Last-minute predictions for WWE Battleground
Tomorrow night, Sunday July 19th 2015, the Scottrade Centre in St. Louis, Missouri will play host to the third annual incarnation of WWE’s newest, non-specifically-gimmicked event to fill the gap between Money in the Bank and SummerSlam: Battleground!
While the history of this event does not exactly inspire the most enthralling of matches (R-Truth vs Curtis Axel for the IC belt – yes, that actually happened), and may boast some of the least satisfying endings in recent history (Jericho going over on Bray Wyatt, Daniel Bryan vs Randy Orton ending in a no-contest when Big Show interfered), this year’s event promises at least a couple of thrills and possible interesting swerves.
Because, let’s face it, some good swerves is the best one can hope for at Battleground. I mean, it’s not like it’s SummerSlam or anything.
Okay, let’s run down the card.
- Pre-show match for possession of King Barrett’s crown – King Barrett vs R-Truth
- Randy Orton vs Sheamus
- Tag Team Championship match – The Prime Time Players (c) vs The New Day
- United States Championship match – John Cena (c) vs Kevin Owens
- Roman Reigns vs Bray Wyatt
- WWE World Heavyweight Championship Match – Seth Rollins (c) vs Brock Lesnar
ANALYSIS AND PREDICTIONS:
The Battle for the Burger King Crown
Basically, King Barrett has everything to lose here. If he wins, he retains the crown that was bestowed on him earlier this year – an honour, and a bit of compensation for dropping from the Intercontinental title scene.
If Truth wins, we can be guaranteed to see and hear a lot more comedy spots involving the passing of ludicrous and hilarious decrees… Actually, that might be entertaining. I can’t believe I just said that.
But in the end, the best thing to do is let Barrett keep the crown and begin to rebuild his legitimacy as a major player in the Fed. Either that, or he is accepting a status far lower and less active than he deserves (however, with repeated injuries becoming a factor, that might suit the man just fine).
Winner: King Bad News
Five years ago, this was the main event for the WWE Championship
Both Orton and Sheamus, the professional and expert workers that they are, have done a great job of creating a feud from nothing at all.
There is nothing at stake here, and that hurts this match. Why should people care? If only there was something that Sheamus had in his possession, some prize or valuable commodity, which Randy Orton would want for himself. That would give the contest a bit more weight. If only there was something Orton could goad the Celtic Warrior into putting on the line that could add intrigue to the match.
Bottom line, they could have made this match matter more if Sheamus stood to lose his Money in the Bank contract. It certainly seems like an Orton move, to trick the proud fighter into putting it up for grabs. It certainly would flesh out additional reasons why these two would be fighting in the first place, aside from “I just really don’t like that guy”.
A match where the MitB contract is put on the line could make for an interesting match on the SummerSlam card if these two are going to continue their feud, and so this match could end in an unsatisfying, no-contest ending.
Regardless, Sheamus having the most to lose in terms of momentum makes me lean toward the heel coming away with the W on Sunday.
Something needs to happen here
The tag team scene is down-right boring these days, but it can hardly be blamed on the two teams in this match. Injury has claimed Erick Rowan, Tyson Kidd and Jay Uso, removing three of the top teams from action. Just when things were getting really interesting, too.
The Prime Time Players have waited a long time to win the belts, and it’s a shame it happened at a time when there’s no one with whom to have matches. However, to be fair, for a team with such game on the microphone, they don’t produce the most exciting of matches. They are, actually, a bit dull to watch in the ring.
The New day has lost a lot of their heat since losing the belts, and for that reason it seems imperative they either win them back, or make some kind of gear shift. If New Day does not win the belts at Battleground, I believe it’s time they took things to a new level and unleash a fury of violence upon the champion baby-faces. If they end up losing, they should lose their smiles (temporarily) and lay down a severe beating.
This would add a layer of danger to their character dynamic, an element already hinted at during their initial, subtle shift from face team to heel. They cannot afford to get too comedic, or they will never be taken seriously.
That being said, they work very well as a comedic heel team. But it only works if they have possession of the belts to give them legitimacy. So I re-iterate: New Day should either re-gain the championships on Sunday, or erupt in wrath upon failing to do so. For the sake of saving such a character turn for a larger stage, I favour the former outcome.
Winners and once again Tag Team Champions: The New Day
The match everyone REALLY came to see
This is a critical point in the career of Kevin Owens; his first title run on the main roster. Will he succeed in his first attempt and solidify his rocket-like ascension, or will the carrot continue to dangle just out of his reach for a while longer?
The situation has recently become more complicated/exciting with the inclusion of currently partner-less Cesaro and currently rivalry-less Rusev. Both of these top-class competitors have made their desire for the US title felt, and it makes one feel one or both could insert themselves into the Owens/Cena match on Sunday.
The feud seems a ways from coming to an end, and the WWE can get a lot of mileage out of such a collection of worthy talent. A fatal four-way may be on the horizon, or at least a triple threat, but that will most likely occur when Cena invokes his rematch clause. In the meantime, we need a singles belt to change hands this weekend to give the event some draw.
Winner and New United States Champion: Kevin Owens
Whatever happened to Reigns’ daughter?
This feud began with a great angle which WWE abandoned and never mentioned again, and since then it has devolved into a generic Wyatt peek-a-boo affair.
That being said, no one can deny the power and intensity of both performers, and the match itself promises to be good. Bray Wyatt is consistently awesome, and Reigns took the raw physical ability and natural charisma the fans always sensed in him and has elevated himself ten-fold over the past year. Starting at a real low point at January’s Royal Rumble, he has earned the respect of the WWE Universe with every challenge he’s faced since.
The feud with Wyatt is the next stage of his journey towards being the undisputed face of the company.
Bray Wyatt has been on a real losing streak this year, due to the fact that his rivalries seem to be consisting of one-and-done affairs instead of multi-match programs. This feud should not continue that pattern. This is the chance not only for Reigns to show more depth to his character in the way of real vulnerability and frailty, but it’s a chance for Wyatt to take his already spooky antics to new extremes.
Because this deserves more matches in the future, Wyatt should definitely walk out with the victory and break his losing streak.
Winner: Bray Wyatt
The main event
The way the championship match between Rollins and Lesnar has been built is anything but what you would call “big fight feel”.
There may come a day when Seth Rollins stands his ground, asserts himself as the champion we all know him to be and stands up to Lesnar without cowardly antics or the help of Authority members, but it is not this day.
There may come a time when Lesnar regains the championship by pinning Rollins cleanly in the centre of the ring after a devastating F-5 (or several), but it is not this day.
There may come a time when Rollins goes the distance with Lesnar and, as it happened with Roman Reigns at WrestleMania, he earns the respect of the WWE Universe, but it is not this day.
This day, Sunday July 19th, Rollins will run away.
Everything in the build has pointed towards Rollins going the route of the cowardly heel champion. Furthermore, the plain and simple fact is that from the moment Lesnar and Paul Heyman stated that at Battleground The Beast would be challenging for the belt, we all knew this is not the right stage for such a happening.
If there is going to be a title change, it will occur at SummerSlam. Fin.
Winner: Brock Lesnar, by count-out
What happened to #GiveDivasAChance?
Some might think that Dean Ambrose, Neville, Cesaro, Rusev and Dolph Ziggler are pretty notable omissions from this Sunday’s Battleground Pay-Per-View, but they all pale in comparison to the complete absence of Divas.
Especially at a time when things in the women’s division are so bloody interesting!
After the NXT invasion that occurred last Monday on Raw (which probably should have been saved for a Monday after a big live event), there’s never been so much to talk about and so much talent to feature – and yet there is no Divas match scheduled.
The events didn’t even upset plans to have a women’s match on Sunday. In the build to Battleground, there was no Divas match even advertised.
What the hell?
This cannot stand, and unless WWE wants to be called complete and utter failures at enhancing their female talent, then they should take the time on the card originally slotted for the Intercontinental Triple-Threat Match and devote it to a segment featuring the Divas.
It doesn’t necessarily have to be a match, but some in-ring segment featuring promos from the Bellas or Paige or some of the NXT ladies would go a long way to making them feel like an integral part of the show – despite getting the shaft when it comes to booking.