This Sunday is the WWE Battleground 2014 from the Tampa Bay Times Forum in Tampa, FL and airing on the WWE Network. Here are the Between The Ropes staff predictions for the matches on that show.
Cameron vs Naomi
Brian Fritz: Well, at least it’s just on the pre-show. There really isn’t much to this feud but it did just start. I guess I’ll go with Cameron to win here.
Steve Muelhausen: Hopefully this match is on the pre-show as it has no place on the main card. This feud is designed for Total Divas, which take that as you will. Naomi should go over here to keep her strong.
Michael Wiseman: Who cares? Really?
Josh Lopez: I think it’s well known that this feud has to be for Total Divas. In all reality TV shows usually in the 3rd season one of the “major” characters leaves the show. I’m not expecting much from this match. In WWE’s recent wave of budget and talent cuts I think Naomi wins the match on the Kickoff Show and Cameron will be fired from the WWE in the coming weeks. Cameron is expendable and she will be fine with her music career. #GirlBye. Naomi has potential and she will be fine in a singles role in the Divas Division. If you have seen Total Divas Naomi does have a personality and I think she will be in contention for the Divas Championship after WWE SummerSlam.
James Borbath: If Cameron wins I will be calling for the Diva’s Division to be ended. Maybe that is too strong, but seriously this girl is terrible and does not belong in a ring. On the other hand Naomi has some real promise as an in ring competitor. Naomi needs to win this match and move on as a singles competitor.
Rusev vs. Jack Swagger (with America on the line)
Brian: Their interaction on Raw has been great especially this past Monday night on Raw. WWE has done a great job in protecting Rusev to where it really mattered when Swagger caught him in the Patriot Lock. That being said, Rusev is definitely winning here and with another strong way. I don’t expect him to steamroll Swagger but get fairly dominating win. I just hope that the WWE gives more opportunities to Swagger following this.
Steve: Quite arguably the most over angle heading into this show. Who thought you would have said that? Don’t think WWE expected that Swagger would be this over heading into this match. This is the biggest match in the short career of Rusev. Swagger is a former world heavyweight champion and very talented in the ring. The match should be pretty good and the feud should continue into Summerslam. Would think Rusev goes over here, but could also see a non-finish.
Michael: It’s nice to see Swagger finally getting some (much-needed) momentum. A spotlight feud with Rusev, and a surprise face-turn, has brought ‘The Real American’ back into the wrestling conversation as something more than just a bottom feeder. Swagger won’t win here because WWE wants to keep Rusev rolling. And the match will probably only elicit a ‘meh’ from me at best. Still, this has been a decent story, and I hope it goes another month.
Josh: Who doesn’t love the good ole story of a “Real American” defending the country he lives in against the tyrant of Rusev and the “Ravishing Russian” Lana. Even though the build towards this match has been short it’s been affective. I think Lana has been carrying her own on the mic against the long-time vet Zeb Colter. How can you not get into a feud like this? This has money written all over the table and its works for hardcore and casual fans of professional wrestling. I’m fine with these guys having a series of matches you don’t need to rush the elevation of Rusev career. Give it some time to build let him obtain a impressive resume of victories maybe a US Title reign? This should be a good match and I’m really looking forward to it with that I’m going with Rusev to win the first of many matches to come in the future.
James: When this feud started I expected to see Swagger getting squashed. The response of the fans to Swagger and Zeb has been tremendous. I give Swagger a Rocky Balboa knockout puncher’s chance. Still I think Rusev will be get the win for mother Russia and save his eventual loss for someone bigger than Jack.
Seth Rollins vs. Dean Ambrose
Brian: This will probably be the show-stealer on this card. Not only that, but I expect this to be just the first in a series of matches between the two of them. Both of them are great workers and are eager to tear it up too. I hope this is a wild brawl with Ambrose getting his hands on Rollins. I expect Mr. Money in the Bank to steal a win here which will just infuriate Ambrose even more, leading to a rematch at Summerslam.
Steve: This will be the best match on the show, period. It will be intriguing where WWE places this match. You would think this would open the main card as this will be hard to follow. Rollins turned on Ambrose and Roman Reigns the day after Payback to align himself with Triple H.
The former Shield member went on to win the Money in the Bank briefcase last month. This match can go a variety ways and it will be interesting how WWE protects both guys here. Will go with Rollins with interference from The Authority.
Michael: Early contender for match-of-the-night. We know both of these guys can go inside the squared-circle. We know they’ll have great chemistry. The story has that built in drama so often missing in professional wrestling feuds these days (although I wish they had put the briefcase up for grabs here, but anyway…). The only real question is whether or not WWE gives these guys time to work. Winner: Ambrose
Josh: I think it was obvious that we were going to see this match, it was just the matter of when the match will occur. I think Seth Rollins will be fine and ready to go coming off what happen on Raw on Monday. Here’s the thing I’m not truly sold on the fact that Roman Regins is the “it” guy, so many guys in the business have been place with the proverbial “it factor” label. It’s still up in the air as to who will be the guy since The Shield disbanded. I really do see Dean Ambrose having the most to gain in this match and Seth Rollins being the one with the most to lose. I say that because Ambrose has nothing to lose we know why he’s going after Rollins he seeking retribution. Rollins is the new guy in the Authority. Rollins is “Plan B.” Seth Rollins has to not only prove storyline wise to the audience that we can believe that he’s next big thing in the WWE, but also to brass in the WWE that they can rely on him as a major star. This is the time where Rollins and Ambrose have the bright lights on them and I feel we will see one of the best matches of the year, so get your popcorn ready and enjoy the art they are going to display in that ring on Sunday. I see Rollins getting disqualified in this match right before Ambrose puts him away. I’m going with Dean to win the match via disqualification.
James: I firmly believe if Seth Rollins is indeed at 100% than this legitimately has the chance to be the match of the night. They recently worked a house show in my hometown of Hamilton,Ontario and I wasn’t there but those who were loved the match. These two guys I believe can have a long and drawn out feud that could go for a longtime. The dynamic of Ambrose being the roadblock to Rollins using his Money in the Bank contract is an excellent angle that you could legitimately play out for the entire year of 2014. Ambrose has been tremendously “over” with the fans. This match just can’t be bad in my opinion. Give Rollins the win with some help from his friends.
Chris Jericho vs. Bray Wyatt
Brian: Here’s another match I have very high expectations for. Jericho is back for just a few months, enough time to have a good program with Wyatt and helping him take the next step in his progression in the WWE. Sure, Wyatt is the get who will benefit from this program but since it’s likely going for a few months, I’m actually going to take Jericho to get the win which may be a surprise to some and tick off others. But it only makes sense for Jericho to pull out a win and then Wyatt getting his revenge in the coming weeks and them facing off again at Summerslam.
Steve: Chris Jericho returned the day after Money in the Bank to confront The Miz and was then attacked by Wyatt. People thought that Jericho would do a short program with Miz and then go on to Wyatt at Summerslam. Wyatt needs a win over another big name as the feud with John Cena didn’t pack the punch it was supposed too.
You would think the match will be good, but Jericho has only had a handful matches in the last year. I’m going to go with Jericho by DQ as The Wyatt Family will interfere in the match. This feud will go at least another month and you can get away with this finish.
Michael: Nice little surprise with Chris Jericho returning, and at that, returning to feud with Bray Wyatt. Jericho can work with anybody. And Bray Wyatt has really stepped up his game in 2014 (after a mediocre showing with Bryan at the Rumble). This story is Wrestling 101 for the “young blood vs legend” story blueprint. Jericho might’ve defeated The Miz in his return match, but he loses here to Bray Wyatt.
Josh: I’m happy Jericho is back for those who don’t know besides CM Punk, Chris Jericho is all-time favorite WWE Superstar. I know a lot of people are saying that Bray Wyatt has lost his steam and all of the momentum he had after he lost to John Cena at WWE Payback. The notion of people saying that Bray Wyatt is buried because he lost to John Cena is complete blasphemy. Best part of this feud we don’t really know what’s going to happen. We can play arm chair booker all we want as far as what the storyline will be heading into SummerSlam and Night of Champions. I’m just going to sit back and enjoy the work of two of the best mic workers, in-ring performers and storytellers in the WWE. I’m going with Chris Jericho to win this first match against the Eater of Worlds.
James: Bray Wyatt needs the win over a big star and Chris Jericho is back to be that star. After battling with John Cena and not getting the upper hand ultimately, so he really needs to come out of this event looking strong. My only problem with this is I expect this feud to continue, but I am not sure how it does if you give Wyatt the win here. Still Bray is going to be here after September and Jericho isn’t. So give me Wyatt for the win here.
WWE Divas Championship: AJ Lee vs Paige
Brian: This is one strange feud where it looked like they did a double turn upon AJ’s return but most people didn’t exact realize that was the case. The following week, they were teaming together and now they’re frenemies and complementing each other about their hair. I think AJ stays champion and this could set up another rematch at the summer spectacular.
Steve: This has been one backwards feud leading into this match on Sunday. Lee returned the day after MITB to regain the Divas title. It seemed like Lee was a heel and Paige was a face, but you don’t know what side of the fence each lady is portraying. This will be the first match that goes more than a few minutes involving them. Both divas are very talented, so we should get good match quality here. Lee retains the title here.
Michael: Great to have the Divas Divison back. WWE has intelligently moved their “Total Divas” story to something other than the Divas Championship, and let the women who know how to wrestle fight for the gold. I’m not a huge fan of the “frienemy” schtick, but it’s forced Paige to change up her style a little. I think AJ finishes her turn on Paige and retains this Sunday, setting up a rematch at SummerSlam.
Josh: This will be a donnybrook for Divas. I’m really looking forward to this match. I think Paige will end up turning into the real anti-diva this Sunday. As much as AJ Lee is perceived to be the anti-diva of the WWE, Paige will embrace this role to the tee. I think this match might have shenanigans, but I do see them going all out at SummerSlam. I’m running with AJ Lee retaining the Divas Championship via roll-up and when AJ continues to be all friendly with Paige and then when AJ turns around to walk away Paige will take her out.
James: This is the big heel turn moment for Paige you have to believe. I see it as a positive move for her and even in the short match they had you saw the difference in how Paige works as a heel. A.J Lee is still remaining the Champion though and a frustrated Paige will attack her after the match causing the feud to continue on to Summerslam.
Battle Royal for vacant WWE Intercontinental Championship: WWE United States champion Sheamus, Cesaro, RVD, Damien Sandow, The Great Khali, Ryback, Curtis Axel, Bo Dallas, Kofi Kingston, Dolph Ziggler, Big E, Fandango, Alberto Del Rio (more are expected to be announced)
Brian: When this match first got announced, I picked The Miz to come away with the title. Other think Sheamus could win it and the WWE could simple unite the Intercontinental and the United States championship. But Cesaro has been on a losing streak which is a strange but somewhat typically lead-up to someone winning a title these days. And having Bo Dallas as IC champ could be a lot of fun. I guess I’ll change my mind and pick Cesaro here and hope he gets a little more steam after being a bit on the back burner the past few weeks. It’s just too bad Bad News Barrett got injured and will be sidelined for a few months. That’s bad news for everyone.
Steve: The reason this match is taking place is due to the shoulder injury suffered by Wade Barrett last month. You can go a variety of ways here. Can make Sheamus a double champion, establish the new Miz character, make Bo Dallas stronger, revitalize the career of Ziggler or start the long awaited push of Cesaro. I’m going to go with Dallas winning his first WWE singles title.
Michael: So many choices… Bo Dallas? Ryback? The Great Khali? (gag) Maybe Sheamus emerges as a unified champion? I think the WWE is trying to get behind The Miz once again, so putting a mid-card belt on him could help revitalize his stalwart career. I don’t know how that sets up a Bad News Barrett feud, but then again, I’d be a fool to try and figure out WWE creative’s mindset most days anyway.
Josh: Rob Van Dam, Damien Sandow, Sheamus, The Miz, Big E, Kofi Kingston, Dolph Ziggler, Alberto Del Rio, Fandango will not win this match so yea we can eliminate those possibilities. I’m torn because okay maybe the Intercontinental Championship might be put in a bigger spotlight if Cesaro wins the Battle Royal. At the same time I feel that Cesaro doesn’t need the Intercontinental Championship and being stuck with stigma of being just the guy that wins battle royals. The best guy to wins this match is the inspirational the undefeated Bo Dallas. Just picture when Bad News Barrett comes back it will be complete irony when he comes back trying to get back the title he never lost against the young kid that eliminated him in the 2013 Royal Rumble. You have two unique gimmicks that work and can be comedic genius that feud has money written all over it when Bad News Barrett comes back. BOlieve.
James: Hate the way they are doing this with a Battle Royal which has become the WWE’s favourite thing to do. I BOlieve I know who is winning this match. Bo Dallas and his streak could bring some value to the Intercontinental Title. In a different but similar way to how the Honky Tonk Man had the longest reign as champion back in the late 80’s.
Best 2 out of 3 Falls for the WWE Tag-Team Championship: The Usos vs. The Wyatt Family (Luke Harper and Eric Rowan)
Brian: Another match that should be fantastic as these two team have awesome chemistry. Expect them to go all out too. The Usos are finally get credit for their hard work and the Wyatts have really come together with the audience totally buying into them. They’ve come close to winning the belts on several occasions and I think they get it done here.
Steve: Tag team wrestling in the last year has been pretty solid with The Rhodes Brothers feud with The Shield and now this feud. I can watch The Usos and Rowan and Harper face each other all day. Usos defeated Rowan and Harper at MITB, but the heel duo defeated the champions in a non-title match on Raw a few weeks back. You can go with a title switch here, but I would hold off one more month. The Usos retain.
Michael: This should be fantastic. I love a good 2 out of 3 falls match. Have I mentioned how much I love a good 2 out of 3 falls match? Seriously, though, nothing beats a good 2 out of 3 falls match (except maybe a 60 minute Iron Man match). The Usos have been hot, and their matches with The Wyatt Family have been spectacular. But it’s Harper and Rowan’s time to shine, so I think they walk away on Sunday victorious. Lets hope it sets up a tiebreaker at SummerSlam even bigger and better than this (I could totally dig a tag-team iron man match!).
Josh: I don’t care how many times these two teams face each other you can take my money. Rematches have been done a million times in the 50 years of the WWE on television, but never have I seen rematches that have the type of effective wrestling in it as I’ve seen with The Usos and The Wyatt Family. I think the added stipulation of two out of three falls will give these two teams the opportunity to put on the match of the year. I think the Wyatt Family will win their first WWE Tag Team Championship. I think the feud between these two will continue and I have absolutely no problem with it take my money.
James: I picked the Wyatt’s the last time, so call me stubborn, but I am sticking with the Harper and Rowan. I like the Usos but think their time is done for this run as champions. It should be an excellent match and the fact it is two out of three falls is proof of the confidence the company has in all four at this point.
WWE World Heavyweight Championship Fatal 4-Way: John Cena vs. Roman Reigns vs. Randy Orton vs. Kane
Brian: Well, I think we all know who is winning this match. Sure, try to trick yourself into thinking that someone whose name does not rhyme with Don Zena will win here. Who knows, maybe the WWE will throw a curve ball but I doubt it. John Cena gets the victory as expected.
Steve: We already know how this match is going to go, so lets not kid ourselves here. Will the match be good? Probably not considering the four workers in the ring. After a couple spoilers in the last week, it has been revealed that Cena is scheduled to defend the title against Brock Lesnar at Summerslam. Unless the WWE throws a huge monkey wrench and swerves everybody, I’m going with Cena to retain.
Michael: Cena. We know Cena is going to win. You think Reigns is going to win? Nope. Kane? Ha. Randy Orton? Well… highly unlikely. Cena is going to headline SummerSlam, and he’s going to do it against Brock Lesnar. But here’s the thing – just because he wins on Sunday doesn’t mean he’s walking out the champion. WWE needs to swerve fans now that the SummerSlam promo video has been leaked. How? Have Rollins cash-in right after the match. Then, let Cena call for his rematch on RAW, and win the belt back (because, lets be honest, Rollins isn’t ready for a lengthy title run yet). How does Raw end? Lesnar comes out as Plan B. Done. You can pay me now for my creative genius, WWE.
Josh: This should be a fun entertaining match. Will it be the match of the night no, but I don’t have a problem with that. I think right now I see the Authority costing Roman Regins the WWE World Heavyweight Championship. I don’t see Randy Orton and Kane working well together they will clash during the match. Now you’re left with John Cena. I think John Cena retains the WWE World Heavyweight Championship when John Cena gives Kane the Attitude Adjustment. And if Brock Lesnar is “Plan C” don’t bring up his UFC Background to put over the storyline. There should be no need for the WWE to promote the very brand thats taking away their viewers year by year. Stop with MMA References this is pro-wrestling I want to know why Brock wants the title not what’s on his resume its in the past move on. The only thing that needs to be bragged about it is the fact that he’s the one behind breaking The Undertaker streak and the WWE is his backyard for the seeable future and he is going to rule with the iron fists. This will be a better match than people will give it credit for.
James: WWE has gone out of their way to try and convince you anyone but John Cena will be champion after this match. Except for “Plan C” from Paul Heyman which is Brock Lesnar who is just waiting to get his hands on Cena for the second time since he has returned from the UFC. Expect Orton to somehow screw over Reigns leading to them getting together at Summerslam. If John Cena doesn’t win this match it would be a major shock and change in direction for the company. It is not going happen. Cena wins and the champ will be all set to take a mighty fall to Brock Lesnar.