Sunday is WWE’s 2014 edition of the Battleground pay-per-view, and there is genuine excitement surrounding a July event that is typically a holdover show before SummerSlam.
With John Cena defending the WWE World Heavyweight Championship in a Fatal 4-Way match against Roman Reigns, Randy Orton and Kane, the stacked card has a headlining bout worthy of the marquee billing.
Here is the vital viewing information for the PPV, the full card, predictions and a preview of the main event.
Where: Tampa Bay Times Forum, Tampa, Florida
When: Sunday, July 20
Start Time: 8 p.m. ET (Kickoff show at 7:30 p.m. ET)
Watch: WWE Network
|John Cena (c) vs. Kane vs. Randy Orton vs. Roman Reigns||Fatal Four-Way Match for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship||Orton|
|Bray Wyatt vs. Chris Jericho||Singles Match||Jericho|
|The Usos (Jey and Jimmy Uso) (c) vs. The Wyatt Family (Erick Rowan and Luke Harper)||2-out-of-3 Falls Tag Team Match for the WWE Tag Team Championship||Rowan and Harper|
|Dean Ambrose vs. Seth Rollins||Singles Match||Rollins|
|AJ Lee (c) vs. Paige||Singles Match for the WWE Divas Championship||Lee|
|Jack Swagger vs. Rusev||Singles Match||Rusev|
|Cameron vs. Naomi||Singles Match||Naomi|
|Alberto Del Rio vs. Big E vs. Bo Dallas vs. Cesaro vs. Curtis Axel vs. Diego vs. Dolph Ziggler vs. Fandango vs. Heath Slater vs. Kofi Kingston vs. Rob Van Dam vs. R-Truth vs. Ryback vs. Sheamus vs. Sin Cara vs. The Great Khali vs. The Miz vs. Titus O'Neil vs. Xavier Woods vs. Zack Ryder||20-Man Battle Royal for the vacant WWE Intercontinental Championship||Cesaro|
Source: WWE.com. (c) denotes champion.
Breaking Down the Main Event
The 2014 Battleground card is stacked, but the main event of the night has serious potential to set the tone for the rest of the summer. While Cena may be walking in as champion, there is little doubt that he could be walking out without his title.
It is difficult to pick against Cena. The Superstar lives by the adage “never give up," and he hasn’t for over a decade. He may have taken several losses in that time, but he was won far more than he has lost in the biggest moments of his career.
Don’t bet on Cena to lose when the odds are stacked against him because he will overcome them and be victorious. Or will he?
Rumors have swirled about the possible return of Brock Lesnar to WWE programming as Cena’s challenger at SummerSlam in August, according to Mike Johnson of PWInsider, but there has been no indication that the title will be on the line.
While it makes sense to have Lesnar come back and fight for the title, he could return with the sole purpose of beating the face of the company and avenging his previous loss to Cena at Extreme Rules.
A second chapter between Lesnar and Cena wouldn’t need the WWE title, and the championship would be better utilized elevating another storyline. In a report from the Wrestling Observer Newsletter, via WrestlingInc., the long-term plan could be a feud between Orton and Reigns coming out of Battleground.
Why not give Orton the WWE World Heavyweight Championship and let The Viper help carry Reigns through his first real singles feud as a main event star? Reigns is admittedly green in the ring, but with Orton universally despised, Reigns could gain the experience he needs while still being one of the top faces in the business.
Another option not garnering the kind of attention it should is giving the title to Kane. With the WWE remaining relatively quiet about the status of Daniel Bryan, there is always a chance that Kane could win the belt as a transitional champion if Bryan will be ready to return at SummerSlam or at Night of Champions the following month. Unfortunately for wrestling fans hoping for Bryan’s speedy recovery, this plan likely won’t come to fruition
Who ya got?
Whether it’s at the Royal Rumble or even WrestleMania, there are far more impactful ways in which Reigns can achieve his ultimate goal. Add in the experience he will gain over the next several months, and waiting before putting the title on Reigns is the smartest move.
While Cena is the clear favorite to retain the WWE championship, the correct move for the company Sunday would be to put the belt on Orton, let Reigns remain in the main event scene by feuding with The Viper and have Lesnar come out on Monday's Raw to crush Cena and take his mind off the championship.
It’s a win-win-win situation.
Predicted Winner: Randy Orton
For more wrestling talk, listen to Ring Rust Radio for all of the hot topics or catch the latest episode in the player below (some language NSFW).