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Posted in: The Eternal Optimist
The Eternal Optimist Presents - A Battleground Preview
By Dave Fenichel
Jul 22, 2017 - 12:23:43 PM

Hi Kids.

Who knew that there was an easy three step process to breaking your computer? Step 1 – Hide your computer from your one year old under a blanket on the floor. Step 2 – Forget it’s there. Step 3 – Stomp on said computer like you’re Rugged Ronnie Garvin.

Without a computer, I've only been able to post the bare minimum - my Summerslam countdown series. With Battleground set to pop off tomorrow, I knew I needed to get creative and find a place to write.

So here I am - at the local public library. I live in a nice suburb but the library is located in the surrounding city. Needless to say, patrons are interesting. Some are missing teeth. Some look like they might be hookers. Basically, it's your average crowd for an Indy Wrestling Event.

Semantics aside, I'm here to provide my overly optimistic preview of Battleground. It's far from a perfect show on paper, but I think it will ultimately deliver. Without further ado, here we go:


The Usos v The New Day - Tag Team Title Match

The New Day and the Usos are the two best tag teams on the Blue Brand by a mile. Since the last Pay Per View, they had an epic rap battle that felt far too real for the WWE in all of the right ways. Unfortunately, there hasn't been much to back up their lone stellar outing on the microphone.

WHY I'M EXCITED: Even though the feud hasn't been the best and even though neither team has anyone else to feud with after this one is over, I still have high hopes. Their previous PPV outing was spectacular, and I believe that they have a very good chance of surpassing that match tomorrow. This could very well end up being the "Match of the Night".

Prediction: The Usos retain. There isn't another tag team in sight, so I wouldn't be shocked to see this feud continue to Summerslam.


Sami Zayn v Mike Kanellis

Can you feel the L.O.V.E.? Ok, so the gimmick is cheesy in all the worst ways, but Maria is spectacular and the pairing has some heat behind them. What seemed like a comedic-based story took a dark turn when Mr. Kanellis smashed a vase over Sami's head backstage. Kanellis defeated Zayn in his first 1 on 1 match last week on Smackdown, and the stage is set for the rematch tomorrow.

WHY I'M EXCITED: This is the exact type of story line that the Smackdown mid-card has needed. It provides depth to Battleground that prior PPVs have lacked. I'm interested in seeing what Kanellis can do against Zayn with 10-15 minutes to do their thing. Sami is phenomenal in the ring, and I am expecting a big performance here.

Prediction: Mike Kanellis wins. Even though he already beat Sami on Smackdown, he's the newcomer in the midst of a push. Like it or not, Zayn is glorified enhancement talent. Sorry whamboo bamboos, it is what it is.


Shinsuke Nakamura v Baron Corbin

This match stems from Corbin taking out Nakamura pre-match at MITB. Corbin went on to capture the briefcase, but this feud hasn't progressed much since.

WHY I'M EXCITED: Both men have motivation to put in a spectacular showing here. For Nakamura, he came in with tremendous fanfare but his matches and promos haven't been up to the standard that one would have expected from someone with his reputation. For Corbin, his briefcase win hasn't led to the type of buzz one would expect from that type of a push. In addition, Nakamura showed the greatness of his in-ring ability during his NXT tenure, and Corbin has consistently over-performed on PPV. I'm expecting a barn burner.

Prediction: I honestly have no idea. Both men need a win here. I could flip a coin. I'll go with Nakamura. Corbin has dominated the feud and can fall back on the fact that he has the briefcase. I wouldn't wager an important amount of money on it though.


A.J. Styles v Kevin Owens - US Title Match

This feud has been in neutral while MITB was sorting itself out. It took a surprise turn when Styles won the belt from KO at an MSG house show. The feud itself hasn't been great but the fan interest is high nonetheless.

WHY I'M EXCITED: How could you not be excited to see Styles and Owens throw down again? If the tag title match isn't the match of the night, this is certain to be. The house show title change has brought unpredictability to the outcome here, and that's never a bad thing.

Prediction: K.O. wins his title back. The title change was almost certainly smoke and mirrors to raise interest in a massive market that has become slightly stale. I think Styles moves onto bigger and better things for Summerslam while K.O. defends the belt in an open challenge. More on both of these ideas in a column to come.


Rusev v John Cena - Flag Match

John Cena made his much anticipated return to WWE programming on July 4th. Much to everyone's surprise, Rusev also made his return that night. He has his panties in a bunch because Cena gets promoted and neither Shane McMahon nor Daniel Bryan have any interest in giving him the same type of promotional push. Rusev is Bulgarian and Cena an American hero, so a 1980s style Flag Match was made.

WHY I'M EXCITED: John Cena is back. I could just leave it at that. He's the best thing on television whenever he's on. This match will deliver just as all John Cena matches do. I'm particularly looking forward to what comes next for both men. I think we'll see Cena go after his 17th World Title while Rusev earns a huge spot against Shane.

Prediction: Come on. Cena isn't laying down in his first match back. NEXT!


Becky Lynch v Tamina v Lana v Charlotte v Natalya - #1 Contender's Match

These are the only five women that are a) active wrestlers, b) not the women's champion and c) not the MITB briefcase holder. The WWE needed a contender for Summerslam and that's why this match is here.

WHY I'M EXCITED: This match should be a train wreck but I like what it stands for. This will set up a Summerslam match that I am looking forward to in a big way. That's about the extent of the optimism that I can drum up for this one.

Prediction: Charlotte. She's the Summerslam opponent for Naomi that can both create the best match and the most fan interest. I'm expecting a top level match that finally gives us the long awaited Carmella cash-in.


Jinder Mahal v Randy Orton - World Title Punjabi Prison Match

You've been living under a rock if you aren't familiar with the story line by now. I an all about Jinder while the majority of you take the time in between your booger eats to hinder Jinder. I'm right, you're wrong and that's ok. This was the most interesting Randy Orton feud in years but it has run its course.

WHY I'M EXCITED: This is the blow off for a feud that needs to end. It's gone on for way too long and Orton is not the right guy to allow Jinder to thrive. I'm looking forward to see what Jinder can do with a better opponent to work with. I'm also a sucker for Punjabi Prison matches. It's one of the gimmick matches used so infrequently that it feels fresh.

Prediction: INDIA NUMBER ONE! INDIA NUMBER ONE! Jinder is finally going to flush that turd down the toilet once and for all. I'll be at Summerslam live, and Mahal v Cena should be electric.


That's a wrap kids. I hope you enjoy Battleground tomorrow night. I know that I will. Sound off below!

Facebook: David Fenichel

Twitter: @FFFightLeague



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