Powell's WWE Battleground Hit List: Daniel Bryan vs. Randy Orton ends with Big Show interference, Goldust and Cody Rhodes vs. Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns, Alberto Del Rio vs. Rob Van Dam, C.M. Punk vs. Ryback
By Jason Powell
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WWE Battleground Hits
Goldust and Cody Rhodes vs. Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns: The best match of the night and the one match that seemed to generate genuine emotion from the live crowd. Everyone involved deserves major praise, including Dusty Rhodes and Dean Ambrose. You knew the Bionic Elbows were coming at some point, yet it was still a blast watching it play out. Goldust appears to be in better shape now than he was during his initial WWE run, and I hope this leads to a full on return. The character feels timeless due to the makeup and he doesn't seem to have any problems keeping up with the younger wrestlers on the roster. This was a reminder of how great tag team wrestling can be when there's something at stake. There's no reason the tag titles can't be elevated to the point that they feel just as meaningful as the Rhodes family's future being on the line.
Alberto Del Rio vs. Rob Van Dam: A good hardcore match with a decisive finish. I could have done without the Ricardo Rodriguez spots and I still don't see any sign of chemistry between him and RVD (just turn him back already), but I loved that the match concluded with Del Rio going over strong. It's refreshing to see a heel champion built up as a credible in-ring threat rather than a guy who always has to cheat to win. I am curious to see whether RVD announces on Raw that he's taking time off or if they are setting up a fitting finale to the feud inside the Hell in a Cell structure.
The Real Americans vs. Great Khali and Santino Marella: The right team went over and we got to see the most impressive Cesaro Swing to date. I hope Big Show doesn't get nauseous easily, because if Cesaro can perform that move on Khali then it's only a matter of time before Show takes the same move. By the way, why did Khali count along with the referee as he was being pinned?
A.J. Lee vs. Brie Bella: A minor Hit for the work of the women and the new Lee and Tamina pairing. The problem with the match is that the fans haven't connected with Brie Bella yet. The Bella Twins played the WWE version of Mean Girls for so long and now the fans are supposed to suddenly like them both even though there was never an actual babyface turn. Rather, we're supposed to like them because they were on Total Divas and date WWE babyface wrestlers. I will never understand why this company has become so lazy when it comes to turning their talent from heel to babyface or vice versa.
Bray Wyatt vs. Kofi Kingston: A minor Hit. The match overstayed it's welcome and really wasn't as good as I hoped it would be. However, the things I remember most are Bray's crab walk and that he went over with Sister Abigail.
WWE Battleground Misses
Overall show: Forget about the Hit count, the bad finish to the main event left such a bad taste in the mouths of viewers that few people will remember this fondly. I missed the pre-show match due to a family issue, but I can assure you that it wouldn't change my view of the overall show.
Daniel Bryan vs. Randy Orton: If you read my predictions on Sunday, then you know I expected a non-finish that would lead to a winner take all match inside the Hell in a Cell structure. I didn't know how WWE would get there and I didn't expect it to be pretty, but I didn't think it would be as awful as Big Show punching out both men and the show going off the air. This was a truly pathetic finish and the worst pay-per-view main event finish all year. I get the idea of setting up that big HIAC match, but WWE screwed themselves all the way back at SummerSlam when they gave Bryan the title and had Randy Orton take it away from him moments later. They cemented the damage by having Bryan win the title at Night of Champions only to have it taken away by Triple H the next night on Raw. I could suffer through these lousy cheap finishes if WWE had viewers salivating for Daniel Bryan finally winning the WWE Championship. Instead, viewers have already watched both of these men hold the championship in recent weeks, so rather than building to a climax, it feels like they are limping to the finish and pissing off loyal viewers along the way.
C.M. Punk vs. Ryback: A flat match with the crowd failing to rally behind Punk as much as they normally do. I get a kick out of Paul Heyman and his Big Beautiful Man routine with Ryback, but it doesn't seem like the fans have really bought into Ryback's Bully Ry persona. The low blow finish gave Ryback an out, yet it left a lot to be desired.
Curtis Axel vs. R-Truth: Hard work from both wrestlers. Axel continues to be good in the ring and Truth worked harder than usual, but the crowd just didn't seem to care about either man or who came away with the Intercontinental Title.
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