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WWE Battleground 2014: Lessons Learned

On paper, there was a lot to look forward to with the 2nd ever Battleground pay-per-view. Rusev and Swagger had built up some great momentum, we would be getting a new Intercontinental Champion, Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose would finally meet in the squared circle, Chris Jericho and Bray Wyatt would battle and John Cena would again be put in tough spot to retain his WWE World Heavyweight Championship.

All the talk about Plan B and a possible Plan C coming into play made things unpredictable. Would Rollins cash in and lose? Would Brock Lesnar show up and destroy Cena? The possibilities were endless and the show absolutely fell flat on its face. Here are my lessons learned from Battleground.

Lesson 1: The World is not in His Hands
By now I’m sure you’ve notice that I am a huge Bray Wyatt guy. I love everything he brings to the table. He’s unique inside and outside of the ring. His skills on the microphone are on the level of CM Punk. Really, there’s nothing you can’t like about this guy. What’s the WWE missing?

His creative and powerful promos mean nothing if he continues to lose. That’s now 3 losses in his last 4 singles PPV matches. It’s really hard to “have the whole world in his hands” and serve as a scary threat if he continues to fail.

Him losing clean in the middle of the ring thanks to a Codebreaker was my lowest moment on the card. Just when I thought Jericho would make things right with Bray, he pins him in the middle of the ring. I still have faith that Y2J will put Bray over at SummerSlam and Night of Champions but right now, the stock is falling on Bray Wyatt and I’m a bit nervous.

Lesson 2: Long Way to Go
I’ve been a huge supporter of Roman Reigns as the guy to replace John Cena as the top baby face in the company, but I am slowly climbing off that bandwagon. I have no doubt that he has the goods to be a main event player in the WWE, but Sunday made me realize he has a lot of work to do before taking the throne from Cena.

It really comes down to three things. His ring attire, entrance and move set all need improvements.

Cena and Randy Orton make it clear you don’t need to be a Swiss Army knife in the ring to be a top star, but Reigns needs more than a spear and superman punch to rise to the top.

He needs to lose The Shield gimmick. He’s still coming out of the stands and rocking the same theme music. Also, his ring attire seems to be getting worse every week. Like Rollins and Ambrose, he needs to change things up.

He just needs a fresh look and entrance and the chances could be minor. Hopefully, these changes will come with his maturation as a singles wrestler. If he’s going to win the title and have a WrestelMania moment next year, he better figure it out soon or it won’t happen.

Lesson 3: Stuck on the Midcard?
If you asked me a couple months ago, who would have the biggest year of any up-and-comer, I would have answered with Cesaro. He became a Paul Heyman Guy and won the inaugural Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal at WrestleMania XXX making him a lock to be a breakout star in 2014.

On Sunday at Battleground, Cesaro took part in a battle royal for the vacant WWE Intercontinental Championship. When this match was announced, Cesaro was my easy choice to win it. I’m really not sure what happened over the last couple months but it feels like he’s fallen off the ladder. Recently losing twice to Kofi Kingston and once to Big E, Cesaro’s momentum seemed to hit a screeching halt.

On Sunday, he did not make it into the final four of the match and to make things worse, Heath Slater eliminated him. Yes, the “One Man Band” ended Cesaro’s night. Its obvious Cesaro has a lot of work to do to live up to the potential he has and it’s not going to be easy. Heyman will be putting all his time and effort into a returning Brock Lesnar. Cesaro is a great talent, but it looks like he has to do things the hard way and could be stuck on the midcard for the foreseeable future.

Lesson 4: Bait and Switch
When Triple H ordered Dean Ambrose out of the building after attacking Seth Rollins all I could do was shake my head. Then, Rollins came out and accepted his victory via forfeit and I shook my head some more. Like most of you, this was my most anticipated match of the night.

Should they have waited till SummerSlam to have this match? Yes, without question. The bigger problem is that it was scheduled and expected. I’d have to imagine that Rollins’ knee injury was real and that’s why they didn’t have a match.

This was a huge letdown on Sunday night because there were other options. Pretty much anything other than what happened would have been better than canceling the match right before it’s scheduled to take place. Make an announcement on the preshow, start the match and have a quick interference or have Rollins retreat to a count out. Anything would have been better than a bait and switch.

On a positive note, it does make me want this match even more now and hopefully they put Rollins’ briefcase on the line in their match at SummerSlam. Maybe this was really all part of the plan.

Other Thoughts:
Having Lana reference the latest tragedy in the Ukraine was a bit much. The match and outcome didn’t make things better. Hopefully the feud between Rusev and Jack Swagger continues through SummerSlam because I am really enjoying it.

The Usos have really surprised me as champions. I thought the Wyatts were going to take the belts off them but I am fine with the outcome. It was a great match and the Usos have been great champions. Hopefully The Ascension debuts soon and feuds with the highflying Samoans.

Paige and AJ are great. Nothing else needs to be said about those two.

How in the world does Adam Rose make it on the Battleground card at all? I don’t care if he was on the pre-show. He shouldn’t be anywhere near a major WWE event, ever. Yes, I am a lemon.

Steven Grossi is a digital video producer who likes to write a little. He’s a brown belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, hardcore MMA fan and a total wrestling nerd. He usually has a strong opinion on anything combat sports related so give him a follow on twitter @SteveOGrossi.

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Steve Grossi

Steven Grossi is a digital video producer who likes to write a little. He’s a brown belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, hardcore MMA fan and a total wrestling nerd. He usually has a strong opinion on anything combat sports related so give him a follow on twitter @SteveOGrossi.

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