WWE Battleground 2014 is out on DVD and Blu-Ray now, available from www.wwedvd.co.uk. Broadcast live on Pay-per-View (and the WWE Network) from the Tampa Bay Times Forum in Tampa, Florida, USA on 20th July 2014, the show features a Two Out of Three Falls bout between The Usos and The Wyatt Family's Luke Harper and Erick Rowan for the WWE Tag Team Championship, John Cena defending the WWE World Heavyweight Championship against Roman Reigns, Randy Orton and Kane in a Fatal Four-way bout, a returning Chris Jericho taking on Bray Wyatt and three other matches. The special features include two additional matches from Battleground Kick-Off, two interviews from Battleground Fallout and a Home Video Exclusive interview.
The opening contest is the longest and strongest of the evening, as The Usos and The Wyatt Family's Luke Harper and Erick Rowan go at it in a Two out of Three Falls match. It's a well structured and exciting effort from the four, that has the Tampa Bay Times Forum eating out of the palm of their hands throughout. Harper and Jey especially put in a shift, crafting a slick and hectic sequence, laced with dramatic near falls that builds well towards the finish. It's a shame that nothing following this match manages to garner the same reaction from the crowd.
Whilst predictable, the World Heavyweight Championship Fatal Fourway is entertaining enough, as John Cena, Roman Reigns, Kane and Randy Orton battling it out. It's most notable for how comfortable Reigns looks when in this World Heavyweight Championship situation and the potential that a match with Cena down the line could hold. On the flip side, Bray Wyatt and Chris Jericho's match stands as one of the biggest disappointments of 2014. A damp squib of a feud, leads to a dull and unimaginative encounter here.
A battle royal for the vacant Intercontinental Championship has enough thrills and spills to keep the attention, especially once some of the deadwood is eliminated. Rusev continues to impress in a decent heavyweight encounter with Jack Swagger, his selling is particularly impressive here. Unfortunately, Paige and AJ Lee struggle to live up to hype, letting down the undercard, in a botch laden encounter, with a rather confusing heel/face divide.
Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins don't get around to having their advertised match on this show. Instead there are a series of brawls between the two placed throughout, with Ambrose and Rollins working hard to create a believable feud that had me hooked throughout. These segments make me want to see them get their opportunity to fight each other even more. Other segments, include an awkward backstage skit with Orton and Kane to build to the World Heavyweight Championship match, Renee Young introducing a Kick-Off panel featuring Booker T, Christian and Alex Riley to give their predictions on the same match and a slightly random appearance from Stardust and Goldust.
The special features offer, not one but, two matches from the Battleground Kick-Off show. Oh the joys. Fandango tangles with Adam Rose in a match that happened, as well as Cameron and Naomi putting on a piss poor display, as The Funkadactyls explode! Two interviews from Renee Young from the Battleground Fallout show are much more entertaining, as The Usos and John Cena both make light work of the Post match promos. The Miz is also impressive in a post-match interview with Tom Phillips, which is a Home Video Exclusive.
This is clearly a bridge PPV, everything that happens here is to set up for SummerSlam the month after, meaning that you probably won't miss this DVD if you chose not to purchase it. The tag match and the Fatal Fourway are both worth watching in their own right, but I think this DVD would have been much better off in as part of a double set with SummerSlam. Maybe that's something for WWE Home Video to look into in the future?