Payback’s a bitch…but on paper, WWE Payback looks like a pretty good PPV! It looks a whole lot better than WrestleMania 32, that’s for sure! My predictions for ‘Mania were almost wholly wrong, so here’s hoping my crystal ball is more accurate for Payback! However, the card for Payback seems unpredictable, so many of my predictions will be no more than mere guesses!
Kalisto (c) vs Ryback (United States Championship Match)
What? This match again? The match that was only fit for the Pre-Show at ‘Mania 32? The third or fourth match in their boring rivalry? I mean, who cares about this match? Better yet, who cares about the United States Championship? Is the WWE waiting for John Cena to come back and re-capture the title? Is so, then Ryback would be a good fit for that future bout. However, Ryback has already lost twice to Kalisto in consecutive bouts. Why does he deserve the victory here? I reckon Kalisto retains, and continues to hold the belt that no one cares about. Well done, WWE! This time last year, the US Title was important.
PREDICTED WINNER: Kalisto
Dolph Ziggler vs Baron Corbin
Poor Ziggler. First, he was chosen to put over Tyler Breeze when Breeze graduated from NXT to WWE last year. Now, one can assume, he’s been chosen to put over Baron Corbin, who’s still greener than snot. Couldn’t WWE find someone more expendable to put Corbin over? Obviously not! Let’s hope Ziggler doesn’t think he can drag a decent match out of Corbin. Although Corbin’s improved slightly in NXT, he still has a lot to learn. Ziggler will bump big in this match, but it will not improve the quality of the match. And Ziggler will lose!
PREDICTED WINNER: Baron Corbin
Charlotte (c) vs Natalya (Women’s Championship Match)
These two had a pretty good match at Road Block, although their Championship match at NXT: Takeover remains one of the greatest women’s matches ever. I’m sure this match will be a high quality one. But who will walk out with the belt? I was surprised Charlotte retained at ‘Mania. I can’t see her losing it at Payback. Yes, Ric Flair and Bret Hart will accompany Charlotte and Natalya respectively (a gimmick that worked in the NXT match). But that doesn’t signal a change of title holder. Natalya’s been largely absent from WWE programming until after ‘Mania (and that small portion of programming leading up to Road Black). A bigger female babyface is needed to topple Charlotte…Sasha Banks? Or a graduated Bayley? I reckon Natalya won’t be the one to topple the champion.
PREDICTED WINNER: Charlotte
Chris Jericho vs Dean Ambrose
Who would have guessed that Jericho defeated AJ Styles at ‘Mania? For that very reason, I am expecting Jericho to get the victory here. Ambrose missed out on a sorely needed victory against Brock Lesnar at ‘Mania, and didn’t even put up much of a fight. Their match was one of the big disappointments of the night. The only victory I remember Ambrose picking up in the last year or so on PPV was against Kevin Owens at Royal Rumble. A victory against Jericho is worthless, but a victory nonetheless. It’s hard to decide on this match, but in the name of hope, I’m putting my money on Ambrose. He needs a victory, whether or not it is against Jericho.
PREDICTED WINNER: Dean Ambrose
Enzo Amore and Colin Cassady vs The Vaudevillains (No. 1 Contenders Match for the Tag Team Championships)
Surely this one is easy to predict? Amore and Cassady, all the way! They debuted on the Raw after ‘Mania, to a great ovation. The Vaudevillains debuted on Smackdown. See the difference? Amore and Cassady never captured the NXT Tag titles, so this a chance to redeem that mistake. I can only see The Vaudevillains winning this match if WWE want a babyface vs heel clash for the tag titles. That would be an error. The crowd want Amore and Cassady to face The New Day. The alternative clash is unthinkable.
PREDICTED WINNER: Amore and Cassady
The Miz (c) vs Cesaro (Intercontinental Championship Match
If The Miz retains the title, I riot! Cesaro deserves an IC run, if only to prepare him for a headliner position. He is the full package. The Miz is merely warming the title for a better champion. And I think that champion is Cesaro. Let’s face it, The Miz was given the title only because WWE didn’t want Zack Ryder as the champion for too long. Ryder received his ‘Mania moment (out of nowhere!) and was discarded immediately afterwards. For some reason, The Miz was chosen…so that babyface Cesaro could win it from a heel? I’m going with that logic…
PREDICTED WINNER: Cesaro
Sami Zayn vs Kevin Owens
This is the match we should have got at ‘Mania. The build-up wrote itself, with just a little background information from their rivalry in NXT. This match should steal the show. They are both awesome in the ring. This feud should continue, with or without a title at stake in the future. For that reason, I reckon Owens gets the win, by foul means. A hollow victory would carry the feud on, whereas a clean Zayn victory would stop the feud in its tracks. Yes, Zayn deserves the victory, but he’ll look like the victor until Owens cheats to win…
PREDICTED WINNER: Kevin Owens
Roman Reigns (c) vs AJ Styles (WWE World Heavyweight Championship Match)
Does anything about this match make sense? Styles lost a big bout at ‘Mania, yet he was still considered for entry into a 4-Way No.1 Contender’s Match for the WWE Championship. He won that match, setting up Styles vs Reigns. Reigns is the man WWE have been pushing for over a year, to no avail. In fact, he’s booed more than most heels (and Payback is in Chicago, for goodness sake!). Styles is the super-over babyface. See where I’m going? Why have unpopular Reigns fight a very popular Styles? Why isn’t Reigns fighting a heel, like Kevin Owens? I suppose Owens is still in favour with some of the crowd…but my point remains. Why pit Styles against Reigns? Unless they are planning to turn Styles heel…With Karl Anderson and Luke Gallows teasing a reunion with Styles for a Bullet Club-esque faction, are WWE priming us for Style heel turn? Even if that’s the case, I can’t see Styles winning. Reigns will overcome the odds. He’s lost the title on two occasions in screwjobs. I can’t see that happening for a third time. Reigns will be champion until SummerSlam at the earliest…
PREDICTED WINNER: Roman Reigns
Leave your thoughts/predictions below!