The Pointlessness of Battleground: Your Fantasy WWE Preview
Note: Our free fantasy WWE game, run on Kountermove.com, is now open. You can win $250, and signing up is simple. Get a synopsis of the rules here. And enjoy your Battleground Preview!
The Road to WrestleMania begins at the Royal Rumble in January and ends at the Super Bowl of Wrestling, WrestleMania, at the beginning of April (or end of March). It’s the most important time of the year for WWE and the biggest money making opportunity for them. It is why they released the WWE Network in February, right in the heart of the season. They knew the most subscribers would come during this period (even if the numbers aren’t nearly what they were hoping for). After ‘Mania there is the annual down period, where WWE tries a few new things, has a whole bunch of boring rematches, before traditionally revving things back up for Summerslam. After Summerslam, we get another down period again, a WAY too long period that essentially extends to the rest of the year, before picking it back up in early January to start the build for the Royal Rumble and WrestleMania.
In the most perfect of worlds, WWE would set their two subscription periods for the WWE Network around their two biggest events. However, since the events only take place four months apart, if you bought the WWE network right before WrestleMania with the required six month subscription, you are rewarded with both WrestleMania and Summerslam. In this six month model, WWE doesn’t have the responsibility to really load up the down periods. They have you hooked. Come September, it will be their responsibility to give you something worth buying again, in order to renew your subscription. Until then, they can give you the most predictable, uninteresting, mind numbingly dumb storylines you can handle. Monday Night Raw during this down period does everything it can to make you go watch 24: Live Another Day just to hear how many times Jack Bauer can say damn it.
This brings us to the latest pay per view (a term that in short order will be archaic with the invention of the network) when WWE presents Battleground this Sunday. Much like the Battleground equivalent on the Road to WrestleMania in February, Elimination Chamber, the event sits as an unnecessary predictable speed bump between the two bigger events of the period. For Battleground, it’s in between the fan favorite Money in the Bank and Summerslam, while the Elimination Chamber sits in between the fan favorite Royal Rumble and WrestleMania.
With WWE saving their “big” matches for Summerslam and the invention of the network all but completely eliminating pay per views, what is the point of even having Battleground take place? Is it because we are all so used to the PPV-a-month model that we have been programmed with for two decades now? Is it because they have an interesting story to tell? The answer is the same answer to any question that you can ask of Vince McMahon. The answer is money. Battleground is another gate for the company to get, another way of potentially getting more network subscribers, and another way to possibly getting more sponsors for Summerslam.
Last year’s Battleground event took place in October and was the second lowest grossing pay per view in the last 17 years for the company. There is no grand idea concept like say Money in the Bank, Hell in a Cell, or Elmination Chamber, and the name Battleground pretty much sucks (although it is better than the PPV it replaced, Over the Limit that I think had some NASCAR themed undertones? Maybe?) The event was moved to July after WWE smartly eliminated their entirely pointless second October PPV offering and pushed up Money in the Bank, realizing it was the summer version of the Royal Rumble. If WWE’s “creative” booking is going to be stupidly predictable, let’s at least win some money off of them, via Kountermove.
The main event is John Cena defending the WWE World Heavyweight Championship against Kane, Randy Orton, and Roman Reigns. If this sounds unoriginal to you, that’s probably because four of these wrestlers were in the main event last month fighting for the championship. In the case of Kane, he is currently a hired gun for ‘The Authority’. Of course Kane has been both a face and a heel so many times over the last 20 years, that at this point in his career, the fact that he gets any reaction at all is a credit to the performer. He should not be fighting for the championship in 2014 because it’s simply unbelievable that he has any chance of winning. The character is stale and the truth is that no matter what the company does to try and build him up, the audience will never see him as a serious adversary to dethroning their heroes. He is just an auxiliary piece.