Just two weeks removed from Great Balls of Fire, it’s time for another WWE PPV, this time it’s the blue brands turn. Battleground oversees the return of both Rusev and John Cena, the PPV debut of Mike Kanellis and the return of the Punjabi Prison match as Jinder Mahal defends his title against ‘The Viper’ Randy Orton.
Tye Dillinger vs Aiden English
There is no need to over analyse this one. Dillinger is the more popular wrestler with the most potential and barring some horrendous decision from McMahon and the creative team he will win as cleanly as possible.
Official Prediction: Dillinger wins clean.
Shinsuke Nakamura vs Baron Corbin
It’s a real shame someone has to lose here. Nakamura has the post Mania momentum and it’s clear to see the WWE values him highly and they see his potential to be a main event star in the future. Then there is Corbin who is riding off the biggest win of his career, after winning the MITB contract last month.
In the build up to this match Corbin has come across as a real nasty heel, with his repeated sneak attacks. Even with a loss he has still looked great in the build up, establishing himself as SmackDown’s scariest heel. I want Corbin to win here to continue his great run leading up to his eventual cash in. But I don’t think the WWE will have Nakamura lose just yet as they continue to mould him into a super star.
Official Prediciton: Nakamura wins, just.
The New Day vs The Usos – SmackDown Tag Team Championship
At Money In The Bank, the Usos retained their belts by being intentionally counted out. Since then the feud between the two teams has continued in a peculiar manner.
The New Day and the Usos took part in what was actually a really good rap battle. The highlight has to be the Usos nod to the Paige and Xavier Wood’s sex tape. But since the rap battle all we have seen of this rivalry is a bunch of single matches and it’s clear to see the creative team is running out of ideas.
The title’s will change hands as having the New Day with the belts may mean that extra bit of merchandise is sold. But hopefully the change will be for the good and we can see an end to this feud before it becomes irrelevant.
Official Prediction: The New Day win after stopping the Usos making another cowardly move.
Woman’s Fatal Five Way Match
The woman’s division is in a total mess right now after the whole Money In The Bank situation and Lana’s debut run ended in her getting squashed by the champion.
The whole controversy and mess has left a sour taste in the mouth when it comes to the Woman’s division and unsurprisingly no one has benefitted from the poor storylines and poor bookings.
One thing that will bring stability back to the divison would be to have Charlotte win the Fatal Five Way. The title picture is always much more interesting with her in and the thought of Charlotte vs Naomi at SummerSlam is mouth watering. It is the right move to make and one that adds credibility back to the title.
Official Prediction: Charlotte wins.
AJ Styles vs Kevin Owens – United States Championship
The WWE handed AJ Styles a great Madison Square Garden moment last week as he won the United States Championship from Kevin Owens on a house show. I doubt they gave him that moment only to strip him off the belt a week later.
This match has the potential to be the match of the night, both Owen and Styles are putting on some stellar performances and they are sure to end the rivalry on a high note.
Styles will win and set up a clash with Nakamura for the belt at SummerSlam.
Official Prediction: Styles retains the United States Championship.
Mike Kanellis vs Sami Zayn
Let’s face it guys we all know how this is going to play out. It’s very sad that Sami Zayn is likely to get the loss here, he simply can’t take many more or he’ll likely suffer like Bray Wyatt has done, he’ll slip further away from the title picture and deeper into the mid card role.
But you have to understand it, Kanellis simply can’t lose on his PPV debut, it would nullify all hype almost instantly. And Sami Zayn is the perfect opponent, he’s so babyface it hurts and he’s perfect for Kanellis to beat.
Official Prediction: Kanellis wins thanks to intervention from Maria.
John Cena vs Rusev – Flag Match
Cena made his scheduled return on July 4th, American Independence day, and what better way to have everyone feel patriotic than to have an evil foreigner like Rusev interrupt and John Cena to defend his country and set up a flag match.
The basis of a flag match is to have each mans national flag in opposite corners of the ring. The victor will be the man who captures and raises his nations flag first.
We have seen this rivalry before under the same circumstances. The creative team were clearly lacking an imagination when these two superstars were returning. This will be a one and done where Cena raises the USA flag, before going on to defeat another foreign enemy at SummerSlam.
Official Prediction: Cena wins.
Jinder Mahal vs Randy Orton – WWE Championship
Mahal and Orton’s third meeting sees the return of the Punjabi Prison match.
The Mahal experiment hasn’t necessarily paid off, but it has been extremely refreshing to have a new champion, even if Mahal’s reign hasn’t been the most enjoyable.
But Sunday won’t be the end of his Championship run. Orton will be handed his third straight defeat to Mahal in what will prove to be a crushing blow. It will be nice to see Mahal win without the help of his cronies as they are trapped outside the mammoth cage that is the Punjabi Prison. Another nod to the market they hope to expand on in India.
Mahal will be victorious in this bout, setting up a big match with John Cena at SummerSlam, where Cena will break his SummerSlam drought and win the belt.
Official Prediction: Mahal beats Orton.