WWE Payback 2017 Card & Predictions
I’m skipping my usual Raw/Smackdown thoughts feature this week as Raw was complete filler and Smackdown wasn’t too much better. I feel WWE has been treading water to get to this PPV just so they can really get down to the brand extension stories.
I will state the awful Michael Jackson jokes and references during the Dolph Ziggler/ Shinsuke Nakamura promo were some of the worst I’ve ever heard. I cannot believe this was the best Vince and his writers could do for Nakamura. What horrible shit.
This prediction piece may be one of the shortest I’ve ever done because I feel like this PPV basically is the wrap-up piece we would have gotten over two Raw programs back when the WWE Network and a PPV every 3 weeks or so didn’t exist. I feel like most of the card is predictable and I’m actually not excited for this event in the least. Prove me wrong, WWE.
Kickoff Show – Miz TV with Finn Balor
I’m not sure what they want to accomplish with this. Here you have the first Universal Champion not wrestling on the PPV and you have one of the best workers/heels on either show during the past year not wrestling either. You know The Miz will try and attack Balor and get nailed by Balor which will set up a match against each other the next night on Raw.
Kickoff Show – Enzo Amore and Big Cass vs. Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson
These poor guys are allocated to the kickoff show once again. Gallows and Anderson need to continue to establish themselves as ass-kicking contenders in the tag-team division, especially with the lack of heel teams. Amore will take the pin like usual and Gallows and Anderson will come out on top.
Winners: Gallows and Anderson
Neville vs. Austin Aries – WWE Cruiserweight Championship Match
This should hopefully get the focus their Wrestlemania match should have. It would make no sense for Austin Aries not to go over here as it’s their second encounter for the belt. Then again, the heel turn for TJ Perkins could come into play here where he helps Neville retain the belt. I suppose Perkins could inadvertently cost Neville the belt, too.
Winner: Austin Aries
Bayley vs. Alexa Bliss – Raw Women’s Championship Match
Bliss can generate some amazing heat and what better way to garner more heat than becoming the Raw Women’s champion? I think we’re going to see Sasha Bank’s heel turn on the show and it will be because of Banks that Bliss will win here.
Winner: Alexa Bliss
Matt Hardy and Jeff Hardy (Champs) vs. Sheamus and Cesaro –
Raw Tag Team Championship Match
Yes, the fans are glad the Hardy Boyz are back but besides their massive ovation at Wrestlemania and the next night on Raw, their baby-face nostalgia act looks like it needs some more “oomph” added to it. I’m not sure how engaged the fans will be with this match seeing how there’s no reason to boo either team and really no reason for the crowd to strongly get behind the contenders.
The only reason I can see the Hardy Boyz drop the belts to Sheamus and Cesaro here is for them to take on their darker edge and bring back the “Broken” personas. Let’s hope that’s what happens. Hell, just look at Matt’s face in the promo pic above! I just can’t see this match ending with the Hardys winning and Sheamus and Cesaro shaking their hands. Maybe Shaemus and Cesaro will attack the Hardys after the match and turn heel.
Winners: Sheamus and Cesaro
Seth Rollins vs. Samoa Joe
I think Seth Rollins is starting to find his groove as a face a bit more and pairing him up to fight Joe will further that role because Joe is such a damn good heel. WWE keeps referencing Stephanie and HHH when Rollins is on TV, so I don’t think we’ve seen the last of those two interfering somehow in Rollins’ career. I wouldn’t be surprised if Stephanie’s music played and distracts Rollins so Joe can get his submission on Rollins to score the win. Joe needs to stay a red hot heel and a win here will do that.
Kevin Owens (Champ) vs. Chris Jericho – U.S. Championship Match
Jericho is starting up with his band, Fozzy, again and they’ve played up the upcoming AJ Styles/Owens feud now for two weeks on Smackdown. There’s no way Jericho is winning this match. It’s time for us to say goodbye to Y2J for at least half a year or more.
Winner: Kevin Owens
Roman Reigns vs. Braun Strowman
There’s only one reason for Strowman to have had such an insane attack on Roman Reigns (which involved the flipping of the ambulance), and that’s to have “super” Reigns come back to beat Strowman. It’s sad, but true. This will be a typical Reigns match where he’s beaten down for most of it and then comes back at the end to win. Ugh. It’s hard to get excited about a match like this when they’ve all followed the same blueprint.
Randy Orton vs. Bray Wyatt – House of Horrors Match
Thank goodness this will be the end of this feud. We have no idea what a “House of Horrors” match is and I’m sure it’ll be lackluster. As well, the WWE Championship isn’t even on the line as of the time of writing this and may not even be. Why the hell not? Why doesn’t Wyatt get his rematch? Where is the logic? Why is Randy Orton so boring?
WWE is already hyping Jinder Mahal to be next in line to challenge for the WWE Championship. IF, and that’s a huge IF, Wyatt won the belt, it would go over to Raw so you know that won’t happen.
I wish Bray Wyatt could sacrifice Randy Orton on the alter of boring, but we’re also in the land of PG TV. Oh, the things this could have been back in the Attitude Era. Wyatt isn’t winning anything – like always. WWE Creative have dropped the ball and buried this guy that there’s no chance of recovering under his current shtick…all just to give one of the most boring WWE wrestlers in history another boring run with the title.
Winner: Randy “Boring” Orton