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WWE Battleground looks much better on paper than I assumed it would coming out of the Money in the Bank pay-per-view. The returns of Chris Jericho and A.J. Lee created some fresh matchups, and the four-way main event is about as good as the company could do considering all the buzz over the expected SummerSlam main event of John Cena vs. Brock Lesnar. My only concern going into the show is that most of the undercard resembles my mock lineup for the SummerSlam undercard. In other words, this looks like setup show with match finishes designed to create rematches at next month's event. Even if that turns out to be the case, this has the potential be a fun stop on the road to SummerSlam.
John Cena vs. Roman Reigns vs. Kane vs. Randy Orton in a Fatal Four-Way for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship: Cena will be missing some upcoming television events while filming a movie. I'd love to hear what The Rock's character has to say about this development. Anyway, this has led to some speculation that Cena could drop the title here. If so, then Reigns would be the only option that makes sense since no one wants to see an Orton or Kane title reign right now regardless of how brief. I continue to argue that as much as I dug the Reigns act, it simply feels like it would be premature to put the title on him. Plus, Cena just won the title. If they wanted Reigns as champion, then why didn't they just put it on him at Money in the Bank? I know, they have a network to sell. And while I can't rule out the mentality exists that rapid fire title changes will help sell the network, I can't think of anything worse than devaluing the title by playing hot potato with it. My guess is that Cena haters will have to wait until next month to see him lose.
John Cena retains the WWE World Heavyweight Championship.
The Uso Brothers vs. Luke Harper and Erick Rowan in a best of three falls match for the WWE Tag Team Championship: This is the most appealing match on the show for this viewer, and that's really saying something when you look at the impressive lineup. I just hope these teams are given plenty of time rather than being stuck to cram three finishes into the usual allotment of time. The time has come for Harper and Rowan to take the titles and put the Uso Brothers in chase mode.
Luke Harper and Erick Rowan win the WWE Tag Team Championship.
Chris Jericho vs. Bray Wyatt: A clunky go-home edition of Raw segment and the hot tag title match moved this match down a spot on my "most anticipated" list. Even so, I am really looking forward to seeing what Jericho and Wyatt come up with for what I assume will be a three pay-per-view match series. We all assume that Jericho is back to elevate Wyatt. And while I assume Wyatt goes over here, I must say that if Jericho was going to win one of their matches, this would seem like a good spot, as Wyatt could lose this battle and then win the next two matches to win the war.
Bray Wyatt wins.
A.J. Lee vs. Paige for the WWE Divas Championship: I will be very into this match once the bell rings. Unfortunately, the buildup has left a lot to be desired. I still have no clue as to which woman is the heel and which woman is the babyface. I assume Paige as the heel because she's being overly nice to Lee, but it's not like Lee has cut an endearing promo or done anything since she's returned to show that she's a babyface. It's not like the mystery is eating at people, it's confusing them. Still, these are two of the best in-ring performers the company has in the Diva division. We've seen them work two brief matches and now I am hopeful that they are given ample time and turned loose. I can't tell whether Paige is setting up A.J. for a fall in this match or if they are telling a story with her that will play out next month. Tie goes to the champion.
A.J. Lee retains.
Dean Ambrose vs. Seth Rollins: Yet another match that I thought would play out at SummerSlam and probably still will. I don't think they will have either man lose clean. I assume that this match will result in Ambrose's head putting a dent in the Money in the Bank briefcase. I'm just not sure whether to go with a DQ finish or Rollins getting away with it and scoring the pin off the briefcase shot. Coin flipped and...
Seth Rollins wins.
Rusev vs. Jack Swagger: How great would it be if this match were happening on a pay-per-view named The Great American Bash? Anyway, I will be disappointed if we don't get a rematch from these two at SummerSlam. I don't think Rusev should lose clean anytime soon, but they need to capitalize on the reaction that Swagger is getting by making him look strong. How about Swagger puts Rusev in the Patriot Lock, only to have Rusev break free by grabbing a nearby flagpole and striking Swagger with it? They seem to be doing more with the Bo Dallas streak than Rusev's singles winning streak, so maybe a DQ loss isn't out of the question. Oh, hell, when in doubt, Rusev crush.
Battle Royal for the vacant Intercontinental Championship: I'm a Boliever! Plus, I'd love to hear his post-match speech when the injured Bad News Barrett presents him with the Intercontinental Championship. My fallback pick is Cesaro winning, which would help explain his recent losses.
Bo Dallas wins the Intercontinental Title.
Cameron vs. Naomi: A real test for both women. Cameron plays her character well but her ring work leaves a lot to be desired. Naomi has shown great athletic ability, but she's usually not asked to carry many opponents. It feels too soon for the heel to lose clean since this is just getting started. Instead, let's go with Cameron walking out to set up a lumberjill match at SummerSlam.
Naomi wins by count out.