On Thursday, I brought you part one of the Top 10 matches in WWE Battleground history. The #6-10 spots included a Battleground Battle Royal, CM Punk vs. Ryback, and Chris Jericho vs. Bray Wyatt just to name a few. The top five matches in Battleground history include five championship matches that are definitely worth watching if you have the WWE Network or even own a Battleground DVD.
#5: Rob Van Dam vs. Alberto Del Rio (c) - World Heavyweight Championship (2013)
After their World Title match at Night of Champions ended in disqualification, Rob Van Dam was set to challenge Alberto Del Rio for the World Heavyweight Championship in a match that heavily favored RVD: Battleground Hardcore Rules.
It was a hard-fought battle that included many high-risk spots involving ladders, chairs, and a trash can. Despite Ricardo Rodriguez’s interference throughout the match, Rob Van Dam was unsuccessful in winning the gold.
While many fans weren’t crazy about this particular rivalry, Del Rio and RVD put on one of the best matches of the night at Battleground 2013.
#4: Daniel Bryan vs. Randy Orton - WWE Championship (2013)
This was Daniel Bryan and Randy Orton’s second pay-per-view main event together during their feud in the fall of 2013. (I don’t count Orton’s Money in the Bank cash-in at SummerSlam as one.)
At Night of Champions, Bryan beat Orton to win back the WWE Title. The celebration was cut short once again when Triple H stripped Bryan due to a screwy finish by the referee. A vacant title rematch was then announced to take place at the first-ever Battleground pay-per-view.
Bryan and Orton put on a very well-worked main event match, but that wasn’t enough to decide a real winner. Big Show knocked out Bryan, Orton, and the referee, leading to the match being ruled a no contest. As a result, the Orton-Bryan feud was dragged out even further to Hell in Cell.
#3: Kane vs. Randy Orton vs. Roman Reigns vs. John Cena (c) - WWE World Heavyweight Championship (2014)
The main event of Battleground 2014 was a fatal four-way match for John Cena’s WWE World Heavyweight Championship. His opponents included two members of The Authority, Kane and Randy Orton, as well a rising main event star in Roman Reigns.
While many fans weren’t thrilled about the match in the end, I for one certainly enjoyed it. We saw Roman Reigns scratch and claw to try and win his first World Title. We saw allies turn to foes when Orton and Kane couldn’t get along. We witnessed the development of one of the SummerSlam headliners when Orton and Reigns battled each other. And in the end, we saw John Cena overcome the odds and retain his title.
The result was obvious to many as the SummerSlam main event was already scheduled to feature Cena defending the title against Brock Lesnar. The match served its purpose, though, in setting up Roman Reigns vs. Randy Orton, as well as John Cena’s big SummerSlam match.
#2: Luke Harper & Erick Rowan vs. The Usos (c) - 2/3 Falls Tag Team Championship Match (2014)
The tag team rivalry between The Wyatt Family and The Usos will be remembered as some of the best tag team matches of the year. At Money in the Bank the month prior, The Usos managed to retain their titles against Harper and Rowan. It was later announced that the two teams would clash again at Battleground, but this time in a 2/3 Falls Match!
We knew from Money in the Bank that these four men could steal the show, so there was no doubt that they would top their first encounter at Battleground. The action was fast-paced and all over the place. Counter after counter, and nearfall after nearfall... This match had it all. We learned throughout the contest that Harper and Rowan are capable of performing moves we never thought they could for their size.
In the end, The Usos hit a double frog splash from the top to retain their titles. This was the perfect way to kick off Battleground 2014.
#1: Cody Rhodes & Goldust vs. Seth Rollins & Roman Reigns (2013)
How is it possible that one of the best matches of 2013 ended up taking place at one of the worst shows of the year? I think it’s safe to say that fans who paid to watch this pay-per-view got their money’s worth out of this tag match alone.
The Authority began their reign in the late summer of 2013. One of Triple H’s first targets was Cody Rhodes. Cody “lost his job” in September when Randy Orton beat him on an episode of Raw. Goldust tried to get Cody’s job back, and it wasn’t too long before Dusty Rhodes tried to save Cody’s career. The only solution was to have Rhodes and Goldust battle The Shield in a tag team match at Battleground to determine if the Rhodes Family would be able to keep their jobs in WWE.
Looking back now, this match wasn’t at all just about the ring work. There was a story to be told. It was a story that some fans, including myself, hold close to their heart because Cody and Goldust were able to celebrate their big win with their father.
I’ll never forget Cody’s perfectly-executed Cross Rhodes on Seth Rollins to end the match. I’ll also never forget Cody and Goldust hugging Dusty afterwards. It gives me warm fuzzies just thinking about it. That is why I think this was the best match in Battleground history so far. Rest in peace, Dream.
What did you think of this list? What do you think Battleground 2015 will bring us? I certainly believe Rollins vs. Lesnar and Owens vs. Cena could be show-stealers. Let me hear from you below in the comments area!
You can follow me on Twitter @cj_blaze24.