Battleground 2017 Preview

Ah “Battleground 2017”. Every year I come into this show almost forgetting that it’s there because it feels like the most generic pay per view of the year. The card rarely matters because it always feels like the definition of the B level show. It’s a “Smackdown Live” show this year and there’s not much I’m looking forward to on the card but there’s some potential there. Let’s get to it.

Kickoff Show: Aiden English vs. Tye Dillinger

Yes we have been here before and I have no idea why Dillinger is stuck here again. English has gotten his own amount of TV time (albeit low level TV time) and has probably been around more than Dillinger lately. Dillinger on the other hand has been stuck in this same spot since he debuted on the main roster a few months ago. Why he’s stuck there isn’t clear, but the lack of anything besides TEN might be an option.

I’ll take Dillinger winning here though I could actually see English stealing a win and starting a small midcard push. Dillinger could win here and stay on the same path he’s been on for months now, which is to say he’s going nowhere whatsoever. The match will get the crowd going though and that’s all that really matters.

Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Baron Corbin

This is your run of the mill fallout feud from Money in the Bank, though I’m not sure if it’s the most interesting one in the world. Corbin isn’t exactly thrilling and while there’s a chance he could cash in his briefcase at the end of the night (it would make sense), it might be a bit too soon for him to do so, meaning he’s likely to lose over and over again so we’ll forget that he’s a thing before the big cash-in.

I don’t think WWE is ready to have Nakamura lose yet so we’ll go with him winning here. Nakamura could be facing AJ Styles for the US Title at “Summerslam 2017” and it wouldn’t make sense to have him lose at a match that doesn’t seem to be all that important in the first place. Corbin needs the win more but they’re not going with it at this point.

Sami Zayn vs. Mike Kanellis

We’ve seen this one before as it was done earlier this week on “Smackdown Live” in less than three minutes, which also happened to be Kanellis’ in-ring debut. The ending was a bit screwy as Kanellis’ wife Maria got involved and helped her husband win. The rematch wasn’t hard to predict and here we are.

That being said, it’s a Zayn match so of course he’s losing. I really can’t think of a reason for Kanellis to lose here as he’s already won the first one and as much as WWE loves having people split feuds, there’s no logical reason for Kanellis to lose. Maria can interfere to keep

Zayn looking strong before he has something more interesting at “Summerslam 2017”.

Tag Team Titles: Usos(c) vs. New Day

This is an interesting one as they’ve been feuding for awhile now but nothing really stands out about it. They had the rap battle and some singles matches but it really feels like a feud that is just going for the sake of going. The wrestling should be a lot of fun though and that’s all that matters in something like this.

I’ll take the Usos to retain as I haven’t been all that impressed by New Day’s run on Tuesdays. They’re just kind of there at this point, though to be fair I don’t think they’re going with anything other than their reputation. It’s not like they have anything left to prove as a team though and winning the titles here wouldn’t do much for them. Usos retain here, likely setting up another feud with the still amusing Breezango.

Speaking of Breezango, while they don’t officially have a match, it’s a fairly safe bet that they’ll be having one with whomever attacked them. While it’s not officially announced and I could just guess as to who would be in the match, I won’t be giving an official guess on a winner. I will however pick their identities though: Luke Harper and Erick Rowan.

Charlotte vs. Natalya vs. Lana vs. Tamina vs. Becky Lynch

Oh joy it’s the idea again. The “Smackdown Live” Women’s Title picture has been kind of a mess for months now and it’s getting annoying. They’ve stopped the idea of building up characters or reasons for these women to be fighting each other outside of fighting for a shot at the title. This is another match where everyone is involved at the same time and it’s under elimination rules for the “Summerslam 2017” Women’s Title match.

I know it’s the option that I go with most of the time but I’ll take Charlotte to get the shot. Charlotte vs. Naomi is the closest thing the division has to a dream match (work with me here) and that sounds like something they should do at the second biggest show of the year. Tamina and Natalya aren’t happening, Lana has been done and Lynch….eh maybe, but Charlotte is the bigger deal.

John Cena vs. Rusev

This is a flag match, meaning you have to steal your opponent’s flag and carry it past a finishing line. In other words, it’s Battleground and we need something to fit in with the theme (which isn’t the solidest in the world). It’s also Cena’s big return match (his latest one that is) and I think you know what’s coming here.

Of course Cena wins here and it’s not like there’s any real other option. Cena is likely gearing up for a major match at “Summerslam 2017” and Rusev….well he’s making his big return here too and I don’t think most people realized that. Cena wins of course and I don’t think there’s any real shock to this one.

US Title: AJ Styles(c) vs. Kevin Owens

In case you haven’t been watching in recent weeks (If so, why did you pick this show to get back in?), Styles won the title from Owens at a house show earlier this month. It doesn’t exactly change anything of note but it’s a surprise, which is something that can at least mix things up a bit. It also put the feud at a fall apiece after Owens beat Styles via countout in their first pay per view title match.

I’ll take Styles to win here in what shouldn’t be the biggest surprise. As has been the case multiple times on this show, it feels like this match is just a requirement before we get on to the match that actually matters at “Summerslam 2017”. Styles looks like he’ll be fighting Nakamura or Cena (please not a triple threat) and that means he needs to win here as Owens goes on to….I have no idea actually.

Smackdown World Title: Jinder Mahal(c) vs. Randy Orton

Yes AGAIN and yes we’re doing this because we need a Punjabi Prison match to fit the whole Battleground moniker. This match hasn’t been seen in over ten years and that’s probably for the best. It’s more complicated than it needs to be (just do a double cage match and nix the trap doors thing) and is only there because of Mahal’s ethnicity.

I’m not sure on who wins though but I think I’ll go with Orton as the new champion. Wise, what in the world is actually happening on this show? Mahal isn’t exactly saving the world on “Smackdown Live” so having him lose the title in a match like this wouldn’t be the worst idea in the world. It does raise the question of what Orton does next, so maybe that’s where Corbin cashes in the briefcase. Eh nah. Not at Battleground.

Overall Thoughts

Thursday night, I had forgotten not only that this show was taking place on Sunday but also what it was called. This show feels like another name on a very long list of shows that feels like it’s there to fill in a spot on the calendar. Just calling it Battleground makes it seem like they just threw this show out there and came up with a main event to fit with the name later. The World Title changing hands could make this show feel a bit more important but it’s going to be hard to shake off the stigma of being just another show.

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