It was yet another jam-packed week in the world of wrestling, but it was not without its flaws. With the WWE Championship still in a state of abeyance and Rob Van Dam taking time off from the squared circle, WWE remains in a highly convoluted state.
However, there were a handful of highlights this past week, including a fantastic tag team match with Cody Rhodes and Goldust taking on The Shield at Battleground. The Rhodes brothers also went on to have another marvelous match with The Wyatt Family on SmackDown.
Following his impressive victory over RVD at Battleground, Del Rio proved his reign as World Heavyweight champion is no joke. However, with his title match against the returning John Cena looming, are Del Rio's days as the title holder numbered?
Another Superstar who also had a pleasant week was CM Punk, who scored wins over Ryback at both Battleground and Raw. Punk has finally regained momentum, but is it only temporary?
Here, I will break down the week in wrestling by analyzing the Monday Night Raw, Friday Night SmackDown and WWE Main Event broadcasts, including each show's highlights, low points and other noteworthy, monumental moments. Also, an award will be given to the show and Superstar that shined the brightest over the course of the week.
On what was a rather lackluster Battleground pay-per-view, the only match many people were looking forward to going into the event was Cody Rhodes and Goldust vs. The Shield. Of course, the match definitely didn't disappoint, as both tandems clearly stole the show on Sunday night with their stellar performance.
With their jobs hanging in the balance, the Rhodes brothers put it all on the line against The Shield and took the fight to the Hounds of Justice. Although Dean Ambrose attempted to interfere at ringside, Dusty Rhodes made his presence known by hitting an iconic Bionic Elbow on the United States champion.
While Goldust battled Roman Reigns on the outside, Cody connected with his patented Cross Rhodes on Seth Rollins inside the ring to score the victory for his team. As they celebrated, the Rhodes family was joined by a plethora of WWE Superstars.
It was a fantastic match all around and one of the most monumental moments I've seen in a long while.
It was difficult to chose a sole Superstar of the Week this time around, so I thought it would be only appropriate to give the honor to both Cody Rhodes and Goldust. WWE has been doing a lot of questionable booking as of late, but there is no denying that the best thing going right now is the ongoing storyline involving the Rhodes family.
They single-handedly stole the show at Battleground, but they didn't stop there. They went on to have a great six-man tag team match with Daniel Bryan the next night on Raw.
Not only that, but they also managed to end the undefeated streak of The Wyatt Family on SmackDown. Cody and Goldust have been doing some of the best work of their respective careers lately, and I look forward to where they go from here.
More often than not, WWE enters a slump during the fall season. That has certainly been the case this time around, but some of the company's most recent programming has been simply unacceptable.
Holding three pay-per-views in less than two months is ludicrous, and that proved to be the case this past Sunday with Battleground. The event as a whole was mediocre at best and failed to deliver any compelling content for the most part.
While the subsequent edition of Monday Night Raw wasn't much better, it was definitely an improvement. From CM Punk's entertaining antics to Big Show putting Triple H's lights out, there was a number of things to like about the latest episode of the flagship show.
There was also quite a bit of built for the upcoming Hell in a Cell event, which was good to see considering it is in less than three weeks. Here's hoping WWE does a better job of promoting the pay-per-view this time around than it did with Battleground and Night of Champions.
Big Show knocks out Triple H: Well, it was about time. I grew sick of seeing Big Show come out and cry each and every week, so I, too, was cheering along with the live crowd when Show finally gave HHH what was coming to him. However, the real question is whether it was done too little too late and if Show would have received a bigger reaction had he done it earlier.
Alberto Del Rio vs. Rob Van Dam: Their feud left a lot to be desired, but their Battleground Hardcore Rules match was excellent. Both Superstars thrive in an extreme environment, and they proved that on Sunday night. It was also refreshing to see Del Rio score the clean victory, especially over a big name such as RVD. Speaking of RVD, this was a smart way of writing him off television for the time being, and I look forward to his eventual return.
Shawn Michaels returns: Involving Micheals in the Daniel Bryan and Randy Orton rivalry is a brilliant idea. Not only does he have history with both men, but he has history with Triple H as well. He is an enjoyable addition to the highly anticipated WWE Championship match at Hell in a Cell.
Alberto Del Rio vs. Damien Sandow: I am not sure if Sandow is a babyface after this week's edition of SmackDown, but what I am sure of is that his match with Del Rio was very solid. The idea of the two feuding over the World title doesn't excite me, but the matches between the two have the potential to be great.
Cody Rhodes and Goldust vs. Luke Harper and Erik Rowan: The Rhodes brothers followed up their stellar performances at Battleground and on Raw with a great match with The Wyatt Family on SmackDown. The action was entertaining, and the Rhodeses putting an end to the undefeated streak of The Wyatt Family made for a crowd-pleasing moment.
Antonio Cesaro's swing: The two tag team matches that Cesaro was involved in at Battleground and on Raw, respectively, were throwaway matches, but the true highlight was, of course, when Cesaro executed his stellar swing on The Great Khali. Cesaro's unadulterated strength never ceases to amaze me.
John Cena's return announcement: In all honesty, I have no desire to see Cena back this early. He hasn't been gone long enough for his return to truly feel memorable. Worse yet, the announcement of his return at Hell in a Cell was done in a very anticlimactic way on Raw, and one can only hope WWE can draw more attention to it in the weeks ahead.
CM Punk vs. Ryback: It is odd to put Punk in the "Low Points" column this week, but he and Ryback are deserving of it, unfortunately. They had several solid matches last year, but that wasn't the case on Sunday at Battleground. Punk's fluke victory over Ryback didn't make me want to see a rematch at Hell in a Cell, either.
Dolph Ziggler vs. Damien Sandow: I appreciate the effort these two men put into having a good match at Battleground and on Raw, but the bouts simply didn't live up to my expectations. Both Superstars are floundering at the moment, so it is unsurprising that the live crowds hardly reacted to either of their matches.
Bray Wyatt vs. Kofi Kingston: This was yet another Battleground match that suffered from a terrible lack of build. The match itself was well wrestled for the most part, but ultimately, it was forgettable. Fans just don't care about Kingston anymore, and who can blame them? The guy hasn't been relevant in years. If anything, the crab walk by Bray was a crazy-cool spot.
Fandango vs. Zack Ryder: I don't understand the purpose in having Fandango win a series of squash matches only to lose when it matters most. It is like WWE has zero idea what to do with him right now. Is that a shocker to anyone? Anyway, his main issue is his lack of character development, as he has been doing the same shtick since he was brought back to the main roster earlier this year.
3MB: I have hated this group since day one and fail to see why it is still in existence today. I am fine with the trio in small doses, but seeing them on Raw, Main Event and SmackDown this week was too much for one to take. Can we just cut to the part where Drew McIntyre attacks his teammates and goes back to being "The Chosen One"? That would be nice.
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Graham Mirmina, a.k.a. Graham "GSM" Matthews, is a journalism major at Endicott College. Visit his website at Next Era Wrestling and "like" his official Facebook page to continue the conversation on all things wrestling.