WWE Battleground 2016 is set to come our way on July 24, 2016 at the Verizon Center in Washington, D.C. Per normal with these special events, before the action takes place, I’ll be taking a look at the card and attempting to predict who will end up being the biggest talking points by the end of the night, whether it be due to winning some important matches, putting on a great show, or just having the WWE machine firmly behind pushing them.
This is going to be a particularly important show, as the WWE Draft will shake the roster up and this will be some wrestlers first opportunity to shine a new light on themselves and gain a lot of momentum going forward on their new brands.
So without further ado, who do I expect will grab our attentions the most?
At the moment, I’m expecting Dean Ambrose to retain the WWE Championship by pinning Roman Reigns as a sort of punishment for his suspension, but anything can happen in the main event of Battleground. All three members of The Shield are big enough stars that the true story here isn’t as much about who in particular takes the fall and who doesn’t, but just that these guys are all going to collide in general.
Think about it: the marketing of this match hasn’t been about who the champion is going to be, but that The Shield finally has that triple threat scenario that we’ve all been waiting for since they came onto the scene years ago. Even the man who takes the pinfall (or submission, albeit unlikely) and the man who isn’t involved in the decision whatsoever are going to be sharing the spotlight with the winner, as it’s not about a title defense with the champion looking tall over his challengers.
More specifically, Reigns will get a ton of attention for making his return, Rollins will be the standout performer and Ambrose will probably win the match. That’s almost an even split among the trio.
The New Day / The Wyatt Family
This match would mean so much more if the Tag Team Championship belts were on the line, but even still, The New Day and The Wyatt Family have already made a major splash recently from the pre-taped battle at the compound. Just by doing that, the wrestling world was abuzz in regards to whether or not it was an attempt to copy TNA’s Final Deletion, prove that WWE can surpass that, or just a coincidence of weird timing. Any elements that carry over from that into this match are going to create some water cooler chatter, but even without that, the feud has enough steam to keep things interesting.
With the 2016 WWE Draft coming up, both teams could be split up and this may be the one and only time we see the two squads lock up inside a legit ring on television. The Power of Positivity may overtake The Eater of Worlds and his followers, but whosever side you’re on, you’re not going to be skipping this match, that’s for sure.
For the second event in a row, Charlotte is not defending the Women’s Championship and is instead booked in a tag team match. This time around, she and Dana Brooke will not be facing Natalya and Becky Lynch (who have their own match together….yay?) but rather, Sasha Banks and a mystery partner.
While Sasha is going to be a major focal point without a doubt, her partner’s appearance is going to overshadow the generic victory. Sure, WWE is going to market it as a huge deal that Sasha will have had a win over the champion, but we all know that there is an inevitable Banks vs Charlotte match at SummerSlam that WWE has just been stalling to do. In comparison, if someone like Bayley—the clear favorite to be Sasha’s partner—makes her main roster debut, that will be the big story people will be paying much more attention to.
I keep going back and forth between different possible outcomes for this match, with the most likely scenario being Enzo taking the fall for his team and The Club being victorious. However, sometimes the winning person or team doesn’t necessarily come out looking the strongest in the long run. In fact, if this turns into a show where John Cena blows through Karl Anderson and Luke Gallows while AJ Styles gets lucky by nailing the weak link of Cena’s team and picking up a quick victory, then by all means, Cena’s going to look like the brightest star in the match.
My mind is telling me that Cena’s team will win to help even the odds and set up a third match between he and Styles at SummerSlam, even though my gut is telling me that something else might be planned to muck that up. No matter what, Cena and Styles are going to be two of the first few draft picks, so they’re not leaving this pay-per-view without a heaping load of attention cast their way.
Kevin Owens / Sami Zayn
I would be shocked if Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens don’t equally astound the audience at Battleground with perhaps the best performances of the entire evening. They have great chemistry working together, a storyline that is a long time in the making, and this could be their last chance to battle it out for a good amount of time, so they should be sure not to leave anything on the table. Given a proper length to ensure they aren’t rushed and can build the match the way they want to, I could see this being a potential Match of the Year candidate, even.
Those are my picks, but who do you think will stand out? Are there any wrestlers missing from this list that you feel should have been included? Sound off in the comments below!