On Sunday July 20th, WWE will hold a 20 man over the top rope battle royal to crown a new Intercontinental Champion. Bad News Barrett was on track for the best run of his career until an injury forced him to vacate the title. Now, WWE’s entire mid card will compete and a new champion will emerge.
But who has the best chance of winning? What is the most likely outcome for the battle royal at WWE Battleground?
There are a number of jobbers we can immediately assume won’t win. Those jobbers include Diego, Sin Cara, Titus O’Neil, Zack Ryder, Heath Slater, R-Truth, Xavier Woods, Fandango, RybAxel and the Great Khali. Although they have a slight chance, it would be extremely surprising to see Rob Van Dam, Alberto Del Rio, Big E or Kofi Kingston become the new Intercontinental Champion.
Dolph Ziggler is an interesting choice who has been winning more often lately. However, those matches have been mainly against Fandango and the focus has been on Summer Rae and Layla. Sorry Ziggler, but chances are you won’t win either.
The remaining four superstars all have a legitimate chance at becoming the new Intercontinental Champion at Battleground and here is why.
The Miz made his return from filming WWE Studios’ The Marine 4 on the June 30th edition of Raw. There has been a great deal of hype given to the Miz’s new multi-platform, Money Maker faced character since his return. Although at first Miz was booked as weak with the surprise return of Chris Jericho on the same night, the most must see WWE superstar of all time recently defeated United States Champion and fellow battle royal participant Sheamus on Raw. Having Miz win the Intercontinental Championship yet again would certainly align with his new character push, but there are others who could do more with the title.
Bo Dallas has been impressive since redebuting on the main roster. When Dallas first arrived on the main roster for the 2013 Royal Rumble, he didn’t have a character. He was a weird smiled guy with long hair. Dallas made huge strides in NXT in developing his unBOlieveable gimmick. After seeing it be so successful in NXT, I had concern over whether it would work as well on the main roster. Dallas has a ton of BOlievers and has a good chance of winning the Intercontinental title if WWE feels he is ready.
Someone who is definitely ready for a championship is the newest Paul Heyman guy in the Swiss Superman Cesaro. The King of Swing’s stock has been flying through the roof since he joined forces with Heyman one night after winning the inaugural Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal. However, other than winning meaningless mid card matches against the likes of Kofi Kingston and Rob Van Dam, Cesaro hasn’t reached any new heights. Winning the Intercontinental title would be another step in the right direction for Cesaro.
That leaves the current United States Champion Sheamus. The Celtic Warrior is a very intriguing pick since he already holds a mid card title. While Sheamus is not an up and coming star like Dallas or Cesaro, WWE may have been hinting at a possible unification happening at WWE Battleground. Michael Cole referenced the idea on Raw recently. If Sheamus does win the battle royal, he will unify the Intercontinental and United States titles. WWE fans have spent a great deal of time and effort complaining (as they normally do) about the terrible booking mid card titles have had over the last few years. There really is no need for two mid card titles.
If you think about it, WWE recently unified the two world titles. Shortly thereafter, WWE began the discussion on whether or not the United States and Intercontinental Championships would be unified as well.
While I think Dallas or Cesaro would benefit most from winning the Intercontinental Championship, Sheamus winning would benefit the entire WWE Universe.
Who do you think is the most likely winner of the battle royal at WWE Battleground to crown a new Intercontinental Champion? Please share your thoughts in the comment section below.
Seth Guttenplan is a math and computer technology teacher for special education students in New Jersey. In his free time, Seth writes about wrestling for Camel Clutch Blog and SEScoops. Follow Seth on twitter @sethgutt