WWE Battleground 2014: Superstars Who Will Exceed Expectations

Alfred KonuwaFeatured ColumnistJuly 11, 2014

Antonio Cesaro celebrates after winning the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal during Wrestlemania XXX at the Mercedes-Benz Super Dome in New Orleans on Sunday, April 6, 2014. (Jonathan Bachman/AP Images for WWE)
Jonathan Bachman/Associated Press

If WWE Battleground winds up being a strong pay-per-view, on par with WWE’s recent offerings like Payback and Money in the Bank, then the show in itself would have exceeded expectations.

WWE’s main event features a lackluster Fatal 4-Way featuring stagnant characters in Randy Orton and Kane. More intriguing singles matchups such as Lesnar-Cena and Reigns-Cena have only been teased.

Lowered expectations for the placeholder July pay-per-view only increase the likelihood that fans will be pleasantly surprised.

One star who could contribute to that effort is Randy Orton. Orton has been a focal point of WWE programming recently as he grows increasingly disgruntled with The Authority's favoritism of Seth Rollins. He made his brewing hatred of the Money in the Bank winner evident this past Monday on Raw during a backstage segment.

Orton will figure to be prominently featured in what is expected to be a losing effort. Despite traditionally not drawing well as a centerpiece for a pay-per-view (from WWE Corporate h/t WrestlingInc.com), the Fatal 4-Way match tends to be quick-paced with several twists and the ability to captivate a crowd when not overdone.

Orton’s ability to RKO an opponent out of nowhere will be a welcome wild card in a Fatal 4-Way match.The majority of fans and analysts are convinced Cena will retain the WWE World Heavyweight Championship at Battleground, which may bode well for Orton.

PWInsider.com’s coverage of a leaked SummerSlam poster on Amazon all but guaranteed Cena would walk into SummerSlam in August as champion to take on Brock Lesnar.

This is the type of scenario where WWE traditionally uses a swerve in light of leaked information. These swerves have manifested themselves through reports like those, which surfaced in 2012 following Sheamus’ shocking Royal Rumble win.

After eliminating Chris Jericho, who was heavily favored, PWInsider.com (h/t WrestlingInc.com) reported Sheamus was booked to win in order to throw a curveball at fans who were expecting Jericho to win.

Orton would be the most likely beneficiary of this would-be curveball since Kane is a mere henchman and Reigns is still too early in his journey to capture his first WWE World Heavyweight Championship.

Cesaro will seek his first WWE Intercontinental Championship at Battleground as a headlining member of the Battleground Battle Royal.

Cesaro has been on the wrong side of a recent pair of matches against Kofi Kingston, but alongside Paul Heyman, WWE will continue to protect him in order to make Heyman look strong as Brock Lesnar’s return looms.

Cesaro should be considered a mild favorite to win the Battleground Battle Royal. Given his losses to Kingston in back-to-back weeks, as well as his steady decline since WrestleMania XXX, Cesaro’s once-grand expectations have certainly been tempered.

Just over one month ago, a WWE Intercontinental Championship victory was considered beneath Cesaro (from The Wrestling Observer Newsletter h/t WrestlingInc.com).

Now, capturing the title in the Battleground Battle Royal is exactly what he needs.