Gutteridge's "Man vs. Machine" WWE Battleground Predictions: Will the WWE Title find a new home? Will the Rhodes Family get one over the McMahons?
By Darren Gutteridge
Can Dot Net contributor Darren Gutteridge predict the outcomes of pay-per-view matches with more accuracy than the WWE '13 video game simulator? Let's find out.
I know it isn’t really right for me to complain about which PPV we get for free in the UK, but we couldn’t have got Survivor Series? Or something gimmicky like Hell in a Cell? Sigh. Still, it’s not that this PPV is without potential – it’s just had a very bland (and virtually nonexistent) build to it.
Going into it’s penultimate round of predictions, WWE ’13 managed to call only one match right at Night of Champions, whereas I predicted four, thus making it 7-1 to me overall.
Pre-show – Dolph Ziggler vs. Damien Sandow: In what will be a recurring theme on this PPV, this match featuring talented workers isn’t exciting me going into Battleground due to it’s complete lack of build. Granted, the pre-show match is never likely to be given a firm push on TV, but this one feels even more random than usual. Look for both men to put forward a big effort though, with Ziggler hoping to begin rebuilding himself after a disastrous summer season, and Sandow wanting to impress ahead of his eventual push to the main event scene thanks to his MITB briefcase. Both have been losing a lot recently, but Ziggler’s been more competitive, so I’ll go with him here.
Prediction: Dolph Ziggler defeats Damien Sandow
WWE ’13: Ziggler defeats Sandow
AJ Lee vs. Brie Bella for the Divas Title: I’ve been struggling recently to concentrate on WWE shows, especially Smackdown, so I may have missed the reasoning behind it all, but just a few months ago wasn’t Tamina hired by Vickie Guerrero specifically to hurt AJ? And now they’re pals? I never thought I’d be sad to see Big E Langston released from the position of AJ’s bodyguard, but considering the alternative (and Big E’s push since the split), I’d have the former pairing back in a heart beat.
If Brie is turning babyface thanks to her relationship with Daniel Bryan, a long term programme with AJ would make sense, but I feel that the weak build and lack of real support for Brie at this early stage will mean we see a successful title defence from AJ on Sunday, thanks to some interference from Tamina.
Prediction: AJ Lee defeats Brie Bella to retain the Divas Title
WWE ’13: AJ defeats Brie to retain
Kofi Kingston vs. Bray Wyatt: The lack of build for this match is unforgivable because of Wyatt’s character. Unlike someone who needs to use physicality to drive a feud forward, Wyatt can carry entire programmes with just his promo skills alone. So, with only three weeks between PPVs, why not have Wyatt stalk Kingston from the shadows on every single show (not just once or twice), building to this match where Kofi finally gets his chance to fight back? The slight against Wyatt so far is that he has yet to have a memorable match on main roster TV, so hopefully a workhorse like Kofi can help him have one here. I predict Kofi will indeed be the “first to fall” come Sunday.
Prediction: Bray Wyatt defeats Kofi Kingston
WWE ’13: Wyatt defeats Kingston
Curtis Axel vs. R-Truth for the Intercontinental Title: I can’t put into words the level of apathy I have towards this match and it’s participants. So I won’t try.
Prediction: Curtis Axel defeats R-Truth to retain the Intercontinental Title
WWE ’13: R-Truth defeats Axel to win the Intercontinental Title
CM Punk vs. Ryback: A few weeks short of the one year anniversary of their fantastic Hell in a Cell match at the PPV of the same name, these two are at it again, but this time with their roles reversed. Instead of Punk having Heyman on his side, it’s Ryback who will have the advantage of a corner man. It may be a little too much to ask for them to recapture the magic of 2012 (they don’t have the cell or the title this time around), especially with Punk essentially working hurt with a bad knee, but a good match shouldn’t be too much of a stretch for the two.
I could be fairly narrow minded in this pick and go for Punk, just because Ryback almost never wins on PPV. It was the correct decision to have Punk beat him last year, but WWE has damaged him a lot over the past 12 months thanks to never really giving him a big win. Even at Wrestlemania he lost a fairly non-important match to Mark Henry. But I will go against this trend and pick Ryback, chiefly because a big PPV win could really help him, and it would extend the Punk/Heyman feud on to Hell in a Cell.
Prediction: Ryback defeats CM Punk
WWE ’13: Punk defeats Ryback
Cody Rhodes and Goldust vs. Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns: I think this, more so than RVD/Del Rio, is the dark horse of the show. With all that is riding on it, the fans should become invested, especially if we get a hot finish as is commonplace with Shield tag matches. Both finishes could be argued for. On the one hand, reinstating the Rhodes boys and making their lives hell would fit in quite nicely with the HHH regime, but it may work out better, for Cody in particular, if they lose, and then reappear when the storyline is winding down in a few months time, joining whatever force it is that takes down HHH.
That doesn’t make a lot of sense, but a lot of booking decisions lately haven’t, so logic shouldn’t really rule it out. I think I will go for the former option though – a long term absence for Cody doesn’t seem right at this stage of his career, especially since he isn’t known to be carrying any injuries. He’s built a good chunk of sympathy from the fans, so it’s time now to turn that good will into genuine cheers and push up the card.
Prediction: Cody Rhodes and Goldust defeat The Shield
WWE ’13: The Shield defeat Cody and Goldust, with Reigns pinning Cody
Alberto Del Rio vs. Rob Van Dam in a Hardcore match for the World Heavyweight Championship: I predicted at Night of Champions that RVD would win the WHC. I still think that is the way this feud ends despite it not going down at NoC, so I will once again go for RVD to pick up the win here, and the rematch to take place in a Cell in three weeks time. I’m really struggling to enjoy any Del Rio match at present, but at least here he doesn’t need to be in the driving seat. RVD can do hardcore matches in his sleep, so they should be able to hold my concentration, as long as they use the gimmick they have been given to it’s fullest.
Prediction: Rob Van Dam defeats Alberto Del Rio to win the World Heavyweight Championship
WWE ’13: Del Rio defeats RVD to retain the World Heavyweight Championship
Daniel Bryan vs. Randy Orton for the vacant WWE Title: I predict shenanigans! If Bryan wins clean, then why did they strip him of the title for a month, only for it to go back to him? If Orton wins clean, why have him lose it in the first place? So now you have to be looking at a screwy finish, of which there are many to choose from. Does Brie cost Bryan? Does Show? Does HHH make sure Orton gets his title back? All obvious options, but all viable. I personally think Show will end up being the deciding factor, but for once I won’t predict a heel turn.
I think Show will knock out Orton after HHH tells him to hit Bryan, causing the match to end via a DQ. Yes the fans won’t be happy, but with Hell in a Cell only three weeks away, WWE will have the chance to promote the WWE Title Cell match as one where there won’t be DQs or Count-Outs AKA there must be a winner. That’s sounds like typical WWE booking, right? Then we can push on to Survivor Series where I predict this feud will conclude.
Prediction: Daniel Bryan defeats Randy Orton via DQ
WWE ’13: Orton defeats Bryan to win the WWE Title
Thanks for reading. If you had any comments or thoughts on the show or this preview, add me on Twitter via @Dazatheg, where I will be live tweeting the show.
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