Shore's WWE Battleground preview and predictions: Who will leave as WWE Champion? Can the Rhodes win their jobs back? Will CM Punk get his hands on Paul Heyman?
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By Chris Shore
Randy Orton vs. Daniel Bryan for the vacant WWE Championship: This will be the last match after what I foresee as frustrating night for WWE COO Triple H. My mind's eye even sees him venting about how everything is falling apart just before this match goes on. That means I also see some referee shenanigans to help Orton out because it’s what's best for business after all. All of this leads to a returning Vince McMahon tomorrow night on Raw to start the end of Triple H's reign of terror. Or at least I hope this is the beginning of the end because I think fans are starting to lose patience in this storyline. They like Bryan, but not much else. Especially Big Show, who we may also see in this match
Randy Orton wins in the only match to go Triple H's way tonight, albeit with some sort of ref shenanigans.
Alberto Del Rio vs. Rob Van Dam in a hardcore rules match for the World Heavyweight Championship. The weak build for this PPV has made it difficult to fill space on most of these matches, and RVD vs. Del Rio is a prime example. They've done just enough to get us here, but the lame hardcore moments leading up to this night have been…well, lame. This match does have great potential, and I think we'll get a good work rate out of both men, but I am struggling to find any excitement for this right now. With Van Dam's rumored time off, look for Del Rio to give him a reason to be gone while retaining his title. I can't rule out a RVD win and Sandow cash in, but I'm not going to pick it either.
Alberto Del Rio retains and probably puts Van Dam out.
C.M. Punk vs. Ryback. This was the best built match on the card, and while I am looking forward to it, I also expect it to continue. Dot Net staffer Will Pruett pointed out this week that there has never been a Hell in a Cell rematch, so maybe this doesn't happen the same way in the cell in a few weeks because we already did it last year, but look for some rematch that might include a handicap match with Curtis Axel and even Paul Heyman joining Ryback in the cage.
Punk has a small chance of winning here, but I'm fairly confident it’s Ryback's night. No matter who wins, there's no way Punk gets his hands on Heyman tonight as the fans are once again denied that final image until at least Hell in a Cell. And maybe even longer.
Ryback wins or at the very least destroys Punk to keep him from getting to Heyman.
WWE Tag Champions Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns vs. Cody Rhodes and Goldust. This will be just one of the many things that aren't going to go Triple H's way tonight. I cannot see any way that the Shield win here unless part of Vince returning (which is just my speculation) is to fix all of the problems Triple H has caused. I don’t think that's how it goes, so look for the Rhodes boys to pick up a win, but not before the big bionic elbow from Dusty sends the crowd into a frenzy.
Cody Rhodes and Goldust (and the Dream!) return to gainful employment.
A.J. Lee vs. Brie Bella for the WWE Divas Championship. This is another thing that I don't think goes Hunter's way either, though the connection to the family is slighter here. That not to mention the problems AJ has had with Stephanie as well. I think AJ should retain, but I don’t think she does. I think Brie wins and the celebrates with Bryan backstage to make his loss that much more hurtful to the fans. That said, you can't rule out Brie getting the "best for business" treatment as well.
Brie Bella wins the Divas Championship.
Curtis Axel vs. R-Truth for the Intercontinental Championship: I wish I could find a way to make this a longer paragraph, but what can you say? Axel beats an absolutely meaningless R-Truth to remain the meaningless champion.
Curtis Axel retains the Intercontinental Championship.
Bray Wyatt vs. Kofi Kingston: While I don't think Kofi gets the full Kane treatment here, I do think he gets carried out by somebody tonight. Maybe it's the Wyatts or maybe it's paramedics. Either way, let's hope a new Kofi comes back that finally gets the push he deserves. Don't sleep on this match folks. If anybody can get a good match out of Bray, it should be Kofi.
Bray Wyatt wins and Kofi Kingston is carried from the building.
Santino Marella and The Great Khali vs. The Real Americans: Please kill me. Why is this on a PPV? All of you people who cheer tonight, I blame you. Who wins? Who cares? I'm going to guess Santino and Khali, but bleh.
Santino Marella and Great Khali win.
Dolph Ziggler vs. Damien Sandow: This is the sleeper match of the night. Will WWE give them time to work? If so, prepare to be impressed with this match. If not, the match that has no reason to happen will suffer, as will the participants in the eyes of the fans.
Dolph Ziggler wins.
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