4 Predictions for WWE SmackDown Live: July 18, 2017

4 of 5

No Waiting Until Sunday

Heading into Battleground, one of the most heavily promoted matches is the third and possibly final encounter between Jinder Mahal and Randy Orton. Their feud has been gaining traction since the Backlash event, where the Maharajah shockingly defeated the Viper to win his first world championship in WWE. Most didn’t expect the reign to last, and yet here we are several months into it. Mahal has certainly made the most out of the chance he’s been given, as he continues to come across as a quality heel.

As of late, Mahal has gone on record to call himself the greatest WWE Champion of all time. He isn’t the first title holder to proclaim this, and yet the heat it generates is rather strong. The fans love to hate a foreign bad guy, and that’s exactly what Mahal personifies. People want to see him lose the championship, and Battleground provides an avenue for him to do so.

Having lost to Mahal on two previous occasions, the Viper knows exactly what he needs to do in order to find success. He won’t have to worry about interference from the Singh Brothers, because the match itself is being contested inside the Punjabi Prison. Only two other matches have taken place within this structure, and yet fans recognize the ominous aura it represents. Randy Orton wants to add another accolade to his already impressive list, and in the process put an end to Mahal and all the problems he’s caused during his tenure as champion.

Tonight, expect Orton and Mahal to engage in a brawl just days before their championship contest. Because the Maharajah is probably going to leave Battleground with the title, Orton will most likely be the one standing tall on SmackDown Live.