WWE Battleground 2014 Results: Winners, Grades, Reaction and Highlights

Jonathan SnowdenCombat Sports Senior WriterJuly 20, 2014

WWE Battleground 2014 Results: Winners, Grades, Reaction and Highlights

0 of 9

    via WWE.com

    Four men walked into the ring tonight at WWE Battleground with dreams of championship gold. Only one could emerge WWE champion.

    Such is the binary nature of professional wrestling. While there is certainly the possibility of glory in defeat, there can only be a single winner. This isn't baseball, where teams get 162 games to prove who's best. In wrestling, it all comes down to one night.

    Tonight was John Cena's night. He pinned Kane after brutally dropping Randy Orton right on top of the Devil's Favorite Demon to retain his championship gold.

    Kane, Cena and Orton have been WWE mainstays for over a decade. For them, Battleground is just a line item on their resumes—yet another big win or loss in a career filled with each. The match may be a momentary distraction on the road to Raw, but it won't be special.

    For Roman Reigns, it would have been different. This isn't the middle or end of a great career. We are watching a legend being created before our very eyes. When Reigns wins, it will be his first world championship. That's special. That matters. 

    Tonight wasn't his time. But it's coming. And likely soon.

    Of course, one match does not a card make. Did Battleground deliver? As a whole, the answer has to be no—but there were several shining moments worth discussing. What follows is our trademark instant analysis and letter grades for each and every bout on the show. 

    Disagree with our assessment? Feel free to sound off in the comments.

Fandango vs. Adam Rose

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    via WWE.com

    Result

    Rose pinned Fandango with the Party Foul

     

    Highlights and Quotes

    Layla and Summer Rae slap the crap out of Fandango.

    "For those of you that didn't get that reference, it was a 1950's television show" —Michael Cole making fun of JBL's F-Troop name drop. It was actually a show from the 1960s. Only 50 years old, in other words, rather than 60. Topical!

     

    Grade

    D+

     

    Analysis

    When the only high spot in a match comes by way of valet slap, well, that probably wasn't much of a match. The WWE added this bout at the last minute, but I'm not sure why. The introductions were longer than the actual match. 

Naomi vs. Cameron

2 of 9

    via WWE.com

    Result

    Cameron pinned Naomi with a schoolgirl. 

     

    Highlights and Quotes

    "I love when friends fight." -JBL. That's not a really healthy attitude. 

    Cameron executes the worst bow and arrow ever. I thus dub it the bow and error.

     

    Grade

    C

     

    Analysis

    Cameron had a handful of tights, which means this feud is far from over. It will be interesting to see if Naomi can move on to bigger things in the WWE. Although not exactly Manami Toyota, she was the worker of the team. But, in her own way, Cameron may have more natural charisma. 

    For either to have any sort of impact, however, they will simply need more time than this. Yes, this was just pre-show filler. But I hope the real blow off to this relationship is something a little more significant. 

Two of Three Falls: The Usos vs. Harper and Rowan (Tag Team Titles)

3 of 9

    via WWE.com

    Result

    Harper pinned Jimmy Uso with the big boot; Jey Uso rolled up Harper; the Usos pinned Harper after a double splash off the top.

     

    Highlights and Quotes

    Glad to see Harper dressed up for this. He's wearing his cleanest dirty shirt." —Jerry Lawler. Harper's shirt just gets more and more disgusting.

    The size of Eric Rowan never ceases to amaze.

    "Big guy hits little guy and the little guy goes down." —JBL trying to explain physics to Lawler. A modern day Socrates and Plato.

    Rowan presses both fists into the head of Jimmy Uso. That's just cool.

    "Uso crazy!" —Michael Cole as Jimmy launches himself over the ropes onto Rowan.

    Rowan with a double superplex. No, really. That happened.

     

    Grade

    A

     

    Analysis

    What an incredible match. I'm sure the main eventers were worried about Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins stealing the show. It turns out they won't even get a chance—the tag team division just made their own claim to the crown.

    As great as this was, I'm not sure I understand the point of a two-of-three falls gimmick if the match isn't going to go an awful long time. This one didn't. What that meant was a couple of pinfalls out of nowhere and then the standard build to a finish. This wasn't a two-of-three falls match. It was a normal match where two nearfalls became pinfalls.

     

Paige vs. AJ Lee (Divas Title)

4 of 9

    via WWE.com

    Result

    Lee pinned Paige with the Shining Wizard.

     

    Highlights and Quotes

    "Do you believe everything you read on Twitter?" —JBL, not buying that Lee and Paige are really friends.

    With the studs on her belt and boots, it kind of looks like AJ Lee is trying out for the Road Warriors.

    Paige sends AJ careening into the black barrier. Ouch.

    "You ready?" —Paige to AJ before every big spot. Kayfabe ladies!

     

    Grade

    C+

     

    Analysis

    I like that these two Divas try to do some interesting stuff. It would be easy to accept your role as the perennial popcorn match. These two refuse to do so and I admire that moxy a lot.

    But the execution was so dreadful in spots that I just can't responsibly ignore it. This was typical of the kind of match you see all the time on the independent scene, two young wrestlers biting off more than they can chew. 

    I'm not ready to give up on either woman just yet. They both have so much potential. There will be a night when the chips all fall into place for them. This just wasn't that night. 

Rusev vs. Jack Swagger

5 of 9

    via WWE.com

    Result

    Swagger was counted out when Rusev knocked him silly against the steel ring post. After the match Rusev continued his brutal assault on an unconscious Swagger.

     

    Highlights and Quotes

    "Shut up." —Lana sure gets right to the point.

    "You Americans should be scolded for your war mongeling (sic) in Afghanistan and Iraq." —Lana is the best. I love that she invented "war mongeling" as a thing.

    Rusev's methodical leg kicks don't look like they're much fun for the guy on the receiving end.

    Swagger has Rusev in a Patriot Lock for an eternity, mostly because Rusev's little T-Rex arms couldn't reach the ropes for a break.

     

    Grade

    B

     

    Analysis

    Referencing the latest tragedy in Ukraine? That might be a little too much. Let's all agree to ignore that bit, because WWE can never be counted on for good judgement and taste.

    So, anyway, my buddy Riley thinks Swagger should start going by "Jacksaw" and carrying a two-by-four. And why not? If you're going to be derivative and lame, at least be funny. 

    As matches between two hosses go, this was pretty solid. They beat the hell out of each other in places and, really, what more could you ask for?

Seth Rollins vs. Dean Ambrose

6 of 9

    via WWE.com

    Result

    Rollins beat Ambrose by forfeit after Ambrose was banned from the building by Triple H.

     

    Highlights and Quotes

    "I have come out here to accept my victory." —Seth Rollins. Accepting a win via forfeit? That's some quality heeling.

    "He's a trespassing lunatic." —JBL on Ambrose.

    Ambrose sprints across the announce table and leaps onto Rollins.

    "Let them fight." —the crowd. Yeah! Let them fight!

     

    Grade

    A

     

    Analysis

    In the days prior to the WWE Network I would have been infuriated by the promotion's decision to cancel this match. It was the most anticipated on the entire card, a combination of pure hate and workrate you don't see every day,

    Today? In the new world of $9.99 pay per views, I can simply shrug my shoulders and roll with the punches. So, there was no match, apparently because Triple H has never seen a deed as dastardly as Ambrose attacking Rollins backstage. But that just makes the eventual collision all the more compelling when it does finally happen.

    As a match this was a disappointment. As an angle it was fantastic. And, you know what? I can wait for my pay off. SummerSlam can't get here fast enough.

     

Chris Jericho vs. Bray Wyatt

7 of 9

    via WWE.com

    Result

    Jericho pinned Wyatt with the Codebreaker.

     

    Highlights and Quotes

    Bray Wyatt's entrance is still the best in the business.

    The Jericho shaped pixels did something to the Wyatt shaped pixels. Get it together WWE Network!

    Jericho gets absolutely hammered by a Bray Wyatt clothesline. Not exactly Stan Hansen, but at least bordering on Terry Gordy quality.

    Wyatt sent Jericho flying right into a cameraman. Shades of Shawn Michaels?

    Wyatt's modified Rock Bottom, known as a uranage in Judo, was delivered with enthusiasm.

     

    Grade

    C-

     

    Analysis

    Remember when Chris Jericho didn't look like a dumpy roadie for a third-rate 80's metal band? When he looked like the lead singer of a second-rate ‘80s metal band instead? I don't either. But I assume such a day existed.

    Honestly, this match was the pits. It dragged forever, uninspired, uninteresting and dreadfully executed.  When Wyatt took the bulk of the match, it became obvious Jericho was winning. And win he did. But, in truth, nobody won that match. 

    When grading these matches, I like to use a sliding scale. No, all things being equal, this match wasn't worse than the Divas title match. But I expected more from it. We deserved better from it. And, so, I judged it accordingly.

20 Man Battle Royale (Intercontinental Title)

8 of 9

    via WWE.com

    Result

    Miz eliminated Dolph Ziggler to win the title.

     

    Highlights and Quotes

    "R-Trizzle!" —JBL remains a diehard R-Truth fan.

    The crowd isn't going to give up on Dolph Ziggler are they?

    Nineteen men dogpile Khali. Nineteen was not enough.

    Ryback and Sheamus go head-to-head. That's a battle Ryback will never win.

    Kofi Kingston and Cesaro work an intricate spot that involves a sunset flip and a handful of hair. Golf clap. 

    Kofi is the best Battle Royale worker ever. EVER!

     

    Grade

    B+

     

    Analysis

    No matter how much the WWE tries, they just can't kill the crowd's enthusiasm for Dolph Ziggler. The man's talents are so obvious that fans carry a desperate hope that someday even the corporate office will be able to recognize them.

    Miz, of course, is the polar opposite. He's had every opportunity to succeed and, time after time, failed. The crowd has rejected him at every turn. Sometimes fans just refuse to care about a performer. In the old days we called it "X Pac heat."

    Today, let's all agree that term is outdated. For one, X PAc was awesome. But, more than that, it's a concept that today clearly belongs to the Miz. He is never getting over. Never. Never ever. Can we move on please?

     

Fatal Four Way: Roman Reigns vs. Kane vs. John Cena vs. Randy Orton (WWE Title)

9 of 9

    via WWE.com

    Result

    Cena pinned Kane after dropping Orton on top of him with the AA.

     

    Highlights and Quotes

    Huge response to Cena as he makes his entrance. Dwarfs the other three in a way that makes it stark who the biggest star in the sport is.

    Reigns' new ring gear looks like a kid's romper. He looks like the lost member of Naughty by Nature. Someone needs to have a talk with him.

    Could they say the "Devil's Favorite Demon" a few hundred more times? I like "Big Red Machine" better.

    Cena applies an STF on Orton who is already trapped in Reigns' half crab. Interesting.

    Reigns and Cena face off. The crowd doesn't seem to care.

    Reigns lands a Superman punch. That's the best spot anyone has ever lifted from MMA.

    Orton is speared through the barricade. That was wild.

     

    Grade

    B

     

    Analysis

    There was an opportunity to end an otherwise plodding show on a high note, starting the inevitable Roman Reigns reign early. Instead, it was once again Cena's time to shine. Anyone remotely surprised?

    To be fair, this may be what's best for business long term. It will be nice to see Reigns get his due in a proper match, becoming the man by beating the man. That's the traditional way to earn your stripes and I understand the WWE's hesitance to start off a rising star with the albatross of a cheap title win hanging around his neck. 

    Reigns will get his due. His day is coming and soon. Anything else would be inconceivable.