For the second consecutive year, the WWE is offering up a WrestleMania-worthy main event at Battleground, despite the company’s second-biggest pay-per-view, SummerSlam, lurking one month later. Fans thought last year’s SummerSlam headliner was being tainted when it was announced that Seth Rollins would be defending his WWE World Heavyweight Championship against a returning Brock Lesnar.
It turns out that match set the stage for a much bigger SummerSlam main event between Lesnar and the Undertaker, allowing Rollins to face John Cena in a huge undercard bout. This year’s Battleground features the long-awaited triple threat match between Rollins, Dean Ambrose and Roman Reigns for the championship. Most, though, figured that match would be saved for a more high-profile event like ‘Mania or SummerSlam. So it leaves many to wonder what could possibly top it when August rolls around.
The upcoming brand extension will play a major role in what direction the company goes with its marquee matches during the biggest party of the summer. By all accounts, if the decision is made to put the former Shield members in a rematch from their Battleground encounter, they’ll all likely have to be drafted to the same brand. Due to their high positions on the card, the likelihood that Ambrose, Rollins, and Reigns are all selected to RAW or all to Smackdown is not very high.
In any event, the two matches set to sell Battleground are the WWE Championship three-way and the second showdown between John Cena and AJ Styles. WWE teased inserting both Cena and Styles into the championship match this past Monday on RAW, but they sabotaged each other and put an end to the idea of a five-man dream match. With Roman Reigns suspended and off television for the entire Battleground build-up, the WWE will need to get creative with how they book the main event program while they are missing one of the key elements.
According to Cageside Seats, Reigns is expected to remain in the match at Battleground, but as of now, he has the longest odds of winning the bout and reclaiming the championship belt he relinquished at Money In The Bank. The Inquisitr reported on Tuesday that Reigns nearly wasn’t even suspended as Vince McMahon was initially hopeful he could keep the violation a secret, leaving Reigns on TV in the process. His only means of punishment would have been to have Roman still lose at the last pay-per-view, but that’s it. However, the news leaked, and the WWE found themselves in their current predicament.
As noted, Cena and Styles will be continuing their feud after costing one another a chance at competing for the title at Battleground. Styles won the first match at Money In The Bank due to interference from Styles’ Club buddies, Karl Anderson, and Luke Gallows. There is a good chance this angle will last all the way to SummerSlam, but before that, their second clash will feature a stipulation at Battleground.
No word yet on what the stipulation might be, but with three RAW‘s and the first live Tuesday night Smackdown (July 19 and the WWE Draft) still left in the build, there’s plenty of time for that to be announced. If you recall, Cena gave Styles the option to fight alone or alongside The Club in their initial match at Money In The Bank. AJ chose to sign the contract for a straight-up singles match, but we all know how that ended up.
Battleground will be the WWE’s first pay-per-view A.D. (After Draft) although the actual draft takes place on the final show before the event. We won’t get a true glimpse of the brand split until the build towards SummerSlam begins, but even then, that pay-per-view will feature matches from both brands, holding off on the exclusivity for another month. But if SummerSlam is booked to feature more marquee matches than Battleground, things could get really interesting.
[Image via WWE]