The Battleground has been set tonight inside of the First Niagara Center in Buffalo, NY for a pay-per-view that has the potential, on paper, to be in the conversation when we talk ‘Best of the Year’ in a couple of months. Agree? Disagree? Agree to disagree? Well, that’s what it’s all about. Let’s get the conversation started. But first, check out the picks from our own resident 4MB below. Feel free to share yours in the comment section below.
• Damien Sandow vs. Dolph Ziggler
Hank Booth: It’s time to get Zigs back in the mix for that HW title. RVD won’t be around very much longer and Sandow needs to get screwed over a few more times before he cashes in. And that’s, just like..my opinion, man. Ziggler via Zig Zag.
Sean Sheehan: This is on YouTube? Man! I love Sandow and like Ziggler a lot, although it’s getting harder without any real push. Hopefully Sandow kicks off the night with an extra long intro because I just love hearing him talk. In the ring this will be a slick technical match-up which will be really enjoyable. Not too sure who will win but considering Ziggler seems to be the company seller I have to pick Sandow.
Alex Reno: What happened to Ziggler’s push? When he won the title after cashing in his briefcase the fans went ape shit over him and his face-turn. Ziggler is great for the WWE and really does steal the show. It would be pretty stupid to have Ziggler lose this match, because he still needs to pose as a threat for the Heavyweight title. Sandow doesn’t need this match because he can lose and still use the Money in the Bank briefcase if he wants, but I don’t think that’s going to happen.
Verdict: Ziggler via Zig Zag
Chris Langevin: Who needs to get buried more? Ziggler because Vince has no idea how much the crowd is behind him? Or Sandow because he’s the newest Money in the Bank winner that needs to look weak so that we… can believe… he’s a strong… title candidate? Yeah I don’t know either. That’s a discussion for another time. I think Sandow wins this simply because he has to cash in the briefcase soon. He can’t hold it through the new year. Won’t be at Battleground, though.
• Bray Wyatt vs. Kofi Kingston
Booth: This is one of those matches were you would think that Bray would get the W seeing that he’s the newer guy that isn’t ready for that first loss. Well, that’s exactly it. It’ll be an early quickie that’ll see Bray kissing Kofi on the forehead before putting him away in memory of his late Sister Abigail. “Her touch could save the world…but her kiss burns it to the ground.”
Sheehan: Bray via weirdness.
Reno: I didn’t get a chance to see the “encrypted messages” to Kofi from Bray. But I’m sure they were creepy and awesome. This is probably the easiest pick to make other than the Axel match. The WWE still wants to give the Wyatt family a big push. Kofi is always exciting but continues to be a jobber in big matches and PPV matches. He’ll make this one exciting, and throughout the whole match I will have flashbacks of little kids screaming Kofi’s name in my ear from the row behind me at Night of Champions.
Verdict: Bray Wyatt via Sister Abigail’s Kiss
Langevin: Kofi has been on a mini roll as of late, but it’s about to stop here. Bray Wyatt is being setup for something big and the crowd is all-in on the Wyatt Family. That spells bad news for Kofi as he’ll fall to Sister Abigail. Bray will win in a quick match and we will all… Follow the Buzzards. *puts on sheep mask*
• Divas Championship: AJ Lee (C) vs. Brie Bella
Booth: AJ is on too much of a roll right now and Brie’s not gonna slow her down. Sure, the girls from the reality show will have their day soon enough. Not just yet though. AJ retains via her patented black widow.
Sheehan: Total Diva vs. Total Insanity. Got to love this. Brie isn’t the most smooth in the ring but that’s not too important really. We want to see a bitchy rivalry between the women and that’s what we have here. AJ – who is the most improved in-ring performer in the company – will probably keep her belt until Total Divas returns next month. (My God I miss it so much)
Reno: Last PPV I picked Brie Bella to win the Divas Championship because of the promotions the WWE would receive for Total Divas. Well, that genius prediction did not come true, and now that Total Divas is taking a break, I feel like AJ is going to keep her title once again. When the show comes back in November, I feel like they’ll finally give up the belt to one of the divas to promote their show again. Brie is a great wrestler and AJ is not, but for some reason it’s fun to root for AJ anyways, even though she is a confirmed psychopath.
Verdict: AJ Lee via Black Widow
Langevin: I’m new here, but how much thought do I need to put into the Diva’s match? I mean, I can fake a little interest. Brie has been featured on TV more because of her relationship with Daniel Bryan. This is prime time for them to put the title on her. She just got engaged, she is on TV more with Daniel and Randy, so it would be in the WWE’s best interest to have her be the Diva’s champ. That way when she is on TV more, the title is more visible, and adds a little credibility much like they did with AJ back when she was on TV for 75% of the show.
• Intercontinental Championship: Curtis Axel (C) (with Paul Heyman) vs. R-Truth
Booth: Axel has held this title longer than anyone since Cody Rhodes’ first run. The truth is that this looks like it could be a bad night for Heyman’s guys. It all starts with Axel dropping the strap to R-Truth . I’m ok with this as long as it means we get more of JBL saying “What’s Up” during his intro.
Sheehan: Good for R-Truth getting a spot on the PPV. Axel seems to have been replaced by Ryback as the #1 Heyman guy and cooled since his encouraging start. Even though everything is telling me not to, what the hell, I’m picking R-Truth. WHAT’S UP!!!!!!
Reno: WASSUP?! WASSUP?! That’s R-Truth talking with the medical staff after Curtis Axel disposes of him. This match doesn’t make any sense.
Verdict: Axel via pinfall
Langevin: Is this really a match? Hmmm… I must have missed when this slipped through. It’s going to be a Paul Heyman Guy kind of night. Curtis Axel wins in a match that I would be shocked if it reaches 10 minutes. Heck, I might be shocked if it reaches 5 minutes.
• Tag Team Match: The Shield (Rollins and Reigns with Ambrose) vs. Goldust and Cody Rhodes (with Dusty Rhodes)
Booth: Ohhh this is gonna be fun. I’d be ok with this one being the Main Event. The titles aren’t on the line, but this is the match that has an old-timer like me making plans to show up to watch this one at the bar tomorrow night. The following three things are clear: Cody will get his job back; Goldust will be spending some time between the ropes again for the foreseeable future; Dusty certainly isn’t losing his job down in the WWE developmental center. Still, all of the above said, it’s gonna be great to see everyone get theirs in what should be the match of the night. If Dusty does the Bionic elbow drop I will flip over my chair and order a round of shots for everyone (with theatrics). The Rhodes family takes this. The belts aren’t on the line so that pretty much cinches it.
Sheehan: Business just picked up. I love this. Just a matter of time before Cody gets his job back but I have no idea how it’s going to happen and don’t think it will be just yet. But hey, we get to see more of Goldust which is always good. The Shield is perilously close to disbanding. I think they may have another month or two left in them. The Shield win this one and the Rhodes saga goes on.
Reno: Here we are, everyone from The Shield still has their belts. I wrongfully predicted that Night of Champions would be their downfall, along with all of my other wrong picks. BUT THIS TIME, this time Reigns and Rollins will lose. This match isn’t for the titles, it’s for the Rhodes family legacy. If Goldust and Cody lose, they lose their jobs. Dusty will lose his job as an NXT trainer, and everyone will lose their American Dream. There is no way the Shield can win this match. Cody Rhodes showed why he deserves to be in the WWE after Money in the Bank. I am putting my own stipulation on this match. If the Rhodes family loses, I am never writing predictions for a WWE PPV card ever again.
Verdict: Goldust and Cody Rhodes via Double CrossRhodes
Langevin: I liked the slow build story leading to this match. It has been one of the better storylines leading into this pay-per-view and makes me incredibly excited for this match. I think the obvious part here is the Rhodes Family will be coming out with the win. I am very interested in how. This is the first time you have a straight-up match where the Shield are not the clear and obvious winners in my opinion. They’re looking so strong that during the like 8 on 3 handicap match, I still thought they were going to win!! This is going to be very interesting. Cody is looking like an early 2014 favorite for a Money in the Bank contract, and during this story, you can see why. I think Cody hits the Cross Rhodes on Rollins to win. (Bonus: Beware of the Dream hitting the Bionic Elbow on Ambrose towards the end. Should be a huge pop from the crowd)
• World Heavyweight Championship Hardcore Match: Alberto Del Rio (C) vs. Rob Van Dam
Booth: Rob Van Dam in a Hardcore match? Count me in. The problem is that the WWE just seems to have no interest in having anyone but ADR hold the belt for significant amount of time since Sheamus dropped it. Sure, ADR makes a better heel than he does a face, but I still have a tough time caring about his matches. I’ll say one thing about him though, he is a true company man and he never takes a day off. ADR via cross armbreaker.
Sheehan: Del Rio is still world champion? YAWN!!! give Rob…..Van……Dam the belt. He is so entertaining in the ring that his weakness on the mic is forgivable. Would love to see RVD and Heel-Ziggler have a few months of battle. Oh and I believe this is hardcore, gives Van Dam more room to shine. I want to see thrash can coast-to-coast.
Reno: This rematch I couldn’t really care less about. Well, at least it can’t be much worse than their last match at Night of Champions. Del Rio used the champions advantage by going after RVD’s arm repeatedly after a rope break. Since this is a hardcore match, Del Rio will attack RVD’s arm with everything he can grab, RVD will kick him in the leg over and over, and this match will probably be the longest and most dragged out match of them all. RVD and ADR will both be lying on the ground clutching their limbs while the fans are begging for it to end. The good guy wins this one, because fuck Alberto Del Rio.
Verdict: RVD via 5 Star Frog Splash
Langevin: Widely known that Rob Van Dam is leaving WWE for a little bit following Battleground, so he will not be leaving the arena with the title. Notice I did not say he would lose this match. I could see him winning and Sandow cashing in, but it’s more likely that Sandow’s cash in will be saved for Hell in a Cell. I think Del Rio wins when Ricardo screws over RVD. Even though this is a title match, I don’t see this hitting 10 minutes. It’s time for a World Championship change, but it won’t happen here. ADR retains.
• CM Punk vs. Ryback (with Paul Heyman)
Booth: The best vs. the bully hater. I really thought the whole Punk vs. Heyman angle would come to a close after NOC. Boy was I wrong. Not only is it alive and well but…Ryback is a Paul Heyman guy? Dear god. So here we go again with the renewal of Punk vs. Ryback, way too soon. And I was so happy when this rivalry ended late last year. Punk is wasting his talents and his time here. Hopefully he gets to Heyman tonight and this ends it. Don’t get me wrong, I love watching Punk and Heyman work together and I look forward to the day they hook up again for another epic heel run. I just have a tough time caring about this particular rivalry. Punk and Heyman can’t carry Ryback and Axel forever. Break it up. Anyone way you can WWE, just do it. Please. Punk via clobbering time.
Sheehan: I’m going to be honest here. I’m sick of the Punk and Heyman saga. It’s too predictable and is wasting Punks talent of the bad boy face. The hurt son doesn’t suit him. I miss the original Ryback. His persona has been changed too much and although this bully thing isn’t the worst I’m not buying it. I’m picking CM Punk here because he is the best in the world.
Reno: This match actually isn’t going to happen. Punk comes out first, everyone goes nuts when they hear their favorite song, Cult of Personality. The fans are anticipating Ryback and Heyman to come out, when suddenly the jumboscreen lights up, you see Heyman and Ryback together on a boat heading from Buffalo to Niagara Falls for their sudden elopement. Punk is furious and still wants the revenge he will never get, and you never hear from the newlyweds again.
Verdict: CM Punk via No Show
Langevin: BEST IN THE WORLD!!!!!!!!! …I was talking about Paul Heyman. He will bring Ryback to the win. This rivalry is not over at Battleground. Punk went so over on Monday getting revenge on Ryback, Heyman, Axel, and beating Big E to show he can beat Ryback, which naturally means he will lose to Ryback. We will get a Ryback win, and he will do it with Heyman’s help, which will leave a bad taste in Punk’s mouth, and we will want to see this again. If only there was a match where Heyman couldn’t get involved. A match where Punk could bring Ryback to HELL, possibly even in a CELL. I’m not sure. Maybe they will have something in mind later this month.
• WWE Championship: Daniel Bryan vs. Randy Orton (for vacant title)
Booth: I think this is 3 consecutive PPV’s that Bryan has headlined now? That my friends, that is what’s really best for business. At this point I really don’t care if he gets the strap right now or not. We know he’ll get it at the right time and we know he’ll hold it for a long time. I just like that he’s getting the spotlight he deserves and I look forward to his next rivalry because Orton as the supreme WWE baddie just isn’t cutting it. They could do better. I’ll take Bryan via that Busaiku knee.
Sheehan: Seeing as Randy has gone back to his old demonic self you have to believe he is going to do something nasty and end Bryan with a punt to the head. Bryan will once again steal the show but won’t go home with the belt unfortunately. Expect Triple H to get involved because after all, it’s what’s BEST FOR BUSINESS.
Reno: I’m getting pretty tired about hearing “what’s best for business”. Stephanie McMahon and Triple H are brilliant and do an incredible job on the microphone, making your favorite superstars look and feel like shit. But how long can you justify having Randy Orton as a legitimate contender for the WWE Championship? Give that guy a microphone and you will fall asleep. Unless you are a female who loves to stare at Randy Orton’s chest, or a little kid who wants to be Randy Orton when they’re older, you should hate Randy Orton. Bryan has to win this one, and it will count this time.
Verdict: Bryan via Yes! Lock
Langevin: YES! YES! YES! Daniel Bryan will win the title. He has to! There is a wild card that makes me question my own choice, and that is the 7 foot crybaby that is not booked on this Pay-Per-View. I can not imagine Big Show getting as much play and as much build over the last few weeks without showing up at all. I want to believe he would show up and help the Rhodes get their jobs back, but for some reason, I just see him poking his head out here. If he does, look for Randy Orton to be helped to a victory, but what an ending and build for Bryan if he shakes off a KO punch from the Big Show to win? Talk about a made man and bringing prestige to the title. So there are many different scenarios, but for the sake of this story, I would love to see Daniel win the title clean. If my predictions ring true, they can even do a spot where Brie comes out to celebrate with Daniel like Benoit/Guerrero at WM 20. Ugh… that was supposed to be a joke, but this actually might happen just to use the shot on the reality show. Damn you, Total Divas, damn you.
all images via WWE
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