We’re officially on the road to the Battleground PPV, now that we’ve passed the fallout week of Money In The Bank (MITB). There are definitely going to be feuds solidified and/or created tonight and in the coming weeks to try and make Battleground a big event rather than just the PPV in between MITB and SummerSlam.
One of the biggest plans is to finalize the contestants in the Intercontinental Championship (IC) Battle Royal, which currently only has one remaining slot left. Those contestants currently are: Alberto Del Rio, Big E, Bo Dallas, Cesaro, Curtis Axel, Ryback, Damien Sandow, Dolph Ziggler, Kofi Kingston, Rob Van Dam and The Great Khali. You can expect that several of these contenders will be involved in matches against one another each week, leading up to Battleground. I always find it curious when Khali is involved in any title match, because no one thinks he’s going to win and he’s not very exciting; but maybe it’s just to put a wild card in or to have a giant in the ring who isn’t Big Show all the time.
It’s a guarantee that Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose will continue their feud, with another matchup between Ambrose and Randy Orton possibly showing up tonight after Smackdown‘s incredible main event. This keeps the fans yearning for more between Rollins and Ambrose, and it gives us a great match between two entertainers who obviously have chemistry in the ring. Will Rollins have yet another cash-in attempt go awry because of Ambrose? That remains to be seen. I’m hoping they limit the amount of times he tries to cash in, because if it’s used too often, fans will get bored and just want him to either cash in or lose the briefcase.
John Cena is likely going to continue his feud of sorts with The Authority, which is worrisome considering Triple H‘s obsession with going for the belt, regardless of the fact he should never be champion again. I’m concerned that Triple H may eventually start physically feuding with Cena, causing that SummerSlam match to be a Triple-Threat between Cena, Triple H and Brock Lesnar. I may be overreacting because I’m not a Triple H fan, but it seems like he’s trying to worm his way back into the title picture after losing at WrestleMania.
Jericho and The Miz have been continuing their rivalry since Raw last week, with The Wyatt Family being involved in a teasing type of way. It’s maddening that they’re just giving a taste of the feud that could be one of the most entertaining ones of the year between Jericho and Bray Wyatt, but it’s brilliant they’re not just tossing it at us before SummerSlam gets here. The build up to the August PPV is old school wrestling booking at its finest, where they tease you with the possibilities and hint at what could be coming but don’t toss it out to you until the final moments. With the short attention spans of most fans, it’s a rare thing to see used anymore, so I’m excited to watch this continue to form.
Miz is on the outside of this, because he’s really just being used as a stepping stone, which is kind of a shame considering his ability to be a great heel. This new movie star persona could work for him if they don’t toss him to the side when this Jericho feud is finished with. Having him immediately go after the IC champion after Battleground is over would help him tremendously. By immediately, I’m being literal there; I want to see him come down to the ring once the Battle Royal is over and beat the winner down. Miz going up against the new IC champion Ziggler could make for a good match going into SummerSlam.
Tonight, as with all Raws, should be about building feuds and entertaining the crowd. The guys I think might steal the show are Rusev and Jack Swagger. Not because of the competitors themselves, but because of their managers. Lana and Zeb Colter have great chemistry, which has been amazing to watch. So look for Russia and America to but heads in great fashion tonight.