World’s Largest Blunder?
The first annual WWE Battleground came to you, live on pay-per-view, from the First Niagara Center in Buffalo, NY. After a controversial fast-count by senior referee Scott Armstrong at Night of Champions, WWE COO Triple H decided to strip Daniel Bryan of the WWE Championship and hold the title in abeyance in order to investigate the controversy, but the vacant WWE Championship would have a definitive holder come Battleground as the man twice screwed out of the championship by Triple H, Daniel Bryan, takes on the man he defeated at Night of Champions to win the title, “The Viper” Randy Orton.
At Night of Champions, CM Punk had the nefarious Paul Heyman right where he wanted him in a 2-on-1 Handicap Elimination Match when Ryback came to the rescue of Heyman, driving “The Best in the World” through a table, again denied his revenge against Heyman and, now, at Battleground, CM Punk must go through another one of Paul Heyman’s roadblocks as Punk goes one-on-one with Ryback.
After their World Heavyweight Title match ended with a disqualification at Night of Champions, “Mr. Pay-Per-View” Rob Van Dam would get another shot at the World Heavyweight Championship with the odds in his favor as the hardcore icon challenges Alberto Del Rio for the gold, but this time, the title will be contested in an anything-goes, Hardcore Rules Match.
Over recent weeks, the unemployed Rhodes brothers, Cody & Dustin, have gotten themselves involved in Triple H’s plans, done an injustice by the unnecessary firing of Cody Rhodes nearly a month ago and, at Battleground, it would be do or die for the Rhodes Family as Goldust & Cody Rhodes, with their Hall of Fame father Dusty Rhodes in their corner, would face WWE Tag Team Champions Seth Rollins & Roman Reigns in a non-title match and, if the Rhodes win, then both Cody & Goldust would get their jobs back in the WWE, but if they lose, then Dusty Rhodes will be fired as the head of developmental for NXT!
With the aid of some mind games from CM Punk, R-Truth was able to defeat Curtis Axel on RAW and, at Battleground, Truth would get his shot at the gold as R-Truth challenges Curtis Axel for the Intercontinental Championship. Also at Battleground, the strange and unpredictable Bray Wyatt would go one-on-one with Kofi Kingston and AJ Lee would defend the Divas Championship against Brie Bella.
- World Heavyweight Championship: Hardcore Rules Match: Alberto Del Rio (c) def. Rob Van Dam (with Ricardo Rodriguez) by submission to a steel chair-aided cross armbreaker to retain.
- The Real Americans def. The Great Khali & Santino Marella by Antonio Cesaro pinning The Great Khali following the Cesaro Swing.
- Intercontinental Championship: Curtis Axel (c) def. R-Truth by pin following the Axel Cutter.
- Divas Championship: AJ Lee (c) (with Tamina Snuka) def. Brie Bella (with Nikki Bella) by roll-up to retain.
- Hired or Fired: Non-Title: Goldust & Cody Rhodes (with Dusty Rhodes) def. Seth Rollins & Roman Reigns (with Dean Ambrose) by Cody Rhodes pinning Seth Rollins following Cross Rhodes to earn his and Goldust’s jobs back, as well as keeping Dusty Rhodes’ job intact.
- Bray Wyatt def. Kofi Kingston by pin following the Sister Abigail.
- CM Punk def. Ryback (with Paul Heyman) by pin following a low blow behind the referee’s back.
- WWE Championship: Randy Orton & Daniel Bryan fight to a No Contest after Big Show knocks out both men. As a result, the WWE Championship remains vacated.
Battleground kicks off with the World Heavyweight Championship on the line as the battle-tested “Mr. Pay-Per-View” Rob Van Dam, with Ricardo Rodriguez, would challenge Alberto Del Rio for the World Heavyweight Title in the anything-goes, Hardcore Rules Match. Rob Van Dam would use his hardcore experience early on in the match, grabbing a steel chair and using it for a vicious DDT on the steel! However, Del Rio would get his hands on the chair, using it in a less creative fashion, driving the chair into the mid-section and spine of RVD. Later on in the match, RVD would introduce more weapons into the fray, bringing a ladder into the match, launching the champion into the steel ladder. After stomping the ladder onto the prone body of RVD, Del Rio would bring out a steel trash can, wearing RVD out with the implement, but when Del Rio tries to come off of the middle rope with the trash can, RVD would counter, kicking the steel into the champion. After sandwiching Del Rio between himself and the ladder with the split-legged moonsault, RVD would go for Rolling Thunder on the champion, but Del Rio would move out of the way and RVD would land on the ladder. Del Rio would follow this up with the cross armbreaker, but Ricardo Rodriguez would grab a metal bucket, whacking his former employer with it to break up the submission hold! The brief distraction caused by Rodriguez would nearly spell victory for RVD, but Del Rio would kick out of the ensuing roll-up. Del Rio then tosses RVD to the outside before confronting Rodriguez again, this time demanding that Ricardo hand over the bucket, but Rodriguez would instead kick Del Rio in the mid-section, waffling the champion on the back with it! Whenever Rodriguez follows Del Rio to the outside with the bucket, Del Rio grabs Rodriguez, tossing him into the ringside barricade and putting Rodriguez down with a kick to the face.
However, Del Rio would make the mistake of taking his focus off of Rob Van Dam as RVD would use a baseball slide to the outside to take the champion out with the ladder. Then, with the ladder lying on the prone body of Del Rio, RVD leaps off of the ring apron with a modified Five-Star Frog Splash, squashing Del Rio beneath the ladder! The time that it took for RVD to recover and get Del Rio back into the ring would prove beneficial for the champion as Del Rio would narrowly be able to kick out of an ensuing pinfall. RVD would then grab the steel chair, looking to take flight, but Del Rio would move out of the way and RVD would crash and burn in the corner. Del Rio then opens the chair, setting it up in the ring and dropping RVD face-first onto the steel, following it up with a straight kick to the face, knocking RVD onto his back and trapping RVD’s arm in the steel chair. Del Rio would spot this and would waste no time in compacting RVD’s arm in the steel, repeatedly stomping the steel before locking in the cross armbreaker on RVD with the steel chair still trapping RVD, leaving “Mr. Pay-Per-View” no choice but to tap out as Del Rio picks up the win, successfully retaining the World Heavyweight Title.
In tag team action, The Real Americans, with Zeb Colter in their corner, would face the ridiculous team of The Great Khali & Santino Marella, with Hornswoggle in their corner. After twirling the giant Great Khali in circles with the Cesaro Swing, Antonio Cesaro would pin Khali to pick up the win for The Real Americans.
The Intercontinental Championship was on the line at Battleground as Curtis Axel, with Paul Heyman in his corner, would defend the Intercontinental Title against R-Truth. In the end, it was Curtis Axel hitting the Axel Cutter on R-Truth en route to retaining the Intercontinental Title.
The Divas Championship was also up for grabs at Battleground as the newly engaged Brie Bella, with Nikki Bella in her corner, would challenge AJ Lee, with Tamina Snuka in her corner, for the Divas Title. During the match, Brie Bella was moments away from capturing the Divas Title, but Tamina Snuka would change that as Tamina would get her hands on Nikki Bella, distracting Brie long enough for AJ Lee to catch Brie with a roll-up as AJ successfully retains the Divas Title.
Then it was time for the future of the Rhodes Family to be decided as Goldust & Cody Rhodes, with their Hall of Fame father Dusty Rhodes in their corner, would face WWE Tag Team Champions Seth Rollins & Roman Reigns, with United States Champion Dean Ambrose in their corner, in a non-title match and, if Goldust & Cody Rhodes win, then they will both get their jobs back in the WWE, but if they lose, then Dusty Rhodes will be fired from his position as the head of developmental for NXT. During the emotional matchup, Dean Ambrose would get involved, distracting Cody Rhodes long enough for Seth Rollins & Roman Reigns to regain the advantage. However, the United States Champion would have to contend with the feisty Hall of Famer as Dusty Rhodes would take his belt off, popping Ambrose in the face with the belt buckle before hitting the legendary Bionic Elbow on Ambrose! With Goldust taking Roman Reigns down on the outside, it left Cody Rhodes and Seth Rollins alone in the ring and, after Cody kicks out of an attempted roll-up by Seth Rollins, Cody would hit Rollins with Cross Rhodes, pinning Rollins to pick up the win, earning his and Goldust’s way back into the WWE, as well as keeping their father employed! After their match, the Rhodes Family would be greeted and hugged by several current Superstars and Divas, as well as legends such as Finlay, Dean Malenko, & Arn Anderson!
Backstage, RAW General Manager Brad Maddox is on the phone with WWE COO Triple H, who informs the GM that Triple H & Stephanie McMahon had to leave the arena and they are leaving Maddox in charge of Battleground! While Maddox tries to get SmackDown General Manager Vickie Guerrero to help him out, Vickie laughs at Maddox, telling Maddox that he is on his own.
After a week of creepy messages from the head of The Wyatt Family, Bray Wyatt, with Luke Harper & Erick Rowan in his corner, would go one-on-one with Kofi Kingston at Battleground. In the end, it was Bray Wyatt putting a very game Kofi Kingston down with the Sister Abigail en route to picking up a difficult victory. After the match, Erick Rowan would deliver a vicious backbreaker to Kofi Kingston before tossing Kofi to Luke Harper, who finishes the job with the Discus Clothesline. Bray Wyatt then says that there is “no right” and there is “no wrong”, all that is left is the “mannequins” trying to feed people what their ideas of “purity” are, saying that “one-by-one, they will all fall”.
Then it was time for CM Punk to try and bulldoze the latest roadblock thrown in front of him by Paul Heyman as “The Best in the World” would go one-on-one with Ryback, with Paul Heyman in his corner. During the match, Ryback would repeatedly pummel CM Punk in the ropes, causing the referee to restrain Ryback. With the referee’s back turned, Paul Heyman would size Punk up for a kendo stick shot, but the referee would catch Heyman before Heyman could use the stick. Punk would take advantage of the referee’s distraction, landing a low blow on Ryback, allowing Punk to pin Ryback for the win!
Then it was time for a new WWE Champion to be crowned as former champion Daniel Bryan would face the newly awakened “Viper” Randy Orton with the vacant WWE Championship on the line! During an absolute war of a championship match, Daniel Bryan would finally have Randy Orton right where he wanted him, locking “The Viper” in the Yes Lock, but in the middle of the match, Big Show would lumber down to ringside, pulling the referee out of the ring and knocking Daniel Bryan out! As Big Show visibly shows his regret, RAW General Manager Brad Maddox comes out, calling for disgraced referee Scott Armstrong, who runs to the ring to officiate the match! However, when Randy Orton goes for the cover on Daniel Bryan, Big Show pulls Scott Armstrong out of the ring, leveling the official with the Knockout Punch! Orton glares at Big Show with disgust as “The World’s Largest Athlete” enters the ring, confronting “The Viper” reads the giant the riot act. Unable to take anymore, Big Show puts Randy Orton’s lights out with the Knockout Punch, leaving Brad Maddox in a state of shock and confusion and leaving the WWE still without a WWE Champion!
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