After the whirlwind six weeks of pay-per-views in May and June, we had a nice break before this month’s Battleground event! Has the space between shows allowed for better build-up? With SummerSlam on the horizon, how will this event set up the next “big” show? Hit the jump for my predictions and, as always, check me out on Twitter while I live Tweet the show!
**Please note that I have a convention the day of Battleground, so I may be about 30 minutes behind when tweeting about this show. I get a lot of fun participation when I do the live tweet, so I’ll try to get back as quickly as possible so the delay between the show and my tweets isn’t too bad!
R-TRUTH vs KING BARRETT
This is a really frustrating feud. R-Truth is super funny and I love his “King What’s Up” gimmick and I think that King Barrett is perhaps the most poorly utilized wrestler on the entire roster, so putting the two of them together should be great, right? Unfortunately every single week in the past month, we’ve seen the same interaction between the two and the same matches and at this point, it is 100% boring. This should be way more entertaining than it is, but unfortunately they have beat this one into the ground. R-Truth has picked up a few surprise wins and Barrett seriously cannot afford to lose any more matches, so I have to put my money on Barrett. I probably won’t be back in town for this match and I can’t say that I’ll miss much.
Prediction: KING BARRETT
RANDY ORTON vs SHEAMUS
I’m not entirely certain why these two are fighting, but I have to say that I have enjoyed their brutal, very stiff brawls over the past few weeks. It has been a while since Orton has worked this hard-hitting of a style and Sheamus is the perfect opponent for him at this point. This is the type of match WWE needs to promote more—sometimes guys just need to fight for the sake of fighting. Thanks to the “Outta Nowhere” meme, Orton is about as over as can be at this point and is one of the few wrestlers that can lose without losing steam, whereas Sheamus really needs to pick up as many wins as possible to solidify his gimmick. I think we’ll see a hard-hitting “bowling shoe ugly” (to steal a JR-phrase) match with Sheamus picking up a hard fought win in one will be one of the more intense matches of the night.
THE NEW DAY vs PRIME TIME PLAYERS ©
Tag Team Championship
I am so glad to see that the Prime Time Players and New Day are still feuding. I am a huge fan of both teams and when both were flirting with obscurity, I was afraid we’d never see them back on top. This feud has been incredibly entertaining over the last two months and I hope to see it continue past this weekend—I think they can maintain this steam for at least another pay per view. Truthfully, I’d like to see the teams trade wins and flip the championship between them, leading to a big payoff match several months down the road—New Day vs Prime Time Players could easily be this generation’s Hardy Boyz vs Edge/Christian if this is booked correctly. I think they made a good move by adding Mark Henry to the PTP on Monday and I really hope they keep this up—they don’t really need an enforcer given that Titus is a monster already, but he fits as a third character and foil to the extra member of the New Day.
Prediction: THE NEW DAY
ROMAN REIGNS vs BRAY WYATT
This is an awesome match-up and I have really enjoyed the fact that this feud has allowed Wyatt to get back in the spotlight and for Reigns to show a bit more personality (thanks in part to his interactions with his ‘back-up’ in Dean Ambrose). The problem with this match is that both men really need to win. We all know the long term plan for Reigns is to make him the face of the company and this is first real feud after Wrestlemania (the Big Show feud was essentially meaningless), so if he doesn’t win this, his ascension will be seriously derailed. On the flipside, Bray Wyatt was cut off at the knees for well over a year now with a mishandled John Cena feud followed by a mishandled Chris Jericho feud followed by an poorly built upon Dean Ambrose feud followed by an ultimately meaningless Undertaker feud. Wyatt is finally back to a good place for the first time since before Wrestlemania XXX and I would really hate to see him lose here only to be knocked back down again. Since this is essentially a no win situation, you have to look at what better story can be fold from a loser’s standpoint. That being said, I think that building Reigns as a comeback kid makes more sense than trying to re-build Wyatt again, so I’m going with the New Face of Fear.
Prediction: BRAY WYATT
KEVIN OWENS vs JOHN CENA ©
United States Championship
To me, this is the main event even though it won’t be the final match on the card. Owens/Cena I and II were both instant classics. Cena is putting in literally the best work of his career. Owens has not had a match since jumping to the main roster and has had multiple Match of the Year candidates. While the recent involvement of Cesaro and Rusev makes me believe that this won’t be the big payoff match they seemed to promise before, I think this is the time for Owens to shine. They have done such a great job of building him up that win here will make him an instant superstar—a loss will make him Bray Wyatt unless we see some sort of shenanigans that allows him to lose while still destroying Cena. I want Owens to win and I think he needs to, so I’m picking him to win. No matter what, though, this will be the match of the night.
Prediction: FIGHT OWENS FIGHT
BROCK LESNAR vs SETH ROLLINS ©
WWE World Heavyweight Championship
This should be a lot of fun, as Brock Lesnar makes his first PPV appearance since Wrestlemania to take on the man that stole the title from him. I have absolutely loved the build-up to this match, with Rollins and Paul Heyman dueling on the mic and Lesnar legitimately decimating everyone that could support Rollins, leaving him to face the beast alone on Sunday. This match could be the most important yet in the Rollins Championship Era, as a win here will really legitimize him as champion, even if he wins by shenanigans. Lesnar is the most dominant force in the WWE currently and possibly the most dominate force ever in the WWE, so for the cowardly, slimy heel Rollins to win here would really elevate the character and give him one more reason to be the arrogant jerk that makes him so much fun to watch. Plus the only thing better than a driven Lesnar is a driven and angry Lesnar, which instantly jumpstarts whichever feud he takes on next, whether it be Rollins again or someone else. I see Rollins pulling out a shocker win here.
Prediction: SETH ROLLINS