Barnett's Oddly Specific WWE Battleground 2013 Preview and Predictions: Will we have a WWE Champion after this show? Does RVD finally capture the World Heavyweight Championship? Does anybody care about most of this card?
By Jake Barnett
Foolishly, I will again try to predict the outcome of the WWE Battleground PPV as accurately as possible? How wrong can I be this time?
Pre-Show – Dolph Ziggler vs. Damien Sandow for some unknown reason: Seriously, has anybody determined why this is happening? I know it's the pre-show and it's unlikely to have any real storyline consequences, but now that everyone knows wrestling is a work, doesn't it make sense to give people some reason to get emotionally invested in everything? Rigged athletic competitions by themselves don't really have much draw. It's the evocation of emotion and storytelling that is the real draw of pro wrestling, right? In any case, I'm guessing Ziggler goes over here after a Zig Zag.
Prediction: Dolph Ziggler defeats Damien Sandow after a failed attempt at his neck breaker finisher leads to a Zig Zag.
Match One – AJ Lee vs. Brie Bella for the WWE Divas Championship: If you didn't watch Smackdown, you missed AJ Lee telling Brie Bella that her babies with Daniel Bryan would end up so ugly that the doctor would spank her rather than the goat baby. Presumably, this would be because he doesn't value his reputation or the oath he took in medical school, and just wants to pay out a massive lawsuit settlement as a fitting end to his joyless career. Seriously, these Divas story lines are the shits, and nobody in WWE even has the good sense to apologize for it.
You have beautiful, intelligent, and athletically gifted women, and the best thing WWE can think of for their bitter and psycho female character to say to her newly engaged reality star title challenger is “ZOMG your babies with goat face are going to be so goaty and UGLY!!!1!!!11!”? Are you even trying? I'm going to assume Brie Bella goes over here, simply because she's going to be intertwined in the main angle of the company for the foreseeable future and it will be much easier for the McMahon's to twist the knife in her if she holds the belt.
Prediction: Brie Bella wins with her version of the X-Factor after some assistance from her sister.
Match Two – Kofi Kingston vs. Bray Wyatt: So, we have this new creepy character driven trio that the crowd is really getting into. I think we should wait until the show two days before the PPV before we give them an angle or an opponent. That way, at least half the audience that watches our flagship show will have no idea about the match or the reason it is happening until they tune into the pre-show, if they bother. Honestly, I have no idea what else to say here. I like the Wyatt Family, and I like Kofi Kingston. I wish they had taken the time to build this up into something really meaningful, because I think Kofi has enough shine as a babyface that putting him in peril against the Wyatt Family would have elicited a pretty strong crowd response. The way it played out, he seems like a fodder to launch the Wyatt's in a new direction, instead of a major force for them to overcome on the way to whatever they are doing.
Prediction: Bray Wyatt defeats Kofi Kingston with Sister Abigail after Rowan and Harper get involved.
Match Three – Curtis Axel vs. R-Truth for the Intercontinental Championship: This match inspires antipathy for me. Both of these characters are god awful. Axel is wooden and lacks charisma, and Truth has been playing his character for so long that even he seems to be losing interest in it. I'm not sure what to expect in terms of match quality, but it's so clear that WWE doesn't care about the Intercontinental Championship that it would be hard to get motivated for this even if I expected it to be great. There's no reason to buy into the idea that Axel is dropping the belt, and Truth wouldn't be the guy even if he was, so this just feels like filler on card that really needed less of it.
Prediction: Curtis Axel wins with his modified neck breaker finisher after Truth misses an Axe Kick.
Match Four – CM Punk vs. Ryback w/Paul Heyman: The Paul Heyman and CM Punk feud has been nothing short of fantastic. Ryback's involvement has surprised me by how much I've liked it thus far, and I like this match up as we've seen quality matches from Ryback and CM Punk in the past. Heyman's fawning over Ryback, and his control of him using his hatred of “bullies” as a psychological lever has been more entertaining than I expected. I have to believe this feud gets extended to Hell in a Cell, so I expect Ryback to pick up a screwy victory here after some interference.
Predcition: Ryback defeats CM Punk after some Heyman and Axel interference that results in him getting Shellshocked.
Match Five – Cody Rhoes and Goldust vs. Seth Rolilns and Roman Reigns: This should be a fun affair. I like this match up and I think Rhodes and Goldust with Dusty in their corner will be a nice emotional hook for the crowd. The build was up and down in terms of quality, but I think the final promo really set up this match to be a potential show stealer. Dusty was much better in his second confrontation with the McMahon's, and Cody and Goldust's assault on The Shield was one of the better example of a surprise assault WWE has done in recent memory. I expect Cody and Goldust to get their jobs back, just to make for some interesting torture segments going forward.
Prediction: Cody Rhodes pins Seth Rollins after the match breaks down and Goldust and Reigns end up on the outside. I'm predicting Ambrose gets hit with a bionic elbow from the Dream.
Match Six – Rob Van Dam vs. Alberto Del Rio in a Hardcore Rules match for the World Heavyweight Championship: The build for this match has been pretty straight forward. The attack on RVD from Del Rio backstage was well done, and RVD is over to the point where he doesn't even need to talk for people to get excited about his matches. Del Rio has tried his hardest to get this feud over on the microphone in backstage interviews, but it's clear that the entire appeal of this is seeing RVD in a hardcore match, and that's not bad by itself. I'm hoping this is the final straw for the RVD and Ricardo relationship, as that has been so brutal that I can't even elaborate on it without passing out. I predict Del Rio retains here in another screwy finish, and RVD takes some time off to fight another day.
Prediction: Alberto Del Rio defeats Rob Van Dam after Ricardo turns heel by holding up a chair for Del Rio to hit a side kick Van Daminator.
Match Seven – Randy Orton vs. Daniel Bryan for the WWE Championship: I'm fully expecting this feud to continue to Hell in a Cell. The question you have to answer when predicting this match is whether or not Hell in a Cell is Daniel Bryan finally getting his hands on the WWE Title without any strings or bullshit attached, or his first successful title defense. I don't think WWE is stupid enough to have him win again here at Battleground and yank the rug one more time, so if he wins tonight I expect him to hold on to the title for a few months. I don't see them putting the title on Orton only to have him hold onto it for a few weeks, but I suppose weirder things have happened. My ultimate conclusion on this is that we get a non finish and ultimate another few weeks of abeyance, in order to set up the final conflict at Hell in a Cell.
Predicton: Daniel Bryan and Randy Orton ends in DQ, after Daniel Bryan snaps when Orton tries to put his hands on Brie Bella.
Do you have questions, comments or concerns? Please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or on twitter @barnettjake.
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