This Sunday, WWE brings to us a new pay-per-view titled “Battleground”, featuring Daniel Bryan and Randy Orton squaring off in the main event for the WWE Championship. M2J, Denny Lugz, and I gave our predictions and provided some quick analysis about these matches on this week’s episode of Doing the Job. Allow me to further break down the card.
Dolph Ziggler vs. Damien Sandow (Pre-Show)
Alright, so this match came out of absolutely nowhere. To my knowledge, these two have had no recent interaction with each other and this is clearly a move by creative to pit two guys that they would like to get on the show but just have nothing for at the moment. Which is a shame, since Ziggler is only a few months removed from being World Heavyweight Champion and has been in and out of this whole angle with the Corpolution, and also because, oh by the way, Damien Sandow is the current holder of the Money in the Bank contract.
Both of these guys can really use a victory, especially Sandow, who has seemingly lost to everyone under the sun since winning that briefcase. But with that briefcase comes a ticket into the title picture that they’re eventually going to use; who knows what’s on the horizon for Ziggler. I think he needs this win more.
Sean: Dolph Ziggler
M2J: Dolph Ziggler
Denny: Dolph Ziggler
Curtis Axel (c) vs. R-Truth (Intercontinental Title Match)
Speaking of matches that were just thrown onto the card. So basically R-Truth got that win on Raw when CM Punk’s music played and he gets a title shot. Okay. They’ve done nothing whatsoever with Axel as champion and plummeted the IC title’s stock once again, but as long as he’s aligned with Paul Heyman, mini-Perfect isn’t losing the belt in a match like this.
Sean: Curtis Axel
(Editor’s Note: This match was made a day after we recorded our show with M2J and Denny’s predictions.)
Bray Wyatt vs. Kofi Kingston
And in another match that was added at the last moment, this one as late as Smackdown two days before the show, we get this. It’s so pointless that I’m not even giving analysis.
Sean: Bray Wyatt
(Editor’s Note: Again, this match was added well after the podcast, so no predictions from our two hosts.)
AJ Lee (c) vs. Brie Bella (Divas Title Match)
Oddly enough, Nikki getting injured is the best thing that could have happened for Brie, now that she is getting all of this solo attention, which, despite her relationship with Daniel Bryan coming to the forefront, probably doesn’t happen otherwise. Still, if you think that is going to be enough to push her into becoming champion, I’d think twice. AJ has been great in her role lately, and more importantly, they just put Tamina with her as an enforcer, which all but assures a win for the champ.
Sean: AJ Lee
M2J: AJ Lee
Denny: AJ Lee
Alberto Del Rio (c) vs. Rob Van Dam (World Heavyweight Championship Match – Hardcore Rules)
Praise the lord that they decided to make this a hardcore match, otherwise not even RVD could prevent Del Rio’s formulaic heel wrestling from lulling me to sleep. I’m really hoping Van Dam can turn back the clock a bit with some innovative offense, and I’m looking forward to the prospect of seeing a Van Daminator.
If you’ve been listening to the show, you know much I can’t stand Del Rio, but I’d be stunned if he didn’t go over here. Also, Ricardo Rodriguez has been a non-factor for a little while now; perhaps he is a main part of the outcome? Finally, I proposed a Buy or Sell to Denny and M2J on the podcast if this could be RVD’s last one on one main event level title match at a pay-per-view. They both sold it, but I’m not so sure, so I’m not taking it for granted.
Sean: Alberto Del Rio
M2J: Alberto Del Rio
Denny: Alberto Del Rio
Seth Rollins & Roman Reigns vs. Cody Rhodes and Goldust (If the Rhodes’ win, they get their jobs back)
Also at stake is Dusty Rhodes’ job down in Florida. I’m looking forward to this match between four guys that can really go in the ring and a finish with multiple possibilities. At the very least, Cody will be back full time, if not already, plus The Shield’s tag team titles are not on the line, which may be another indicator of the outcome here. I’m certainly raising an eyebrow at the fact that this McMahon/Rhodes storyline doesn’t seem as cut and dry as them simply winning and getting their jobs back, but I think that’s what happens here. I’m excited to sit back and not think too hard about this one. This is also my dark horse pick for match of the night because, besides the match quality, I feel that the crowd will be super-hot behind the Rhodes’.
(Side note: In a PPV with last minute and throwaway matches added to the card last minute, how does Dean Ambrose not have a match at Battleground??)
Sean: Cody Rhodes and Goldust
M2J: The Shield
Denny: Cody Rhodes and Goldust
CM Punk vs. Ryback
I feel like I saw all I needed to see out of these two last year, but hopefully they will prove me wrong now that Ryback has a little more experience under his belt. I suppose the argument for Punk winning is that he’s done the job in this Heyman storyline for three months now (if you include the Money in the Bank match where Paul E. turned on him), but this doesn’t seem likely to be the end of the feud. Additionally, Ryback can really use a high profile victory and after recently being injected in the angle and becoming a “Paul Heyman guy”, it this Sunday seems like a likely time for that to happen. Unfortunately for Punk, he really starts to lose credibility if he continues to promise us to end all this, while continually doing the job. As much as we love Punk and Heyman, I think we’re all ready for this to be over and something new to spark up with the Corpolution.
Daniel Bryan vs. Randy Orton (WWE Championship Match)
Aside from the tag team match, this is probably the only other one that has a chance of being match of the night, and their showdown last month was not quite as good as we had hoped, so perhaps they’ll have something better in store this time around. Denny made the point on the show, but with D-Bry going over twice the last couple of pay-per-views and ultimately not coming away with the title, it’s unlikely it will happen again this month. Additionally, now that they’ve vamped up Orton’s heelishness since Night of Champions, he seems poised for a title run under the McMahon-Helmsley era 2.0.
After the ending of this past Raw, I’d suspect Brie Bella comes out at some point and her presence accidentally distracts Bryan, costing him the victory. At the least, expect some sort of screwy finish here helping Orton regain the title.
Sean: Randy Orton
M2J: Randy Orton
Denny: Randy Orton
After a really nice run of very good pay-per-views from WWE, it seems as if we are in a three-show stretch of lackluster events starting with Night of Champions and capping with Hell in a Cell, with this Sunday’s Battleground sandwiched in between. Aside from Punk/Heyman, WWE focused so much attention recently on the main event storyline and the trio of angles under its umbrella that they really didn’t flesh out any other feuds, which resulted in this barrage of meaningless matches that make up a good portion of the night. With generally no outcomes we care about aside from the main three spots, matches with a low potential for quality wrestling, and overall a very predictable show (seriously, there was only one match where the three of us differed in opinion), I have to admit, I really don’t have high hopes for Battleground.