Another PPV, another loaded card. WWE has been on a roll in recent weeks and I'm more hyped about their product than I've been in some time. That means I've got even more crazy ideas and predictions for what will go down this Sunday considering I've been thinking about it more often. I plan to share all these thoughts, ideas, & predictions with you here as I run down the entire card for the upcoming Payback PPV. Enjoy!
1) Curtis Axel & Damien Sandow vs. The Ascension
I really don't what to think about this particular match. It's truly the definition of a mixed bag from a booking standpoint. Kudos to WWE for coming up with this idea of the faux Hogan & Macho Man teaming up to face off with the faux Road Warriors/LOD, but shame on them for not capitalizing on Sandow getting over AT ALL. This is the second time that Damien was on the verge of breaking out on his own and they've squashed it, albeit intentional or unintentional. The first time, he & Cena had one hell of a match for the World Heavyweight Title. Sandow couldn't win because they HAD to unify the belts for whatever reason. I was a bit annoyed although I decided to overlook it. Soon enough, Sandow fell completely to the bottom of the card only to work his way back up by taking everything WWE gave him and turning it to gold. I've heard people say things like "WWE gave him the Mizdow gimmick, how can you be mad at them?" Yeah, WWE gave him the Mizdow gimmick, but did they expect him to become more popular than The Miz? Not at all. The eventual feud came and it was lackluster. I was disappointed until Sandow came out as himself, cut a promo on the whole downfall and resurgence of his career, and even used the old "You're Welcome" catchphrase. The crowd gave him a round of applause. It felt like a fresh start for Damien Sandow. Then the next week came and it was the same thing all over again. Sigh. If the crowd was going nuts for it, I wouldn't mind and I'd say that maybe I'm just being a grump however the audience on Raw seemed pretty lukewarm on the idea. They wanted to cheer bc it's Sandow, but they wanted to boo because they know this will lead nowhere and they want Sandow being Sandow not Sandow being someone else. None the less, I expect Axel & Sandow to win here in this match that no one has a reason to care about because it will most likely lead to nothing. If the crowd's into it, it could be fun. I just see this being a failure based off how the universe reacted on Monday.
Who I think will win - Curtis Axel & Damien Sandow
2) King Barrett vs. Neville
Now, the negatives are all out of the way. The pre-show match is the only thing that I felt compelled to rant on, now we're onto the main show. BNB & Neville have been having an absolutely killer series of matches lately. From the pre-show of Extreme Rules to the KOTR finals, it's been awesome. They are 1-1 against each other which puts them on pretty even ground. I want to say that Neville will get a victory back here although they've been booking Barrett so strong lately, and rightfully so, that I don't see the King of the Ring taking a loss. It's an extremely tough one to predict, but I'm gonna go out on a limb and say Neville will pick up a surprise victory on Barrett to even out their series. WWE doesn't often think ahead however I tend to do so and I say give Neville a win here considering he's not won many matches since debuting, have him go far in the chamber, possibly even in the final two, and then Barrett pins him to win the title & gets revenege for this loss. I think WWE needs to set up more things like that down the line to make the mid-card feel important again. Neville is a guy who's taken John Cena to his limit, there should be no shame in losing to him. I don't think WWE feels that way though. With that being said, I'm gonna go the double pick route here by having what I think should happen and what I think WILL happen.
Who I think will win - Bad News Barrett / King Barrett - WWE wants to make him look as dominant as possible as King
Who I think should win - Neville - Sets up future final showdown in Chamber between he & BNB
3) Dolph Ziggler vs. Sheamus
Here we have a rematch from Extreme Rules that I'm honestly excited about. We've seen these two wrestle a ton of times since 2012, but it always delivers. Their match at ER wasn't the most astounding contest however it didn't have as much fire behind it as this rematch does. The brawls these two had on Raw a few weeks back are what got me hyped on this. DZ is pissed and Sheamus is the cocky hard hitting bastard. This WILL rule and like I said at Extreme Rules even though it didn't happen, I think this could steal the show if they get enough time. I see these two busting ass and making each other look phenomenal. Sheamus gets the win since he technically lost at Extreme Rules.
Who I think will/should win - Sheamus - Continue building him as an unstoppable asskicker
4) Naomi & Tamina vs. The Bellas
I've seen many people complain about this match being added to the card because "The Divas aren't being given a chance" and I really don't understand it. This makes perfect sense. Naomi & Tamina have been embarassing The Bella twins week after week. Time for them to settle in a tag bout. Now, will WWE give them time to put on a great match? THAT is questionable. I hope they do though because they've got some solid talents in this one. I'd have a nice control segment with the heels (Naomi & Tamina) stopping every flurry from The Bella Twins only for Nikki & Brie to power back near the end and take Naomi & Tamina to the brink. Then, Naomi & Tamina sneak a victory using the ropes or something. A good 11 minutes could do wonders for this angle. I'm guessing we'll see Naomi take the belt at Elimination Chamber and then feud with Paige when she returns which is something I'm totally fine with.
Who I think will/should win - Naomi & Tamina - Establish them as a force to be reckoned with and set up a match between Naomi & Nikki for Elimination Chamber
5) Ryback vs. Bray Wyatt
What to say about this one.. what to say? It's been the same as every single other feud that Bray Wyatt has had. Random attack, promos, maybe a brawl here or there. Then they'll face off in a match that most people find boring. I always hope for more and am almost always disappointed. Wyatt is a dynamic talent. He's one of a kind and should be a star, but he's yet to have that breakout performance. His best match was against Cena at last year's Payback event. That's an entire calendar year of doing nothing memorable and that trend looks to continue into a second year. I feel like they could make this awesome though, to be honest. I just feel like WWE hasn't put any big effort into Wyatt's work yet and I don't see it happening here with Ryback, of all people. I imagine a match where Ryback uses his power to take control only to be psyched out by Bray. Mindgames throw Ryback off every time he gets something going which eventually leads to Bray taking control and slowly decimating the big guy while also mentally abusing him. Wyatt continues trying to play games with Ryback's head while he tortures him. Wyatt bridges back and stares into Ryback's eyes, laughing as he lay on the mat. Wyatt shouts at Ryback about his past failures, etc. Ryback wont' take it anymroe though. Ryback pounds the mat and jumps up. Wyatt does the same and they come face to face. Ryback pushes Wyatt and pounds his head and tells him to bring it. The crowd explodes as this encounter just turned serious & epic. Wyatt goes for a lariat, Ryback ducks and picks Wyatt up over his shoulders and tosses him to the floor. This is where things reach the next level. Ryback assaults Wyatt on the outside and ends up putting him through the announce table to cause a DQ. Ryback starts yelling "Feed Me More" and the crowd joins in. Ryback leaves to a big ovation after what he just did to Wyatt. This will lead to a bigger match at Elimination Chamber with a stipulation that I feel could really be a true classic if they continue off the momentum they could build by doing something like I detailed above because now people have something to get pumped about. The match gets made for Elimination Chamber and it's a Last Man Standing Match. Wyatt promises to be the last being standing because he's simply not a man, he's a mortal therefore the stipulation doesn't even affect him because he's going to torture Ryback physically, mentally, and personally until the big guy is no more. THAT, in my opinion, is how you make people care about this rivalry. Do something different, add some controversial stuff, etc. Of course, Wyatt would win the Last Man Standing Match and I'd have it be after help from Luke Harper & Erick Rowan. Ryback gets completely destroyed which sets up a huge return for him as a hot babyface later in the summer. The Wyatt Family reunites which lines up a huge reunion in which I'd have them run roughshod over WWE to the point that Wyatt gets a WWE Title Match and controversially wins it from one of the Shield members, who ever is champ at the time, be it Reigns, Rollins, or Ambrose. This leads to everyone realizing that no one can stop The Wyatt Family. They almost do Nexus style beatdowns thus bringing WWE to it's knees. Triple H can't even stop them so he goes to each member of The Shield and convinces them week after week to reunite for the sake of WWE because they're the only team who was ever able to beat them. They all refuse except for Roman Reigns who tries to get everyone on board. Rollins & Ambrose are stubborn and refuse. Reigns says if they won't step up, he'll do it on his own because he isn't letting WWE fall to the ground at the hands of three freaks who are only in it for the power. Ambrose doesn't care and says he's leaving the arena because it's clear WWE is done for and he doesn't feel up to fight, he wishes Roman good luck. Rollins can't believe Reigns would ask him for help. Rollins seems to be humbled for the first time in a long time and just stands silent as Roman states his plan. This leads to The Wyatt Family holding up the show at the end of Raw. Roman Reigns walks out on his own. Wyatt coaxes him to "come on in big dog, do what I want you to do, play into our game, think you can stop us, you will fall just like all of your other superhero friends." Reigns starts stepping closer to the ring when the crowd erupts as Dean Ambrose comes through the crowd and jumps the railing to stand beside Roman. Wyatt mocks their "bromance" and says they still don't have the numbers or the power they once had. Wyatt says that Rollins was the mastermind behind their little fantasy and he doesn't even care anough about it to come and fight. Ambrose & Reigns end up getting in the ring and start brawling with Wyatt, Harper, & Rowan. The numbers game takes control as you would expect when out of nowhere ROLLINS OFF THE TOP ROPE WITH THE KNEE TO THE HEAD OF ROWAN! Wyatt & Harper have Ambrose in the corner and don't see Rollins. Reigns gets up as well and stands beside Rollins for the first time in ages. The crowd is roaring. Ambrose who is down in the corner begins laughing and points for Wyatt & Harper to turn around. Wyatt & Harper slowly turn around and get charged by Rollins & Reigns. The assault begins and The Wyatt Family retreats. THE SHIELD IS BACK TOGETHER! Wyatt and co have been forced to run for the first time in months! Therefore we get Reigns, Rollins, & Ambrose reuniting only to take out The Wyatt Family. A six man Hell In A Cell match with WWE World Title & Tag Titles on the line OR if it's at the end of the year, have it be a TLC Match at the TLC PPV. Either way, it's one final war between the two top trios teams in WWE in the past decade. They could draw it out into next year if they wanted to. Depends on how long they'd want Wyatt's title reign to be. Possibly end this entire thing at Mania next year in Hell In A Cell. I'm getting hyped just thinking about it. So, yeah, that's what I think SHOULD happen. I think that proves that WWE could make so much more out of this than they will. Instead, I feel it'll just be another "big" win for Wyatt. Meh. Anyway, I'd love to hear your thoughts on my idea that I discussed above, tweet me what you think on Twitter or comment below!
Who I think should win - Bray Wyatt - Via DQ ; Ryback snaps after taking physical & mental abuse and puts Wyatt through a table. Sets up Last Man Standing Match for Elimination Chamber where Wyatt Family reunites to help Bray win. Ryback is out for awhile and comes back as a hot babyface. Wyatt Family completely dominates leading to Bray winning the title from whichever Shield member is holding it in the fall. Who can stop The Wyatt Family? No one but the only group who was ever able to beat them - The Shield. With the WWE nearly folding due to The Wyatt Family destroying everyone and everything, The Shield challenges The Wyatt Family for the WWE World Title & Tag Team Titles in a six man TLC or Hell In A Cell Match to close out the year.
Who I think will win - Bray Wyatt - Clean victory. Wyatt goes into another random feud until Money in the Bank comes around.
6) Big E & Kofi Kingston vs. Cesaro & Tyson Kidd - 2/3 Falls Match for the WWE Tag Team Titles
I purposely put this so high up in this review because I feel that's how high it should be on the card. All four of these men are extremely hard workers and are capable of putting together a classic. Give them 20 minutes and I doubt this will be anything less. Cesaro & Kidd have been getting huge pops, especially Cesaro while New Day has been getting more heat than ever before. Between the athleticism & skills of all four competitors and the perfect dynamic of heel/face this is the best possible tag match you could ask for. I really can't wait for this. I'd have a Cesaro/Tyson flurry early and they get a pin. New Days gets pissed and starts going hard & taking shortcuts thus getting a fall in return. Things are tied up and these teams bring out the big guns for the final ten minutes. Big moves, nearfalls, insane exchanges - all that good stuff that you love about tag team wrestling. In the end, New Day picks up the victory, by hook or by crook.
Who I think will/should win - New Day - Continue their momentum as a top heel tag team, also makes fans love Cesaro & Kidd more due to their performance plus they garner sympathy if the victory from New Day is a cheap one
7) John Cena vs. Rusev - "I Quit" Match for the United States Title
This is another match that I think could be really good. On paper, it immediately reminds me of the classic Cena/Umaga Last Man Standing Match from Royal Rumble 2007. With Cena's awesome track record of quality performances in matches like this, I see no way around this being an outstanding match unless WWE pulls some shenanigans. With that being said though, I think the outcomes is pretty predictable. Cena wins. (No LOL) No LOL like usual because it's a good decision. Cena's US Title reign has been fantastic thus far and I don't want to see it end any time soon and I doubt WWE does either. He's making stars nearly every week on Raw, don't stop it!
Who I think will/should win - John Cena - Cena never quits and won't here despite being taken to his absolute limit ; Rusev blames loss on Lana and they begin the separation storyline afterwards
8) Seth Rollins vs. Dean Ambrose vs. Roman Reigns vs. Randy Orton - WWE Championship Match
Mindblowing - that's what this match will be. I fantasy booked this thing the other week which is something I highly recommend checking out (click here to view it). I came up with some solid ideas so I can only imagine what these four professionals have in mind. I expect insane action, major storytelling, and an all around unforgettable contest. I'm gonna try to predict a bunch of stuff considering I already fantasy booked it in detail, but I'll just say that I don't see any way around Seth Rollins winning here. It will be by the skin of his teeth though, I know that much! Can't wait for this match, it has potential to be the best PPV Main Event of the entire year! I'm guessing it'll set up a Rollins/Kane match for Elimination Chamber for the title as well.
Who I think will/should win - Seth Rollins
Thanks for reading and feel free to follow this blog on Twitter @ThePWTruth and tweet me your thoughts on my predictions & fantasy bookings!