Promotional poster featuring Bray Wyatt
|"Jungle" by Jamie N Commons with X Ambassadors|
Mountain Dew Kickstart
|Date||July 20, 2014|
|Venue||Tampa Bay Times Forum|
|WWE Network event chronology|
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, now known as Amalie Arena, 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. The main event saw John Cena defeat Randy Orton, Kane and Roman Reigns in a Fatal four-way match to retain the WWE World Heavyweight Championship.
The event received 99,000 buys (excluding WWE Network views), slightly down on the previous year's 114,000 buys.
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.
The pre-show was provided by pre-show panel of Renee Young, Booker T, Alex Riley and Christian. Prior to the pay-per-view, Adam Rose (with Layla and Summer Rae) defeated Fandango in a singles match, and Cameron defeated Naomi in a divas singles match.
The English commentators were Michael Cole, Jerry Lawler and John "Bradshaw" Layfield while there were also Spanish and German commentators ringside. Lilian Garcia and Justin Roberts were ring announcers.
The first match of the night was a Two out of Three Falls Tag team match for the WWE Tag Team Championship between The Usos and Luke Harper and Erick Rowan of The Wyatt Family. Jey decks Rowan to start the match. Rowan comes back, beating Jey into the corner. Usos ducks clotheslines and dropkicks Harper out of the ring, Rowan gets knocked out next, Harper comes in and takes Jey to the corner. Harper with a big chop to the gut and rake to the eyes. Uso comes back but gets thrown under the bottom rope and to the floor, Rowan comes in and takes control, Rowan with a big slam and a 2 count, Uso tries to fight back but Rowan drops him with an elbow for another 2 count, Harper tags back in and Rowan holds Uso so Harper can drop a knee to the face, Harper with a 2 count and the gator roll. Jey finally backdrops Harper and makes the tag, Jimmy goes to the top but lands on his feet, Harper runs over him with a big boot for a 3 count, winning the first fall. Harper goes to work on Jimmy and gets another 2 count, Rowan comes in and they don’t let up on Uso, Rowan nails a big splash for a 2 count and keeps Uso grounded as fans chant, Uso fights back and fires away on Rowan. Uso goes for a slam but Rowan falls on top of him for a 2 count. Harper comes back in and keeps up the attack. Uso fights back and they eventually get the tag and a quick roll-up for the pin, winning the second fall. Rowan hits a big slam for a 2 count then drops a knee. Harper comes back in and keeps control, Harper beats Uso down in the corner and puts a boot to him. Harper dumps Uso out to the floor. Jimmy ducks a clothesline and nails a superkick. Jey tags in for some double teaming. Rowan gets knocked off the apron. Jimmy tags in and they both go to the top for a double splash and nail it on Harper for the win.
The second match was a divas match between AJ Lee and Paige for the WWE Divas Championship. Paige shakes AJ’s hand before throwing her in the corner and stomping her, then she knees AJ in the face a few times before getting a near fall. Paige throws her outside and hits her a few times, then she heads up top and AJ punches her a few times. Paige comes back with a sunset powerbomb for two, and Paige looks shocked as she tries to pull AJ across the ring. AJ kicks her and puts her in the Black Widow, then Paige struggles to fight out before finally breaking it with a hiptoss. She hits a Paige Turner for two, then AJ rolls her up for two before she catches her with a Shining Wizard for the win.
The next match was a singles match between Rusev and Jack Swagger. Lana cut another anti-American promo and Zeb tries to tell her off, but Lana slaps him and Swagger and Rusev start to slug it out. Swagger knocks Rusev outside, then Rusev regroups and gets back in as the bell rings. Swagger goes for a Patriot Lock but Rusev rolls away, then he kicks Swagger in the corner and charges the corner. Swagger ducks and goes for another Patriot Lock, but Rusev rolls outside so Swagger slams him into the apron and rolls him back in. Swagger splashes him in the corner and hits the ropes, but Rusev hits a diving crossbody before hitting a fallaway slam. Swagger comes back with a slam and Swagger Bomb for two, then he powerslams Rusev for another near fall before going for a Patriot Lock. Rusev kicks him away and sends him to the apron, then he knees him and calls for a thrust kick, but Swagger counters with a Patriot Lock. Rusev struggles to break it but Swagger pulls him back in the ring, then Rusev fights through the pain and finally crawls to the ropes before falling outside. Swagger immediately goes after him and reapplies the Patriot Lock on the steps, but Rusev pulls him into the steps and slams his head off of them, and beats the ten count back inside. Rusev regains his composure before celebrating, then he puts him in the Accolade.
The forth match was a singles match between Bray Wyatt and Chris Jericho. Both men trade punches before Jericho catches him with an elbow, then he chops Bray in the corner and whips him across the ring. Bray fires back with a clothesline, then he whips Jericho and hits an elbow before Jericho attempts Walls of Jericho. Rowan jumps on the apron to distract him, then Bray applies a headlock but Jericho kicks him in the face and follows with a dropkick to the apron. He catches Bray with an enziguiri, then he heads up top and splashes all three of the Wyatt Family. Harper and Wyatt try to attack him but the ref throws them out, then Bray looks shocked and he tackles Jericho off the apron and sends him into the cameraman. Bray runs at him but Jericho tackles him, then he goes for a side slam but Bray counters with a release STO like move for two. Jericho hits him a few times before attempting a Lionsault, but Bray gets his knees up and splashes Jericho in the corner. Jericho comes back with a legwhip that sends Bray headfirst into turnbuckles, then Bray slams Jericho’s face on the apron and sets up for Sister Abigail. Jericho counters with a Walls attempt but Bray kicks him away, then he hits a diving crossbody but Jericho surprises him with a Codebreaker out of nowhere for the win.
Next, Dean Ambrose was scheduled to face Seth Rollins, but Ambrose was ejected from the arena by Triple H for fighting with Rollins backstage. Rollins subsequently announced that he had won their match by forfeit. Later, as Rollins was leaving the arena, he was ambushed by Ambrose.
The sixth match was Battle Royal for the vacated WWE Intercontinental Championship. Khali shoves a bunch of guys in one corner and clotheslines a few outside, then everyone gangs up on him and throws him on the floor. Woods and Cara get sent to the floor, then Truth and Axel are thrown out, and Big E and Kofi try to attack Cesaro together and wear him down. Diego clotheslines Sandow outside, then Ryback tries to powerbomb him but Diego floats over, so Ryback instead press slams him on the floor. Sheamus Brogue Kicks Ryback outside after he reverses a powerbomb, then Sheamus also hits Miz with a Brogue but Miz rolls under the ropes as he hits the floor. Bo sneaks up on Titus and throws him outside, then he celebrates but Cesaro knocks him down and tries to throw him out. Kofi goes for Trouble In Paradise on the apron but Cesaro blocks it and tries to reverse powerbomb him, but Kofi counters it as Dolph fights with Alberto near the apron. Alberto puts Dolph in a Cross Armbreaker on the ropes, but Dolph counters with a DDT, snapping Alberto’s head off the ropes before eliminating him. Big E tries to press slam Cesaro outside but Cesaro floats over and throws him outside, then he tries to kick Kofi out to the floor but Big E catches him and holds him on his shoulders. They try to pull Cesaro outside but Cesaro deadlifts Kofi off of E’s shoulders, and suplexes him back in the ring before finally suplexing him back out to the floor.Slater surprises Cesaro by throwing him over the ropes, then Sheamus goes after him and sends him to the apron. Bo tries to sneak up on Sheamus and gets hit with Ten Beats on the apron, then Dolph dropkicks Bo on the floor and Sheamus says it’s down to them. Sheamus charges the corner and hits a kneelift, then he goes for a senton slam but Dolph kicks him and goes for a Famouser. Sheamus blocks it and hits him on the apron, then he goes for a Brogue but Dolph ducks and clotheslines him, and Sheamus only touches one foot to the floor. Sheamus puts him in a fireman’s carry on the apron, but Dolph superkicks him to “win”… then Miz runs back in and throws Dolph over the ropes to win.
The final match was a Fatal four-way match for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship between John Cena, Randy Orton, Roman Reigns and Kane. Orton and Cena fight near the stairs as Reigns connects with some mounted punches on Kane, then Kane hits a side slam before Orton assists him in stomping Cena. Kane picks him up but Cena sends him outside, then Reigns throws Orton out of the way and Cena and Reigns have their first staredown. Cena tells him to bring it but Kane and Orton attack them, then Orton tells him to get out of the way because it’s his match to win. Kane gets pissed and uppercuts him, then he sets up a superplex but Cena and Reigns assist in a tower of doom spot out of the corner. Reigns puts Orton in a single leg crab as Cena applies a STF, but Kane runs in and breaks it up before he gets knocked back outside. Cena puts Orton back in a STF but it gets broken up, then Reigns whips Orton outside and over the commentary table before he faces off with Cena again. They trade punches and Cena knocks him down, then he goes for a Five Knuckle Shuffle but Reigns blasts him with a Superman punch. Reigns spears him but Kane breaks it up, then Reigns punches him in the corner before Orton tries to attack him. Orton sends him outside but Reigns throws him back and spears him into the barricade, then Reigns blocks a chokeslam by Kane and tackles him. He goes for a pin but Cena breaks it up, then Reigns trades punches with him and Cena surprises him with an Attitude Adjustment before Kane breaks it up. Kane chokeslams Cena and gets two, but that one gets broken up and Kane slams Reigns down before calling for a Tombstone. Reigns floats over and spears him but Orton breaks it up, hits Reigns with a quick RKO but Cena runs in and AA’s Orton before pinning Kane for win.
The Swagger-Rusev match, promoted as "United States vs. Russia," was marked in controversy after Lana 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. Some in the media viewed the promo as a veiled reference to the crash of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 three days earlier. In response to the backlash, a representative of WWE said 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.
|1P||Adam Rose defeated Fandango||Singles match||02:08|
|2P||Cameron defeated Naomi||Singles match||03:19|
|3||The Usos (Jimmy Uso and Jey Uso) (c) defeated The Wyatt Family (Luke Harper and Erick Rowan) 2–1||2-out-of-3 falls Tag team match for the WWE Tag Team Championship||18:50|
|4||AJ Lee (c) defeated Paige||Singles match for the WWE Divas Championship||07:10|
|5||Rusev (with Lana) defeated Jack Swagger (with Zeb Colter) by countout||Singles match||09:47|
|6||Seth Rollins defeated Dean Ambrose by forfeit||Singles match||N/A|
|7||Chris Jericho defeated Bray Wyatt||Singles match||15:01|
|8||The Miz won by last eliminating Dolph Ziggler||19-man battle royal for the vacant WWE Intercontinental Championship||14:18|
|9||John Cena (c) defeated Kane, Randy Orton and Roman Reigns||Fatal four-way match for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship||18:15|
Battle royal elimination order
|3||The Great Khali||Multiple Wrestlers||01:36|
|4||Sin Cara||Bo Dallas||02:02|
|5||R-Truth||Ryback and Cesaro||03:15|
|10||Titus O'Neil||Bo Dallas||06:44|
|11||Alberto Del Rio||Ziggler||08:34|
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