Note: I chose Vince McMahon's picture for this article because Vince McMahon and Vince McMahon's wallet were the only real winners from this pay-per-view.
The WWE makes a majority of its income from a contingent of fans who will purchase their ppvs regardless of who is on the card and the buildup. Some of these places are bars and restaurants; others are just people who have all their friends come over to watch it every month. The fact is though, if the WWE has more ppv shows like Battleground, that market of fans is going to shrink.
The show was headlined by Randy Orton taking on Daniel Bryan for the vacated WWE Championship. Because of the booking leading up to the match, it was fairly obvious that the WWE would work in anything but a clean ending. However, while I expected a screwjob ending, I never expected that we wouldn't get an ending AT ALL.
Technically, the match between Bryan and Orton was pretty good. It started out kind of slow, but the action picked up as both men worked towards the finish. Both Orton and Bryan are really good at what they did, and they got a good reaction from the sometimes bored Buffalo crowd. As the action picked up and it looked like a good finish was coming up, the Big Show's music came out and everything went to hell.
On paper, I believe that the "Best For Business" storyline is a good idea, and that Bryan and Orton are capable workers in pulling it off. Conversely, I believe that the "Big Show Has No Money" storyline is a horrific idea. Now that the two have mixed, it has muddled up the good idea and has just created a mess of a storyline that I believe is going to hurt everyone that is involved in it.
I am a firm believer in that the main event for a ppv should end in a decision. It can be a screwjob finish, it could be a controversial ending, it could even end in a DQ, but it needs to be clear to the viewer what happened. With the exorbitant price ppvs cost these days, I think the WWE owes it to the viewer to give them something that they can react too, not just a confusing mishmash of nonsense. Big Show coming out and knocking out both Bryan and Orton, plus two referees, and then the ppv cutting out with Big Show in the ring and nobody having a clue what was going on, was something that is not going to make fans say "Wow, I can't believe what Big Show did." Instead, they are most likely going to say "Wait a minute, what the hell happened with the match?" And that is not good.
Moving on, Ryback vs CM Punk had an interesting finish to their match. Punk defeated Ryback when Heyman distracted the ref trying to give Ryback the advantage, and then Punk hit Ryback with a low blow to pick up the victory. It is pretty obvious that Ryback and Punk will meet again inside the Hell in a Cell later this month, but I thought the WWE made a mistake by having Ryback lose. Yeah, he did not lose cleanly, but wouldn't it have been better for Ryback's momentum to let him get a win over Punk?
The match itself was fairly boring. For the most part, Ryback dominated most of the match and frankly, the fans do not care that much about Ryback. It was not until Punk made his comeback did the crowd spark to life. Personally, I have not been a big fan of this feud, and extending it until at least Hell in a Cell is not really something that I am excited about.
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