Promotional poster featuring Bray Wyatt
|"Jungle" by Jamie N Commons and X Ambassadors ft. Jay-Z|
Mountain Dew Kickstart
|Date||July 20, 2014|
|Venue||Tampa Bay Times Forum|
Battleground (2014) was a professional wrestling pay-per-view (PPV) event produced by WWE. It took place on July 20, 2014 at the Tampa Bay Times Forum in Tampa, Florida. It was the second event under the Battleground chronology, with the event having originated in 2013.
Nine matches (including, for the first time ever, two pre-show matches) took place at the event. There were two main events; the first main event saw Seth Rollins defeat Dean Ambrose by forfeit. Ambrose attacked Rollins during a backstage segment until Triple H demanded security to escort Ambrose out the building. Rollins would make his way to the ring and asked the referee to declare him the winner via forfeit. After receiving the victory, Rollins would be attacked by Ambrose. Security separated the two before Ambrose hid himself in a car boot and attacked Rollins yet again. The second main event saw John Cena defeat Roman Reigns, Kane and Randy Orton in a Fatal four-way match to retain the WWE World Heavyweight Championship.
Battleground featured professional wrestling matches involving different wrestlers from pre-existing scripted feuds, plots, and storylines that played out on WWE's primary television programs, Raw and SmackDown. Wrestlers portrayed heroes or villains as they followed a series of events that built tension and culminated in a wrestling match or series of matches.
At Money in the Bank, John Cena won a ladder match (other participants were: Kane, Randy Orton, Roman Reigns, Alberto Del Rio, Sheamus, Bray Wyatt and Cesaro) for the vacant WWE World Heavyweight Championship to become a 15-time WWE World Heavyweight Champion. The next night on Raw, Triple H announced Cena would defend the title at Battleground in a Fatal 4-Way match against Roman Reigns, Kane and Randy Orton.
On June 30 edition of Raw, Michael Cole announced that Bad News Barrett suffered an injury on the June 27 edition of SmackDown where he was thrown into the barricade by Jack Swagger. Due to this, he was stripped of the Intercontinental Championship. Cole also announced that there would be a Battleground Battle Royal at Battleground for the vacant WWE Intercontinental Championship. On the same edition, Cesaro, The Great Khali, Kofi Kingston, and Damien Sandow were added to the battle royal. On the July 1 edition of Main Event, Dolph Ziggler, Rob Van Dam, Ryback, Curtis Axel and Big E were added to the match. On the July 4 edition of SmackDown, Alberto Del Rio and Bo Dallas were added to the match. On the July 7 edition of Raw, Fandango and Sheamus were added to the match. On the July 14 edition of Raw, Sin Cara, The Miz, Titus O'Neil, Xavier Woods, Zack Ryder, Heath Slater, R-Truth, Adam Rose, and Diego were added to the match. At Battleground, Bad News Barrett was to award the Intercontinental Championship to the winner of the battle royal. On July 16, Sandow and Rose were pulled from the battle royal. On July 20, Sandow was reinstated into the battle royal and Fandango was pulled from the battle royal. Van Dam did not appear in the battle royal due to an injury.
On the June 30 edition of Raw, Chris Jericho returned to the WWE, but was attacked by the The Wyatt Family, thus setting up a match between the two at the event. On July 8, WWE.com announced that Jericho would face Bray Wyatt at Battleground.
On the June 30 edition of Raw, AJ Lee returned to the WWE and defeated Paige for the Divas Championship. On the July 11 edition of Smackdown, it was announced that AJ would defend the title against Paige at the event.
Following Money in the Bank, WWE Tag Team Champions The Usos continued their feud with Wyatt Family members Luke Harper and Erick Rowan. On the June 30 edition of Raw, The Wyatt Family defeated The Usos and Sheamus. On the July 7 edition of Raw, Harper and Rowan defeated The Usos. On the July 11 edition of SmackDown, it was announced that The Usos would defend the title against The Wyatt Family in a 2-out-of-3 falls match at the event.
On the June 2 edition of Raw, Seth Rollins turned on The Shield by attacking both Dean Ambrose and Roman Reigns, siding with The Authority in the process. In the ensuing weeks, Rollins and Ambrose attacked each other, and each interfered in the others matches. The feud intensified when Kane assisted Rollins in winning the Money in the Bank ladder match at the Money in the Bank pay-per-view on June 29. On July 12, WWE.com announced that Rollins and Ambrose would face each other at Battleground.
On the June 30 edition of Raw, Jack Swagger and Zeb Colter confronted Rusev and Lana about their anti-American views. Swagger and Colter issued a challenge to Rusev, which was accepted on the July 14 edition of Raw.
Also confirmed for the event was Cameron squaring off against Naomi, which took place on the pre-show. After they lost to AJ Lee and Paige on the July 7 edition of Raw, Cameron and Naomi attacked each other, effectively breaking up The Funkadactyls and setting up a match for the event.
On July 20, WWE.com announced that Adam Rose would face Fandango on the pre-show.
|1P||Adam Rose (with Layla and Summer Rae) defeated Fandango||Singles match||1:20|
|2P||Cameron defeated Naomi||Singles match||3:21|
|3||The Usos (Jimmy Uso and Jey Uso) (c) defeated The Wyatt Family (Erick Rowan and Luke Harper) 2–1||2-out-of-3 falls tag team match for the WWE Tag Team Championship||19:22|
|4||AJ Lee (c) defeated Paige||Singles match for the WWE Divas Championship||7:14|
|5||Rusev (with Lana) defeated Jack Swagger (with Zeb Colter) by countout||Singles match||9:57|
|6||Seth Rollins vs Dean Ambrose ended in a no-contest||Singles match||N/A|
|7||Chris Jericho defeated Bray Wyatt||Singles match||16:43|
|8||The Miz won by last eliminating Dolph Ziggler[Note 1]||19-man battle royal for the vacant WWE Intercontinental Championship||14:11|
|9||John Cena (c) defeated Kane, Randy Orton and Roman Reigns||Fatal 4-Way match for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship||18:15|
The Swagger-Rusev match, promoted as "United States vs. Russia," was marked in controversy after Lana – who is actually American-born – made comments prior to the match blaming the United States for "recent current" world events and praising Russian president Vladimir Putin to help build heat for Rusev, which some in the media viewed as a veiled reference to the crash of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 three days earlier. In response to the backlash, a representative of WWE told TMZ.com and the wrestling website Prowrestling.net that the segment "was in no way referring to the Malaysia Airlines tragedy," adding that the Rusev-Lana storyline "has been a part of WWE programming for more than three months. WWE apologizes to anyone who misunderstood last night’s segment and was offended.” In response to WWE's statement, Pro Wrestling Torch newsletter assistant editor James Caldwell viewed the comments as hollow, noting that reasonable viewers could conclude that Lana was referring to the plane crash. "WWE tacking on a fake apology with an insult to people's intelligence makes WWE sound even worse. All-around, it's a messy statement that conveys a lack of understanding, sensitivity, and maturity from WWE to be a decent corporate citizen," wrote Caldwell. Swagger did not appear on Raw the next night, but he had a rematch with Rusev on Main Event, which Swagger won by disqualification.
On the July 21 edition of Raw, Triple H named Brock Lesnar the number one contender for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship held by John Cena, and announced the two would face each other at SummerSlam.
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