WWE Battleground Staff Predictions
It’s that time for the LWOPW staff to make predictions of WWE’s next event, Battleground. With a bit of a truncated staff preview, we bring you all the matches in one easy to read place, with longer pieces by Alex Richards and Martin McConnell linked below for your reading pleasure.
Tye Dillinger vs. Aiden English (Kickoff Match)
This kickoff match feels much more like a match that should be taking place and NXT Takeover special. Aiden English has reverted back to being an irritable heEL, however seems to be in a position where he is simply positioned as fodder for low-level faces like Tye Dillinger to go over. Dillinger schtick has not gotten over on Smackdown the way it was over in NXT and the excitement seems to be dying down a bit for him. He will pick up a much-needed victory here but a win against English on the kickoff show really means little to nothing in the grander scheme of things.
Prediction: Tye Dillinger
Sami Zayn vs. Mike Kanelis
Courtesy of Alex Richards: Mike made his in ring debut last week on Smackdown Live against Sami Zayn in a match where Zayn was on the verge of hitting his signature Helluva Kick until Maria came in the ring and prevented him from hitting it allowing Mike to hit Zayn with a closed fist punch which laid him out giving Mike the win.Zayn will be out for revenge here on the big stage and the Kanellis’ will take every opportunity they can to showcase the power of love.This match will be similar to the SDL match where Zayn will have to fight from underneath and show heart against the cheating duo. The wildcard here is Maria who will likely interfere again on behalf of her man which will make Zayn’s uphill struggle that much harder.
Prediction: Mike Kanellis
Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Baron Corbin
Courtesy of Martin McConnell: Honestly, this one is pretty hard to call. Sure, Nakamura absolutely deserves to win, basically on merit alone. But at the same time, it’s pretty clear that Baron Corbin is WWE’s “guy” right now. At the end of the day, WWE just needs to mend the career of Shinsuke Nakamura a tiny bit. This one should be an exciting match-up either way, but I’ll go with Nakamura here to try to get him on the right track with SmackDown Live.
SmackDown Tag Team Champions The Usos vs. The New Day
The feud between these two teams has been enjoyable, although it feels as it has hit a bit of a rut waiting for this pay-per-view match. The Usos have really come into their own during this feud, taking advantage of Talking Smack to really push their heel turn a new personas forward. It just simply does not feel like the time is right for the New Day to take the Smackdown tag titles. Perhaps some chicanery on behalf of the Usos will push this match to SummerSlam on a bigger stage. Ultimately, the New Day seems to be destined for greater things, perhaps even as single stars. That said, the Smackdown tag team division is not what it once was and needs New Day to stay relevant and legitimate.
Prediction: The Usos
United States Champion AJ Styles vs. Kevin Owens
Courtesy of Alex Richards: Much like their last match its expected that Owens will dominate but Styles will use his agility to try and obtain an edge over the larger Owens. This match will go long probably another twenty minute or so match that will steal the show like at Battleground. It will be interesting to see what plan Owens has to win without the champions advatage like he had in the last match. My wishful thinking has Styles tearing the house down in a US title defense at Summerslam. For that reason im going for him to retain with both men moving onto their major feuds for SS.
Prediction: AJ Styles
Charlotte Flair vs. Becky Lynch vs. Natalya vs. Tamina vs. Lana (Five-Way Elimination Match to determine Naomi’s opponent at SummerSlam)
The Smackdown women’s division, sans Naomi, are all participating in this match, which seems to be a running theme in this division for the last few months. The division, as well as the RAW women’s division would be better served on one show, with perhaps the tag team division on another show, but that feels like a whole other article. By process of elimination, Charlotte appears to be the best choice to win this match as SummerSlam is the WWE’s second biggest pay-per-view of the year and Naomi versus any of the other ladies in this match would be lackluster and nothing more than a bathroom break at SummerSlam due to the lack of interest and legitimacy. Despite personally pulling for Becky to walk out the winner here and win the strap at SummerSlam heading to a Charlotte championship program, Charlotte can easily play the role the heel who does anything it takes to win the title and then defend against Becky in the future.
John Cena vs. Rusev (Flag Match)
Both John Cena and Rusev had been missing from WWE television until the Fourth of July edition of Smackdown Live. As Cena made his triumphant return on the birthday of the nation he passionately represents, Rusev interrupted, deriding the United States of America. This did not sit well with Cena, who decided he needed to fight for what’s right as a real American. Thusly, he challenged Rusev to an “old school flag match”. This is definitely a pairing that we have seen before, but this situation appears to be an impossible win for Rusev, which is a shame. Having him return to face the uber resilient Cena in a match that is centered around defending the pride of the country positions the returning Rusev as the heel who simply can not win.
Prediction: John Cena
WWE Champion Jinder Mahal vs. Randy Orton (Punjabi Prison Match)
Normally this would signal the end for a run between two guys vying for the title. However, this match seems a little bit more complicated. Jinder is gotten the upper hand on Randy Orton then wrestling logic would dictate that Orton would go over here, but an Orton Title reign here doesn’t make much sense in terms of what Smackdown live has been aiming for with the use of new and different Talent at the top of the card. Jinder should walk away with title heading into SummerSlam here, but an Orton win would allow for Corbin to cash in his Money in the Bank, the only outcome of an Orton win that would be plausible at this juncture.
Prediction: Jinder Mahal
Well, that is it for the show! Be sure to comment below with your own thoughts about how you think the matches will play out.