The biggest news out of this week, is the apparent abandonment of Heath Slater who quite literally had the lights shut off on him while sitting along in the locker room.
Secondly, whatever WWE has in mind for Cesaro, I love it already. Going on a shoot-style tirade about the “management” in WWE and the lack of focus on wrestling has been the gripe of many for some time. The CM Punk styled pipe-bomb did appear to be all part of the show, but Cesaro’s delivery made us fans wonder if just for a moment, something real was happening in front of our very eyes. Granted, it was tied into his draft, so the storyline aspect became more believable. Something else to consider, is the call up on NXT talent, the recent show-stealing matches with Cesaro, Owens, Zayn, Styles, and others who have made wrestling more watchable. Owens, Zayn, and Neville were picked for RAW, so Cesaro’s character will be able to continue putting on wrestling clinics. Perhaps there is more than meets the eye here.
Tonight is WWE Battleground. The draft has already taken place, and we saw the roster split in a very, well, interesting fashion. Some of the surprises involved both Cena and Orton going to SmackDown, and stars we thought destined for RAW also wound up on the “blue brand.” The obvious drafts were Dean Ambrose to SmackDown and Seth Rollins to RAW.
I’ll cover the draft following Battleground, RAW, and SmackDown! this week, to see which stars will appear to benefit from the shuffle. The NXT crew brought up appear to have the most to gain, but one can only wonder if those who were hoping to be put main event will have to wait longer, or ever make it at all. Cesaro and Owens come to mind.
The addition of a bona-fide Cruiserweight Division on RAW to help occupy the three-hour program seems like a natural fit and may be a throwback to the days of WCW Nitro and dedication of a decent amount of air-time to the Cruiserweights.
Battleground seems like a low-key Pay-Per-View in my opinion. Some matches are intriguing, while others seem like they would featured in during the second hour of RAW.
The preshow features The Usos, who seem to have taken a sharp nose-dive in popularity, face off against Breezango. Sorry, but Fabreezo would have been funny. For whatever reason, WWE is giving the clowns a push, and we are going to see the Usos job. Yes, they will.
Sami Zayn vs. Kevin Owens in a continuation of the “Fight Forever” gimmick. They both got picked for RAW, so despite any mention of “this is the last match” this will probably NOT be the last match. As always, a fantastic match is expected, and I personally do not care who wins.
John Cena, Enzo Amore, and Big Cass vs. AJ Styles, Luke Gallows, and Karl Anderson: Don’t let the draft fool anyone. The Club is The Club. They might be split but it would not shock me if sooner rather than later they interfere in each other’s matches and cross the borders so to speak. It seems odd to split up the Club so quickly after forming, but this might only be to help Gallows and Anderson beef up their credibility and become a powerhouse team. For Styles, this will be an opportunity to show off solo, and be given the chance to have to make some memorable feuds. As for the six-man tag, it will be good, and I would like to see The Club get one last unified win before breaking up.
Becky Lynch vs. Natalya – This will be a good match, I really do. Both are superb in the ring and will no doubt entertain. My problem is win or lose, no one is going to get a push from this. I’ll pick Becky Lynch on this one.
Charlotte & Dana Brooke vs. Sasha Banks & either Nia Jax, Alexa Bliss, or Carmella. I expect Team Banks to get the win. I hate Dana Brooke. I would like to see Jax come out and just maul everyone.
The New Day vs. The Wyatt Family in a non-title Six-man tag team match: This is the last time we see Braun Strowman with the stable. I am very confused with this move. I fear he will become the next Great Khali and wind up having to pull a comedy routine to maintain relevancy. This is stupid. This leaves Bray Wyatt and Erick Rowan without backup. Hopefully, this leaves a spot for Luke Harper to come back to the fold. My pick is The New Day.
It’s title match time!
Zack Ryder vs. Rusev for the United States Championship: This will either be a three-minute train wreck or we might see the greatest performance from Zack Ryder since winning the Intercontinental Championship in the ladder match at WrestleMania. It really would. WWE wants us to root for the uber-underdog here, and yes, I’m doing just that. Win or lose, Ryder is getting a subtle push and I like it.
Darren Young vs. The Miz for the Intercontinental Championship: I predict something goofy happening, and Young winning. He won the Battle Royal by accident, a tag match via distracted roll-up, this has good match with comedy ending written all over it.
Titus O’Neal must be wondering if he will ever see a singles title in his career.
WWE Championship Match – Seth Rollins vs. Roman Reigns vs. Dean Ambrose: First, everyone in the arena will stand up, pull back their pants, shorts, whatever, and take a collective crap all over the freshly reinstated Roman Reigns. There is a small shred inside which wants me to feel bad for the guy, but I don’t. He screwed up. He broke the rules, and got suspended. Work or not, this just paints Reigns very badly right now. A redemption gimmick won’t work. The only thing which will work is Reigns losing his mind and clobbering everyone with chairs because it’s the only thing he would get cheered for. Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose will have everyone’s attention, and given their two most recent matches on RAW and SmackDown, they will likely give it their all, unless WWE Creative says the one phrase no one wants to hear “Make Reigns Look Strong” in which case we will switch to watching the Cruiserweight Classics. My pick is Dean Ambrose, because WWE likely wants us to think Rollins or Reigns will win, so the swerve is in. This way, they can do the title split, and Ambrose will keep the WWE Championship on SmackDown, while on RAW, Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns will battle in the main event for the World Heavyweight Championship, or the World Television Championship, or maybe the Northern Territories Championship, or the Mid-South Championship.