Is it just me or has it felt like ages since the last PPV and like it took a long time to get to this event. Its possible I feel that way because so much has happened since Money in the Bank up until now. Roman Reigns was suspended, Brock Lesnar vs. Randy Orton was announced, Rollins/Ambrose have had two WWE Championship matches and the WWE has shaken things up with the WWE Draft. Thats only the handful of things I can think of right now off the top of my head that has made this feel like a long break between PPV’s. Battleground may be the last PPV that isn’t one of the big four that features both Raw and Smackdown superstars. The results of this event also plays a role in the appearance of both brands following this Sunday. Where will the World Title land? Where do some of these rivalries go from here? Battleground really does feel like an event that should be taking place on a Battleground. Most of the matches and rivalries appear to be personal and full of emotion. For some of the rivalries this may be their final battle as the stars will be separated onto two different brands. For others, this may be their final battle before they change their focus on climbing the ranks of their specific brand now that the playing field has become less crowded. Regardless, Battleground in my mind will be an event we won’t forget anytime soon.
The Usos vs. Breezango
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In what I would expect to be the pre show match, we get the highflyin Uso’s against the beautiful team of Tyler Breeze and Fandango. This match will be fun to watch and I hope it’s not another comedy match where Fandango and Breeze are suffering from tanning burns or anything. Honestly, all four of these guys are really talented and have the potential to put on a really memorable match even given time and the direction to. The fact that the tag division on Smackdown looks weak in comparison to Raw and both these teams are on the blue brand. This match is really an opportunity for them to showcase they’re not the weaker tag division of the two brands.The Uso’s are already an established tag team and former tag team champions. In my mind, they’re one of the stronger teams on the Smackdown brand. Therefore, to help build the division on Smackdown, new teams need to start feeling like legitimate competition and that is why I would have Fandango and Breeze pick up the upset win over the Uso’s. This immediately makes them more important and sets up a rivalry for Smackdown Live for the next month. Prediction – Breezango
Rusev w/ Lana (C) vs. Zack Ryder
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Zack Ryder has been a thorn in Rusev’s side for weeks now but it all paid off as he’s now getting a shot at Rusev’s United States title tonight on Battleground. Zack Ryder has come out as the winner when least expected before, the best example being at Wrestlemania 32 when he won the IC title in a star studded ladder match. However, he lost the title the next night to the Miz and wasnt able reclaim it. Ryder has the ability to defeat Rusev and that is without a doubt. Although, the path of destruction Rusev has been on since the end of the League of Nations has me believing otherwise. The only reason I see Ryder walking out as the new US Champion, is if the WWE would want the US title go to Smackdown and have the Miz lose to Young so the IC title goes to Raw. Yet, Rusev and Miz have both been at their best recently, and Ryder and Young will still have their opportunities in the future. Prediction – Rusev retains.
Becky Lynch vs. Natalya
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Two former friends and now bitter enemies battle against each other for supremacy. Both woman had recently been drafted to Smackdown, and the winner of this in my mind will be the face of the Division on the blue brand. Becky Lynch has a past of her friends backstabbing and turning against her. Let’s quickly look at the list of women who have during her NXT/WWE career: Sasha Banks, Paige, Charlotte and now Natalya. It’s almost as if the Lasskicker who brings straight fire to the division brings fear and jealously out of her friends, that lead them to turn on her and use her as a stepping stone to reach new levels of success. Therefore, surpassing Becky to get to the top before Becky zooms right past them by kicking Becky down. The Queen of Harts believes that “enough is enough” and after months of being screwed out of the Women’s title she is not going to be a push over anymore. If it’s Becky she needs to get through, than its Becky she’ll make tap in the sharpshooter. Its hard for me to pick a winner for this match. I hope they get enough time where they can fit their stuff in without having to rush it, because that sometimes leads to sloppiness and botches. These two have been friends for years perfecting their craft together on the same stomping grounds and travelled the same path to get to the WWE, and this is big match that against each other for them to soak in their achievements. I think the only way for this feud to continue on the blue brand in Lasskicker has to pick up the victory. Prediction – Becky Lynch
Sami Zayn vs. Kevin Owens
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When these two unfortunately did not get drafted to two different shows, this match lost significance to me. In my mind, I believed this was going to be the rubber match between the two before they went two separate ways until they met again sometime later down the road. Now, it is almost as if this another match in the feud that will continue going because no matter if they change their focus for a little while. The two of them on the same show promises they’ll be a thorn to each others side and really are destined to fight forever. Don’t get me wrong, the match will still be spectacular and these two know each other very well. Similar to Becky Lynch and Natalya, these two travelled the same path since breaking into the business to get to the WWE. These two have a storied history from the Independence, NXT and to the main roster. The only question left now, is who needs this victory more. What is next for both stars and where do they go from here? Although, casual fans may be getting sick of seeing Zayn and Owens attack each other week after week, I believe these two have one more battle against each other before trying to move on and that would be at Summerslam. I believe Summerslam should be the actual rubber match between these two. If I was booking this feud, I would have tonight go to a No Contest. Let these two just brawl. Let Owens and Zayn fight all around the arena, backstage and to the parking lot. Therefore, the rubber match next month at Summerslam can either be competitive one on one match or it leaves the option for a street fight, falls count anywhere or No DQ match. Prediction – No Contest.
The Miz w/ Maryse (C) vs. Darren Young w/ Bob Backlund
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This is Darren Young’s big opportunity. The former Prime Time Player has been rebuilding his career with the help of the legendary former WWE Champion Bob Backlund, and has been more relevant that he has been in nearly two years. If anything the addition of Bob Backlund gets the people excited to see Darren Young. Young earned this title shot by pure luck and a little perseverance in a Battle Royal that took place on Raw. The Miz on the other hand has even the Intercontinental Champion since the night following Wrestlemania, when the return of his wife and former Divas Champion Maryse made her return. The addition of Maryse brought a whole new life in the Miz character, as I said it would for years now. The Miz has been the most entertaining now than he has been for a couple of years. Once again, the only reason I see Darren Young winning this, is if they want the IC title on Raw and US title on Smackdown, which means Rusev also loses to Ryder. However, both the Miz and Rusev have been so strong right now as champions and characters, it would be a shame if they went that route. Darren Young will get another opportunity and when he does I hope its when he has a little more fire in him. As of right now, Smackdown needs a strong secondary champion and The Miz is that person. Prediction – The Miz retains.
The New Day vs. The Wyatts
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In a feud that started out super intriguing and became less intriguing due to the draft we have a six man tag match that is full of potential. I say the feud got less intriguing because originally figured it would go on for a couple of months with Xavier briefly falling under Wyatt’s spell or the New Day revealing they were playing mind games with the Wyatt’s. Instead we know that following this match, The New Day will be exclusive to Raw, as well as Braun Strowman and Wyatt and Rowen will be exclusive to Smackdown. Thus, basically cutting this rivalry short and not letting it live up to its full potential. The only other negative I find to this match is that it is just your basic six man tag team match. It’s something we easily could have gotten on an episode of Raw or Smackdown. I wish the two six man tag matches on this show, had a stipulation fitting for an event named Battleground, like a War Games concept getting all six guys in a Cell or three on three match in an Elimination Chamber. I don’t know, I think it would have still made this match be something to look forward to. In the end The New Day still leave this match the tag team champions, and remain popular as ever if they lose. On the other hand, the Wyatt Family losing would just leave them looking weak. Therefore, the Wyatt’s, especially Bray needs this victory moving forward. Prediction – The Wyatt Family
Chris Jericho’s Highlight Reel with
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The Viper makes his long awaited return tonight at Battleground as a guest of the Highlight Reel. This is hot off the announcement that one of my dream matches since Brock returned in 2012 is going to happen at Summerslam. It is going to be “The Apex Predator” Randy Orton vs. “The Beast” Brock Lesnar at the biggest show of the Summer. I am sure Chris Jericho is going to come with all the hard questions about being drafted to Smackdown, his scheduled match at Summerslam and question if Orton is physically ready to go to Suplex City after just being out for months due to a shoulder injury. An injury that has been an issue for Orton nearly his entire career. This is where the storyline behind this match will finally start to build, so we can get more invested in the match. I hope we have a bumpy road to Summerslam. Lesnar and Orton last wrestled in 2002, when Lesnar was getting his mega push and Orton was just making his main roster presence. Orton has become one of the franchise stars of the WWE since then and multi time World Champion. He’s mean streak and viciousness has made him a legend in this business. Lesnar has been nothing but dominant at anything he’s achieved inside and outside of the WWE. Finally we’ll see the two stars face off in a rematch that is nearly 15 years in the making. I strongly pray that we get an appearance from Paul Heyman or both Heyman and Lesnar tonight during the Highlight Reel which would be really cool. If not, I wouldn’t be surprised if this segment ended with Y2J trying to share the Gift of Jericho with The Viper, only to be met with an RKO out of nowhere.
John Cena, Enzo Amore & Big Cass vs. The Club
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In yet another 6 man tag match that should have been in a Cell or an Elimination Chamber to play off the name of PPV, rather than feel like a Raw or Smackdown main event, the rivalry between AJ Styles and John Cena continues. This time Cena invites Styles Club comrades and has found back up for himself in the form of Enzo and Cass. Everyone knows that The Club as a stable are stronger as ever and on the same page. The real question here is that can charismatic Enzo and Cass prove to the face that runs the place that they can be serious and stay on the same page long enough to help him overcome the odds. The rivalry between Cena and Styles will continue on the blue brand following this event and I do expect their rematch at Summerslam, without the Club being able to aid Styles. I’m curious if Anderson and Gallows will continue to feud with Enzo and Cass following Battleground, that is still up in the air. However, I think this match is going to be REALLY GOOD. In the final match of this incarnation of the Club, I feel like they have to fall. I don’t see in any logic having the dominant stable come out victorious when they’re just going to be torn a part following this event. The Club losing tonight gives a reason for Gallows and Anderson to continue feuding with Enzo and Cass and more of a chance of Styles going over on Cena at Summerslam. My prediction is Team Cena wins and Gallows taking the fall. Prediction – Cena, Enzo Amore & Big Cass
Sasha Banks & ??? vs. Charlotte Flair & Dana Brooke
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In another PPV event where Charlotte gets away with not defending the Women’s title we get a tag match between Sasha Banks and a mystery partner facing off against Charlotte and her protege Dana Brooke. I’m okay with this because I feel like they’re holding off on Sasha Banks vs. Charlotte for the Women’s Title until Summerslam. This match will be good for what it is. Charlotte and Sasha Banks are two of my favourite female wrestlers today and have been for the last 2-3 years. I don’t really care for Dana, but she’s getting better each and every week. The biggest question here that has left the wrestling world in speculation is who exactly is Sasha Banks tag team partner? Sasha has mentioned that even that the respected pro wrestling journalist Dave Meltzer wasn’t even able to predict who it could be. Many originally thought Sasha’s partner was going to Paige. Moving forward the rumours of Bayley or Nikki Bella being Sasha’s partner started spreading. The rumours of Bayley being her partner got even more popular once she did not get drafted to the main roster on Smackdown this past week, having fans believe they wanted to keep her for the surprise at Battleground. This would also lead to Bayley being a part of the Summerslam Women’s title match, which I’m not on board with. Nikki Bella just got cleared to wrestle again on Wednesday and has already started training at the performance centre for her return. Nikki Bella returning at Battleground teaming with Sasha could lead to a triple threat at Summerslam, and to be honest I’m not sure if I want to see that. Sasha tweeted she needed to “light it up” at a house show she was working at the time in the same tweet where she was talking about her mystery partner. This caused a huge outpour of wrestling fans hoping that AJ Lee would be Sasha Banks partner, but I find that to be very unlikely. In my mind, who lights up more than the queen of glow, Naomi. Naomi is former team mate of Sasha and although they weren’t on the best of terms when Team Bad broke up, I can’t imagine they couldn’t get back together for this one show. Naomi has been on TV for some time, due to filming the newest Marine and this would be the perfect opportunity for her to return. Following tonight Naomi would be heading to the blue brand, thus leaving Raw’s Women’s Summerslam feud to Charlotte and Sasha and giving her some nice time in the spotlight before making an impact on the Smackdown Women’s division. I strongly believe Sasha’s partner is Naomi. It may not be as exciting as Bayley, Nikki Bella or AJ Lee, but it makes the most sense. Regardless, team Sasha walks out victorious at Battleground. Prediction – Sasha Banks & ??? (Naomi is my partner prediction)
Dean Ambrose (C) vs. Seth Rollins vs. Roman Reigns
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In one of the most anticipated matches in recent years, we finally get The Shield triple threat. A match worth enough to headline Summerslam and even Wrestlemania will take place tonight at Battleground. It’s “The Dude” defending his WWE Championship against the “The Man” and “The Guy”. I wrote an entire piece about this match and rivalry in my TWC Report #5 which you can find by clicking here. The Shield which was one of the most dominant factions of all time have all reached the top of the mountain as the WWE Champion and just last month at Money in the Bank all held the belt within the same hour. Tonight they battle to find out, who really is the best out of the three of them. The Architect Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns will both be trying to not only come out victorious but return the WWE Title to the Raw brand. The Lunatic Fringe and fighting champion Dean Ambrose will be fighting to retain his title and take it back to the Smackdown brand as the golden prize. This is assuming that the champion won’t be featured on both shows, and the show without a champion will be getting their own World Title. It appeared that way during this weeks episodes of Raw and Smackdown but no official announcement has been made of how that is going to work. I do imagine this match is going to steal the show but only one of the three Shield members are going to leave Battleground as the champion. Personally, I WANT Dean Ambrose to retain, therefore taking the WWE Title to Smackdown, which leaves Raw having to have a tournament to crown a new Champion. The more diverse and full Raw roster would have the ability to have a better tournament. However, with Raw being the flagship show regardless how we want to perceive this draft, I see the championship going to Raw with either Reigns or Rollins. Thus, leaving Smackdown in charge of crowning a new champion on their show. My gut is telling me that Ambrose is going to retain and at Summerslam he’ll defend his title against Bray Wyatt or in a triple threat against Styles and Cena possibly, leaving the finals of the Raw tournament to crown a new champion be at Summerslam. However, my brain is saying the belt goes back on Rollins and the feud between Rollins and Reigns continues on Raw. I’m going to have to go with my gut and the way the rosters of the two brands look like. I predict Dean Ambrose walks out the WWE Champion. Dean Ambrose is the one who overcomes the odds, and thats what I see happening here tonight. It’s too predictable just thinking title is going to be won by Rollins and Reigns to just got back to Raw. Lets be a little unpredictable. Regardless, this match is going to be epic and memorable as the Shield members, further remind us that they’re taking over this business. Prediction – Dean Ambrose retains
That is it for my WWE Battleground predictions. Leave your opinions, thoughts and predictions down below in the comment section. Who’s hyped for Battleground? Dig It?!