The next WWE Smackdown Live brand pay-per-view is called Battleground and it takes place on July 23 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Following this week’s episode of Smackdown Live, three matches were announced while a few others were hinted at. Here’s what we know so far with quick notes on each.
WWE Championship Punjabi Prison Match: Jinder Mahal vs. Randy Orton
* Orton demanded a WWE Title rematch against Mahal since the Singh Brothers put their hands on Orton’s family at Money in the Bank. Shane McMahon gave in to Orton’s demands because he didn’t want Orton to become a madman attacking Mahal everywhere. Shane said the match is on, but Jinder gets to pick the stipulation. Mahal appeared on the stage to announce that he was picking a Punjabi Prison match made famous by The Great Khali. It’s the first Punjabi Prison match in over ten years since Great Khali wrestled Batista in it.
Kudos to Sportskeeda for being the first to report that WWE was planning to do this match.
If you need an explanation of what Punjabi Prison match is, here’s an explanation from WWE.com:
For starters, while matches like a Steel Cage, Hell in a Cell or even the Elimination Chamber typically trap a Superstar within one enclave, the Punjabi Prison surrounds them with two: First, four walls of bamboo that immediately surround the ring in the fashion of a traditional cage. Outside of that stands another, larger octagonal structure, topped with a series of razor-sharp bamboo spikes.
To win, you have to escape both cages, a prospect that is far easier said than done. The interior structure boasts four doors, each of which is attended by a referee. When a Superstar calls for the door to be opened, they have one minute to walk through it and into the outer structure. If they don’t make it through in time, the door is shut and locked for good. If a Superstar fails to make it through all four of the doors in the allotted time, they must climb out of the inner structure. It makes for good practice, as the only way to escape the outer ring is to climb up and over it. The first Superstar whose feet touches the ground wins the match. That means you cannot achieve victory inside the Punjabi Prison by something as archaic as a pinfall or a submission; you simply have to fight your way out.
This will be the third televised Mahal vs. Orton match for the WWE Title.
Smackdown Tag Team Championships: The Usos vs. The New Day
* The New Day asked for a rematch and it was granted by The Usos. Simple as that. It’s no surprise since The Usos lost by countout during their title match at Money in the Bank a few weeks ago.
United States Championship: Kevin Owens vs. winner of battle royal next week.
* I assume AJ Styles will win the battle royal next week because it was teased on Smackdown.
Other Potential Matches
Based on this week’s Smackdown, it looks like the following matches are possible for Battleground:
* Baron Corbin vs. Shinsuke Nakamura – Corbin attacked him at Money in the Bank and Nakamura did a promo on Smackdown saying that Corbin was worried about him.
* Sami Zayn vs. Mike Kanellis – During a segment where Mike and Maria Kanellis were on the stage doing their “power of love” routine, Zayn interrupted and made his entrance for a match. That was likely done for a reason and that reason is to set up a Battleground match between them.
More matches will be added in the coming weeks as well.