Your Average WWE Payback Preview & Predictions
WWE Payback is this Sunday, and thanks to back to back solid Raw’s, there’s a decent amount of hype for the show. The Diva’s title won’t be defended, but four guys cos-playing 80’s wrestlers are on the kickoff show! The main event is a Fatal Four Way for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship and John Cena is in a match where the only way he can lose is if he says ‘I Quit’. I wonder how that’s going to end? Let’s get to the preview and predictions!
Pre Show Match: Curtis Axel & Macho ‘Damien’ Mandow vs. The Ascension
If there’s one NXT call up that I’m willing to give WWE a pass on for screwing them up, it’s The Ascension. I never really enjoyed them in NXT, and the only reason they were the longest reigning NXT Tag champs is because they were the biggest guys in the division. The other tag teams that dominated during that timeframe either split up so one could become a star (British Ambition, Neville & Graves) or got called up to the main roster (Harper & Rowan). I don’t know if it’s just me, but face paint just doesn’t work in this era. Unless you’re grandfathered in like Goldust or turning yourself into a demon like Finn Balor, the blotchy face paint look isn’t going to get you anywhere. Combine that with the fact that they’re not great in the ring, and although they’re big in stature, they’re not really defined. If you’re going to wear face paint, you better be monsters like the Road Warriors or no one is going to take you seriously. Speaking of no one taking a team seriously, Sandow and Axel are recreating the Mega Powers on about 1/1,000,000th of a scale. Time will tell if this act will work, but I’d rather see Sandow and Axel given a chance to be a tag team as themselves, rather than playing characters from 30 years ago.
Prediction: Mandow & Axel by default.
Divas Tag Team Match: Naomi & Tamina Snuka vs. The Bella Twins
Naomi got sick of losing because the Bella’s outnumbered her, so she enlisted the help of her enormous relative by marriage Tamina Snuka, which automatically makes Naomi the smartest Diva in history. The Bella twins won’t outwrestle you, or out tough you, but there’s two of them and one of you, so if you don’t do anything to change that, they’ll most likely beat you. Now that Naomi has evened the odds, the WWE gives her a tag team match, which I don’t like. Why not make Naomi and Tamina the female version of HBK and Diesel and get the Bella twins into something fresh? Don’t they hate each other? Was all that forgotten? Since we’re stuck with this tag team match, I hope Naomi and Tamina win, and that HBK/Diesel thing I mentioned happens soon. I’m also going to keep predicting the Bella’s breakup until it finally happens.
Prediction: Naomi & Tamina after Tamina kicks Brie’s head off and they surgically replace her healthy neck onto Daniel Bryan’s body.
Bray Wyatt vs. Ryback
I can’t remember the last time I was as frustrated with a character as I am with the way WWE has booked Bray Wyatt. For the past two years, he’s been great from June-March, and then WrestleMania comes along and he loses clean, which pretty much kills everything he had done before that. Losing to Cena last year was bad enough, but after calling out the Undertaker and single handedly carrying their feud into WrestleMania, having him lose clean again, rather easily might I add, now makes him look like a fraud. If you’re going to build a guy as primarily a talker, you can’t have him lose the few matches he actually wrestles, or else all that talking means nothing. The only glimmer of hope I see for Wyatt is that the Wyatt Family looks to be reforming, and with Harper & Rowan left without a match Sunday, I hope they help Wyatt out or at least tease a reunion. What’s a preacher without people to preach to? What’s a shepherd without his flock? Wyatt needs the Wyatt Family, and all three of these guys deserve to be relevant again. As far as Ryback goes, he’s lost in mid card land, and if I had to choose which guy gets elevated between he and Wyatt, I’m choosing Wyatt every day.
Prediction: Bray Wyatt wins, and the Wyatt Family restarts their reign of terror with the addition of Bo Dallas. Why not?
King Barrett vs. Neville
If you’ve read any of my Raw Recaps or PPV prediction blogs, you know I love Neville. He’s the most unique guy on the roster, and he brings a level of excitement to each show that is unmatched. He’s consistently gotten the upper hand on Barrett in the past, so I think that changes here. Barrett is the king (literally) of losing pay per view matches, but if WWE really wants to run with this King Barrett gimmick he needs to start beating people outside of tag team matches. He’s too good in the ring and on the microphone to be misused, and a hard fought loss here doesn’t hurt Neville at all.
Prediction: King Barrett. I’m still patiently waiting for him to smash somebody in the head with his scepter.
Sheamus vs. Dolph Ziggler
This should be a can’t miss feud, and while the matches have been great, the start of it had way too many ass kissing implications. What should have been over at Extreme Rules has trickled all the way to Payback, and any time either of them is on commentary or in the ring the announce team can’t stop talking about how Sheamus needs to kiss Ziggler’s ass. How about, I don’t know, focusing the feud on wrestling, or the fact that Sheamus thinks guy’s like Ziggler aren’t big and strong enough to be in the ring with him? If the match plays on that plot point, it has the ability to steal the show. If the match features a bunch of false ass kissing moments, it will not.
Prediction: Sheamus. He has to win right? All he’s done since coming back is lose, and nobody loses important pay per view matches quite like Dolph Ziggler.
2 out of 3 Falls Match For The Tag Team Championship Match: New (C) vs. Cesaro & Kidd
If Ziggler/Sheamus goes the ass kissing route, then this is my pick for match of the night. The last time Cesaro was in a 2 out of 3 falls match, he lost the first two falls to Ziggler, which goes against everything WWE usually does in this kind of match. I expect this match to go all three falls, with one of the first two ending quickly. Cesaro and Big E had a great hoss fight on Raw, and these two teams are clearly the best in the division. While they may not be saying much, both teams are fun to watch, and I expect some New Day shenanigans to go on during this match. I can’t think of a reason why New Day would make this 2 out of 3 falls except to be able to sub in and out guys in each fall. Big E and Kofi might fight the first fall, but then Xavier Woods could sub in for the second, and then whoever rested for the second could sub in for the third. I’m assuming that’s why Booker T yelled ‘FREEBIRD RULES’ for three straight hours a couple weeks ago on Raw. As far as the finish, I’m kind of torn. Both teams have looked good lately, and I can see both teams winning.
Prediction: Picking with my heart, I’m going with Cesaro/Kidd. New Day retaining makes more sense, but I want Cesaro to have all the titles all the time.
I Quit Match For The US Championship: John Cena (C) vs. Rusev
Remember when Rusev was the best guy on the roster? Yeah, me too, but that’s what happens when a cool young heel feuds with Superman. Superman kills him. Since Fast Lane, Rusev has lost to Cena twice, done irreparable damage to his angelic manager and got himself into the WORST possible situation when it comes to John Cena: fighting him in an I Quit match. John Cena’s catchphrase is Never Give Up. That’s literally his catchphrase. He says it in every promo, it’s on every one of his shirts and it’s his life motto. Trying to defeat John Cena in an I Quit match is like trying to defeat a dragon in a flying contest. It ain’t gonna happen. As much as I love the US title open challenge contest Cena’s got going, this is the second year in a row he’s basically ruined a great heel. He did it to Wyatt, who still hasn’t recovered because he lost AGAIN at this year’s WrestleMania, and now he’s doing it to Rusev. If the rumors of Rusev and Lana’s split are true and Rusev loses this match by quitting, where he does he go from here? The WWE have backed themselves into a corner here and I don’t like where this is going for Rusev.
Prediction: John Cena. Bet your house on it.
Fatal Four Way Match For The WWE World Heavyweight Title: Seth Rollins (C) vs. Roman Reigns vs. Randy Orton vs. Dean Ambrose
This is the battle of wrestlers with first and last names, and up until Monday night, I had a crazy, unfounded feeling that The Shield might reunite here. But then everyone kicked Rollin’s ass to close Raw and there’s no way it happens Sunday night. Now that the possibility of one of the best factions ever reuniting is off the table, it’s time to figure out who’s going to win this match. The easy answer is Rollins. He’s the best guy WWE has right now and he’s the perfect type of champion to have after Lesnar. Lesnar was an unbeatable monster, Rollins needs the help of his personal security just to retain against Neville. It adds a layer of excitement to every championship match because there’s always a chance Rollins could lose. With Kane’s Director of Operations job on the line, and WWE’s obsessiveness with dragging out story lines, I’d say Rollins is the favorite here. Next up I’d say is Orton. If he doesn’t win here, he kind of has to move on to something else. Reigns should stay in the main event picture because he still hasn’t gotten a one on one title shot since Rollins cashed in at Mania, and we’re only a few months away from the Big Bad Beast known as Brock Lesnar coming back. Ambrose and Reigns have pretty much the same shot at winning, which isn’t saying much, because I don’t think the time is right for either of them. Ambrose isn’t ready yet and hyping Reigns up and having him main event Mania only to have him win the title at Payback wouldn’t make sense either.
Prediction: Rollins retains, and holds the title until Lesnar returns and The Shield reunites at Summerslam to save their old comrade. Book it now, WWE!
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