WWE Battleground 2014: Matches with Biggest Implications

Erik BeastonFeatured ColumnistJuly 20, 2014

Credit: WWE.com

Live on Sunday night, World Wrestling Entertainment will present Battleground from the Tampa Bay Times Forum in Tampa, Florida.

With matches such as Chris Jericho vs. Bray Wyatt, Dean Ambrose vs. Seth Rollins, the Usos vs. Luke Harper and Erick Rowan—and the huge Fatal 4-Way WWE World Heavyweight Championship bout—the card is incredibly strong for a show that many see as a C-level production.

More surprising are the implications some of these matches (and the others scheduled for the event) could have on both the short and long term for the WWE.

In preparation for Battleground, here's a look at those with the greatest impact on Vince McMahon's wrestling empire in the weeks, months and even years to come.


Credit: WWE.com

WWE World Heavyweight Championship Match

The top prize in the industry may be on the line in Battleground's main event, but all eyes will be on Roman Reigns in yet another opportunity to prove himself in a major pay-per-view match.

He is the clear choice to succeed John Cena as the company's top babyface—and the man who will carry it into the future—so each of his performances will face scrutiny.

A strong showing in which he keeps the crowd on his side and does not appear out of place against three established main eventers in Kane, Randy Orton and Cena will only help him gain the trust of management, who holds his fate.

A poor performance exposing his flaws will create doubt and second-guesses, both of which could doom his immediate main event potential.


Credit: WWE.com

Dean Ambrose vs. Seth Rollins

To say the response to Dean Ambrose's babyface run thus far has been surprising would be an understatement—encouraging, that is, but nonetheless surprising.

Ambrose has captured the attention of fans, thanks to the unconventional nature of his character: He does not look or talk like a typical babyface, and he does not wrestle like any other Superstar on the roster.

He is a breath of fresh air, and fans appreciate the edginess he contributes to WWE's programming.

Sunday night will feature the biggest match of his career.

If he can carry the momentum he has established to this point, he could easily find himself rivaling Roman Reigns in terms of crowd reaction. If that happens, all bets as to which will become the bigger, more successful star are off.


Credit: WWE.com

Paige vs. AJ Lee

The first two matches between Paige and AJ Lee have been plot devices more than actual matches.

Sunday night, they will meet in their first PPV bout. Given enough time, the two outstanding wrestlers could change the face of women's wrestling in the WWE.

Paige proved herself both in the Indys and NXT before even arriving in the WWE. AJ became a breakout star in 2012 and had some outstanding wrestling matches against Kaitlyn and Natalya over the last year, showing she could deliver when paired with an equal talent.

WWE's Divas division has been waiting for a rivalry that could carry it and help revitalize women's wrestling in McMahon's company. They could represent that rivalry, especially if they make the most of their opportunity Sunday.


Credit: WWE.com

Jack Swagger vs. Rusev

Not only is Sunday's bout the biggest of Rusev's young career, it is a shot at redemption for Jack Swagger, who has the opportunity to earn a nice midcard babyface push with a strong performance against the WWE's "super athlete."

The fact that he has received as many chances as he has indicates that management believes in his skills as a worker.

WWE sees Swagger as an asset to hold onto and feature on its shows. Helping carry Rusev to his best match yet would, perhaps, lead to a substantial push for the Oklahoman—one that could take him to heights that he may have thought had passed.