WWE Battleground 2013: Best-and Worst-Case Scenarios for Top Superstars
"The general who wins the battle makes many calculations in his temple before the battle is fought. The general who loses makes but few calculations beforehand."—Sun Tzu
With WWE Battleground coming up this weekend, some key wars amongst the superstars could be settled and change the landscape of WWE.
However, history is written by the winners, and not everyone can walk away on top.
Will Triple H's regime stamp out the insurrection of the Rhodes family, or will the wrongs be righted?
Will CM Punk be able to exact his revenge on Paul Heyman, or will things go awry once more?
Anything can happen in WWE, and Battleground is a place where any wrestler can experience the best of the best or the worst of the worst.
What are the good and the bad possible outcomes for some of the top Superstars? Let's put the event under the magnifying glass and find out.
The Rhodes Family
Seeing as how Cody Rhodes and Goldust have everything riding on this match's outcome, anything short of victory will automatically be the worst-case scenario.
It doesn't matter how they lose or what happens during the match. If The Shield is victorious in any way, that is it—the Rhodes family have experienced the worst of the worst.
Similarly, the best thing that they can hope for is for a win and to get their jobs reinstated in full.
If WWE wants to spruce things up even more, we could see Rhodes and Goldust leave with the tag titles as well, but this is unlikely to happen, as it would add a bit too much to their win.
Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns don't have much to lose in their match against Cody Rhodes and Goldust.
Their titles are not on the line, nor are their jobs. It's pretty clear that The Shield will remain a huge part of Triple H's stable for a long time.
Therefore, the duo will probably lose this match and won't have too much to look forward to.
The best that Rollins and Reigns can hope for is to lose through a quick pinfall, count-out or disqualification after a match where they dominate and look very strong.
If worst comes to worst, The Shield will suffer at the hands of the vengeful Rhodes family and not only be victims of their wrath, but also end up being punished by Triple H for losing.
This storyline where CM Punk can't get his hands on Paul Heyman has to end sooner than later, as it's already stretching itself very thin.
At the very latest, Punk's last match with this feud should take place at Hell in a Cell and likely will, rather than ending here for good.
Because of that, Punk either has to lose this match to Ryback and then win a rematch at Hell in a Cell, or win here and move on to someone else for the next pay-per-view.
Punk's best-case scenario for Battleground will be to take Ryback out of the equation and take the fight straight to Heyman, while the worst-case scenario will be losing this match and trying to figure out how to continue to drag this feud out for a few more weeks.
For someone who is supposed to be nearly unstoppable, Ryback has spent the last year losing more matches on pay-per-views than winning them.
This all started with his feud against CM Punk at Hell in a Cell 2012, so it is kind of odd that we are in the same position again a year later.
There's a chance that Ryback's new affiliation with Paul Heyman will do him wonders and allow him to win this match, although realistically he will not by any means destroy Punk.
On the other hand, there's just as good a chance that Ryback continues his losing ways and simply loses yet another match here.
This feud is not about Ryback, though, so he is either going to look weaker than ever or just strong enough to win with some outside interference or cheating.
Ryback's stock is not coming out of this looking like gold.
Alberto Del Rio
Alberto Del Rio is as much of a lame-duck champion as you can possibly get, and his entire reign has run on nothing but fumes.
This feud with Rob Van Dam is nothing but a stall to waste time until something more important happens, so we shouldn't be expecting anything crazily exciting to happen here.
At best, Del Rio is going to merely retain the title and start a feud with someone new on the following episode of Raw.
At worst, Del Rio will lose the title and find himself getting a rematch against whomever he drops it to (Van Dam or Damien Sandow), as it appears as though WWE is hellbent on keeping Del Rio in the title picture.
If we judge this based on what has come in the previous year, both situations boil down to basically the same thing.
The World Heavyweight Championship will be kept on autopilot, revolving around Del Rio having baseline-standard programs and really nothing much else.
Rob Van Dam
Rob Van Dam has been losing quite a bit lately, which probably means that he'll do the same here.
If that is the case, Van Dam may be looking at a best-case scenario of losing from some kind of a false finish, just so he can get another rematch at Hell in a Cell.
A submission loss might be in store for him, in which case the worst-case scenario would be to lose clean by tapping out and then to be written off television for a while.
In that situation, Van Dam does not look strong at all.
While his career certainly won't diminish much by doing so, his return would probably place him square in the midcard.
For people who are not the biggest fan of Van Dam like myself, this would be far from a worst-case scenario, but for his fans, taking him out of the title picture would certainly be a step down.
Randy Orton may be the top heel in the company right now (although it's fairly easy to argue against that and say that Triple H is the true villain at the top), but he's not looking as threatening as he could.
Orton would benefit very much from a win here, as not only would that mean that he would leave Battleground as the WWE Champion, but he'd also help legitimize his spot as a dangerous competitor.
The best way for that to happen, if WWE is out to do nothing but make Orton look good, is for him to win the match clean via pinfall—but that is unlikely to happen.
If he does win, there will probably be some shenanigans that lead to the belt going around his waist.
The worst-case scenario for Orton would be finding himself once more watching Daniel Bryan celebrating with the WWE Championship, further proving to Triple H that he's not the right horse to back.
Daniel Bryan has won the WWE Championship at the last two pay-per-views, even though he has held it for a grand total of about 20 hours.
More than likely, this event will not follow suit.
Normally the third time is the charm, and although the best-case scenario for Bryan would easily be for him to win the championship in hat-trick formation and go on to have a lengthy reign, it is probably not in the cards.
Realistically, the true best-case scenario for Bryan is that he will lose this match due to some sort of interference or screwjob which allows him to still look strong and not lose momentum at the same time.
The worst outcome for Bryan could be that he bites the bullet and takes the fall to make Orton look good, coming short of the WWE Championship, being written out of the title hunt and moving on to something less important.
There's also the chance that Bryan loses here and continues his feud with Orton for one more match at Hell in a Cell, wherein he could also lose.
Those two losses in a row won't help him out one bit, but he's strong enough to withstand them and not lose the crowd, so Bryan is merely looking for damage control here.
What do you think is going to happen at Battleground? Who do you think will walk out victorious, and who will be staring up at the lights at the end of their match?
Let us know your theories and predictions in the comments below!