By Rob Siebert
Editor, Fanboy Wonder
So apparently when they took the WWE Championship off of Daniel Bryan after Night of Champions last month, a decent amount of fans actually called their cable companies and requested refunds. While it was a subpar pay per view, I think most of us would agree that’s BS. Buyer beware. But, with that in mind, WWE isn’t exactly upping their game with Battleground this month. At one point, there was some speculation that this was going to be some kind of new gimmick pay per view. But as it turns out it’s just another show, which happens to have a fairly generic name. And a good portion of these matches either aren’t interesting, or were seemingly thrown together at the last minute to fill space. Buyer beware? Okay, that’s fair enough. But if we keep getting pay per views like this, fans may stop buying altogether.
Dolph Ziggler vs. Damien Sandow
Two PPV-quality performers relegated to the pre-show. *sigh* But hey, the good news is Ziggler will probably get the win here. Right now he seems to be going through what both Ziggler and Daniel Bryan went through when they had a briefcase. For some odd reason, WWE tends to have their Money in the Bank winners job like hell before they cash in. And heck, this match is pretty inconsequential anyway, right? This match was essentially thrown together to fill space. Still, at least it’s a good space filler. And it’ll be nice to see Ziggler get his had raised.
Rob’s Prediction: Dolph Ziggler
WINNER: Dolph Ziggler
Kofi Kingston vs. Bray Wyatt
Again, a throw-together match to fill space on a card they didn’t have enough time to develop effectively. But again, it’s a pretty good one, though pretty obvious in terms of the ending. Kofi Kingston takes yet another beating, this time at the hands of the Wyatt Family, and we’ve killed a little more time until Kane comes back. When is he coming back, anyway? Survivor Series? The Royal Rumble? Until then, are we just going to see the Wyatts plowing through everybody? That’s not the worst thing in the world, I suppose. Bray is a great character, though Windham Rotunda does tend to overact a bit. Best case scenario here? We get a program between Kofi and the Wyatts that makes Kofi look like the brave hero for standing up to them. Worst case scenario? It’s a consequence-free filler match.
Rob’s Prediction: Bray Wyatt
WINNER: Bray Wyatt
WWE DIVAS TITLE MATCH:
AJ Lee (c) vs. Brie Bella
The match sucks, simply because it has a Bella in it. I know that makes me sound like a terrible, unreasonably fickle wrestling fan, but it’s how I feel. However, unlike some of the other matches we’ll be seeing, at least there is some significant history here, and it’s not just a throw-together match. AJ cut that amazing promo on the babyface divas a few weeks ago, and much of it was obviously directed at the Bella Twins. So to an extent, it’s interesting to see that culminate in physicality between Brie and AJ. Thankfully, I don’t see Brie walking out with the belt, given AJ has a new bodyguard in Tamina Snuka. Sadly, come Hell in a Cell or Survivor Series, there’s a chance Brie may become our new Divas Champion so they can tie it into Total Divas. Ugh…couldn’t we just give it to Natalya?
Rob’s Prediction: AJ Lee
WINNER: AJ Lee
WWE INTERCONTINENTAL TITLE MATCH:
Curtis Axel (c) vs. R-Truth
Is WWE trying to re-establish R-Truth again? Eh, doubtful. But I maintain that making him be this smiling babyface is a complete waste of his talent. He’s really charismatic, and if they let him inject a little bit of his offbeat humor back into his presentation, he could be much, much more interesting to watch As for Curtis Axel, it’s been quite awhile since he made his big re-debut, and while he did indeed win the Intercontinental Championship, what else has he done that’s memorable, outside of being a henchman for Paul Heyman? Does he have great mic skills? No, not really. But he does have some star power, and is worthy of more than an Intercontinental Title match thrown together six days before a pay per view. So who wins? Axel, probably. There’s no real reason to move the IC title at this point, even though not much is being done with it.
Rob’s Prediction: Curtis Axel
WINNER: Curtis Axel
HARDCORE MATCH FOR WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT TITLE:
Alberto Del Rio (c) vs. Rob Van Dam
As this will likely be one of Rob Van Dam’s last shows for awhile, a Del Rio win here is a given. The real question here is what to do with Ricardo Rodriguez. Do you put him back with Del Rio, or do you team him up with another babyface (possibly Rey Mysterio) for the next World Heavyweight Title program? While I’ve enjoyed the RVD/Ricardo team, as it’s somewhat reminiscent of the old RVD/Bill Alfonso dynamic, at this point you might as well put him back with Del Rio. Have him turn go heel in this match, and then Van Dam’s got a built in grudge match when he comes back. Also, while I haven’t necessarily been in love with this feud, I do appreciate the fact that they’ve upped the ante by making it a hardcore match. They certainly didn’t do that with our main event…
Rob’s Prediction: Alberto Del Rio
WINNER: Alberto Del Rio
Seth Rollins & Roman Reigns (c) vs. Cody Rhodes & Goldust
If Rhodes and Goldust win, they both get jobs with WWE.
I’ve enjoyed the whole Rhodes vs. McMahon family storyline. It seems to have gotten the audience a little more invested in Cody, and it’s always great to see Goldust. And what’s more, I like that this rivalry has been built up over several weeks. Unlike almost everything else on this card, this feels like a must-see match. The fact that the tag team titles aren’t on the line here leads me to believe the Rhodes family is going to get the win here, and this program will continue. My guess is we’ll see Dusty Rhodes, who’s scheduled to be at ringside, hit somebody with a good ol’ fashioned Bionic Elbow, leading to a quick roll up.
Rob’s Prediction: Cody Rhodes & Goldust
WINNER: Cody Rhodes & Goldust
CM Punk vs. Ryback
I’ve grown rather fond of the Paul Heyman/Ryback duo very quickly. Whoever had the idea to have Heyman take the weird man-crush approach might be a little disturbed. But you know what? It’s effective. And the whole “Paul, you never have to worry about Punk again” thing gives Ryback a chance to flex a few creative muscles he wouldn’t otherwise get a chance to. Ryback isn’t really a bad mic guy, particularly when he’s working heel. He just needs some practice. And allowing Heyman to do some of his talking for him gives him a chance find himself in that respect. Unfortunately, he won’t be finding himself a win at Battleground. Punk lost last month at Night of Champions, and he lost to Brock Lesnar at Summerslam. It’s time to give him a win. I’d certainly be open to seeing these two work again next month at Hell in a Cell.
Rob’s Prediction: CM Punk
WINNER: CM Punk
MATCH FOR VACANT WWE HEAVYWEIGHT TITLE:
Daniel Bryan vs. Randy Orton
Ugh…I’m bored. I talked about this a bit already, but the stakes haven’t been sufficiently raised from their match at Night of Champions. Yes it’s for the title, and yes it’ll likely be very well performed. But this just feels like they threw their hands up and said: “Uhhhh…let’s just do it again!” There’s no must-see element, no added attraction that wasn’t there at Night of Champions. I can only assume these two will go at it inside the cage at Hell in a Cell, so this likely won’t end here. We might as well just have it end in some kind of non-finish, where we end up holding off on the crowning of a new champion until Hell in a Cell, where they can have some kind of “there must be a winner” stipulation. But if they go with that ending, they might want to put Punk and Ryback on last, for the sake of sending the fans home happy. If people cried foul and demanded refunds after Night of Champions, when Bryan actually won, then a non-finish could start a friggin’ riot.
Rob’s Prediction: No Contest
WINNER: No Contest
Images from WWE.com.
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