Things catch up to the WWE at Battleground

I could say I'm nitpicking, but in truth, I'm not.

The WWE is a televised product. Like most televised products today, there is a greater demand among the audience for improved programming that is coherent, cohesive, and meaningful. With that being said, the WWE should not be spared criticism. After all, the WWE has more of a budget that Lucha Underground, but Lucha Underground manages to make every single episode meaningful. Every. Single. Episode.

But I digress.

Don't get me wrong. I enjoyed Battleground. The triple threat match between Brie Bella, Sasha Banks, and Charlotte was a treat to watch. Bray Wyatt and Roman Reigns had a good old fashioned, NWA-style hoss brawl. Cena may have had one of his finest, if not his finest match, in his WWE career. Yet, even with all of that, there are major gaffes that the WWE have made in the past year that finally caught up with the company at this event.

Seth Rollins is in a befuddling position. Outside of Triple H and Stephanie McMahon, Rollins has been the WWE's most prominent antagonist -- a smarmy, back stabbing son of a bitch that will use any means to reach an end that benefits him. Unfortunately, Rollins has been stuck in a spoiled brat, chickenshit heel role, that has not only devalued his ascendancy as the WWE's primary villain, but also the symbolism and meaning that comes with being written as the WWE Champion. The WWE Champion is supposed to be the company's top act and the championship itself should be a primary device of which the most important angles revolve around.

There's just one problem. Rollins has been relegated to being a relative sideshow. The Davenport, Iowa-native has not won a single match clean since January of this year. His character is spoiled, but instead of being written as crafty and resourceful when the situation calls for it, he is instead presented as cowardly and childish. That makes sense if the heel was a mid-carder, but this is supposed to be the company's top villain.

Rollins' mediocre run as a villainous champion is an endgame to very bad long term booking.

McMahon decided for Brock Lesnar to go over on Undertaker, which soon led the WWE to put the belt on Lesnar so that his momentum could be maintained, and for most of Lesnar's title reign, the WWE Championship was largely an afterthought instead of a motivating device for the wrestlers that were still appearing on a week to week basis. Lesnar only held the belt so that Roman Reigns could face the Beast at Wrestlemania in a crowning moment; however, the problem is that Reigns was never built up properly as the next great top face of the company. Fans still pined for Daniel Bryan, and even after Bryan put over Reigns before Wrestlemania, the WWE realized that The Rock's cousin could NOT walk out of Wrestlemania with the belt.

So the WWE decides to put the belt on Rollins, even though he was poorly written by that point. After giving Rollins the belt, they burn through three money making feuds way too early with Randy Orton, Roman Reigns, and Dean Ambrose, and they made poor use of Rollins as the purported crown jewel of The Authority stable.

Lesnar had to eventually get his return match, and maintain his place at the top of the card, so he was positioned as the top face to go head to head with Rollins at Battleground, even though it was a foregone conclusion that they were not going to write Lesnar to be champion again. The only issue is that, because Lesnar was now built up as a glorified squash machine after defeating Undertaker, there was no real plausible way that the WWE could write a finish with Rollins leaving the event still champion except for... what you saw tonight.

Now we begin a poorly timed revenge angle between Lesnar and Undertaker, which will lead to a match at Summerslam in which the Undertaker will most likely exact his revenge against Lesnar, even though it would have made more sense if it was done at Wrestlemania.

As for Rollins, who was not seen again for the rest of the pay per view broadcast and not even acknowledged by the announcers as still the WWE Champion after the Undertaker's interference, is now left in somewhat of a state of limbo. Rollins is most likely going to be working an angle with Kane or, as rumored, HHH.

It's mind boggling as to how the WWE managed to badly botch the long term booking of its key plot device and its two primary performers in Rollins and Lesnar. But it seems to be the way that the WWE rolls these days. It's very unfortunate for everyone involved from the performers to the fans.

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