On July 20, World Wrestling Entertainment will present its latest pay-per-view event, entitled Battleground, and we already know the main event match.
With so many top stars involved in one match, it leaves a plethora of options open for the event's midcard, even with a Battle Royal to determine the new intercontinental champion involving some of the most talented stars on the roster.
Which of WWE's budding rivalries deserve a spot on the Battleground midcard?
Take a look for yourself.
Dean Ambrose vs. Seth Rollins
Easily the most heated feud in WWE right now, Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins have demonstrated an intense hatred for one another, and the brawls they have engaged in are reminiscent of a great old school, southern wrestling program.
The backstory is there, the heat is there, and as a result, a match between Ambrose and Rollins could very well steal the show out from underneath the more star-studded main event. Of course, that is dependent upon any potential stipulation or gimmick match.
A basic singles bout between Ambrose and Rollins would not properly capture the disdain they have for one another. It would force the competitors to conform to the rules of a regular wrestling match when fans really want to see them tear each other apart, unleashing unbridled violence on one another.
If that gimmick match is to occur, it will likely be saved for SummerSlam, when WWE will be looking to bolster the card with hotly anticipated bouts in order to pop a buyrate and encourage more WWE Network subscriptions. Still, the match has been so well built that even if it is just a basic singles bout, the crowd will still be receptive, and the competitors will still work hard to deliver the best that they can.
Chris Jericho vs. Bray Wyatt
While in its infancy, the Chris Jericho vs. Bray Wyatt feud that began on the June 30 episode of Raw is a program that absolutely must result in a match at Battleground. Jericho is a marquee name in the professional wrestling world while Wyatt has been one of the MVPs of WWE in 2014.
The promo work leading into the match is likely to be superb, while the match, if anything like their battle in NXT in 2013, should be one of Wyatt's best. Given his work throughout the year thus far, that is saying something significant.
Paige vs. AJ Lee
The Divas Championship is the centerpiece of a rivalry between two Divas capable of restoring legitimacy and credibility to women's wrestling in WWE. To do so, they will have to have the opportunity to deliver a real match and not the two quick, fluky bouts that have decided the title to this point.
Paige's reaction to dropping the title was one of shock and despair at first, but as fans saw on the July 4 episode of SmackDown, she appears to have come to grips with the fact that she was outsmarted by the more experienced and manipulative AJ Lee.
Or has she?
There is great potential for a Paige heel turn that would allow her to dip back into the Anti-Diva gimmick that led to her ascension in NXT and made her one of that brand's breakout stars. Being more aggressive, nastier and meaner than she has been to this point in her main roster career would help her connect with fans in a way she has not been allowed to at this point.
Whether that heel turn occurs before Battleground, after or at all remains to be seen. What is clear is that, to build on the momentum that AJ's return to WWE has garnered for the Divas division, the two skilled workers must be allowed to have a real match on pay-per-view.
Jack Swagger vs. Rusev
For months, fans wondered when WWE's resident Real American would stand up to the anti-American "Ravishing Russian" Lana and "Bulgarian Brute" Rusev. They got what they wanted on the June 30 episode of Raw as Swagger and manager Zeb Colter confronted the duo and made it known that they will not stand for the negativity they have been spewing in regards to the United States.
The arm drags by Jack Swagger that sent Rusev scurrying resulted in the loudest babyface reaction of the Oklahoman's career. Days later, he stared down the super athlete, never once flinching or appearing as much as impressed.
While it once appeared as though fans were having a hard time investing in the generic foreign heel character of Rusev, they have completely bought in. A lot of that has to do with Lana and her mic work, but Rusev has shown increased intensity and aggression, and the crowds perceive him to be largely unbeatable.
The program will do wonders for Swagger, who suddenly finds himself hotter and more over than he has been in years. A babyface turn is exactly what he needs at this point if he is to be freshened up and remain relevant.
Whether he can capitalize on the push is another question.
The match between the two, if handled correctly, could not only be one of the better on the Battleground card but also one of the hottest. As long as the booking remains strong and the performers deliver when called upon, look for Swagger vs. Rusev to be one of the most anticipated bouts of the summer—something few could have envisioned.
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