The first-ever WWE Battleground is upon is, which means its time to make some bold predictions.
As of this writing, eight matches (including the pre-show match) have been announced for the inaugural event, which will emanate from the First Niagara Center in Buffalo, N.Y.
Usually there is a bit of intrigue surrounding the debut of a new event, but not this one. Oddly booked storylines and a short build have wrestling journalists predicting Battleground to post a horrible pay-per-view buy rate — possibly the lowest of the year so far.
Combine all of that with the fact Hell in a Cell being 21 days away (three weeks), it may give the fans even more reason to pass on Battleground. I doubt the fans want to spend more than $100 on wrestling pay-per-views in less than a month
Nonetheless, the show must go on.
Main Event – Randy Orton vs. Daniel Bryan – WWE Championship
The lack of logic in this story has made this match kind of hard to predict. My gut is telling me that Orton somehow walk away with the championhip for two reasons. Firstly, he’s gotten his vicious side back since losing at Night of Champions and it would be a waste to have him get it back, destroy people and lose to Bryan at Battleground.
The second reason is that he lost at Night of Champions, so it would only be right for him to get his win back, which should set up a rubber match at Hell in a Cell between the two.
But with the way this story has gone I wouldn’t be shocked if Bryan wins the title again and receive another lukewarm response from the crowd because they’re waiting for the other shoe to drop.
I’m going to stick with my gut, however, and go with Orton to walk away with the title. He may not do it clean, but he wins nonetheless. If it isn't a clean finish, look for Big Show to get involved and possibly side with Triple H.
Prediction: Randy Orton wins the WWE Championship
CM Punk vs. Ryback
The booking trend of WWE is usually for the person who is standing tall on the last Raw before the pay-per-view loses the pay-per-view match.
I believe the WWE will stray away from that with the WWE title match and it will do so in this match as well.
CM Punk stood tall on last week’s Raw, which should mean he loses at Battleground. But there are a couple of things that lead me to believe the contrary.
First off, CM Punk has not won a pay-per-view match during this feud so far and has lost the majority of his pay-per-view matches this year as a whole.
Technically, he pinned Curtis Axel at Night of Champions to get to Paul Heyman, but still lost the match overall.
With all of that hanging out there, I believe CM Punk will somehow defeat Ryback and fend off Heyman’s shenanigans.
It would make sense for this feud to have its blow off at Hell in a Cell, but only if Brock Lesnar is involved. If Lesnar isn’t involved, the feud could come to a close at Battleground. Either way, CM Punk is walking out a winner Sunday.
Prediction: CM Punk defeats Ryback
Cody Rhodes & Goldust vs. The Shield (Seth Rollins & Roman Reins)
This match could go a couple of different ways. A simple way for it to go is for the Rhodes family to finally get one over the McMahons by defeating The Shield and getting their jobs back.
The way I believe it will go is for Cody Rhodes to turn on his own family and cost them the match. I believe Rhodes will side with the Authority, as its being called now, for job security. Dusty Rhodes and Goldust will feel the brunt of Cody Rhodes’ actions as Dusty would be fired and Goldust would not be hired back.
The latter scenario makes a little more sense moving forward because it instantly makes Cody Rhodes a major heel, which I believe is a better fit for him than a smiling babyface.
Plus, you keep The Shield looking strong, as they would not be pinned by the Rhodes brothers.
Prediction: The Shield wins via a Cody Rhodes heel turn
Alberto Del Rio (c) vs. Rob Van Dam – Battleground hardcore rules match for the World Heavyweight Championship
This is where fans will begin to not give a damn about this show. The World title has been reduced to a glorified mid card title and it’s a shame.
To be fair, it’s not Del Rio’s fault. It’s the WWE’s fault because that’s the company booked it.
As for the match itself, there’s no real reason for Van Dam to win the World Championship. I don’t think that’s his purpose with the company anyway. His purpose is to make younger guys like Del Rio look good.
Since the match is a Battleground hardcore rules match (Battleground hardcore rules?), it’s in Van Dam’s element given his ECW past. All of that will make Del Rio look that much stronger when defeats Van Dam in his own type of match.
Hopefully, Van Dam losing again means he and Ricardo Rodriguez will be separated and forgotten about, as their pairing makes no creative sense whatsoever.
Prediction: Alberto Del Rio retains the World Heavyweight Championship
Curtis Axel vs. R-Truth – Intercontinental Championship
Another match no one cares about is this one. It’s nothing against the performers in the match because they’re both capable of putting on an entertaining show. It has more to do with the lack of build. The match was made last week, which is an improvement from the Intercontinental title match being made the night of the show like at Night of Champions.
Since R-Truth is past his prime and is in no need of a title run, and Axel desperately needs something to do besides get beat up by CM Punk every week, I’ll go with Axel to retain his title.
Prediction: Curtis Axel retains the Intercontinental Championship
Kofi Kingston vs. Bray Wyatt
I had no idea this match was made official until I sat down to write this. That’s the state of the booking decisions of the WWE at this juncture.
This match comes to us because The Wyatt Family came to ringside and did nothing to Kingston, which means they hate each other all of a sudden.
I love Kingston. I think he’s very talented and the WWE missed the boat on him three years ago. Because they missed the boat on him, they have no problem having him do the job to Wyatt at Battleground.
The Wyatt Family are still in the middle of their ascent and a loss to Kingston on pay-per-view is not on the agenda.
Prediction: Bray Wyatt defeats Kofi Kingston and possibly abducts him, too.
AJ Lee vs. Brie Bella – Divas Championship
This match has me very worried.
The conventional wisdom would be to have Lee retain her title because she’s the best thing the Divas division has going right now and she should keep the title until further notice.
But conventional wisdom is not one of the WWE’s strong suits when it comes to booking.
It would not shock me that the WWE puts the Divas title on Bella in an effort to further promote the Total Divas reality show. It could also be a bit of a reward for the show’s early success.
That wouldn’t make any sense to me. Putting the title on the suddenly babyface Bella does nothing moving forward. Whereas keeping the title on Lee retains her momentum and keeps the Total Divas chasing after her.
Prediction: AJ Lee retains the Divas Championship
Pre-show match – Dolph Ziggler vs. Damien Sandow
Poor Ziggler. A couple of months ago he was the World champion. Now, he’s on the pre-show.
The same can be said for Sandow, who is extremely talented and has been stuck in neutral since winning the Money in the Bank briefcase here in Philadelphia back in July.
This should be an entertaining match as most matches involving these two are. Neither can necessarily afford to take a loss here, but since I have to choose a winner I’ll choose Ziggler to win.
Ziggler wins as a reward for being a temporary jobber for the last couple of weeks and still putting on good matches.
Also, WWE has a prevailing thought that the Money in the Bank winner does not have to win matches since they have the briefcase and an automatic title run ahead.
Prediction: Dolph Ziggler defeats Damien Sandow