WWE Battleground 2015 airs live this Sunday, July 19, on WWE Network. And on pay-per-view still, somewhere, maybe? The show is headlined by a WWE World Heavyweight Championship match between champion Seth Rollins and challenger Brock Lesnar, as well as a United States Championship match between John Cena and Kevin Owens. The ground will be COVERED WITH BATTLE.
Here’s your complete WWE Battleground card, as we know it:
1. Randy Orton vs. Sheamus
2. Tag Team Championship Match: The Prime Time Players (c) vs. The New Day
3. Roman Reigns vs. Bray Wyatt
4. United States Championship Match: John Cena (c) vs. Kevin Owens
5. WWE World Heavyweight Championship Match; Seth Rollins (c) vs. Brock Lesnar
– Kickoff Match for the King of the Ring Crown: King Barrett vs. R-Truth
Ryback is out with a knee injury, so the previously advertised championship triple threat between him, Big Show and The Miz is off the card. You’d expect them to do something with their shiny new Divas division, but no match has been announced at the time of this writing. If they announced a Divas triple threat 9-person tag or whatever, I pick whichever team has Sasha Banks on it.
And now, our predictions and analysis, featuring special guest predictor Chris Trew Dot Biz. Keep in mind that these choices are super serious and binding, and that you should get extremely bent out of shape in our comments section if you disagree with our thoughts.
Kickoff Match for the King of the Ring Crown: King Barrett vs. R-Truth
What Should Happen: Finally, a rematch from the Money In The Bank Kickoff. And from the other 60 matches they’ve had this year.
I’ve spent any Truth and King Barrett time in the Best and Worst of Raw trying to fantasy book this to make it interesting, and the only thing I can come up with is “amp up all the king stuff and blow it out.” Go full-on ridiculous with it. Basically do the Wee-LC match in tone and presentation, but with two regular guys. I want a jousting contest, a swordfight on a cliff and at least one instance of a dragon picking up a person in the crowd and flying them back to its lair. Maybe we can get Sign Guy to do that.
What Will Happen: This is for the King of the Ring crown, so if King Barrett doesn’t win this with authority, both he and the King of the Ring concept should pack a duffel bag and head to the Impact Zone. That’s a place where match concepts are respected, thank you very much.
No, seriously, WWE should not equate its King of the Ring tournament with a plunger. Barrett’s career’s already in the toilet, he doesn’t need any assistance.
Chris Trew – 100 percent rooting for a time limit draw (I’m watching a lot of old WCW on the Network), which leads R-Truth to believe that he is now Barrett’s prince. Prince Truth accompanies King Barrett to the ring, despite Barrett’s protests. Eventually, the King is won over and an entire Royal Court is formed with King Barrett at the helm, Prince-Truth at his side, and The Executioner as The Executioner (I’ve been watching a lot of old WWF on the Network).
David D. – This is tough to call. If this were a match on RAW, I’d assume they’d just both lose. But I guess King Barrett wins here so he can feud with *spins bottle* Val Venis next.
Austin Heiberg – Much like Seinfeld was a show about nothing, Barrett/Truth has become a feud about nothing. Except people actually liked Seinfeld. I’m picking R-Truth, because WWE takes way too much pleasure in indulging “wacky” characters.
Nate Birch – R-Truth hits King Barrett with one of his many flying whatevers he uses as finishers, and Barrett crumbles into dust and blows away. He’s replaced on the roster by R-Truth’s plunger.
Danielle Matheson – I still don’t quite understand why this is a thing. I mean, I get that traditionally with any feud writers follow the soap opera tack of having five conversations about one thing. If these were real-life conversations, however, I would have blocked this person and moved on forever. That said, I am way into the idea of only wrestling for absurd trophies. Wrestle for the crown. Bring back Curt Hawkins and let people wrestle him for ownership of his weird, unexplained cane. Wrestle for the first airbrushed singlet Ryback ever owned. Yes this is good hire me for all of your creative needs, WWE*. A winner is King Barrett, because he’s the actual king and this makes even less sense without his fancy headgear.
* Do not hire me for anything ever
Randy Orton vs. Sheamus
What Should Happen: Literally anything else.
What Will Happen: With Ryback’s Intercontinental Championship defense off the card, Randy Orton vs. Sheamus stands tall as the match we expect to profusely shit on. I think everyone involved knows that, so maybe Orton/Sheamus will get a little more time and an unexpected fire up their asses and pull out a classic. They’re both great wrestlers, I’m not totally sure why they’ve got the combined interest level and forward momentum of a dead sloth.
I’d like to see Sheamus win this, because right now his Money in the Bank heat is as cold as a … dead sloth? I can’t think of anything else. Dead sloths. This match is a pile of them.
Chris Trew – An endless loop of Brogue Kick-dodges turned into RKO attempts that Sheamus pushes Orton out of and goes for the Brogue Kick. This match would sweep the Slammys and get my next door neighbor back into wrestling.
David D. – I guess Orton wins here because Sheamus still has the briefcase of Doom, which means he’ll lose until he cashes in and loses that, too. Aside: I literally forgot these two guys existed until I started writing that last sentence.
Austin Heiberg – This is looking like a Sheamus win to me. Gotta keep that briefcase-based momentum rolling. Honestly, I just want more crazy pre-RKO taunts from Orton.
Nate Birch – Holy moley, I better save up, because I want to make sure I’m away from my TV pissing throughout this entire match. This just makes me want to stop my feet like a cranky toddler. Whoooo cares. I suppose Sheamus wins, because he’s the rare heel Money in the Bank holder that hasn’t been put on a losing streak.
Danielle Matheson – The definition of insanity is making Randy Orton wrestle Sheamus over and over, and expecting different results. Winner: Sheamus.
Tag Team Championship Match: The Prime Time Players (c) vs. The New Day
What Should Happen: The sleeper match of the night. The Prime Time Players have a lot of in-ring momentum as of late, and The New Day are as good a mid-card pseudo-comedy act as we’re gonna get. All I want from this is a pre-match Big E promo and like 12-15 minutes of great tag team wrestling.
What Will Happen: I’m torn. I feel like the Prime Time Players haven’t done enough as Tag Team Champions to have them lose it already, but that’s what I thought about The New Day. I’ll go out on a limb and say The New Day steal back the titles with Ultimate Learned Cheating, and the PTP will stay on the chase.
Chris Trew – Sorry not sorry, but can we get a surprise third Prime Time Player to even the odds here? I know it would make their buddy taunt (millions of dollars millions of dollars) slightly more complex but I think we’re ready for it. The New Day can file charges against the WWE for allowing the Prime Time Players to break the rules. Comedy bits for days. Eventually, we can Corporate Ministry the whole thing for the ultimate combo’d stable. The New Prime Day Players? The Day Time Players in their Prime?
David D. – The New Day is the best thing in wrestling, and I’m sticking to it. I’ve never been happier to see a plan come together. Can we start letting Titus wrestle with one of those Janet Jackson ear/mic thingies so he can do commentary during the match? DON’T MAKE KOBE BRYANT JOKES. Also, New Day wins.
Austin Heiberg – This is turning into a great feud, I just hope they can sustain it. There’s potential to advance the story with either team winning, but I’m going to go ahead and say that the PTP successfully defend.
Nate Birch – It’s nice that Titus and Darren got a title run for just generally being cool, hard-working dudes, but The New Day need the titles more than the Prime Time Players. Big E is sort of proportioned like an adult-sized baby, so he distracts super dad Titus some how, leading to a New Day victory.
Danielle Matheson – I care about this because a) I feel like Big E should always have some kind of belt, and b) now that I’m recapping Total Divas, I not-so-secretly hope that everything he does will led to a Titus O’Neil backstage appearance. That show would be roughly a thousand times better with more Titus, and exponentially more WEARING SEAT BELTS JESUS CHRIST GET IT TOGETHER LADIES.
Roman Reigns vs. Bray Wyatt
What Should Happen: I’m standing by my fantasy booking. Dean Ambrose accompanies Roman to the ring. Roman spends most of the match beating up Bray, but Bray won’t fight back, he just preaches about the great chain of the wrestling industry. Before the finish, Bray says “anyone but you.” A hypnotized Roman turns and spears Dean Ambrose. By SummerSlam, Ambrose is accompanied to the ring by a weird little girl and wrestling in an old-timey diving helmet.
What Will Happen: Roman Reigns is still pretty overpowered and Bray Wyatt loves to lose pay-per-view matches … but we haven’t gotten a payoff to Bray’s SPOOKY KIDNAPPINGS yet, so I’ll say Roman gets distracted by something ridiculous — ghost lantern, mysterious child, an exploding something, whatever — and Bray wins. Bonus points if Luke Harper shows up to do anything. Erick Rowan can show up and do some injured Jamie Noble stomping.
If we follow WWE booking procedure, they have a series of rematches and Roman wins all of them.
Chris Trew – Everyone is excited about the big Shield reunion later in the night and won’t see the Wyatt reunion coming, including the WWE creative team, so I’ll say Bray Wyatt wins by count out (I’m still watching a lot of old WCW on the Network).
David D. – People are predicting Undertaker interfering and causing Brock Lesnar his match, but I’m not sold on that. Undertaker/Brock II (if you don’t count anything before 2005, which, who does?) is a match I don’t want to see and one that neither man can really afford to lose. So, I’m going out on a limb and saying that Undertaker interferes here for some reason. Hopefully he takes out Reigns and they have a feud. Then maybe Sting fights Bray or something.
Austin Heiberg – I’m basically giving Wyatt the pity vote here. I don’t know how many more important matches he can afford to lose before he collapses in on himself like a dying star, so I’m saying he wins here. Not in convincing fashion or anything, mind you.
Nate Birch – This is still happening? Now that Brock is back, and John Cena is stealing the show every week with his wrestling skills of all things, Roman Reigns just seems so irrelevant. This seems like something they have to draw out, so Bray wins by hitting Roman over the head with the laser printer he’s been using to print those pictures of Roman’s daughter.
Danielle Matheson – If Bray Wyatt is pretending to have kidnapped Roman Reigns’ daughter, I want Reigns to retaliate by stealing his hat, and taunting him by sending pictures of it in different, dangerous locations. Here it is dangling precariously above the lion exhibit at the zoo. Here is it being held over the side of a ferry. Here it is on Mojo Rawley. This will eventually set up a break-up between Bray and his hat. Once returned, the hat is listless, uncommunicative. I mean, Bray never took it on fun adventures. He just doesn’t appreciate it like Roman did. In the end the hat realises that both men weren’t good enough, and it moves to the city to get an apartment on it’s own, and take up a new job as a high-powered secretary for a sexy big city law firm… or Roman Reigns wins. Either or.
United States Championship Match: John Cena (c) vs. Kevin Owens
What Should Happen: As much as I like the US Open Challenges on Raw, I think they’ve run their course. We’ve given Cena strong wins, given him wins that make the other guy look great and given him three “almost losses” where it looked like he was gonna get beaten, but someone interfered and stopped it. I think if you’re gonna make Kevin Owens, this is where you do it. He’s fought fairly this entire time, so if he cheats to win it’ll actually mean something, and allow Cena to retain whatever heat he thinks he loses when he loses. Plus, you’ve got a ready-made feud with Cesaro, Sami’s not coming back for the rest of the year so Owens is basically done in NXT, and all the other obvious talking points.
What Will Happen: Huh.
Yeah, I don’t really know. The pessimist in me says Cena just wins, because Cena usually wins, but the Owens stuff makes so much sense. From a logical standpoint, it’s the right call. Cena’s earned all the good will in the world over the past few months, and he can pay that off by actually dropping the title to one of those young guys he begs to step up to him and prove themselves. We can see if that good will sticks to the United States Championship going forward, or if Cena was the only important part of it. Maybe John can go AA an injured Ryback, win the Intercontinental Championship and do IT a favor. Then you keep Cena and Owens as secondary champs all year doing open challenges until Owens realizes Cena’s still stealing his thunder, and they unify them at WrestleMania.
Or Cena wins, Raw still has a bunch of good matches and we worry about this again at SummerSlam. Either way. Not the worst problem to have.
Chris Trew – While I’ve enjoyed the John Cena U.S. title run way more than I thought I would, it would be great to see Kevin Owens become the new champ here. Mostly because he would do something funny with the leftover stock of John Cena America Rules United States Champion Red White and Blue Champion John Cena The Champ Is Here USA shirts. Take sad photos of his kid in a house made entirely of John Cena shirts? Burn the entire supply in the main event of Monday Night Raw?
David D. – I can’t believe this match is happening. Like, I can’t believe this feud has gone on this long. If every John Cena feud ever is to be believed, then Cena wins this match, then another gimmick match for good measure. But I’m going to say that, after 30 minutes of wrestling, Owens kicks Cena in the nuts, gets DQ’d and destroys him.
Austin Heiberg – Okay, I don’t feel like I’m stretching too far when I say that they are ABSOLUTELY going to pull the trigger on Owens winning the title. The only question is when it actually happens. In my mind, the key thing to remember is that Owens also has an NXT title match at the next Takeover event. As much as I’d like a NXT vs. United States title match at Takeover, I don’t think they’ll go for that. I say Cena retains, but Owens bullies his way into another shot at Summerslam. But for the record, I’m cool with Owens becoming the destroyer of worlds and simultaneously carrying both titles into Summerslam. If anyone could do it, it’s him.
Nate Birch – It’s probably getting to be time for John Cena to gracefully exit the U.S. title scene and let the guys he’s empowered like Owens, Cesaro and Rusev fight it out for the belt. I’m just not sure how he does that. He could lose here, I guess, but Cena losing his title to super jerk Kevin Owens would require endless retribution. At this point, it seems like the classy way for Cena to back out of the division is to drop the title to Cesaro. I expect some sort of screwjob finish leading to a four-way at SummerSlam.
Danielle Matheson – John Cena now, Kevin Owens at SummerSlam.
WWE World Heavyweight Championship Match; Seth Rollins (c) vs. Brock Lesnar
What Should Happen: Rollins drives out in the destroyed J&J Security Cadillac and runs over Brock. Confident in thinking he’s caused Brock’s death, Rollins walks to the ring to celebrate. Brock suddenly explodes from beneath the wreckage, Hulk-jumps from the stage to the ring and German suplexes Seth so hard he explodes like a dead Mega Man. Brock is WWE World Heavyweight Champion forever.
What Will Happen: As much as I want Lesnar to just maul him and regain the championship, it doesn’t feel right, does it? Rollins retaining via Something Stupid seems like a certainty in my brain, especially after Brock’s spent weeks eliminating all of Rollins’ help. He’s injured Mercury and Noble and obliterated Kane, but those aren’t the only guys in The Authority. There’s still Triple H, and Big Show’s suddenly not doing anything important, and there’s always the possibility that my incessant Shield fantasy booking will come true. Who knows? I’m going to pick Rollins to retain, and I’m excited (and extremely wary) to see how it happens. Anything but Sheamus, man.
Chris Trew – I know we all want The Shield to reunite (and we’re all right for wanting that), but I’m going to take it one step further. Let’s go original-concept Shield with giant actual shields with “SHIELD” written on them. No? Seriously? I’m the only one who thought that was cool? Yeah, I was kidding. For sure. Shields aren’t cool.
David D. – This one is tough to call. I’d like to think that we’re going to get a great match, but I’m thinking Brock squashes Seth here and he goes to SummerSlam to face Please God Cesaro But Probably Not and Seth goes on to wrestle Triple H.
Austin Heiberg – Rollins broke the 11th Commandment and pissed off the beast. And you know what? I think he’ll be okay. I mean, he’s going to get annihilated, but I think he’s got something up his sleeve to help him retain. Rollins is still your champ, but he’s going to look like he survived a car wreck.
Nate Birch – Well, WWE’s random-ass booking leading up to this match does have me genuinely questioning the outcome a bit. They went through the trouble of “putting the band back together” with The Authority, and had Rollins beat down Brock, but then they did a total 180 and Brock destroyed The Authority and made Rollins look like a buffoon, so I dunno what’s going on. Well, actually, I do. Brock’s winning, because duh, of course he is.
Danielle Matheson – I feel like nothing will happen with the belt until SummerSlam, even though I am firmly on Hashtag Team Seth in this. I predict shenanigans and title retention and Seth being one of the things I care about most in WWE. That and Bray Wyatt being an emotionally unavailable hat owner. I’m way committed to that.