Welcome to WNW’s Battleground 2014 Predictions! Battleground will be emanating this year from the Tampa Bay Times Forum in Tampa, Florida. This time, we have Zack Krasney, Josh Tucker, Impact Blog Zone writer Adam Eaton, and myself providing full predictions, while Alex Barie, CJ Blaze, Logan Howell, and Chris Surrancy are providing quick picks. Let's get to it!
Preshow Divas Match:
Naomi vs. Cameron
Funk has rolled straight off of the rails with this match. Seriously, these matches are supposed to set the tone and pace of the show, and if this is how we are going to start things, then I am not optimistic for the rest of the show. Naomi finally getting out from underneath the dead weight that is Cameron is nice, and if it wasn't for Total Divas, then I question how she would even still have a job in WWE. Granted, that could be said for half of the Divas right now. But considering the track record of these Kickoff matches and the fact that one person in this match is one of the worst Divas still employed, the winner is clear cut.
Jesse's Predicted Winner: Naomi
Naomi is the better overall wrestler and should be primed for a run with AJ and the Bellas. However we all know in ring talent is not what gets a push these days and for some reason I think Cameron surprises Naomi and rolls her up for a 3 count. I’m hoping to be wrong but I have this feeling I’m going to be right here.
Josh's Predicted Winner: Cameron
Does anyone care? I mean really who cares? This is probably one of the worst Kickoff matches that has been announced in a while, and that includes MITB when there wasn’t even a match. This match really has no point besides breaking up the Funkadactyls, but this could have been done on Raw, Smackdown, or better yet Main Event. Naomi gets the victory here because Cameron doesn’t matter.
Adam's Predicted Winner: Naomi
This is really a throw away match. I don’t see much coming out of this. We might have a legitimate Diva with Naomi, but I fear Cameron is going to be dropped into Diva’s purgatory much like many of the other Diva’s. There are too many Diva’s right now, and most of them are being absolutely wasted. I do find it funny that the Funkadactyls lasted longer than Brodus Clay did. I don’t see this being a quality match, go ahead and use the time to get your food and drinks ready for the actual event which will go strong throughout the majority of this event. With Naomi getting the better end of this break up, I see her going over.
Zack's Predicted Winner: Naomi
Alex's Predicted Winner: Naomi
CJ's Predicted Winner: Naomi
Logan's Predicted Winner: Naomi
Chris' Predicted Winner: Naomi
Mike's Predicted Winner: Naomi
20 Man Battle Royal:
Winner becomes Intercontinental Champion
First off, I hope for a very speedy recovery for Bad News Barrett. His being at Battleground to present the winner the Title does give the fans some hope that his injury wasn't as bad as originally reported. But after looking at the list of participants, out of the 20 men in the Battle Royal, only five of them have any real chance at winning: Cesaro, The Miz, ADR, RVD, and Sheamus. No matter how much we love them (Ziggler and Kofi), how much they want to shove them down our throat (Big E and Fandango), or how much of a roll they are on (Bo Dallas), there are certain factors that go into a reset of a title such as this. And the biggest one is that you have to put the title on a proven worker. And out of the five men left, I can immediately ax two of them. Sheamus and Miz seem to be gearing up for a SummerSlam program over the US Championship. With the Miz recently changing his billing to be from Hollywood, it seems like the perfect way to strap Miz and move Sheamus on to a main event level feud. Plus, with only one top level title now, it makes little sense to merge the undercard belts. And with RVD most likely leaving WWE again soon after Battleground, I doubt he'll get strapped. That leaves ADR and Cesaro as the last two men on my list. And as everyone knows, I despise ADR. The man is talented, don't get me wrong, but he seems to not care about his body of work and is dangerous in the ring. And after the botch-fest that he and RVD put on this past Monday, I wouldn't remotely reward him with a title. And that leaves us with Cesaro. He has been beat down, defeated at every corner here lately, and with him firing Paul Heyman last week on the overseas tour, his winning the IC Title would make a quick and fun feud between him and Heyman and possibly Zeb and Swagger, with him being able to say he was held back by his managers and is having better success completely on his own. Plus, this could open him up for a long awaited face turn! So in light of everything, I'm going with the Swiss Superman.
Jesse's Predicted Winner:Cesaro
I’m not sure anyone really wants to hold this championship right now. It seems to be cursed. The Champion ends up doing nothing with the title and then disappearing or being marginalized after losing it or ends up getting hurt. Someone has to win this match right? I’m going with the undefeated Bo Dallas. Bo seems to be gaining steam lately and probably could benefit from the exposure of carrying the Intercontinental Championship. The only question I have is if WWE thinks he is ready for the position.
First Elimination: Zack Ryder
Josh's Predicted Winner: Bo Dallas
Is it just me or does it seem like the battle royal has been played out since Wrestlemania? The battle royal/royal rumble has always been one of my favorite match types but I feel like we have seen more of them in the last couple of months then we have in the last 2 years. This is a hard match to call because a lot of superstars could benefit from the win especially since they have been given direction. Guys like The Miz got a restart, Ziggler is always a favorite, I could very well see Cesaro winning as well, Big E could get the title back, and Kofi always seems to be near the IC belt. I have two people that I could really see walk away with this one for different reasons. With the Miz’s new direction this is the perfect time to put the title on him. There is also the possibility of Sheamus winning and unifying the titles. I am going to choose based on what I want to see happen. That is this match coming down to Sheamus and the Miz with Sheamus going over and unifying the titles. Thus leading to Sheamus and Miz feuding at least through SummerSlam.
Adam's Predicted Winner:Sheamus
There are a LOT of talented guys in this match, and I would be be happy with many of them taking home the gold in this one. Expect to see lots of guys go relatively fast. Poor Zack Ryder will probably go over the top rope in less than 2 minutes. Depending on how much time they give this match we could actually see something really entertaining. There are a great deal of WWE workhorses in this match. If I could pick one person to win this match I would have to go with DolphZiggler. Just because his career needs some momentum again. I know the Intercontinental Championship doesn’t mean what it used to mean, but it would be nice to see Ziggler with some gold and gaining some favor with the company. Other guys who we might be seeing with the win tonight: Bo Dallas, I think he is absolutely hilarious. He is the kind of guy I LOVE to hate. There are people who HATE and I mean detest him, but I think that is what makes his character so great! You have to BO-lieve people! I feel like it would be a step backwards for Cesaro to win it, he deserves to be higher up than the midcard title. I know some people want Sheamus to win and merge the titles, but I am hesitant about that with just one World title right now. The Miz could probably use a title win with his return, but it just depends, WWE can either re-vamp him as a main eventer, or as a midcarder. If he wins tonight they’ve set his career path for more of a midcard career. It would be really cool if somehow Wade Barrett managed to be healthy enough to step in at the last second and win, I know he is going to be watching the match. Overall, my pick is the Show-off.
Zack's Predicted Winner:DolphZiggler
Alex's Predicted Winner:Sheamus
CJ's Predicted Winner:DolphZiggler
Logan's Predicted Winner:Sheamus
Chris' Predicted Winner: Bo Dallas
Mike's Predicted Winner: Bo Dallas
Battle of the Superpowers:
Jack Swagger vs. Rusev
I have to give credit where it is due with this. Between WWE Creative and Zeb and Lana's mic work, they have done something I never thought would be possible. They have made me care for Jack Swagger. I've never been a fan of his. From day 1 in WWECW, I found him to be more vanilla than anything they have ever produced, and his subsequent DWI last year and fault in injuring DolphZiggler just shortly after Ziggler won the WHC did not help his case any. But thanks to a perfect storm of booking and his first ever face turn, I may actually be able to stand the man. And I hope this match actually gets a good amount of time here. Both Swagger and Rusev can put on a good show when pushed, as Rusev showed three weeks ago at MITB. And thanks to Lana and Zeb's work, I can see this going to SummerSlam. I'm going to make a somewhat controversial call here and say Rusev will pick up the win, but it will be because Swagger refuses to tap out of the Accolade and falls unconscious, thus leading to Swagger and Zeb being able to say that just like America, they never quit and leading to an I Quit match at SS.
Jesse's Predicted Winner:Rusev
This was supposed to be a 1 and done program but now there is talk of extending it over how well it’s being received. It’s been an entertaining feud. I expect a decent match since both have talent in the ring. In the end I think Swagger breaks out of the The Accolade once only to succumb to it a second time and tap out.
Josh's Predicted Winner:Rusev
Finally the Coulter and Swagger has a meaningful story. Zeb has been awesome on the mic and is really entertaining. I love the “We the People” chant. Now with Rusev, Swagger and Zeb really mean something. As heels they had the crowd at least chanting with them, now we can get emotionally behind them. This may help build Rusev as well. I don’t see Swagger as the one to end Rusev’s streak, at least not here. Maybe later if they really want to elevate Swagger again he can get the victory. But for Battleground I am unfortunately going with Rusev.
Adam's Predicted Winner:Rusev
This match itself will probably be fairly decent. I haven’t seen enough of Rusev in the ring to get a good read on him, last time I underestimated a worker from NXT who hadn’t worked much in the ring was Bray Wyatt, and I am still wiping egg off my face from that one. Swagger doesn’t work 5 star matches, but the man knows how to wrestle a traditional match. This match was supposed to make quick work of Swagger, but with the crowd eating up the whole USA vs. Russia theme that WWE has going, and Swagger getting a really good crowd reaction, I have a feeling we are going to have some time invested into this match. Quality wise, I think we’re not in for anything breathtaking, but it will be entertaining. Let’s face it, this match is more hyped around Lana/Colter than Swagger/Rusev. I am back and forth over who I think is going to win, though. If I were booking it I would have Rusev go over, but have Swagger attack him after to stand tall, leading into another match at SummerSlam.
Zack's Predicted Winner:Rusev
Alex's Predicted Winner:Rusev
CJ's Predicted Winner: Jack Swagger (DQ)
Logan's Predicted Winner: Jack Swagger
Chris' Predicted Winner: Jack Swagger
Mike's Predicted Winner: Rusev
Diva's Championship Match:
AJ Lee © vs. Paige
Wow... AJ Lee returns and gets strapped right back in the same fashion as she lost it. I still, almost three weeks later, don't know how to feel on that one. It really just shows how little WWE cares about their women's division. AJ and Paige could have tore the building down on AJ's return, but instead we got a recycled mess that is leading to this rematch. If the last two matches didn't go over a minute and a half, what's to make the casual fan to think this one will? It really makes no sense. But I have faith, especially with how Paige and Naomi did things at MITB, that this will be one of the best Divas bouts we will have seen in the last 5+ years. Both women are atop of the field in WWE, and some could argue that they are two of the best right now in pro wrestling on technical ability. But considering she just returned and they strapped her as soon as they did, I expect that AJ will retain after countering a PTO into a Black Widow.
Jesse's Predicted Winner: AJ Lee
Watch the fur fly in this match. I expect AJ to retain the title through a great match between the two young ladies. Paige has fallen out of favor with Vince so I figure that is why AJ will retain the title. I just hope Paige doesn’t fall of the face of the planet after losing to AJ.
Josh's Predicted Winner: AJ Lee
AJ being back is awesome. I was looking forward to AJ vs Paige feud months ago but AJ abruptly left. Now we get to see this match and an actual match and not some random challenge that last 2 minutes. I have been really confused by the story here though. First Paige loses the title to AJ then the next week they are friends, then they are announced to have this match, and then last Monday they have an awkward encounter at the announce table. But I am looking forward to what these Divas can do.
Adam's Predicted Winner: AJ Lee
This match is one that I have been waiting for, for a while now. AJ Lee vs. Paige in a FULL match. Not one that is meant to be brief. These two women can straight out wrestle and it should shine through when they face off at Battleground. This is also a very important match for Paige. While she does have a very loyal following, it seems like the business is losing faith in her as a performer. This could be her chance to show management that it isn’t her, it’s the Diva’s division, that needs fixing. AJ on the other hand is the CM Punk of the Diva’s division and that complement speaks for itself. Paige and AJ could be this generation’s Lita and Trish Stratus. I believe that completely, they just need to stay on course. This match will be impressive, especially for a Diva’s match. Don’t go take a bathroom break on this match, you’ll want to stick around and watch it. I think Paige will turn full on heel after this match, with a post match beatdown.
Zack's Predicted Winner: AJ Lee
Alex's Predicted Winner: AJ Lee
CJ's Predicted Winner: AJ Lee
Logan's Predicted Winner: AJ Lee
Chris' Predicted Winner: AJ Lee
Mike's Predicted Winner: AJ Lee
The Bitter Rivalry:
Dean Ambrose vs. Seth Rollins
Everyone knew The Shield's breakup would lead to something fun and great, but who knew that Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins would be the two guys that would just steal the shows and segments on almost a nightly basis. Ambrose's lunacy and Rollins' cool and cocky demeanor have blended so well together that I will honestly be sad if this is the blowoff from it. They have a lot left in this tank. And with all of the other members of the Authority being busy gearing up for the main event later in the evening, this will surely be an epic battle. With the beatdowns and losing streak Ambrose has been on of late, he's going to have to kick it into 5th gear here. Rollins having the case is a sure fire way to ensure he stays over. But another loss by Ambrose may seriously damage him. I have to give it to the Lunatic Fringe.
Jesse's Predicted Winner: Dean Ambrose
Ambrose and Rollins have had a fantastic feud and I expect it to continue long after this match. In fact I would not be surprised of a match for Rollins’s Contract at Summerslam. Ambrose has been injured by Rollins in the last week so naturally I believe Ambrose wins this match as a vehicle for taking out Plan B to allow Plan C to come to fruition
Josh's Predicted Winner: Dean Ambrose
While I am super excited to see this match, I am disappointed it is happening at Battleground. I was hoping they would save it for Summerslam since I will be attending, but maybe it can lead to a gimmick match between them at SS. Rollins needs the victory here, maybe by using the briefcase. Either way these two will probably steal the show and I am excited for this one.
Adam's Predicted Winner: Seth Rollins
Well the road to get here was not a great one, but at the end of the day, these two guys are going to tear down the house. Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins are very familiar with wrestling each other via their time down in NXT. This will be a real treat as a fan, watching them grow together in The Shield, and now go back at each other’s throats years later. Honestly, I have seen the booking of Dean Ambrose to have been really weak the last few weeks. It seems like every week Dean Ambrose is being taken out of action by the Authority and Seth Rollins. I do love the promise Dean Ambrose made to Seth Rollins about cashing in his Money in the Bank contract. How it is TNT and every time he uses it will blow up in his face. I think this, along with Chris Jericho vs. Bray Wyatt has the potential to absolutely steal the show. Either way, we have a great event in Battleground with two matches that could really tear down the house. I would like to think that it’s hard to say who will win this match, but I think it’s fairly obvious with Seth Rollins being the Authority’s new “guy” that he will go over. WWE has to be very careful in how they book this match in order to prevent burying Dean Ambrose, or ruining Seth Rollins current push.
Zack's Predicted Winner: Seth Rollins
Alex's Predicted Winner: Seth Rollins
CJ's Predicted Winner: No Contest
Logan's Predicted Winner: Seth Rollins
Chris' Predicted Winner: Dean Ambrose
Mike's Predicted Winner: Seth Rollins
Best 2 out of 3 Falls for the Tag Team Championship:
The Usos vs. Luke Harper and Erick Rowan
Ever since they started helping Cena against The Wyatt Family, The Usos have taken their superb tag team skills and stepped up even more notches. They have shown why they more than deserve to be the top tag team in the WWE right now. But the Wyatts have also been showing some serious growth, especially Luke Harper. He will be a bonafide star in his own right one day. And with the wars that both teams have been putting on with each other, there is no doubt in my mind that this will be an amazing bout. The real kicker here is that The Wyatts have won multiple times in non-title matches, but can't seem to pick up the big win. With the 2 out of 3 falls stipu;ation in place, I think things firmly shift into the Wyatts favor. I have to give this one to them, if for no other reason than it gives WWE a reason to extend this to SummerSlam, as the Usos will get a rematch.
Jesse's Predicted Winner: Luke Harper and Erick Rowan
I think the WWE has to put the belts on The Wyatt Family here and them run with them. If they don’t then there was no point to doing this title match for the 2nd PPV in a row. Harper scores the 2nd win for The Wyatt Family with a clothesline for a 2 falls to 1 victory.
Josh's Predicted Winner: The Wyatt Family
These matches have been great. I am excited that this is a 2-out-of-3 falls match. I just hope that it’s not one of those stupid 2-out-of-3 falls matches where the first 2 falls happen in the first 5 minutes then the next 10 minutes is for the 3rd fall. I really don’t see Harper and Rowan with the tag belts. I’m just not really sure what they can do with them. Not saying they aren’t a great tag team or that they don’t deserve it, just right now I don’t see them holding it. My pick here, Usos in 3.
Adam's Predicted Winner: The Usos
This match is going to up there with Jericho vs. Bray Wyatt or Seth Rollins vs. Dean Ambrose. It completely has the potential to be the best match on the card. If you had asked me to look at this card 6 months ago and pick out the best matches, I would not have put this match up there with the best at all. In fact, I probably would have put this match towards the bottom. I have never been so happy to be proven wrong. A few weeks ago on Facebook I said that when you put The Uso’s and the Wyatt’s together you might as well call it Domino’s because all they do is deliver. These 4 guys can straight up GO. They have put on some TREMENDOUS matches in the last few months and I can say I am honestly excited to watch them go at it again. I can’t say I get excited for a lot of matches these days, but I am for this one. Especially in a 2 out of 3 Falls match. If we’re lucky it goes to the full 3 falls. These 4 guys know how to tell a story in a match, and I am looking forward to seeing what they do with a longer style of match like this one. I can say that I would like to see them take this rivalry one event more, and finish their rivalry at Summerslam. They have definitely earned it. As for the winners, I would say the Wyatt Family so that we can have a rematch for the titles at Summerslam.
Zack's Predicted Winner: The Wyatt Family
Alex's Predicted Winner: The Wyatt Family
CJ's Predicted Winner: The Wyatt Family
Logan's Predicted Winner: The Wyatt Family
Chris' Predicted Winner: The Wyatt Family
Mike's Predicted Winner: The Wyatt Family
The Best in the World vs. The Eater of Worlds
Chris Jericho vs. Bray Wyatt
Now this is the match I am most looking forward to on the card. Ever since they faced off last year on NXT, I have said that if they ever met on the main roster, it would be a bonafide Match of the Night. And now we are about to see that become a reality. And what a difference a year will make! Bray has grown a lot in the last year, and Jericho is one of those workers that seem to bring out the absolute best in their opponent. If for no other reason, that's what Jericho will be remembered for. And as a first feud back from a break, you couldn't ask for someone hotter than Wyatt. His feud with Cena did end up going longer than it should, as people started getting burned out, but Wyatt still pulls a great reaction from the crowd. But considering he did come out of that one on the losing end of that one, I'm hoping that he can beat Jericho here and demoralize him some. This feud could grow some more and make for an interesting blowoff match at SummerSlam, one that makes Bray drag Y2J to the dark side again.
Jesse's Predicted Winner: Bray Wyatt
We all know Jericho is at a point in his career where he is willing to put anyone over if it makes sense. In this case I think Jericho needs to go over once before giving the honors to Bray. I think Jericho wins this match and then is demolished by Harper and Rowan continuing the feud. This match has the potential to steal the show.
Josh's Predicted Winner: Chris Jericho
I, probably along with everybody else, am really glad to see Y2J back in action. Jericho is always entertaining no matter what he does. The problem I have been having with this story is, it reminds of the same thing that Wyatt was doing with Cena. Same problem different character. This is going to be an excellent match from 2 amazing workers. Can Wyatt afford to be lose again? And what will it do for Jericho if he loses? Where does the story go with either victory? I believe the Wyatts will be heavily involved in this match. Either helping Wyatt or causing a DQ.
Adam's Predicted Winner: Bray Wyatt
This match is going to be just plain fun for everyone. For those who aren’t aware Jericho and Wyatt have squared off before, but it was down in NXT. Those of us that have watched it know that we are in for something entertaining. Chris Jericho is fresh off a return to WWE and I am sure has something good in store for us Jericholics. As good as Bray Wyatt vs. Jericho was back in the NXT days, it will be on a different level this time, because Bray has established himself. You can’t teach experience as they say. I look for this match to potentially steal the show. Bray Wyatt has something to prove on his way up, and Chris Jericho has wanted to do nothing but establish a new worker for more than a year now. I am hoping we don’t see anything from the rest of the Wyatt family, as Jericho and Wyatt are perfectly capable of putting on an entertaining match without the interference. It would just sour what the two guys in the match are doing otherwise. I think the obvious choice to go over is Bray Wyatt. If we are lucky we will see this match extend into a multi-event rivalry. I would love to see them put on a No Hards Barred match at Summerslam.
Zack's Predicted Winner: Bray Wyatt
Alex's Predicted Winner: Bray Wyatt
CJ's Predicted Winner: Chris Jericho (DQ)
Logan's Predicted Winner: Chris Jericho
Chris' Predicted Winner: Bray Wyatt
Mike's Predicted Winner: Bray Wyatt
Fatal 4 Way for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship:
John Cena © vs. Randy Orton vs. Kane vs. Roman Reigns
Sadly, there isn't much to say on this one. WWE, in their infinite wisdom (pure sarcasm), has already spoiled this match for the most part. Randy Orton and Kane are pretty much just there as placeholders, and I'm sure we will see some great future highlight reel spots from WWE's next rocket pack golden boy Roman Reigns, but thanks to Daniel Bryan's injury, WWE had to go down the "safe" path and make this one obvious, even if it wasn't spoiled. There's only one way I could see things going awry, and that's if Lesnar makes a surprise return to cost Cena the title. But given the local marketing information for SummerSlam, I highly doubt that.
Jesse's Predicted Winner: John Cena (Thanks WWE.)
The outcome of this match is set in stone especially with WWE already promoting the Summerslam Main Event. John Cena will retain his championship and go one to defend it against Brock Lesnar at Summerslam. The only question is who will he pin to win? Kane, as I expect Orton and Reigns to take each other out of the equation setting up a Orton/Reigns match at Summerslam.
Josh's Predicted Winner: John Cena
This match is confusing in the sense that I still have no idea why Roman Reigns is in the match. Not that I don’t think he deserves to be in the match because he does, just storyline wise it makes no sense. For weeks HHH tried to keep Reigns out of the title picture just to all of sudden put him in a fatal four way match for the title with no explanation. I think this match will be very entertaining as there are many stories headed into this particular match. Will Kane and Orton work together? Is there going to be a turn from someone? Not sure. The only thing that I can almost guarantee is John Cena is walking out of this still the Champ.
Adam's Predicted Winner: John Cena
I hate to be pessimistic but I think we all know who is coming out of this match on top. John Cena vs. Brock Lesnar is being advertised, obviously, all over the internet. WWE hasn’t even tried to hide it anymore. I think we all know Cena is coming out on top. But! We can look at this as an opportunity. We can see how Roman Reigns does in the top of the card, working a real match with established champions. I mean I know that this match to most fans isn’t anything spectacular, but the fact that Reigns is in the company he is in says a great deal. Between his three opponents there are 31 World Championships! I like to think this is WWE’s way of testing the waters with Reigns, and I honestly think he’s going to do great! I think we’re going to see some betrayal amongst Authority members Orton and Kane. Over all in match quality I don’t expect to see anything spectacular, but I don’t think this will be a bad match at all. Cena likes to pull out nice moves to show off his strength in matches with multiple guys, which is always entertaining to me. I think the finish has to see Kane going under. Randy Orton needs to remain established since he’s been very forgettable lately, Roman Reigns is on the way up and can’t afford the loss right now either, and John Cena is going to take the win, so that leaves Kane taking the loss. I say Randy Orton hits the RKO on Kane out of frustration, then Cena hits the AA on Orton and pins Kane.
Zack's Predicted Winner: John Cena
Alex's Predicted Winner: John Cena
CJ's Predicted Winner: John Cena
Logan's Predicted Winner: John Cena
Chris' Predicted Winner: John Cena
Mike's Predicted Winner: John Cena
Thank you for reading this month's Predictions! Don't forget to be here tomorrow night for our live coverage, join Kendra, myself, and others in the Live Blog, and feel free to post your predictions in the comments below!