Fans were gifted with one heck of a PPV last month, but sadly, Battleground did not live up to the same degree of excellence as Money In The Bank (MITB). Granted, MITB had an inherently better chance at being a great PPV, with the MITB ladder matches that are always a sight to behold. But Battleground had the unlucky position of being the in between PPV of MITB and SummerSlam with no real shot at living up to either one around it.
There were three moments worth remembering from last night, which is kind of sad when you think about it. A PPV is a monthly event that every week builds to; the rivalries and feuds are created, harnessed and hyped up so that when we finally get to see everything come to pass on that special Sunday night, it’s meant to be a huge moment. The huge letdown is when those feuds don’t mean much or at least lead to much, like last night’s Battleground PPV. I know that WWE has to write this stuff 52 out of 52 weeks of the year, never really getting a break, always needing to live up to the last great moment; so there are always going to be several times a year that we’re disappointed. What wasn’t disappointing was The Usos and The Wyatt Family tag team two out of three falls match for the belts, Jack Swagger getting decimated and Roman Reigns looking like a straight up beast in the main event.
I seriously thought that The Ascension would show this time, setting up two separate feuds that would ignite the tag team division like we haven’t seen in a decade or more. My predictions were a little off last night and that was one of the glaring mistakes, but I stand by it being a potentially great moment that I wish would have happened. Besides that, the tag match last night between the two groups was one of the best matches of the year and easily the best match of the night. If you didn’t have your heart pumping, counting 1-2-3 with every pin fall expecting each one to be the end only to have the count cut off at two and being ecstatic that it kept happening, well, then you’re not a true wrestling fan. That match was spectacular, and the feud should end on that note rather than dragging this out any further.
Swagger getting beaten and buried was a shining moment, for me at least. While the earlier reports turned out to not be true about Rusev and Lana toning down or getting rid of their Vladimir Putin gimmick, I still hope that the result of last night’s match is an indicator that Swagger is being taken off of TV. Zeb Colter can always take on another person if they really want to keep him around, and they can certainly find another All-American type of character to put with him. I’ve got my fingers crossed that after the finish of that match, Colter drops Swagger, finally realizing that his prized “Real American” isn’t good enough.
Lastly, Reigns put on a great performance in the main event, which is all anyone could hope for in a match that John Cena had no chance of losing. While it was a little concerning that Reigns got tired towards the end, he sparked back up on that final spear to Kane, which gave a sigh of relief to a huge fan of his like me. The biggest thing that The Guy of the company needs to do is put on great matches, but the other part of that is that they need to carry the show when they’re called upon. One of the biggest reasons why Cena is so beloved is that he can carry a show at any given moment, taking the event onto his back and putting on a half hour performance or longer, never slowing down at any point. Reigns needs to be capable of this, and he’s starting to really show that potential.
Battleground was basically a terrible PPV, but it had a few redeeming qualities. Those things should at the very least help to tide fans over until August’s SummerSlam, which I think Battleground was always meant to do rather than be a great standalone PPV.