Fun With Flags – The Dark Match Predicts WWE Battleground 2017

Hopefully we make Sheldon Cooper proud here.  As WWE moves into the Philadelphia area for WWE Battleground (which why wouldn’t they, it isn’t like they aren’t going back in a few months to do Royal Rumble there, why wouldn’t they get more PPVs), The Dark Match readies itself for the event, and offers up these predictions for the event.  It would appear that they’ve fairly well set us up for an unspoken subtitle for this event, as we’re looking at Battleground: USA vs The World.  Let’s take a look.

WWE Battleground Kickoff Broadcast

Tye Dillinger vs Aiden English

Matt:  I’m kind of confused with booking, but it isn’t like you aren’t thoroughly aware of that.  Tye Dillinger rode the Battle Royal nearly to the end the other night, losing out to AJ Styles for a United States Championship opportunity.  Hopefully they get back to that, but in the meantime, I guess it is a way to keep him relevant.  I wonder if English kind of wishes he’d gotten released with Gotch.  Anyway, TyeBreaker for the win and the momentum.  Expect him to answer the US Open Challenge call sometime soon.

Jeremy:  I think English is a good low-to-midcard heel.  He’s definitely more useful than being in a tag team that was underutilized in a gimmick that Vince didn’t like.  I think English has a good spot at the moment.  Tye, on the other hand, I’m not sure where he currently belongs in the whole scheme of things.  I’m glad he’s on the card, even if it’s the kickoff.  I hope the fans stay behind him to show management that they want him to succeed.  They have a good organic underdog story here, way better than Zayn or Lynch (I love them both though).  So if WWE can pull off some long form storytelling, you could have something really magical.  Anyway, I agree: TyeBreaker for the win.

WWE Battleground 2017

Mike Kanellis vs Sami Zayn

Matt:  The E clearly feels so good about this feud and matchup that they didn’t even bother putting a photo up for the match on the Battleground card run through on the .com.  I don’t really care about it either.  I’ve been looking into Bennett’s (now Kanellis) run in Impact.  He’s not terrible, this character most definitely is.  It’s poor man’s Miz and Maryse and it’s awful.  I hope Sami Zayn Helluva Kicks his head off, but in all seriousness, that would stifle the newest signees and WWE doesn’t seem to know what they want to do with Bennett yet, so he’ll get the nudge here.  Mike Kanellis via whatever his finisher is.

Jeremy: Sami was dominating the match the other night.  I expect Mike Kannellis to be on more of an even footing this time around.  I’ll haven’t done the research like Matt but I’m willing to give him more of a chance.  Somehow, I think Maria is the bigger deal in this signing, but I’m not quite sure why.  I have more questions than answers with these two.  I love their theme song though.  Too bad we don’t have a babyface Gargano and Ciampa to meme Mike and Maria into popularity like they did with Roode.  I think that’s where I’m ultimately getting at.  I thought Booby Roode’s first big NXT match sucked, just like Mike’s first match with Zayn.  So I haven’t given up hope.  Anyway, this is a meandering way to say that Mike Kanellis wins via a Samoan Driver, which will get a proper name on Sunday.

Breezango Discover their Attackers

Matt:  It can’t be The Ascension again, nor would it make any sense for it to be The Hype Bros.  I’m hoping they do something exciting here and this isn’t a disappointment.  The Fashion Files has been one of the things I most look forward to on Tuesdays.  The hope is that the payoff here is as good as the build to it.  Could we see a new team here?  I can’t think of anyone on NXT that is ready for the nudge, especially with the DIY breakdown and AoP still the tag champs.  There’s no way they got The Young Bucks, although that would be cool.  I don’t know, I’m sort of at a loss.  I’ll just assume they put The Hype Bros here with Mojo acting alone, Ryder having no knowledge of his actions, leading to the Mojo heel turn and the inevitable Ryder-Rawley feud.  They wouldn’t let it be the Bollywood Boyz, would they?  Like actually The Bollywood Boyz?

Jeremy:  One crazy thought that I read is that Breeze is behind the whole thing, but not in a mean way.  He’s just having so much fun with Dango that he has been creating mysteries to solve.  They’d hug and we’d actually get a heartwarming moment instead of a heartwrenching one.  Too many tag teams have broken up this year.  If that doesn’t happen, I just hope it’s the Singh Brothers,  some old WWE team, NXT callup (but who?), or some team from another company.

Charlotte (USA) vs Natalya (Canada) vs Lana (Russia) vs Becky (Ireland) vs Tamina (Samoa) for the Number One Contendership at Summerslam

Matt:  I don’t see any scenario where it isn’t Charlotte getting this opportunity to take the Women’s title at Summerslam.  I have to ask though, where the hell is the title defense?  Seriously, Naomi is practically operating on a Brock Lesnar schedule for title defenses.  Charlotte wins via Natural Selection, preferably over Natalya.

Jeremy:  Tamina has a funny expression in the match card picture.  Look at it.  It’s funny.

Here’s the order of elimination:

  1. Tamina takes the bullet for Lana.
  2. Lana is easily pinned.
  3. Natalya eats a Natural Selection from Charlotte.
  4. Becky locks Charlotte in the Dis-Arm-Her but Charlotte is able to turn it into a Figure 8 to become your new #1 Contender.

AJ Styles defends the United States Championship against Kevin Owens

Matt:  AJ Styles needs to keep the belt here.  He doesn’t have to win, but he needs to keep the belt.  The United States Open Championship adds a bit of excitement each week because it keeps things from being predictable.  It lends itself to so many opportunities.  It also prevents this merry-go-round effect where guys simply have the same match 7,000 times.  Unfortunately, the merry-go-round is what I’ve come to expect, so I think AJ wins via DQ, retaining the belt but leaving the door open for another of this same match at Summerslam.

Jeremy: Kevin Owens hit a Pop-Up Powerbomb and secured the pinfall for his team the other night so to me that automatically means that AJ is hitting the Styles Clash and getting the win here.  I think KO will lose here, switch back to the regular KO shirt, and enter the main event scene again.  AJ will continue doing the open challenge up until Summerslam.  In Brooklyn, we get an unannounced surprise opponent.  Nakamura?  Tye?  Adam Cole (BAY BAY!)?

Shinsuke Nakamura vs Baron Corbin

Matt:  This match won’t happen.  These two don’t like to let each other get through their entrances, so that will likely happen again here.  I’d imagine Corbin will attack Shinsuke in the dark part of his entrance, beat him senseless with the briefcase, this match might actually take place at Summerslam, right before Corbin cashes in and takes the World Heavyweight Championship from Jinder after having lost to Nak, so that they can work to Nak vs Corbin at Survivor Series/Royal Rumble.  Real swerve here, I think Corbin taking the belt will lend itself to a Jinder face turn, as I’m sure the 1.3 billion people watching in India don’t like certain aspects of the portrayal they’re seeing.  Anyway, This match doesn’t happen.

Jeremy:  I’m curios to know the direction of both of these guys following the result of this match.  I really don’t know where you put them.  I actually do think this match happens.  I think Corbin reverses an Kinshasa attempt into an End of Days to secure the pinfall.  People on the internet will hate it.

The New Day challenge The Usos for the Smackdown Tag Team Championship

Matt:  Sh** or get off the pot here.  Either you give the New Day the belts or you move on to a new challenger.  I don’t see any title changes at this PPV, unless somehow Carmella cashes in and becomes Women’s champion.  The Usos retain through some sort of dirty tactic, or Xavier gets caught hitting one of them with Francesca.  Either way, The Usos keep the belts.

Jeremy:  Usos win, clean.  It doesn’t make sense but I’m pretty sure this match card graphic implies that it’s Xavier and Kofi in this match with Big E sitting on the sidelines.  Although Kofi and Big E is the best combination, they can get it done with Woods and E too. Any combination without the Big man, I’m skeptical of.  Side note:  I’d love Big E to answer the US Open Challenge.

John Cena vs Rusev in a Flag Match

Matt:  The premise is stupid, but after Tuesday night’s beat down, the Stars and Stripes will stand proudly at the end of the ramp.  John Cena wins in a truly good match.

Jeremy:  First off, I think WWE needs to updated their stock photo of Rusev.  He’s definitely trimmed down and is very svelte now.  Handsome Rusev!  Treat him accordingly.  This match reminds me of the Russian Chain match from Extreme Rules, or at least I think that’s the PPV it was from.  Maybe it was Payback.  As a new fan, I was really hyped but I thought the execution was lacking.  I do think Cena and Rusev have great chemistry and I hope Cena and Ru-Ru pull this one off.  I expect Cena to retrive Ol’ Glory first, but I hope it’s not a short match.  I just hope Rusev can move on from the evil foreigner gimmick after this program.  Jinder is enough.

Randy Orton vs Jinder Mahal for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship in a Punjabi Prison Match

Matt:  Randy Orton has shown more fire of late than I can recall him having, basically ever.  This feud has revitalized him, but I still don’t think it’s enough.  They acted like the Singh Brothers couldn’t get in, but they could be waiting under the ring, that is a pretty regular thing that happens in the bigger cage matches.  Anyway, they’re not taking that belt from Jinder.  Not yet.  There are much larger things to be done with him going forward and he needs the belt to make them feasible.  Jinder Mahal retains, hopefully clean but unlikely

Jeremy:  I’m not a big fan of the evil foreigner vs. America gimmick, but it’s here.  And Matt’s right, Jinder needs the belt in order to be dominant.  I don’t think he has enough confidence to work without a championship.  I hope that changes quickly so we have a deeper roster.  Anyway, I expect some sort of cheating but hopefully we get some crazy RKO first.  Jinder retains.

Final Thoughts:

Matt:  This card is lengthy, and the implications here could truly change the landscape of Smackdown if done correctly.  I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt and say that they see those implication and will follow through with about 50% of it.  I’m truly thankful to Randy Orton for helping get Jinder Mahal over.  It’s been a thing of beauty.  I hope they don’t burn down everything The Fashion Files have built up.  I think this could be a really good show, regardless, as a lot of these matches at least put quality competitors against each other.  Cena and Rusev have a history of high quality showings, Orton and Mahal work really well together, and that Women’s match could be fantastic.  Wild Prediction:  The Young Bucks are the ones annoying The Fashion Police.

Jeremy:  I forgot Corbin has the briefcase.  That’s what SmackDown is doing with him after this Nakamura match.  I still expect him to win tonight’s match to solidify his heel status.  And I don’t expect him to cheat.  I think they want to show him as dominant so he sees like a real threat to the main event.

It’s a lengthy card for sure.  Like Matt predicted, probably two or three aren’t going to happen but it’s not as fun to predict those.  I’m sure he’s probably right though.  My one problem The Young Bucks being the one attacking The Fashion Police is how are they going to face The Revival if they are on SmackDown?!?!?!?  Forever the Revival.