Friday, 7 October 2016

Battleground 2015

Image Source: Amazon
Written By: Mark Armstrong

Running Time: 177 Minutes
Certificate: 15
Number Of Discs: 1
Studio: Fremantle Home Entertainment
Released: September 14 2015

(To read a full event review of WWE Battleground 2015, click here.)

Battleground 2015 is one of those cards which, in hindsight, has slipped a little under the radar, perhaps because its main event was primarily used to set up the headline clash at SummerSlam the following month. However, when reliving the show, Battleground is definitely one of WWE's better cards of the year with some great in-ring action, making for an enjoyable DVD release.

Randy Orton vs. Sheamus is a good opener, enhanced by the strong atmosphere since the show was held in Orton's hometown of St Louis, Missouri. After WWE tries to remind us that Stephanie McMahon alone was responsible for what would become the revolution of women's wrestling in the company (which couldn't be further from the truth), we have a standard WWE Tag Team Title match between The Prime Time Players and The New Day, at a time when New Day were in the process of becoming the incredibly entertaining trio act that would result in their popularity exploding.

Roman Reigns vs. Bray Wyatt is a very good match, and a forgotten reminder in the face of the anti-Reigns sentiment that Roman can more than hold up his end of the bargain in a straight match. The women's three-way between Charlotte, Sasha Banks and Brie Bella was a decent start to the revamp of the female division on the main roster, and John Cena vs. Kevin Owens, whilst a shade inferior to their Money In The Bank collision, is still an excellent battle and a fitting way to end their incredible three-match series. Many fans were up in arms over Owens losing the rubber match - and losing via submission as well - but it wasn't exactly an unpredictable result, and to say that this alone "buried" KO is ludicrous.

A planned Intercontinental Title match between Ryback, The Miz and Big Show was cancelled due to Ryback suffering a staph infection. In its place, we have a short Miz heel promo which, while less entertaining on second viewing than it was at the time, is still an example of why Miz has been one of WWE's best and most underrated talkers of the last few years. Finally, Seth Rollins vs. Brock Lesnar is a near-squash that regrettably makes Rollins look extremely weak, although it does end with the surprise return of The Undertaker, which elicits a huge pop from the audience, and the post-match capers not only marked the first Undertaker-Lesnar interaction since the Streak was broken at WrestleMania XXX, but it was the set-up for their big rematch at SummerSlam the following month. From a match quality standpoint, it was the worst (or second-worst) WWE PPV main event of the year due to the lay-out, but the finish definitely had fans buzzing.

Unlike most DVDs in this era, we have a couple of extras on this release. They're not must-see, mind you: King Barrett vs. R-Truth from the Kick-Off Show is just another match, really, and neither the Team PCB nor The New Day backstage promos are particularly worth watching (a rarity in the case of the latter). A few extras are better than one or none, though.

I wouldn't necessarily suggest that you should rush out and buy this DVD. If you're looking to only own WWE's best PPV events of the year, though, Battleground 2015 is a pretty good option with a superb Cena-Owens match, some strong action in the Orton-Sheamus and Reigns-Wyatt battles, and while the match is largely unspectacular, the ending to Rollins-Lesnar is definitely memorable.

Overall Rating: 7/10 - Respectable

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