Contains spoilers for this week's edition of SmackDown.
What appears to be the bulk of the Battleground card was finalized last night at the SmackDown tapings in Ottawa, Ontario (h/t WrestlingInc.com). In addition to the already announced Fatal 4-Way match for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship and the Battle Royal for the vacant WWE Intercontinental Championship, the following matches were announced for the show, which takes place in Tampa less than two weeks from now on July 20th:
- WWE World Tag Team Championship: The Usos (c) vs. Luke Harper and Erick Rowan in a 2-out-of-3 Falls Match
- WWE Divas' Championship: AJ Lee (c) vs. Paige
- Chris Jericho vs. Bray Wyatt
- Rusev vs. Jack Swagger
- Naomi vs. Cameron
At seven matches, it seems unlikely that there will be anything else added to the card, especially with so much talent locked up in the Battle Royal and to a lesser extent the main event.
Let's take a look at each of the new matches in more detail.
WWE World Tag Team Championship: The Usos (c) vs. Luke Harper and Erick Rowan in a 2-out-of-3 Falls Match
These two teams have had tremendous chemistry so far, with a series of excellent matches. Their match at Money in the Bank, while overshadowed by the ladder matches, would be the best match on a lot of pay-per-view events. They followed it up with a rematch this week in Montreal that was probably the best match on Raw in at least a couple of months.
With the stipulations, hopefully the match will get a decent amount of time so it doesn't come off too rushed—otherwise, it cheapens the gimmick. I'd be shocked if this wasn't a title change, which was expected at Money in the Bank. I love The Usos as champions, but the time is right to do the switch.
WWE Divas' Championship: AJ Lee (c) vs. Paige
A rematch of a rematch. Shouldn't AJ have technically gotten a rematch without having to trick Paige? Anyway, this could be really good if they don't let whatever the current storyline is get in the way. If they just do their thing, this has a lot of potential. If the match is too caught up in overly theatric shenanigans having to do with Paige's...well, I guess it's a heel turn, then it may be disappointing. I don't see how AJ doesn't retain the title here given the direction so far.
Chris Jericho vs. Bray Wyatt
This is Wyatt's return to prominence after the end of the John Cena feud at Payback. With Jericho being Jericho and unlikely to stick around for long, the end result is clearly Wyatt "winning the feud." In the short term? I'm not so sure. Jericho likes to take a lot of care with his programs and is here to do the right thing, though, so this should turn out really well overall.
Rusev vs. Jack Swagger
If this is anything like the Rusev vs. Big E or Swagger vs. Big E matches, it will be awesome. WWE's unofficial "hoss division" has been a lot of fun, with matches like these and John Cena vs. Cesaro from February. They feel like the modern equivalent of old Steiner Brothers matches in WCW. As for the storyline, it's a nice change for Swagger and Zeb Colter, though Rusev is clearly winning to continue his monster push.
Naomi vs. Cameron
Well, I guess this has to happen. Cameron has legs as a heel personality, but she hasn't made much progress in the ring, so I don't see why she would necessarily win a match between the two. I would think that the match itself is to set up Naomi as more of a serious singles wrestler while establishing whatever Cameron's new persona is supposed to be. This won't be a good match by any means, so hopefully it's at least effective at moving them forward.
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