WWE: Battleground 2014

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WWE: Battleground
July 20, 2014
Tampa, FL
Tampa Bay Times Forum

The current WWE champs are as follows:
WWE World Heavyweight Champion: John Cena (6/29/2014)
WWE Intercontinental Champion: Vacant (6/30/2014)
WWE U.S. Champion: Sheamus (5/5/2014)
WWE Divas Champion: AJ Lee (6/30/2014)
WWE Tag Team Champions: The Usos (3/3/2014)

Your hosts are Michael Cole, Jerry Lawler, and JBL.

  • 2/3 Falls: WWE Tag Team Champions The Usos vs. Luke Harper & Erick Rowan

Jey SLAPS THE MASK off Rowan to start. Big mistake though as he gets run down with a shoulderblock. Harper steps on Jey, but lets him up and takes a dropkick to the floor. Harper and Rowan regroup. Jey gets flung into the bottom rope and slides out to the floor. Back in, Rowan and Harper take turns cranking and twisting on Jey’s obvious neck troubles. Hot tag to Jimmy, but Harper runs him down with a massive big boot to wipe him out and secure the first fall at 4:45. Jimmy’s got a compound fracture!

Knowing the tag titles are within their sights, Harper and Rowan go to work punishing Jimmy some more. That continues on for a few minutes. Eventually, Jimmy flips out of a back suplex and falls back into his corner to tag his brother. Harper charges in trying to stop the tag, but Jey sneaks in and rolls him up for the pinfall to make it one fall apiece at 8:11. Eek, I might have let that just be a nearfall and try again.

Rowan and Harper take turns throwing Jey around. Harper misses a corner charge and falls out to the floor. Hot tag to Jimmy, he planchas on Harper and Rowan individually. That’s right, TWO planchas back to back. Since they are this generation Hardy Boyz, Jimmy scales the guardrail and leaps on Harper. Back inside, Jimmy delivers a flying bodypress to Harper for 1-2-NO! He catches Harper with an enziguri and follows up with a Buttalanche, but then Harper shoots right back up and avalanches poor Jimmy. That’s not enough to stop Jimmy from flipping out of the sitout powerbomb though, as he comes back with the Corkscrew Moonsault for two. Harper then boots Jimmy out to the floor and catches him with a tope suicida. Dang. He wants the sitout powerbomb, but sees Jey and looks for another tope suicida. Jey sees him coming and blasts Harper with a superkick, which staggers him back into a rollup from Jimmy for 1-2-NO! Now Harper hits the Sitout Powerbomb on Jimmy for 1-2-NO! Now that Rowan is awake, he slowly heads to the top and flies down, but Jimmy moves at the last second. Harper gets crotched up top and Jimmy leaps for the tag to Jey. Samoan Splash to Rowan! Cover, 1-2-NO! NOBODY KICKS OUT OF THE SAMOAN SPLASH. Rowan stops Jey up top and over comes Jimmy. Instead of knocking down Rowan, they play off the double superplex spot from Money in the Bank. This time, Rowan delivers a double superplex to the Usos! Rowan covers one of them for 1-2-NO! Harper and Rowan go for the coup de grace, but Jey saves his brother with superkicks. Harper throws out Jey and nails Jimmy with a superkick of his own. Time for the Discus Clothesline, but Jimmy hits *him* with a superkick. Harper NO-SELLS and drills Jimmy with the DISCUS CLOTHESLINE anyways! Cover, 1-2-NO! Jey makes the save! The Usos then go STEREO SUPERKICK CRAZY on Harper and Rowan. With Rowan out of the picture, the Usos hit a SIDE BY SIDE SAMOAN SPLASH onto Harper! That gets the win. (18:50) It’s a little annoying that there doesn’t seem to be anybody that can beat the Usos in the PPV matches, because I’d love to know what their win-loss record is on TV as champions. Evidently they don’t want to put the tag straps on Harper and Rowan because I feel like this was their best chance. I really don’t see any reason to give Harper and Rowan a THIRD title shot on PPV. Anyways, a fun bunch of nearfalls and I always enjoy a good callback to earlier matches like they did here a few times. They pulled out all the stops in that last fall, leaving really nothing left for these two teams to do for a while. Do they bring in the Ascension from NXT? Because no other tag team in WWE right now could convincingly compete with the Usos in my opinion. ***¾

Backstage, Dean Ambrose interrupts a Seth Rollins interview and attacks him. COOHHH finds out about it and kicks him out of the building. Bait, and switch.

  • WWE Divas Champion AJ Lee vs. Paige

So each have a win over the other. Time for the rubber match. These two say they are “frenemies”, which is no doubt some crazy passive aggressive behavior. Both chicks trying to get the quick win over the other to start. Paige tries wearing AJ down with chinlocks and pulling back on her arms. AJ comes back with a DDT, but then Paige spears her to the floor. Back inside, a weak sunset flip powerbomb on AJ gets two. AJ tries a flying bodypress, but gets caught. Paige tries spinning her around, but AJ regroups and applies the BLACK WIDOW. Paige manages to counter the hold and delivers the PAIGE TURNER for 1-2-NO! PAIGE TAP OUT gets reversed to a failed nearfall sequence. AJ gets up and lands the SHINING WIZARD for the win. (7:13) This is a situation where I feel like two people should have better chemistry than they do with each other. *½

Over in the boiler room, Randy Orton apologizes to Kane for giving him an RKO this past week on Raw. Kane expresses that the winner of the fatal four-way match is standing right there. Not here, but over there.

  • Jack Swagger (w/Zeb Colter) vs. Rusev (w/Lana)

Lana REALLY feeds off this crowd’s enthusiasm in the pre-match promo. She puts over Vladimir Putin and Rusev. Typical. Once Colter and Swagger head out, Lana slaps Colter across the face when he starts to speak. Well, this ain’t 1981, pal. You can’t hit a woman anymore, so Colter just takes it. Swagger cleans house on Rusev. Once Rusev gets back inside, Swagger is adamant about applying the Patriot Lock. To get him to stop it, Rusev body blocks Swagger and delivers a Fallaway Slam. He tries wearing down Swagger with a nerve hold until Swagger powers out. Rusev sends Swagger to the floor and makes him stay out there for a while. After Colter gives Swagger a pep talk, he’s a HOUSE OF FIRE. Pump splash gets two. Powerslam gets a nearfall as well. Rusev fires back on Swagger and looks for the superkick, but Swagger catches the kick and applies the PATRIOT LOCK. Rusev finds the ropes and falls out to the floor once the hold is released. On the outside, Swagger reapplies the PATRIOT LOCK only for Rusev to pull Swagger into the ringpost. That’s enough to knock out Swagger as Rusev slides back into the ring to win via countout. (9:55) After the bell, Rusev drags Swagger’s unconscious body into the ring for the ACCOLADE. Disappointing match. I wish they would have done more instead of relying so much on the nerve hold. It’s an okay part one, but I want to see more. Hopefully we still can despite being a controversial feud. *½

Backstage, the Dust brothers get weird.

  • Dean Ambrose vs. Seth Rollins

Yeah, no match. Rollins demands he be announced as the winner by forfeit, and Justin Roberts obliges. Of course, Ambrose appears and attacks Rollins into the stands and back out to ringside. COOHHH, agents, and referees try and take care of Ambrose. I’m glad they at least presented Ambrose’s appearance like it was unexpected to everyone by having to cut to Ambrose jumping Rollins.

  • Chris Jericho vs. Bray Wyatt (w/Luke Harper & Erick Rowan)

The busted eye is a good look for Bray, I think. Lots of fighting in and out of corners here to start. Jericho goes for the Walls of Jericho early, but Harper and Rowan jump to the apron to stop all that. He fights out of a neck wrench and dropkicks Bray to the floor. While Harper and Rowan surround their leader, Jericho leaps off the top onto all three. Harper grabs Jericho when he tries going back inside, so ref Mike Chioda sends both Harper and Rowan to the back. While being all distracted, Jericho gets run off the apron into the barricade by Wyatt. That gets two. Wyatt misses a corner charge and tosses Jericho to the apron only to get hit with the double sledge. CMON BABY. Bray stops the Jericho comeback and delivers the unnecessarily difficult gutbuster for two. Running senton by Bray hits knees. Enziguri to Wyatt gets two. Bray stops Jericho up top and brings him down with the jawbreaker off the shoulder. Jericho fires back with the bulldog and the Lionsault, but lands on Bray’s knees. Crab Walk! Uranage by Bray only gets two. Jericho takes one avalanche, but runs over Bray when he tries another. He then rolls Bray so that he knocks his head on the bottom buckle. Over to the apron, Bray makes Jericho pay with a DDT for two. They trade finisher attempts, and Bray wins that battle by running Jericho over with the running body block. From out of nowhere, Jericho leaps up and hits the CODEBREAKER for 1-2-3. (15:02) Wait, what? Well, that finish came out of nowhere. I would have been fine with another five minutes. It’s going to be interesting where they go from here. Jericho is bulletproof as far as I’m concerned, and I did think Bray Wyatt needed a PPV win here. Maybe at SummerSlam! **½

Out in the parking lot, Seth Rollins tells security to leave him alone. He can get to his car safely without them, OKAY? As soon they all leave, Ambrose pops up out of the trunk of Rollins’ car and beats the heck out of him. Rollins manages to get away and drives off, leaving Ambrose in his dust. If only Ambrose had jumped onto the hood and reached into the sunroof. Now that would have been cool. OHH YEAH! DIG IT!

  • 19-man Battle Royal for the vacant WWE Intercontinental Championship

The entries are Big E, Alberto Del Rio, Cesaro, R-Truth, Ryback, Curtis Axel, Zack Ryder (!), Titus O’Neil, Damien Sandow as a nerd at the beach, Heath Slater, Diego, Sin Cara, Xavier Woods, the Great Khali, Kofi Kingston, Bo Dallas, Dolph Ziggler, the Miz, and the U.S. champ Sheamus. So only about five people have a chance of winning here. Former IC champ Bad News Barrett comes out to tell whomever wins that their time as champion will be short, basically. Khali tosses out Xavier Woods first before he’s tossed out by about six or seven people. You can probably figure out who goes when because it’s not very surprising. Sheamus and Ryback have a little showdown, concluding with Sheamus sending out Ryback with the BROGUE KICK. Miz tries to eliminate Sheamus. Instead, Ziggler runs over and drops Miz with the ZIG ZAG. Miz rolls out to the floor to be out of sight and out of mind. Dallas makes a big deal out of eliminating Titus. Kofi and Cesaro get into some sticky situations over on the apron. Cesaro manages to power Big E over the top rope to the floor. Kingston tries to knock out Cesaro, but he lands on the apron instead. To avoid being eliminated by Cesaro, Kingston jumps back onto Big E’s shoulders. Instead of just dropping him, Big E walks Kingston over to Cesaro, who then pulls him out to the apron. Cesaro gives Kingston a suplex back into the ring only to take a suplex out of the ring to the floor. While Cesaro celebrates, Slater runs over and tosses him out. LOL. Sheamus then BROGUE KICKS Slater to the floor. Dallas now tries to eliminate Sheamus, but pays dearly. After he gets his chest pounded on the apron, Ziggler runs over and dropkicks whoever he can hit, which happens to be Bo Dallas to send him to the showers. Looks like we’re down to just Ziggler and Sheamus. Wait, Miz is still on the floor up against the announce table. Probably shouldn’t have shown that shot. Dolph and Sheamus have kind of a weird exchange until Ziggler blocks the slingshot shoulderblock with a superkick to send Sheamus down to the floor. Ziggler thinks he’s won, but then Miz zips back into the ring and tosses him out to regain the IC title. (14:12) The day before this show, I had watched the IC title battle royal from Raw in 1993, and Vince mentions a battle royal he once saw Bobby Heenan in where he hid underneath the ring for the whole match and then came out at the end to win. Just thought that was kind of eerie that the same finish happened here. Anyways, a fairly entertaining battle royal here. **½

  • WWE World Heavyweight Champion John Cena vs. Roman Reigns vs. Randy Orton vs. Kane

Cena gets sent into the steps early so that Kane and Orton can concentrate on Reigns. He tries saving the day, but ends up being double-teamed just like Reigns. Just as Reigns posts Kane, Cena hits the comeback routine on Orton. He can’t get the AA, so he dumps Orton to the floor. In comes Reigns, Cena rubs his hands together looking forward to this collision. Before they touch, Kane and Orton pair off with Reigns and Cena. Kane hits a DDT on Reigns and covers him for two, which pisses off Orton. They start shoving each other, which is a battle Kane wins. Over to the corner, we get a TOWER OF DOOM spot from all four men, with Orton taking the worst of the move. Now to Cena and Reigns, but Kane sits up. Cena and Reigns stomps him out of the ring. Orton comes back with the draping DDT on both Cena and Reigns at the same time. Kane breaks up the pin and boots Orton down. Reigns hits a Samoan Drop on Kane to take him out. Orton channels the spirit of Lance Storm and applies the rolling single crab on Reigns (!!). Well, that’s new. Reigns reverses the hold and sits down on the crab. Cena comes over and applies the Crippler Crossface to Orton to channel somebody else’s spirit. Kane breaks up the hold, but takes the AA. STF to Orton! Reigns stops Orton from tapping out and then throws him over the announce table. Okay, NOW we get Cena vs. Reigns. Reigns wins the slugfest, kicks away the STF, and hits the Samoan Drop. Superman Punch time, but Cena knows it’s coming and delivers the Protobomb. Reigns refuses to take the Five Knuckle Shuffle and pops up to nail Cena with the Superman Punch. SPEAR to Cena! Cover, 1-2-NO! Kane makes the save, but winds up taking the Superman Punch as well. With Reigns on the move, he runs over and sliding dropkicks into Cena, Orton, and Kane! As if that’s not enough, Reigns SPEARS Orton through the barricade! Back inside, Reigns escapes a Chokeslam by Kane and SPEARS him as well! Cover, 1-2-NO! Cena pounces on the pinfall for the save. Both Reigns and Cena try desperately to pin Kane, but the other man makes sure it doesn’t go down. While slugging it out with Reigns, Cena hits a random AA for 1-2-NO! Kane dishes out Chokeslams, but can’t get the pinfall. He calls for the TOMBSTONE, but Reigns slips out and hits the SPEAR. In comes Orton, RKO to Reigns! Cena shoots in and AA’s Orton onto Kane (just like at Money in the Bank) and pins Kane to retain the championship. (18:15) It really couldn’t and shouldn’t have been anybody but Cena. While they have a few exchanges here, I do think they should cool it with Reigns and Cena if they want that to be a potential money maker match down the road. This was fine and everybody worked hard, but was void of all drama since most of us knew what the plans are for SummerSlam. Shouldn’t Orton have been DONE after the spear through the barricade? Come on now. **¾

Final Thoughts: Nothing outstandingly bad about this show, but I do feel like I stopped being all that interested in it after the Ambrose/Rollins decision, and they never really brought me back. Ambrose/Rollins didn’t need to be a 20-minute blowoff, but they could have at least had Ambrose get DQ’ed. If you do nothing else with this show, at least check out the opener. Otherwise, I’m giving Battleground 2014 a solid thumbs in the middle.

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Posted on July 27, 2014, in WWE and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. This review is fantastic, but the show was terrible.

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