WWE Battleground: Previews And Predictions
WWE rolls into Philadelphia, Pennsylvania tomorrow night as they host the first SmackDown exclusive Battleground event, a show that boasts the return of The Punjabi Prison. The structure was first seen back in 2006 when it was seen as The Great Khali’s signature match, even though he was unable to compete in the actual match that took place at The Great American Bash back in 2006.
Battleground has been having a few problems selling tickets in the past few weeks and it seems that Jinder Mahal hasn’t had quite the impact as Champion that WWE was hoping for. SmackDown ratings are at n all time low and Battleground is not expected to be able to live up to the hype that Raw has created following a fantastic Great Balls of Fire event earlier this month.
Eight matches have been announced for the Battleground card as of writing with every Championship on the SmackDown roster, with the exception of the Women’s title, on the line. As ever The Brass Ring team are here to share all their predictions ahead of the event, and this months panel includes Vickie Hopwood, Chris Rossington, Emellio Savvas, Phillipa Hopwood, Jake Waring, Andrew Parker, Taylor Hopwood, Chris Wilson, Steven Dimelow and Adam Nakhuda.
Phillipa, Emellio, Chris, Jake, Vickie, Taylor, Adam, Andrew, Wilson, Steven – Tye Dillinger
Thoughts By Phillipa – Tye Dillinger is “The Perfect 10” he was one of the biggest stars in NXT just a few months ago, but since WWE called him up to the main roster following WrestleMania, he seems to have become another name like Tyler Breeze and Bo Dallas who are unrecognisable outside of NXT. Is the stage that much bigger on SmackDown than it is on NXT? Why can’t Tye seem to find his feet and why are we stuck with the same kickoff show match that we had at Backlash a few months ago? The roster is now bigger than it has ever been and still, WWE can’t come up with a different match with different people. English needs to go, his gimmick doesn’t work and he is destined to be another Curt Hawkins in the not too distant future, so hopefully, Tye wins this so that he can wipe English off the bottom of his shoe and move on to a feud worthy of the main show.
Phillipa, Emellio, Taylor, Vickie, Adam – Sami Zayn
Chris, Jake, Andrew, Wilson, Steven – Mike Kanellis
Thoughts By Vickie – Mike and Maria Kanellis made their debut back at Money in the Bank and it seems over the past few weeks that Sami Zayn has accidentally been getting in the way of their love. It has happened too many times for it to be coincidence, but it seems that Mike had no problem sweeping Sami aside with the help of his wife Maria on SmackDown this past week. Maria is the added advantage at ringside, but don’t let that fool you, Sami is the Underdog from The Underground and it would be quite easy to see him coming out on top and giving Mike the welcome to WWE that he deserves tomorrow night.
Phillipa, Emellio, Vickie, Adam, Andrew, Wilson, Steven – Baron Corbin
Chris, Jake, Taylor – Shinsuke Nakamura
Thoughts By Andrew – I would like to preface this by saying that I’m a huge Nakamura fan boy. If you think you have me beat, then please, take a Bomb Ye to the face and sit right back down. With that mind, you’ll know that me saying the following is coming from the heart – Nakamura has been disappointing on the main roster. Nakamura excels in the longer matches as his strengths lie in the story telling that short matches don’t allow for. Corbin, on the other side, has majorly impressed. Whilst his promos could use a tune up, I’m finding it very hard to pick fault with him in any other way. Hopefully, what this all means is that we get a match that is given the time it needs to flourish. As for who will win… Nakamura is by far the bigger name, but as Corbin is the briefcase holder and therefore needs to look a threat, so I would give him the nod here.
Phillipa, Vickie, Chris, Emellio, Jake, Adam – Rusev
Taylor, Andrew, Wilson, Steven – John Cena
Thoughts by Vickie – John Cena made his return on Independence Day to rally the WWE Universe once again ahead of what is one of the most patriotic matches that WWE has ever presented. Of course, John Cena and Rusev have their history and it was Cena who ended Rusev’s famous undefeated streak a few years ago, with the duo even reaching the point where they needed an “I Quit” match to separate them. Cena is at the point in his career now where he should be putting over stars before he leaves, Rusev can’t get any lower than he is right now, which means he needs a win on Sunday night more than ever and it could well be time for Cena to finally lie down for someone else.
Phillipa, Chris, Emellio, Andrew – The New Day
Jake, Vickie, Taylor, Adam, Wilson, Steven – The Usos
Thoughts by Emellio – The Tag Team Division in WWE is pretty stacked, but haven’t we already seen the feud between The Usos and The New Day? In my opinion, we need new Tag Team champions, don’t get me wrong The Usos are great and so are The New Day but I think we need new Tag Team Champions! I’m hopeful that The New Day will win the Championships and keep the title for a few weeks while they build a feud with someone else leading into SummerSlam who can then take the titles. While I’m also hopeful that The Usos and The New Day will make this a great match I’m still hoping for some new Champions!!!
Charlotte Vs. Becky Lynch Vs. Natalya Vs. Tamina Vs. Lana – Fatal-Five-Way Number One Contenders Match For The SmackDown Women’s Championship
Phillipa – Tamina
Jake, Wilson – Lana
Adam, Taylor – Becky
Chris, Emellio – Natalya
Andrew, Vickie, Steven – Charlotte
Thoughts by Jake – The SmackDown Women’s Division looks strong, given this number one contender’s match doesn’t feature the Champion Naomi or Miss Money in the Bank, Carmella. Expect to see Tamina and Lana team up at first and likely turn on each other at some point. Initially, I was going to go for Tamina winning, but when looking ahead to Summerslam, and baring in mind Carmella and her briefcase, here’s my theory: Becky Lynch takes it, gets her shot at winning back her title, only to be scuppered by a cashing in Carmella. Hang on, I’m getting ahead of myself. Why am I trying to predict Summerslam already?! Lana win.
Phillipa, Vickie, Taylor, Jake, Chris, Emellio, Adam, Andrew, Wilson, Steven – AJ Styles
Thoughts by Taylor – AJ Styles shocked the world a few weeks ago when he managed to defeat the self-proclaimed Face of America Kevin Owens at a WWE Live event at Madison Square Garden with the United States Championship on the line. Owens won the title from his old friend Chris Jericho merely days after he was switched over to the SmackDown roster and it seems that Owens is unsure of his own identity when he doesn’t have a belt around his waist. That being said, SmackDown is the house that AJ Styles built and it is highly unlikely that Owens will be able to take the title from Styles this weekend, this match has all the makings of a show-stealer.
Jinder Mahal Vs. Randy Orton – Punjabi Prison Match For The WWE Championship
Taylor, Adam, Emellio, Wilson, Steven – Randy Orton
Thoughts by Adam – This Sunday night the main event sees Jinder Mahal put his WWE Championship on the line against Randy Orton. Mahal was given the chance to name his own match for the event and he chose for it to be inside a Punjabi Prison and is the first one in more than 10 years. This is one of the most hyped matches for the entire pay-per-view and Orton finally seemingly has Mahal on an even playing field since The Singh Brothers will be unable to interfere inside the structure. The Singh brothers have had an instrumental part to play in Mahal retaining the title at the last couple of pay per views with distracting Orton and resulting in Mahal capturing the title back at Backlash, however now locked inside the Punjabi Prison will this favour Orton and making him WWE World Heavyweight Champion again? We will find out Sunday night because you have to think that inside a structure like this, Orton’s experience could well be the difference maker.