WWE made a big deal out of its new pay-per-view (PPV) earlier this year, announcing that Over the Limit was going to be replaced by the more stouthearted Battleground, which makes me think of William Wallace sticking it to Edward Longshanks in the middle of a Scottish field.
From last July's release:
Featuring all of the top WWE Superstars and Divas - including WWE Champion John Cena, CM Punk, Rob Van Dam, "Mr. Money in the Bank" Randy Orton and more - the inaugural WWE Battleground is sure to be a spectacular that no WWE fan will want to miss. There's just no telling what type of action is in store for members of the WWE Universe when the world's top competitors converge on one the United States' true wrestling hotbeds.
I think for an inaugural card, the organization really put its worst foot forward. I understand that you don't have much to work with, since both John Cena and Sheamus -- two of the roster's top babyfaces -- are riding the pine following recent surgical procedures.
But coughing up $50 to buy Night of Champions was asking a lot, especially since the smoke had yet to clear from last month's SummerSlam. Now they want us to throw another Grant at the television screen with Hell in a Cell just over four weeks away.
That's three PPV events over the course of six weeks, which means you would have to drop $150 within the span of 42 days. Keep in mind that all three shows are bookended by SummerSlam and Survivor Series, two of the "big four" and a pair of events most fans consider a "must buy."
If they want to squeeze Battleground in there on Oct. 6, then they need to come heavy.
Right now, I don't see anything worth buying. Daniel Bryan and Randy Orton will put on a fine WWE title match, no question, but we just saw this go down on the last PPV. And to make matters worse, Alberto Del Rio will once again defend his World Heavyweight Championship against Rob Van Dam.
WWE's top two championship matches, by way of screwy finish, are exact repeats from its last show, which makes this Night of Champions Part Deux. This is what I'm paying for? And it's a no-win situation, too. If you give the belt to RVD, it's a big F-U to the people who paid to see it the first time.
If not, it gets filed under "fool me once..."
The good news is, there are still ample ways to make this card the "spectacular" show they first promised, though normally you lead with your big bouts first to generate buzz. I like the addition of Ryback vs. CM Punk, which we've also seen before, but this is the new and improved Ryback, doing work under Paul Heyman.
I never thought I would see the day when I was counting on Ryback to carry a PPV.
Then again, you could transform the entire event with the inclusion of a War Games match, which not coincidentally, was created by Dusty Rhodes. The former "American Dream" is mired in a feud with The Corporate Shield and the match fits the Battleground gimmick, though I would think you would need Bryan and Orton to round out the respective teams.
Not sure I need to see Big Show in that kind of environment.
We don't have much time to get this thing straightened out and to date, I'm pretty underwhelmed with the top two matches. Hopefully, Creative has something special in store for us, which can then be anchored by standout performances from the supporting players.
If not, that will be one more PPV that I -- and perhaps a lot of other fans -- let fall by the wayside.