What you need to know
Roman Reigns and smarks have something in common. They both want John Cena to get to the point. The WWE World Heavyweight Champion's point was that they would have to work together in the main events of Raw and Battleground to take care of Randy Orton and Kane. Dean Ambrose, the third man on the champ's team for Monday night, had a plan for dealing with The Authority's squad. But that plan had to be aborted before it was even hatched when The Viper, The Demon and Seth Rollins attacked Ambrose backstage. He gave as good as he got, but when the answer to "is that all you've got?" was a curb stomp onto a crate, The Lunatic Fringe didn't have any more himself.
Before we got to what was now a three-on-two handicap match, there were plenty of opportunities to see that Triple H's crew was a less than unified force. Orton doesn't trust Kane, even though Hunter only sees him as a tool. Rollins is ready to execute 'Plan B', while Paul Heyman is offering a 'Plan C'. It's almost like these guys don't know they're on a television show...
Miz and his moneymaker had a busy week. In preparation for their entry into the Intercontinental championship battle royal at the pay-per-view (PPV), he and Sheamus split a pair of matches, and the Hollywood heel got a ton of mileage on his new schtick with a satirical Lebron James promo about leaving Northeast Ohio in his rearview now that he's a star.
Layla and Summer Rae may have left Fandango behind, but they aren't done tormenting the sleazy bastich. Dolph Ziggler got a dance and kiss from each to celebrate his latest win over 'Dango. Bo Dallas celebrated hitting 15 - 0 via countout with a chop to his dome from his "big buddy", The Great Khali. Even when he's woozy, that Bo is a winner.
A win over Nikki Bella (albeit in a handicap match) and the announcement that she's getting a PPV match (albeit on the Kickoff show) started Cameron's week off right, but taunting her Battleground opponent resulted in a loss on Main Event. Naomi saved the returning Emma from her former partner's post-match assault. If only they could get along as well as Diva's champ AJ Lee and Paige. Despite the fact that the two will duel for the butterfly belt come Sunday, they were all smiles after AJ beat Eva Marie.
Cesaro has lost his advocate, at least for now, and he keeps losing matches, this time to Big E. Kofi Kingston did cause a distraction in revenge for his recent beatings at the Swiss' hands, and he and E have bonded over their shared wins against The King of Swing to form a tag team - a pairing that got a win on Tuesday night against former Heyman Guys Rybaxel.
Having moved on from World Cup fever, America is now all in on Jack Swagger and Zeb Colter. Lana demanded an apology for America's stupidity, but Zeb says the US of A doesn't say sorry to no one. Which might be why parts of the world despise us, but...WE THE PEOPLE. Swagger got his biggest pop since he had a costumed mascot for slapping the Patriot Lock on Rusev as those two head toward a Sunday superpower showdown. Former Real American target Alberto Del Rio kept up the world's quietest win streak with a victory over Rob Van Dam on Monday.
The Wyatt Family laid out tag champs The Usos before they could make it to the ring, but that unfortunately doesn't count toward the two falls that will be needed to win the titles at Battleground. Their patriarach continued to jaw jack with Chris Jericho. The content of their promos don't make a whole lot of sense, but at least Y2J is actually helping Bray get heat. At least, his Sister Abigail to Jericho on Monday earned him some jeers.
Don't worry everybody, it's safe to hate Seth Rollins again. He wasn't injured in the main event of Raw. The lines of cooperation between the faces and heels in Sunday's Fatal 4Way sure were, though. Kane leveled Orton, Reigns speared Cena and Orton RKO'd the Demon as all hell broke lose to end the live go home show.
What to look out for
Taped Tuesday in Fayatteville, North Carolina! We don't read them if we can avoid it, but cSs has spoilers for you right here.
The Sexy Beast gets his first official in-ring shot at a Wyatt when he faces the beast of the Family - Luke Harper! In addition to advancing the program between Jericho and Wyatt in a concrete way, this one should be a size contrast dream match if they're given time.
Expect The Usos and Erick Rowan to get involved, and the Eater of Worlds, too.
This being the official final show before the PPV, we'll be served a variety of appetizers for that card. Some excuse will be made to put as many of the twenty men from the battle royal in the ring together as possible. A couple of Battleground combatants will be tag partners (my money is on Paige and AJ, since they're drawing out the turn for whichever woman they decide to turn).
And Dean Ambrose should get some measure of revenge to look good heading into Sunday, whether in an actual match or backstage quid pro quo...we'll find out tonight.
(Note: I know some folks have come looking for a more definitive match listing. We still don't want to risk spoiling anything, but as WWE.com releases more information on anything that's officially going to take place on tonight's show, I'll update it here)
What they should do
You know who's owning her character these days? If you said Naomi...you wouldn't be entirely wrong, but you'd still get a "Girl, Bye". Because the correct answer is her former funky partner, Cameron.
The Total Diva is never going to be Diva's champ - or at least she shouldn't be. But she can be valuable as an occassional heel jobber. And if she can continue to improve her ringside acting, she could really enhance a bad guys worth as a valet.
A guy who is really close to regaining some momentum as a rudo is Miz. His and Cameron's reasons for villainy line up, too. In addition to his precious moneymaker, an interfering manager-type could be just the thing to take the former WWE champ back...well, he's probably never going to be a main eventer again. But he could straddle the mid-card/main event line and be a bankable star that's used to elevate young babyfaces.
Apart, they're both jobbers. But together, they just might be stars.
What we're afraid they will do
As far as I know, they didn't bring the Nature Boy to Fayetteville, even if it is Flair country. That should save us from another awkward promo. Now let's hope they left Adam Rose and whatever he's schilling these days in Virginia with Ric.
What would you like to see WWE do to convince you you HAD to watch Battleground this Sunday?
If you're going to tune in to Smackdown to see if they do it, watch along with you fellow Cagesiders in the open thread. And stay with cSs all weekend long for all the latest on the PPV.