WWE’s very first edition of Battleground took place at the First Niagara Center in Buffalo, New York and featured a total of eight matches. The show started off hot with Alberto Del Rio vs. Rob Van Dam, who battled it out for the World Heavyweight Title in a Hardcore Rules match and ended with the highly anticipated main event rematch between Randy Orton and Daniel Bryan for the WWE Championship. Surprisingly, each match on the card delivered in one way shape or form and was an overall decent PPV for WWE, aside from the Super Bowl-esque power outage and the no contest finish in the main event. Here are the overall highs and lows from Battleground 2013:

Best Match: You’d think that Daniel Bryan and Randy Orton would be the best match of the night, but the ending ruined it for me. When Bryan had Orton in the Yes Lock, Big Show came to the ring and threw the referee out. When Daniel confronted the giant, he knocked him out. Shortly after, Brad Maddox came out and ordered Scott Armstrong to go to the ring. Orton pinned Bryan and just as Armstrong was putting his hand down for the three count, Big Show pulled him out and knocked him out. Afterwards, Show went into the ring and knocked out Orton. The crowd went absolutely ballistic and it was an awesome moment, however, both Bryan and Orton were laying in the ring, knocked out, and the PPV ended with Big Show celebrating. I’m very indifferent about this ending. I think it’s a good call to leave the WWE Title vacant, but it was just one of those “is that it?” moments.

Now, to me, the real match of the night was Cody and Goldust Rhodes vs. Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns, with both Dusty Rhodes and Dean Ambrose at ringside. There was just so much emotion and crisp wrestling that it’s hard to argue that the show these guys put on was one of the best WWE tag team matches in recent history. As always, Rollins and Reigns looked strong, but Cody and Goldust did one hell of a job. Cody in particular was the standout superstar of the fight. Throughout the match, he hit a picture perfect Moonsault, Disaster Kick and Muscle Buster (Samoa Joe style) and picked up the victory after hitting Rollins with a devastating and beautiful looking Cross Rhodes.

I’m not saying that Orton and Bryan was a bad match, it was actually really good and picked up a lot towards the end, but the ending was kind of shocking.

Crowd Chants of the Night: The crowd chanted “that was awesome” after Rob Van Dam hit Del Rio with a unique and devastating DDT. Also, in the same match, they chanted “this is awesome”, which was a testament to the match itself. The Buffalo crowd chanted in unison “CM Punk” during the Second City Saint’s match against Ryback and of course, they chanted “Goldberg” at Ryback. How original.  For some strange reason, the crowd chanted “you can’t wrestle” to Ryback. On the contrary Buffalo fans, Ryback can wrestle. Like every week, the crowd chanted “Daniel Bryan” and “YES!” when Daniel Bryan came out to the ring.

Breakout Star of the Night: Cody Rhodes and Goldust were the breakout stars of the night. I wanted to just give Cody the award, but felt that Goldust was top notch as well. The crowd was going wild from start to finish during the Rhodes Family vs. Rollins & Reigns match and both of the Rhodes brothers looked absolutely polished and crisp in the ring. Goldust was solid in the ring, but Cody stole the show with his athleticism and the outstanding Cross Rhodes finisher he executed on Seth Rollins to get the win. There was so much anticipation and emotion put into the match and all the performers in the ring (including Dusty and Ambrose) hit their spots flawlessly. Bray Wyatt comes in second place for breakout star of the night after looking impressive in his match against Kofi Kingston.

Fan Sign of the Night: This is the part of the review where readers can comment on what their favorite crowd signs were. What were some cool, funny and clever signs that you saw during Battleground 2013?

Jobber of the Night: Considering all the matches on the card lasted longer than five minutes, it’s difficult to award the jobber of the night award to a superstar that performed at Battleground. However, the least impressive wrestler was probably The Great Khali after he was pinned after the Cesaro Swing. It’s so awkward and nerve-racking watching Khali compete in the ring. He’s lost a step (or 10) since his main event days 6-7 years ago and it looks like his legs are going to give out on him at any moment. Not trying to knock Khali, but Khali is not what’s best for business.

Upset of the Night: The upset of the night has to be Cody and Goldust Rhodes defeating Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns, resulting in the brothers getting their jobs back. Words can’t describe how fun the match was and it was booked perfectly. Rollins and Reigns have been dominant tag team champions for almost a year and Goldust and Cody haven’t been in the ring for a while, so the victory they picked up was definitely an upset.

Holy Sh** Moment of the Night: The holy sh**moment of the night was was Big Show knocking out both Daniel Bryan and Randy Orton. It was obvious that he was sent out there to knock out Bryan, but afterwards, he had a change of heart and knocked out the Viper. The crowd was going wild and Big Show finally let out all that anger in that Knockout Punch to Orton.

Another holy sh** moment was Antonio Cesaro pulling off the Cesaro Swing and swinging The Great Khali around the ring about 10-15 times. Like JBL said, it was like Cesaro swinging a Brontosaurus. Word on the street is that the Cesaro Swing is so over with the crowd; the WWE may switch things up and turn Cesaro face. I wouldn’t mind that, Cesaro is too gifted and talented to be part of a tag team that will never win the Tag Team Championships. Anyways, the Cesaro Swing on Khali was an impressive feat of strength.

WTF Moment of the Night: This is a new category that will be featured in future “Nutshell” articles because every time I watch a WWE event, there is at least one WTF moment. Talking about Battleground, the WTF moment of the night was the power outage that place at the First Niagara Center which resulted in millions losing their PPV feed. Thankfully, the WWE figured things out and the PPV was only off the air for a couple of minutes. This is a billion dollar company and these things should not be happening, but you have to give some praise to the guys at WWE for getting the PPV back on the air so quickly.

Worst Match: There weren’t any horrible matches at Battleground, but the most underwhelming contest had to be the tag team match between the team of The Great Khali & Santino Marella vs. The Real Americans. The bout lasted about six minutes and the only cool thing about the match was the Giant Swing Cesaro performed on The Great Khali. This was a SmackDown quality match that wasn’t even scheduled to be on the card in the first place.

Logic Fail of the Night: The logic fail of the night happened during the main event match between Randy Orton and Daniel Bryan. First off, both Orton and Bryan were outside of the ring for a good portion of the match and the referee seemed to be counting them out way to fast. At one time, Bryan threw Orton into the steel ring steps and the referee was already at a count of eight. Then, Bryan rolled into the ring and back out again, breaking the count. Now, this doesn’t make sense considering the fact that if Bryan had stayed in the ring, the referee would have counted Orton out and Bryan would have been the new WWE champion. The match could have ended since the WWE Title was vacant. Michael Cole was at a loss for words when this took place, and tried his best to ignore the illogical situation.

Tweets of the Night:

 

 

 

 

Commentary Lines of the Night: “The rules are like piñatas, they’re meant to be broken” – Jerry Lawler. “That just knocked one of the languages out of Antonio Cesaro” – JBL. “The government shutdown is to blame for the power outage” – JBL.

LOL Moment of the Night: There weren’t any real funny moments that happened during Battleground, but what I found humorous were some of the things that Paul Heyman said during the match between CM Punk and Ryback. For example, Ryback had Punk in a chin lock and Heyman screamed “don’t tap out; I want him to hurt you alllll nighhttt loonggg”, Waterboy style. In my eyes, Heyman and Ryback are a perfect match and have been working great together.

Overall Lowlights: Alberto Del Rio retains the World Heavyweight Title, Khali & Santino vs. Real Americans, CM Punk vs. Ryback (I was expecting much more from these two), First Niagara Center power outage, Randy Orton vs. Daniel Bryan finish.

Overall Highlights: Alberto Del Rio vs. Rob Van Dam, Cesaro Swing to Khali, AJ Lee vs. Brie Bella, Cody & Goldust Rhodes vs. Seth Rollins & Roman Reigns, Bionic Elbow to Dean Ambrose, Kofi Kingston vs. Bray Wyatt, Daniel Bryan vs. Randy Orton.

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