly have made himself a candidate to snare the gold.

Wyatt’s impressive crab move was a high point for crowd interest but they match was a little limp on content. All involved did the best they could involving such short space on the card.

The Rhodes Family had a happy ending with its job security. Many felt this was a pretty good match, however that critique was largely due to the rest of the card failing. The match itself was decent, largely built on Rollins involvement. Have you ever noticed when Rollins is involved in Shield matches, they have an air of success in them? Yet, WWE feel Seth is the lowest guy in The Shield pecking order. Rhodes and Goldust were basic and Reigns held stature whilst giving respectful way to a veteran. The Shield however fell way too easy.  

The women were another sheer disaster. Brie Bella was the resident noise maker, as per usual, with AJ adding her own crazed echoes. Talks of resurfacing the Women’s title would be a disaster and should not happen. It just wasn’t unified correctly and therefore still remains Women’s title but it would be an utter disrespect if WWE brought back that title with inadequate bikini models rolling around on the floor and having no skill whatsoever. WWE need to raise their game with the women but it can’t figure out how to nor bother.. It is also stubborn how to grow it. Fit Finlay will not be any saving grace this era on that.

The late addition of a tag match just so Cesaro could do the swing and make viewers felt the show wouldn't end early to get their money's worth wasn't fulfilling.

Alberto Del Rio was clear to retain but entered a decent Hardcore match along with Van Dam. RVD himself was re-invigorated with comfortability and Rio kept strong prominence whilst building a decent match for crowd involvement.

Circles are quietly reporting that R-Truth failed his second wellness policy test. Truth gave a convincing promo for the Hell in a Cell trailer. He also gave a very good match. Just as Truth rebuilds his profile, he tends to mess it up at the height of his success. WWE haven’t seem to take any action and the news isn’t officially confirmed as of yet but many sources believe it to bear strong truth.

Atop Los Matadores, Fernando and Deigo
El Torito also ransacked Renee Young in a red dress beforehand on the Pre-show. Your not meant to wear red around a bull.

Battleground opened its doors for its grand debut. In doing so it made the themed one name PPV’s PG friendly prospect booking an utter disaster. Battleground has already failed as a huge concept WWE had hoped to take off. It was a bungled disaster which has no sustainability under these foundations any longer. The arena may need to shut up shop and move on. 

©  Max Waltham 08th October 2013

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