WWE Battleground: Pay-Per-View Successfully Fulfills Its Purpose

Elliott Binks@https://twitter.com/elliottbinks92Senior Writer IIIJuly 21, 2014

Photo courtesy of WWE.com

There are some WWE pay-per-views that can seize our attention with incredible ease.

The Royal Rumble with its novelty value, TLC with its exciting gimmick and, of course, WrestleMania with its sheer star power are just a few prime examples of this.

Battleground, however, is not.

And furthermore, the events from Sunday's 2014 installment of the WWE's newest PPV did little to change that preconception.

After the Usos vs. the Wyatts kicked off the show in the best possible fashion, there wasn't a great deal of excitement.

As entertaining as Dean Ambrose's pursuit of Seth Rollins was, the lack of an actual contest left something of a bad taste in the mouth. And for all of the near-falls in the WWE World Heavyweight Championship bout, the finish hardly set the world alight (although at least it was an improvement on last year).

For me, everything else seemed a little pedestrian.

But despite this stream of naysaying, I wouldn't say that Battleground was a complete failure. In fact, I'd be happy to go as far as saying that the event did exactly what it was supposed to do.

Hear me out here, guys.

Sandwiched between Money in the Bank (who doesn't love a ladder match?) and SummerSlam (the second-biggest show in pro wrestling), the PPV has a tough job competing with the entertainment value of two of the company's more popular events. Add to that a meagre three-week build, and there's no wonder Battleground had its critics.

But this placement within the WWE's schedule isn't just an obstacle for Battleground—it's also a defining characteristic.

Shows with a shorter build aren't meant to see the stunning culmination of ongoing storylines. They're essentially "filler" pay-per-views—ones that are responsible for prolonging feuds and adding extra dimensions to existing rivalries.

Take last year's Battleground, where four of the show's eight matches were rehashed at the following pay-per-view. Or Over the Limit of 2012—another B-list show in which the same number of feuds were revisited over the following weeks.

So with SummerSlam growing ever closer, Battleground's job was to lay the foundations for what is one of the most important events on the WWE calendar—and it did exactly that.

Ambrose and Rollins' nonexistent match may have been slightly disappointing, but that only adds to the significance of an eventual clash at SummerSlam (which now seems a dead cert to be booked).

Rusev's victory over Jack Swagger wasn't particularly convincing, so there's potential for another solid midcard match there. And Paige and AJ Lee will presumably be looking to fulfill the potential that their feud has after a match that was neither woman's best work.

Meanwhile, Roman Reigns was booked incredibly strongly despite defeat, suggesting he could be in line to see his monster push continue to gather momentum. Is a main event clash with Triple H the next step for wrestling's fastest-rising star?

And of course, John Cena, playing the role of the most poorly veiled transitional champion in recent memory, is seemingly free to move onto his much-speculated feud with the best incarnate, Brock Lesnar.

Battleground wasn't supposed to be the most entertaining show of the year. It wasn't meant to yield a huge spike in WWE Network subscriptions. It was meant to give SummerSlam a platform from which to build a compelling card for the biggest party of the summer.

Perhaps I'm being overly optimistic here, and feel free to voice your opinions if you think that's the case.

But with four weeks still to go until the pay-per-view rolls around, anticipation will be high ahead of SummerSlam 2014. And you can thank Battleground for its precursory role in setting the wheels in motion.