Battleground is the last stop before WWE’s second biggest pay-per-view of the year, Summer Slam! As such, I expect that this event will feature more setup than the last few pay-per-views, with very few feud-ending matchups. Instead, we’ll see the groundwork laid for Summer Slam in August. That being said, it is shaping up to be a really exciting show. After Money in the Bank was a bit of a disappointment, I have high hopes for Battleground. Hit the jump for my predictions for Sunday’s event and remember to follow me on Twitter on Sunday when I live-tweet the show!
CAMERON vs NAOMI
Kickoff Pre-Show Match
As I predicted earlier this month with Money in the Bank, Naomi’s loss to Paige led directly into this feud, which has been fairly well built over the last few weeks. They’ve had some fun in-ring segments, especially Cameron doing her nails during the tag match against AJ and Paige instead of helping Naomi. I would have like to see a few more talking segments, as I’ve never seen much from either woman in terms of their mic skills. Naomi is definitely the better wrestler of the two, but she has her work cut out for her in terms of carrying Cameron in this match, though Cameron has shown a ton of personality in the ring in the last few weeks. I don’t think will be a match of the year candidate, but it is good to see a Divas match get a non-championship spot on the card.
CESARO vs KOFI KINGSTON vs DAMIEN SANDOW vs GREAT KHALI vs ROB VAN DAM vs DOLPH ZIGGLER vs BIG E vs RYBACK vs CURTIS AXEL vs ALBERTO DEL RIO vs BO DALLAS vs SHEAMUS vs FANDANGO vs SIN CARA vs ZACK RYDER vs THE MIZ vs ADAM ROSE vs DIEGO vs R-TRUTH vs XAVIER WOODS vs HEATH SLATER vs TITUS O’NEIL
Intercontinental Championship Battle Royal
Before I get into my prediction, I just want to rant on how annoying to me it is that Sheamus is in this match. I like Sheamus. I think he deserves to be on the show, but he needs to be on the show defending the US title against someone whom he has built up a rivalry with. He and Alberto del Rio have been facing off a lot lately—why not take them out of this match an add some prestige to that title? They dropped the ball by letting Ambrose hold but never defend the US title and now they are doing the same thing with Sheamus. There is no reason that can’t be the “Tier 1” title for young talent. Let guys who aren’t ready for the Intercontinental Title fight over it. It would be perfect to add some weight to matches for guys like Curtis Axel or Bo Dallas who need the rub but aren’t ready for the big time. That being said, I would fine for almost anyone except Great Khali winning this match. The vast majority of guys in the match are wrestlers I want to see more of. Cesaro is the biggest rising star here, so he seems like the obvious choice to me. Then I want a feud between Cesaro and Dolph ZIggler over the belt. Make it happen, WWE!
THE WYATT FAMILY vs THE USOS
Tag Team Championship
Aside from the highspot-heavy briefcase match, I felt that the Usos and Wyatts had the match of the night at Money in the Bank, which makes me tremendously excited for this two-out-of-three falls rematch. Rowan and Harper seem to get better every match and I feel that they bring the best out of the Usos. I still like the Usos as champions, but the tag division has really fallen apart as of late, which only gives them two heel tag teams to do battle with. There aren’t any major heel tag teams that can be considered contenders for the Usos to battle with. The Wyatts, on the other hand, can easily fight anyone and keep the crowd engaged. The Wyatts are ready to take the belts and it is going to happen this weekend. The stipulations behind the match should give the teams enough time to build a great story that could easily steal the show. In the end, though, I see the Wyatt Family pick up the win 2-1 in an exciting bout.
Prediction: THE WYATT FAMILY
JACK SWAGGER vs RUSEV
Remember my rant a few minutes ago about the US title? The time has passed for it, but a damn smart move would have been to put the US strap on Rusev before starting this feud or even in the early stage. By having the evil Russian (Bulgarian) monster Rusev holding the United States title, the tension for this feud would be amped up so much more. Swagger would not only want to shut up Lana and her anti-American rants, but he would be looking to reclaim something that belongs to America. That would give instant credibility to the US Title. Without that, this is still a fun feud that I hope carries over for a few months, if for nothing else than the great interaction between Lana and Zeb Colter continuing. I have really enjoyed watching those two go at it—even more than I’ve enjoyed watching Swagger and Rusev brawl. That being said, Rusev isn’t to the point where he can lose and so while I think Swagger will definitely get closer than anyone has before, I don’t think he’ll beat the monster just yet.
PAIGE vs AJ ©
Looking back, I have to say that I’m really frustrated with how Paige’s title reign went. She had a great debut and it was great seeing her defend the belt week in and week out on TV, but she never really connected with the fans. Part of it was that she seemed really nervous on the microphone, so all of her promos turned out tremendously awkward. She had some good matches with less than stellar opponents, but all of her efforts were completely outshined by the women’s matches on NXT. I’m hoping that they can keep this feud with AJ going (as it has barely been built at all and seem only to be happening because of the rematch clause), as I feel that both of these women have the goods to put something exciting together. Considering AJ just came back and just won the title from Paige, I don’t see her dropping it again so quickly. Hopefully they will keep this feud going and AJ can help build Paige’s comfort level on the main roster—I really think that these two can elevate the entire Divas division.
CHRIS JERICHO vs BRAY WYATT
There are two matches that really have me excited for this pay-per-view and the Jericho/Wyatt match is the first (Rollins/Ambrose being the other). Jericho has already stated in multiple interviews (including his awesome podcast one Podcast One) that he will be feuding with Wyatt all summer. I fully expect to see these two men battle it out over multiple pay-per-views and I’m really hoping that the storyline is more beneficial to Wyatt than his feud with Cena was over the last few months. Wyatt needs a big win here to be taken seriously, even if it comes with the assistance of Harper and Rowan. I expect Bray to win this one in a dirty fashion, setting up a rematch at Summer Slam next month. This should also be a really exciting match as Jericho did not lose a single step in his year away from the business. Jericho rarely ever has a bad match, which is why he has been one of my favorite wrestlers for almost 20 years. I’m so pumped for this one.
Prediction: BRAY WYATT
DEAN AMBROSE vs SETH ROLLINS
Even if the World Heavyweight Championship situation is the main focus of the WWE right now, I feel that the highlight of the shows for the last few weeks has been Dean Ambrose’s relentless hunt for Seth Rollins. Every single time Ambrose and Rollins were on TV, something exciting was happening. These two young men are so incredibly talented and they have done a great job of keeping this feud interesting without actually putting them in the ring one-on-one. That has gone a long way for building up tension for this match, which will undoubtedly be the match of the night and has the potential for being a match of the year contender. This is the standout moment for both men’s singles careers. I expect a fast-paced, psychologically sound match with Rollins sneaking out as the winner, probably with some shenanigans, allowing the feud to continue. The only even remotely negative thing about this match will be Rollins’s terrible theme music.
Prediction: SETH ROLLINS
ROMAN REIGNS vs KANE vs RANDY ORTON vs JOHN CENA ©
WWE World Heavyweight Championship
Let’s face it—nobody wants John Cena to win this match. Again, as always, we appreciate that John Cena is the King of Make-a-Wish and it is totally awesome that kids love him so much. But the John Cena era should have come and went long ago. He is a transitional champion and Brock Lesnar is going to take the title from him next month at Summer Slam. In the meantime, however, we are going to get a pretty exciting match that will do more to build up Roman Reigns than anything else, setting up either Reigns vs Orton or Reigns vs Triple H for Summer Slam. This is just one more step towards Reigns eventually winning the belt (probably from Lesnar). I am confident in saying that the majority of the WWE Universe wants Reigns as champion, but we are going to have to put up with a bunch of crap to get there, just as we did with Daniel Bryan. Just deal with it, y’all. Cena is a big picture, transitional champion and only step one in making Reigns wish come true.
Prediction: JOHN CENA
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