Pro Wrestling

10 Not-So-Fearless Predictions For WWE Payback

http://www.wwe.fr/videos/2016/04/28/smackdown-highlights-playlist-april-28-2016;jsessionid=556CEE7FD674C97039030E5BE165F36E?r40_r1_r1:page=3 Source: WWE.fr

We’d have called them “Fearless”, but after WWE did the opposite of everything we thought was going to happen at WrestleMania, you can’t blame us for feeling just a slight bit of trepidation. Nonetheless, it always pays to be confident, so we’ve come up with some declarative statements about events that we completely believe will happen at Payback. We’re not saying that you should use our predictions to gamble on the results of the Pay Per View, but if you don’t, we guarantee that you’re just throwing away free money*. Not a lot of money, of course, because places that let you gamble on wrestling don’t actually let you bet that much, but it’s still money!

* – Not a guarantee.

10. No One Will Remember The US Title Match

Admit it, you didn’t even know there was a United States title match on this show, did you? Well, why would you, the only time the actual champion was on Raw was in a losing effort as part of the #1 Contender Tag Team Tournament (Sponsored By Booty-O’s), and the challenger’s been completely absent from WWE’s flagship show since WrestleMania (coincidentally, Raw has been a lot better since WrestleMania. We’re just saying). But Payback needs a pre-show match, and apparently Ryback beat Kalisto in a non-title match on Smackdown, so here we are. The pushes for both men have basically evaporated in the past month, which we suppose makes this fairly unpredictable, but in the end, the only way we can be bothered to care about this match is that we really don’t want to see Ryback as US Champion. But, since we never get to see the current US Champion on TV, perhaps it really doesn’t matter who wins. Hey, remember when John Cena held this title literally a few months ago, and it was really, really important?

http://www.wwe.com/shows/smackdown/2015-11-12/kalisto-ryback-world-title-tournament-photos Source: WWE.com

http://www.wwe.com/shows/smackdown/2015-11-12/kalisto-ryback-world-title-tournament-photos Source: WWE.com

9. Enzo And Cass Will Come Up Short

Listen, if we had a dime for every person who doesn’t like Enzo and Cass, we’d have zero dimes (we’re not counting people who are just hating them to be different). But at the same time, it’s too soon for them to win the WWE Tag Team titles, and as much as we want to see them trade promos with The New Day, the face-face dynamic just feels wrong. Plus, we have a sneaking suspicion that whomever ends up as champions after this is only going to transition the belts to Gallows and Anderson, which would be a terrible fate for Enzo and Cass’ first title run. We’d rather see them built up to be the ones who eventually topple the Club members, and as much as the Vaudevillains aren’t especially strong challengers, they’ll still put on a good match and can also trade goofy promos with New Day. We wouldn’t be shocked to see some sort of outside distraction that drags Enzo and Cass into a side feud for a while, and if we had to guess, it’ll probably be those damned Dudley Boyz.

http://www.cagesideseats.com/wwe-raw/2016/4/4/11366290/enzo-amore-colin-cassady-debut-on-raw Source: CagesideSeats.com

http://www.cagesideseats.com/wwe-raw/2016/4/4/11366290/enzo-amore-colin-cassady-debut-on-raw Source: CagesideSeats.com

8. Cesaro Will Swing Two People At Once

We’re not even sure if this is physically possible, but that’s never stopped Cesaro before, and all we know is that from the second Maryse threw her body over her husband’s in an attempt to prevent Cesaro from swinging him, we want to see Cesaro look at the crowd, shrug his shoulders, and swing them both at the same time. We also know that we’re not alone in this, and it would probably make the match if they can actually pull it off (by the same token, if they don’t even attempt the spot, we’ll fully accept that it just can’t be done). That said, Cesaro is so hot right now, and the Miz and Maryse have formed an acceptably unlikable Hollywood power couple, so the heat for this match should be pretty good. Obviously, the Miz is going to win, because WWE never met a hot babyface they didn’t think could make more money by chasing the heel for another month, and maybe they’re right here, because Miz and Maryse’s act has legs (you know, besides the ones Maryse was showing off on Raw), so we wouldn’t be too broken up to see Miz’s run as champion continue for a little while.

https://dailyddt.com/2016/04/25/wwe-paybakck-2016-can-cesaro-restore-ic-title-luster/ Source: DailyDDT.com

https://dailyddt.com/2016/04/25/wwe-paybakck-2016-can-cesaro-restore-ic-title-luster/ Source: DailyDDT.com

7. Dolph Ziggler Is Not Getting Pushed

This one goes out to all the people who still hope that one day, Dolph Ziggler will get pushed back into the main event. We hate to break it to you, but Ziggler’s role is almost entirely to have great matches against people who are actually getting pushes, then lose. He may beat the Social Outcasts occasionally, but Baron Corbin is no Heath Slater. This is entirely a showcase match for Corbin, one which hopefully won’t go too long and expose the fact that while he has improved significantly in the past year, he’s still not the guy who you can send out to have ten minute 50-50 contests against less elite opponents. Fortunately, Ziggler is good enough to carry Corbin to something decent, and he’ll sell Corbin’s offense like death itself, so as long as it doesn’t go too long, everything should hold together.

http://baron-corbin.net/ Source: Baron-Corbin.net

http://baron-corbin.net/ Source: Baron-Corbin.net

6. Chris Jericho Should Lose

We say “should”, because he also “should” have lost to AJ Styles at WrestleMania, and somehow managed to not only escape with a win, but cleanly pinned the guy who is main eventing this very Pay Per View, after kicking out of or reversing all Styles’ finishers. Dean Ambrose is no AJ Styles, but the fans sure do seem to want to see him do well, and this might actually be his reward for getting treated like a rag doll by Brock Lesnar at WrestleMania. There’s always a question of when Jericho will go away again, and in fact, he’s already stuck around longer this year than we expected, but in the end, Jericho’s supposed to lose. We’re not sure where Ambrose goes after this, but getting a win over Jericho can still mean something in this case, and Ambrose could certainly use the victory.

http://feeds.insanejournal.com/wwephotos/ Source: feeds.insanejournal.com

http://feeds.insanejournal.com/wwephotos/ Source: feeds.insanejournal.com

5. Charlotte Will Retain Without Ric Flair’s Help

Our major complaint about Charlotte’s title reign has been that Ric Flair manages to factor into her victories every single time. Sure, the whole point of a manager (and Flair’s legendary Four Horsemen) is to protect the champion’s title, but even Flair himself at the height of the Horsemen still put himself in situations where he had to win a match by himself, proving that he actually could back it up in the ring when called upon. Charlotte hasn’t really had to do that yet, but she’ll probably get her first opportunity at Payback. With Bret Hart in Natalya’s corner, that should theoretically cancel out the Flair factor (sure, some might question how much effect the survivor of a career-ending concussion, major stroke, and very recent cancer surgery could have against the relatively healthy Flair, but that’s wrestling), and although we don’t see any universe in which Natalya wins the Women’s title, this will hopefully serve to quiet the people who are justifiably worried that Charlotte’s very real wrestling skills have taken a back seat to her father’s influence.

http://bleacherreport.com/articles/2633874-natalya-vs-charlotte-announced-for-wwe-payback-2016-ppv Source: BleacherReport.com

http://bleacherreport.com/articles/2633874-natalya-vs-charlotte-announced-for-wwe-payback-2016-ppv Source: BleacherReport.com

4. We’re Getting That Brand Split, Aren’t We?

So, Vince McMahon has finally decided to address the elephant in the room, that being Shane McMahon somehow remaining in control of Raw for no justifiable reason, and will decide who is actually in control of Raw. Note the specificity, which is coming straight out of WWE’s mouth. Not control of the entire company, control of Raw. We’re not entirely sure that this is a sign of an impending resurrection of the brand split, but we wouldn’t argue with anyone who believes they can see it coming. Obviously, Shane still hanging around means WWE has a role in mind for him, and it seems incredibly unlikely that WWE would give us an extended look at what life without a heel authority figure in charge could be and then plunge us back into the darkness of the endless reign of Triple H and Stephanie (dangerous assumptions, we know). Maybe there won’t be a brand split and Shane will just end up in sole control and we’ll actually enter that “New Era” of WWE that they’ve been promoting lately. But we’ll believe it when we see it.

http://www.wwe.com/shows/raw/2016-04-25/article/stephanie-mcmahon-returned-raw Source; WWE.com

http://www.wwe.com/shows/raw/2016-04-25/article/stephanie-mcmahon-returned-raw Source; WWE.com

3. Kevin and Sami Will Not Be Settled So Easily

Seriously, the entire basis of their match is that they’ve been fighting for over a decade and don’t plan to ever stop, did you really think that they’d end this after a single match at a B-level Pay Per View? Especially with an opportunity to add some sort of brutal gimmick to their next match, which will almost certainly occur three weeks later at Extreme Rules? Yeah, there’s no way that’s going to be the case, which makes it very likely that this match will either end with some sort of inconclusive finish, either by brawling outside of the ring or by some sort of situation where Sami (because of course Sami) gets thrown through something and can’t continue. There’s an outside chance that Owens wins by beating up Sami until the ref stops the match, but we can’t see Owens agreeing to a rematch if he already got the victory. Either way, this feud will continue, and we can’t think of anyone who should have a problem with that.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=awI_s3ZTUJk Source: YouTube.com

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=awI_s3ZTUJk Source: YouTube.com

2. AJ Styles Will Get Betrayed

So, if you don’t see Anderson and Gallows costing AJ Styles the WWE World Heavyweight Title in some way at Payback, all we can say is, welcome to your very first week watching professional wrestling! Come on, they said repeatedly that they were his best friends and had his back, while simultaneously doing things that Styles clearly didn’t want them to do. The only reason any wrestler feels the need to remind someone about their close, personal friendship is when they’re trying to find a place to stick the knife. They may side with Reigns, they may make it look like an accident, and yes, we may see the formation of some sort of Club, but whatever the case, we’d put serious money on Gallows and Anderson turning their backs on their supposed friend. In fact, the only way they don’t stab AJ in the back is if it’s all a giant ruse that puts AJ in charge as a heel, and we’re pretty sure that’s not going to be the case, if only because of our final, rock-solid prediction.

https://primaryignition.com/tag/chyna-rip/ Source: PrimaryIgnition.com

https://primaryignition.com/tag/chyna-rip/ Source: PrimaryIgnition.com

1. Roman Wins, LOL?

Mark this one down in pen, underline it a bunch, and circle it with one of those red markers that teachers use when giving out grades. Roman Reigns will walk out of Payback as the WWE World Heavyweight Champion, because there is absolutely no way WWE is pulling the plug on his title reign this time. Reigns may claim to not be a bad guy, but the rest of the wrestling world disagrees (aside from lovestruck females, if you follow his Twitter account), and after whatever happens at the end of his match with Styles, Reigns will continue to be one of WWE’s biggest heels. Throw in the fact that there is no way AJ Styles is winning the WWE World Title within his first few months in the company (hell, they didn’t even let him win at his first WrestleMania in a basically meaningless match against Chris Jericho), and we feel absolutely secure in declaring that the reign of the guy who wears terribly unfashionable jeans (and apparently can’t handle criticism, again, check out his Twitter feed) will continue past this show, and likely until SummerSlam at the earliest. It won’t be a bad match, in fact it will probably be a good match, but in the end, Roman Reigns still won’t be The Guy he claims to be, even if he still holds on to the WWE World Heavyweight title.

http://www.wwe.fr/videos/2016/04/28/smackdown-highlights-playlist-april-28-2016;jsessionid=556CEE7FD674C97039030E5BE165F36E?r40_r1_r1:page=3 Source: WWE.fr

http://www.wwe.fr/videos/2016/04/28/smackdown-highlights-playlist-april-28-2016;jsessionid=556CEE7FD674C97039030E5BE165F36E?r40_r1_r1:page=3 Source: WWE.fr

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