Hustle Is Posting Right Now - Payback Predictions
Jun 16, 2013 - 9:25:49 AM
"The big Payback.."
Writer's Note: At 11pm EST, right after Payback has gone off the air, join me and some of my LoP Radio brethren for our live Payback post-show. We'll be discussing everything that went down during the pay-per-view, and we might even field some calls from our listeners. The BlogTalkRadio player can be accessed right here on the LoP main page, but also, the show can be checked out at the following link..
LoP Radio's Payback Post-Show
Payback hasn't exactly been getting a lot of positive views from the IWC, and I can understand that. People are calling this one of the more "predictable" WWE pay-per-view cards in recent memory, with almost every match having what they feel to be a "clear" choice for who will win. People are saying that the main event is poor, either because they're expecting the match to be of a bad quality or because they feel Ryback is a failed experiment that shouldn't be competing for the WWE Title.. and often a little of both. The list of complaints go on and on, but you know what? I'm not down on this like most are.
Don't get me wrong.. I'm not going to sit here and lie to the world, predicting this will be the best show of the year or anything. However, there are some things I'm excited about for the show, and even some things I'm excited about as we move forward from the show. More on that in a bit, though. For now, let's go ahead and get started with my predictions for the show. As always, I'll be including what I think will happen, as well as what I would have happen if I were running things. Let's get down with the get down.
Sheamus VS Damien Sandow
How the mighty have fallen. It wasn't all that long ago when Sheamus was a permanent fixture of the World Title picture, and now, he isn't even wrestling on the official pay-per-view card. WWE has an interesting opportunity here. They can really help to build Sandow's future by giving him the win here. He wouldn't become a huge star overnight, but he can be on his way to moving up the card with what would be the biggest win of his career. Sheamus doesn't need the win, so why not shake things up? Yeah.. it's not happening. An argument can be made that Sheamus is booked to look even more dominant than John Cena, and think about what that says for a moment. Yes, Sheamus doesn't have the number of titles that Cena has, but Cena is often booked to look "vulnerable" and gets beat up on television a lot, only to get his revenge on pay-per-view. Sheamus wins everything. He "wins" promo battles. He "wins" segment fights. He wins matches (or loses multi-man matches without being pinned or submitted). I think I'd be shocked beyond all shock if Sheamus loses here, unfortunately. I'm still not 100% sold on Sandow's in-ring work (his character and his mic skills are working very well, though), but WWE is eventually going to run out of chances to build non-Shield stars. They should take advantage of the time they have left.
Who Will Win: Sheamus
Who Should Win: Damien Sandow
Wade Barrett VS The Miz VS Curtis Axel - Triple Threat Match for the Intercontinental Title
Alright, this match deserves plenty of complaints, from all around. You have a title that means next to nothing. You have a champion that is valued at next to nothing. You have a face contender that seems to be losing more and more of his fans with each passing week. You have a heel contender that has been getting his ass kicked in almost every match, only to win them by countout. This is a huge mess, and really, there's no reason for it to be on pay-per-view. Even when Fandango was in the match, that certainly wasn't enough to "save" things. I don't think I could give any less of a fuck about this match or what happens, which is a shame, because I still like what Barrett is capable of in the ring, although I have just about given up on any hope that he'll be able to connect with live crowds outside of the United Kingdom. I just hope this one ends quickly.
Who Will Win: Curtis Axel, because it wouldn't make much sense otherwise (New Champion)
Who Should Win: Wade Barrett.. I guess
Dean Ambrose VS Kane - Singles Match for the United States Title
The last time both the Intercontinental and United States Titles were defended on the same pay-per-view (and not on the pre-show) was at TLC. That was six months ago. Yikes. This will be a nice test for Ambrose, in my opinion. It's his first pay-per-view title defense, and it's against someone of a completely different style than the man he defeated to win the title in the first place, Kofi Kingston. Kane is far from a bad worker, even at this advanced stage in his career, but there's no sure thing that these two will mesh well in a one-on-one setting. If the match ends up being a stinker, for example, Ambrose could receive a lot of the blame for it, whether he deserved it or not. I don't think one "bad" match would be enough to ruin any praise that he's been receiving, causing his push to be terminated instantly, turning him into someone who jobs out to Yoshi Tatsu in dark matches, but.. stranger things have happened in Vince McMahon's World Of Wrestling. A lot of eyes are going to be on Ambrose, and how well he performs here, but I'm not concerned. I have more than enough faith in the skills of both men involved in this match. They'll be just fine. Wrestling Logic indicates The Shield will be successful at the pay-per-view, as they've been struggling on television in the weeks leading up to this. Wrestling Logic would also indicate that you don't put as much into the push of a particular faction, having them defeat some of the biggest names in wrestling history right out of the gate, only to take titles off of them right after they were given those titles. Kane gains nothing with a United States Title victory, but Ambrose gains a lot by furthering his reign, and maybe.. maybe.. he can help to return some prestige to the title.
Who Will Win: Dean Ambrose (Still Champion)
Who Should Win: Dean Ambrose
Chris Jericho VS CM Punk
First and foremost, let me just say this.. if WWE advertises CM Punk to make his long awaited return in Chicago, but we get a bait-and-switch instead, with no Punk.. that crowd is going to get u-g-l-y (and they ain't got no alibi). Don't be surprised if the crowd ends up shitting all over just about everything that comes after this on the card. They want Punk, and they'd better be getting Punk. Everyone already knows the quality of match we'll be getting here. We're talking about two of the better workers on the WWE roster, and they've given us magic in the past. I know some are concerned about Punk and possible ring rust, as he hasn't wrestled in a little over two months, but I'd like to think Punk has wrestled enough and is enough of a professional that he can just get back in the ring and pick up where he left off. While I'm not a fan of how this match was thrown together, especially without Punk being there for any of it, the match itself is going to be fun.. but who will win? Some people are predicting a turn in this match, and maybe even a double turn. The way the news and rumors have been presented to us make me think a Jericho heel turn wouldn't make much sense. He's supposedly taking more time off after Money In The Bank next month so that he can go on two tours with Fozzy, one in the United Kingdom and then one in North America. He would be free to return to wrestling in the middle of October. In that scenario, Jericho would be turning heel.. then leaving a month later.. then undoubtedly returning to face pops three months after that. If so, why even bother with the turn in the first place? I think a Punk face turn is much more likely here, although the turn would probably happen on Raw, instead of at Payback. It wouldn't take much effort.. Punk left in an emotional state after WrestleMania, and instead of being concerned for his "client", Paul Heyman simply shifted his focus towards Brock Lesnar for Extreme Rules, and then towards Curtis Axel after Extreme Rules. Punk could wrestle this match, all while not appearing quite right to the audience as far as his relationship with Heyman is concerned, only to have the turn take place on Raw, when Punk gets plenty of time on the mic to tell his story. While I wouldn't say Punk needs the win here, I would say it's important to have him win, fresh off of his comeback. However, there is a bit of a twist, I guess. Jericho could win the match, and it would still fuel the Punk face turn. Remember, it was Heyman that put the match together, not Punk. In kayfabe, Punk had nothing to do with making this match, and didn't know it would be happening. A loss to Jericho would have Punk angry with Heyman, saying that he had no business booking him in a match before he was "ready" to return. Just because I want to be somewhat different, for an event where I feel many predictions will be the same, I'm going with the latter option. Yes, a Punk loss in Chicago. Good times.
Who Will Win: Chris Jericho
Who Should Win: CM Punk
Kaitlyn VS AJ Lee - Singles Match for the Divas Title
You know what's weird? This has been the best booked match of the entire card, and AJ is almost responsible for that all by herself. The promo she cut on Raw, after it was revealed that Kaitlyn's "secret admirer" was a scam, was great heel work, and if you follow AJ on Twitter, you'd see that she has been posting numerous pictures of her and Kaitlyn together through the years. Most have no captions. They're just pictures of the two in happier times. It's almost like she's sending messages directly to Kaitlyn, showing her how well things used to be between them, and how she (Kaitlyn) ruined all of that, continuing the promo from Raw. It's such an insanely beautiful level of psychology that you certainly never see from the WWE Divas, and it's yet another reason why AJ is so special. She is able to do things for the division, and get people to focus on it, without having to wrestle that often. Would that change if she was the champion? Possibly, but I doubt it. She's a unique talent, and I'll make quite the bold statement right here and right now.. she's Hall Of Fame bound for everything she has done for women's wrestling in the mainstream wrestling world. Let that sink in for a while. Hall Of Fame bound in the future, but a nice prize for the time being will be the Divas Title, which is long overdue. She should have won the title months ago.
Who Will Win: AJ Lee (New Champion)
Who Should Win: AJ Lee
Seth Rollins & Roman Reigns VS Daniel Bryan & Randy Orton - Tag Match for the Tag Team Titles
Two things make this match "easy" to predict. One is something I've already said.. you just don't put as much effort into a push as WWE has put into what they've done with The Shield, only to have them drop titles right after they've won them. Two.. I've fully bought into the idea of Daniel Bryan getting a main event run over the summer, complete with a WWE Title shot at Money In The Bank and/or SummerSlam. You can't just give him another Tag Title reign, and then push him into the WWE Title picture immediately after, can you? The Shield will retain here. All eyes will be on how they retain, and what the fallout will be. With the "weak link" storyline, an easy outcome would be Bryan getting pinned, only to snap and attack Orton after the match because he feels Randy sees him as the "weak link" in their team. Then you could give Bryan a win or two over Orton on television in the next week or two, and boom.. he's ready for his title shot. Another outcome that I'm seeing people talk about is a flip on the previous one, with Orton getting pinned, and Bryan attacking him after the match, calling Orton the "weak link". I'm torn, because most of the predictions I've seen and am thinking about have Bryan possibly being busy at Money In The Bank, which would leave the WWE Title match next month as another "throwaway", where nobody bothers questioning the result, and we'd wait to see Bryan get his title shot at SummerSlam. There's two lines of thinking there.. do you give Bryan a title shot at the bigger event, where more eyes will see it, or do you capitalize on his insane crowd reactions and give him a title shot as soon as possible, with the idea that he could still get another title shot (or a title defense) at SummerSlam, anyway? WWE is in a weird spot here, because they're going to have one portion of fans complaining, no matter what they do. I know, I know.. you're shocked at the idea of internet wrestling fans complaining. My prediction for this match is that The Shield retain their titles, thanks to Randy Orton turning heel on Daniel Bryan and costing them the match. That puts Bryan in a feud with Orton. Will the feud end on television, leaving Bryan to go after the WWE Title at Money In The Bank? Will the feud last to Money In The Bank, keeping Bryan away from the WWE Title picture for another month? Will the two things be combined at Money In The Bank, giving us the WWE Champion VS Bryan VS Orton in a Triple Threat, with Bryan getting a one-on-one match (either in another title shot or a title defense) at SummerSlam? Hell, if it were up to me, we'd get the final option, and Bryan would win the title next month, where he would then go on to successfully defend it at SummerSlam, but we'll just have to wait and see.
Who Will Win: Seth Rollins & Roman Reigns (Still Champions)
Who Should Win: Seth Rollins & Roman Reigns
Dolph Ziggler VS Alberto Del Rio - Singles Match for the World Title
Is it just me, or have these two been feuding since 2004? It sure seems like it. I'm done with seeing them feud. I think the ADR experiment should have the plug pulled at this point. He's still a perfectly acceptable in-ring performer, but he doesn't connect with crowds like a World Champion should. The fact that Ricardo Rodriguez has become more over than ADR ever was only furthers my point along. I'm actually surprised to see so many people on social media predicting a title change here. Dolph deserves more. It certainly isn't his fault that he's been on the shelf for a little over a month. Now that he has been cleared to perform once again, let him cook, as the saying goes. Let him do what he does, and in a way, "reward" him. I think we're seeing the build towards a "power couple", and you can't really have that if only AJ Lee has a title. AJ wins the Divas Title, Dolph retains the World Title.. and don't be surprised if Big E Langston gets a shot at the WWE Title at some point sooner than later, although it would blow my mind if he actually won it at this stage in his career. Demote ADR a bit, WWE. No more World Title shots for a while. No more WWE Title shots for a while. Send him to the midcard and let him go after the Intercontinental or United States Title at some point, but this shit has to stop.
Who Will Win: Dolph Ziggler (Still Champion)
Who Should Win: Dolph Ziggler
John Cena VS Ryback - Three Stages Of Hell for the WWE Title
Hey, speaking of experiments that need to stop.. Ryback. WWE was building towards something special with him, and they botched it, turning him heel and letting him waste away. I could get into the conspiracy theory of WWE seeing face wrestlers approach John Cena's level of crowd reactions, so they sabotage them by turning them heel, because nobody can touch the "Golden Boy", but that depresses me, because I'll then think of Daniel Bryan and just how much he should stay a face. Nobody takes Ryback seriously as a threat anymore. It's a shame, really, as he could/should be a devastating "monster" character. The only scenario I could even fathom that has Ryback winning the title here is if WWE wants to give Daniel Bryan the WWE Title, but is afraid to have Bryan defeat Cena for whatever reason. Ryback could then be a transitional champion, dropping the title to Bryan at some point, possibly even in another Triple Threat, which would take care of Cena's "rematch clause", as well. However, let's be real.. the money isn't in Ryback VS Daniel Bryan, even if you bring up their history with The Nexus. The money is in John Cena VS Daniel Bryan. It's one of the only feuds we haven't really seen in WWE. In fact, they've only faced each other twice in one-on-one matches, and one of those times was in 2003 on an episode of Velocity, when Bryan was labeled as American Dragon, and Cena was still a rookie. With both men dating a Bella twin, and with the upcoming Total Divas reality show featuring the relationships and bringing them to the attention of those who aren't already aware, there's extra layers to this feud. Now is the time to make it happen. Sorry, Ryback. Time for you to step aside. It's time for something special to really take place this summer.
Who Will Win: John Cena (Still Champion)
Who Should Win: John Cena
Enjoy the show, everyone, and don't forget to join LoP Radio for the Payback post-show at 11pm EST. I can't wait to talk about Payback and where things will/could go from here, hopefully with some of you as we take some calls from listeners.
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