Promotional poster featuring Ryback
|"The Mighty Fall" by Fall Out Boy (feat. Big Sean)|
|Date||October 6, 2013|
|Venue||First Niagara Center|
|City||Buffalo, New York|
Battleground was a professional wrestling pay-per-view (PPV) event produced by WWE. It took place on October 6, 2013 at the First Niagara Center in Buffalo, New York. This pay-per-view was announced on the July 29 WWE Raw as the new October WWE pay-per-view, replacing Over the Limit.
The event received 114,000 buys worldwide, making it the second lowest number (to the ECW December to Dismember) in the last 17 years. The buy rate was down from the last Over the Limit event of 167,000.
Battleground featured eight professional wrestling matches and one pre-show match that involved wrestlers from pre-existing feuds, plots, and storylines that played out on WWE's primary television programs Raw and SmackDown. Wrestlers portrayed villains,heroes, or less distinguishable characters in the scripted events that built tension and culminated in a wrestling match or series of matches.
After defeating Randy Orton at Night of Champions for the WWE Championship, Daniel Bryan was stripped of the title after referee Scott Armstrong admitted to a fast 3-count. However, Triple H did not give Orton the title back since he and his wife Stephanie McMahon believed that Orton's performance at Night of Champions was not what they wanted the face of the WWE to be, stating that they wanted the more ruthless Orton that they feuded with previously. It was then announced that Daniel Bryan and Randy Orton would face off once more for the vacant championship.
At Night of Champions Rob Van Dam faced the champion Alberto Del Rio for the World Heavyweight Championship in which Van Dam won by disqualification. On the September 20th episode of SmackDown, Triple H gave Van Dam a rematch with Del Rio at Battleground for the World Heavyweight Championship. Immediately afterwards, Del Rio would proceed to viciously assault RVD backstage. The next week the match was made as a Hardcore match. On the October 4 episode of SmackDown Van Dam defeated Fandango via disqualification, but after the match, Van Dam placed a trash can at Fandango's face, and hit him with a Van Terminator. Later that night, Van Dam sent the broken trash can to Del Rio as a "gift" for him.
CM Punk began feuding with Paul Heyman in July after Heyman cost him the Money in the Bank ladder match for a WWE Championship contract at Money in the Bank (due to Punk earlier telling Heyman he didn't want him to be his manager). This resulted in Punk fighting and losing to Brock Lesnar at SummerSlam. Punk continued to feud with Heyman and his other client, Curtis Axel resulting in a handicap elimination match at Night of Champions. After Axel was eliminated, Punk handcuffed and beat down Heyman much like Heyman had done to him a couple of weeks prior on Raw. However, Ryback made the save, putting Punk through a table and costing him the match. On the September 23 episode of Raw it was announced that Punk would face Ryback at Battleground.
On the September 30 episode of Raw, Cody Rhodes (who had weeks earlier been fired from WWE in part due to perceived insubordination by Triple H) and Goldust (who was lobbying to get his younger brother's job back) were given a non-title tag team match against WWE Tag Team Champions The Shield (Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns) by Triple H and Stephanie McMahon. If the Rhodes brothers won, they would get their jobs back. If the Shield won, Goldust and Cody's father Dusty Rhodes would be fired from his position as an NXT trainer, and the Rhodes Family would be banned from WWE.
The same night, R-Truth defeated Intercontinental Champion Curtis Axel in a non-title match. Two nights later on Main Event, it was announced that R-Truth would get a title match against Axel at Battleground.
The next night on Raw, Brad Maddox announced that Randy Orton will face Daniel Bryan once again at Hell in a Cell in a Hell in a Cell match with a special guest referee. The WWE Universe was allowed to choose amongst Booker T, Bob Backlund and Shawn Michaels. Michaels won the vote.
Stephanie McMahon fired Big Show after knocking out Daniel Bryan and Randy Orton. Later that night, he knocked out Triple H. On October 18 edition on SmackDown, he knocked out Raw General Manager, Brad Maddox. On October 21 Raw, he brought a truck to the arena to stop The Authority and Orton, the next week later, he knocked out him because of the bankruptcy of The Authority. Michael Cole interviewed Triple H that Big Show will be banned from WWE. On November 4 edition of Raw, he got his job back and face Randy Orton for the WWE Championship at Survivor Series.
With Rob Van Dam out of the title picture, Alberto Del Rio tried to coerce Vickie Guerrero to make him the "face of the WWE" due to the fact he's the only active major champion. Later that night. Del Rio went to compete in a match against Ricardo Rodriguez. Vickie would then announce that Del Rio must defend the World Heavyweight Championship against John Cena, who had been out of action since SummerSlam due to an elbow injury. He attack Rodriguez after he won the match with a steel chair.
CM Punk would continue his feud with Paul Heyman and Ryback once again after he defeated the latter due to a low blow, which the referee never saw, because Heyman diverted the latter's attention by taking out a kendo stick from under the ring and attempt to strike Punk. On October 9, WWE.com announced that CM Punk will face Ryback again in a rematch at Hell in a Cell. On the October 14, 2013 episode of Raw, Paul Heyman complained to General Manager Brad Maddox that CM Punk used a low blow to defeat Ryback while the referee's back was turned, so Maddox decided to have a Beat the Clock challenge in which Ryback would face R-Truth, then CM Punk would face Curtis Axel, where whoever won their match in the fastest time (assuming Ryback or Punk would win), could the pick the stipulation at Hell in a Cell. Ryback defeated Truth in 5:44, and Punk pinned Axel in 5:33, thus Punk was able to beat the clock and pick the stipulation. Punk chose to fight both Ryback and Heyman in a Hell in a Cell Handicap match.
Cody Rhodes and Goldust, who fought The Shield (Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns) to a winning effort at WWE Battleground (and saving Dusty Rhodes job as an NXT trainer, including their own), challenged the duo again for the WWE Tag Team Championship in a No Disqualification Tag Team match. Rhodes and Goldust would finally defeat The Shield due to Big Show knocking out Rollins and Reigns, and the Rhodes Brothers became the new WWE Tag Team Champions.
On the October 18 edition of Smackdown, Brie Bella defeated AJ Lee in a non-title singles match and three days later on RAW, she along with her sister Nikki defeated AJ and Tamina Snuka in a divas tag team match with Brie pinning AJ again, earning Brie a Divas Championship match at WWE Hell in a Cell.
Battleground received negative responses. Mike Johnson, from PWInsider, said that "WWE failed that night" and "really owes their audience an apology". James Cadwell, from PWTorch, said that the Intercontinental Championship match and Punk-Ryback were "house show level". He continued: "WWE had to put the 'feel-good' Rhodes Family Victory on the PPV to throw viewers a bone, but ending a title match for the vacant WWE Title without a finish and putting the spotlight on Big Show isn't going to build a lot of goodwill with an audience that is checking out of Raw right now. Overall, the main event was a notch or two below last month's offering. They just never moved into second gear." The event was voted by the Wrestling Observer Newsletter as the worst pay-per-view of 2013.
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