If you go far enough into the abyss, you might actually find something good.
That's the best advice after WWE's Battleground pay-per-view. It got fans talking for all the wrong reasons. The no-finish in the WWE title match between Randy Orton and Daniel Bryan is the lasting image of what was one of the worst PPVs in recent memory.
Wrestling Observer's Bryan Alvarez is one of many fans who despised the ending of the main event:
That was an amazingly stupid finish for a $54.95 PPV #WWEBattleground— Bryan Alvarez (@bryanalvarez) October 7, 2013
He went on to wonder what kind of damage has already been done to the next PPV:
And I thought nobody would buy this show. Wait 'til they try to sell Hell in a Cell. #WWEBattleground— Bryan Alvarez (@bryanalvarez) October 7, 2013
On the other hand, it wasn't all bad. A few things were memorable, and while they didn't save Battleground as a whole, they at least offered some pleasing outcomes.
Alberto Del Rio Retains the WHC
While the World Heavyweight Championship picture is a mess right now, it's much better off in Alberto Del Rio's hands than it would be in Rob Van Dam's.
Who should be the next contender for the WHC?
There's no telling how much longer RVD is going to be with the company. Plus, Del Rio is one of the best performers in the company. He just needs the right guy to play the foil. RVD wasn't it, and Jack Swagger wasn't it.
On the other hand, the feud he had with the Big Show was incredible. There was raw emotion there. Big Show played the heel perfectly, and Del Rio was surprisingly good embracing his face tendencies.
Since then, it's been downhill for both Del Rio and the world title. Dolph Ziggler's run was brought to a halt by that concussion, and you get the feeling the company is treading water before something better happens.
For the time being, ADR is at least guaranteed to give you good matches until Damien Sandow cashes in his Money in the Bank briefcase or Rey Mysterio comes to save the day, whenever he gets healthy.
Antonio Cesaro's Giant Swing
It's confounding the way WWE has handled Antonio Cesaro. He's the kind of wrestler who can be everything to everybody. He's got the physique to be a believable monster, but he's built up the reputation to be beloved by the independent crowd.
Will Antonio Cesaro become a main eventer?
For whatever reason, the higher-ups apparently don't see anything in Cesaro. Sure, he's not Ric Flair on the mic, but he's good enough to be a champion. He's also got Zeb Colter to do the talking for him.
At the very least, Cesaro has found a niche for himself with his Giant Swing. Seeing him deliver the move to the Great Khali was awesome. The strength it would have taken to keep a guy that big in the air for that long is otherworldly.
The Giant Swing will eventually lose its luster. But for the time being, it has gotten new fans interested in Cesaro and drawn a solid crowd reaction. Maybe it can spark a nice push for him too.
The Rhodes Men Have Their Moment
With the stipulation added to the match, you knew there was almost no chance Cody and Dustin Rhodes were going to lose. They weren't going to be banned from WWE at this point in their careers—especially Cody.
This match delivered in almost every way. The Shield has been money ever since its debut. You'd be hard-pressed to find a bad Shield match.
Cody has also improved over the last few months. He really looks like a main eventer now. Even at 44 years old, Goldust is still really good in the ring, and, more importantly, he knows how to do the little things right to increase the drama. There was even a Bionic Elbow from Dusty Rhodes, which Dean Ambrose sold beautifully.
And that Cross Rhodes looked like a million bucks. Give Rhodes and Seth Rollins a lot of credit there. Rollins is so great when it comes to selling big moves. It was THE moment that had to look great, and they both delivered.
The Rhodes family deserved to end up on top considering the way Triple H and Stephanie McMahon have been running it down on Raw. WWE took what was a predictable outcome and made it captivating right until the end.