Welcome to WNW’s Battleground 2016 Predictions! Battleground will be emanating from the Verizon Center in Washington, D.C. This time around, we have myself, Zack Krasney, and Brendan Wahl providing full predicts, while Zeppelin Mayers, Moose, Kendra Bunyon, and Morgan Hench are doing quick picks. Let’s get to it!
The Usos vs. Breezango
I expected Breezango to end up on the Kickoff show somehow. Originally, I believed they would be facing the Lucha Dragons, but they are no longer a team or even on the same brand. So then I thought we would get Baron Corbin vs. Kalisto - nope. I can live with this, though. Both teams will be featured on SmackDown going forward, and it will be interesting to see if we get a second set of Tag Team Titles soon. I'm rooting for Breezango to find success because Tyler Breeze deserves to have something go right for him on the main roster. Unfortunately, I don't think he'll be on the winning side.
CJ's Predicted Winners - The Usos
This actually will be a good kickoff match. Neither team is really doing anything and it’s a good way to warm up the crowd. If this was a match on Smackdown, I’d say that Breezeango would go over, but generally, in kickoff matches the faces go over to get the crowd buzzing. It would certainly be a big boost for Breezeango if they can knock off The Usos. The Usos may have fallen off the map lately, but they are still former 2-time Tag Team Champions. I don’t give much weight to kickoff matches because, in the long run, they don’t mean much, however, a win for Breezeango could mean very good things for them going forward.
Zack's Predicted Winners - The Usos
It would be nice to have Breezango win here and they seem to be getting a bit of a push so I'll say they pull off another victory.
Brendan's Predicted Winners - Breezango
Zeppelin's Predicted Winners - The Usos
Moose's Predicted Winners - The Usos
Kendra's Predicted Winners - The Usos
Morgan's Predicted Winners - The Usos
Sasha Banks & Mystery Partner vs. Charlotte & Dana Brooke
The Boss is finally back! It doesn't really surprise me at all that she's booked in a tag team match considering the highly anticipated Women's Title match should happen next month at SummerSlam. The buzz over Sasha's mystery partner is pretty much what has made this match "must-see" for many fans. I've had three in mind - Bayley, Naomi, and Nikki Bella. I would rule out Nikki just off the fact that she should return a heel and we're not totally sure she's ready to run the ropes yet. Naomi is an interesting choice because she's due back soon and they have history from Team BAD last summer. Bayley debuting would be perfect. Sasha and Bayley have so much history and this match could play into a potential Women's Title match down the line, perhaps at WrestleMania? It is my hope that Sasha will submit Charlotte to officially earn her championship match.
CJ's Predicted Winners - Sasha Banks & Bayley
I think I speak for every single fan when I say if Sasha’s partner isn’t Bayley we riot. Ok maybe we won’t riot but I promise if her partner isn’t Bayley, then whoever IS her partner will end up getting the Roman Reigns treatment from the fans. Remember what happened when all the fans were expecting Daniel Bryan to enter the Royal Rumble and when he didn’t they practically revolted? That’s what’ll happen here. Especially if the woman who fills the spot is someone the fans already dislike. Honestly, I think WWE is going to drop the ball here. They just have a track record of taking easy layup like this and completely botching it. My top three women, I expect to fill the spot are 1) Nikki Bella 2) Nia Jax 3) Eva Marie. No, sadly I’m not kidding. Do I want it to be Bayley? Absolutely. Will my heart skip a beat just before her tag team partner is announced hoping it will be Bayley? Definitely. Will it be Bayley? No, probably not. The sooner we all stop raising our expectations the better. Since the title isn’t on the line, but it probably will be at SummerSlam I see Sasha winning and earning a #1 contendership.
Zack's Predicted Winners - Sasha Banks & Mystery Partner
It'll be interesting and I'm pretty sure the consensus is that Bayley makes her debut here but then again she seems to be going after the Women's Title again in NXT so who knows? I still say Sasha's team gets the win and I hope the mystery partner thing isn't a let-down. It could be a huge surprise like Ronda Rousey but I doubt it.
Brendan's Predicted Winners - Sasha Banks & Mystery Partner
Zeppelin's Predicted Winners - Sasha Banks & Bayley; Because Bayley not being drafted can only be redeemed by her debuting with Sasha.
Moose's Predicted Winners - Sasha Banks & Naomi
Kendra's Predicted Winners - Sasha Banks & Mystery Partner
Morgan's Predicted Winners - Sasha Banks & Mystery Partner
Six-Man Tag Team Match
The New Day vs. The Wyatt Family
I haven't been a huge fan of the storyline, but if the 12-man tag team match from Raw was any indication, then this bout will be really fun to watch. The Wyatt Family seems to be falling apart as Braun Strowman was drafted to Raw, while Wyatt & Rowan were drafted to SmackDown. The New Day is as strong as ever with their record-breaking title reign and new merchandise being released. This reminds me of The Shield's last few months before their eventual demise. Anyway, I am looking forward to this match now, but I'm concerned about what's next.
My original thought was that The Wyatt Family scores the win here, allowing Strowman & Rowan to take the Tag Titles at SummerSlam. I'm not a fan of the idea, as Strowman & Rowan together doesn't seem as good as Rowan with Luke Harper. With no sign of a split real soon, why not put The New Day over?
CJ's Predicted Winners - The New Day
I’ve heard people already saying that it’s obvious that New Day is going to win because The Wyatt Family has been split up. If I were those people, I wouldn’t be so quick to jump to that conclusion. I think if the decision was made to keep New Day together and not put the titles on the line, it’s likely New Day takes a loss. It won’t be as bad if they take a loss from The Wyatts because they aren’t dropping the belts. Just like how New Day lost to League of Nations at WrestleMania, but it didn’t hurt their legacy. For those who haven’t heard, Booty-O’s cereal is now a REAL cereal AND New Day are having Funko Pops made for them and being sold in a 3-pack. There is a lot of merchandise money to be made in New Day right now, so they aren’t going anywhere. With there being little chance of New Day splitting up now, I’m thinking that the smart bet would be on The Wyatt Family. Though, don’t be surprised if we see Bray attack his family members and officially branch off on his own.
Zack's Predicted Winners - The Wyatt Family
Booking-wise, the Wyatts seem to have their number and usually when this happens the opposite team pulls out the final win. With everyone going to separate rosters I'm going to say New Day wins this and Xavier Woods finally overcomes his fear.
Brendan's Predicted Winners - The New Day
Zeppelin's Predicted Winners - The New Day; The Wyatt Family needs the win, but this will probably be WWE’s way of splitting them up officially and not just through the draft.
Moose's Predicted Winners - The New Day
Kendra's Predicted Winners - The Wyatt Family
Morgan's Predicted Winners - The Wyatt Family
United States Championship Match
Rusev (c) vs. Zack Ryder
With Titus O'Neil out of the picture and the Draft taking place before Battleground, I'm not really surprised this match is happening. There's definitely the chance we could see WWE's midcard titles flip flop shows, leading to speculation that Ryder may actually win his second U.S. Title. Now, I'm a big fan of Ryder and would love to see him win every title possible. However, Rusev is in the midst of not only rebuilding himself, but also the red, white, and blue belt. The problem I have with the booking of these midcard title matches is (spoiler alert) I want Darren Young to pick up the Intercontinental Title. The title is currently on SmackDown, Young is on Raw. Rusev is on Raw, and Ryder is on SmackDown. I'm not sure how this dilemma will unfold, but hopefully WWE knows what they are doing.
CJ's Predicted Winner - Rusev
I am so torn right now between my head and my heart. My heart says Zack Ryder (woo woo woo! You know it!) but my mind says probably Rusev. It’s not definitely Rusev in my mind, to be fair. I think we could definitely see a true underdog story. It’d be the perfect time for an underdog Zack Ryder to win and take his new championship to the underdog show, run by underdog Daniel Bryan. Hopefully, WWE saw the reaction Ryder got at WrestleMania and realized there might be money in him. When I saw Ryder to Smackdown and Rusev to Raw, then Miz to Smackdown and Darren Young to Raw I made the call that both Darren and Zack are going to win and the shows will swap championships. It’s actually a shame because I like Rusev as United States Champion, but I like Ryder as champion better and the story of Raw and Smackdown swapping titles is too good to pass up.
Zack's Predicted Winner - Zack Ryder
I have a hard time believing in any push that Zack Ryder gets these days and they haven't been booking him particularly strong or even stronger than usual lately. I say Rusev wins and moves on and Zack goes back to jobbing to mid-carders.
Brendan's Predicted Winner - Rusev
Zeppelin's Predicted Winner - Zack Ryder; I just feel like they are gonna swap the titles. I don’t know why, but I see this as WWE’s way of saying hey look at the new era. These guys won, look how surprising the new era is.
Moose's Predicted Winner - Rusev
Morgan's Predicted Winner - Rusev
Intercontinental Championship Match
The Miz (c) vs. Darren Young
"We're gonna make Darren Young great again!" Wow. WWE really wants to strap the rocket pack on this guy! I'm a Darren Young fan for several reasons and I'm happy to see him getting this push. As for The Miz, I'm not sure where his reign can really go at this point. I felt things started going downhill when he left to film another WWE Studios movie. It really irritates me that the company decided to keep the belt on him while he was gone for a month. Perhaps Bob Backlund's new protege is the answer? I'm rooting for D-Young, and whether or not he wins the title remains to be answered.
CJ's Predicted Winner - Darren Young
I enjoy Miz as a heel, but it seems like he is in and out of the company so frequently at this point that I question why they’d put the championship on him in the first place. If Ryder wins the United States Championship WWE could say (lie) that they put the title on Ryder and took it off him so quickly to build up fan support in Zack. Either way, the title shouldn’t have gone to Miz with him being so in an out. Darren Young is finally seeing the fruits of his weeks and weeks and weeks and weeks of promo videos with Bob Backlund. Do I like the pairing? No, I hate it in fact. However, if it means good things for Darren in the future, then I will endure it. When I saw Ryder to Smackdown and Rusev to Raw, then Miz to Smackdown and Darren Young to Raw I made the call that both Darren and Zack are going to win and the shows will swap championships. Also, I wouldn’t put it past Vince McMahon for a SECOND to give Young a singles championship just to spite Titus O’Neil. Everyone saw Titus becoming the more successful singles career after Prime Time Players split up, and I could see Vince putting the IC title on Young to rib Titus.
Zack's Predicted Winner - Darren Young
I'm gonna go out on a limb here and predict that Darren wins the title. He's in the midst of a good push even though I hated the way in which he won the battle royal that got him to this spot. Darren's a solid worker and Bob in his corner makes for a funny dynamic.
Brendan's Predicted Winner - Darren Young
Zeppelin's Predicted Winner - Darren Young; Same reasons as Zack winning, because we aren’t going to have two secondary titles on the same show.
Moose's Predicted Winner - The Miz
Kendra's Predicted Winner - Darren Young
Morgan's Predicted Winner - The Miz
Becky Lynch vs. Natalya
With WWE bringing back the brand extension and continuing to put a new focus on the women's division, it's certainly nice to see a second storyline that will apparently be at the forefront of the blue brand for the time being. Whether this feud continues past Battleground or not, it's safe to say that Becky Lynch needs to come out of it as the winner. If there are plans for the storyline to continue into SummerSlam, then giving Natalya the win here wouldn't be the worst thing. Regardless, I'll go with the safe option and go with the Irish Lass-kicker.
CJ's Predicted Winner - Becky Lynch
After the way, Shane and Daniel Bryan talked about Becky she better win! Hahaha. In all honesty, Becky should be the face of the Smackdown Women’s division. Becky hasn’t really had a chance to shine on her own, getting stuck behind her fellow 4 horsewomen. Since WrestleMania, Becky has fallen mostly off the radar. She recently entered into a rivalry with Natalya that feels very forced and pretty lackluster. However, it has sparked a fire in Becky that we haven’t really seen from her on the main roster. We NEED that Becky Lynch! We need a fired up Becky who isn’t a pushover. If she’s going to be taken seriously she needs to maintain that. I know that some of her appeal is just how damn adorable she is, but we need the Lass Kicker.
Zack's Predicted Winner - Becky Lynch
This is a hard one to predict but I like both ladies so I'm expecting a good match. My gut says that Becky goes over because she's the up-and-comer but that doesn't seem to matter as much anymore these days. I'm gonna say Nattie wins somehow; I'm sure there will be a rematch anyway.
Brendan's Predicted Winner - Natalya
Zeppelin's Predicted Winner - Becky Lynch; Becky deserves to not be punched around and made more of a strong competitor.
Moose's Predicted Winner - Natalya
Kendra's Predicted Winner - Natalya
Morgan's Predicted Winner - Becky Lynch
Sami Zayn vs. Kevin Owens
Well it looked as if this 'fight forever' feud was on the cusp of ending. That was until we found out both of these superstars were drafted to the same show - Monday Night Raw. I'm sure we all imagined they would be split up, but here we are. This is being hyped as the "end all, be all" to this historic rivalry, however there's still a big chance it could be dragged out until SummerSlam. If this is the end, and even if it's not, I still believe Sami Zayn should pick up at least one big win over his former friend. Think about it, Owens has always come out on top every time. Kevin will easily rebound and hopefully begin his climb to the main event.
CJ's Predicted Winner - Sami Zayn
I never thought I’d say this, but I hope this rivalry ends here. It’s not they these guys don’t put on fantastic matches because they do. It just doesn’t seem like WWE is investing much in the rivalry anymore and they don’t know how to progress it any further. I was SHOCKED when WWE left Sami and Kevin on the same show. It seems like such a smart idea to separate the two men so that the rivalry does just fizzle out. It lacks logic and I’m not happy about it. I don’t know if WWE is going to do trades between shows but Owens should absolutely go to Smackdown, he’d do much better there. I don’t know how I see this one going, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see it end in a Dusty finish or confusion then finish at SummerSlam. I’m leaning more towards Owens since he hasn’t really scored a big win in a while.
Zack's Predicted Winner - Kevin Owens
This is one I am looking forward to a great deal. Owens won the first match between them so logically Sami should win this one but I'm still not sure. It's probably gonna be the match of the night and hopefully they get a lot of time. I'll go with Sami to win the feud and then Owens moves on to bigger things like the WWE Title.
Brendan's Predicted Winner - Sami Zayn
Zeppelin's Predicted Winner - SamiZayn; Because the rubber match will be at SummerSlam….also they will fight forever.
Moose's Predicted Winner - Sami Zayn
Kendra's Predicted Winner - Kevin Owens
Morgan's Predicted Winner - Sami Zayn
Six-Man Tag Team Match
John Cena, Enzo Amore & Big Cass vs. The Club
Much like The New Day vs. The Wyatt Family, I have high expectations for this match. This match provides a huge opportunity for Enzo & Cass to prove they can hang with the best including John Cena and AJ Styles. With the Draft behind us, we know Cena and Styles will more than likely continue their program on SmackDown going into SummerSlam, while the possibility exists for Team SAWFT and The Club to feud on Raw. I've picked several babyfaces to go over in their matches for this PPV, and I feel that trend may continue.
CJ's Predicted Winners - Cena, Enzo & Cass
I fully expect Cena, Enzo, and Cass to go over here. If they don’t it’ll be absolutely ridiculous. There are so many advantages to having Cena, Enzo and Cass go over. First, it puts over Enzo and Cass as a really dominant team which is important at this stage in their careers. Secondly, it sets up a rubber match between Cena and AJ at SummerSlam. Not only that but when they do the rubber match they can build it as “AJ alone.” He’ll no longer have The Club backing him and they’ll question if AJ can beat Cena on his own. Finally, this brings Cena back to his roots. He certainly has become “Dad Cena” because he seems more confused by Enzo than into his gimmick. That said if Cena can get back to his more fun gimmick rather than the stiff, boring stuff he has been doing it would do wonders for his fan reactions. Hopefully, Enzo and Cass rub off on Cena. Plus, being on Cena’s good side could be very good for Enzo and Cass’ careers.
Zack's Predicted Winners - Cena, Enzo & Cass
I can see the babyfaces winning this one too mainly because AJ beat Cena last month and everyone's always back-and-forth in feuds these days. I'm sure Cena and Styles will battle it out at SummerSlam and have a gimmick match of some kind. This one will be fun though.
Brendan's Predicted Winners - Cena, Enzo & Cass
Zeppelin's Predicted Winners - The Club; The Club needs momentum for Styles vs. Cena & probably for Gallows & Anderson vs. Enzo & Cass.
Moose's Predicted Winners - Cena, Enzo & Cass
Kendra's Predicted Winners - Cena, Enzo & Cass
Morgan's Predicted Winner - Cena, Enzo & Cass
Triple Threat WWE Championship Match
Dean Ambrose (c) vs. Seth Rollins vs. Roman Reigns
The dream match that has been four years in the making. If you've followed me for awhile, you'll know that I was a huge fan of The Shield and still am. This dream come true, though, was slightly tainted by the fact that Roman Reigns was suspended and missed what could've been an epic three-way build. Luckily, Dean and Seth had what it took to carry the feud and made sure we were still interested. SmackDown currently owns the company's top champion in Dean Ambrose, while both of his opponents will remain on Raw. What exactly does this mean? I would love to see Ambrose continue to be at the top, but something tells me that won't be the case after Sunday. Something also tells me Seth Rollins will be back at the top as we prepare for the hottest event of the summer.
CJ's Predicted Winner - Seth Rollins
Here it is. The match we have all been waiting for since the day The Shield split, some of us before even that! The Shield triple threat for the WWE Championship. Maybe it’s a little rushed, maybe a little convoluted because of the brand split and Roman’s suspension, but it’s here and I’m PUMPED! I can not wait for this match, it’s going to be fantastic. If you strip away all the crap that I mentioned earlier, the suspension, the brand split, the rushing, you are just left with a fantastic match. I feel like a kid again getting ready for this match. Now, as for the winner. I think that Ambrose needs to retain. He just won the belt and he went over Rollins clean on Smackdown. Keep that Ambrose momentum going! Have Dean win and take the title to Smackdown and then introduce a new World Championship for Rollins and Reigns to battle over. I certainly think that Reigns needs to come into this match and leave this match as a heel. At this point, if you don’t capitalize on this moment to turn Roman heel, then they are dooming him to be the face that never gets cheered.
Zack's Predicted Winner - Dean Ambrose
I love Dean and I really hope that he pulls out the win but I'm also a realist and I know they don't truly want to run the company with someone like Dean at the top of the card. I'm gonna go with Rollins, who then feuds with Roman over the title. I'm sure Dean will be in the world title situation on Smackdown at some point.
Brendan's Predicted Winner - Seth Rollins
Zeppelin's Predicted Winner - Dean Ambrose; Dean Ambrose deserves a long title reign, plus there are more superstars for a tournament to crown the new World Champion on Raw.
Moose's Predicted Winner - Dean Ambrose
Kendra's Predicted Winner - Seth Rollins
Morgan's Predicted Winner - Seth Rollins
Thanks everyone for reading our predictions this round! Feel free to post yours in the comments below, and don’t forget to join us tonight at 7:00 PM EST for our live coverage and Open Thread Party for Battleground!