WWE Battleground 2013 DVD review

Battleground1After the feel-good moment of Daniel Bryan winning the WWE championship from Randy Orton at Night of Champions 2013, it was all downhill from there for Bryan. The Authority of Triple H and Stephanie McMahon observed a fast count from the referee at the PPV and declared the title vacant. Demanding more from Orton to become the ‘face’ of WWE, the decision was made to have a re-match at Battleground. Bryan was by far the best in-ring performer in 2013, and so to see him main event another PPV was certainly not a disappointment, however the Authority storyline always makes you feel like another screwjob is just around the corner.

While Bryan has always delivered when the bell rings, he certainly wasn’t the only one to have a solid 2013. The Shield have become renowned for taking part in strong matches, whether it be singles, tag matches, or six mans week on week. Raw and Smackdown are often worth tuning in for just for their matches alone. At Battleground they faced one of their most important matches, against the returning Cody Rhodes and Goldust, as the Rhodes’ careers were on the line. As well as the Punk/Heyman feud continuing via a match versus Ryback, Battleground was an important PPV for furthering the top storylines in WWE.

DVD Extra: Battleground Kickoff Show Match

Dolph Ziggler vs. Damien Sandow

Two men that can certainly deliver in the ring, yet seem to be floundering in the mid-card somewhere, Ziggler and Sandow kick off the show in the manner you would expect. Sandow with some dirty tactics with Ziggler showing off his athleticism, and eventually picking up the win. You’re always left wondering if either man will catch on in a big way or if this is the role they are destined to be left in forever.

PPV Card

Hardcore Rules – World Heavyweight Championship – Alberto Del Rio (c) vs. Rob Van Dam

A rematch from the previous PPV, both men work well together, even if Del Rio’s championship run was a slight disappointment. His in-ring work was solid enough but the general feeling was that it was forgettable and a pre-cursor to the now combined top title. Of course, RVD is at home with the hardcore rules, but Del Rio knows how to take advantage of situations. A solid opener and a nice ending to the feud.

Santino Marella & The Great Khali vs. The Real Americans

Marella will never again reach the heights of his Intercontinental Championship run, or even that one year he nearly won the Royal Rumble, but he’s a man that plays his role to perfection. The real question is does The Great Khali deserve a PPV slot these days? Probably not. On the other hand, The Real Americans have become one of the best teams in WWE, and their manager Zeb Colter is up there with Paul Heyman as a fantastic on-screen character. Teaming with Antonio Cesaro has actually made people watch Jack Swagger rather than him being fast-forward material, so you have to credit WWE with that at least.

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Intercontinental Championship – Curtis Axel (c) vs. R-Truth

The sad truth is that putting Curtis Axel with Paul Heyman really made no difference at all to the junior Perfect, and a pointless feud with R-Truth certainly wasn’t going to help that. Perhaps Axel is best left behind the scenes as a sparring partner for The Rock and whoever else needs his help. The IC title definitely deserves better than this forgettable match.

Divas Championship – AJ Lee (c) vs Brie Bella

Divas matches are often difficult to rate as the focus is rarely on wrestling ability, yet AJ Lee is capable of putting on solid matches with the right opponent. The Bellas have improved over the years, but the focus is on their Total Divas show rather than being the best wrestlers these days. The division seems to be stuck in a stagnant period right now and could do with some NXT call-ups or some returning Divas like Kharma or Lita etc. It’s not all bad, it’s just uninspired.

Rhodes’ Family Careers in Jeopardy – Rollins & Reigns vs. Cody Rhodes & Goldust

The titles are ignored here with something far more important on the line. As you would expect, Dean Ambrose accompanies his Shield buddies, while The American Dream Dusty Rhodes takes care of his sons. This is a perfect example of old school wrestling storytelling matched with exceptional wrestling skill. Goldust looks better than ever, Cody is a great babyface in peril, and The Shield are as brutal as ever. By far the PPV highlight and worth buying alone just for this, and breaks the top five matches of 2013 on WWE’s official website.

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Kofi Kingston vs. Bray Wyatt

Another throwaway match really, with both men without solid direction. Kingston is comparable to Ziggler and Sandow in that he has never quite fulfilled the expectations many have of him. Wyatt on the other hand luckily gets a better run of it towards the end of 2013. Better to look forward to whatever craziness Kingston comes up with in the Royal Rumble this month.

CM Punk vs. Ryback

This was always going to be a more storyline based match, with the focus being on Punk’s desire to absolutely destroy Paul Heyman, and Ryback being yet another man standing in his way. Ryback has unfortunately been knocked down a peg or ten, and never quite managed to hold on to that main event potential. As part of a mini-feud, the match serves its purpose, but is by no means one of Punk’s classics.

Vacant WWE Championship Match – Daniel Bryan vs. Randy Orton

These men have worked together many times throughout 2013, both as friend and foe. Unfortunately regardless of the decent work they put in, it’s overshadowed by The Authority and that particular storyline, and ends on an even more sour note than the previous PPV. It’s clearly a stepping stone to the next PPV Hell In A Cell, and so comes across as fairly pointless. As part of a bigger picture it has its place, but there’s an overwhelming sense of frustration as Battleground finishes.

Battleground 2013 is one of those shows that WWE puts on where a few stars deliver above expectations, but overall it’s a filler show to progress storylines and build towards a bigger PPV. If you go in with low expectations then the Rhodes/Shield match alone will leave you happy enough, but don’t go looking for a PPV stacked with quality from top to bottom as this isn’t it.

Other DVD extras:

Rob Van Dam Contemplates His Future in WWE

Randy Orton Reacts to Battleground

Josh Mathews Interviews Daniel Bryan

RAW 7th October 2013 – Cody Rhodes, Daniel Bryan & Goldust vs. The Shield

Renee Young Interviews Big Show

Blu-ray Exclusive extras:

RAW 16th September 2013 – Triple H Holds the WWE Championship in Abeyance

RAW 23rd September 2013 – CM Punk Returns to Chicago

RAW 30th September 2013 – Rhodes Family Summit

Daniel Bryan and Randy Orton: Face-to-Face

SmackDown 4th October 2013 – Alberto Del Rio vs. Dolph Ziggler

Battleground 2013 is available now on DVD and Blu-ray from HERE.

 

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