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Posted in: Chair Shots
Chair Shots: Battleground "WIGWIB" Review
By TripleR
Oct 6, 2013 - 11:03:43 PM

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What’s up Chair Shotters? Before we get into our review, I just wanted to remind everybody that if you didn’t get a chance to check out my interview with The Blueprint Matt Morgan and John Hennigan/Morrison, you can find it at blogtalkradio.com/lordsofpain. It’s over 30 minutes of stories and insight from two of the biggest free agents in wrestling.

So the WWE just finished presenting their latest PPV, Battleground. I’ll be completely honest, I didn’t really know going into the evening if I was even going to watch this tonight, but as a responsible wrestling journalist, I decided it was my duty to check out the show. Was it any good? Well, let’s get on with it.

(Pre-Show) Dolph Ziggler vs. Damien Sandow

Why it’s Good
Ziggler in particular got the crowd ready for the PPV proper with not only his entrance, but also his energy in the ring. Ziggler’s dropkick continues to be a thing of beauty. I’m hard pressed to pick the better dropkick from Zigs, Curtis Axel and Randy Orton. Dolph picks up the victory with the ZigZag, in what was otherwise a pretty forgettable encounter.

Why It’s Bad
The current MITB holder Damien Sandow continues to get jobbed out left and right, which seems to be the WWE’s course of action for almost every MITB winner. It happened to Bryan. It happened to Ziggler, and now it’s happening to Sandow. I guess the WWE’s philosophy is that when they do cash in it will be a shock because they’ve been on a losing streak, but all it does is make the MITB holder seem weak and unworthy. As for the match, it never seemed to get out of second gear, and at times seemed slightly sloppy. For a pre-show, it accomplished its purpose, but it wasn’t anything we wouldn’t normally see on Smackdown.

Rob Van Dam vs. Alberto Del Rio for the WHC

Why it’s Good
I’m not a RVD fan. I’ve said that many, many times. However, I was pleased with his performance in this match tonight. He never has any problem putting his body on the line for a match, and this one was no different. But as impressed as I was with Van Dam, I was even more impressed with Alberto Del Rio. I’ve slowly but surely become a fan of Del Rio, and this latest run as WHC has certainly brought me around. He’s been more aggressive, more intense, and more committed to his character than ever. And what’s interesting is that he’s done that WITHOUT Ricardo Rodriguez. The right man one, especially considering RVD’s status with the WWE. Good opener.

Why It’s Bad
Let’s be honest here, the WWE needs to stop calling things “Hardcore.” We are in a PG environment and those two things just don’t co-exist together. This was an “Anything Goes, No DQ” match, but it certainly wasn’t hardcore. Other than that though, there wasn’t much bad to say about this encounter.

Real Americans vs. Great Khali and Santino Marella

Why it’s Good
Cesaro Swing on The Great Khali! Do I really have to say anything else in this section? Really? Yeah, I didn’t think so; moving on.

Why It’s Bad
Not really sure this had any right to be on the PPV quite honestly. I mean we could have split up those eight extra minutes between a couple of matches, but come on- did you see that Cesaro Swing on Khali? Holy crap on a cracker that was fantastic!

Curtis Axel vs. R-Truth for the IC Title

Why it’s Good
Whether you like him or not, Curtis Axel has brought a bit of legitimacy to a mid-card title that for the most part has been floundering for many years. He’s pretty decent in the ring, and as I already said has a fantastic dropkick. The match was passable at best, but at the end of the day, Axel needed to come out with the victory as R-Truth just wasn’t enough of a challenger to the title.

Why It’s Bad
These two had next to no chemistry in the ring whatsoever. The crowd, which had been hot for the first three matches, went into a stage of malaise during this one. The pacing was off, the action was slow, and at the end of the match, nobody really cares much more about it than the fact that it was over.

Brie Bellas vs. AJ Lee for the Divas Title

Why it’s Good
The WWE Divas continue to put on more cohesive matches in the ring, and I’d like to think that Sara Del Rey has something to do with that. AJ continues to be the most dominant Diva in recent memory, continuing a very impressive Divas title reign. But I don’t want to take anything away from Brie Bella in this match either. I’ve been hard on the Bellas before, but Brie has improved in the ring, and looked quite good this evening. Solid match.

Why It’s Bad
The WWE shot themselves in the foot by not better establishing Brie Bella as the face in this match. It wasn’t until I read online that the Bellas had turned face that I had any indication that this was the case. They continue to play heel characters a lot of the time, and that’s not helping things any. Not only that, the WWE Universe loves AJ Lee for the most part. She’s developed quite a fan base and it’s going to be quite hard to change that.

The Rhodes’ Family vs. The Shield

Why it’s Good
Wow, this was by far the match of the night. The crowd from start to finish was on fire for this rivaly, this storyline. Dusty, Dustin, and Cody brought their A-game and really set the roof on fire in this match. The Shield played their part in this match exactly as they needed to as well. This was about pure emotion- pure, raw emotion. It’s been a long time since I’ve been as invested in a match as I was during this encounter. We got classic Goldust, Cody on fire, and a Bionic Elbow from the Dream. This, my dear readers, is what watching wrestling is all about. I could go on and on about how much I loved this match, but THAT RIGHT THERE is professional wrestling.

Why It’s Bad
Nothing, I got nothing!

Kofi Kingston vs. Bray Wyatt

Why it’s Good
This match had the unenviable task of following what was a brilliant Rhodes/Shield match, so unfortunately no matter how good or bad it was really doesn’t matter. The crowd was still coming down from the previous encounter, and honestly had little or no steam left in them. I think that goes as well for the viewers at home if Twitter was any indication. Wyatt and Kingston did their job, and they did bring the crowd back for a little bit towards the end of the match, but quite honestly no one really cared.

Why It’s Bad
As a fan of the Wyatt Family, I’m perplexed at what the WWE is doing with them, or should I say NOT doing with them. Except for the feud with Kane, the Wyatts have been floundering around wrestling random people without much direction at all. Quite possibly, the Wyatt gimmick works better on a smaller audience, like in NXT. In a big arena, with tens of thousands of people, it seems….cheap. I hate to say that, but this may not fly on the WWE main roster. It would have been fantastic in the regions, like Mid-South Wrestling or somewhere like that though.

CM Punk vs. Ryback

Why it’s Good
Well, I’m hoping that the good in this is that the Ryback/Punk feud is over, but I have a feeling we’re going to see it continue in some form. For the next to the last match on the card, this felt very Paint By Numbers, and a lot of that has to do with Ryback’s limitations in the ring. Punk performed like Punk always performs, but you can sort of tell he doesn’t enjoy working with Ryback. The Punk/Heyman feud is great storytelling, but it’s storytelling hindered by the lack of a legitimate threat to Punk.

Why It’s Bad
Ryback continues to be VERY limited in the ring. Outside of clotheslines and power bombs, there isn’t much else to Ryback’s repertoire. He also seems to get very gassed if he goes over 15 minutes, and this one settled in right around that time mark. While Ryback has certainly got a bit of momentum back, he’s still a bit of a failed experiment if you ask me. He may never get back the momentum he had when he was a face at the very beginning. Even pairing him with Heyman may not help things.

Daniel Bryan vs Randy Orton for the Vacant WWE Title

Why it’s Good
Well, I guess the good thing is that we actually got to see the match. After the PPV broadcast went dark worldwide, we were starting to wonder if this match was going to be aired at all. But it came back, and turned into a pretty decent encounter. The crowd definitely had all the air taken out of it after they had to wait for the WWE to get the PPV back on broadcast, but they picked back up in the latter portions of the match. It was decent, but nowhere near spectacular.

Why It’s Bad
The WWE continues to throw these bullshit endings out to continue Daniel Bryan’s quest for the WWE Title. This time, The Big Show came in and knocked out Bryan, Orton, two referees, Lillian Garcia, and the popcorn vendor in Section 102. If I were in the live audience I’d be pissed. As a viewer, I was pissed. What kind of a Main Event ends with everybody unconscious? On top of that, Randy Orton continues to be increasingly sloppy in the ring, almost injuring Daniel Bryan on a couple of occasions. During the Yes! Lock, it looked like Orton was trying to rip Bryan’s arm clear out of the socket. If the WWE is OK with having a dangerous WWE Champion, then they’ve got their guy. Quite honestly I don’t want to see another match between these two, but that is exactly what’s going to happen.

Overall, this was an OK PPV. I didn’t really expect too much out of it considering the lackluster way that the WWE promoted it, and at times I was pleased. After the Rhodes/Shield match though, anything after that was going to pale in comparison- anything!

1. The Rhodes Brothers getting their jobs back
2. Dusty Rhodes’ Bionic Elbow
3. Cesaro Swing on Great Khali
4. Curtis Axel and Dolph Ziggler’s dropkicks
5. ADR’s aggressiveness

1. The ending of the Main Event
2. Power outage that killed the PPV momentum
3. The Wyatts just not having any direction
4. R-Truth as a legitimate contender to any title
5. Ryback’s in-ring capabilities

Until next time,
Trip Out!

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