Worst: Woof, Pay-Per-View Edition
Battleground was just an episode of Raw without commercials. That’s it. It was three hours long, the WWE Championship segment didn’t go anywhere, Big Show got emotionally conflicted about some stuff, there was a comedy Santino match, some people got rolled-up and pinned after a distraction, champions lost non-title matches, The Shield had a great match, Kofi Kingston pointlessly wrestled, the CM Punk/Paul Heyman beef moved forward without really going anywhere and Curtis Axel wrestled R-Truth. I handed off the Raw report in favor of writing about the pay-per-view and ended up writing about Raw. I am Sisyphus on the Internet.
Curtis Axel pinned R-Truth with the yet-to-be-named hangman’s facebuster and it was fine, but it was sincerely the most Raw motherf*cker of all time and I hope you enjoyed it. You’re making me miss the Domino’s commercials, Battleground.
Worst: R-Truth Only Had A Match On Battleground So His Hell In A Cell Promo Wouldn’t Seem Random, Didn’t He
If you missed the Hell in a Cell 2013 poster, it’s of a black man in jail. If that wasn’t indicative of WWE’s opinion of black people, the commercial for Hell in a Cell features him acting like a preacher. You’re making me miss the Popeyes commercials, Battleground.
Best: And Now, Here’s Everybody I Love
oh thank god
Unsurprisingly, The Shield vs. Cody Rhodes and Goldust was the best match on the show by a mile, and one of my favorite WWE pay-per-view matches of the year. That’s honestly a pretty great list right now. I’d put it alongside the Elimination Chamber match from Elimination Chamber and … wow, that might be it. Is it weird that there have been a billion good matches this year, and almost every single one of them was on free TV?
This one worked because (surprise) it was a straight-forward, emotional, high-stakes tag team match featuring a bunch of guys who are great at wrestling. Making wrestling work is like trying to convince people how to diet. They want to tell you it’s about specific supplements and products and pills but nope, all you have to do is eat right and exercise. Unless you have a medical condition, that’ll do it for you. In this analogy, “a medical condition” is Ring Of Honor.
The Rhodes family story is really saving my ass when it comes to enjoying WWE right now. They’ve turned Daniel Bryan into a sarcastic little asshole with terrible luck, they’ve put CM Punk in this Groundhog Day bubble where he does and says the same thing every week and they’ve nerfed Damien Sandow to the point that Justin Roberts could probably RKO and pin him, but the Rhodes family gets one awesome segment every week where the story moves forward, things of importance happen and great matches are in abundance. My favorite wrestlers from the 80s, 90s and now are all there, and even the Stephanie McMahon content involves her getting face-palmed. Thank you so much for this, everybody involved.
Best: Goldust’s Darth Maul Paint
He’s been painting his face up like that on the indies from time to time for a while, but I will proudly give a Best to its WWE debut. I was really hoping Roman Reigns would spear him and he’d just stand there, look down and then fall in half.
Best: Dusty Rhodes Is Still So Great I Can’t Stand It
One of the big highlights of the match was Dusty Rhodes vs. Dean Ambrose on the outside. If you missed it, Dean tried to interfere, got punched off the apron and ended up running afoul of Dusty. Dusty starts taking off his belt and Ambrose is just all up in his face like YEAH WHAT’RE YOU GONNA DO OLD MAN, BELIEVE IN THE SHIELD or whatever and Dusty just takes the f*cking belt buckle in his hand and PUNCHES AMBROSE STRAIGHT IN THE FACE WITH IT.
No wrapping, no wind-up, just a straight punch to the face with metal. Ambrose wobbles around, so Dusty flips, flops and flies and bionically elbows him to death. It made me smile from ear to ear, and the only downside is that it made me wonder how great that Ambrose/Mick Foley feud would’ve been if Foley’s neurologist hadn’t had basic medical competence and told him to stay the f*ck away from a wrestling ring.
Best: A Celebration Of Rhodeses, Or
Best: Hey Look, Kaitlyn Still Exists
The end of the match was wonderful for four big reasons:
1. That Cross Rhodes was outstanding. Most people sell it by spinning over really fast onto their face, and hey, that works, but Seth Rollins sells it by spinning IN THE AIR, meaning he just kinda floats at zero gravity and lets Cody whip him around. I loved it. You can blame Dolph Ziggler’s descent into meaninglessness on a lot of things, but for me what did it was Seth Rollins showing up and being better than him at the one thing he’s truly great at doing.
2. EMOTIONAL DUSTY RHODES. I am not ashamed to say that Dusty Rhodes getting emotional made me have ALLERGIES IN THE SAWDUST FACTORY or whatever it is guys say on the Internet instead of “cry.” I loved the big hug at the end, but I also loved the unintentional touch of HOW they hugged. When Dustin and Cody hugged, it was this forceful, happy thing. They were equals. When they both hugged their dad, Cody hugged him straight on, head to head, but Dustin sorta hunched over and hugged him in the armpit … suggesting that Cody sees himself as his father’s equal, but Dustin doesn’t.
3. Cody and Dustin have their WWE jobs back, which not only means GOLDUST ON EVERY RAW (YEAHHH) but that all that pipe dreamy fantasy booking I was doing about Sandow cashing in Money in the Bank as a vessel to get Cody and Goldust World Heavyweight Championship feuds might actually happen. Goldust for WHC, please and thank you.
4. The WE’RE ONLY EMPLOYED SO WE CAN HAVE A BIG ENOUGH CELEBRATION CROWD posse emerged from backstage to celebrate the Rhodes’ victory, and I’m gonna Best any gaggle of expendable jerks that appears. Hey look, Zack Ryder has his own cancer shirt. Isn’t it cute that they think people still buy Zack Ryder shirts? Also, Kaitlyn still exists! WHERE YOU AT, GIRL. Best outfit of the stage goes to Justin Gabriel, though, for his windbreaker and Breast Cancer Awareness undershirt combo.
I want more like this!
Follow us on Facebook and get the latest before everyone else.