So Battlegrounds looks, well, just ok. Nothing really to write home about. Cena and Owens will likely be the best of the bunch, with Lesnar and Rollins being the most surprising. With Summerslam just around the corner, this’ll likely be a “builder” PPV.
Randy Orton vs Sheamus
So this is a bit of a no-brainer. Orton is a legit A-level talent and it’s a hometown crowd. Seems pretty likely that he’ll walk out on top in this one. I find I funny how some of these heel characters keep winning one big match and then seem to lose everything afterwards (Sheamus and the briefcase, Barrett and the King of the Ring), but at least we are finally starting to see some improvement, character wise, out of the heel roster.
What I think will happen: Randy Orton plants Sheamus with an RKO for a big hometown-crowd pop to start off the show.
What I hope happens: Creative finds better ways to make heels relevant than simply giving them some macguffin and calling it a day.
United States Championship: John Cena vs Kevin Owens
Can lightning strike three times? Cena vs Owens, while likely a vehicle for making Owens into a legitimate superstar, has actually cause the renaissance of Cena’s career. As someone with only about a year or the modern WWE, I can honestly say that this is the best John Cena I’ve ever seen. However, that’s bad news for Owens, who deserves a lot of the credit for this but is running the risk of falling into the background, especially after Cesaro came out and completely stole his thunder over the last few weeks. Because of this, I’m thinking that Owens will get the win and the belt when it’s all said and done. He needs the belt more than Cena does to stay relevant in the big picture.
What I think will happen: Owens will win the US Championship.
What I hope happens: Kevin Owens’ first post-Cena rivalry is with Cesaro, who really deserves a push at his point.
Intercontinental Championship Match: Ryback vs Big Show vs The Miz
I really don’t understand how this came together. Not one of these guys are a huge draw right now, and throwing them all together makes for one nasty stew. Ryback hasn’t been able to improve the prestige of the Intercontinental belt like Cena has for the US Championship, which just makes me miss Daniel Bryan even more. There’s really no big winners here, and while I’d like to see the Big Show take the belt, since he’s the only one (in my humble opinion) that can make that belt matter, it’ll likely be Ryback that takes this one since they’re trying really hard to make him into the new Ultimate Warrior/Goldberg. Maybe the Miz gets it for some heel heat, but I really hope not.
What I think will happen: Ryback will hang on to the belt for a little while longer.
What I hope happens: Big Show pulls the upset and starts making that belt matter again.
Update: Turns out Ryback is out with a staph infection and will not be able to wrestle on Sunday, so we’ll just have to wait and see what happens here re: filler matches or promos.
Bray Wyatt vs. Roman Reigns
Bray Wyatt can make compelling T.V. out of anything! Reigns has really been improving over the last few months, but Wyatt is undoubtedly the kingmaker these days and will likely serve as the catalyst for Reign’s second coming. Personally, I think that this storyline is just starting to pick up steam, but with Summerslam just around the corner and rumors of a Reigns/Lesnar rematch in the works, this’ll likely be the end for Wyatt vs Reigns. As such, look for Roman to get the win to keep the momentum going into the WWE’s second-biggest PPV of the year. Honestly, this storyline is really reminding me of Bray vs. Cena, when Bray tried to turn Cena heel (or at least more vicious). I’d love to see this push forward, as it could make Reigns into a much more viable threat, sort of like how Mankind helped the Rock look more vicious during their feud.
What I think will happen: Unfortunately for big-time Bray fans like myself, Reigns will likely get the W on this occasion.
What I hope happens: Bray turns Reigns heel through his manipulations.
Tag-Team Championship: Prime-Time Players vs The New Day
At this point, these guys are the only ones keeping the Tag bracket alive. Between a number of injuries and the Ascension being, well, the Ascension, we’re really out of options here. That being said, The New Day are still the biggest Tag-Team draw right now, and while they’re entertaining as the champs, they are way better as the guys trying to get the belts back. Watching each member almost break into negativity, but being pulled back in, is a rare delight that wouldn’t really work if they got the belts back. It’s likely that the Prime-Time Players will keep the belts on this one.
What I think will happen: The Prime-Time Players will retain.
What I hope happens: These guys get more than 5 minutes to put on a match this time. This should be an epic showdown, not a squash match, especially considering they are the only two teams in real contention these days.
WWE World Heavyweight Championship: Seth Rollins vs Brock Lesnar
This one is the toughest to call. On paper, it should be a one-sided beat down, but that’s too easy. Rollins has made a name for himself by subverting expectations, and there’s no reason why that trend can’t continue. This match will either legitimize Rollins into a bonafide champion or give the people another Lesnar run. There’s really no wrong answer, but I’m going to put my money on Rollins on this one. We’ve already seen Lesnar with the belt, I’d rather see something new.
What I think will happen: Rollins, somehow, retains over Lesnar.
What I hope happens: Rollins gets to show off a little instead of going through a sixteen-suplex snorefest.