Monday also saw the additions of AJ Lee vs. Brie Bella for the Divas Championship, Dolph Ziggler vs. Damien Sandow on the Kickoff Show, and The Shield's Seth Rollins & Roman Reigns vs. Cody Rhodes & Goldust.
That final match, while announced on Raw for the first time, has seen a retroactive build dating back to Cody Rhodes' storyline firing a few weeks ago. This angle is as hot as it gets these days, and The Rhodes Family is riding high. Cody is poised to be a big star coming out of this angle, Goldust is insanely motivated to show he still has it and The Shield rarely disappoint. If the Hardcore Rules World Heavyweight Championship Match doesn't steal the show Sunday, this one will.
Official (and bold) WWE Battleground Predictions
Rob Van Dam pulls off a crowd pleasing victory, capturing this first World Heavyweight Championship. This might seem to contradict the speculation that RVD is taking some time off, as well as the always expected Ricardo Rodriguez heel turn. It shouldn't. I'm also predicting a Damien Sandow Money In The Bank cash-in, and a victory that sees the revelation of a new personal ring-announcer for the savior of the unwashed masses.
Divas Championship: AJ Lee (champion) vs. Brie Bella
AJ Lee is a great choice for Divas champion, but she has no competition in the division. Meanwhile, there's a Divas' reality show just begging for a champion. What better Diva to serve in that role than the one who is getting engaged on the program itself, Brie Bella. Brie Bella wins the Divas Championship, possibly even using Daniel Bryan's LeBell Lock in the process.
Kickoff Match: Dolph Ziggler vs. Damien Sandow
In another moment of self-disclosure, I'm in my 30's—which means I remember a time when the thought of a "Kickoff Match" brought about terrifying memories of the AWA Team Challenge Series. But I digress. This match could go one of three ways. The face in Dolph Ziggler could sell like crazy and go over in the end, making the online viewing audience happy and possibly snagging a few more pay-per-view buys. Or, Damien Sandow could steal a victory from the hands of "The Showoff," cutting a promo to tease his potential Money In The Bank cash-in. However, Sandow walking away in the middle of the match could lead to the same thing, and would be smart—which his character is. Out of my three potential ending two involve a Ziggler win. Dolph Ziggler wins the Kickoff Match.
Yes, of my first three pay-per-view predictions, the Kickoff Match is the same length of the other two matches combined.
The Shield of Seth Rollins & Roman Reigns vs. Cody Rhodes & Goldust
Of course, the stipulations around this match are that if The Rhodes Brothers win, they both get jobs in the WWE, and dear old dad Dusty Rhodes can keep his position as a trainer in the WWE Performance Center. A Rhodes' loss and all three family members are gone from the company for good. For good, in wrestling terms, is usually good for at least a month! There's no indication that the championships are at stake here, and Dusty will be in the corner with his sons. I see Dusty taking a Dean Ambrose bullet for his boys, allowing Cody Rhodes & Goldust to pick up the big win, securing their spots on the active roster.
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