The inaugural Battleground pay-per-view is upon us. Will Daniel Bryan win the WWE title?
More importantly, will WWE let him keep it this time?
It seems that many fans aren’t too interested in Battleground. Both major title matches are repeats from last month, and Curtis Axel inexplicably returns for another showing.
But if you got an extra $50 laying around, or you're a pay-per-view completionist, you could be in for a good time. Time to break down the card, and see what's in store for those willing to spend.
I sadly went 4-3 last month at Night of Champions (my worst month ever!) to bring my lifetime total of pay-per-view match predictions to 57-17-1.
It’s time to put that all on the line as we take one last look at WWE Battleground.
Burning Question: How much farther can these guys fall?
Match Outlook: Sure, this should be a good, fun free match. But it feels incredibly inconsequential. Not long ago, Ziggler looked like he could break out as a babyface. Now he’s taking the pre-show gig. Sandow on the other hand has been pushed as a loser ever since winning the Money in the Bank Briefcase.
Expect an athletic 10 minute match that will be forgotten as soon as the actual show begins.
Final Projection: Ziggler (98 percent confidence).
Consindering that babyfaces are 6-1 the last seven pay-per-views on the pre-show, the safe bet is to go with Dolph Ziggler. Sandow has also only won one match on Raw or SmackDown since winning his Money in the Bank contract, so the odds are even better.
Burning Question: Will this be the month that Ricardo Rodriguez turns on The Dude?
Match Outlook: Del Rio's and Van Dam's match at Night of Champions was a little underwhelming, but maybe they can step things up this month. The hardcore stipulation should suit Van Dam fine, and might add some excitement to the show.
Final Projection: Del Rio (95 percent).
The rumors are saying that Van Dam may not be long for the WWE. Having him leave with the title wouldn't make a lick of sense. Also, the Ricardo and Van Damn pairing has been a lousy one, so Ricardo should consider going back to Del Rio.
Sure, he'll probably get horribly beaten again, but it's better than hanging out with RVD all day sitting on the couch, watching old cartoons and eating Cheetos.
Burning Question: Will WWE finally reward Brie Bella for her years of mediocrity?
Match Outlook: It seems that no Divas match on pay-per-view goes over eight minutes, so let's say this one goes six. AJ will do her best to keep the crowd involved, but Brie is a terrible babyface.
Let's not forget that it wasn't long ago that she was making fun of Natalya for being fat. So far, she has yet to apologize.
Final Projection: AJ (60 percent confidence).
There's no good way around this one. AJ just started teaming up with Tamina, so a loss would be way too soon. On the other hand, WWE seems to be teasing a Bella vs. Bella feud, which would be the worst thing in the world.
With WWE in love with Total Divas, I'll sadly go with one of the Bellas winning next month, but AJ holding on for now.
Burning Question: "What's up?" with this match?
Another Burning Question: How does having Truth job Ryback in two minutes on SmackDown build this match?
Match Outlook: A match so big that the company announced it four days before the show.
I would genuinely be curious if there is a single person in the entire country who was not sure if they would order Battleground until R-Truth vs. Curtis Axel was announced.
Don't get me wrong. It should be decent, but it feels completely thrown together. Axel clearly wasn't working as a Heyman guy, so WWE demoted him from Punk to Truth in the matter of a month. Sadly, this will probably be about as high as he'll get as a singles star from now on.
Let's say an eight minute match of decent back-and-forth action with the crowd sitting on their hands.
Final Projection: Axel (85 percent confidence).
At this point in Truth's career, what would be the point of giving him any title? However, Axel hasn't done much with the belt either, so a change just for the sake of change isn't out of the question.
Burning Question: Will Punk end the perfect marriage of Ryback and Heyman?
Match Outlook: Something about this build doesn't feel quite right. Maybe there just wasn't enough time from the last pay-per-view to this one to make a compelling program with Ryback and Punk.
The two had quite the history when Punk was cast as the heel, but that's never really been mentioned in this program. Right now it's all about Heyman's newest client taking on his former best friend.
Once again, Punk will be called upon to carry the load and should have a fine match with Ryback.
Final Projection: CM Punk (65 percent confidence).
Punk can't just keep losing. Can he? I was wrong last month in his match, so I'm going to dig in deeper and go with him again.
Burning Question: If I follow the buzzards, will something bad happen?
Match Outlook: It would have been nice had this match been announced sooner. The Wyatt Family need an actual feud. It feels like the sole purpose of this match is to just fill up time on the show due to WWE's poor planning.
It should be a fun match though. The two are both very athletic in their own ways, and it could be Wyatt's first chance to really show what he's got in a WWE ring.
Final Projection: Wyatt (99 percent confidence).
It would be way too soon to have Wyatt lose. The only way I see him not winning is either because of a disqualification or an appearance by Kane.
Burning Question: Does Goldust sleep in his makeup?
Match Outlook: I'm actually more excited for this match than any other one on the show. Goldust has always been a guilty pleasure, and it will be interesting to see the crowd reaction for Cody.
Goldust showed he's still in great shape at 44, and The Shield almost always delivers. There will probably be a lot of outside interference, and perhaps a Bionic Elbow or two in this one before it's all said and done.
Final Projection: Goldust and Cody (80 percent confidence).
Cody will return to action full time no matter what. The only question is whether it's going to happen at Battleground or not. The company would be wise to not keep stretching out "one more chance" matches, otherwise Cody will seem like a loser.
Burning Question: Fool us twice shame on me. Fool us three times shame on…WWE?
Match Outlook: Orton vs. Bryan was actually a bit underwhelming last month. It was no Bryan vs. Cena at SummerSlam. It just never fully clicked. Maybe the two can turn it up this month.
Either way you’re getting a good to great main event match that will hopefully not have fans begging for a refund.
Final Projection: Orton (80 percent confidence).
WWE is in a bad position right now. Bryan can’t really lose much more momentum, and Orton needs to escape from Triple H’s and Stephanie McMahon’s shadow.
I’ll go with Orton taking the title once again, and the two having a final showdown in Hell in a Cell.
Well, those are my predictions. What are yours? Take your best guess and good luck!