Mike Tedesco’s WWE Battleground Predictions
July 20, 2014
By: Mike Tedesco of Wrestleview.com
Well this is something I didn’t think I’d ever see again. After an absolutely horrible PPV in 2013, save for one match, and the main event ending in a no contest after Big Show interfered, I didn’t think I’d ever see WWE Battleground on the schedule again. That was probably the worst PPV WWE had put out in years. Still, I guess they liked the name enough to give it another run, this time as the lead-in to Summerslam.
This card has shaped up to look like it’s not going to be a repeat of the disastrous 2013 edition of this PPV. The matches have been well built, and they needed to be that way to get people to sign up for the WWE Network. They’ve been pushing that even harder than before, presumably to beef up the subscriber numbers they’ll be announcing at the end of the month. A big hook for subscribing to the WWE Network is getting the PPVs for $9.99 a month. That’s all well and good, but if the PPVs suck and you don’t have any interest, who cares if it’s $9.99 or $54.95? You wouldn’t put any of your hard earned money down on that. They have to hit a home run basically every month.
In my opinion, they’ve delivered some good build, and it should be a great show. Sure the main event’s outcome is pretty much spoiled, but they’ve got so many other great matches booked that if you subscribe for $9.99, you’re going to get your money’s worth. Hell, even though it’s spoiled, the main event will probably be really good. There are a lot of different angles happening all at once… but I’ll get into that a little later in the column.
As with the last time I did a column like this, it was finalized the night before the show. If there are any last minute additions, though doubtful because it’s a pretty stacked card, I apologize for them not being included.
WWE Payback Kickoff Match
Cameron vs. Naomi
Well I was off on how the Funkadactyls were going to break up. I thought Cameron would turn on Naomi at the WWE Payback PPV to cost her the title, but it was instead done randomly in a tag match a few weeks later. To me, they have a bigger issue between one another than AJ Lee and Paige do, yet they’ve thrown Paige on commentary for AJ’s matches. Paige has the promo ability of a piano bench. I’m more interested in hearing from Naomi about Cameron turning on her. There hasn’t really been any follow up on the break up of a nearly three-year-old duo. It was like one or two run-ins and now they’re having a match. I think Naomi could have done a way better job than Paige on commentary. Naomi has cooled off a lot in recent months ever since that eye injury in February. Hopefully after this she begins to pick up some steam. She should be one of the go-to girls for a Divas Title feud at all times. She’s got a ton more upside than Cameron does, both personality wise and in-ring wise, so I’ve got to go with her here.
Chris Jericho vs. Bray Wyatt
There certainly are a lot of matches to look forward to on this card and this is one of them. The return of Chris Jericho is such a great thing for Bray Wyatt. Wyatt was kind of lost for a bit following the feud with John Cena. I’m not saying he needs to be featured at all times, but I really don’t remember him doing a single thing of note for a few weeks. Yes, he was in the WWE World Heavyweight Championship Ladder Match, but he wasn’t a huge focus in it by any stretch, at least from the way I viewed it. I know a lot of people thought he had a chance of winning the title, but I never thought they were even hinting at positioning him for that.
This feud with Jericho lets Wyatt get right back into the spotlight. Jericho is great with young talent. He’s very giving and has mastered the art of putting someone down in a promo while at the same time putting them over big time. He’ll make a joke about the guy before putting over what makes that guy special. Jericho can also go in the ring with the best of them. This is going to be a fun, hard-hitting match that I think is just the beginning of a great feud. Wyatt is coming off that hot feud against Cena, but he’s also coming off two straight PPV losses. I don’t think he should take another here. Jericho can handle losses. Jericho lost a whole string of PPVs in a row not all that long ago. He knows how to lose and not lose any steam. Wyatt is only going to benefit from this feud, and I can’t wait to see how it plays out.
Prediction: Bray Wyatt
Dean Ambrose vs. Seth Rollins
This is my pick for the match of the night. This is going to be an awesome match. On Monday, Seth Rollins really startled me by faking that knee injury. I thought he was going down the way they had the ringside doctor run over and they kept him off camera, but it was all a farce. I felt bad for him just because he’s on such a big run, but selfishly I just really want to see this match. Luckily it wasn’t real and this match will go down tonight.
I’ve really enjoyed this feud between the two former Shield members. It’s been physical and highly entertaining. Even the promos have been top notch, in my opinion at least. Based on the interactions I’ve seen on RAW and Smackdown as well as Money in the Bank, I’m expecting a tremendous match here. Ambrose’s shoulder has been injured for the past month or so, one of the only storyline injuries that they’ve actually paid attention to and utilized successfully in recent memory. Ambrose has done a great job incorporating that into his matches as well. I expect that to be the main focus in this match once it gets going. They’ve stacked the deck against Ambrose multiple times in the past few weeks with the most recent example being a beat down at the hands of Rollins and Kane this past Friday on Smackdown. I think we’ll see a possible run-in or two in this match, but I think Ambrose will pull off the upset here. His celebration will be short-lived, as he’ll probably be beaten down right after the victory.
Prediction: Dean Ambrose
Jack Swagger vs. Rusev
Wow – this is a match I’m really looking forward to. I was at the Smackdown in Newark, which was the Fourth of July episode, and this was a red-hot segment. It probably had the most heat of anything that entire night. I wasn’t sure if that was a one and done thing. Monday night showed me that it wasn’t. The United States-Russia Détente was probably one of the best things I’ve recapped since I took over RAW. That was an absolutely red-hot segment that got me super excited for this match. Don’t get me wrong – I don’t think Jack Swagger has a prayer in this one. It’s way too soon for Rusev to be taking losses, but I think this is going to be a great match nonetheless. Well… at least I hope so. The report I heard from someone who went to the Madison Square Garden house show last weekend said that Swagger got beat by Rusev in a matter of seconds. I don’t see that happening on the PPV. It seems like they’ve been stretching Rusev out over the past few weeks with longer and more physical matches. I think the same thing will happen tonight. I think Swagger will take it to him, but Rusev will eventually catch him in the Accolade. Putin will be pleased.
WWE Divas Championship
Paige vs. AJ Lee (c)
To say I’m a tad bit confused by the direction of this feud is an understatement. When AJ Lee came back and goaded Paige into a match for the title, it seemed like they executed a nice double switch. However, on the Smackdown that followed, Paige was clapping for her. They’re now not even really teasing that Paige is upset with AJ in the slightest. What happened to Paige taunting the fans that she is here to stay? The closest I’ve seen to Paige not looking happy with AJ is this past Friday’s Smackdown when AJ tagged herself in and stole a pinfall from Paige in a tag team contest. The “frienemies” thing isn’t really working out for me. I do think this is the first of maybe two or three real (as in not over in a minute) matches we’ll see from these two, so there is time for Paige to go a little crazy on the crazy AJ. For now, I’m giving the win to AJ in what has the potential to be a good divas match if they give it any time.
Prediction: AJ Lee
WWE Intercontinental Championship – Battleground Battle Royal
Cesaro vs. Kofi Kingston vs. The Great Khali vs. Rob Van Dam vs. Dolph Ziggler vs. Big E vs. Ryback vs. Curtis Axel vs. Alberto Del Rio vs. Bo Dallas vs. Sheamus vs. Fandango vs. Sin Cara vs. Zack Ryder vs. The Miz vs. Diego vs. R-Truth vs. Xavier Woods vs. Heath Slater vs. Titus O’Neil
This is my pick to kick off the show. Adam Rose and Damien Sandow were removed from this one. This show is so loaded that I don’t think they can allot any room for them. If they do, I pick Adam Rose.
This match is probably going to be one cluster-you-know-what. There are some guys in this that don’t have a chance in hell, such as R-Truth, Xavier Woods, The Great Khali, and Sin Cara, just to name a few. They seem to have a select handful of guys that are pegged on TV as favorites, and they’re the ones that I’ll focus on.
The Miz made his return in the same segment as Chris Jericho did a few weeks back on RAW. Say what you want about The Miz, but he seems to be back on track. Miz was derailed for the better part of a year with a lack of character and a string of bad matches. They removed him from TV for a few months, and he’s come back with a new character and a renewed sense of purpose. I don’t see him winning this match, but I predict he’ll go deep into it. Rob Van Dam is one to keep an eye on in this match, but I don’t see him winning either. His match against Alberto Del Rio on this past Monday’s RAW was one of the sadder things I’ve seen in wrestling in a while. As I type this, I’m watching a Monday Night RAW from 2002 on the WWE Network, and RVD is featured in a rivalry against Brock Lesnar. RVD was such a great performer. He was so quick, agile, and innovative. Time unfortunately catches up to everyone, and it caught up to him. I don’t think RVD has much left to give. It’s no fault of his own. You just can’t outrun the effects of time after a while. Dolph Ziggler is another guy to watch out for, but as is usually the case with him, he’s not going to win. In my opinion, he’s on someone’s crap list, and he isn’t showing any real signs of getting out of it any time soon. Kofi Kingston is in this as well. I just think he’ll do one of his Royal Rumble spots to stay in the match only to be eliminated again. The crowd barely reacts to anything Kingston does because they know he’s never going to advance to that next level as a performer, so let him do his Rumble spot to make the crowd react to something he does.
This leads me to my three big favorites: Cesaro, Sheamus, and Alberto Del Rio. I think one of these three men will be receiving the WWE Intercontinental Championship from Bad News Barrett. Cesaro seemed like he was going to be getting a big push after joining with Paul Heyman, but not much has happened since. A title victory would certainly bring his stock up even more and help him to regain his steam. Cesaro is also on a bit of a losing streak to competitors that they kind of play up to be below his level. Usually this is a sign that he’s going to break out and actually go on an extended run of success. Alberto Del Rio is a former World Champion who is fresh off competing for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship at Money in the Bank. Del Rio has been on a bit of a roll, and a run with a mid-card title would definitely get him going again. Finally, Sheamus is the WWE United States Champion, but I’m wondering if they might just quietly unify the titles and put an end to the final bit of the brand split. I’ve heard the argument that WWE used to have the European Championship and the US Title is just like that, but the European Championship was just as unnecessary of a title as the US Title is, in my opinion at least. It may be time to get rid of the title, and this may be the way to do it. The last vestige of the brand split could potentially be on its way out.
OK, I’ve gone kind of long on this Battleground Battle Royal. I have my three favorites, but if I had to pick one, I’m going to have to go with Cesaro as the new WWE Intercontinental Champion.
WWE Tag Team Championships – 2/3 Falls
Luke Harper and Erick Rowan vs. Jimmy and Jey Uso (c)
There have been a few matches that I’ve already talked about that I’ve said I’m really looking forward to, but this is the one I’m most looking forward to. Honest! Two-out-of-three falls for these two teams with the titles on the line? Yeah, this alone is going to make the $9.99 I spent this month for the WWE Network totally worth it. Both of these teams can really go. Like I said last month, The Usos are sneaky-tough as nails, and Harper and Rowan are sneaky-athletic. It’s going to be a physical match that I think will be ridiculously entertaining. I picked (correctly) The Usos retaining the titles last month just because of all the focus being on crowning a new WWE World Heavyweight Champion. Well – potential spoiler alert – I don’t think we’ll have to worry about that happening tonight. Tonight, Harper and Rowan will be two guys with a wild look, crazy beards, and dirty clothes holding some gold.
Prediction: Luke Harper and Erick Rowan
WWE World Heavyweight Championship – Fatal Four Way
Roman Reigns vs. Randy Orton vs. Kane vs. John Cena (c)
Well, there’s really not much intrigue associated with this match in terms of who is going to win. It’s been all but confirmed by WWE that it will be John Cena defending his championship against Brock Lesnar, who will most definitely turn out to be The Authority’s Plan C that Paul Heyman alluded to this past Monday on RAW.
However, I can still make some predictions about what will happen in this match. First of all, I do think this has the potential to be pretty darn good. With all of the different issues happening in this match as well as some outside influences, it’s got me intrigued for sure. Obviously, the in fighting with Randy Orton and Kane is leading to somewhere, most likely a Summerslam match between the two. Kane mentioned that he’s starting to hate Randy Orton, and he mentioned that much to Triple H on this past RAW. Their fighting will cost one another the title, so The Authority’s Plan A will be shot to hell.
I predict Roman Reigns will have a very strong showing in this match, but he’s going to come up short. I don’t think he’ll be taking a pinfall however. Perhaps Triple H or Seth Rollins will get involved, and Reigns will fight with them to the back or something. Maybe Ambrose will stop Rollins from cashing in one more time to ruin The Authority’s Plan B. Reigns obviously can’t win here just because of what they’re setting him up for down the road. One thing I am looking forward to is seeing him lock horns with Cena. Could be a really big box office draw a year from now. Either way, I see Cena picking up the win, most likely pinning Kane. Obviously Plan C is coming in the form of Brock Lesnar, but I don’t think he’ll be on the PPV tonight. I think they’re going to save that for tomorrow’s RAW.
Prediction: John Cena
Before I take off here, I have to say that I’m pretty impressed that WWE has finally grown up for lack of a better expression. In the past, if they felt a lot of people knew the ending to a match, they would switch it up just to swerve them, even if it didn’t make any sense storyline-wise. I think they finally realized that the greater portion of their viewing audience probably has no clue that John Cena versus Brock Lesnar was spoiled by Amazon.com and is already booked for Summerslam. It’s just nice to see the company not go the kneejerk route. There’s a ton of money in Cena vs. Lesnar II (or III if you count 2003), and I for one am definitely looking forward to it.
…Now watch – they’re going to make Randy Orton win tonight and it’ll be Orton vs. Lesnar at Summerslam just because I wrote this blurb out. This is a total jinx, but I’m still going with it.
I’ll be keeping track of my progress for the rest of the year. I did really well with Money in the Bank. I only missed the Summer Rae vs. Layla match, which honestly shouldn’t even count. If you go by that record, I’d say most of my predictions aren’t predictions at all… they’re spoilers!
Predictions Record: 6-1
Well, those are my predictions for the show. What are yours? Do you agree? Disagree? Let me know!
E-Mail – [email protected]
Be sure to check out all the coverage of the WWE Battleground PPV on Wrestleview.com. My man Josh Boutwell (Roll Tide) has a preview column up just in case you’ve missed any buildup for the matches. Then my dear, close, personal friend Adam Martin will be recapping the show starting at 8 PM EST!
Enjoy the show tonight. Thanks for reading!