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Battleground 2016 will be the final “B-PPV” before the roster split is implemented. Battleground will also host to the much anticipated Shield triple threat between Seth Rollins, Dean Ambrose, and the returning Roman Reigns.
Personally, I think they should have held this match off until WrestleMania. I guess the plan was to always have a Shield triple threat at this years ‘Mania had Rollins not injured his knee. Other high profile matches including John Cena and AJ Styles on opposite sides in a six man tag, the New Day and the Wyatt Family in a six man tag and Kevin Owens vs. Sami Zayn one more time.
This is a prediction contest where we battle to the death for points. Here’s the league table so far:
RIF – 101.5pts
Dan – 97.5pts
Michael – 88.5pts
Joe – 81pts
Before I get into the predictions, someone asked if I’ll be blogging about additional PPVs since both brands will be getting their own PPV schedules. My answer? Of course, why not? While I disagree with the addition pay per views (let feuds build up dammit) it will be good business for my site. Sure it means more work for me, but it will help my site grow, and that’s something I can’t ignore. So yes, I’ll be blogging about additional PPVs, too.
The Usos vs. Breezedango
RIF: The Usos
Joe: The Usos
Michael: The Usos
Dan: The Usos
Chalk one up for the good guys. I’d much rather see Breezedango get something from this one, but it makes more sense for the Usos to win here on the pre show
The New Day (Big E, Kofi Kingston & Xavier Woods) vs. The Wyatt Family (Bray Wyatt, Erick Rowan & Braun Strowman)
RIF: The Wyatt Family
Joe: The Wyatt Family
Michael: The Wyatt Family
Dan: The Wyatt Family
While the New Day have injected major life into the lapsing tag team division while also securing themselves a very impressive breadth of time with the belts, they have suffered from far too many events like this one where those titles are not up for grabs. Their battles with the Wyatt Family have at least been entertaining, from the Final Deletion inspired compound trip to the teasing of Xavier Woods potentially aligning himself with the masked men. Things were going along quite smoothly until the draft, where Braun Strowman and New Day were sent to Raw, while Bray and Erick Rowan were claimed by Smackdown. Unless WWE have something up their sleeve for Braun, it’s too early for him to go it alone.
The one positive thing from this feud is that Bray Wyatt is looking like his old self again. He was really pushing his bizarre mannerisms in his match against Woods last week. Putting New Day over makes sense since they are tag champs and it gives them credibility. The thing is, they already have tons of credibility. What I’d rather see is Bray Wyatt win for his team because he’s going to be a top three heel on the Smackdown brand. He needs to stand out in the match and look like a star. Have Bray win it for his team because it’s better for his future.
Becky Lynch vs. Natalya
Michael: Becky Lynch
Dan: Becky Lynch
I guess this will be the primary women’s feud on Smackdown before they start building up the women’s division on there. It’s been a breath of fresh air with these two having a very personal rivalry with multiple sneak attacks and pull apart brawls. If they get the time, and that’s the key, this could be an awesome contest. Natalya to win because heels getting the first victory to build sympathy for the babyface is the right way to go here
Sami Zayn vs. Kevin Owens
RIF: Sami Zayn
Joe: Kevin Owens
Michael: Sami Zayn
Dan: Kevin Owens
Man, these guys really are going to fight forever, huh? You know how many PPV wins Sami Zayn has so far? Try zero. That’s the one reason why I’m picking him to beat his long-time rival. Owens won clean at Payback, and Zayn won a few weeks ago. This feels like the blowoff match even though they are both part of the Raw brand. I would have liked to see them have a stipulation on this match like No Holds Barred or a Street Fight so that they could brawl around the arena to put over the rivalry more. A regular match should still be outstanding. Give them 15-20 minutes and enjoy it. As I mentioned before, Zayn is my pick.
John Cena, Enzo & Cass vs. The Club (AJ Styles, Luke Gallows & Karl Anderson)
RIF: Cena, Enzo & Cass
Joe: The Club
Michael: The Club
Dan: The Club
When this match was announced, the signs were there that the faces were going to win. Styles beat Cena in their first televised match at Money in the Bank. Naturally I thought this would be another singles match between the two. Instead, they’re probably saving Cena/Styles II for SummerSlam, which is fine with me. In order to get there, they will probably have Cena pin either Gallows or Anderson. That way Styles can say that Cena has never pinned him (on television anyway), so it builds to SummerSlam more.
I’m disappointed that The Club will be going their separate ways after this. They work well as a trio and could offer something unique on Smackdown.
Finally, they shouldn’t debut Finn Balor tonight. Save his debut for Raw. It gives people a reason to get excited for Monday.
WWE United States Championship
Rusev © vs. Zack Ryder
Joe: Zack Ryder
Michael: Zack Ryder
It wasn’t that long ago that Ryder had his WrestleMania moment, laying claim to a championship in surprising fashion. Then it was over in less time than it takes to utter his catchphrase, and since then he’s been seesawed around in typical workmanlike fashion while creative fails to remember what they did just last week. Hopefully this will all change with the returning draft split. There’s no need to take the title away from Rusev right now. Again, like with Ryder, the reintroduction of the roster split could be the very think that helps Rusev break into the main event scene.
WWE Intercontinental Championship
The Miz © vs. Darren Young
RIF: The Miz
Joe: The Miz
Michael: The Miz
Dan: The Miz
Are they going to make Darren Young great again by giving him a run with the Intercontinental title? Not tonight. This is too easy to predict because Young has only recently returned to competing on TV after all those videos with his life coach Bob Backlund (they’ve been doing it since April). Miz is on a roll. It’s as if he’s turned the clock back to 2009/2010 when he was really catching fire with the crowd and management. I’m so pleased for the guy. If Smackdown does get its own world title I hope Miz gets a run with it because he absolutely deserves it! I can’t help but shake off the feeling that something special will happen in this match. While I don’t think Young will win, I do think he’ll come out of it looking like a star. Keep the IC title on Smackdown, keep the title on Miz.
Charlotte & Dana Brooke vs. Sasha Banks & ????
RIF: Sasha Banks & ???
Joe: Sasha Banks & ???
Michael: Sasha Banks & ???
Dan: Sasha Banks & ???
I’m really intrigued as to who Sasha Banks’ partner will be. Banks tweeted out that it’s someone that even Dave Meltzer won’t guess. Does this mean it could be someone not on the roster? Someone who isn’t even in NXT? Or could it be a returning superstar? I’ve no idea. All I do know is that Banks will win because she needs to look strong heading into SummerSlam next month.
WWE World Heavyweight Championship
Dean Ambrose © vs. Seth Rollins vs. Roman Reigns
RIF: Seth Rollins
Joe: Roman Reigns
Michael: Dean Ambrose
Dan: Dean Ambrose
This match has all the ingredients to be something really special. It’s funny because I’ve just recently re-watched Payback 2015 when these guys were part of the fatal four way with Randy Orton. Some of the spots they do were really cool. Since they are such close friends and know each other extremely well, the chemistry is insanely good between them.
Interesting to see how the crowd reacts to Roman Reigns. He was booed a lot before his 30-day Wellness Policy violation and I would imagine the crowd will be against him even more. I think he’s in for a hostile reception. Think John Cena at ECW One Night Stand ’06 style hostile. I’d like to see something where the seeds get planted for a heel turn. His face act is like beating a dead horse. It’s not working. Imagine if he won? Just imagine what sort of message that would send out to the guys in the back.
Thankfully, he isn’t my pick to win. That belongs to Seth Rollins. It will be a way to move the WWE Title over to Raw while Smackdown will introduce a second World Title leading to a new champion crowned at SummerSlam. I think WWE loves Rollins in the role as champion. He looks as good as ever, so why not reward him with the gold? I could see Ambrose retaining too, but Rollins is my pick.
Who will be Sasha Banks’ mystery partner?
RIF: Nikki Bella
Joe: Nia Jax
Dan: Nikki Bella
You’d imagine that smart money would be on NXT’s Bayley to get the mystery spot, but her failure to be drafted makes me more than sceptical that they’d do a sudden surprise debut here. She’s being saved for bigger and better things. If she were to get the call up I would say it would happen either the night after SummerSlam or sometime in September. I’d love to be wrong about this because Bayley is awesome!!
Nia Jax as a face? Not too sure about that one. I mean, it’s possible for that to happen. They could use her relationship with The Rock to help get her over (I was at the NXT live event in Liverpool last month and she done a People’s Elbow!) She could back Banks up against Charlotte & Brooke to set up Banks vs. Charlotte at SummerSlam with Jax & Brooke in opposing corners. After Banks wins that, she can feud with Jax down the road after Jax turns on her. Easy storytelling.
I’m sticking with Nikki Bella. You’ve got to please the Total Divas fans, right? She says that she’s been given the all clear, so it’s not unrealistic to rule the former Divas Champion out. Last time I remember seeing her was at WrestleMania when she celebrated the retirement of her sister Brie. Combine that with Eva Marie’s WrestleMania debut, such an emotional time. Leave the memories alone.
Enjoy Battleground, guys. Feel free to post your predictions in the comment section below and I’ll be back with my Random Thoughts on Battleground.