After a proper buildup, five whole weeks this time, the WWE Universe is poised to receive an audio and visual smackdown via the Network this Sunday as Vince McMahon and Co. present Battleground live in St. Louis. This event, if rumors are true, is shaping up to be very important for WWE as we are slated to see two huge returns (more on that later). How does the rest of the card look and who is going to win? Read on and find out.
(The Intercontinental Championship match originally scheduled between Ryback, Miz, and Big Show had to be called off due to Ryback getting a staph infection. Apparently if you win the IC belt, you get hurt.)
Kickoff show - R-Truth vs King Barrett for the Crown
Thankfully, this match has been relegated to the kickoff show as this feud has been absolutely lifeless. Barrett usually makes anything he is given into something at the very least watchable but this angle has been just awful. It's not for lack of trying. Barrett, and Truth, have tried to get people into it but the crowd has been dead each time they are on TV together. It is long past time for Truth to retire and hopefully this feud is his last. He's been good, sometimes great, but it's over. Prediction - King Barrett is under seven minutes.
Randy Orton vs Sheamus
A feud that is really nothing more than both guys needed something to do this should nonetheless be a solid if nothing special match. Orton is the hometown guy and should get a huge face pop while Sheamus is currently one of the most hated guys in the company. Since their respective debuts they have had over a 1000 matches together so they know what each other is capable of and how to get the most out of their match. The buildup for this one stems from Money in the Bank last month where Sheamus won and Orton almost won. That's about it. This match doesn't have much impact on the long term plans for either guy and as such should really be fan service and/or set up for Summerslam. Prediction - Orton with an attack from Sheamus afterwards.
The Prime Time Players vs The New Day for the WWE Tag Team Championship
A title run for PTP was long overdue. Both Titus O'Neil and Darren Young have busted their asses for WWE and have been various levels of over/super over for a few years now. They have everything you would want in a championship team. Except, their run so far has been a bit flat. I'm not exactly sure why that is, but the fact remains. The New Day on the other hand have continued to be red hot getting more heat than almost anyone on the roster. It feels like it's time for a change. I would imagine the tag team titles are going to be hot-shotted, passed from team to team, for the next little bit here. Either way, this should be a really good match. Both teams work very well together and have the right mix of speed and strength to have some really fun and impressive spots. Prediction - The New Day
John Cena vs Kevin Owens for the US Championship
Here is where the card gets interesting. Cena and Owens have had two stellar matches, splitting them one to one. The proverbial rubber match, third match, will be the first between the two with the belt on the line. Owens, who recently lost his NXT belt to Finn Balor in Japan, is extra motivated. The booking for this feud has been great. Every week Cena comes out on Raw to have his US Open Challenge match and every week Owens is involved somehow. He has saved Cena a few times now for the wrestling reason of, "I'm going to beat you, no one else." These two work so well together and I fully expect this match to be another match of the year candidate. The logical prediction here is to have Owens go over, get the belt, and immediately start a feud with Cesaro, the man he saved Cena from. But, this is WWE and with Cena, you just never know. Whatever direction they go in, this should be their last match for awhile. As good as they are, another month would be a mistake. Time for new feuds for both. Prediction - Kevin Owens in a match of the year contender
Roman Reigns vs Bray Wyatt
The man with the most on the line at Battleground is Bray Wyatt. He hasn't won in what seems like forever. And for the man WWE is trying to build as the next supernatural monster heel... that's not good. This feud stems from the Money in the Bank match where Bray attacked Roman right as he was about to climb the ladder and get the briefcase. The attack came because Bray was not in the match itself, being cost a spot by Roman Reigns. So, at its base level, the feud makes sense. Roman Reigns is still the future of WWE. Make no mistake, this guy will be champion and sooner than later. That said, he doesn't need to win this weekend. Wyatt desperately needs this win, even if it doesn't come cleanly. The match itself should be really good as both guys a high impact, big spot talent. Ultimately, I expect Wyatt to get the win if nothing kooky happens (more on that in a minute) after a solid back and forth match. Prediction - Bray Wyatt
Brock Lesnar vs Seth Rollins for the WWE World Heavyweight CHampionship
Ladies and Gentlemen, the beast of Battleground, Brock Lesnar, is back. And he is pissed. Over the past few weeks on Raw, Lesnar has systematically destroyed everything and everyone protecting Seth Rollins. J&J are gone, their Cadillac is gone, Kane is gone, Rollins is all that is left. And that is how it should be. Rollins as a chickenshit heel is great. He has played the role perfectly. But the supporting cast has grown a bit stale. Even if they return, their absence will do wonders for them. Lesnar has looked every part the beast, every part the unstoppable monster he is booked as. As for the actual match, that's a bit harder to predict. On "paper" there is no way Rollins wins this match. Lesnar is to big, too strong, too much the beast for that to happen. And yet, Rollins has shown himself capable of getting the upper hand on Lesnar. It has not been squash after squash when these two have been in the ring together. Rollins has put the beat down on Lesnar as much as Lesnar has put the beat down on him. The match should be incredible. Rollins can bump like no one else and will make Lesnar look insanely good. Brock can also sell his ass off and will make Rollins look insanely good. At the end of the day, this match could go either way. There is a logical argument to have each guy on top as far as ongoing storylines are concerned. I'm really quite torn on this one. Prediction - Lesnar after some outside shenanigans.
Now as for the rumors mentioned earlier and how they could impact the matches themselves. Word 'round the campfire is both Sting and the Undertaker will be making an appearance at Battleground to set up matches for Summerslam. Undertaker seems the easier of the two to predict. Kane is his brother, Seth Rollins has been a prick to Kane going as far as to beat him down after Lesnar had "broken" his ankle, so Taker interferes in the main event causing Rollins to lose his match and setting up a Brothers of Destruction versus Authority match at Summerslam. Frankly, I'd be all for it as it gets the belt back to Lesnar and keeps Rollins looking strong in the loss. Sting though, is much harder to predict. Based on his vigilante character an appearance in the Wyatt/Reigns match makes some sense. It could be a way for Wyatt to lose and not become a joke. Sting could also just show up and say he wants a match against whoever because it's Sting and who care who he is wrestling as long as he is. These are just rumors though so take them both with a huge grain of salt.
Regardless of any surprises on the night, the card is stacked, the talent is there, and Battleground should go down as one of the better events of the year. Follow me on twitter, @geekadedan, and let me know who you think is going to win.