The main event will see Daniel Bryan take on Randy Orton for the vacant WWE Championship. This whole storyline of the title being held up just seems like a poor excuse for these two to try and meet up for the title again and yet again gave WWE another way to give Bryan the title only to take it away from him again. Knowing that these two men will almost certainly meet up again in three weeks in the cell, this match really does not seem to matter. Bryan and Orton will put on a great match as these two men tend to do, if the writers allow the match to be a clean match between the two men. Being that they are building this up for a third match in the cell, I’m highly skeptical that these two will have a clean one-on-one encounter. That being said, I expect Orton to win in a fashion that will permit the rematch with Bryan in the Cell.
The main match on the undercard sees World Heavyweight Champion Alberto Del Rio defending his title against Rob Van Dam in a Battleground Hardcore Rules match. This match is really seeming to highlight RVD’s hardcore past and each match he has on the road to this one has shown a particular aspect of that, each time ending with RVD hitting his patented Van Terminator. That being said, I still do not see RVD winning the title in this one. If I had to guess I would say that this may be the match that leads to Ricardo Rodriquez reuniting with Alberto Del Riomby costing RVD the title. The only way I see Van Dam winning is if Damien Sandow cashes in Money in the Bank afterward and I don’t see him cashing that in quite yet.
Remember a year or so ago when Ryback was taking on CM Punk for the WWE Championship inside Hell in a Cell? Remember how well that match went? Well, take away the WWE Championship, the cell and move Paul Heyman into the corner of Ryback and were pretty much gonna get the same thing without the screwy finish involving Brad Maddox. Punk should win this one, but keep the feud going with Paul Heyman and his “guys” for the rest of the year. Either way, this match isn’t gonna be pretty.
Speaking of Paul Heyman guys, Intercontinental Champion Curtis Axel will defend his title against R-Truth. Truth looked pretty good against Axel in their previous encounters and this match has the elements to be a surprise hit. Axel has had a tendency of losing in his non-title matches as of recently, but always pulls out the win when the belt is on the line. Whether or not Truth can break that streak is dependent on how much influence Heyman &/or Ryback have on the match and its outcome. In the end, I see Axel retaining in a fashion to allow them to meet up again at Hell in a Cell for the title.
In a match featuring one of the most out of left field story lines I can recall, Cody Rhodes and his brother Goldust will take on WWE Tag Team Champions Roman Reigns and Seth Rollins of the Shield. At stake is the fate of their WWE futures and their father Dusty’s job as a trainer in NXT. This whole, “let’s pick on the Rhodes family” storyline just baffles me.
I don’t really understand why creative went in this direction, nor do I really know where this storyline is going. Due to that, I’m kind of at an impasse for predicting a winner. On the one hand, The Shield have always been managing to find ways to win on the pay-per-view. On the other I don’t see WWE bringing in all of the Rhodes family into a storyline for one mediocre pay-per-view. I can almost see this going to the Rhodes clan by means of DQ leading to a possible six-man with Dusty and Ambrose involved at Hell in a Cell.
The WWE Divas Championship will be defended on the pay-per-view when champion AJ Lee defends against Brie Bella. This could be a solid match for the Divas title as these two women both have what it takes to hold the belt. That being said, even though Brie and her sister have been getting a big push in conjunction with the Total Divas show on E!. AJ walks out of the pay-per-view with the belt, if only for the reason that she is the only true heel Diva in the whole division right now and the other Divas fighting to take her down is better for the division than nothing. The only way that I see Brie taking the title is if the WWE were wanting to parlay her real-life romance with Daniel Bryan into a power couple type of storyline. The problem is, that doesn’t even seem to be close to an idea the creative team has though of.
In a match that will more than likely open the main card of the event, Bray Wyatt takes on Kofi Kingston. This match comes after weeks of Bray Wyatt’s cryptic messages directed at Kingston after his matches. There is no doubt in my mind that Kingston has the ability to make this match an entertaining spectacle when working off of Wyatt’s bizarre and rough offense. In the end though, the Erik Rowan and Luke Harper’s presence at ringside will be the deciding factor in Wyatt winning this match.
The pre-show match for this pay-per-view sees former World Heavyweight Champion Dolph Ziggler take on World Heavyweight Championship Money in the Bank contract holder Damien Sandow. It’s a match with Ziggler in it, meaning it definitely has the potential to be a fantastic match even for the pre-show. The fact that he’s taking on Sandow also has the potential to make this match a bit of a sleeper as WWE has to start building him up as a serious contender to the title if Money in the Bank is going to continue to be anything of importance. For that reason, look for Sandow to kick off the night with a win.
Keeping all of that in mind, if that sounds like a good way to spend your Sunday night, Battleground will be live on pay-per-view tonight starting at 8pm ET/5pm PT. For more news and results, keep it posted here at Between the Ropes.