Craig Wilson, Brian Damage and Jamie Lithgow
Tonight the WWE hosts Battleground 2016, the final event before the 2016 draft era, if you will. On the show we get The Shield triple-threat main event for the WWE title, John Cena teaming with Enzo and Big Cass against The Club, the IC and US champions in action, New Day locking up with the Wyatts and more. Today we preview and share our predictions for the show.
Six-man tag match
The New Day (Big E, Kofi Kingston and Xavier Woods) vs. The Wyatt Family (Bray Wyatt, Erick Rowan and Braun Strowman)
Craig: So The Wyatts are heels again, their face turn was very short-lived. Probably just as well as their gimmick doesn’t really lend itself that well to a face gimmick. But that’s by the by. The WWE have invested in this feud with a lot of build – although the lynching was offensive. Anyway, this screams action packed card opener doesn’t it? Quite looking forward to this and think it could end up being one of the night’s stand out matches. As for a winner, I expect The New Day.
Winners: New Day
Brian: I like the Wyatts here…don’t have much else but that.
Winners: The Wyatts
Jamie: Two schools of thought here. Firstly, The Wyatt’s were split up in the draft so surely The New Day pick up the win because they will continue to operate as a team after this show? On the other hand, big Braun Strowman is the Wyatt member flying solo (on Raw), so maybe he’s in line for a big push so might go over in this match? Hmmm…
Winners: The Wyatt Family
Tag team match
Sasha Banks and TBA vs. Charlotte and Dana Brooke
Craig: It will be interesting to see who the surprise partner is. The world seems to be expecting it to be Bayley which could make the reaction to someone else pretty brutal… Also some discussion of Nia Jax debutng as a babyface which would seem a huge waste so something the WWE could indeed do. Either way, it’s all up for Sasha banks now so expect her team, featuring whoever the mystery partner is, to win this one.
Winner: Sasha and mystery partner
Brian: Could Bayley make her big debut here? I am not sure, but it seems to me that she might.
Winners: Sasha Banks and Bayley or whomever her partner is
Jamie: Bayley is introduced as Sasha’s partner; the crowd go ape shit; Bayley looks awesome in the match and picks up the win after a Bayley to Belly on Dana Brooke. Sometimes the predicable is what fans want. Moreover, imagine if it’s not Bayley. Imagine the heat whoever it is attracts as a result. Surely it’s Bayley and surely it’s a win…
Winners: Sasha Banks and her mystery buddy
WWE US Title match
Rusev (c) w/ Lana vs Zack Ryder
Craig: As much as I like Ryder and feel he was hard done by during his short-lived IC title run, I see him as being nothing more than fodder for Rusev. The WWE have got something pretty good going on with Rusev that deserves further investment, not a loss on PPV to Ryder.
Brian: My heart is going towards the underdog in Zack Ryder here…but my brain is telling me otherwise. Rusev is back on a roll which was greatly needed. I think Ryder will be just another victim of Rusev.
Jamie: The only WWE show I have watched since Money in The Bank was the draft on Smackdown, thus this feud has completely escaped my attention. If Ryder wins he’ll just lose it on the next show………. but that would be Smackdown, which is not the current home for the US Title. Interesting…
Winner, and new US Champion: Zack Ryder
WWE Intercontinental title match
The Miz (c) w/ Maryse vs. Darren Young w/ Bob Backlund
Craig: The Miz has been excellent as IC champion and, under the tutelage of Bob Backlund, there’s something very interesting in the Darren Young character. If the ending here is a clean win one way or the other, then the loser is hurt badly. It makes me think that we should expect some tomfoolery to keep this one going. I expect a win for The Miz, or a DQ one for Darren Young, keeping this programme going.
Winner: By DQ, Darren Young.
Brian: If the WWE really does care about making Darren Young “great again” then he needs to win the IC title here. I doubt that he will.
Winner: The Miz
Jamie: I bet they do the same thing here as I have predicted in the US Title match i.e. switch the title to the other show without consideration for the wrestlers involved
Winner, and new IC Champion: Darren Young
Becky Lynch vs Natalya
Craig: The heel turn of Natayla is long overdue and adds something to this match that already had a lot due to who was featured in it. I really like both competitors so will definitely tune into this. Who will win? At the risk of predicting too many non-clean finishes, I think Natalya by cheating allowing the feud between this pair to continue. Becky needs freshened up, though.
Brian: Should be a pretty good match. Natalya needed a new attitude so to speak. While we are at it…so does Becky Lynch.
Jamie: This should be good. Natalya as a heel seems to fit better than as a babyface. Hopefully she can help to build sympathy for Becky Lynch who, let’s face it, is still not quite as over as she should be. We’re told that she’s really good, but haven’t really seen much evidence on the main roster as yet. Hopefully this will change things.
Winner, by cheating: Natalya
Sami Zayn vs. Kevin Owens
Craig: Another match featuring two competitors I am a huge fan of. Given their previous matches both in and out with the WWE, I am thoroughly excited about this one. Should be hard hitting and full of memorable spots. A winner? The fans. Oh, in the match? I wonder if they will do the underdog thing with Zayn that they did during his programme over several Takeovers with Cesaro, having him come close to winning but just narrowly missing out until the big payoff. In that case…
Winner: Kevin Owens.
Brian: This will be the match of the night in my opinion. Zayn and Owens have tremendous chemistry with each other inside and outside the ring. I expect a 5-star match.
Winner: Kevin Owens
Jamie: This will be awesome and the crowd will duel chant for the duration. I kind of feel like Zayn needs the win more, but hopefully it doesn’t hurt Owens.
Winner: Sami Zayn
Six-man tag match
John Cena, Enzo Amore and Big Cass vs. The Club (AJ Styles, Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson)
Craig: There’s certainly star power in this one… Enzo and Big Cass have become elevated to the top of the card quite quickly, guess that’s what happens when you are paired with a name like John Cena. This is certainly a way of keeping the feud between Cena and AJ Styles going, but I’m never really ever sure that anyone really benefits from a feud with Cena… hopefully the Club win this one, but underhand measures I’d imagine.
Winners: The Club
Brian: With John Cena, Enzo and Cass involved, this match should be red hot. Will it be any good though? I am doubting it…but we will see.
Winners: John Cena and Enzo and Cass
Jamie: As I said earlier, I’ve not been following WWE for the last a few weeks, thus I am mortified to learn that Enzo and Cass have been teamed up with Cena. It’s like Cryme Tyme all over again. This partnership has clearly been devised by someone of an older generation who thinks John Cena is cool and that Enzo and Big Cass could gain street cred by teaming with him, or vice versa. Still, the crowd should be hot for this one.
Winners: John Cena, Enzo and Big Cass
Triple threat WWE title match
Dean Ambrose vs. Seth Rollins vs. Roman Reigns
Craig: This, too, should be excellent. You often go into main events of wrestling shows knowing who will win and, more often than not, how it will play out. As we discussed in last week’s Sunday Sermon, the same cannot be said for this match. Can Ambrose retain? Could Reigns come fresh from a suspension to regain or is it Rollins who will leave with the strap. Really, it could go anyway. Makes for an exciting match-up. I can’t really predict this so will, instead, go with who I want to win.
Winner: Dean Ambrose.
Brian: This should be another excellent match on this card. I expect a full heel turn by Roman Reigns and a lot of big “Holy Sh!t” spots.
Winner: Dean Ambrose
Jamie: I have no idea what to make of this match. While I may not have seen Raw recently, I am aware of what is going on. There are a lot of layers here which leads me to suspect that WWE might be preparing the crowd for a controversial decision that could lead to two champions. Plus, a returning Roman Reigns gets thrown into the mix.
Winner: Dean Ambrose…. I think
Craig: Far too many multi-person matches on the card for my liking and you would have got incredible odds on a PPV in 2016 featuring title shots for both Zack Ryder and Darren Young! Still a couple of interesting things here: The Shield triple threat and Zayn vs Owens for starters. Add in what should be two good six-men tags and this shouldn’t be too bad a show at all.
Brian: Meh, it really doesn’t do anything for me…but I am holding out hope. It could be okay if done right, but we shall see.
Brian: Speaking as someone who can possibly be considered a casual fan of late, I’m into this show. I have no doubt that had I watched every Raw and Smackdown in the last month I would not be so enthusiastic as I would probably have seen enough variations of these matches to last a lifetime. However, as things stand, I’m very intrigued by the main event, looking forward to Owens vs. Zayn and the rest of the card looks interesting enough for me to give this show a sneaky peak.