Kingzak: What’s up guys Kingzak is back in action with another column. As most of you know the LOP Grand Prix started recently and I was 10 points short of qualifying, earning myself the number 17 seed. But at the same time fellow columnist Kblitzko scored the same amount of points as me, so a duel was set. Initially I thought “Pistols at dawn” but I have no idea where he lives and he has no clue where I live so that wouldn’t work. Then I thought “Missiles at dawn” would work but apparently MI6 did not approve. So instead of murdering each other, we are having the far more peaceful solution of a prediction contest. Quite simple, whoever gets the higher score wins the 17th seed in the LOPGP. Now that is out of the way, welcome me in joining my opponent Kblitzko.
Kblitzko: During the Lords of Pain Grand Prix, I also came up 10 points short and was assigned the 18th seed. Now while I didn't believe that I was going to qualify for the round of 16, I was pretty certain that I deserved the 17th seed over Kingzak13 because I had a 3-2 judges' advantage. To settle out once and for all who was the highest of the non-qualifiers, we brought up the idea of a competition in the spirit of the qualifying round's topic. As we don't live together, a wrestling match was out, despite the fact I would have made him tap out to any and every submission hold that I could lock in. Thus the idea of a prediction contest was born to give Kingzak a fair chance to retain his seeding. The rules are simple: He who predicts the most matches wins the competition.
This Sunday, July 20, WWE is presenting Battleground, the final PPV before Summerslam. While I'm a proponent of reducing the total number of PPV events that WWE puts out every year to help cut costs, I can honestly say that I'm looking forward to the Battleground card, which has something for almost every fan out there. From a fatal four-way main event to a battle royal to grudge matches, this card shapes up to be one of the best all-around cards of the year provided that WWE creative doesn't shit the bed. Going into the PPV, we have eight confirmed matchups, including two singles match of the year candidates and a tag match of the year candidate...and one potential stinker. In a word, this won't be the greatest card of all time, but this will be a solid card.
Kingzak: Getting rid of PPV’s won’t help costs in the long run. Fire a commentator and go back to the two man team, make the network an extra dollar and focus on the international launch, which is where the money lies. But we aren’t here to discuss economics (nor can I think of much more to add) we are here to preview Battleground for our homies in the CF. the card looks exactly how a non big 4 show should look, a decently stacked card with some unpredictability to it that sets up for the next PPV. Anyway before we get to that dynamic and interesting card we have to go through the pre-show.
Pre-Show Cameron vs. Naomi
You wanna go first or should i?
Kblitzko: I'd like to go first if you don't mind.
Ah, Naomi vs. Cameron, the grudge match of the former Funkadactyls and the potential stinker of the night due to Cameron's lack of talent. Most of this feud has centered on Cameron's diva-like (not to be confused with WWE Diva-like) attitude that has cost Naomi more than once. Once Naomi had enough of Cameron's attitude, the more athletic Naomi beat down her former partner and has gotten the upper hand more than once in the shows leading up to Battleground. While this would normally give Naomi the momentum and advantage in the Kickoff match, we have to take into account that Cameron has found a new friend in the insane Alicia Fox. Naomi will dominate most of the match, but Alicia will interfere in some fashion whether it works or backfires.
The Blitz predicts that CAMERON gets the victory over Naomi leading either to an extension of the feud or to hotshot Cameron to the head of the line for the Divas title.
Kingzak: Yeah I am with you on this is a pretty poor match, Naomi is decent in the ring and could be Divas Champ one day while Cameron is as big a myth as Eva Marie when it comes to employement. Naomi got the advantage in their brawl a couple weeks back and did nothing the past couple Raws. I think Alicia Fox may interfere in this one and that may be the deciding factor. But I don’t think Cameron is walking away with this one, Naomi has actual reason to be pushed and Cameron acting as a jealous and egotistical bitch would work to her advantage, as that is basically telling her to go out and be herself. Naomi should win this one and I think she most definitely will.
Zak picks Naomi
Blitz picks Cameron
Next up we have a match that hasn’t officially been announced but is quite possibly on the card.
Adam Rose vs. Damien Sandow
Kingzak: For those of you who seen the news posted on the main page will know these two were removed from the battle royal and that it is possible that the match will take place on Sunday. As far as feud build goes this match boils down to a hot dog. Damien was about to enjoy it, Rose came over and decided to be a dick and take it, before “comically” throwing Sandow into something heavy. I don’t know if I am missing something but that is what I got from their segment on Monday. Did Rose pay for the hot dog and Sandow take it or was it just catering delivering food and Rose decided to take it because he is the good guy? I may never know or care enough to find out. As far as this one goes I am sure that we see the Exotic Express celebrate at the end of this one.
Kblitzko: Actually, Sandow stole the hot dog from the carhop who was bringing it to some random guys before Rose took it from Sandow. The fact he decided to enjoy it himself is irrelevant. This is all the buildup that's needed apparently and it shows that creative is getting lazy if indeed this match is added to the card. I wish I could go out on a limb and give the duke to Sandow given that some of the brass backstage isn’t happy with the Adam Rose character outside of comic relief a la Santino. However, even a diehard Sandow fan like myself has mostly given up on the Intellectual Savior being taken seriously in the ring. With that said, if the match does indeed make it on the card, ADAM ROSE Party Fouls Sandow right out of there and I get to fantasize about pollinating some of the Rosebuds.
Zak picks Adam Rose
Blitz picks Adam Rose
Bray Wyatt vs. Chris Jericho
Kblitzko: Here we have a match of the night candidate and possibly a match of the year candidate. Since coming up short against John Cena multiple times and failing to win the WWE World Heavyweight title at Money in the Bank, the whole world has not been in Bray Wyatt's hands. When Chris Jericho returned and hit the Codebreaker on the also-returning Miz, the Wyatt Family attacked Jericho and left him laying. In the shows leading up to Battleground, Wyatt has cut multiple promos on Jericho claiming to be there to "save us" (a reference to Jericho's return in November 2007) but not being there when the WWE was being terrorized by the Shield. Apart from sneak attacks by the Family, the feud between Jericho and Bray directly has been mostly verbal. So far, Bray has proven to handle himself on the mic, even in comparison to a mic maestro like Jericho. This will be a nice back and forth match, and with the feud most likely going through to Summerslam, the Blitz is predicting that BRAY WYATT gets a win over Chris Jericho in a very hard fought effort.
Kingzak: I was honestly hoping that Miz vs. Chris Jericho would be at Battleground and Bray vs Jericho would be at SummerSlam, I can only hope that they have bigger plans for both men at SummerSlam. I have enjoyed the verbal sparring between these two, Bray always has something up his sleeve that digs right at the core of his opponent. As to my choice I 100% agree with you that Wyatt wins, Jericho is seemingly fine with just helping out the newer superstars by letting them feud with a multi time champion, and that is something we should all commend him for, but it does make his PPV matches fairly obvious when it comes to picking a winner.
Zak picks Bray Wyatt
Blitz picks Bray Wyatt
The Usos vs. Erick Rowan and Luke Harper, 2 out of 3 falls tag championship match
Kingzak: Since we are on the topic of Wyatts, I figure we should talk about what the rest of the Wyatt family is doing. Last month prediction seemed split down the middle with half the people picking the Wyatts and the others picking the Usos. The two teams pulled off a good tag match at MITB and with the extra two falls this promises to be even better. I am not going to be doing this one fall by fall, lets just pick an overall winner. Personally I think it is time for the Wyatts to win the gold, my money is on the first fall to the Usos and second and third to the Wyatts, just for anyone wondering. But I still think the Wyatt Family walks away with the bronze.
Kblitzko: Definitely an interesting point that it's time for the Wyatts to win the gold. This should be a candidate for tag match of the year and possibly even an overall MOTY candidate. The 2 of 3 falls stipulation came primarily from the fact that the wrong Uso got pinned during one of their non-title tag matches, so it's very possible that the Wyatts get screwed because of pinning the wrong Uso. I'm going to with a slight upset and take the Usos to retain at Battleground with the Wyatts to win it all at Summerslam. By this time, there will be some more contenders for the tag titles, most likely Rybaxel and the Dust Blowers. I'm personally looking forward to Rowan/Harper vs the Ascension if and when they get called up to the main roster.
Zak picks Wyatt Family
Blitz picks Usos
Jack Swagger vs. Rusev
Kblitzko: In yet another USA vs Russia feud, Rusev faces his stiffest competition yet in the All-American American Jack Swagger. So far, Swagger has gotten the upper hand on the Superathlete in every physical confrontation and has the experience advantage. However, with as well-developed as this storyline is, I'd hate to see Rusev lose just yet. Now that I've discussed the match, Lana is deliciously hot and has legs that can wrap around my neck and CRUSH!...much like Rusev will do to Jack Swagger. RUSEV wins by Accolade.
Kingzak: You heard it here first Lana, if you ever need oral, Blitz is willing to lend a hand, well tongue. Anyway this is easily the best Swagger has been since before WM29, and I find it weird to see the xenophobic duo being the babyface here, I guess that is the power of ‘murica. Anyway this should be a good match, but Rusev is the new character getting a strong push, so he is going to win. However I wouldn’t be surprised to see a draw here and this feud continues into SummerSlam
Zak picks Rusev
Blitz picks Rusev
20-man Battle Royal for the Intercontinental Championship
Kingzak: Every few months we get a big battle royal, I don’t know why, has it always been like this or is it a new thing. Anyway there are a couple of obvious choices. Alberto Del Rio is a good possibility considering that every other WWE title is held by a face (currently). However the main choices are Cesaro, Sheamus and The Miz, in my opinion we will see one of those three walk away with the gold. Sheamus is already US champion and I don’t think WWE are willing to unify the two titles. So that leaves Miz and Cesaro, honestly I think Cesaro needs it right now, he is away from Heyman and is still a heel despite everyone liking him, so I am going to pick Cesaro for the win
Kblitzko: It's not a new thing, but WWE seems to use these battle royals to stuff people who otherwise wouldn't have matches on the card. I have a big problem with these battle royal matches where all the competitors are in at once because we all know half of them won't make it. I'm going to X out Sheamus from the get as well as Alberto Del Rio, whose stock as any kind of champion has been heavily damaged, once again thanks to Sheamus. Ziggler, Cesaro, Kofi, Dallas, and Miz are my top 5 people to survive. Kofi will certainly bring his self-save excitement, but I really don't want to see him as champ again. Dallas is a dark horse pick to win it, and with Barrett presenting the IC title to the winner, I'm pretty sure no one would complain if Barrett gave Bo an inspirational Bullhammer. As much as I love Cesaro, I just can't see him winning it. Cesaro's been booked horribly as of late, and I really don't like badly booked guys suddenly popping up and winning the belt. Does anyone remember Swagger's MITB case and WHC title reign? That leaves Miz and Ziggler, and I think it's safe to assume that whoever wins will be feuding with Barrett sooner or later. Given that I firmly believe Barrett will be a face on return, I'm going to give MIZ the sneaky win, which will allow him to either feud with Barrett or with Sheamus to unify the IC/US titles. Either way it'll be an opponent that won't hesitate to bonk Miz in the face.
Zak picks Cesaro
Blitz picks The Miz
AJ Lee vs. Paige Divas Championship
Kblitzko: I'm going to go all-out and say that if this match is given more than 5 minutes that we may see one of the best main-roster Divas matches in years. AJ's come a long way since her NXT Divas time, and Paige has gotten even more smoking hot. Right after WrestleMania, Paige came in and took the belt off AJ, presumably so AJ could marry CM Punk and have the honeymoon. On her return, AJ returned the favor to Paige, taking back the Divas title and ending a very poorly booked reign for the Norwich Nightmare. I can't see AJ losing the belt...but I can see Paige turning full heel as a true anti-Diva with a post-match attack. AJ Lee retains, hopefully setting up a Summerslam rematch.
Kingzak: I am not sure about Paige turning heel, it could happen but I just don’t know. A match between these two could be gold, like you mentioned. I find myself wondering if this will be better than AJ vs. Kaitlyn from Payback last year. My inner optimist says yes but my outer pessimist says no, either way I think we see AJ Lee walk out with the win, you don’t just switch the title back and forth over the course of two/three weeks, this isn’t the attitude era, title reigns tend to last a month and a half and we are nowhere near this point.
Zak picks AJ Lee
Blitz picks AJ Lee
Dean Ambrose vs. Seth Rollins
Kingzak: You want your match of the night, this is it. These two have a long storied history, and assuming this doesn’t go to a DQ or countout then this will be a great match, even so it will still be pretty great. Either way this will be one of the nights highlights. I think we see Seth take a sneaky win, he is going strong right now and with the authority backing him he should walk out the winner, Ambrose will win the war but this PPV will not be the last match between the two, my hope is that we get some sort of no DQ match between the two at SummerSlam, that will burn the house down then.
Kblitzko: Oh hell yes this will be match of the night if there isn't any funny business. I've seen Ambrose's work as Jon Moxley and Rollins's work as Tyler Black, and both these guys are capable of tearing down the house any night. I think we can both agree that the chances of non-interference are slim and none despite the rest of the Authority sans HHH are in the main event. While Rollins should win the match leading to a rematch at Summerslam, I have a feeling AMBROSE will take the W by disqualification to leave the fans wanting more in a feud that should last all the way to the Rumble.
Zak picks Seth Rollins
Blitz picks Ambrose
John Cena (c) vs. Kane vs. Randy Orton vs. Roman Reigns
Kblitzko: Ladies and gentlemen...and motor homes...Your main event! Since winning the title at Money in the Bank, Cena has run afoul of the Authority, who wants the belts back in the fold. When it comes right down to it, this match will more than likely only be fourth-best back of Rollins-Ambrose, Wyatts-Usos, and Jericho-Wyatt. I'm a little upset that this isn't an elimination match because of the immortal words of Ric Flair: "To be the man you have to BEAT the man!"
Kblitzko: All right, let's eliminate Kane from winning right off. While I have a feeling the Big Red Machine will end up turning on Orton during the match, there's no way he wins the title. There's also no way that Randy Orton wins. I don't know about you, but I doubt WWE would be stupid enough to book another title reign for Orton the same way he was booked for over seven months since last Summerslam. However, this is WWE creative, and I wouldn't put any boneheaded decisions by them. That leaves Cena and Reigns. I'm going to catch all holy hell for this, but Roman Reigns is not ready to win the belts yet. He hasn't had enough time as a singles guy, and even as a singles guy he's been put mostly in tag teams. Under duress and considering my other risky picks, I have to go safe and take CENA to retain with Battleground going off with Cena laid out by....BRRRRRRRROOOOOCK LESNAR!
Kingzak: I think this is going to be second best of the night, Orton and Cena work well together and Kane has proven a useful commodity to matches and Reigns is crazy over and I believe he can thrive in a main event scenario. But I still think Ambrose/Rollins will be better. Like you said Kane is not going to win this one, I think he does turn on Orton but Kane ends up being the one getting pinned. I agree with you on Reigns, I don’t think the fans will be too harsh, a lot of people have been saying that Reigns is not quite ready, maybe by Survivor Series, or even WrestleMania 31 but now is still too early. I think Roman is going to end up doing something that takes out Orton and himself, setting up a match at SummerSlam, while John takes out Kane with the AA for the win.
Kingzak: Seeing as you brought it up, I don’t think we see Lesnar on Sunday, Raw is in Miami and that crowd went mental for Lesnars first return, so a return then will provide the better pop and since post PPV Raw’s always have a boost in viewers that would be the best time to do it. Plus the main event for SummerSlam has already been spoiled so there is no way Cena doesn’t win.
Zak picks John Cena
Blitz picks John Cena
Kingzak: Well that’s our predictions; really this competition comes down to Naomi vs. Cameron, The Usos vs. The Wyatts, the IC battle royal and Rollin vs. Ambrose. The cruel joke here will be when we both get two of them right and have to go onto another duel.
Kblitzko: Just as the WWE talent enter the Battleground, so will Kingzak13 and myself. Unlike most other non-Big Four PPVs...er..."special events", this card is full of unpredictability, which makes me even more interested to watch the proceedings. The tag title match is the only pick that I'm not 100% confident in, but it'll be interesting to see how everything turns out. If you haven't set up your access to Battleground, set your Sunday night aside to watch, preferably in a legal manner. As my final word, be sure to read the LOP Grand Prix entries and all the other wonderful columns that are posted in the CF on a daily basis. Good luck Zak! The Blitz has spoken.
Kingzak: I can’t wait to wake up Monday morning and find out who has won at Battleground. Like we both said at the beginning this looks like a good card, I don’t think we see any MOTY candidates but that doesn’t mean it isn’t going to be a good night. Thanks for joining me Blitz, now I can prove definitively that I am the number 17 seed and it wasn’t just by judges choice. Thanks to everyone reading and pre-thanks for the feedback, good luck in your future columning Blitz and I will see everyone else next time.