WWE Battleground 2016: Feuds Guaranteed to Increase Excitement for Event
This year's Battleground pay-per-view comes at a crucial time for WWE.
It's not just its positioning between Money in the Bank and SummerSlam, two of the biggest shows on the calendar; it's also the fact that the event will air on July 24, just five days after the draft.
This will be the first pay-per-view following the impending separation of Raw and SmackDown. For many fans, it will likely be a deciding factor in whether both shows can snag a spot in their weekly viewing schedules.
WWE needs to establish that both brands are going to offer must-watch matches. To that end, we're going to see a show packed with top-tier feuds designed to illustrate the strengths possessed by both halves of the roster.
Here are the feuds fans will have the greatest investment in as we draw nearer to Battleground.
The New Day vs. The Wyatt Family
On the June 20 edition of Raw, The Wyatt Family returned to television and immediately became embroiled in a feud with The New Day. There's already reason to believe this could be a white-hot summer program.
It's difficult to think of two factions that are more different than The Wyatts and The New Day. The contrast between the two groups has already been used to great effect in their back-and-forth, from Monday night's excellent parody of Bray Wyatt's pre-entrance to the way Xavier Woods is seemingly being preyed upon.
However, the best aspect of this feud is that it could allow The New Day to find its serious side. The three men are one of the most entertaining acts on the roster, but dropping the smiles every now and again could help propel the group beyond the tag division.
Of course, we should expect great things from the in-ring component of this feud. The Wyatt Family was at its best when it briefly tangled with The Shield, so more faction warfare could spell great things for all the talented individuals involved.
Enzo Amore and Big Cass vs. The Social Outcasts
This week's edition of Raw saw Enzo Amore and Big Cass get into a brief fracas with The Social Outcasts after winning a match against local talent. While the feud is a step down from title contention for the NXT graduates, it could be a huge opportunity.
Enzo and Cass stood out in NXT because of their larger-than-life personas and abilities to run down any opponent on the mic. If there was ever an easy target for them to prey on, it's The Social Outcasts.
Enzo and Cass could fill a three-hour Raw broadcast with put-downs for Bo Dallas, Curtis Axel and Heath Slater. Fans love to see them ridicule their opponents, and they should have no shortage of material if this feud goes ahead.
While the match it's leading to might not be anything to write home about, the promos we see over the next few weeks should be excellent.
Kevin Owens vs. Sami Zayn
We've seen Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn tangle plenty this year, but the feud still hasn't worn out its welcome.
It's no secret that Owens and Zayn go back a long way. We've seen enough evidence of that used as part of the rivalry, but you would know that just from the easy chemistry that the two Canadians share with one another.
Whether they're competing in a match or exchanging promos, these two shine when they're working together. Moreover, they're both more than capable of helping the feud continue to develop and evolve as the weeks go by.
It seems like we're going to see this rivalry come to an end—at least for the time being—at Battleground. Given the quality of their encounters over the last few months, the prospect of a decisive match between the two is exciting.
Owens and Zayn seem set to do everything in their powers to steal the show at Battleground, and everyone else set to be a part of the card should be on notice.
Roman Reigns vs. Seth Rollins vs. Dean Ambrose
This is a feud that fans have been eagerly anticipating for quite some time. And even if Roman Reigns can't be on television for the build, it's still a major bout for the Battleground pay-per-view.
On Monday's Raw, we saw John Cena and AJ Styles attempt to gain entry into the title match, only to be denied by Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose. Based on the opening promo, we know that the defending champion still expects Reigns to be a part of the Triple Threat match.
While WWE could call an audible before Battleground, it seems that we will be seeing the long-awaited Shield Triple Threat in just a matter of weeks. The fact that it's taking place on a smaller pay-per-view only adds to the intrigue.
Ordinarily, placing this match on the card for Battleground might hint that we would see a no-contest or otherwise see the program artificially extended on to SummerSlam. However, the timing of the bout would suggest otherwise.
Battleground is taking place just days after the draft, so WWE will want to hit the ground running as it establishes SmackDown as a second brand. The pay-per-view will have to convince fans to watch both broadcasts on the following Monday and Tuesday.
As such, expect the pay-per-view to give viewers ample reason to tune in. The main event seems like the best place to do that.