Battleground is viewed by many as a lower-level event by WWE standards, but Sunday's pay-per-view has the potential to be one of 2014's best.
The card itself is much deeper than what WWE offered at Money in the Bank last month and Battleground has major implications for SummerSlam as well. With the WWE World Heavyweight Championship, Intercontinental Championship, Tag Team Championships and Divas Championship all up for grabs, Battleground could change the course of the product in the coming months.
Expectations aren't particularly high for Battleground, but all signs point toward this being a quality event. With that in mind, here is all the information you need to know about when and where to watch Battleground and the Battleground Kickoff show on WWE Network.
Where: Tampa Bay Times Forum in Tampa, Florida
When: Sunday, July 20 at 8 p.m. ET
Watch: WWE Network (subscription required)
PPV Live Stream
With most notable pay-per-view providers dropping WWE events, WWE Network has become the primary way to watch pay-per-views like Battleground. For $9.99 per month (with a six-month commitment) wrestling fans can get WWE Network and watch hours upon hours of content streaming through a number of different devices. That includes every live pay-per-view events. Here are the platforms that currently support WWE Network, according to WWE.com:
- Apple TV
- Kindle Fire
- Amazon Fire TV
- PlayStation 3
- PlayStation 4
- Xbox 360
- Xbox One
- Android devices
- iOS devices
Kickoff Live Stream
The pay-per-view will be preceded by a special half-hour pre-show beginning at 7:30 p.m. ET. Per WWE.com, it will feature a match between former Funkadactyls partners Naomi and Cameron. That can be viewed through all of the following platforms:
- WWE Network
- WWE App
|John Cena (c) vs. Roman Reigns vs. Randy Orton vs. Kane||Fatal 4-Way||WWE World Heavyweight Championship|
|Seth Rollins vs. Dean Ambrose||Singles||N/A|
|Bray Wyatt vs. Chris Jericho||Singles||N/A|
|Jack Swagger vs. Rusev||Singles||N/A|
|AJ Lee (c) vs. Paige||Singles||Divas Championship|
|The Usos (c) vs. Luke Harper & Erick Rowan||2-out-of-3 Falls Tag Team||Tag Team Championships|
|Intercontinental Championship Battle Royal||Battle Royal||Intercontinental Championship|
|Naomi vs. Cameron||Kickoff Singles||N/A|
Top Matches to Watch
John Cena vs. Roman Reigns vs. Randy Orton vs. Kane
The Fatal 4-Way match for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship seems chaotic on the surface, but the result is fairly predictable. With a SummerSlam match against Brock Lesnar potentially on the horizon, it is incredibly difficult to imagine John Cena dropping the title to Roman Reigns, Randy Orton or Kane.
The prospect of Cena retaining and holding the title for another month may not seem palatable for a large cross-section of fans. Even Cena is well aware of that, as evidenced by this tweet following his title triumph at Money in the Bank:
When push comes to shove, though, Cena winning is the only logical move. Reigns vs. Lesnar would be an incredible match that would sell, but Reigns isn't quite ready to be at that level. He will be at some point, and he will probably face Lesnar eventually, but it shouldn't happen until further down the line.
Which Battleground match are you most excited to see?
WWE knows what it has with Cena vs. Lesnar, and that is a blockbuster match that could headline any pay-per-view. That means Cena's detractors will have to live with him as champion for another month.
Even though the Fatal 4-Way seems predictable, that doesn't mean it won't be a good match. Reigns and Orton in particular seem to thrive in this type of chaotic environment. Add in wily veterans like Cena and Kane, and it is tough to imagine this contest being lackluster.
A Rollins cash-in attempt and a Lesnar appearance are very real possibilities as well, so every fan will have some type of vested interest in this match and its aftermath.
Seth Rollins vs. Dean Ambrose
The Fatal 4-Way will main-event this pay-per-view, but the long-anticipated clash between Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose is likely to garner Match of the Night honors. Rollins and Ambrose are two of the most talented young stars in wrestling, and they are engaged in an elite-level feud.
Scott Fishman of the South Florida Sun Sentinel is among those who view Rollins vs. Ambrose as the premier angle in WWE:
The Shield wasn't always featured in the main event, but that group made a habit of stealing the show. Rollins and Ambrose have carried that over to their singles careers, so it is tough to not get excited about their impending matchup.
Rollins has come out on the better end of things thus far, as he won the Money in the Bank briefcase last week. The Authority has stacked the deck against Ambrose and put him in some difficult positions. Even so, Ambrose is determined to reach the top, according to Anthony Benigno of WWE.com.
I'm at the point where I kind of feel a little bit backed into a corner and I'm completely comfortable in that position, because I will bite and scratch and claw and throw punches until I can't anymore. Whatever obstacles stand in my way of getting to where I need to go are of very little worry to me, you know?
Ambrose could use a win eventually, but this has all the makings of a long-term feud, so it may not happen at Battleground. Rollins has a lot of momentum as a rising heel and has to be viewed as the favorite. Also, if Cena is going to win the main event, then The Authority has to get something out of the night.
Even if Ambrose loses, he can still come out looking good if he stops Rollins from cashing in at the end of the night. Ultimately, both of these Superstars are going to be top guys in the near future. Regardless of who wins or loses, this is going to be a memorable bout.
Bray Wyatt vs. Chris Jericho
Chris Jericho has worked with many of WWE's best and brightest young stars during his recent stints with the company, but it can be argued that Bray Wyatt tops them all. The charismatic leader of the Wyatt Family has gained a cult-like following as one of WWE's top heels, and Y2J is better than almost anyone at getting the most out of rising talent.
After coming out on the losing end in his feud with Cena, Wyatt needs to regain some momentum. He has done that thus far against Jericho by getting the best of him leading up to Battleground, but that may not ultimately lead to a pay-per-view win.
Jericho usually loses more big matches than he wins when he returns to WWE, but he seems primed and ready for Sunday's encounter:
Wyatt should and will win this feud, but that doesn't necessarily mean that he will win at Battleground. Having Y2J draw first blood makes sense in order to firmly establish him as a top player during his current stint. Wyatt can then go on to win at SummerSlam and Night of Champions, which would erase any damage done at Battleground.
While Wyatt is somewhat light on great singles matches, Jericho will help him have several over the course of this feud. Even if Jericho does win this match, Wyatt will be better for it, because the in-ring work promises to be spectacular.
Follow @MikeChiari on Twitter