Damien Sandow is currently mired in a familiar Money in the Bank slump. Over the years, WWE has poorly booked its Money in the Bank winners under the apparent assertion that the briefcase alone will keep them over.
This was the case with Dolph Ziggler, who lost profusely during his lengthy stint as a Money in the Bank holder. Ziggler's losing ways continued right up to WrestleMania 29, where he took the deciding pinfall in a tag team match on the night before he eventually cashed in.
Sandow has been seldom featured in WWE storylines and has been nearly invisible on pay-per-view since his surprise win back in July. WWE is clearly biding its time with the talented heel, but with slumping ratings and an uninspiring World Heavyweight Championship picture, that time may be now.
WWE Battleground needs a spark to have a chance moving forward as a viable WWE pay-per-view franchise. A memorable cash-in spot could give the first-time pay-per-view just that. Reasons will be assessed based on impact a Money in the Bank win would have on pay-per-view and in future WWE storylines.
Damien Sandow and Dolph Zigger represent the last two World Heavyweight Championship WWE Money in the Bank winners.
Pointing out the Money in the Bank correlation on commentary will keep Sandow's championship opportunity fresh in the minds of potential last-minute pay-per-view customers.
With their match occurring on a free pre-show, WWE can use this exposure to strongly hint toward Sandow cashing in later on the night.
Should Sandow lose yet another match, simply zooming in on a frustrated Sandow would be a subtle way of telling fans that they haven't seen the last of him. WWE is wise to feature the Money in the Bank briefcase front and center to kick off WWE Battleground. This will make for a possible teaser of things to come.
Sandow is currently without a major feud and has not won a pay-per-view match since July. After his Money in the Bank win, Sandow lost to Cody Rhodes at SummerSlam and was left off of the Night of Champions card.
This Sunday, Sandow makes a quiet return to pay-per-view with a pre-show match against similarly irrelevant Dolph Ziggler.
Sandow needs to get back into the swing of things while he still has a chance. If WWE waits too long inserting him back into the world title picture, his inevitable moment will not matter.
There is little to no buzz for Sandow to take advantage of his world championship opportunity. Despite Ziggler's losing ways while he was a Money in the Bank holder, "we want Ziggler" chants filled arenas any time an opportunity presented itself. The same cannot be said about Sandow, who is currently out of sight, out of mind.
Last week's Raw scored the lowest rating of the year. Not only is WWE feeling the effects of going head-to-head with Monday Night Football, there is not enough for fans to sink their teeth into.
The major WWE storyline has been uneven with Triple H vacillating between fair-and-balanced babyface and authoritative heel. His continued irreverence toward Daniel Bryan and wavering support for Randy Orton has hurt both characters, who currently comprise of this Sunday's main event.
The Battleground buyrate will likely be underwhelming for many reasons. But once news breaks that Sandow suddenly became world heavyweight champion, there will be more incentive for fans to tune in for the fallout.
A Monday Night Football between two underachieving teams could be a perfect opportunity for WWE to rebound ratings-wise. A newsworthy Battleground would only help the cause.
Alberto Del Rio has been painfully one-dimensional since splitting with Ricardo Rodriguez. Their personal strife has outshined the ongoing world championship feud against Rob Van Dam.
Del Rio has a tougher time connecting with fans without his elaborate introduction. He recently garnered "overrated" chants from a vocal Chicago crowd that clearly wasn't into his character.
It doesn't help that Van Dam isn't a dynamic talker and has been unable to deliver any value to this feud outside of his popular "greatest hits" workrate.
The time has come for WWE to move on from this feud in some capacity, and Damien Sandow is in an ideal position to blow up what has been a flat angle.
Rob Van Dam has the clear advantage at Battleground. This Sunday's World Heavyweight Championship match between Van Dam and Del Rio will be contested under hardcore rules.
Announcers have reminded WWE fans of Rob Van Dam's history as an ECW alum, and he was booked to pose with the World Heavyweight Championship this past week on Raw.
If Sandow were to cash in, it would make the most sense to do so against a babyface Rob Van Dam following a feel-good win. This could lead to a productive feud for Sandow, who could benefit by beating Van Dam before his pending exit.
The Hardcore match is fully expected to take its toll on both Van Dam and Del Rio. Even in victory, storyline injuries suffered during the match will leave the winner ripe for the picking. If the story of the match dictates Del Rio working over a particular body part of Van Dam which Sandow can later exploit, look for a short-lived world championship reign for RVD.