WWE Battleground 2013: Daniel Bryan and Others with the Most to Lose
WWE Battleground 2013 is another proving ground for Daniel Bryan.
The inaugural edition of the pay-per-view offers Bryan and a number of other Superstars plenty to gain and plenty to lose. More is at stake than bettering one's win-loss record and acquiring championships.
Battleground can either steal Bryan's momentum or boost it.
He can not only lose out on being champ again, but on being WWE's franchise player. From Bryan's try for a third WWE title to Bray Wyatt's need for prey, here are the Superstars with the most to lose at Battleground.
It feels inevitable that Daniel Bryan rides his current wave of popularity to another WWE Championship win, one that results in a reign that lasts longer than a day.
That's no guarantee, though.
Bryan is fighting to become the face of the franchise both in storyline and real life. With John Cena out of action, Bryan's pay-per-view bouts and this rivalry with Randy Orton and Triple H serves as a tryout for that spot.
Battleground gives Bryan another opportunity to shine, both as an in-ring competitor and as a drawing force. Should the buyrates disappoint with Bryan as headliner, WWE is likely to get nervous and hunger for Cena's return.
A five-star match and great financial numbers this time around will help secure Bryan's spot on top.
Should he have a match that underwhelms or fails to bring in paying customers, he may tumble from the WWE title picture and watch as other Superstars step in front of him.
Alberto Del Rio
Dolph Ziggler lost the World Heavyweight Championship and then fell down the WWE ladder. He ended up taking a beating in three-on-one matches against The Shield, losing to Ryback and playing Bray Wyatt's victim.
Should Alberto Del Rio lose the world title at Battleground, he could follow a similar path.
His championship is keeping him in a prominent spot. Losing it may mean that he's challenging for the United States title in a few months a la Ziggler.
There's still plenty on the line even if he wins.
Del Rio's continued journey to impact and connect with the audience continues on Oct. 6. A great match will be big for him. He will either give fans another reason to be tired of him or convince another set of detractors with a classic bout.
Natalya appears to be heading into a rivalry with AJ Lee, one that would benefit both women.
Should she get a title match at Battleground, topping the match AJ had with Kaitlyn at Payback keeps Natalya in that feud for the next few weeks at least.
A poor showing, or being asked to lose quickly would be followed by Natalya sinking back down into the rankings as one of the Bellas or Funkadactlys takes her spot.
There's isn't a Diva on the main roster who can give AJ a better match, but Natalya has had some awkward moments of late. She and AJ were involved in a botched finish where AJ tapped out after being let go of the hold. At Night of Champions, she seemed off her game as well.
Battleground offers her a shot at redemption and a stage to remind WWE officials that she is the best wrestler in the division.
Even as impressive as he has been in his losses, eventually CM Punk's defeats will poke holes in his aura.
His 2013 pay-per-view record includes a loss to The Undertaker, Paul Heyman, Brock Lesnar and to The Rock twice. Punk heads into Battleground badly in need of a win.
A victory against Ryback or whoever WWE pits him against would be a major momentum boost, while another loss makes him look like a less intimidating foe in the weeks following the event.
Punk's "The Best in the World" nickname will be harder to swallow should Ryback or someone else add to his loss column.
Following an impressive buildup to his debut, Bray Wyatt hasn't been put in the spotlight nearly enough.
He beat Kane at SummerSlam in a match many felt was disappointing, and he was not booked to be on Night of Champions. Wyatt needs a victim—he needs momentum.
Not getting on the Battleground card will cause more air to slip out of his tires. A dominant win at the pay-per-view and/or a great showing thrusts him forward, ready for the next challenge.
Offer him The Miz, Kofi Kingston or some other midcarder and let him devour his foe in front of us.
Otherwise, Wyatt sputters.