The Battleground has been prepared for massacre, and the Superstars of WWE have their flags at the ready, and we’re all prepared to watch the action unfold on WWE’s final B-PPV before the big summertime extravaganza known as SummerSlam! Yes, Battleground is this weekend and the card honestly doesn’t look too bad on paper…in most cases. It’s definitely not a perfect card as two champions are competing on the show without putting their championships on the line and midcard title opportunities going to people that I never would have expected to see challenging for them at the start of 2016. But due to the level of talent on the show and the rivalries that most of them are involved in, this card looks pretty decent in theory. Now it’s up to WWE to make sure that it translates well to television by booking a good show, as well as the talent on the show to make sure they give a good first impression in the first pay-per-view of the new WWE Draft Era. Who will come out on top in a PPV that has one of the coolest marketing ideas WWE has ever come up with? Well…here’s what I have to say about it.
Good thing I looked the card up before writing this Forecast; otherwise, this match would have been left off completely because I don’t believe I’ve heard WWE say even a peep about this match. I can’t even tell you why it’s taking place other than the fact that WWE needs to put something on the Kick-Off show besides video recaps and interviews in the social media lounge. Both of these teams have been drafted to the Smackdown LIVE roster, so I fully expect this match to have numerous rematches after this PPV is over, but just in case, let’s see which team will gain the upper hand upon their permanent placement on the blue brand: Roman Reign‘s sidekicks and cousins or the comedy duo that kind of seem like WWE wants to portray them as 2016 Billy & Chuck.
Darren Young vs. The Miz
Darren Young was never great. He’s been terrible, he’s been mediocre, he’s been so-so. But never once in his career as a WWE Superstar has he ever been what most would categorize as “great”. I realize that this is a play on Donald Trump‘s asinine, B.S. political slogan, but when Bob Backlund says that we’re gonna make Darren Young great again, we don’t really need that last word because it promotes false advertising. Then again, The Miz is also guilty of that since he constantly calls himself the most must-see superstar and still thinks he’s an A-Lister despite all of his movies going straight to the Walmart DVD rack. I wonder what his reaction was when he came back after a month from filming another straight-to-DVD movie and found out that Darren, the second most interesting member of the Prime Time Players, was his next challenger. But hey, it is a new era, and maybe Darren Young has upped his game recently. Only one way to find out.
Rusev vs. Zack Ryder
2016 is officially the best year in the WWE career of Zack Ryder, which is saying something given he is still very much a jobber. But WWE has decided to grant him a couple of big wins this year, both of which I have decided to refer to them as “sympathy wins”. Maybe he can shatter my mindset on this by winning the U.S. Title, which would be his second title win of the year, not that his Intercontinental Title run was anything at all to brag about. Unlike Rusev, who has a ton of things to brag about these days; in addition to having a gorgeous fiancé, he’s the reigning U.S. Champion, he’s no longer being dragged down by a stable featuring members who are much less interesting than he is, and he also ranks up there with the likes of Kevin Owens, Big E, and Veda Scott as having one of the funniest social media pages of any pro wrestler around. He outdoes poor Ryder in every category, so this obviously means he’ll win on Sunday, right?
Becky Lynch vs. Natalya
In NXT, Bayley has a hard time keeping friends, seeing partner after partner turn on her in multiple learning experiences that both helped the fans sympathize and connect with her as a character and helped her evolve into a stronger character who could actually get things done on her own. If you can recall, Becky Lynch was one of those people who turned on Bayley in NXT, but under a switched alignment on the main roster, she finds herself in the same exact situation as Bayley, because she can’t keep a friend either as she’s been betrayed and picked on by Paige, Charlotte, and most recently Natalya since being called up. She’s gotta feel like Johnny from The Room these days. Well, the straight-fire pun-spitter has had enough and she’s willing to take the fight to the Hart Dungeon graduate to prove that she won’t be fooled any longer by fair-weather friends. And seeing as she and Natalya have both been drafted to Smackdown, this gives them both a chance to start their runs on the roster right.
The New Day vs. The Wyatt Family
The Wyatt Family may be breaking up again via the Draft on some Dudleyz in 2002-level stuff, but they have the chance to go out one final time together by attempting to defeat the longest reigning W.W.E. World. Tag. Team. Champions in recent history. Not for the titles or anything; New Day is keeping those because the belts are not on the line. What is on the line? Nothing, really. Not even Xavier Woods‘ soul, despite the fact that it’s something Bray Wyatt has been possessing and attempting to completely rip away from the UpUpDownDown host lately. Remember when he tried to straight-up kidnap Xavier Woods in that not-as-amusing Final Deletion ripoff? Clearly there’s something about Xavier that Bray Wyatt wants by his side, but a victory here won’t get it for him. Instead, these teams will just be fighting for superiority. Even if one of these teams is officially going their separate ways due to situations beyond their control.
Sami Zayn vs. Kevin Owens
All good things must come to an end eventually. Nothing in pro wrestling can last forever…except maybe annoying Montreal Screwjob revisits, ECW reunions, and obnoxious “What?!” chants. Those will probably never go away, which is incredibly unfortunate. But as far as wrestling rivalries go, it’s only necessary that they reach their climax eventually. In a saga that almost gives the Taylor Swift vs. Kimye feud a run for it’s money, Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens has tried to destroy each other ever since Kevin Owens first arrived in NXT. Sure, they had battles in promotions like Ring of Honor (which were pretty good if you’ve ever seen them), but in WWE, the hatred has reached it’s zenith and the two are hoping to make this the final encounter. Of course, you’ll never know; they’ve both been drafted to RAW, so I wouldn’t put it past WWE to find an excuse to drag this out longer. But for all intents and purposes, this is the final encounter for now. Shoot, this deserved a Final Deletion ripoff; return to Hammerstein Ballroom and let them loose!
John Cena, Enzo Amore, & Big Cass vs. The Club
After this blog, I need to make sure I slip “Beat Up John Cena” onto my Saturday evening schedule. I know I can take him. I am swole, ladies and gentlemen…..look at me, now I’m false advertising. But back to the point, that has been the M.O. of AJ Styles, Karl Anderson, and Luke Gallows since they reunited in WWE: to dedicate as much time as they possibly can to beating up John Cena, in-between shooting golf balls and making love to their lovely spouses of Asian descent. But what if they decided to branch out and attempt to beat up the rest of the roster, ala The Nexus? Well, first of all, that’d be The Club‘s loss because with that trajectory, if the recent Draft didn’t end their run together (which it did), Cena sure as hell would have. But Enzo & Cass didn’t wait for a “second of all”, because they decided to align with Cena (imagine current G Enzo & former G Cena discussing hip-hop) to take The Club down and make sure a branch-out does not happen!
Charlotte & Dana Brooke vs. Sasha Banks & ???
Oh, look; Charlotte is once again not defending her title on PPV. Who keeps letting her get away with that? I know she’s not booking her matches and her character must be happy to be able to keep the title so easily, but this is the second straight PPV in which she hasn’t had to defend the championship. Maybe the booking team might want to prioritize the title a bit more? Instead,this feud has been more about how many times Sasha Banks can clock Dana Brooke in her jaw without legitimately breaking it. Of course, Sasha Banks is only one person and taking on two women as powerful as Charlotte and Dana Brooke single-handedly is not an easy task, so this match see’s Sasha needing to find a partner to help defeat these two with. And this is a mystery that has the WWE Universe guessing. Will she pick a retired competitor? Someone from NXT? Will it be Paige again? Someone from the injured list? The guessing games with continue until match time and it’s really quite the mystery.