Tampa Bay Times Forum
The final PPV before Summer Slam is this Sunday; it’s time for Battleground! The Battleground PPV is loaded with strong matches from top to bottom, including 2 matches that could compete for match of the year honors. The event suffers from the Summer Slam PPV poster being released prematurely, revealing next month’s main event to be John Cena vs. Brock Lesnar for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship. This likely means the main event of Battleground will be predictable, but it allows the rest of the card to shine. The card features the PPV return of Chris Jericho, the one-on-one confrontation between Seth Rollins & Dean Ambrose, and a Battle Royal to crown the new Intercontinental Champion. I have high expectations for the show, so let’s dive into the card.
Cameron vs. Naomi
The Funkadactyls implode. Not sure if anyone cares. I can’t see why anyone would actually watch the Kickoff show. Well, except for Renee Young. She is so good at her job and very versatile. It’s no wonder she got the call up to broadcast the Superstars show on the WWE Network.
Jack Swagger vs. Rusev
Rusev is being built to be an unstoppable force. He’s not losing here.
Bray Wyatt vs. Chris Jericho
Having Chris Jericho back on WWE tv is so great! One of the best performers of all-time, Jericho is a great star to help build a future star. That’s the plan for this match. Jericho will give Bray Wyatt a big rub, which Wyatt needs after being sidetracked by John Cena the last couple months. Wyatt was nothing more than a support player in the WWE Championship Ladder match last month. He needs a win here to build momentum for Summer Slam. Jericho made his return a couple weeks ago, upstaging The Miz in his own return. But when the Wyatt Family graphic & sounder buzzed, the fans began to buzz as well. Wyatt has gotten the better of Jericho at every turn since targeting Jericho. I’m eager to see the story they tell in the ring, when the remainder of the Wyatt Family (Luke Harper & Erick Rowan) are out of the equation and it’s just Wyatt & Jericho, one-on-one.
Winner- Bray Wyatt
Seth Rollins vs. Dean Ambrose
Since the day The Shield imploded, this match has been anticipated. They had a great finish to the Money in the Bank ladder match last month, when Rollins won the Money in the Bank contract. Ambrose’s obsession with getting his hands on Rollins has cost Ambrose several wins. But Ambrose crazed demeanor makes him a threat to Rollins, who has desperately kept a watchful eye on his former “brother” of The Shield. Ambrose has vowed to disrupt any attempts by Rollins to cash in his Money in the Bank contract. The animosity building in this feud is tremendous and this match is going to be very physical. My only concern for this match is a run-in by Kane or Triple H. There’s no need for outside interference in this match. Let’s hope it stays one-on-one, and we get a great match between 2 future WWE Champions.
Winner- Seth Rollins wins.
AJ Lee (c) vs. Paige
We finally have the divas feud we’ve waited for since the night after WrestleMania XXX. The two best divas in the division are set to square off but with a twist. Both divas have appeared very friendly since the sudden Title change. Paige appears to be laying it on thick, so expect her to turn on AJ Lee at the PPV. Paige needs an edge to her character and a post-match beatdown of the Champion could do it for her. While I don’t see a Title change any time soon, I think if these divas are given enough time they can put on a good match.
Winner- AJ Lee
WWE Tag Team Champions- 2 Out of 3 Falls Match:
The Usos (c) vs. Wyatt Family
I like the throwback feel of this match. The 2 out of 3 falls stipulation, while common in the older days of pro wrestling, is practically extinct now. But the excitement for fans of knowing they will see a minimum of 2 decisions in a match makes it a great stipulation for this feud. The Wyatts were unsuccessful last month at Money in the Bank, but won a non-Title rematch on Raw to earn this Title shot. The best way for this match to unfold is for The Usos to win the 1st fall, via a Super Kick. Then the Wyatt Family sounder hits, the Usos are laid out and the Wyatts grab a pinfall to even things at 1. The final fall comes on an undecisive decision to allow for a final rematch at Summer Slam. No matter what, The Usos are not losing the Title to the Wyatts. The NXT Tag Team Champions The Ascension will be the ones to take the WWE Tag Team Championship from The Usos, likely at Night of Champions in September.
Winner- The Usos
Intercontinental Championship- Battle Royal
There’s just something really cool about a Battle Royal. It’s 20 or more guys trying to throw each other out of the ring to be the last man standing. It’s a fun & exciting match to see live. It’s unfortunate we are having this match, as the former Champion- Bad News Barrett- was really starting to hit his stride with the bad news gimmick. But injuries come with the business. Hopefully, those injuries are minimal in this Battle Royal. It’s always dangerous to have so many superstars in the ring at once. This match is a great opportunity for a new star, and that man is Cesaro. Since Paul Heyman will be busy managing Brock Lesnar shortly, Cesaro will be going solo. The IC Title would be a good way to help him stay over with the fans. Not to mention, he did win the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal at WrestleMania XXX.
WWE World Heavyweight Championship- Fatal 4-Way:
John Cena (c) vs. Randy Orton vs. Kane vs. Roman Reigns
Cena’s not losing; he still has to face Lesnar at Summer Slam.
Winner- John Cena
I though the way the World Heavyweight Championship belt was retired on Raw Monday night was fitting and well done. Having the 15X Champion, Cena, hand the Title to the 16X Champion, Ric Flair, was great respect to the history of the Championship. And having Flair back on tv was great as well. Hopefully, he can be paired with a young star on the rise and help them reach the next level. While I have a chance, I’d like to say how pathetic it is for WWE to call John Cena the Greatest WWE Champion of all-time. Cena isn’t even in the top 5, much less #1 on that list. (In case you’re wondering… 1- Ric Flair, 2- The Undertaker, 3- Steve Austin, 4- Bret Hart, 5- Mick Foley). Cena’s greatest accomplishments have come thanks to the efforts of his opponents making Cena look much better than he is. (i.e. Big Show at WrestleMania XX, Triple H at WrestleMania 22, The Rock… etc). It’s an insult to the men who have competed in the ring to call John Cena the greatest Champion ever. Complete and utter bull.
We’ll see you next month for the August tradition, Summer Slam!
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