Liam Hoofe with his predictions for this Sunday’s WWE Battleground event…
WWE SmackDown gives us their final PPV before SummerSlam this Sunday night when they present Battleground. The show, headlined by the return of the Punjabi Prison match, features several matches that should be solid, if not spectacular and should provide fans with an indication of some of the brand’s storylines and feuds heading into SummerSlam.
Here are my match for match predictions for the event.
Pre-Show: Tye Dillinger Vs Aiden English
This match exists for one reason and one reason only, and that is that the WWE clearly have no idea what to do with Tye Dillinger right now. Since making his debut the week after WrestleMania, Dillinger has done next to nothing on the main roster and has been largely absent from all programming.
He will get the win here Sunday night, but the WWE needs to pick their ideas up with Dillinger before he fades into obscurity.
Prediction: Tye Dillinger wins
The Usos Vs The New Day (WWE SmackDown Tag Team Championship)
The New Day will get another shot at The Usos this Sunday after the champs got themselves deliberately counted out at Money in the Bank last month. The rivalry between the two has improved somewhat over the last few weeks, with the rap battle a few weeks ago adding a real spark to proceedings.
That being said, the teams need to move onto something new and The New Day need to head into SummerSlam with the belts. Exactly who they will feud with over the summer is anyone’s guess right now, but this feud will likely come to an end this Sunday night.
Prediction: The New Day win the tag belts
Charlotte Vs Lana Vs Natalya Vs Tamina Vs Becky Lynch (Number 1 Contenders Match for the SmackDown’s Women’s Title)
SmackDown has one hell of a women’s roster right now, but I can’t quite shake the feeling that the WWE really isn’t sure what to do with it. Since the superstar shake up after WrestleMania, the company has just delivered multi women matches on both weekly television and PPVs and it is becoming increasingly difficult to care about what is going on.
Tamina’s mini angle with Lana will likely play a part on Sunday and I wouldn’t be surprised if the ravishing Russian didn’t earn herself yet another shot at the Women’s championship on Sunday.
That being said, the company need to have a clear feud heading into SummerSlam and it’s about time Charlotte was given her opportunity on the blue brand. She is the most talented women in all of the WWE right now and she deserves a big match at the Summer’s biggest party.
Prediction: Charlotte becomes Number 1 contender
AJ Styles Vs Kevin Owens (United States Title Match)
AJ Styles and Kevin Owens have been locked in a feud since Owens arrived on SmackDown after WrestleMania and while their in-ring work has been good, they have yet to have a real show stealing match. This Sunday provides them with the perfect opportunity to do so and fingers crossed they can pull it out of the bag.
Styles’ surprise victory over Owens at a house show has added a whole new element to this match and made the belt feel very important once again. Owens has plenty of potential feuds on Smackdown that have yet to be explored while a run with the belt for Styles would really help establish the belt as a big deal.
Styles retains here, in what could potentially be the match of the night.
Prediction: AJ retains his belt
Shinsuke Nakamura Vs Baron Corbin
The WWE clearly has big plans for both of these men right now, so a match between the two could prove to be one of the best on the card. The two have battled each other everywhere over the last month and the WWE has done a fairly good job of building a feud that will tire both men over until SummerSlam.
If this were against anyone else you would expect Corbin, who has just won Money in the Bank, to pick up the victory on Sunday night, but Shinsuke is special and the company will not want to give away his first defeat on what feels like a throwaway pay per view.
Prediction: Shinsuke wins
John Cena Vs Rusev (Flag Match)
John Cena’s return on the 4th of July was met with a great reception from the fans, and the guy adds some huge star power to the SmackDown roster. This feud with Rusev, however, feels kinda pointless.
Rusev has not competed on TV for some time now and it seems a shame that he is almost definitely going to lose his comeback match. Before Money in the Bank, it seemed certain the WWE was going to push him upon his return and while a feud with John Cena is far from a bad thing for him, it feels wasted knowing he is not going to win.
Cena will likely move onto a big feud with Jinder Mahal over the summer, and this is just to keep him entertained until then.
Prediction: John Cena wins
Jinder Mahal Vs Randy Orton (Punjabi Prison Match for the WWE Title)
Can this feud just end already? Randy Orton has been involved in some of the worst PPV matches of 2017 so far and a Punjabi Prison match is not likely to help his cause. This feud ran out of steam months ago and both men need to do something different as this just continues to tarnish the WWE title.
Jinder will pick up a win here, by hook or by crook and move onto his match with Cena at SummerSlam. As for Randy? Let’s just hope he can pick himself up from what has been a pretty dire 2017 so far.
Prediction: Jinder retains
What do you think will happen at Battleground? Are you excited for the event? Let us know in the comments below, and let Liam know on Twitter, here- @liamhoofe