Night of Champions may have only been a few weeks ago, but the WWE has already shifted gears to October’s Battleground pay-per-view and building this as a show worth purchasing.
While there is no question that this card will feature many of the same matches the WWE Universe saw at the last PPV, the possible swerves the company could put into place should have wrestling fans genuinely excited for Battleground.
Where: First Niagara Center, Buffalo, N.Y.
When: Sunday, Oct. 6 at 7:30 p.m. ET
Watch: Pay-per-view (local cable providers)
Live Stream: WWE.com
Both the World Heavyweight Championship and the WWE Championship will be contested at the next PPV, and the expectations about how each of these marquee matches will end are through the roof.
After Triple H and the corporation stole the title from Daniel Bryan, the WWE Universe has gone all-in on the talented wrestler and wants to see how the company will try to screw the fan favorite.
This storyline encompasses the whole company, and there is a real chance that the October PPV reveals the next step in this main event angle. While Battleground will have many of the same bouts as Night of Champions, the possible swerves make this can’t-miss entertainment.
There are many fans that have watched Raw over the last two weeks and felt as if the company was in a holding pattern. With only a few weeks between PPVs and several long-term storylines being slow played, that is what happens.
The WWE has the stars and creativity to make this show interesting, but it’s shaping up thus far to be a glorified rerun of Night of Champions with some slight alterations.
- Battleground Kickoff: Dolph Ziggler vs. Damien Sandow
- Daniel Bryan vs. Randy Orton (WWE Championship Match)
- World heavyweight champion Alberto Del Rio vs. Rob Van Dam (Battleground Hardcore Rules Match)
- CM Punk vs. Ryback
- WWE Divas champion A.J. Lee vs. Brie Bella
- Goldust and Cody Rhodes vs. Roman Reigns and Seth Rollins (If Rhodes Brothers win, they are reinstated by WWE. If they lose, Dusty Rhodes loses his job at NXT and Rhodes Family is banned from WWE)
- Intercontinental champion Curtis Axel vs. R-Truth
- Kofi Kingston vs. Bray Wyatt
While the Bryan vs. Orton match will be amazing because of the long-term implications on both stars and the company, the rematch for the World Heavyweight Championship between Alberto Del Rio and Rob Van Dam is not appealing to the fans.
The in-ring work will be great—both men are talented workers and the hardcore stipulation will make the match exciting—but with RVD’s contract reportedly running out and the bout’s outcome clear, it’s difficult to get excited.
CM Punk against Ryback with Paul Heyman should be a fun match that tells a pertinent story, but it doesn’t carry the cache needed to make it a viable co-main event. With a solid undercard and the possibility of a Damien Sandow cash-in attempt, this has the potential to be a wild show.
The situation surrounding the World Heavyweight Championship is clouded right now. Alberto Del Rio's title reign has run out of steam, Rob Van Dam's role remains up in the air and Money in the Bank winner Damien Sandow hasn't been built like a top title holder.
Chris Cash of WrestleZone.com passes along a report from F4WOnline.com, which states a cash in from Sandow is seemingly on the horizon for the near future. The only remaining question is how soon it's going to happen.
The possibility of Damien Sandow cashing in his MITB contract and winning the World Heavyweight Championship seems to be growing, reports F4WOnline.com, and when it takes place could be near. With RVD's contract status up in the air, Sandow is being looked at as a good choice right now to headline the SD side of things.
Sandow is scheduled to face Dolph Ziggler on the Battleground kickoff show. A victory over a recent World Heavyweight champion would at least give him some momentum. And SmackDown could definitely some fresh blood atop the card.
Alas, Sandow's chances of succeeding as champion would be a lot better if he was given a more sustained build prior to winning the belt. It will be interesting to see how the WWE handles the situation. Giving him the title now would be a risk.
According to Wrestling Observer Newsletter via Wrestling Inc., WWE chairman Vince McMahon could return to television soon as a reaction to the low television ratings from Monday’s episode of Raw.
Going head-to-head with Monday Night Football resulted in a very low 2.68 cable rating, per the report, and the claim is that McMahon believes his presence in the corporate storyline would bring more viewers to the product.
While the product is always more entertaining with McMahon involved, the hope is that the company doesn’t panic and rush this storyline. The WWE has played this corporation angle perfectly thus far, but adding Vince too early could hurt its longevity.
McMahon is a valuable piece in this main-event puzzle, but bringing him back now could force the writers to cut much-needed chapters in this multi-layer story.
According to F4WOnline via Wrestling Inc., the original plans for the corporate storyline included Dusty Rhodes getting involved with the match on Sunday as the third member of Team Rhodes against The Shield.
In case you missed it last night, Dusty Rhodes will be at ringside for the Cody Rhodes and Goldust vs. Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns match at Battleground. Original plans called for a six-man with Dusty and Dean Ambrose in the match. A few weeks ago it was reported that Dusty may not be included because of his age but if Vince McMahon had his way, Dusty would be in the match.
While Dusty is one of the greatest superstars in wrestling history, the 67-year-old former NWA world heavyweight champion should not be in action in a WWE ring. The company made the correct decision getting Dusty involved in the storyline in general, but not adding him to the match was even smarter.
There is a chance that one of the Rhodes brothers turns heel Sunday and ensures himself a contract by betraying his family, and that swerve would go over with the fans much better if the always animated Dusty is by ringside selling the moment.
The WWE may have played this angle correctly thus far, but the report that Vince McMahon wanted Dusty in the match once again proves he will embarrass anyone if it makes the company money. The eldest Rhodes shouldn’t be absorbing beatings anymore.
According to Mike Johnson of Pro Wrestling Insider, John Cena's current return date is post-Christmas. He's expected to appear at house shows before the end of December and serve in a non-wrestling role.
Bryan Alvarez of F4WOnline.com (subscription required) reports that Cena will finally wrestle at the 2014 Royal Rumble.
Cena is currently recovering from elbow surgery that was long overdue, as the tip of his arm looked like a baseball under skin. Long known for being one of the most dedicated wrestlers in the world, Cena will now take the necessary time to rehabilitate after Dr. James Andrews performed the procedure.
WWE will miss Cena as a ratings and revenue-generating superstar, but in late-December, he'll be back in a non-wrestling capacity before hitting the ring at the Royal Rumble in January
According to F4WOnline via Wrestling Inc., CM Punk will be returning to the WWE Championship scene after his program with Paul Heyman and Ryback concludes.
While it’s unclear exactly when the long-term battle with Heyman will end—the writing is on the wall for at least one more pay-per-view between Punk and his former allies’ lackeys—the former champion deserves to be fighting for the title.
Triple H and company are going to do their best to keep Bryan from winning the title at Battleground, and that will result in Randy Orton needing an opponent if he steals the victory Sunday night.
Not only would Punk vs. Orton be a marquee matchup that the WWE could sell to hardcore and casual fans alike, but this would also be the perfect chance to shoehorn the Voice of the Voiceless into the corporate storyline.
Bryan standing against the company has been great, but with Triple H somehow screwing the former champ out of the title at Battleground and likely relegating him from the title scene, Punk stepping up and standing with Bryan against the WWE is the perfect storyline.
Punk was tailor-made for this angle, and the WWE Championship picture should be explosive over the next several months.
According to Wrestling Observer Radio via Wrestling Inc., there has been talk backstage about having a match between the Rhodes brothers (Cody and Goldust) and The Shield at this month’s Battleground PPV.
Cody was fired by Triple H after losing to Randy Orton, and Goldust failed to get his brother’s contract back after he was offered the opportunity by the WWE to fight the Viper and lost. As if that wasn’t bad enough, the corporation took it one step farther and had the duo’s father Dusty Rhodes knocked out by the Big Show.
Last week’s Raw saw a rogue Cody and Goldust jump the guardrail and attack the trio of Dean Ambrose, Roman Reigns and Seth Rollins, and that should be the first sign that a tag team bout will be added to the card.
While a tag team grudge match would be interesting on its own, adding a stipulation surrounding the contracts of the Rhodes brothers would add serious implications to this bout and give the fans an important match on the midcard they can support.
After two convoluted finishes in the WWE Championship scene over the last two PPV events, those fans that want a clean victory for either man are likely going to have to wait for that dream to come to fruition.
According to F4WOnline via Wrestling Inc., the WWE Universe should expect another unusual finish at Battleground that will lead to a decisive result at Hell in a Cell later this month (October 27):
Stipulations are expected to be added to Daniel Bryan vs. Randy Orton and Rob Van Dam vs. Alberto Del Rio at WWE's Battleground pay-per-view. There's talk of Bryan vs. Orton being an Iron Man match. That would allow WWE to do another indecisive finish, leading to Hell In a Cell where there could be a definitive winner once and for all.
While it is unclear what the stipulation would be, there is no doubt that an interesting twist must be added to this bout to avoid having the same match at this PPV that fans saw last month. The WWE is trying to sell Battleground, and altering the championship match is the easiest way to add intrigue.
Bryan is the best in-ring worker in the company and Orton is also very talented. While Iron Man Matches are typically tough to sell to the casual fan, there is enough animosity in this feud to warrant the stipulation.
Add in the fact that both men would be able to collect at least one clean pin if booked properly, and this bout has all the earmarks of another unpredictable ending.
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