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Battleground 2015

 
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DalyCityTrain



Joined: 06 Aug 2006
Posts: 76

PostPosted: Mon Jul 20, 2015 6:05 pm    Post subject: Battleground 2015 Reply with quote

Battleground looked like a pretty good card coming in wrestling-wise, and I felt like it lived up to that. But there was a lot of frustrating booking and finishes that stand to overshadow the work.

1. Orton vs. Sheamus - Early in 2015, Orton had real momentum for his face turn, and they let it get away. Part of the heat he was getting was because he was turning on The Authority, and their storyline is pushed so far ahead of everything else on RAW. But there was a missed opportunity for him to have one (hopefully) last short run as a major babyface and buy some time while Roman Reigns makes his very gradual ascension and the WWE struggles to fill the months between Lesnar appearances. Instead, the Rollins vs. Orton title program was pretty tame and overshadowed by the constant teasing of Kane turning face.

Meanwhile, Sheamus waits in limbo for another super push that may never come and will probably be unsuccessful if it does.

If all this sounds like complaining, I should add that creatively I prefer both guys in the spot they're in, having decent mid card matches and leaving room for something ostensibly less stagnant in the main events.

This opener had pretty good heat because Orton is from the St. Louis area. I like the physicality Sheamus brings to PPV matches. The exchanges of uppercuts give them a faux-New-Japan feel, or at least a seriousness, and fill the empty space that sometimes eats up the middle of Orton matches and he builds towards his spots. When an opponent gives Orton some boundaries to work within, his cool-looking moves and old school willingness to milk the crowd become easier to appreciate.

2. Prime Time Players vs. New Day - The New Day are a really fun heel act. Both teams exceeded my expectations in-ring, cutting out a lot of the chaff and having an all-action match that's probably the best Prime Time Players match , or for that matter any Titus O'Neil match, I've ever seen.

I can justify the PTP winning in that there's not really any other program for the New Day to move to right now, with Jey Uso, Tyson Kidd and Erick Rowan all hurt. That just leaves Lucha Dragons who they're already fighting on TV most weeks. It's just as well if they keep this going thru Summerslam, especially if they're gonna have good matches like this.

3. Roman Reigns vs. Bray Wyatt - A pretty conventional match that kicked it up another notch towards the end. Reigns did a good job showing anger and aggression, maybe better than the storyline build-up deserves.

All Reigns's 2015 PPV matches have been good, for whatever that's worth.

4. Sasha Banks vs. Charlotte vs. Brie Bella - So, this is a whole can of worms. I love the NXT Women's Division. I know one degree or other of compromise is gonna come with these wrestlers moving up to the main roster, and I'm pretty much reconciled to just hoping for whatever I can get out of it.

Still, you get the first match of the "Divas Revolution" (and if they keep saying that before it's been justified, they're gonna turn the slogan heel quicker than "$9.99") with a loud pro-NXT faction of fans in the front rows who are itching to get behind Charlotte and Sasha, and this match failed to give them the big moments, the star treatment of someone like sasha Banks, that might make the rest of the fans go "Now I see what those fans are cheering for." Sasha is already a big star to the people who are into her, the thing to do is run with that and treat her like a big star. But as I'll get into with Kevin Owens, the WWE can't even commit to it's own intentionally generated NXT counterculture movement.

Match was pretty good, anyways. I don't think Brie brought it down quality-wise, though the "We want Becky" chants suggested that she brought it down for many of the pro-NXT fans. They limited her offense to mostly kicks and the selling by Charlotte and Sasha made her look better than she probably ever has. When the two NXT women worked sequences together, there was more of the generic 1000 Reversals stuff that every WWE match has. Also their intense facial expressions which do so much to sell those NXT Women's Title matches as something serious and special didn't carry the same weight in this context. It's one thing for them to care about winning and losing, but it also has to be established why they should care.

They still haven't explained why Banks is with Naomi and Tamina, storyline-wise.

5. Cena vs. Owens - Everytime John Cena has a good feud, they oversaturate the audience to death with it, to the tune of of 4 or 5 straight PPV matches. This is the third, and what felt like something really special the first two times now is starting to seem a little routine. It probably doesn't help that the big move-nearfall-milk the impact formula has diminishing returns.

This was still a very good, intense match. Cena not just winning for the second straight match, but making Owens tap out, doesn't seem promising for the future. But they could still have a Summerslam match to go.

If they are hedging their bets with Owens despite his excellent performances so far, and helping to re-invigorate RAW, it shows a very typically WWE-like ambivalence towards their success with NXT. Bruce Mitchell's theory about the real reasons for NXT seems to have proved true, that HHH wanted his own Ring Of Honor style indy fed so that when it bred the superstars that hardcore fans staked their rebellious claim to, unlike with CM Punk and Daniel Bryan, WWE would be able to claim those wrestlers as their own brand.

Obviously, Kevin Owens is not pure WWE or NXT, but he's associated with it so much by the groundswell that really loves NXT and seems to want to follow their guys and girls onto the main roster and help push them to further success. So any hesitation towards following through on an Owens mega-push that has thus far yielded only good things feels a little like WWE being suspicious of it's own sub-brand, just as they've been in the past with WCW and ECW after purchasing them.

- Since Ryback got a staph infection, temporarily saving us from a bland IC Title 3-way with Big Show and Miz, Miz got to do a mic segment and draw heel heat instead. Like a lot of things in WWE, Miz has had the same role and formula forever, it never stands to become anything more, but he can be really great at it. I think I enjoyed this more than I would have the actual match. It ended when Big Show came out and gave him a Knockout Punch (When Miz gets his in segments like this, it's almost always with one punch, delivered with minimum buildup for comic effect.)

6. Rollins vs. Lesnar - I love the real "Big Fight" feel Lesnar's matches have, and I really like Rollins, although he probably did better work before winning the title, as his big defenses have felt stuffed with gimmicks or swerves rather than just letting him build his own epic match, which he seems as qualified to do as anyone on the roster.

This started out weird because Brock was a monster face and Seth was an underdog heel doing anything he could to gain an advantage. In the Royal Rumble 3-way these two had with Cena, Lesnar got sympathy by being knoecked out in a table spot. Here it was like they were building a squash, and anything past that might just disappoint the crowd.

It ended up not mattering, since Undertaker came out, Lesnar acted about as shocked and scared as guys usually act around him, and Taker gave him a Chokeslam and Tombstone to set up Summerslam.

WWE has been accused of putting Special Attractions so far ahead of their regular guys for big shows that the regular guys barely stand a chance to hold the attention those shows draw. This seems like a pretty textbook example of that. Brock vs. Taker 2 has a much bigger luster than any other potential main event, but possibly at the expense of all the heat they'd been building with Lesnar as their top face and biggest attraction (Losing to Undertaker doesn't build anything for Taker, and beating Taker doesn't mean nearly as much the second time...if anything it just makes Brock kind of a heel when he was crushing it as a face). Plus, Lesnar's already something of a special attraction. Rollins, for his part, just vanished once Taker showed up, with no ending to the match and no interest shown in the championship.
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Steve Yohe



Joined: 01 Aug 2006
Posts: 2995
Location: Wonderful Montebello CA

PostPosted: Tue Jul 21, 2015 11:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

So now the washed up Undertaker has to beat Brock and hurt himself again doing it. It will be a bad match, because Brock will have hold back & it leads to nothing. All it does is give Taker his win over a guy who shouldn't lose.--Yohe
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DalyCityTrain



Joined: 06 Aug 2006
Posts: 76

PostPosted: Sun Aug 23, 2015 5:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

For a second after Battleground, I thought if Brock has to lose on the way out for one of his hiatuses, maybe he could come back winning the Royal Rumble and getting his heat back.

But it seems like they've got Lesnar/Taker 3 in mind for Mania now.

The build to this match has been great and super hot, so we'll see how it goes. But I completely agree as far as I hate how much they have Brock job, when he's so over, and wrestles so infrequently.
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