It’s Payback time in the WWE! But, really, isn’t every week payback time? Let’s not dwell on the logical inaccuracies of the title of this “special event” though, and focus on the card itself! We have 6 matches announced for the main show, along with Daniel Bryan’s Championship decision, and there is a lot of potential for this show. So, let’s get right to it!
Rusev vs Big E
A: On the face of it, this could be a very entertaining, physical brawl. But there’s something about Rusev that just doesn’t excite me. I’m not sure if it’s just that we’ve essentially seen the evil foreigner gimmick done so often, and so rarely has it worked (I mean, has it actually worked since the Iron Shiek?) but something just isn’t clicking. Big E needs to show some personality too, and no, I’m not counting patriotism as part of a personality. By all accounts he is a funny and charismatic guy, but he hasn’t had the chance to show it yet. Big E needs to impress quickly, or find himself stuck in tag team purgatory for the foreseeable.
Prediction: Winner – Rusev by submission
M: Not holding much hope for this match. The only thing that makes it viable is if Rusev squashes him. The Rusev and Lana pair could be a dominating force in the wwe if they get the best start. If this lasts more than 5 mins then it will be a pointless venture for both men. But hey, at least we’d get to see more of Lana!
Prediction: Rusev wins by submission
Divas Championship: Alicia Fox vs Paige (C)
A: Well, there is at least some attention being given to the divas division, with actual rivalries almost taking place. Is Alicia Fox the ideal contender? Absolutely not. Ideally it would be Natalya, AJ, or Emma; but as I say at least this is something. I can see this going another event, but it still kind of feels like a placeholder until AJ makes her return.
Prediction: Winner and STILL Divas Champion – Paige by submission
M: Meh. At least they’re trying to make something out of the divas division by getting back to building a competitor up rather than a 12 divas Easter pillow bonanza over the top battle royal. This should be straight forward as I don’t see Paige dropping the belt until she gets her feud with AJ.
Prediction: Paige wins via pinfall.
United States Championship Match: Cesaro vs Sheamus (C)
A: HOSS FIGHT. You want physicality? You want a brutal war? These two can deliver that. These two should deliver that. I’m looking forward to this in case you couldn’t tell. Having the title on the line does kind of complicate my prediction though, since I can’t really see either man losing. Sheamus is a favourite of the higher ups in the company, Triple H in particular, so I really can’t see him being a transitional champion. Plus, I’m still kind of expecting him to be added to Evolution, so having him holding a mid-card title establishes the hierarchy, and means that there won’t be much confusion over whether Sheamus or Orton is the top guy.
At the same time though, Cesaro is on a roll and is destined for big things, and having a title would help him and make Paul Heyman even more boastful. My thinking is, Cesaro will win the Money In The Bank briefcase next month, and that will act as his title. Plus, and this is something that isn’t picked up on enough in the WWE, there’s nothing wrong with a guy in Cesaro’s position losing a match. Heyman can help him learn from it, and it will put over the relationship between the two and Heyman as a manager if Cesaro is seen to improve under his tutelage. It is for that reason, I’m going for Sheamus here.
Prediction: Winner and STILL US Champion – Sheamus by pinfall
M: Tough one to call as they’re both big players at this point. I don’t really see this one ending clean as I’m not sure wwe would want to discredit either one. I don’t think they’ll take the title off of Seamus, plus I’m hearing he’s moving into other things soon so it doesn’t make sense for him to drop it and continue the feud. I’ll go for Seamus but I think it’ll be via a dq.
Prediction Seamus wins and retains via dq.
Intercontinental Championship Match: Rob Van Dam vs Bad News Barrett (C)
A: This is a nice pairing. RVD has the credibility to put on a good match, and still be classed as a big win for heels, but at the same time doesn’t actually win a whole lot. This should be a good match from two very capable guys. And I am delighted to see how effective the revitalisation of Barrett has been. I had him pegged as a World Champion in waiting a couple of years back, so I’m all for any success he has. I think this is just a match to give him a win over an established face. But RVD’s last run was used to put a few people over, culminating with Alberto Del Rio, so if he’s going to be moving around and working with a lot of people again this time round, Barrett needs a consistent feud for the belt.
Prediction: Winner and STILL Intercontinental Champion – Bad News Barrett by pinfall
M: Good to see Barrett getting a go! I think he’s a good character and has the nitty gritty to be a top guy. I don’t see RVD winning this, as far as I can see, he’s playing the Chris Jericho role now and just coming back to put some people over. Pretty easy for me. Barrett retains.
Prediction: Barrett wins via pinfall.
Last Man Standing Match: John Cena vs Bray Wyatt
A: This has actually been a pretty excellent feud. Wyatt hasn’t looked out of place going up against John Cena, and that is just about the biggest compliment you can give him. He is a main eventer now, he looks and acts like a star. I’m talking like this is the end of the feud, and by all means it should be, but where do they go from here? I can’t see an obvious pairing for either man once this rivalry is done and dusted, so it could continue for another month or two yet. I think this match will suit both guys, Wyatt can be as unorthodox as he likes, and Cena can show some aggression (as well as having a good track record in this type of match, see the 2007 Royal Rumble vs Umaga). I would expect the Family to get involved here, but I would also expect the Usos to even them out, leaving just Bray and Cena to finish this off. Because I’m guessing this will be the end of the feud, I have to go for the face here.
Prediction: Winner – John Cena
M: This should be great. Bray Wyatt just oozes class and well I’ve been impressed with the way Cena has stepped up the game to counter him, although I’m still not beyond stating that bray Wyatt has been carrying him through this entire feud!!! The question is, will this continue after Payback? Well if it does then I can only see a Wyatt win here. The favourite pick would be Cena but I just think that all the work developing Wyatt’s character over the past few months would go straight out the window should he fall here. Now that wouldn’t be a surprise to me considering the monkeys with typewriters the wwe still has behind the scenes, but I, as always, remain optimistic and still have faith that they will do something special at some point. Anyway. I’m going for Wyatt after some interference of course.
Prediction: bray Wyatt wins
No Holds Barred Elimination Tag Match: Evoution vs The Shield
A: Again, I’m expecting this to be the end of this feud in it’s current form. Word on the internet is that Batista is leaving after tonight, and it will be Triple H’s last match until Summerslam. Everything points to an overall Shield win. So the question is not who, but how? Well, as I said, Batista is leaving apparently. So I’m gonna guess he’ll be the first out. They want to push Roman Reigns as a megastar, so I’m also guessing he’ll be the sole survivor for his team, overcoming a numerical deficit. It’s not rocket science. As for the match itself, it should be a good one. No holds barred again suits just about everybody in this match, and it also opens up some possibilities I’m not giving too much thought to. A new member (Sheamus) interferes to give Evolution the win? Heel turns from two thirds of The Shield, just when they have victory in their hands? There are several possibilities, but I can only go for one, and I’m pretty confident in it.
Prediction: 1st Elimination – Batista. 2nd Elimination – Dean Ambrose. 3rd Elimination – Seth Rollins. 4th Elimination – Randy Orton. 5th Elimination – Triple H. Winner – The Shield by pinfall (Roman Reigns as the sole survivor).
M: This one has me torn, and I love it. The fact that these matches are hard to predict means that there is hope yet! I am seriously leaning towards an Evolution win here and i think that this could be the end of the Shield tonight. No one expects it so why not? It just seems too easy to predict the Shield and Reigns taking out everyone and being left alone. I don’t like that, it’s predictable and it’s been done! I think that regardless of what happens tonight, the feud can go on or morph into something else quite easily. I may have my head in the clouds, but often when I predict these things, it’s coming from a “this is what they should do” standpoint. I think Ambrose turns on them! I think reigns will be left with HHH but I just think it’s set up for Ambrose to betray reigns and give HHH the win.
Prediction: elimination 1st – Batista 2nd – Rollins 3rd – Orton 4th – Ambrose 5th – Reigns 6th – HHH. Winners evolution.
I have high hopes for this show. There isn’t a shockingly bad match on paper on the main card, so from a match quality point of view it should be above average. From a storyline point of view… well we’re going to find out, aren’t we. The WWE Title picture will play a big role in how the Summer develops, so that segment could be the most important of the night at Payback. For what it’s worth, I think if Bryan was going to have to lose the belt, it would have happened by now. For me, he will walk out of Payback still the WWE World Heavyweight Champion.
It’s been a quiet month from the Plebs of Wrestling, and from a personal point of view I can only apologise, and blame exams. My monthly news in review column will be a day or two late because of Payback falling on the first of the month, but it is coming, don’t worry! Hopefully you can look forward to more regular content over the usually quiet Summer months, so feel free to get in touch with comments, or even suggestions for what to write about, by commenting or using the contact details below.