Another month, and it’s time for another WWE Pay-Per-View. WWE present Battleground tonight; so let’s take a look at the card.
So, the WWE Boycott continues. The only WWE programming currently being watched in my house is NXT. I haven’t watched a Raw or Smackdown all the way through in over 2 months now, and it’s surprisingly liberating. Other than the odd clip on YouTube, I’ve spent my time catching up on what I’ve been missing on the UK Scene, and that’s been infinitely more entertaining (seriously, support your local promotion and go out and catch a show). Bearing that in mind, this article isn’t gonna be a straightforward preview. It’s gonna be more like my assessment of what I think should be happening in these matches/angles moving forwards.
So let’s do this. To quote a great man “Excuse me while I slap on a fake smile and plow through this sh*t one more time”.
Kick Off Match
Cameron vs. Naomi
Oh no, the Funkadactyls have split up!!
Did that sentence make it sound like I cared? I really tried to sound genuine, but unfortunately I just can’t drum up any enthusiasm to discuss this match. From what I’ve seen before, Naomi isn’t a bad little worker. In the tag matches that The Funkadactyls were a part of, it was fairly apparent that Naomi was doing most of the heavy lifting and Cameron was there to…well, I don’t exactly know why Cameron was there?
I don’t watch Total Divas, but from what guys like Magic on the TWO Forums have told me, Cameron isn’t very nice. In that case it makes sense to make her a heel if she is that genuinely unlikeable in real life.
I’m not expecting this to be a blow off for this feud, but I’m not interested in seeing it either. It’ll just be another thing that fills up WWE programming that I don’t care about in the slightest.
Who I want to win: Naomi. At least she has a bit of talent about her.
Who I think will win: Probably Naomi. I’m guessing they will start guiding her towards the title picture at some point in the near future.
Battle Royale for the WWE Intercontinental Championship
I couldn’t even really tell you who is in this match. The one thing I do know is that Bad News Barrett is supposed to be on the show in person to hand over the title. He tweeted that his pick was Heath Slater with the hashtag #BringBackTheCorre, which amused me.
I’ve taken a look at the list of participants on WWE.com and it looks to me like this is gonna come down to either Cesaro, Sheamus (to potentially unify the midcard titles), The Miz (good grief) or Ziggler. One of the things I have seen was Summer Rae and Layla get a bit amorous with our boy Ziggler.
My left field choice for this match would be Bo Dallas. WWE are making a fuss about Bo’s undefeated streak, and from the couple of clips I’ve seen he seems to be getting a reaction from the crowd. Plus it’d be a nice little moment to harken back to Bo’s initial main roster try-out against Barrett. It’s even something they could potentially play off of when Barrett does return.
The one thing I will predict for this match is that instead of simply handing over the IC Title, Barrett will no doubt have some bad news for the eventual winner of this Battle Royale.
Who I want to win: Dolph, Bo, or Cesaro would all be fine with me.
Who I think will win: I’d like to say Bo, but something tells me Sheamus may be winning this (or at least be involved in the end of the match) to unify the titles.
2-out-of-3 Falls Match for the WWE Tag Team Championship
The Usos © vs. The Wyatt Family
I haven’t seen anything of their feud since it started right around the time I tapped out on watching shows. All I can really say is that it feels like the time is about right to switch the titles to another team. The Usos have held the tag titles for around 7 months by this point and while they may not have set the world alight, that has nothing to do with Jimmy & Jey, but rather WWE creative still having no real booking or ideas for the tag division. The Tag Team Titles seem to have once again be reduced to an afterthought after Triple H made his big promise to improve the division.
This disappoints me greatly, since I’m such a fan of good tag team wrestling. It also annoys me, because we know WWE can book great multi-man matches. The Shield’s back catalogue is a testament to that, so why can they not apply the same to the tag matches?
I’m fairly certain the Wyatts are walking out of Battleground with the titles, but as to what happens from there, I don’t know.
Who I want to win: The Wyatts. Harper and Rowan deserve a title run for all their work up until this point.
Who I think will win: Probably the Wyatts. It just seems like Jimmy & Jey have come to the natural end of the first title reign. I’ve got no problem with them winning them back at some point, I just feel the Wyatts should win if only to provide some stable competition to The Usos for a while.
WWE Divas Championship Match
AJ Lee © vs. Paige
I’ve seen a few clips of this over on the WWE YouTube Channel, and this whole AJ/Paige “frienemies” is actually pretty interesting.
Incidentally, has Michael Cole been driving “frienemies” into the ground like he does with everything else? It seems like his kind of deal.
So yeah, Paige and AJ are acting all “SUPER BFFs 4EVA” which is little more than a thin veneer covering the underlying vibe of “I’ma kill yo’ ass”. This actually makes the prospect of the match much more interesting, since it makes it that much harder to call.
This one is pretty much gonna boil down to who cracks first. Expect the match to start out with both Paige and AJ playing nice, but at some point one of them will lose their rag and launch an all out assault on the other. And that is when we can expect this to get a little nasty.
A lot of you folks out there on the Internet are predicting a Paige heel turn for tonight. Personally, I feel this is another of those circumstances similar to Cesaro, where neither AJ nor Paige should be a clearly defined heel or face, allow the shades of grey (Vince Russo just spooged) to play out and give the crowd the room to make up their minds on who they want to cheer and boo in this little exchange. You stand a chance of having both women cheered by the crowd in this match, as it has the potential to be the sleeper hit of the night.
I don’t know if it’s enough to get me to watch the full event, but I’ll definitely be checking this out in some form.
Who I want to win: Either of these women walking out with the title would be perfectly acceptable, as it seems this feud is likely to continue for a while.
Who I think will win: Maybe AJ? Maybe they are gonna continue having them both act like friends and not “unleash the beasts” until a later date…like SummerSlam?
Jack Swagger vs. Rusev
I go away for two months and Jack Swagger’s getting face pops? Jeepers!
I can’t believe WWE actually went along with it and made Jack Swagger the Rocky Balboa to Rusev’s Ivan Drago. That’s actually pretty cool. I was genuinely a little taken aback by just how loud the final “WE THE PEOPLE!” was. I mean, I know that catchphrase was over before, but now it’s REALLY over with the crowd.
Still it begs the question, is Swagger the guy to put a stop to Rusev’s rampage? My simple answer is I don’t know. How far are WWE willing to push Rusev at this point? Would they be willing to push someone as their new all American hero, only to have him fall at his first hurdle? Or does WWE have another American hero waiting in the wings to take the next shot after Swagger? I can’t think of anyone off the top of my head?
I think there’s every likelihood that this match won’t get a clean finish, and we’ll continue this through until SummerSlam with WWE hoping Swagger manages to continue to drum up support from the WWE Universe.
Who I want to win: Rusev. Let’s have Russia beat the US at first. That should get the crowd nice and hot.
Who I think will win: I don’t even know if there’s going to be a winner in this one. I could see WWE extending this out by having the match end in a double count-out or something along those lines. Have the match end, but have the fighting continue until officials have to forcible restrain both men. The crowd seem hot for the US/Russia angle, so let it continue.
Bray Wyatt vs. Chris Jericho
I like Chris Jericho, but how has he been gifted this reputation of “putting over” young guys? When did that actually happen? We discussed this on the recent TWO Community Podcast, and I can’t remember the last time Chris Jericho “made” a newcomer?
Sure he had a good feud with Punk, but Punk was WWE Champion at the time, he didn’t need someone to put him over. They tried it with Fandango last year, but the match just wasn’t very good, and it did nothing for Fandango compared to what the crowd did for him the following night. Hell, Jericho even kicked out of Fandango’s finish, pretty much killing his top-rope legdrop in his debut match. That’s not how you make someone, Chris.
So I don’t know where Jericho has this reputation from, but it seems like he’s gonna get another shot at it with Bray Wyatt. Bray has actually been one of the things I’ve quite missed about not watching the shows (have they toned down the use of “He’s Got The Whole World In His Hands” yet?), but there’s no turning back now. I’ve made my decision and it’s gonna take something impressive to make me change my mind now.
Who I want to win: Bray. Always Bray.
Who I think will win: Probably Bray. I imagine Jericho’s been tasked with trying to build Bray back up after him getting cr*pped on by typical knee-jerk “Cena wins” booking.
Seth Rollins vs. Dean Ambrose
“Is that all you got?” I love you Dean Ambrose, you crazy little psycho. I actually make sure to watch the little things he’s been doing recently, I’m loving the idea of him hunting down Seth Rollins. In fact, we discussed the idea on the podcast of Rollins being the first person to time out his briefcase shot, because Ambrose hounds him for a solid year, ruining every opportunity Seth has to cash in.
I could watch these two go back and forth all day at the moment, and I honestly believe they could draw this feud out for a full year. We even suggested having Ambrose win next year’s briefcase and have Seth cash in at the PPV, only for Ambrose to cash in on Rollins immediately.
There is literally so much that could be done with this angle, but I’m also more than aware that WWE just don’t understand/care enough to try something new like that. They’d much rather stick with what is safe and familiar, because these days it’s all about satisfying shareholders rather than fans.
For what it’s worth, I probably will watch this match, just because I’m interested in seeing what both guys are willing to do to each other in the interest of taking away the “match of the night” props. And that’s my prediction. I’m calling this as match of the night for tonight.
Who I want to win: Rollins through nefarious tactics to prolong the feud.
Who I think will win: Rollins. What would the point be to having Ambrose win and gain his revenge so soon? If there’s any feud on the card that should be given more time to breathe and grow, it’s this one.
Fatal 4-way for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship
John Cena © vs. Randy Orton vs. Kane vs. Roman Reigns
I don’t even know why I’m going through this. We all know what’s going to happen, because at this point we’ve probably all seen the leaked SummerSlam promo video hyping up Cena vs. Lesnar. It looks like Cena Wins LOL and “plan C” will be coming into effect…
The obvious way for this to go down would be for Cena to pin Kane. That’s the least damaging way for Cena to retain the title, because WWE’s concern in this match needs to be keeping Roman Reigns looking strong. If they are planning to go all out behind Roman, then WWE should be pushing Reigns as a destroyer in this match. Whether he should be in the match or not at this point is something else altogether, but he’s here now so let’s have a look at how to get the best out of him.
The best thing here is to make it look like Reigns is going to win, before having The Authority pull the rug out from under him, much to the dismay of the crowd. In fact, the rumours of Triple H vs. Reigns at SummerSlam seem to be persisting, so it wouldn’t surprise me to see Trippers getting involved in taking Reigns out of the match.
Look, we all know how this is gonna end. Are you really gonna make me sum up? Okay. Fine.
Who I want to win: Is of no consequence in this match…
Who I think will win: I don’t think, I know Cena Wins LOL. The cogs continue turning, I continue despairing, and CM Punk stays safe in the knowledge that going home was the right decision.
And that’s that. No, really. This could potentially be my last preview for a while. I’m not watching the programming, so I feel like I’m depriving you of a proper preview by not being fully clued in on the everyday happenings of the WWE. Next month you may have somebody else giving you a rundown of the upcoming PPV, and if that is the case I’m expecting you all to welcome them with open arms.
If this is indeed the end of my tenure here, then it’s been a blast. And who knows, maybe I’ll be back or some point?
Or, y’know, I may still be here next month and nothing will have changed.
I guess there’s only one way you’re gonna find out…