Demarus Dye| BKD TV Insiders
As WWE Battleground takes place this Sunday with the Pre-Show at 7pm on the WWE Network. The Verizon Center in Washington, D.C. will host this event as this could be the last event unless its the classic 4 PPV’s that both Raw & Smackdown will fight together on the same B-Level Show, as Battleground leads into SummerSlam. Lets take a look below now.
WWE WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP
Dean Ambrose (c) vs. Roman Reigns vs. Seth Rollins
Setup to Battleground– At Money in the Bank, Dean Ambrose won the Money in the Bank ladder match and subsequently the WWE World Heavyweight Championship by cashing in his contract on Seth Rollins, who had just won the title from Roman Reigns. After a #1 Contender’s match between Reigns and Rollins ended in a double countout the following night on Raw, Ambrose requested to defended the title against both Reigns and Rollins. Accordingly, Shane McMahon scheduled a triple threat match between all three men for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship at Battleground. On June 21, two days after Money in the Bank, Reigns was suspended for 30 days for violating the WWE’s Wellness Program, which uses drug testing to detect substance abuse. Pro Wrestling Torch reported that WWE knew of the violation before Money in the Bank, leading to Reigns losing his world title at the event. With Reigns’s suspension ending before Battleground, WWE continued to advertise Reigns as part of the Battleground main event. On the June 27 episode of Raw, both Rollins and Ambrose acknowledged Reigns’s suspension on television. However, Stephanie McMahon opted not to remove Reigns from the Battleground match, and instead gave AJ Styles and John Cena the opportunity to qualify for the match by matches against Ambrose and Rollins. Styles and Cena lost, when they each interfered in each other’s matches. On June 29, the WWE World Heavyweight Championship was renamed as the WWE Championship. Later on July 18, in a match for the WWE Championship, Ambrose wrestled Rollins to a draw and thus retained the title. This was in spite of Stephanie McMahon declaring Rollins as the new champion. A rematch was subsequently scheduled for the SmackDown live brand extension episode the following night, which Ambrose won to retain the title.
Prediction– With Reigns coming off of suspension, it will be fresh air between these 3. I think the WWE hurt themselves with having Rollins vs. Ambrose 2 straight nights leading into Sunday. I don’t think Ambrose will be pinned but will lose the title as Rollins pins Reigns to reset there program into SummerSlam.
WWE INTERCONTINENTAL TITLE MATCH
The Miz (with Maryse) (c) vs. Darren Young (with Bob Backlund)
Setup to Battleground– On the July 11 episode of Raw, Darren Young won a battle royal to earn a title match against Intercontinental Champion The Miz at Battleground.
Prediction– The Make Darren Young Great again campaign is paying off, but I don’t see the Miz losing the title on Sunday & staying on Smackdown Live.
WWE UNITED STATES TITLE MATCH
Rusev (with Lana) (c) vs. Zack Ryder
Setup to Battleground– On the July 7 episode of SmackDown, Zack Ryder won a match against Sheamus and then challenged Rusev to a WWE United States Championship match. On the July 11 episode of Raw, Rusev attacked Ryder after his match against Sheamus and accepted Ryder’s challenge for Battleground.
Prediction– Again I don’t see the title changing as Rusev will keep the title on Raw beating Ryder.
John Cena, Enzo Amore & Big Cass vs. AJ Styles, Luke Gallows & Karl Anderson
Setup to Battleground– At Money in the Bank, AJ Styles defeated John Cena after The Club got involved. The following night on Raw, Styles and Luke Gallows attacked Cena during his match against Karl Anderson. On the June 27 episode of Raw, Cena and Styles costed each other a chance to be involved in the WWE Championship match at Battleground and then Gallows and Anderson delivered a Magic Killer to Cena on the ramp. On the July 4 episode of Raw, The Club again attacked Cena until Enzo Amore and Big Cass saved Cena. Later that night, a six-man tag team match was made between the two teams at Battleground.
Prediction– As Cena/Styles will be on Smackdown & the rest on Raw, I see Cena, Enzo & cass winning pinning Karl Anderson & continuing these beefs to Summerslam.
Sasha Banks and a Mystery Partner vs. Dana Brooke and WWE Women’s Champion Charlotte
Setup to Battleground– After her return in early June, Sasha Banks reignited her feud with Charlotte, who had formed a tag team with Dana Brooke while Sasha was on hiatus. On the June 20 episode of Raw, Sasha rescued Paige from an attack from Brooke and Charlotte. On the June 27 episode of Raw, Sasha and Paige defeated Dana and Charlotte. Over the following weeks, Charlotte and Dana continued to provoke Sasha. Hoping to earn a title match with Charlotte, Sasha defeated Dana on the July 11 episode of Raw and again on the July 14 episode of Smackdown. Later that night, Charlotte and Dana were scheduled to wrestle Sasha and a mystery partner at Battleground.
Prediction– I see either Nikki Bella or Bayley being Sasha Banks partner & that team winning going into a one on one for the Women’s Title at Summerslam.
The New Day (Big E, Kofi Kingston and Xavier Woods) vs. The Wyatt Family (Bray Wyatt, Erick Rowan and Braun Strowman)
Setup to Battleground– On the June 20 episode of Raw, The Wyatt Family made their return and was interrupted by WWE Tag Team Champions The New Day. The two teams addressed each other in their promos over the next few weeks. On the July 4 episode of Raw, The Wyatt Family invited The New Day to their family compound, which New Day accepted. On the July 11 episode of Raw, The New Day showed up at The Wyatt Family compound and the two teams brawled until New Day ran away. On July 12, a six-man tag team between the two teams was scheduled for Battleground.
Prediction– The Compound Battle I thought would have been better if Xavier Woods was kidnapped by the Wyatt Family, but as this will be the last time the Wyatt Family will be a unit as Braun Stroman is going to Raw & the Bray/Eric Rowan is going to Smackdown. I feel the Good Guys(The New Day) will prevail over the Wyatt Family in this one.
Sami Zayn vs. Kevin Owens
Setup to Battleground– In December 2014, at NXT Takeover: R Evolution, Sami Zayn won the NXT Championship from Neville. After the match, Zayn’s friend Kevin Owens, first congratulated and then attacked Zayn. In February 2015, at NXT Takeover: Rival, Owens defeated Zayn to win the NXT Championship. Zayn moved to WWE’s main roster at the Royal Rumble and eliminated Owens from the Royal Rumble match. At Payback, Owens defeated Zayn. At Money in the Bank, both men failed to win the Money in the Bank ladder match. Zayn defeated Owens on the June 20 episode of Raw, and challenged Owens to another match a week later during Chris Jericho’s Highlight Reel, which Owens accepted.
Prediction– I do believe this rivalry between these 2 are up there with some of the best wrestling rivalries of all time, but I was hoping both man would be on different shows to give this rivalry a rest for a while, but both got drafted on Raw so this will continue. In this case I like Zayn to beat Owens & continue onto SummerSlam in a speciality match.
Becky Lynch vs. Natalya
Setup to Battleground– At Money in the Bank, Natalya and Becky Lynch lost a tag team match. After the match, Natalya turned heel and attacked Becky. Natalya attacked Becky again the following night on Raw, and proclaimed to be solely looking out for herself. On the June 27 episode of Raw, Becky attacked Natalya, who was on commentary, before her match against Summer Rae. On the July 4 episode of Raw, a match between the two was scheduled for Battleground.
Prediction– The top 2 women on Smackdown go at it, this will continue on into the rest of the Summer & beyond. Round 1 on Sunday I would say go to Natalya
The Highlight Reel with Chris Jericho and Randy Orton
Setup to Battleground– After Randy Orton was scheduled to face Brock Lesnar for SummerSlam, he was announced as the guest of a special episode of The Highlight Reel, hosted by Chris Jericho at Battleground.
Prediction– Hearing that Paul Heyman is not under contact, I see something happening to get Orton over as a legit threat to Brock Lensar.
Pre-Show: The Usos (Jimmy Uso and Jey Uso) vs. Breezango (Tyler Breeze and Fandango)
I will be in DC for Battleground for a up close & personal. I will be back with the review of the event on Monday.