WWE Battleground
From Tampa Bay Times Forum in Tampa, Florida
July 20, 2014 (Twitter @johnreport)

Here are some notes from the Kickoff show.

The expert panel is made up of Renee Young, Booker T, Christian and Alex Riley. They talked about some of the things coming up on the show. The announce team of Michael Cole, Jerry Lawler and John Bradshaw Layfield were at ringside ready to go.

Fandango made his entrance alone. Adam Rose had Summer Rae and Layla as part of his posse. This match got added earlier on Sunday.

Fandango vs. Adam Rose

The girls led the posse dancing around the ring as the match began. Nobody in the crowd was doing it. Fandango yelled at the girls. Layla slapped him and then Summer Rae slapped him too. Rose hit a spinebuster, clothesline and Party Foul for the win. The match went two minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Adam Rose

Analysis: 1/2* This Fandango storyline is hopefully done at this point. It’s been terrible for so long. I think Summer Rae can be a star diva as a heel, but right now she’s in a face role. Hopefully they realize she should be heel soon.

There was a really good video package about The Shield talking about how they were a strong team together, but then it focused on Seth Rollins turning heel and everything that has happened since. It was excellent, which is no surprise for a WWE video package.

They also showed how the Chris Jericho/Bray Wyatt feud started three weeks ago on Raw.

The Usos did an interview backstage saying they’re focused and they’re bringing their “A” game.

Naomi vs. Cameron

Naomi apparently won the “funk is on a roll” song in the divorce with Cameron because that’s her song while Cameron had something else. Cameron was on offense for about a minute until Naomi made the comeback with some hard forearm shots and a Thesz Press. They went outside the ring with Naomi tossing Cameron into the barricade. Back into the ring, Cameron used Naomi’s momentum to send Naomi into the ropes. Cameron got a rollup to win the match thanks to pulling on the shorts. The match went three minutes. The crowd didn’t care.

Winner by pinfall: Cameron

Analysis: 1/2* I thought Naomi would win, but that finish would suggest they’re going to have more matches. Cameron looked decent here when she was selling. She still looks like she can barely run the ropes and throws the weakest clotheslines, but she was fine. Naomi is good with the potential to be great, but needs to be in there with better performers.

The panel talked about things again and then they went to a video package for the main event. That was it for the Kickoff show.

Analysis: I’d rather see one 10 minute match that is good instead of two really short matches that are so brief that they accomplish nothing.


WWE Battleground Main Card

There was a video package for the main event. There was even pyro at the start of the show. They don’t have pyro as often anymore, but it’s there in Tampa.

The Usos made their entrance in front of a supportive crowd. The lights went off for the Harper & Rowan entrance as the “he’s got the whole world in his hands” song started with a kid singing it, but then it turned into a more generic song. The crowd lit up the arena with cell phone light.

Tag Team Titles (2/3 Falls): The Usos vs. Luke Harper & Erick Rowan

The Usos were the aggressors early on, but then Harper tagged in to take control for his team. He sent Jey to the floor, then Rowan tagged in for some scary face grabbing as a submission move. That’s different than his knuckles to the head move. Harper nailed Jimmy with a boot to the face and he covered him for the first fall of the match after five minutes.

First Fall Goes to Harper & Rowan (1-0)

Rowan overpowered Jimmy and they kept him in their corner while Jey was still recovering on his end. Harper destroyed Jimmy with some punches. Jimmy avoided a suplex, which caused him to go back into his corner. Jey tagged in and rolled up Harper for the pinfall after 9 minutes.

Second Fall Goes to The Usos (1-1)

The heels isolated Jey in their corner, but then he avoided a big boot by Harper to set up the hot tag. Jimmy tagged in and hit a dive over the top to take out Harper. Then he sent Rowan out on the other side the ring. Jimmy took him out with a dive. Jimmy ran the barricade and took out Harper again. Back in the ring, cross body block off the top by Jimmy got a two count. Jimmy with an enziguiri on Harper followed by the running ass splash in the corner. Harper no sold it and hit a clothesline. Jimmy came back with a corkscrew plancha off the top for two. Harper knocked Jimmy out of the ring and then Harper hit a dive between top/middle ropes to take out Jimmy. The crowd was chanting “this is awesome” for that. They are right. Harper wanted to hit a dive on Jey outside the ring, but Jey gave him a superkick into rollup by Jimmy for two. Harper with a sitout powerbomb for two. Rowan went for a top rope splash, which looked weird and missed. Harper got tripped up on the top rope. Jey hit the Uso Splash onto Rowan, but Rowan kicked out. Jey was shocked by it. That’s not a move that is usually kicked out of. Rowan was on the top rope with both Usos and he did a double superplex with Rowan on the middle rope, but the Usos were on the top. Amazing move! That earned Rowan a two count.

Jey nailed Rowan with a kick to the head. Harper nailed Jimmy with a kick. Harper wanted a clothesline. Jimmy nailed him with a kick and Harper came back with a spinning clothesline for two, but Jey with the save. What a match! Wow! Another superkick with Jimmy hitting one on Harper and both Usos hitting kicks on Harper. Another double kick to Rowan. Both Usos went to the top together and hit a double splash on Harper. That was awesome! One of the Usos covered Harper and that was it after 20 minutes.

Winners by pinfall: The Usos

Analysis: ****1/2 That match was amazing. They had one of the best matches of the year. They were given the right amount of time, they had some incredible nearfalls from start to finish and the crowd absolutely loved it. There were no mistakes. They had some memorable moments with Rowan hitting the double superplex that we never see and then the finish with The Usos hitting the double top rope splash. It’s one of the best PPV openers you’re ever going to see too. All four guys delivered the goods there. That’s what happens when you work together for months and build up that kind of chemistry. My guess is that The Ascension debuts soon as the next challengers of The Usos. I thought there would be a title change here, but it makes sense to keep it on The Usos if The Ascension will be on the main roster.

The same Rollins/Ambrose video that aired during the pre-show aired here. It’s great, but I already saw it so I spent the time writing about that tag match.

Seth Rollins was interviewed by Tom Phillips backstage. He said he’s going to stop Ambrose and then when he’s done his eyes are going to be focused on the Fatal 4-Way WWE Championship match. Before he could finish, Dean Ambrose showed up to attack him. Officials were there to break him including suit wearing guys like Jamie Noble and Joey Mercury among others. Triple H showed up to tell them to kick Ambrose out of the building. He said he didn’t want Ambrose to ruin things.

Analysis: That attack fit the story of Ambrose as a lunatic. Triple H showing up pissed off makes sense since the idea is he wants Rollins to cash in later if need be. That’s what he wants from a story standpoint, but it doesn’t mean it will.

The announcers talked about how the match was supposed to be next, but it’s not now. The Divas Title match is up next instead.

There were videos showing their two previous matches, which were both short title changes.

Divas Title: AJ Lee vs. Paige

They shook hands at the start of the match. Some fans chanted “CM Punk” because they know AJ Lee is married to him. The announcers didn’t mention the chant. Paige was doing the over the top smiling thing that people do when they’re about to turn heel. Paige nailed some headbutts as well as some knee strikes. Paige kept talking during the match saying things like “we’re friends” to put over that story. Lee hit a DDT to start her comeback. Paige tackled her by the ropes, which sent them to the floor although it didn’t look smooth. Paige threw Lee into the barricade. Back in the ring, Paige hit a sunset flip Powerbomb off the top, but it didn’t hit smoothly. It wasn’t a bad mistake. It just didn’t look that good. AJ kicked Paige away with her feet. Paige went for a spinning slam, but Lee applied the Black Widow submission. Paige came back with the Paige Turner for a two count. Thought that was it. Good nearfall. They had a pinning sequence that AJ was able to get out of and she hit the Shining Wizard (running knee to the face) for the win after 7 minutes.

Winner by pinfall: AJ Lee

There wasn’t anything post match. Paige left as AJ celebrated with the title.

Analysis: *1/4 It was okay for the time given, but I was hoping they would get a bit more time. There were a few mixups with the powerbomb out of the corner and the crowd wasn’t hot for everything, but the finish was good. It doesn’t feel like the end of the feud because Paige is likely going to go heel just based on her actions in the last month or so. I’m looking forward to more matches between them. My pick was AJ Lee. No reason to take the title off her at this point.

There was a video promoting SummerSlam on August 17 in Los Angeles.

Randy Orton was looking for Kane in some dark part of the backstage area. Kane told him Randy made an unwise decision coming there. Orton said he was sorry for what happened on Monday. Kane said being the Devil’s Favorite Demon means you don’t say sorry. Orton said that they had to make sure that John Cena and Roman Reigns did not leave as WWE Champion. Kane said he assured Orton that the winner of the match was standing right there. He left as Orton looked concerned.

Analysis: It was a necessary promo based on the events of the last week. They’re supposed to work together, but they can’t trust eachother so there are questions about what may happen.

The PPV panel made up of Renee Young, Booker T, Christian and Alex Riley talked about things so far. It was the second straight PPV for Christian on the panel. For the main event Riley picked Reigns, Christian picked Reigns and Booker picked Orton.

Rusev and Lana made their entrance. She did a promo ripping the country and said America was leaderless: Lana: “We call your President a wuss.” Then she put over Vladimir Putin as his face appeared on the screen with Lana saying he isn’t afraid to say the truth. She said Rusev was going to crush. She ended it by saying “Rusev will crush Jack Swagger.”

Analysis: Considering the recent missile attack on the Air Malaysia plane that happened near the Russian border there was some question as to what WWE would do with this gimmick. They didn’t really change much. It might piss some people off, but it wasn’t anything out of the ordinary.

Jack Swagger entered with Zeb Colter and Jack had the American flag with him. Colter said we’ve earned enough of “Natasha and Boris” so she slapped him. Swagger went after Rusev as the match began.

Jack Swagger w/Zeb Colter vs. Rusev w/Lana

Swagger went for the Patriot Lock twice, but Rusev escaped to the floor. Swagger brought him back into the ring. Rusev was able to gain control with a slam followed by a submission hold. Hard kick to the face by Rusev. Another choke by Rusev. Swagger stomped him on the foot break free, but Rusev gave him a back body drop over the top to the floor. Colter tried to motivate Swagger. Swagger made a comeback with a clothesline, corner splash and boot to the face. Swagger Bomb by Swagger for two. Swagger hit an impressive power slam for two. Rusev kicked Swagger in the chest while he was staggering by the ropes. When Rusev went for a leaping kick, Swagger grabbed his ankle and put him in the Patriot Lock. Rusev tried to fight it, but Swagger didn’t let go. Rusev made a final lunge to make to the ropes. He fell outside out the ring. Swagger went after him. Swagger gave Rusev the Patriot Lock outside the ring. Rusev countered by sending Swagger face first into the steel ring post. Swagger sold it like he was knocked out while Rusev got back in before the count so Swagger was counted out after 9 minutes.

Winner by countout: Rusev

Post match, Swagger was selling like he was still knocked out. Doctors checked on him. Rusev rolled him into the ring and applied the Accolade submission on Swagger.

Analysis: *3/4 This show is building to SummerSlam and this match is a clear example of that because that finish as well as the post match attack is likely going to lead to another matchup with these two. That’s why they went with the countout finish. The action was slow, but when it picked up the crowd got more into it. It was one of the longest matches Rusev has had on the main roster. They’ll probably get more time when they do it again. Rusev’s undefeated streak in singles matches continues.

There was a commercial for Takis snacks.

Stardust and Goldust did a promo backstage mentioning the cosmos. It was similar to what they usually do where they say that they’re going to hear the names of Goldust and Stardust.

Seth Rollins made his entrance for a match. Footage aired from earlier with Dean Ambrose attacking him and apparently kicked out.

Rollins did a promo where he said he came out there to accept the victory via forfeit. He wanted to be announced as the winner and his hand raised. Justin Roberts announced him as the winner while ref John Cone raised his hand as the winner.

The announcers talked about the Fatal 4-Way match as it looked like Rollins left, but Dean Ambrose showed up at ringside to attack Rollins.

Ambrose brawled with Rollins. He threw him over the barricade. They fought in the crowd. When they got back to ringside, Ambrose slammed Rollins onto the Spanish announce table. It wasn’t enough for the table to break. Security ran down to ringside to get Ambrose. He ended up breaking free to deliver a diving attack on Rollins. More officials and referees came down to ringside to break it up. Ambrose went after him again. Triple H forcefully pulled Ambrose off as more officials literally carried him. Rollins attacked Ambrose. They kept on brawling. It took about 20 guys to break it all up. Hunter raised the hand of Rollins to celebrate what happened.

Analysis: It’s going to upset people that they didn’t have a match because it would have been one of the better matches on the show. The brawl was good while it lasted although when you advertise a match and don’t deliver that’s a bit upsetting. They’re obviously headed to another showdown at SummerSlam. It’s the second “match” in a row where you can tell that they are building to something else.

There was a video package about the Wyatt/Jericho feud. Bray Wyatt made his entrance with the Wyatt Family. It’s cool to see the light provided by the cell phones. Never gets old with me. Chris Jericho received a really nice ovation.

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

Wyatt was the aggressor early on. His eye was nearly closed after injuring it a few weeks ago When Jericho tried to make a comeback he was distracted by Harper & Rowan, so Wyatt kept control. Dropkick by Jericho followed by his more traditional dropkick off the ropes that sent Wyatt outside the ring. Jericho went up top and hit a cross body block to take out all three Wyatt Family members. You don’t see Jericho do that too often anymore. Harper tried to interfere, but ref Mike Chioda saw it so he sent Harper & Rowan to the back. Jericho got fired up with a chop off the top rope. Wyatt overpowered him by driving his knee right into the ribs of Jericho. It was a slow paced style favoring Wyatt, who hit a clothesline. Jericho countered an attack with knees to the spine. They made their way over to the turnbuckle where Wyatt hit a neckbreaker variation off the ropes. The crowd wasn’t that loud for the match, but it was slow for the first ten minutes. Jericho hit a boot to the face followed by a bulldog. Wyatt countered the Lionsault by getting his knees up. Both guys were down.

Wyatt did his creepy crab walk move to pop the crowd. Jericho went for a rollup near the corner, but Wyatt hit the back of his head against the ropes. It looks like Jericho wasn’t sure where he was in the ring unless that was an intentional move. Wyatt came back with a DDT on the side of the apron for a two count. Wyatt took a long time to set up the Sister Abigail, so Jericho fought out of it. Wyatt came back with a running body attack for two. Jericho hit the Codebreaker out of nowhere for the pinfall win after 15 minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Chris Jericho

After the win, JBL said it was a bit of a surprise even though Jericho’s a six time World Champion. Jericho’s son and father were at ringside. I’m pretty sure it was them. He lives in Tampa like most wrestlers.

Analysis: **3/4 It was a bit disappointing considering who was in the match. They worked a really slow pace early on and the crowd had a tough time getting into it. Maybe if the pace was quicker earlier in the match the fans would have got into it a bit more. Jericho’s win was a bit of a surprise because he rarely wins PPV matches anymore, but they’re probably going to have a match at SummerSlam with Wyatt going over. That’s why Jericho won here. It’s basic wrestling booking.

Seth Rollins was shown leaving the arena with security by his side. He told them to leave. Rollins kept on looking around. Dean Ambrose attacked him after jumping out of a trunk. They brawled all over the car. Rollins got in the car and drove off.

Analysis: That was fine and leaves us wanting to see more from them, which we’ll get. So how did Ambrose get in the trunk of Seth’s car? He’s got skills.

There was a commercial for Saturday Night’s Main Event on WWE Network.

Battle royal participants in order with all of them getting brief entrances with music: Big E, Alberto Del Rio, Cesaro (no Paul Heyman), R-Truth, Ryback, Curtis Axel, Titus O’Neil, Damien Sandow, Heath Slater, Diego, Sin Cara, Xavier Woods, The Great Khali, Kofi Kingston, Bo Dallas, Dolph Ziggler, The Miz and Sheamus. What was noticeable was that Heath Slater still has the “we’re a three man band” theme song. That needs an update. It sounded like Ziggler got the biggest ovation.

The former Intercontinental Champion Bad News Barrett showed up in a sling on his injured arm to provide the participants with some bad news. He said the winner will enjoy it, but they are delaying the inevitable. He said whoever it is will receive a Bull Hammer from him.

Analysis: Good to see Barrett again.

Intercontinental Title Battle Royal: Big E, Alberto Del Rio, Cesaro, R-Truth, Ryback, Curtis Axel, Titus O’Neil, Damien Sandow, Heath Slater, Diego, Sin Cara, Xavier Woods, The Great Khali, Kofi Kingston, Bo Dallas, Dolph Ziggler, The Miz & Sheamus

I might miss something because it’s hard to write about it live with 20 guys in a match. Khali eliminated Woods and Ryder quickly. Sheamus hit a Brogue Kick on Khali and then a few other guys helped him eliminate Khali. Dallas eliminated Sin Cara. Sandow was dressed like a beach bum in socks, shorts and tank top, so he looks like an old guy in Florida. R-Truth and Curtis Axel were eliminated. Sandow was tossed out and Ryback eliminated Diego. There was a showdown between Ryback and Sheamus. Sheamus nailed Ryback with a Brogue Kick to eliminate him. Ziggler hit Zig Zag on Miz and that led to Miz rolling under the bottom rope. O’Neil hit two backbreakers to Sheamus. Dallas hit a knee to the back of O’Neil to eliminate him. Cesaro nailed a clothesline on Dallas. Kingston nearly eliminated Cesaro. Kingston hung onto Cesaro to avoid an elimination. Kingston hit a dropkick. Del Rio backbreaker on Ziggler, but the Ziggler nailed a dropkick. Ziggler eliminated Del Rio by using the ropes for leverage. Miz got attacked by Big E, which led to Miz rolling to the floor again. Cesaro gave Big E a belly to belly suplex to eliminate him. Kingston was about to be eliminated, but he was saved by Big E by going on his shoulders. There’s your Kofi near elimination spot. Everybody was just standing around as Cesaro eliminated Kingston with a vertical suplex over the top. Cesaro was celebrating, so Heath Slater tossed him out! Big reaction for that. Sheamus hit a Brogue Kick on Slater to eliminate him.

Final four are Sheamus, Dallas, Ziggler and Miz, who was on the floor. Ziggler dropkick into Dallas and that meant Bo was out. That was my pick. The two faces were fighting it out in the ring while Miz was still on the floor. There was a dangerous spot with Ziggler on the shoulders of Sheamus and Ziggler avoided an attack while Sheamus looked like it hurt him in the shoulder area. He kept on going, though. Sheamus nearly eliminated Ziggler with a slingshot, but Ziggler held on. Ziggler clothesline, but Sheamus held on. Sheamus was on the apron and he was trying to come back in. Ziggler hit a superkick and Sheamus was eliminated. Miz immediately went into the ring to toss out Ziggler. The match went 14 minutes.

Winner and New Intercontinental Champion: The Miz

The crowd hated that win by heel Miz, but it was clever and he sold it like a really big deal.

Analysis: *** It was an entertaining battle royal although the babyfaces at the end came off as idiots because if they had any intelligence they would have got Miz into the ring before they went after each other. If Miz was outside the ring faking an injury then it would have made sense that they didn’t go after him. Instead they look stupid. As for the win by Miz, he’s been IC Champ several times before and he really didn’t benefit from it back then. His heel character is better now, so maybe he will do well. His SummerSlam feud could be with Sheamus with both of them putting titles on the line or they could have Dolph Ziggler challenge him since he was the last one eliminated. The stars of the match were Sheamus, Ziggler, Cesaro and Kingston.

There was another SummerSlam commercial for August 17 in Los Angeles. At least four matches on this show will probably be there: Ambrose/Rollins (technically no match here), Rusev/Swagger, Paige/AJ Lee and Jericho/Wyatt.

A video package aired for the main event.

Randy Orton entered first followed by Kane. Orton was in some blue/purple tights, which were new for him. Roman Reigns was third and he came in through the crowd like usual. John Cena was last. It was as if he was saying “hey kids buy this towel I have in my hands” as he held it up to the crowd. They did the intros for all four guys in the ring and then the bell rang at 10:30pmET. If you’re wondering, Cena had both titles with him.

WWE World Heavyweight Championship: John Cena vs. Randy Orton vs. Roman Reigns vs. Kane

There was a fast pace early on. Kane slammed Reigns into the steel post and then hit a sidewalk slam on Cena. Orton covered for two. There are the “Let’s Go Cena/Cena Sucks” chants that we’re used to. The first five minutes featured a lot of false finishes, but you knew it wasn’t over. After Reigns dominated Kane outside the ring and Cena dumped Orton out of the ring, it looked like it was time for a Cena/Reigns face off. The heels broke it up. Kane got a two count on Reigns, which Orton didn’t like. Crowd was chanting for Daniel Bryan and chanting yelling “yes” as Kane went after Orton. They did the Tower of Doom spot out of the corner with Orton receiving a superplex from Kane while Cena/Reigns did the Powerbomb spot. Cena almost faced off with Reigns, but Kane sat up. Orton backbreaker to Reigns. He hit his DDT off the ropes on Cena & Reigns at the same time. Orton pinned Reigns, but Kane broke up the pin as Lawler was shocked by it. They already did a spot where they fought each other. It’s not a surprise by this point. Reigns hit a Samoan Drop on Kane. Orton made the save. Orton applied a half crab to Reigns, but Reigns kicked out of it and applied a half crab of his own. Cena applied a Crossface at the same time, which Cole called the STF. He corrected himself soon after, so don’t be too hard on him. Cena hit the AA on Kane. Then Cena gave Orton the STF in the ring. Reigns ended up getting back into the ring. He sent Orton over the announce table.

Cena faced off with Reigns in the ring. After some punches, Reigns hit a leaping clothesline and then a clothesline in the corner. Samoan Drop by Reigns on Cena. The crowd wasn’t that loud for this match. Cena avoided the Superman Punch and he hit the spinning suplex. Reigns came back with the Superman Punch. Reigns hit the Spear, but Kane made the save after a two count. That was close. Reigns went after Kane and he hit a Superman Punch. Reigns hit his leaping kick to Cena by the ropes, then a leaping kick to Orton by the announce table and a leaping kick to Kane by the other side of the ring. That was well done. Reigns gave Orton a Spear through the barricade by the announcers, so Orton was out. Back in the ring, Reigns hit a Spear on Kane. Cena with the save at two. Cena dumped Reigns outside the ring. Cena with AA on Kane, but Reigns saved. Reigns covered Kane on his own and Cena made the save. Cena hit the AA on Reigns and Kane made the save. Kane with a Chokeslam on Cena and then to Reigns, but Reigns powered out at two. Reigns with another Spear on Kane. Orton with the RKO on Reigns, who went out of the ring. Cena with the RKO on Orton, who landed on Kane and Cena covered Kane for the win after 19 minutes.

Winner by pinfall: John Cena

After it was over, Cena celebrated with the two WWE Titles. Reigns was looking frustrated at ringside.

Analysis: ***1/4 The match was a good main event that fell a bit short of being great. It feels like we’ve seen it before. It was the same sort of multi-man match we see all the time from WWE except it seemed like they hit even more finishers than normal. Guys were hitting finishers, then coming back 15 seconds later and hitting one of their own like it was nothing. These matches aren’t about selling. What could have helped would have been the use of some chairs or other weapons. They did some stuff outside the ring, but not a lot. You can’t get DQ’d in this match, so why wouldn’t anybody grab a weapon? That was never addressed. They made a point to build up to a Cena/Reigns altercation and when they reached that point the crowd really bought into it as a big deal. When Reigns was on fire towards the end it seemed like the fans got behind him although once again the finish was so obvious that I don’t think anybody really believed Reigns was going to win. The first half was a bit slow, but all people are going to remember is the hot ending. The last five minutes were very good because they’ve done those kinds of endings so many times over the years.

The PPV portion of the broadcast ended at about 10:50pmET. Then they had Renee Young interview The Usos and then she talked to John Cena. The show went off the air at 10:57pmET.


Five Stars of the Show

1. The Usos

2. Luke Harper & Erick Rowan

3. Sheamus

4. Chris Jericho

5. Heath Slater – One man band, baby! He did something. He’s in.

Since I put in four tag team wrestlers that’s more than five. I don’t take it seriously. Neither should you.


Final Thoughts

I’m giving it a 6 out of 10. That makes it the second worst PPV of the year in my rankings although it’s not like any WWE PPV is ever that bad anymore.

The opener was unquestionably the best match. Everything else had a tough act to follow because they were absolutely on fire. The first two falls weren’t the most exciting, but once they got going the action never stopped and they had one of the best matches of the year. It’s one of the best regular tag team matches in WWE history. No question in my mind.

If you expected a Cena loss I’m not sure what to tell you. He won it three weeks ago. He’s not going to lose it this soon. He’ll be facing Brock Lesnar for the WWE Title at SummerSlam. There’s already graphics done and a commercial. Cena might miss Raw on Monday due to filming a movie, but WWE knew this. He’s still going to face Lesnar.

I’m okay with The Miz winning the IC Title the way he did because I like his current character. Hopefully that’s the last battle royal for a long time. It feels like WWE does them monthly.

It wasn’t a terrible show because the guys and girls worked hard in the ring. The problem is there was nothing that was groundbreaking or that will really get people talking. When we watch a PPV we want to see something special. Aside from that opening tag, it felt like an episode of Raw for the most part.

When WWE tells people to buy WWE Network they do it so they can get a great deal on PPVs. And it is a great price. I’m glad I have WWE Network. I haven’t had a problem. However, there was nothing special about this show and the fans that are casual ones are going to want more on a PPV than what we got here.


Ranking the 2014 WWE Pay-Per-Views

Here’s the order with the rankings on the 1-10 scale.

WrestleMania 30 – 8.5

Money in the Bank – 7

Extreme Rules – 7

Elimination Chamber – 6.5

Payback – 6.5

Battleground – 6

Royal Rumble – 5.5

I expect SummerSlam to be really good because there will be a few rematches from Battleground and it’s always one of WWE’s best shows of the year.


I’ll be back live on Monday night with the Raw Deal or you can check it out after the show is over.

Also on Tuesday it’s TJR Radio time with The Ace, Matt Seagull and myself at 10pmET for about 90 minutes of wrestling discussion talking Battleground, Raw, SummerSlam and taking some questions too. We will also be joined by Dave Richard of CBSSports.com to talk WWE & NFL, so be sure to check it out live this Tuesday night or use that same link to listen to it any time after it’s over.

Check out my feature column archive that’s exclusive to WhatCulture. I write there every day and it’s a lot of fun for me. Some recent posts include 10 things WWE wants us to forget about Paul Heyman, a look back at the Invasion 2001 PPV and a listing of the best July WWE Matches of all-time. There are plenty of other things too including Vince Russo writing at the site, so check it out now!

That’s all for me. Have a great week.

John Canton – mrjohncanton@gmail.com

Twitter @johnreport

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