Powell's WWE Battleground preview and predictions: Will Daniel Bryan or Randy Orton win the vacant WWE Championship? Will the hardcore rules help Alberto Del Rio, RVD, or Damien Sandow in the World Hvt. Championship?
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By Jason Powell
Randy Orton vs. Daniel Bryan for the vacant WWE Championship: Last month, WWE was kind enough to introduce the word abeyance to my limited vocabulary. With Hell in a Cell just a few weeks away, I suspect we may hear more of that word. It seems marketable enough to have a Hell in a Cell match with a guarantee that one of the entrants will win the held up WWE Championship. Sure, it will piss off some of tonight's pay-per-view buyers, but I suspect this thrown together, poorly promoted event will be ordered primarily by die-hard fans who will be back for the next show no matter how loudly they bitch tonight and tomorrow morning. Yes, I know, you are the exception and, dammit, you really mean it this time. Hey, I don't like what they've done with the WWE Championship, nor do I like the idea of ordering another show that closes with a screwy finish, but I suspect there are some within WWE who feel that it is Best For Business.
The match ends in controversy and the WWE Championship remains in abeyance.
Alberto Del Rio vs. Rob Van Dam in a hardcore rules match for the World Heavyweight Championship. I have this odd feeling that the hardcore rules somehow leads to Damien Sandow successfully cashing in. Then again, I also had an odd feeling that the Dallas Cowboys would beat the San Diego Chargers on the road last weekend. A couple of worthless Las Vegas parlay tickets later, I've learned to ignore my stupid instincts. With Hell in a Cell up next, I see no reason to book a title change, but WWE may feel otherwise if they want to spotlight the WWE Championship at HIAC. I must admit that I have less confidence in this pick than I did in my Minnesota Vikings money line pick from last Sunday. Shockingly, that one actually hit. Yes, I gave up points on the Vikings and it actually worked. What an f'n homer. By the way, the Mandalay Bay sports book on a Sunday during NFL season is heaven on earth for this NFL junkie. I would gladly become a professional gambler if it wasn't for the pesky little issue of not being very good at it. Hey, a push is a win, right? Keep that in mind when you read the rest of these picks.
Alberto Del Rio retains.
C.M. Punk vs. Ryback. I do not expect this to be a one-off program. In other words, they're just getting started here, so there's no reason to think that it's as simple as Punk hitting the GTS and pinning Bully Ry. Rather, I expect Paul Heyman's Big, Beautiful Man to either get a cheap win or for the match to end in some type of of DQ.
Ryback wins or something happens to extend the feud.
WWE Tag Champions Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns vs. Cody Rhodes and Goldust. It's the last chance the Rhodes boys have to score WWE employment and now even big daddy Dusty's job is on the line. It's a non-title match, so a win for the Rhodes family would give them their jobs back and set up a future tag title match. Throw in a few bionic elbows on Dean Ambrose and we're done here. I expect this to be one of the most entertaining matches of the night.
Cody Rhodes and Goldust help President Obama's unemployment numbers.
A.J. Lee vs. Brie Bella for the WWE Divas Championship. Will this be the night that Brie and fiancee Daniel Bryan close the show in Eddie Guerrero and Chris Benoit-like fashion by hugging and holding up their championship belts together? God, that sounds awful. I think Brie will work as a babyface even though WWE creative once again neglected to deliver an actual turn. The logic for her turn seemed to be she was on Total Divas so you should like her now. Triple H, Stephanie McMahon, and Randy Orton do not like her so I just can't see her winning the title tonight.
A.J. Lee retains, perhaps with some "Best For Business" shenanigans.
Curtis Axel vs. R-Truth for the Intercontinental Championship: Kofi Kingston has his title shot, meaning it's R-Truth's month. Why do the secondary titles even exist at this point? The only way I can see Truth winning is if Punk plays games with Axel and Paul Heyman. I'd like to think that Punk has better things to do than ask the production guy to play his music during an Intercontinental Title match. Twiddling his thumbs on his tour bus seems like a more valuable use of time.
Curtis Axel retains the Intercontinental Championship.
Bray Wyatt vs. Kofi Kingston: The buzzards have arrived in Buffalo. Kingston should give Wyatt a good match before the eater of worlds puckers up and performs his finisher.
Bray Wyatt wins.
Santino Marella and The Great Khali vs. The Real Americans: The comedy stylings of Santino and Khali will dominate the match, but I suspect Jack Swagger and Antonio Cesaro walk away with the victory. I'd pay good money to see a Cesaro swing on Khali.
The Real Americans win.
Dolph Ziggler vs. Damien Sandow: Sandow is on the Dolph Ziggler version of the Money in the Bank script. Win the contract and then lose a lot until the time comes to cash in. Yuck. Plus, it's the Kickoff match and the babyface wins way more often than not.
Dolph Ziggler wins.
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