The battleground? WWE Battleground 2016. The combatants? Laser Time’s wrestling braintrust, and possibly you! Check out the predictions from Laser Time’s biggest wrestling geeks and compete against us by making your own in the comments! Best predictor gets their favorite wrestling theme on the next Cheap Popcast!
Battleground is here, and the brand split has begun. The events of this week will reverberate into both brands for quite ahilw running up to Summerslam, so the matches this month are pretty big. That’w why Laser Time’s wrestling hivemind is focused on Battleground. To wit, watch us play through (most of) the matches in WWE 2K16!
Anywho, here’s how the prediction contest goes. The LaserTime gang will make picks in this here article, and then open up the replies to you great listeners. You will then pick a winner (or if you’re feeling frisky, a rare draw/no contest) for each match (don’t worry about getting the finish right, I’m just looking for winners, if any), and then, just in case there’s a tie for correct predictions, pick a running time for the final match listed (the presumed main event) as a tiebreaker.
If you reap the wealth of your picks and have the most correct predictions, you can make your mark on the next Cheap Popcast episode by choosing a theme to close a segment. Pick the wrestler theme and include a YouTube URL to a wrestler’s theme alongside your predictions (including the running time of Triple Threat WWE Championship match) and I’ll give you a shout-out on next week’s episode. Got it? Good. Now, onto each LaserTimer’s predictions!
1 – The New Day (RAW) vs. Bray Wyatt (Smackdown), Erick Rowan (Smackdown), and Braun Strowman (Raw)
Normally I’d say The Wyatts would win here since it’s non-title. However, I think this is the best opportunity to kickstart Braun Strowman’s singles run, so why not have him massacre Wyatt and Rowan after The Wyatts lose? Another loss won’t damage Wyatt any further (nor will a win suddenly rehabilitate the faction), so they might as well get something out of the group’s second breakup.
PICK: The New Day
2 – Becky Lynch (Smackdown) vs. Natalya (Smackdown)
Was it just last month that this breakup occured? It feels like six. Anywho, Becky Lynch is basically the face of women’s wrestling on Smackdown, and she should start it with a win. However, a feud like this won’t conclude with a single match, so I say Natalya cheats to win before a Summerslam blowoff.
3- John Cena (Smackdown), Enzo Amore (Raw) & Big Cass (Raw) vs. AJ Styles (Smackdown), Luke Gallows (Raw), and Karl Anderson (Raw)
From the moment AJ Styles laid out John Cena on Raw, the end of this feud has been written in stone; Cena wins at Summerslam, when it counts. To that end, The Club disban… er, expands on a high note with Styles scoring the pin on Enzo.
PICK: The Club
4- Sami Zayn (Raw) vs. Kevin Owens (Raw)
After all the yapping about this being the final time these two are battling, one would think that Zayn and Owens would have been drafted to separate brands. My guess? These two will tag for awhile, forming a tenuous team that turns friendly a la Team Hell No. For that to happen, Zayn has to earn Owens’ respect, which he earns with a gutsy victory.
5- Intercontinental Champion The Miz (Smackdown) vs. Darren Young (Raw)
Here’s the issue with the draft. We have two underdogs competing for mid-card championships at Battleground, but the only way that each brand ends up with their own title is if each underdog wins or loses. Obviously, the way you want to start a new brand’s show is with well-known champs, so I’m picking both incumbent title-holders. Hopefully Darren at least saves face with a cheap loss, since he’s finally picking up steam after being the Marty Janetty of the Prime Time Players.
PICK: The Miz
6- Sasha Banks (Raw) and a mystery partner vs. Charlotte (Raw) & Dana Brooke (Raw)
As much as I’d love it, Battleground isn’t the spot to bring Bayley up; she deserves a proper Takeover send off before a bigger debut opportunity the Raw after Summerslam. This is a far better opportunity to either boost Carmella’s stock in a big way with a more notable debut than on Smackdown, or to repackage Nia Jax as a face by having her obliterate Charlotte and Dana. I’m gonna say they debut Carmella this way and the faces win so that Sasha can FINALLY win the WWE Women’s Championship at Summerslam.
PICK: Banks & mystery partner
7- United States Champion Rusev (Raw) vs. Zack Ryder (Smackdown)
See Miz v Young. If brands were not involved, I’d say this was the more likely upset, but since it’s all or nothing, I’m saying nothing for the underdogs. At least they won on Raw!
8- WWE Champion Dean Ambrose (Smackdown) vs. Roman Reigns (Raw) vs. Seth Rollins (Raw)
This is really perplexing to me. Who would have thought the first proper Shield triple threat would have one of the trio out of the picture the entire month beforehand? Why not save a matchup this big for Summerslam? Last week, I would have predicted a double pin to extend this another month, but we got our fill of funny finishes last week. I’m gonna say Rollins regains his belt, leading to Reigns main eventing Summerslam (start complaining now) with Ambrose capturing a new Smackdown-based belt at Summerslam.
Up next… Brett’s picks!