Best For Business: WWE Battleground & Raw Reaction, TNA's Youth Movement, More
WWE Battleground was quite the polarizing event—both in the build and the pay-per-view broadcast itself. I present to you two forms of reaction: my initial reaction (written Sunday night), followed by my thoughts following Monday's Raw. Then, some thoughts on TNA's apparent youth movement and more await you in today's B4B!
WWE Battleground: What'd you expect?
The majority of the Internet Wrestling Community left WWE Battleground with a sour taste in their mouths. I didn't. The reason for our differing opinions is simple: expectations.
Seriously, for those of you upset with the finish to Battleground, I ask one simple question. What'd you expect?
I can see the forest for the trees: this wasn't a major PPV, it wasn't even a transitional PPV. It was a "money-grab" PPV. While it's both the quote for the current WWE era and the name for the column, the phrase "best for business" really described why the WWE even had Battleground to begin with. Even if it draws a 12-month low buy rate, it's still profitable. By a decent margin, too.
As my pay-per-view predictions will show you, I fully expected a non-finish to the main event at Battleground. Why would the WWE crown their new champion at Battleground, when Hell In A Cell looms in the not-too-distant future? The Daniel Bryan-Randy Orton feud, at times marred with outside influences and interference, is tailor made to end at Hell In A Cell. And if we know Triple H, we know he has a certain affinity for the Cell structure, so he's going to want to end this feud inside of it.
On our post-PPV edition of the Greg DeMarco Show, cohost (and new DeMarcette) Heather Lynn described her feeling after the pay-per-view as "unsatisfied." She expected a new WWE Champion at the end of the pay-per-view. Many of you did as well. You know what your complaints would have been if Daniel Bryan ended the night as WWE Champion? "He's just going to get screwed on Raw!" You know what your reaction would have been if Randy Orton ended the night as WWE Champion? "We got screwed again! Why waste Bryan's build on this?" You know what you'll say when Daniel Bryan leaves Hell In A Cell as WWE Champion? "It took too damn long!"
The WWE simply cannot win with the hardcore, internet fan base.
Luckily for the WWE, that only comprises approximately 25% of the audience. We're forgetting about the WWE's biggest customer: the casual fan. I affectionately refer to them as "Cans" in my columns. The Cans are the luckiest fans. They watched Battleground just to be entertained. They loved the Big Show's involvement (as did the crowd, by the way). This a monthly trip to Hooters, or to hang out with the fellas (but not Sheamus). In October, they get two chances to fill up on wrestling—why waste them?
I've read so many "I knew this was going to happen" reactions to the finish to Battleground. Well if you knew it was going to happen, why are you mad? You knew it was going to happen!
Look, we all knew it was going to happen—some of us just chose to alter our expectations because of it. Thanks to that, we enjoyed WWE Battleground.
After seeing Monday's Raw, there's very little I can see to change about Battleground. But my Greg DeMarco Show cohost Patrick O'Dowd made a great point—actually he threw one of my oft used points in my face! I've long said that how you end a show goes a long way to the overall perception of the show. While it may have telegraphed the ending of Orton-Bryan a little (but we all knew it was going to happen, right?), put that match on second to last, with the Cody Rhodes & Goldust vs. The Shield match going on last. It can be justified as either an important moment (potentially the last time we see any member of the Rhodes Family on WWE television) or yet another snafu by RAW General Manager Brad Maddox.
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