Which Was Worse: WWE Battleground 2013 or ECW December To Dismember 2006?
Posted by Justin Watry on 07.15.2014
411's Justin Watry examines the evidence to see which event WORSE: WWE Battleground 2013 or ECW December To Dismember 2006?
Last week, 79% of you decided that WrestleMania 17 was better than WrestleMania 22. Truth be told, I will consider that a win through this concept. Why you ask? Simple. That means 21% of you think that WrestleMania 22 was better than WrestleMania 17. Think about THAT for a moment. One out of every five wrestling fans. Pretty amazing when you think about it that way. Truth be told, my vote probably goes to WM17 over WM22, with WrestleMania 19 nearby. However, this is all for debate, which leads me to this week's column.
Since we already covered a pair of great events, this week will have the script flipped - two bad wrestling PPV events. With WWE Battleground 2014 this Sunday on pay-per-view, I thought one choice was obvious: Battleground 2013 from last year. The second had to be not just bad but REALLY bad! Well, that only left one other option....
Which Was WORSE: Battleground 2013 OR December to Dismember 2006?
Build/Hype for WWE Battleground 2013 - About as bad as it gets in the modern era of WWE. While I could rant about the entire series of events leading up to Battleground, the main issue was scheduling. This show never stood a chance. It was always doomed to fail from the get go. Right when the pay-per-view calendar was released in early 2013, you just knew Battleground was a lame duck. Night of Champions was a few weeks before hand, and that features every single title being defended. Then the STACKED Heck on a Deck PPV event was just a few weeks afterwards. There sat Battleground in the middle. Needless to say, all of the hype and build built from Night of Champions and was just heading to a conclusion at Heck on a Deck...not Battleground.
Build/Hype for ECW December to Dismember 2006 - On the surface, it was not a BAD idea. WWE saw the success of ECW One Night Stand in 2005 and wanted more! Smart business. They immediately set the date for a second ECW reunion show the following June. Then came the brand, the new wrestlers, extra television show, Paul Heyman on air more, etc. All these things seemed like a fine idea. Somewhere though, somebody decided to add in an 'extra' ECW pay-per-view in the beginning of December 2006. Well, doing annual One Night Stand shows is one thing. Doing any more than that? Never going to work. To make matters worse, the hype and build was nowhere near the levels of previous ONS events, and it showed through. Before the first match even began, low arena ticket sales, no momentum from the ECW brand, and very little of an actual card had this thing dead on arrival.
Tag Team Fun: Cody Rhodes/Goldust vs. The Shield at WWE Battleground 2013 - Hey, not everything was bad! This was about as classic as you can get. Hidden gem here. While the Rhodes Family vs. The Authority story was not very long and had its fair shares of groan worthy moments, the feud was good stuff. The match though? Made everything even that much better. Cody Rhodes was (again) back on the map. Goldust shocked the world by returning to form in a big way. Then, of course, The Shield delivered their usual performance during this tag match. Even a cameo from Dusty was well received from the live crowd. All leading to Cody and Goldust winning the match for their employment. Go back and watch this again if you forgot just how cool it was last year.
Tag Team Fun: Hardyz vs. MNM at ECW December to Dismember 2006 - While the previous match had weeks of story line, this was the definition of "Oh man, we have nothing on this PPV card. The ECW brand can not carry it alone. Quick add in a cool special attraction bout!" That is all this is. The Hardyz were kinda-sorta back together following their successful Survivor Series showing, even if it was clear that Jeff Hardy was doing just fine on his own. MNM, on the other hand, were done, and John Morrison (feuding with Jeff Hardy at the time) was the breakout star of the duo. Yet, ECW December to Dismember had nothing much to entice pay-per-view buyers, so WWE threw together this 'dream match' shortly before the event. Even dubbed "One Night Only" too! Ha, yeah right. Very little build. Very little hype. Very little feud going, outside of Jeff Hardy and John Morrison going at it for the IC Championship recently. Regardless, this was perfect spark needed. The Hardyz showed up to have the match of the night, and MNM were right there with them. Total group effort here. After 20 minutes, the Hardyz won. This PPV officially had a silver lining.
Filler from WWE Battleground 2013 - Oh, boy. I had the option of going through every single match (like last week) here...or just lumping all the coal together into one stocking. My choice is clear. Bray Wyatt beats Kofi Kingston in eight minutes. Yippee! Curtis Axel (remember him?) retains IC Title over R-Truth in seven minutes. Yeah! AJ Lee defeats Brie Bella in six minutes. YES! Jack Swagger and Cesaro defeated Santino Marella and The Great Khali. Yep, really. Alberto Del Rio vs. Rob Van Dam for the World Title was good, as was CM Punk vs. Ryback, but come on now...
Filler from ECW December to Dismember 2006 - Just dreadful. Unreal this was placed after Survivor Series and before Armageddon for ANY amount of money! I have and will defend WWE's version of ECW for all the great content it brought us. Their decision to hold this PAY-per-view event gets no pass from me. Daivari defeated Tommy Dreamer. Surely a show stealer. Matt Striker, Elijah Burke, FBI, Balls Mahoney, Mike Knox and others competed in short, FILLER matches too. No lengthy battles. No big story lines. No advancement. Nothing. All talented in their own right but no. Just no. I have read the theory that WWE wanted this to be 'typical ECW' with a card full of matches thrown against the wall and added on a whim last second. However, I do not buy that at all. It was just a mess. No excuses.
Main Event: Randy Orton vs. Daniel Bryan for the vacant WWE Championship at WWE Battleground 2013 - As noted above, this show was just a rock in a hard place. We saw them clash at Night of Champions a few weeks earlier, and anybody paying attention knew a HUGE blow-off rematch was coming at Heck on a Deck three weeks later. Thus, despite the great effort and wonderful wrestling ability from Randy Orton/Daniel Bryan, all eyes were on the future, not the present. Now, WWE did themselves no favors by having Big Show come out, cause a non-finish, and just have the PPV randomly go off the air without any resolution whatsoever. That falls on their shoulders. Sadly, it just summed up Battleground perfectly...with paying customers asking for refunds the next day. Yeah, awesome legacy there for Battleground.
Main Event: Bobby Lashley defeats Hardcore Holly, CM Punk, Test, Big Show, and Rob Van Dam to win the ECW Championship in an Extreme Elimination Chamber match - Yikes. Forget about all the backstage drama surrounding this match. The mere fact that Sabu was not out there was bad. The sad fact that RVD and CM Punk were treated as after thoughts certainly did not make the live crowd very happy. The fact that Lashley bombed big time in WWE (in hindsight, I know) does not help this show's historical standing. Nor does the fact that this was Big Show's farewell feud for the time being. Paul Heyman's farewell feud also! A lot of this was actually pretty good, like the Bryan/Orton match. Compared to other Elimination Chamber matches? Obviously, it was bad. As its own? Fairly enjoyable and at least closed the night on a high note. Too bad fans were 'done' and just wanted to get out of the building as soon as possible. Can not really blame them.
Overall: Both were pretty horrible WWE pay-per-views. Both were correctly predicted (by myself) to do record low pay-per-view buy rates. Both still give me nightmares to this day. However, which WWE event was worse? Leave a vote and discuss below in the comment section!