With WWE’s “Battleground” Pay-Per-View right around the corner, Jim and Tom come together back in the print format here on Two Spot Monkeys for Head 2 Head ahead of this weekend’s event.
To catch readers up, be you regulars or first timers, this is a pick’em competition where we pick against one another in an effort to have the most success in the outcomes of WWE PPV matches. And what is on the line, you might ask? Well, this year it has been recently decided that the loser of this competition will be shaved bald and bear that baldness at a wrestling show we enjoy together as friends at some point in 2014! Of course, embarrassing photos will be likely tweeted out (@twospotmonkeys) FOLLOW US! & posted here on the blog.
Jim has a strong lead over Tom with 4 events left in the PPV year for WWE, 45-14 to 36-23. The time is now for Tom to make up any ground over Jim – let’s see how the picks play out!
Dolph Ziggler vs. Damien Sandow
TOM: Interesting match on paper. Two guys that seemed to be in really high places on the card at this point from where they seemed to be headed earlier this year. This one can be considered a pick’em simply because neither has really been given a lot of shine on TV as of late. I still think that WWE doesn’t mind Sandow losing because it is going to give him a load of opponents when he eventually cashes in. Dolph Ziggler gets the win.
JIM: Wow, do both guys deserve better than being on the pre-show of this “B” level pay per view? You’re darn right they do. Of course, they are better off than US Champion, Dean Ambrose, who can’t even get a match on this card. Anyways, they continue to book Sandow to lose and hope it will “create challengers” for when he eventually wins the World Title with his Money in the Bank briefcase. As we’ve mentioned before, we both feel this is terrible booking, but WWE falls back on it far too often with Money in the Bank holders. Dolph on the other hand has apparently been in the dog house lately and has not been anywhere close to the World Title scene. He’s a bit player in the ongoing feud with Triple H and Randy Orton, but certainly not featured there either. Hard to pick this one as I think both can use the win, but since Sandow keeps losing to set up challengers, maybe Dolph can get the win here and become one of those challengers down the road.
Kofi Kingston vs. Bray Wyatt
TOM: There is no stopping the Wyatt train! He beats Kofi here on his continued strong push. I am excited for what should be a really, really good match.
JIM: I think this will be a fun match, and really wish they’d push Kingston alot more than they do, but this is another of those wins to continue to get Bray Wyatt and his family over, so Wyatt wins here without question!
Intercontinental Title Match
Curtis Axel (c) vs. R-Truth
TOM: I think it is really interesting that instead of putting Axel in a program with CM Punk, which would have done more for Axel than these one-off title defenses, he is being paired with babyfaces fans get behind and want to see win, while he continues his I-C title reign. That trend continues here. Axel retains.
JIM: Truth gets this shot by virtue of beating Axel on Monday night in a Non-Title match after Axel was distracted by CM Punk’s music. Axel is obviously behind Ryback when it comes to the pecking order of Heyman’s Guys, so I wouldn’t be totally shocked to see a title change come soon, but honestly, with the way R-Truth has been used lately, I think it would be a mistake to put it on him, I’d rather see them go back to Kofi Kingston, or The Miz who could quickly get it to Fandango or someone else. So, Axel gets the win here.
World Heavyweight Title – Battleground Hardcore Rules Match
Alberto Del Rio (c) vs. Rob Van Dam
TOM: This match really plays into the “Hardcore History” of RVD and I imagine it will make a for good spectacle of a match, even though these two could get along just fine in a match with any gimmicks. I’ve learned my Del Rio lesson far too many times before, but seemed to be cursed by the matches I pick with him involved. Here is hoping that ends here: Del Rio wins and retains.
JIM: Hardcore rules means this will be a fun plunder match, but honestly, if RVD is leaving after Battleground, which has been the rumor, no chance he wins here. He could win and then immediately drop it to Sandow, but again, if he’s leaving, what’s the point? Del Rio keeps it and moves on. Wouldn’t be shocked to see Ricardo Rodriguez turn on RVD here either, unless he is going to be teamed up with Rey Mysterio or something.
Damien Sandow’s Money in the Bank Briefcase Cash-In:
TOM: I think it could be a good time as ever to do it, but just don’t see it happening. No cash-in at Battleground.
JIM: No, I don’t see him cashing in here, I don’t see what it would do at this point for him, so he holds onto the briefcase for a while longer!
WWE Divas Title
AJ Lee (c) vs. Brie Bella
TOM: This seems to be a really emotional invested issue and I like those types of storylines. I do think it is interesting too, that the WWE is really playing off of the reality elements from Total Divas and going another level in blurring the lines. Seems like they’ve really been making fans wait and wait for the pay-offs of issues of late, but Sunday seems like a really good place to cash-in on that pay-off. Brie Bella wins the Divas title.
JIM: I can go either way with this matchup. Both Tom and I have been feeling for a while that Brie Bella would eventually be the one to unseat AJ Lee as the Divas Champion, and I certainly still think that is likely the direction they’ll go. This could be the time they go there, but they have just added Tamina to the AJ Lee act (as almost the Diesel to AJ Lee’s Shawn Michaels), so with that development, I think it’s too soon now to take the title off of Lee. Not to mention, I am a huge AJ Lee fan and think they should leave it on her long term until they bring up Paige, but, that’s just me! AJ Lee retains here!
CM Punk vs. Ryback
TOM: A year ago or close to it, you had Ryback as the babyface chasing Punk for the WWE Title. A year later, the roles are reversed in terms of character and there is no title on the line, however there is a lot of good storyline here as well. WWE has done their best to me in getting Ryback to be a really jerk and bully, plus it doesn’t hurt to be aligned as a Paul Heyman henchman as well. I think Punk is so over that he could lose plenty of times in this feud and it would not hurt him. With that thinking and knowing there is a lot left to this feud beyond Sunday, my pick is that Ryback wins and I expect Paul Heyman involved down the stretch.
JIM: Another match I can go a number of ways with. Punk got to hit the GTS on Axel to accomplish phase one of his plan. Beating Ryback is stage 2, but I think that might be too quick for it to happen here at Battleground. I see this ending at Survivor Series as well, so you still have Hell in a Cell before then, and I could definitely see Punk vs. Ryback in the Cell in a rematch from last year, this time with Heyman in Ryback’s corner. So, to get there, we’ve got to have Ryback somehow defeat Punk, which I think he will do. Remember that he had Punk’s number a year ago too, and Punk always escaped because of Heyman’s help. I can see Heyman bringing that up on Monday as well if Ryback wins!
Seth Rollins & Roman Reigns vs. Cody Rhodes & Goldust - Rhodes wins, they get their jobs back, if they lose, Dusty Rhodes is fired
TOM: Of all of the matches on this card, this one has me really excited. WWE has just done a really great job (sense a theme here?) with this angle and match. The emotional ties created are very real and can really draw people in. It has done so with me, for sure. I feel like there is a lot left to occur with these teams and the other players involved…possibly culminating at Survivor Series as I suggested in the last REACT post. My pick is for Cody & Goldust to win and get back into WWE.
JIM: This should be ALOT of fun, and a match that easily could be the match of the night if given some time. It certainly has enough storyline backing to it to add to the drama. I’m glad to see Goldust back for a short run here, and hope he sticks around as he was great against Orton a few weeks back. I also wouldn’t mind seeing a Goldust vs. Cody feud down the road too (have Goldust get jealous of Cody’s success or something). Anyways, I’m getting ahead of myself here. I think the fact that the tag titles aren’t on the line here telegraphs the ending, which is the right one, the Rhodes boys get the win and re-join WWE. I see a Survivor Series Elimination Tag in November of Bryan, Goldust, Cody & Big Show against Orton and the Shield, so this helps get us there.
WWE Title – Decision Match
Daniel Bryan vs. Randy Orton
TOM: The forces of Triple H, Stephanie and The Shield are all in favor of Randy Orton and against Daniel Bryan. He is the ultimate babyface and the odds never seem to be for him. His last month after being stripped of the title has only seen him get more over (which is amazing because people are buying the whole story and not turning on it!) and they want the ultimate pay-off and Bryan to get his comeuppance once and for all. Unfortunately I do not see that happening in this chapter of the story on Sunday. Randy Orton to win and get the WWE Title again, keeping Bryan chasing and fans hungering for it and hoping for a Hell in a Cell payoff!
JIM: This is billed as the Decision match. Yeah, I don’t buy it. I think this match will again be marred in some sort of controversy leading to a final match at Hell in a Cell (again, likely in the Cell) between the two. To keep up with their last few months of booking though, I think Bryan will win the title and then again be stripped of it on Monday night. They just seem to be on that kick lately, and I think it continues here. So, while I expect it to be another 1 day reign, I see Bryan winning the title here, perhaps after some interference from The Big Show.