I mentioned on the Law’s message board a few months ago that this was the themed pay per view that they should keep, but I think I have to take that back, because the build for this show hasn’t been very exciting at all, at least when compared to the build for SummerSlam last month. I find that the booking for most of the matches on this card has been very one-sided and the result is that the same people who were over a month ago are still over, but the new faces that should be getting pushed out of this are being continuously buried.
Having said that, it does look like a strong card on paper, so hopefully the in-ring product will be top notch.
Here are my predictions from start to finish…
Dean Ambrose vs. Dolph Ziggler for the United States Championship
This should be a very hot opener, but I was almost shocked that this match got no attention on Raw this week. Instead, they had Dolph do the job for Bray Wyatt. Ordinarily I wouldn’t mind that since Bray is a guy that they should be pushing anyway, but the fact is that Ziggler is on this pay per view and Bray isn’t, so I would think that they would have their priorities in order. This program did get a little more attention on Smackdown this week, as those of you who haven’t yet read the spoilers will find out on Friday, but I can’t believe that they would give the match away for free, only three days before the title match. That’s kind of why I selected this to be the curtain jerker; that and the fact that it has show-stealer potential. As I look up and down this card, I can’t imagine that a lot of these titles will be changing hands, so I think this is the one that they should switch, because Ziggler really needs a win badly, before he becomes another MVP or Zack Ryder. I know that he’s being punished for some comments that he made, but if they really wanted to do what’s best for business, they need to let it go; I mean how many chances did Orton get? I see Ambrose eventually catching Ziggler with his front Russian bulldog move (they really need to name that thing), but he gets cocky and picks Ziggler up before three. Ambrose then goes for the move again, but this time Ziggler slides out of the headlock and ends up behind Ambrose to hit the zig zag for the surprise win. After the match, the other members of the Shield run in and it’s three-on-one against Ziggler. Ziggler is able to dodge them for a little while, but the numbers eventually become too much for him. Christian then runs out and he and Ziggler clear the ring of two members of the Shield. Christian then spots Ambrose out of the corner of his eye and goes for a spear, but Ambrose dodges him and Christian accidentally hits Ziggler.
[Renee Young is backstage for an interview]
Renee: Ladies and gentlemen, CM Punk.
[Punk appears on screen and gets a huge pop]
Renee: Punk, what’s your strategy heading into your handicap match tonight?
Punk: It’s simple really. My strategy is to put an end to Paul Heyman once and for all. And if I have to go through Curtis Axel to do it, then so be it. The running stops here. I don’t what Paul Heyman has up his sleeve, but it really doesn’t matter, because after tonight, he won’t have any sleeves, because after tonight, he won’t have any arms! Once I get through Axel and believe me when I tell you that I will get through Axel, I’m going to take my time with you Paul. This is one fight that you can’t talk your way out of. As a matter of fact, it’s not even going to be a fight; it’ll be a beating. I’m going to tear you limb from limb. I promised these fans that I was going to break your face and that’s exactly what I intend to do. And just when you think it’s over, that’s when I’m going to reach down and pick you up by the one hair on your bulbous head, and I’m going to spit in your face to wash all the blood out of your eyes, so you can see the look on my face, right before I lock on the anaconda vice and put you to sleep like the bitch that you are! (looks back at Renee) That’s my strategy!
Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns vs. The Prime Time Players for the WWE Tag Team Championships
Reigns and Rollins are still in the ring after the last match. I think the PTP’s will definitely get this title match, after the recent babyface push that they’ve been getting. There is a chance that it could be The Uso’s, considering what’s going to happen on Smackdown this Friday, but we’ve already seen that match though. I don’t think it’d be wise for all members of The Shield to lose their titles here. In fact, I think Ambrose will end up getting the belt back from Ziggler at some point. This could be an okay match. The weak link is probably Titus, so as long as Darren works most of the match, it should be fine. I think this will be a clean win for the Shield here, where just when Darren Young starts building some momentum for his team and the crowd starts getting behind him, Reigns comes from out of nowhere with a spear and Rollins gets the pin to keep the titles. It is good though to see that there are now multiple tag teams in the company, whereas two years ago, there were only about two teams.
[A video airs to promote the next episode of Total Divas, which leads into the next match]
AJ Lee vs. Natalya vs. Brie Bella vs. Naomi in a fatal four-way match for the Divas Championship
AJ has just been fantastic lately, both in the ring and on the mic and I think it would be a huge mistake to take the title off of her on Sunday. If that happens though, it should be done in a one-on-one match, as I hate the idea of a title switching hands in a multiple-person match like this. I think the other three girls will probably work together at first against AJ, but then their egos will take over and they’ll all fight it out. The end comes where Natalya locks the sharpshooter on Naomi and then AJ comes in and applies a ground version of the black widow at the same time, which I guess would look something like the rings of saturn. Just before Naomi taps though, Brie Bella runs in and takes Natalya down, causing her to obviously release the sharpshooter, and then Naomi taps to AJ’s submission hold.
Alberto Del Rio vs. Rob Van Dam for the World Heavyweight Championship
I haven’t enjoyed the build for this match either, and I was actually quite disappointed with the match these two had a few weeks ago. They don’t seem to have a lot of chemistry, so I would probably end this program here. Having said that, I don’t see any value in having Van Dam as the World Champion, and I don’t care for the pairing of him and Ricardo, as it just seems like such an odd couple. Hopefully this match is at least better than their last one. I see a ref bump near the end, which is when Ricardo gets on the apron and starts cheering Van Dam. Del Rio sees this and goes to grab Ricardo by the collar, at which point Van Dam tries to nail Del Rio with a spin kick, but misses and accidentally knocks Ricardo off the apron. As RVD shows concern for a fallen Ricardo, Del Rio schoolboys him and gets the cheap victory.
[A video airs for the next WWE pay per view Battleground]
[RVD is sitting on one of those trolleys backstage, as he's approached by Ricardo]
Ricardo: Rob, look man, I’m sorry. It was my bad.
RVD: Your bad? You’re right it was your bad! What were you even doing out there anyway? I thought Vickie decided you weren’t supposed to be at ringside.
Ricardo: I know. I messed up. I’m sorry. I was just trying to help.
RVD: Well you just helped me lose a match, dude. That’s not cool! Look I need some space right now, so just help yourself out of here.
[Ricardo and RVD both walk off in opposite directions, as Curtis Axel and Paul Heyman are shown on their way to the ring. As they pass each other, RVD and Axel aggressively bump shoulders, as Axel looks back with a bit of a cocky smirk, while RVD gives him some cut-eye, before continuing on his way]
Curtis Axel and Paul Heyman vs. CM Punk in a no disqualification handicap elimination match
I don’t know about the no DQ stipulation, but considering that kendo sticks have been used a lot in the build for this match, I can’t imagine that it wouldn’t be. I think Punk and Axel should be a good ten minute match, before Punk eventually hits the GTS and eliminates him. Actually, I think it would be best for Axel to kick out of the first GTS, just so they can show the look on Heyman’s face after the near fall. And it’ll probably be a good idea to have Heyman in the ring with Punk before Axel is eliminated, just when Axel has Punk down and then Heyman gets in some cheap shots. So Punk eliminates Axel and then has a brief stare-down with a very scared Heyman, who tries to make a run for it, only for Punk to catch him and literally drag him back to the ring. Punk does land one good punch to the face, before Axel comes back to the ring with a chair. RVD then runs out and grabs the chair from Axel and then Punk hits him with another GTS. RVD then grabs Heyman from the outside and brings him back into the ring, as Punk now has the chair that Axel was going to use. Heyman is basically begging for his life, but then Punk sees Axel out of the corner of his eye and goes to clobber him with the chair instead. Then as Punk turns around, he walks right into a Van Terminator by RVD. Everyone, including Heyman, looks shocked by this, as Van Dam just has a look of disgust on his face, as he looks down at Punk. Axel then places the chair on Punk’s chest and Van Dam hits the five-star frog splash, which leads to Heyman getting the pin on Punk. I disagree with introducing a new character as part of the act, considering that they’d to do it with Axel and it failed. Ultimately, Punk has to go over in this feud, and I think that would immediately destroy the new guy, before he even gets anywhere. Since they used Asylum of The Flatliners as part of the angle on Raw this week, I guess they could have gone with him, but they kind of introduced him as a nameless, faceless nobody right off the bat, so I’m assuming that it was a one-time thing, because he was just a local guy. RVD’s desperately needed a fresh coat of paint for a while now and I think turning him heel would add a new dimension to his character, because he’s just been doing the same thing for the last 12 years. Yes he was over at MITB, but he has since cooled off (no pun intended) and is in danger of turning into the RVD of TNA.
Randy Orton vs. Daniel Bryan for the WWE Championship
With only six matches on this card, I have to think that this match is going to go very, which actually plays perfectly into the finish that I have in mind. I see Bryan kicking out of Orton’s RKO on two occasions and I think this match will probably be booked similarly to the Kurt Angle and Steve Austin match at SummerSlam 2001, where Bryan just takes a massive beating, but keeps coming forward with everything he has. Bryan hits the flying knee at some point out of nowhere, but Orton is able to get his foot on the rope at the last minute. In the end, they’ve been battling for close to an hour, so after the knee spot, each guy is using the other’s body to kind of lift himself up. Orton strikes first and tries another RKO, but Bryan counters and sweeps Orton into the No Lock. Orton lasts as long as he possibly can, before eventually tapping out. Bryan is then awarded the title and starts celebrating, but then Triple H comes down to ringside and whispers something to the ring announcer. It’s then announced that even though Bryan did make Orton tap out, unfortunately the time limit has expired and therefore Orton keeps the title. Bryan is pissed when he hears this and then he goes outside to try to get his hands on Triple H, but before he does, he’s attacked at ringside by The Shield, who drag him back in the ring, as Triple H and Orton escape up the ramp with the title. The Shield try for the triple powerbomb, but this time Bryan is able to fight them off and clear the ring of them. Bryan then gets the crowd to chant ‘No!’ with him as the show goes off the air.
So there you have it.
Here are my match predictions for Battleground:
Daniel Bryan vs. a Shield member of Triple H’s choosing in a quarter-final match in the number one contender’s tournament - Triple H decided to reward Orton for his ‘Victory’ at Night of Champions by giving him the next pay per view off with pay. He then agrees to have a one-night tournament to determine a new number one contender.
Dolph Ziggler vs. Christian in a quarter-final match in the number one contender’s tournament
CM Punk vs. Rob Van Dam in a quarter-final match in the number one contender’s tournament
Damien Sandow vs. The Big Show in a quarter-final match in the number one contender’s tournament - I’m thinking it should be Big Show and Bryan in the finals, as that would make the most sense from a storyline pov. And I think they’d want to save Punk and Bryan for Mania next year.
Alberto Del Rio vs. Rey Mysterio w/ Ricardo Rodriguez for the World Heavyweight Championship
AJ Lee vs. Natalya in a submission match for the Divas Championship