The SmackDown Live product has suffered ever since the Superstar Shake-up, with the blue brand’s creative team being stuck on ideas on how to use their wrestlers and create interesting storylines. This has led to the Battleground pay-per-view being one of the least hyped shows in recent memory. The standout of this upcoming event includes the return of the Punjabi Prison match to solve the rivalry between Jinder Mahal and Randy Orton over the WWE Championship, while John Cena takes on longtime rival Rusev in a flag match.
1) Tye Dillinger vs Aiden English
The fact that these two are facing each other again shows that SmackDown has no idea how to use either of these talents, Dillinger most especially. The Perfect 10 needs a victory to get his momentum back on track after a recent squashing at the hands of WWE champ and former jobber Jinder Mahal.
PREDICTION: TYE DILLINGER
2) Sami Zayn vs Mike Kanellis (w/ Maria Kanellis)
Mike Kanellis’ WWE debut should’ve taken place on PPV rather than on SmackDown Live, but another win for Kanellis here will build him up nicely. Zayn will unfortunately have to take another big loss to go with his Underdog tag.
PREDICTION: MIKE KANELLIS
3) AJ Styles (c) vs Kevin Owens for the WWE United States Championship
As great as it was seeing AJ win the US Championship and teasing the prospects of bringing back the weekly US Open Challenge that create stars, KO’s going to ruin all chances of this ever taking place again by winning back the United States title and the Face of America gimmick that goes along with it.
PREDICTION: KEVIN OWENS
4) Shinsuke Nakamura vs Baron Corbin
Unfortunately, Baron Corbin’s MITB briefcase win leads into the inevitable storyline of the briefcase winner losing for a long period of time before eventually cashing in out of nowhere.
PREDICTION: SHINSUKE NAKAMURA
5) Charlotte Flair vs Becky Lynch vs Natalya vs Tamina vs Lana in a Fatal 5-Way Elimination Match to determine the #1 Contender for the WWE SmackDown Women’s Championship at Summerslam
A big money match-up needs to be made for Summerslam and Charlotte and Becky are the two women who can make a match feel important. I’m going with The Lasskicker in the hopes that Becky can defeat Naomi at Summerslam, before losing the title via MITB cash-in by Carmella.
PREDICTION: BECKY LYNCH
6) John Cena vs Rusev in a Flag Match
As much as Rusev needs to enter the WWE Championship picture, John Cena will win. ‘Nuff said.
PREDICTION: JOHN CENA
7) The Usos (Jimmy and Jey Uso) (c) vs The New Day (Big E, Kofi Kingston and/or Xavier Woods) for the WWE SmackDown Tag Team Championships
Firstly, The Usos clearly won that rap battle. Secondly, The Usos need to build their credentials with a huge win over The Day of New. Hopefully, a New Day loss will start to create cracks within the trio…
PREDICTION: THE USOS
8) Jinder Mahal (c) (w/ The Singh Brothers) vs Randy Orton in a Punjabi Prison Match for the WWE Championship
A win over Orton in this unique structure would establish Mahal as a very strong heel champion. Jinder will head into Summerslam as the WWE Champion and may go up against John Cena, as WWE’s free agent continues to defend the honour of America against all international adversaries.
PREDICTION: JINDER MAHAL