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The opening contest was created by Twitter today, pitting Fandango’s jealousy against not Dolph Ziggler as in recent weeks, but Adam Rose? Why not? Layla and Summer Rae are trying to get revenge on someone who can’t stick with one woman by going around to any man… LOGIC.
Adam Rose vs. Fandango
Prediction: Adam Rose
Fandango starts out fierce and the two divas decide to cause a distraction by almost immediately leading the Rosebuds around the ring. The two slapping him doesn’t lead to a disqualification for Rose, because the referee is happy to just continue his count-out rather than apply the rules. Two moves followed by the Party Foul, Fandango is finished all too quickly.
Winner: Adam Rose
Layla and Summer both kiss Rose. Because they don’t like men with loose commitments. Except faces.
The Usos are the interview guest for Tom Phillips. The two have a little banter about who is the better looking twin, but very little else.
Cameron makes her new entrance and she may be useless at wrestling, and talking, but at least she has managed to fully invest in a new character. Sadly it has just seen her steal Tyler Breeze’s gimmick but it kinda fits. Naomi has kept the exact same gimmick minus the pom-poms.
Naomi vs. Cameron
Like Fandango, Naomi starts out aggressive but Cameron soon fights back. JBL makes a fantastic Dr. Shelby reference – he might be JBL’s favourite character since the Attitude Era. Oh my god, Cameron won. School girl with a handful of tights, but she won?! The crowd literally couldn’t have reacted any flatter. Her music doesn’t even seem like the same song as she entered to, so it seems that no one else cares either.
Booker T thinks Kofi Kingston is the favourite in the Battle Royal. Christian points out that he has captured the belt twice in Battle Royals, labelling Ziggler as his pick. Riley thinks that Heath Slater will win. At least he has a sense of humour. So far throughout the show the picks for Fatal Four Way is tied at two picks each, except Kane – who not even employees can look at as a threat. Cena (King, Cole), Reigns (Riley, Christian) and Orton (JBL, Booker) are all viewed as equal threats. Except they’re not really.
WWE Battleground 2014
Perhaps somewhat surprisingly, the show is opening with the Tag Team Championships. Should be an excellent opener and the crowd are certainly into the champs as always. Harper and Rowan’s entrance music continues to be a complete step-down from Bray’s but their stage design mimicking the fans cell phone lights is pretty cool.
2-out-of-3 Falls Match for the WWE Tag Team Championships: The Usos vs. The Wyatt Family
Prediction: The Usos retain
Jey takes an ugly slide out of the ring as Harper bats him away, not sure whether it was deliberate to look ugly – matching the usual Family offence – or whether Jey leaned up at the wrong time and caught his head on the rope. Big boot out of nowhere from Harper to secure the first pinfall in the middle of Jimmy’s hot tag! That pinfall was so sudden that pretty much no one saw it coming!
The story is set up for a perfect comeback victory against all odds, although the thing working against that story is that the main event is expected to follow the same path. Jey Uso returns the favour with a school boy straight in from the tag to tie up the match at one a piece!
An excellent hot tag sequence from Jimmy, who flies all over the place!! Near fall from a crossbody, before him and Harper go back and forth with offence and near falls. The crowd are going wild for this great opener! Harper isn’t going to be left out though, as he dives through the middle ropes to the outside as well! “This is awesome!” chants ring around the arena, but Harper goes to fly at Jey, only to meet a Super Kick and a roll up! But he kicks out! Then hits his sit-out powerbomb for a near fall of his own!! Rowan is tagged in and hits the top rope, but Jimmy dodges it. Harper goes for the same but gets dropped on the top, tag to Jey! Superfly Splash!! But Rowan kicks out!!!
Jey is completely perplexed, having had no one kick out before, and after a lengthy look of confusion, he climbs for another. But Harper provides a distraction long enough for Rowan to start a corner battle. Jimmy tags himself him, but the champions find themselves on the receiving end of a double superplex from Rowan!! Jimmy kicks out of the cover! What a match! Some four man chaos, leading to Harper going for the clothesline but he receives a Super Kick! But then hits it anyway!! Another cover!!! But Jey makes the save!!!!!
A tag and then double Super Kick to both men, then a double Superfly Splash from the same corner!! The champions retain their belts in what is already a strong contender for match of the night!
Winners, and still champions: The Usos (2-1)
Amazing match, brilliant way to kick off the show and the crowd are loving it! This is a perfect example as to why WWE should pay more credit to their tag division.
The latest trailer for Michael Bay’s slaughtering of childhood memories is aired.
Well it seems the action is only going upwards from here, as the true main event is up next! Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins – despite being the most exciting feud in the company right now – is the second match on the show. Meaning that very few matches after it will have fan interest on this tepid card.
The video package, which pre-show fans have already seen, is truly excellent. The match is already the best prospect tonight, so this only confirms it. Tom Phillips has Seth Rollins backstage, and Rollins is jubilant about getting his hands on Ambrose – a great change of pace from the beginning of their feud. A top notch promo from Mr Money in the Bank, who continues to go from strength to strength. Ambrose interrupts with a surprise attack, seeing these two begin their scrap before their match has even begun. It looks like WWE have screwed the fans over, because Ambrose has been thrown out of the building by Triple H and the match it off apparently. It makes sense for WWE to drag this feud to SummerSlam but to advertise the match for tonight and pull it unadvertised is a bitter pill to swallow, especially considering it is the most anticipated match.
Poor Paige and AJ, who have been selected to fill in for the disappointment of losing that match. Paige is still keeping up the applause and appreciation for the champion throughout her entrance.
WWE Divas Championship Match: AJ Lee vs. Paige
Prediction: AJ Lee to retain
A handshake to start, as the frenemies story is definitely continuing. WWE Network advert time, aimed at current subscribers and international viewers who the service isn’t available for, the best audience for the plug. Naturally.
Paige takes control early, with an increasingly aggressive approach that is showing cracks in her friendly approach. Paige tackles AJ through the ropes to the floor, but it is ugly and awkward. This begins Paige’s vicious attack that is showing her falseness. She keeps acting frustrated at how easy AJ has been to dominate, repeatedly screaming “Come on AJ!” at her. She soon ends up caught in the Black Widow, but counters it powerful fashion! First breakage of the move, and followed by the Paige Turner! But AJ kicks out!!
Now Paige is openly frustrated, and not at AJ. She goes for the PTO but gets countered into a Small Package, after a few counters she ends up hit with the Shining Wizard! AJ covers to retain! First time that her former finisher has been used as a match ender in years.
Winner, and still champion: AJ Lee
Paige quickly heads backstage looking hurt but is still applauding as she looks back. Looks like these two aren’t done. And judging by the ‘trailer’ for SummerSlam, the wise money is on a rematch as the two are the women to get heavy exposure in it. Naturally all three Shield members do, interesting Cena isn’t featured much and Lesnar is expectedly MIA at this point.
Backstage Orton is searching for Kane, finding him in his red lit room, as always. Orton apologises for Monday, Kane refuses to apologise for punching him. The segment is awkward as they go for a common enemies vibe but end up just seeming like Orton is a pathetic coward. But worse, a coward that is afraid of his own lackey who no one views as a threat.
Monster clash is next, after a brief and meaningless jaunt to the panel, as Rusev makes his way to the ring. Lana launches into her usual pre-match promo, this time focused on the Russians being blamed for the MH17 airline crash. She eventually gets cut off by Swagger’s entrance, but it certainly takes a while. Coulter grabs a microphone and ends up slapped by Lana, starting off the melee between the two wrestlers which Swagger bests.
Jack Swagger vs. Rusev
This should be a good match, and Swagger actually stands a chance of being the man to end the streak of the Bulgarian Brute, but Rusev has to be the favourite. Decent enough action as the two big men look to go to war. Swagger catches the kick into the Patriot Lock again, but Rusev eventually escapes to the floor. Swagger locks it in on the outside but gets sent into the ring post for a count-out victory.
Swagger is still selling the effects and is easy pickings for the post-match Accolade.
Backstage Stardust and Goldust are on another bizarre promo, but the crowd give it a good reaction despite its meaningless.
Seth Rollins is making his entrance, so perhaps Ambrose is back? Probably not, but one can hope. He is doing the time tested heel formula of demanding to be labelled the winner by default but this time it should actually go off without a hitch for the reaction. Rollins celebrates to soak up all the heat, and he is labelled the winner. Just as it seemed the segment was over as it cut to the commentators, Ambrose attacks Rollins on the ramp!!!
Ambrose throws him around ringside and into the crowd, where he attacks him all around the arena! Yet another brilliant brawl between these two as this continues to be the hottest feud in WWE, and surely a true main event for SummerSlam. Despite the road agents literally carrying Ambrose away, Rollins flies in over all of them to attack him! Now both men are having to be restrained, as Ambrose is once again carried out. This is brilliant! Eventually Ambrose is taken backstage and Triple H talks Rollins down from brawling before raising his hand. The fans may have been robbed of the match but at least we got something.
Up next is Jericho and Bray Wyatt, this should be a treat!
Chris Jericho vs. Bray Wyatt
Prediction: Bray Wyatt
This one starts as you would expect, with Jericho’s ferocity being countered by the numbers game. This leads to the Family getting ejected and sent backstage. Slow paced back and forth action for the most part, it is telling a decent story but feels like it might be saving too much for the final stretch.
A lot of countering of signature moves as the slower pace places the emphasis firmly on storytelling. When both men are down after a countered Lionsault, Wyatt pops himself up in the spider walk and follows that up with a uranage for a near fall.
Later on Jericho takes down Wyatt with a really awkward school boy-esque roll into the bottom turnbuckle, looks awful but effective. Sister Abigail attempts countered through into a Walls of Jericho, but Wyatt fights it off. Code Breaker!! And that’s it! Who saw that one coming?! Surprising result that is actually being promoted as an upset win despite Jericho’s legendary status.
Winner: Chris Jericho
Bray may have lost but he looks great because of the commentators shock at Jericho managing to overcome him. He will presumably get the rub at SummerSlam.
Backstage Rollins is leaving with his luggage and two security guards. How long until he is ambushed? He is sending them away, so it looks imminent. He himself suspects it, as he gingerly looks around for his foe. Ambrose eventually comes from the trunk of a car and the two brawl once more in the parking lot! Rollins eventually manages to get in the car and drive away, leaving his luggage behind and JBL with the question of how Ambrose has managed to escape arrest. Great question.
Battle Royal for the Vacant Intercontinental Championship
For some reason each competitor is getting an individual entrance, this is unusual. Usually with these things they cut away to an advert of some description. Cesaro is still separated from Heyman, which seems weird. Mind you, Ryback is separated from Axel, no explanation or reason. The one good thing from the televised entrances is the commentators getting to promote each star. And Titus O’Neill. Also, Damien Sandow gets an entrance that receives a big pop. Heath Slater, Alex Riley’s pick remember, still enters to the ‘Three Man Band’ theme, not his own ‘One Man Band’ one. Making no sense. Xavier Woods receives a proper solo entrance rather than being tagged on with Truth, there’s a first. Great Khali is still being treated as if he is a star, because someone somewhere seems to believe it. Loudest reaction predictably goes to Dolph Ziggler, and sadly Miz has already lost the trailer opening to his entrance. The final entrance belongs to the former champion, Bad News Barrett. His promo shows exactly why he is still the best part of this match without even being in it.
Everyone gangs up on Khali, who fights them off and eliminates a couple of people before being Brogue Kicked and ganged out. Even then he lasted too long. Rob Van Dam is suspiciously absent from proceedings despite being billed for the match, not sure what happened there… Ryback and Sheamus have the honour of the big man clash while everyone else is down, with Sheamus coming out on top to eliminate him. Immediately everyone else springs to their feet and everything continues on. Miz has left the match under the bottom rope twice already in this match, and has pretty much guaranteed himself a place in the ending sequence at this point. Bo Dallas gets one of the biggest face reactions of the match for getting rid of Titus “how is he still here?” O’Neill.
Kofi and Cesaro have a big clash, paying off their feud while providing Kofi’s traditional creative survival escape. Ziggler finally gets revenge on Del Rio a year later, eliminating him in creative fashion with a DDT utilising a top rope bounce. Miz is back under the ropes, and Cesaro gets his own revenge on Big E by eliminating him, only to set up Kofi’s latest escape! He jumps from the apron backwards onto E’s shoulders, before trying to drag Cesaro out from there! Cesaro fights off and suplexes him from E’s shoulders back INTO the ring! This sequence is not only impressive, but quite intelligent, and leads to Cesaro getting his big elimination of Kofi.
But Heath Slater attacks him from behind, sending him over the top rope! That’s right, Heath Slater eliminates Cesaro?! Sheamus soon eliminates him and then Bo Dallas between him and Ziggler. It is now down to Sheamus and Ziggler, not to mention the forgotten about Miz. Actually, Miz has just been acknowledged by Sheamus. Oh no, he was pointing at the belt, on a table right next to where Miz is lying on camera. Bad way to keep him a secret. Botched Famouser attempt, but Ziggler recovers well. Then a failed sunset flip, that is just completely ugly. And we all know Ziggler will get the blame over Triple H’s buddy Sheamus…
There is no doubt that the crowd want Ziggler, who appeared to have done it, but Sheamus must have only had one foot land? The two continue to battle, and Ziggler eliminates Sheamus!! But Miz comes in and eliminates him!
Winner, and new champion: The Miz
Smart ending, ruined slightly by all the foreshadowing of the commentators. Choosing Ziggler as the final man was a great move for getting fans to boo Miz’s sly win and giving a happy false finish. It should also mean that Ziggler will hopefully be number one contender for SummerSlam. WWE needs to invest in Miz’s new/returning persona to make him the heat magnet he was back in 2011. And never let him attempt a Figure Four ever again.
Yet more endless plugging of the WWE Network to THE WRONG AUDIENCE. It does provide another opportunity to see the top notch SummerSlam trailer though. Sadly it is followed by the ridiculous Flo-Rida advert with the terrible overly sexualised voiceover woman who leaves an unnecessary long pause between “Monday Night” and “Raw”.
Main event time, and even WWE’s production crew couldn’t put together a video package to make this match and storyline seem interesting.
Fatal Four Way Match for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship: John Cena vs. Randy Orton vs. Roman Reigns vs. Kane
Only intersting notes from the entrances are that Cena is still carrying two championships (handing The Big Gold to Flair on Raw didn’t signify dropping the strap) and Orton is wearing old school blue trunks as opposed to his modern day endless parade of black trunks. Not that the latter is really much of a story but given his current state, this is as close to a character development as Orton will get.
Despite everything Kane begins out as lapdog for Orton, so expect a big moment of him reaching his breaking point later on. The dull match ends up getting a Daniel Bryan chant after a while, followed by YES chants while Orton and Kane bicker, because frankly the fans are more invested in a star indefinitely injured than in this match that would’ve better fitted the opening hour.
Several teases for the clash that WWE seem to think people care about, but still no one-on-one between Cena and Reigns. The fans complete indifference to each tease shows that WWE have seriously overestimated peoples interest in it. Kane and Orton’s fighting has more crowd investment. At this point it is just a case of begging for an ending to this match. And if WWE want the show to end on a high note, then the pay-off to Heyman’s Plan C: Brock Lesnar. Don’t save it for tomorrow, if you are trying to get subscribers, then you need the Lesnar return on this event and not Raw.
Five Knuckle Suffle countered into the Superman Punch, followed by the Spear! Kane breaks up the pin though. Reigns does his signature running jumping dropkick to each man in turn, followed by spearing Orton through the timekeepers area! Finally, some excitement! A complete lack of selling though, as he gets straight up from it. Back in the Shield days that would take him out for a lengthy duration too. Spear to Kane after breaking his Chokeslam grip, only for Cena to make the save.
Lawler exclaims “What a match!” and sounds like he hasn’t even convinced himself. Attitude Adjustment to Kane, Reigns breaks up the pin. Kane Chokeslams Reigns, who kicks out at 2. He goes for the Tombstone and gets speared, but Orton makes the save, RKO! Cena Attitude Adjustment to Orton onto Kane, Cena retains. No one is surprised.
Winner, and still champion: John Cena
Cena literally springs to his feet in a cheerleader jump immediately, showing all the selling of a Hulk Up. WWE needs a Lesnar return here unless they are deluded enough to view this as a strong ending. Because frankly, this show has not even warranted a months worth of content for $9.99. And the main event has been the least convincing part of the entire show. Well, just a damp end.
Strong start, downhill from there. The main event was probably the worst match of the night, excluding the pre-show, and very few surprises. Besides the Jericho win, the biggest were Heath Slater eliminating Cesaro and Cameron beating Naomi. Miz was always the dark horse and everything else was completely by the books.