G5: Battleground, Brock Lesnar, Sting, more

Battleground is behind us – how did the pay-per-view stack up compared to everything else WWE has had to offer this year? Did Dean Ambrose vs. Seth Rollins being pulled hurt the show?

Brock Lesnar is the next challenger to the WWE World Heavyweight Championship. Will Lesnar be holding the title come SummerSlam?

Plus, Sting is the latest recipient of a WWE three-disc DVD set. Which matches are we hoping to see in the Stinger’s collection?

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1. WWE Battleground is behind us. How was the show overall? Match of the night? Dud of the night? MVP?

Dion:
It had an interesting feel to it. Was it just me, or did it not feel like a pay-per-view, but more like a TV special? That’s neither here nor there though, as it was an enjoyable event.

Stevie:
This event was mainly filler. Every match had a weird or lacklustre flow and there were a lot of blown spots across the night. Maybe everybody was having a bad night for some reason. I never recovered from the Rollins/Ambrose bait and switch, as it was the only thing I was looking forward to.

Luke:
I caught some of Battleground, which felt like it was was just another episode of Raw. The best match I felt was the Usos/Wyatts tag team match. The tag division is stronger than ever!

Craig:
I didn’t buy the pay-per-view. Unfortunately my prediction for the main event in last week’s Gimme Five was, not a word of a lie, 100 per cent accurate. Jericho beating Bray Wyatt is a ‘great’ way to kill momentum on a character who appears to be being de-pushed… The Miz winning the Intercontinental Championship is a complete joke, devaluing the title with a “X-Pac” go-away heat, and the Ambrose vs. Rollins match, despite being advertised, was pulled. If you bought that, you’re entitled to feel ripped off. You could see for a mile it was going to be a poor pay-per-view but that poor? You’re kidding me.

David:
I liked Battleground more than most people seemed to. The Usos vs. The Wyatts has got to be in the conversation for match of the year, and everything else seemed to deliver roughly what I was expecting. It’s not going to make for a must-have DVD, but Battleground wasn’t bad.

 

2. After so many of us said we were most looking forward to Dean Ambrose vs. Seth Rollins, the match was pulled from the Battleground pay-per-view. Is it fine for WWE to pull this sort of bait-and-switch in order to keep the match fresh for SummerSlam, or are you disappointed you didn’t get what was advertised?

Dion:
It’s par for the course in pro-wrestling. If it builds tension and contributes to selling more more pay-per-views, then fair enough. Feuds could do with more tension building, in my estimation.

Stevie:
I’m conflicted on this one. From a storytelling perspective it makes perfect sense to do this. And I did like how it played out over the show. They should do more long term stories like this, letting things play out over time. But it did dampen my enjoyment of the rest of the show because, as I said above, this was the only match I was actually interested in. Deprived of that, the show was not going to get back on board for me, even if the rest had actually been above average.

Luke:
I was gutted that it was pulled. They could have just ran it at SummerSlam rather than conning us into paying for Battleground; though, I’m very excited for when they do collide. The storyline is the most intriguing thing in WWE right now!

Craig:
Poor, poor, poor. Why would you buy a pay-per-view if you’re not going to get what’s advertised? It’s an insult to the fans and takes them for granted. Fans are ultimately the lifeblood of WWE.

David:
To their credit, WWE didn’t heavily advertise Ambrose vs. Rollins in the build to Battleground. It’s just that it was still advertised, and I – as well as almost everyone else – sold myself on the prospect of seeing those two face off. Their cancellation will only add to the drama by the time we get to SummerSlam, but for now it’s still somewhat of a sore point.

 

3. Brock Lesnar is back and will challenge John Cena for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship at SummerSlam. Will Lesnar leave Los Angeles with the title?

Dion:
After defeating The Undertaker’s streak, you’d hope he would! I can’t see Lesnar taking up a Champion’s schedule, but perhaps we’ll see him hold the gold for a run through to Royal Rumble. It would be good to see more of him on television.

Stevie:
He’d better – I’m going to be there live and the last thing I need to see in person is another Cena victory over Lesnar. (I was there for Extreme Rules.) I wish Bryan hadn’t been injured, the Brock/Bryan rivalry would have been a lot of fun. But after conquering the streak, Brock needs to take this as well, so he can be knocked down by their next star, Reigns, I’m sure. Plus, Heyman will be great carting out the title each week that Brock isn’t there.

Luke:
Lesnar just beat the Streak. He should be WWE Champion coming out of SummerSlam. He should decimate Cena and walk out champion but, as history has shown us before, that isn’t always the case.

Craig:
Absolutely he will. Don’t expect Lesnar or Reigns to lose again till April next year when they meet at WrestleMania. It will be just like old school days where the champion never appears on television. They tried it out with The Rock last year being absent from Raw, SmackDown and house shows and it didn’t prevent a record pay-per-view at WrestleMania 29. It then leads to the next question: “Bryan who?”

David:
The belts are coming to Brock, and it could be a long time before he relinquishes them. It’s a shame Lesnar didn’t beat Cena at Extreme Rules 2012 though – that would have added even more tension to their upcoming SummerSlam main event.

 

4. Jim Ross is officially done with WWE after 21 years with the company. What’s your favourite JR memory? Is he the greatest announcer of all time?

Dion:
JR commentating the Mankind vs. Undertaker Hell in a Cell match at King of the Ring 1998 will always stick out for me. As will his call of Austin’s first WWE Championship win. He contributed so much to those memories.

Stevie:
He is. Nobody will ever call the emotion of big moments like he did. He’s got more iconic moments linked to him than I can recall. Any time he was calling an Austin match is what I’ll remember.

Luke:
He is the greatest announcer of all time! I don’t have a “favourite” moment but his commentary when Mankind was thrown off the Hell in a Cell was legendary. “As god as my witness, he is broken in half!”

Craig:
Can’t really give you anything except the obvious, Hell in the Cell with Undertaker vs. Mankind. “God almighty, god almighty, that killed him! As god is my witness he’s broken in half!” And, “Will somebody stop the damn match?! Enough’s enough!”

David:
I started following WWE in 2001, and JR was right there to guide me through a lot of the storylines and angles. No one could do it quite like he could. He’s still got plenty to offer away from WWE though – his Ringside: An Evening with Jim Ross speaking engagements are well worth attending.

 

5. Though he has yet to sign a deal with WWE, Sting will be getting his own three-disc DVD set later this year. Which matches are you hoping to see on there?

Dion:
This is excellent news! His battles with Flair in the late 80’s were always a favourite. I’m sure there will be some gold in there!

Stevie:
I already know the match list and it’s everything I could want. Looks to be an amazing chronicle of his achievements, all the way to when he obviously stopped competing in 2001.

Luke:
I cannot really remember many of Sting’s “instant classics” from the late 90s of WCW, so I’m looking forward to whatever the DVD set has to finally see his early work.

Craig:
I didn’t really follow his career but Ric Flair reckons he “made” Sting. I’m keen to see that with my own eyes.

David:
Because WCW video releases were so delayed over here, I would have been watching events from 1999 at the height of my fandom in late 2001. Personal preference for a four-way with DDP, Flair and Savage aside though, you’ve got to have Sting vs. Hogan from Starrcade 1997. It’d be worthwhile having the final Nitro match against Ric Flair on there too. Neither of those are instant classics in the ring, but they’re still easily two of the most significant matches in WCW’s lifespan.