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Points by Ben Simmons during Game 3 victory over Nets

Heel Turns: Philly is a Battleground

Posted by Achilles Heel On July 21

Achilles HeelAfter “Money in the Bank” and “Great Balls of Fire” didn’t match the Greek God of Wrestling’s expectations, he’s a little reluctant to fully endorse “Battleground,” WWE’s next split-brand pay-per-view, which takes place Sunday (7:30 p.m., WWE Network) at Wells Fargo Center.

The main event is a Punjabi Prison match between WWE champion Jinder Mahal and Randy Orton. This stipulation was picked by Mahal, but Achilles Heel thinks Orton has to win this match. First, Orton can’t lose to Mahal yet again. Second, Mahal hasn’t caught on particularly well as champion. In a reason related to the second one, I can’t see Mahal heading into SummerSlam as champion, unless WWE finds a new way to package his feud with Orton.

It will be interesting to see if A.J. Styles retains the United States Championship against former champion Kevin Owens. The loser could move into the WWE Championship picture, depending on whether Orton or Mahal emerges from Battleground as champion. The pick here is for Styles to retain.

The Usos, Jimmy and Jey, will defend the Smackdown Tag Team Championship against The New Day. A title change is possible, but the Greek God of Wrestling expects this title change to come at SummerSlam.

The five-woman elimination match for the right to challenge for the Smackdown Women’s Championship at SummerSlam could be entertaining. Charlotte Flair, Becky Lynch and Natalya are all extremely capable wrestlers. Tamina plays the monster heel role, and Lana plays … I don’t know what role she plays. Perhaps Lana will stay out of the action and then try to pin opponents after they’ve been the recipients of big moves by other wrestlers. But an elimination match leaves no room for a fluke victory by Lana. Becky Lynch is my choice to win, but Charlotte and Natalya are certainly legitimate possibilities, with Tamina as a long shot.

We’ve gone pretty far down the card without mentioning the return to pay-per-view of both John Cena and Rusev, who will meet in a flag match. Achilles Heel envisions a Rusev victory, with Rusev moving into title contention for either the United States or WWE Championship. Cena won’t be hurt by a loss in a flag match if the ending is handled well.

Philadelphia will gets its first live look at Shinsuke Nakamura in a WWE ring. Nakamura battles Baron Corbin in what should be an interesting match.

The card is rounded out by Sami Zayn squaring off with Mike Kanellis and a pre-show match between Tye Dillinger and Aiden English. The also will supposedly be some sort of closure to the Breezango case. The payoff for the Breezango had better be worth all of the awful skits fans had to sit through on Smackdown and at the Money in the Bank pay-per-view.

One of the positives of Battleground is that there is uncertainty in the outcome of most of the matches. This creates more drama, which should enhance the atmosphere. After the past two split-brand pay-per-views failed to reach their potential, however, the Greek God of Wrestling isn’t giving an all-out endorsement for Battleground.

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TICKETS AVAILABLE: As of Thursday, there were tickets available for Battleground, particularly in the higher price range.

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RUMBLE TICKETS: Tickets for next year’s Royal Rumble in Philadelphia go on sale on Sat., July 29, but Achilles Heel has a suspicion that Rumble tickets may be available at the Wells Fargo Center box office during or after Battleground.

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WWE IN REGION: If you can’t get to Battleground on Sunday night, perhaps you can catch WWE on Saturday (7:30 p.m. ) at the Wildwood Convention Center. There also will be a Smackdown house show on Monday at the Bob Carpenter Center in Newark, Del. Earlier (11 a.m.-1 p.m.) on Monday, Dolph Ziggler will be at the Xfinity Store by Comcast in King of Prussia to sign autographs and pose for photos.

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CHIKARA POWER: CHIKARA presents an “Hour of Power” show on Sunday (4 p.m.) at The Wrestle Factory in Philadelphia. Matches included Hermit Crab vs. Razerhawk, Delmi Eko vs. Race Jaxon, and the Rumblebees vs. the Force. You can also watch the show by signing up for CHIKARA’s live streaming service.

You could go to The Wrestle Factory before Battleground and make it a wrestling doubleheader. Hour of Power will be followed on Aug. 5 by Chikarasaurus Rex: Flesh and Stone. Johnny Kidd Invitational winner Rory Gulak against CHIKARA grand champion Juan Francisco de Coronado headlines the card.

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JORDAN ELEVATED: The surprising revelation that Jason Jordan is Kurt Angle’s son, ending the storyline in which Angle and broadcaster Corey Graves were receiving texts about Angle, has some intriguing implications.

The move of Jordan to Raw breaks up American Alpha, a terrific young team that won the Smackdown Tag Team Championship earlier this year but hadn’t been very active lately. This leaves Chad Gable as a singles wrestler, a role he has filled recently on Smackdown. As for Jordan, this storyline certainly elevates his profile. He will likely be a featured singles wrestler, a role we haven’t seen him in very often.

This storyline and the move of Jordan to Raw also opens the door for Angle’s return to the ring. An attack on Jordan would be a personal attack to Angle. The Greek God of Wrestling envisions Angle teaming up with Jordan and then eventually having a singles match or two. Could they stretch this story out so Angle could have a match at WrestleMania next year?

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TURN THE PAIGE: The latest development in the domestic violence incident involving Alberto Del Rio (Alberto El Patron) and Paige at the Orlando airport is that Paige is being investigated for a potential domestic battery charge. Achilles Heel thinks it’s obvious that the Alberto-Paige relationship is not a healthy one. Two of Paige’s brothers posted their concern for her on social media, talking about Alberto being controlling. If they won’t get counseling on their own, their friends need to intervene and convince them to get help or convince Paige to get out of the relationship before there is further physical or emotional abuse.

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NO IMPACT: Global Force Wrestling’s suspension of Alberto El Patron for the domestic violence incident came after weeks of taping for Impact Wrestling was completed, so the suspension does not affect the on-air product. For those who wanted GFW to edit El Patron out of the show, this past Thursday’s Impact Wrestling made it obvious why that wasn’t possible. The main angle of the show was LAX trying to convince El Patron to become a member of their group.

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SHANE SAFE: For those who missed it, Shane McMahon was a passenger in a helicopter that had to make an emergency landing in the water near Long Island. Fortunately, Shane and the pilot were not seriously injured – or worse. All of the crazy stunts Shane has done in his career, including getting thrown off the top of Hell in Cell through a table, pale in comparison to the fear that must have come from the crash landing of a helicopter into the water.

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CHANCE OF A LIFETIME: Legendary CZW champion Masada will challenge Shane Strickland for the Combat Zone Wrestling Heavyweight Championship at “Once in a Lifetime” on Sat., Aug. 5 (7:30 p.m.) at Flyers Skate Zone in Voorhees. Strickland captured the title in a four-way match with Lio Rush, Joe Gacy and defending champion Davey Richards at Evilution on July 8.

Atsushi Onita battles Father Matthew Tremont in what is certain to be a physical confrontation. Rush, who is headed to WWE, will battle Joey Janela in what is likely his final match in CZW. There will also be a meet-and-greet session with Onita from 4-6 p.m. The session costs $40 and is first-come, first-served.

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McINTYRE VS. ROODE: Drew McIntyre defeated Killian Dain to earn a shot at the NXT Championship against Bobby Roode at NXT: Takeover the night before SummerSlam. Roode has been an outstanding NXT champion, just as he was when he was TNA world champion. McIntyre also was a terrific TNA champion and has been good since he’s returned to WWE/NXT. McIntyre vs. Roode is an excellent marquee feud for NXT.

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GULAK EXCELS: For those who have been waiting for Drew Gulak to demonstrate the talent he’s shown on the independent circuit in WWE, check out Gulak’s 2-out-of-3-falls match against Mustafa Ali on 205 Live. Given the time and a storyline, Gulak can put together a tremendous match.

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STROWMAN INTERRUPTS: The Greek God of Wrestling is usually annoyed when a terrific match ends with outside interference and a non-decisive conclusion, but Braun Strowman’s interference in Raw’s main event between Samoa Joe and Roman Reigns last week made perfect sense. Strowman’s anger at Reigns after the ambulance incident is certainly understandable. Joe’s attack on Strowman for interrupting his opportunity to get a rematch with Brock Lesnar for the WWE Universal Championship at SummerSlam is also understandable.

Furthermore, the injection of Strowman into this storyline makes it even more interesting. Who will be Lesnar’s opponent at SummerSlam? Could it be a triple threat or fatal four-way match? We’ll find out during the coming weeks.

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DIJAK TO WWE: In a move that should not be surprising to anyone, Donovan Dijak is heading to WWE. Achilles Heel identified Dijak as future WWE material shortly after he started in Ring of Honor. Dijak has the six (6-foot-5, 260 pounds) and agility to be a potential star in WWE. The only question is whether he goes to NXT first or makes his debut on Raw or Smackdown.

 

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