- The 2013 WWE Battleground Kickoff pre-show starts with Josh Mathews, Tensai, The Miz and Titus O’Neil talking about tongiht’s card.
We go to Renee Young, who plus social media and a power couple poll on WWE’s website.
– Mathews talks to Ryback and Paul Heyman, who are backstage. Heyman calls CM Punk a serial bully, a serial stalker. He says Punk and his fans are trying to bully his big, bad, beautiful Ryback. He says Ryback will stop Punk tonight.
– We go to Michael Cole, JBL and Jerry Lawler at ringside. Apparently the World Heavyweight Title match will open tonight’s pay-per-view.
Damien Sandow vs. Dolph Ziggler
We go to the ring and Lilian Garcia handles introductions. Damien Sandow comes out with his Money in the Bank briefcase and cuts a promo. Sandow says he will decimate Dolph Ziggler. Sandow promises when he does cash in, he will be the kind of champion we can model our life after. Sandow teases cashing in tonight. Out next comes Dolph Ziggler.
They lock up and go at it to start the match. We take a commercial after a few minutes in. Lots of back and forth action with pin attempts. Sandow takes control and puts knees to Ziggler’s back after a big clothesline. Sandow keeps Ziggler grounded on the mat now.
Ziggler comes with a pin attempt but Sandow turns it back around. Sandow nails the Elbow of Disdain for another 2 count. Ziggler fights back but Sandow stops him. Sandow comes off the top but Ziggler dropkicks him in mid-air. Ziggler makes a big comeback and mounts Sandow with right hands in the corner. Ziggler with a neckbreaker. He misses the big leg drop and Sandow drops him. More pin attempts by Sandow. Ziggler gets a close pin attempt in. Sandow blocks the sleeper and Ziggler misses a splash in the corner. 2 count by Sandow. Sandow drops a big knee. The end comes when Sandow sells a knee injury and Ziggler hits the Zig Zag for the win.
Winner: Dolph Ziggler
– We get hype for the Rhodes Family storyline.
– The 2013 WWE Battleground pay-per-view kicks off with a promo video for tonight’s matches.
Hardcore Rules Match for the World Heavyweight Title: Rob Van Dam vs. Alberto Del Rio
We go right to the ring and out first comes Rob Van Dam with Ricardo Rodriguez. World Heavyweight Champion Alberto Del Rio is out next.
We get official introductions from Lilian Garcia before the match. Ricardo handles the intro for RVD. Del Rio insists Lilian introduce him in Spanish. Del Rio strikes first and beats RVD down to the mat. Del Rio with a suplex and a 2 count. The announcers talk about Sandow injuring his knee during the pre-show. Del Rio goes under the ring but RVD baseball slides and kicks him into the barrier. RVD follows and works Del Rio over on the floor. RVD with a moonsault off the barrier. RVD brings it back in the ring and grabs a steel chair. Del Rio blocks him. RVD springboards in with a DDT and drops Del Rio on the chair for a 2 count.
Del Rio turns it around with a Backstabber and a 2 count. Del Rio grabs the steel chair and hits RVD in the gut with it. Del Rio with chair shots to the back now. 2 count for Del Rio. Del Rio with a chinlock now. Del Rio with kicks to the back and more offense including a big kick to the face. Del Rio wedges a chair into the turnbuckles but turns around to a big kick from RVD. RVD chokes Del Rio with a boot now. RVD brings a ladder from under the ring and the fans pop. Del Rio grabs the ladder and they struggle for it. Del Rio goes down. RVD comes back in the ring with a thrust kick from the top. RVD stands the ladder up in the corner. RVD with more kicks. RVD whips Del Rio hard into the ladder and he flies out to the floor.
RVD brings it back in the ring for a 2 count. Fans chant for tables. RVD with more kicks to the head. RVD whips Del Rio into the ladder again and he follows up with a heel kick. RVD goes for a catapult off of the ladder but it’s blocked. Del Rio lands a big enziguri. The ladder falls on top of RVD and Del Rio stomps on it. Del Rio takes control of the match now. Del Rio gets a trash can from under the ring and beats RVD with it. Del Rio with fingers to the mouth now. Del Rio comes off the second rope with the trash can but RVD kicks it into his face. RVD makes a comeback now. RVD lays the ladder flat on the mat in front of the turnbuckles and slams Del Rio on top of it. RVD with a split legged moonsault on top of Del Rio and the ladder. RVD covers for a 2 count. More offense from RVD. Del Rio falls on top of a ladder. RVD goes for Rolling Thunder on top of it but Del Rio moves and RVD lands bad. Del Rio goes for the cross armbreaker and locks it in. Ricardo runs in and nails Del Rio with the bucket, breaking the hold. RVD rolls Del Rio up from behind for a 2 count. Del Rio tosses RVD out to the floor and he lands on a trash can. Del Rio has words with Ricardo in the ring. Ricardo hands him the bucket but stops and kicks him below the belt. Ricardo nails Del Rio with the bucket and they go to the floor. Del Rio throws Ricardo hard into the barrier. Del Rio lays Ricardo out with a big kick. RVD runs back in and kicks the ladder into Del Rio’s face. Del Rio falls to the floor with the ladder on top of him. RVD nails a splash from the apron to Del Rio and the ladder.
RVD brings Del Rio back in the ring and covers for a 2 count. Fans chant for tables again. RVD grabs a chair instead and they pop. RVD goes to the top with the chair for a Van Terminator across the ring. Del Rio moves and RVD lands hard. Del Rio grabs the chair and sets it up. RVD blocks him with a jawbreaker. RVD charges but Del Rio hits a drop toe hold, sending RVD face first into the chair. Del Rio with a superkick to the face. Del Rio wraps RVD’s arm in the chair and stomps away. Del Rio applies the cross armbreaker with the chair still wrapped around RVD’s arm and RVD taps out for the win.
Winner: Alberto Del Rio
– After the match, we go to replays. Del Rio celebrates at ringside as RVD tries to recover in the ring. No cash in by Damien Sandow.
– Zeb Colter is backstage with Jack Swagger and Antonio Cesaro. Zeb rips on the city of Buffalo and illegals crossing the border. He talks about what they’re going to do against The Great Khali and Santino Marella tonight.
Santino Marella and The Great Khali vs. Jack Swagger and Antonio Cesaro
We go to the ring and out first comes The Great Khali with Hornswoggle. Santino Marella is out next. Zeb Colter is out next with Jack Swagger and Antonio Cesaro right behind him.
Santino starts things off with Swagger. Swagger with a headlock and a big shoulder off the ropes. Swagger wastes time and salutes Zeb. Swagger takes Santino to the mat. Slow start to the match early on. They lock up again and Swagger applies another headlock. A “we the people” chant starts up in the crowd. They run the ropes and Santino drops Swagger with a shoulder. Santino scoop slams Swagger and pulls out the Cobra. Swagger charges and gets hip tossed. Santino goes for the Cobra but Swagger jumps to the floor. Hornswoggle approaches him with a mini Cobra. Swagger takes it of his hand and scares Hornswoggle back. This leads to Swagger dropping Santino over the top rope. Cesaro tags in and goes to work on Santino. Swagger tags back in and they keep Santino in their corner.
Swagger with a Swagger Bomb and a tag to Cesaro for some double teaming. Cesaro keeps control of Santino. Santino fights back but Cesaro stops a tag and rams Santino into the corner. Swagger comes back in for more offense on Santino. 2 count by Swagger. Santino manages to turn it around with a back drop on Swagger. Khali and Cesaro tag in. Khali pushes him back and comes in. Khali unloads on Cesaro and takes him to the corner. Khali with huge elbows and chops to the chest. Khali nails the big overhead chop on Cesaro but Swagger breaks the pin at 2. Khali sends Swagger to the floor with a big chop to the head. Santino leaps out onto Swagger on the floor. Cesaro and Khali go at it. Cesaro takes his leg out. Cesaro does the very impressive giant swing on Khali for the pin and the win.
Winners: Jack Swagger and Antonio Cesaro
– After the match, the Real Americans celebrate and pose with Zeb in the ring. We see a replay of the giant swing on Khali.
– We get a video for WWE’s fight against breast cancer with Susan G. Komen.
WWE Intercontinental Title Match: R-Truth vs. Curtis Axel
We go to the ring and out first comes Paul Heyman with WWE Intercontinental Champion Curtis Axel. We see footage from RAW where R-Truth earned a title shot. Truth comes out next rapping to the ring.
They lock up and go to the corner and the ropes. Truth connects with a big right hand and goes to work on Axel. Truth drops Axel with an elbow and covers for 2. Truth keeps control and mounts Axel with right hands in the corner. Truth slams Axel for another 2 count. Truth clotheslines Axel out to the floor as Heyman looks on. Truth with a clothesline from the apron as the referee counts. Truth brings it back in the ring and covers for a 2 count.
Axel goes to the floor to talk with Heyman. Truth follows but Axel sends him into the fan barrier. Axel rams Truth back into the barrier again. Axel brings it back in the ring for a quick pin attempt. Axel keeps control and nails a big dropkick for a 2 count. More back and forth. Truth comes back with clotheslines, counters Axel and rolls him up for a close 2 count. Truth knocks Axel right back to the mat. A “JBL” chant starts up in the crowd. Truth with a scissors kick for a close 2 count. More back and forth. Axel ends up getting the win with his finisher.
Winner: Curtis Axel
WWE Divas Title Match: Brie Bella vs. AJ Lee
We go to the ring and out first comes The Bella Twins. WWE Divas Champion AJ Lee is out next with her hired muscle Tamina Snuka.
They talk trash after the bell and Brie slaps AJ. Brie unloads on AJ and takes her to the mat. AJ scrambles out of the ring to regroup but Brie follows her. Tamina gets in the way and won’t let Brie to AJ. Brie chases AJ back into the ring, blocks her and gets a 2 count. Brie takes AJ to the corner with kicks and beats her down. Brie rams AJ back into another corner and keeps the offense coming. Brie with a dropkick off the second rope for a 2 count.
AJ turns things around and sends Brie out to the floor. AJ brings it back in the ring and covers for a 2 count. AJ keeps control and works on Brie’s arm now. Brie fights back and they trade holds. AJ drops Brie with an armbreaker for a 2 count. AJ screams in frustration and pushes Brie back to the mat. AJ with knees to the back on the ropes now. AJ stomps away in the corner some more before showing off. She charges in the corner and misses. Brie tries for a comeback but AJ unloads on her arm. AJ with an armbar as Nikki Bella cheers her sister on from ringside. More back and forth action. AJ shows off and skips around the ring as the crowd pops. AJ turns around to a dropkick from Brie. Brie with a roll up. Brie with a clothesline and another dropkick, and another. Brie with a backbreaker over her knee for another 2 count. We see Tamina attacking Nikki at ringside. She shoves Nikki face first into the apron. This distracts Brie. Brie goes to save her sister but AJ rolls her up from behind for the win.
Winner: AJ Lee
– After the match, The Bellas check on each other as AJ and Tamina leave together. We go to replays.
– We get a recap video for the Rhodes family storyline.
– Renee Young is backstage with Cody Rhodes, Dusty Rhodes and Goldust. Dusty talks about family and being together. He says no matter what happens, they will leave Buffalo with their heads held high. Goldust says tonight, they will expose the Hounds of Justice for what they are – the authority’s puppets. Cody puts over his dad and brother. He says there is no length he won’t go to protect his family’s future. Cody says tonight, they fight for their lives and their family.
Cody Rhodes and Goldust vs. Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns
We go to the ring and our first comes The Shield. WWE Tag Team Champions Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns head to the ring with United States Champion Dean Ambrose. Out next comes Cody Rhodes and Goldust with their father Dusty, to his theme song. If Team Rhodes wins this one, Cody gets his job back with WWE and Dusty gets to keep his NXT job. If they lose, they’re gone from WWE for good.
Cody starts things out with Rollins. Cody ducks and goes to work on Rollins, taking him to the corner. Reigns comes in and gets sent to the corner where Goldust gets some shots in. Goldust tags in and they double team Reigns but Rollins pulls him to safety. The Shield discuss strategy at ringside now. They walk towards Dusty at ringside and we get a 3 on 3 staredown. Goldust hits the ring and waits on Reigns. They go at it and trade shots. Goldust runs over Reigns and tags in Cody for a little double teaming. Rollins tags in and keeps Cody down in The Shield’s corner.
Rhodes turns it around and takes Rollins to another corner for a beatdown. Rollins ducks a clothesline and sends Cody into the turnbuckle. Reigns comes in and runs over Cody with a shoulder. Reigns with a 2 count. Rollins comes in off the top with some double teaming as they keep Cody in their corner again. Cody looks to fight them both off but Rollins takes him to the top. A “we want Goldust” chant starts up. Cody fights Rollins and Reigns off. He nails a big moonsault on Rollins. Goldust and Reigns come in on tags. Goldust unloads and hits the big right hand. Goldust with an atomic drop and a kick to the face. Goldust mounts Reigns with right hands in the corner now. Reigns misses a splash in the corner. Goldust goes to the top and hits a big crossbody for a 2 count.
More back and forth. Goldust misses a clothesline and flies out to the ring in front of Rollins and Ambrose. Cody comes over to even things up. Rollins tosses Goldust into the barrier as the referee counts. Goldust makes it back in at the 9 count. 2 count by Rollins and the beatdown continues. Reigns tags in and they keep Goldust in their corner as Dusty looks on. Reigns keeps Goldust grounded with a headlock. Goldust finally fights out Reigns hits a big flying clothesline for another 2 count. Reigns drags Goldust back to their corner and tags in Rollins for more offense on Goldust. Goldust blocks a shot off the ropes and goes for a tag but it’s blocked. Reigns tags back in. Another tag to Rollins. He runs the ropes but Goldust catches him in a big powerslam. Cody finally tags in and goes at it with Rollins with a springboard dropkick. Reigns goes down. More offense on Rollins.
Cody with an Alabama Slam and a 2 count on Rollins. Cody charges in the corner but Rollins blocks him. Cody with a muscle buster out of the corner. Cody covers for 2 as Reigns breaks the pin. Goldust takes out Reigns but Reigns hits Goldust and sends him to the floor. Cody with a Disaster Kick on Reigns. Cody clotheslines Reigns to the floor. Ambrose gets up but Cody knocks him off the apron. Ambrose distracts Cody, allowing Rollins to attack from behind. Dusty approaches Ambrose and throws his hat at him. Dusty hits a right hand and a bionic elbow on Ambrose. The crowd pops as Ambrose retreats from Dusty. Goldust stops Reigns from attacking Dusty on the floor. Rollins with a roll up on Cody for 2. Cody nails Cross Rhodes for the win.
Winners: Cody Rhodes and Goldust
– After the match, the Rhodes family celebrates in the ring as Dusty’s music plays. Dusty gets to keep his job and Cody gets his job back. We go to replays. The Rhodes family ends up on the stage where a bunch of WWE agents and Superstars from the locker room come out to celebrate with them.
– We go back to Josh Mathews and the panel to talk about what has happened so far tonight.
– Backstage segment with Brad Maddox and Vickie Guerrero. Brad wants Vickie’s help keeping things under control. Vickie says Triple H and Stephanie McMahon left Maddox in charge so this is all on him. She laughs at him and walks off.
Kofi Kingston vs. Bray Wyatt
We go to the ring and out first comes Kofi Kingston. The lights go out, Bray Wyatt lights the lantern and makes his way to the ring with Erick Rowan and Luke Harper.
Wyatt gets up from his rocking chair on the ramp and makes his way to the ring. Bray charges but Kofi strikes first with kicks. Bray laughs. Kofi with more offense but Bray catches his leg and sends him to the mat. Kofi comes right back and kicks Wyatt in the face from the corner. Kofi goes to the top but Bray knocks him down. Bray with a running splash in the corner. Wyatt with more offense and a 2 count. Bray beats Kofi down in the corner until the referee backs him off. Bray with a big clothesline.
Bray keeps Kofi grounded and yells out. Bray scoop slams Kofi and drops a big elbow for a 2 count. Kofi finally fights up and out but Bray scoops him. Kofi falls on top of Bray for a 1 count. Kofi springboards in but Wyatt catches him with a scoop slam for a 2 count. Kofi counters and drops Bray on his head. Kofi with chops and a dropkick. Kofi with a big right hand and the Boom Drop. Bray ducks Trouble In Paradise, runs the ropes and they collide in mid-air after a nasty Bray crossbody. Bray tries walking upside down like a spider but falls on his head. He ends up on the floor. Kofi runs the ropes and leaps out onto The Wyatt Family, taking them out. They come back in and Kofi keeps control. 2 count by Kofi. Kofi goes for a sunset flip but Wyatt hits him. Wyatt blocks SOS and nails Sister Abigail for the win.
Winner: Bray Wyatt
– After the match, Rowan scoops Kofi and drops him over his knee before throwing him into a clothesline from Harper. Wyatt takes the mic and says there is no right, there is no wrong. All that is left are the mannequins trying to force feed us what their ideas of purity are. Wyatt promises there will be none of them left in due time. One by one, they will fall. Follow the buzzards, he says. The Wyatt Family pose and the lights go out.
– We get a look back at Antonio Cesaro hitting the giant swing on The Great Khali earlier tonight.
– Their air a promo video for Ryback vs. CM Punk.
Ryback vs. CM Punk
We go to the ring and out first comes Ryback with Paul Heyman. CM Punk is out next to a big pop.
They lock up and go at it, going to the corner. Ryback talks trash and tells Punk let’s fight. Fans chant for Punk. They lock up again and Ryback nails shoulder thrusts in the corner. Punk comes back with kicks and sends Ryback out to the floor. Ryback meets with Heyman for advice. Ryback goes back into the ring and Punk works him over. They end back up on the floor. Punk whips Ryback into the barrier. Punk goes on top of the barrier and leaps off but Ryback catches him. Punk counters and sends Ryback into the ring post. They come back in and Punk nails a crossbody from the top for a 2 count.
Ryback goes for 2 more pins but Punk kicks out. Heyman yells for another powerbomb. Ryback goes for it but Punk slides out and drops Ryback with part of a roundhouse kick. Punk with the high knee and the bulldog. Punk goes to the top and nails the big elbow drop for a 2 count. Punk with a big knee in the corner, and another as Heyman looks on. Punk misses the next high knee and Ryback grabs him in mid-air. Punk counters and takes Ryback down. Punk goes for GTS but Ryback fights out with elbows. Ryback with a big powerslam for a 2 count. Ryback works Punk over on the ropes now. Heyman pulls a kendo stick out from under the ring and the referee catches him. Punk takes advantage of the referee being distracted and hits a low blow on Ryback for the win.
Winner: CM Punk
– We get a promo video for tonight’s WWE Title match.
Match for the Vacant WWE Title: Daniel Bryan vs. Randy Orton
In Demand has some technical difficulties but comes back to the vacant WWE Title sitting at ringside as the announcers hype the match. We go to the ring and our first comes Randy Orton to a big pop. Daniel Bryan is out next to a huge pop from Buffalo.
They lock up and go at it. Bryan takes Orton to the mat first and they trade holds. Bryan with a pin attempt. More back and forth with them trading holds. Orton drops Bryan with a shoulder. More back and forth with holds on the mat. Bryan unloads on Orton with forearms on the mat while he has him in a submission. Bryan with kicks in the corner now. Bryan climbs up for a superplex but Orton crotches him on the top rope. Orton clotheslines Bryan off the rope and Bryan falls on his head. Orton with a 2 count.
Orton turns it around and mounts Bryan in the corner with right hands. Orton keeps control and works Bryan over in the corner. Orton runs into a big boot but catches Bryan with a powerslam for 2. Orton with a slingshot suplex for a 2 count. Orton ends up on the floor and Bryan leaps out with a suicide dive. Bryan with kicks up against the barrier. Bryan whips Orton hard into the barrier and follows up with a big dropkick. Bryan goes up top but Orton catches him in a powerbomb for a 2 count. Orton with a Boston crab now.
Bryan crawls for the ropes but Orton pulls him back to the center of the ring. Bryan turns the crab into a 2 count. Bryan goes for the Yes Lock but Orton makes it to the ropes. Bryan slides out of the ring but Orton counters and sends him into the steps. Orton pulls Bryan’s shoulder into the ring post as the referee counts. Orton back drops Bryan over the barrier and drops him on the floor. They come back in at 9 and Orton covers for 2. Orton takes Bryan back to the top for a superplex. Bryan headbutts Orton back to the mat. Orton goes right back and crotches Bryan on the top. Orton climbs back up and nails the superplex.
They get up and go at it, trading shots in the middle of the ring. They trade uppercuts as the crowd chants now. Bryan backslides Orton for a 2 count. Bryan drops Orton with a kick to the head for a 2 count. Bryan tries to suplex Orton in from the apron but Orton counters and suplexes Bryan hard out to the floor. Orton takes apart the Spanish announcers table. Orton goes to powerbomb Bryan through it but Bryan slides out and unloads with kicks. Bryan sends Orton into the steel steps. Bryan climbs to the top and leaps out onto Orton and the floor. Orton goes down and Bryan brings them back in the ring. Bryan climbs to the top and nails the big headbutt for a 2 count. Bryan with a big dropkick in the corner, and another. Bryan hits two more dropkicks in the corner and Orton goes down. The 5th running dropkick is a low one. Fans start chanting “yes!” as Bryan gets pumped up. Bryan with kicks to the chest as Orton is on his knees. Orton blocks the roundhouse kick and suplexes Bryan over his head.
Orton nails the second rope draping DDT and readies for the RKO. The crowd is into this one and ready for the finish. Orton mocks Bryan and hits the mat. Bryan blocks the RKO. Orton ducks a kick and rolls Bryan up for 2. Bryan counters and applies the Yes Lock. Big Show’s music hits and out he comes running to the ring. Show pulls the referee to the floor as the crowd boos. Bryan breaks the hold and looks at Show in shock. Bryan asks Show what he’s doing. Show responds with a knockout punch through the ropes. A “you sold out” chant breaks out. Brad Maddox appears on the stage and calls out referee Scott Armstrong. He comes in to count the pin but Show pulls him out of the ring. Show knocks out Armstrong with a punch. Show enters the ring and has words with Orton. Show drops Orton with a knockout punch. Show gets hype and the crowd goes nuts as Maddox looks on in shock. Show’s music hits as he hits the turnbuckles to pose for fans. Battleground goes off the air with Orton and Bryan still down.