CM Punk vs. Ryback
Paul Heyman has a new "Guy" and he's a familiar foe to the "Straight Edge Superstar." Punk was the victor the last few times these two met but the tables have turned considerably with Heyman -- not to mention Curtis Axel -- backing "The Big Guy."
The Road to Battleground
How we got here is rather simple, really: Heyman was being sacrificed to the gods of war at Night of Champions, going in facing a 2-on-1 handicap match against Punk alongside Axel, the moderately successful but ultimately inadequate Intercontinental champion.
The match was designed to ensure the "Second City Savior" would finally get his hands on his former mentor after the betrayal at Money in the Bank in July. And that's what happened, as Punk pummeled his best friend for a number of minutes, savoring the destruction.
Before he could finish the job, however, Ryback rushed the ring and incapacitated Punk long enough to place Heyman on top of him so the referee could record three slaps of the mat, giving the artist formerly known as Paul E. Dangerously a pinfall victory over a former WWE champion and the so-called "Best in the World."
Ryback's motivation? In his twisted mind, Punk was being a bully -- "bowlie" as he says it -- and he deserved to get laid out for it. So that's what he did and that's what he's continued to do, with a grateful Heyman immediately taking him under his wing.
That's what put us on this collision course.
What's at Stake?
Ryback went on a long winning streak once he made it back to the main roster and legitimately became a drawing card, as evidenced by increased buys for his WWE championship match against Punk at Hell in a Cell last year. However, he was subsequently booked into oblivion, never really losing but never really winning either.
This is his chance to finally get that clean victory over an opponent who has had his number.
As for Punk, his quest to destroy Heyman continues. He's had a terrible 2013, losing high profile matches to The Rock (twice), Undertaker, and Brock Lesnar. Hell, Heyman is on that list as well, and one could argue he needs to good clean win to get him back on the right track, especially if he's headed for the top of the card again soon.
So who gets the jump they need? Tune in tonight to find out!
And remember to keep it locked right here on CagesideSeats.com for all the latest and greatest news and notes on the entire Battleground PPV event.