Welcome to WNW’s Payback Predictions! Payback will be emanating from the Allstate Arena in CM Punk’s hometown of Chicago, Illinois. This month we have a great lineup of writers giving their predictions! Kendra Bunyon, Alex Barie, Gesus Oliver, Elto Alexandrov, and Adam Wacker are giving full predictions, while I, Chris Surrancy, and WNW’s newest writer CJ Blaze are doing quick picks. But before we get into the predictions themselves, let’s hear what the writers thought of the build to this new PPV.
You know a company did a terrible job with a build to a PPV when you have no idea when the PPV is. I certainly didn't know until just last weekend. I'm going to flat out say that WWE did a horrible job on the build. One week before the event and we only had 3 matches announced. That's uncalled for! It doesn't matter if it would be TNA either as I would attack any company doing that. When I wrote wrestling shows, I would have a PPV a month. Once one PPV ended, I would go right to the next one with the build to it. I wouldn't have any slow time. It was all about building and storytelling. I was able to have storylines that lasted 6 months. That's actually quite a long time since I did each show online just by typing. It seems like WWE has no idea where they want to go. They are booking week by week. I don't even think they know where they are going to be in 3 months. A lackluster build really hurts a PPV. You need to sell it. Did WWE sell enough of it on the last show? We will see down the road.
Because things have been too serious going into Payback, I'm going to be writing my crazy predicts again this time around. I won't be doing them each month, but when there's a lot of predicts, or I'm in too silly of a mood, I will be doing this. The final decision is my true feeling about who will win the match, but the rest is all for fun, especially this month!
How many of you are excited for the PPV this weekend? I will admit I bought tickets to see this show live without being all that excited about it. Heck, it wasn’t until after Raw this week that I was finally really excited to go. There are so many directions they can go with this pay per view. While some matches seem very predictable, it’s the WWE, so nothing is set in stone until it is done. This is the second ppv in a row I get to see live. I hope they do way better than Extreme Rules, which quite honestly was a letdown live, after all was said and done. Nevertheless, there are some matches on this card we have yet to really see, but some look surprising dull. Like always placement of these matches will be key. I can see this show being pressed for time.
The build to Payback has been far from impressive with WWE filling the card at the very last minute. The Shield's two matches at the Pay-Per-View seem as a desperate move made in order for the stable to once again battle someone relevant, without delivering the same matches it has for the past few months. Curtis Axel challenging for the Intercontinental Championship also came out of the blue. The biggest issue is, it is hard for me to take the main event seriously after the way Extreme Rules concluded. The booking has been all over the place, so we are left with the hope that the ring work delivers. Punk vs. Jericho has the potential to be a mindblower, as well as any match featuring Daniel Bryan and The Shield, so there is some to look forward to.
In what seems to be an underwhelming follow up to Extreme Rules, the newly added Payback has a lot to prove. I'm not exactly ecstatic about the card, considering that it seems rather rushed. However, I do have high expectations for the show. With possible title changes and swerves, we all hope the show won't leave us wanting our money back.
Quite a lot of negativity this month, but I am not surprised. WWE waited far too long to schedule to matches on the card. Considering the theme is Payback, they should have had an easy road here on the creative side. This should have been the blow off from Extreme Rules feuds.
Pre Show “Kick Off”: Sheamus vs. Damien Sandow
Having this be a "kickoff" match leads me to think that WWE wants to get the crowd hot and fired up. What better way to do that than to give the face the win? Really don't see anything special coming out of this match other than pretty good match. These two can work and I'm sure they will get the crowd pumped up. The Chicago crowd is always a crazy bunch. There's no reason why they aren't wild. I see Sheamus winning here just because of where the match placement is. Winner: Sheamus
Alex’s Predicted Winner: Sheamus
Sandow, of course, will bring Deep Blue to ringside to be his confidant, cheerleader, and new bestie. After Sandow waxes poetic about how close he and his new BFF are, they start the match. Sadly Sandow has forgotten about his former partner and bestie who quietly makes his way to ringside, trying to be dashing, but too troubled to care about his eyebrows, or his love-stache. Sandow doesn't notice Cody until it's too late. Cody takes out Deep Blue! Sandow leaves the ring to confront Cody, try to explain that Deep Blue is his intellectual bestie, but Cody will always be his dashing bestie. Sheamus tries to take this distraction to get the win over Sandow, but somehow Sandow rallies and manages to avoid White Noise – Cody ends up taking the move, and duck the Brogue Kick – the remains of Deep Blue takes that. Sheamus is so turned around that Sandow hits his new finisher on Sheamus for the win!
Kendra’s Predicted Winner: Damien Sandow
I know there is outrage over this match being pre show. I’ll just echo that and tell you about a thought I had when they announced this match. “Meh, I won’t waste my time finding this online. Oh wait, I’ll be there live.” I felt like an idiot thinking that, but honestly why are these people on pre-show? Why not Usos and Prime Time players? Just saying.
Gesus’s Predicted Winner: Sheamus
I am a big Damien Sandow fan and seeing him feud with The Great White led me to think that perhaps he was finally receiving his big push. Alas, I think Sheamus is simply too big of a star to suffer a loss on the Pre-show. If the contest was scheduled for the main card, a win for Sandow would be a big triumph, but its position on the Pre-show does not allow for much intrigue. Therefore, I'll go with Sheamus.
Elto’s Predicted Winner: Sheamus
This match leaves me rather indifferent. I assume this will lead to another match in the future, but until then, I am uninterested in this feud. Don't get me wrong the segments have been fun, but I'm not all into it. I do love Sandow, however, I don't think he will walk away with a win. Besides, it is called the "Kick Off" after all.
Adam’s Predicted Winner: Sheamus
Divas Championship Match: Kaitlyn (c) vs. AJ Lee
WWE had a crazy story going on involving Kaityln and her secret admirer. Honestly, is Valentine's Day coming up? It all led to being Big E Langston. It was a set-up in order for AJ to insult Kaitlyn and make her cry. I've been waiting for AJ to win the Divas Championship ever since Dolph Ziggler won the World Heavyweight Title. He had his concussion and the whole plan fell. I was also going to book Big E as the Intercontinental Champion, and in fact WWE was going to do that, but they decided to move forward with The Shield, which was also something I had in mind. It's either push one or the other, I guess. Honestly, why can't Big E get the IC Title? Maybe that is coming in the near future. At any rate, I see AJ winning this as she will join her partner in crime, Dolph as they will be duo champion partners.
Alex’s Predicted Winner and NEW Champion: AJ Lee
Kaitlyn was wild, but being slapped down and fined on Smackdown, because we all know a $10,000 fine – hurts unless you're Cena. That fine knocked Kaitlyn down to size, and some of the steam out of her. Kaitlyn seems to have lost some of her spunk, possibly she's lost her smile. AJ comes to the ring, Big E in tow, and walks all over Kaitlyn – who cannot keep her eyes off Big E – and easily gets the win, leaving Kaitlyn in a heap in the middle of the ring. She's lost everything!
Kendra’s Predicted Winner and NEW Champion: AJ Lee
Too little, too Late. The story line of Kaitlyn’s secret admirer would have been great, but they rushed to the ending to throw this match in here. I think AJ needs to win and get more gold into the stable. Big E dropping the NXT title proves there is something big on the horizon. This match sadly should be short. They need time for better things. The time isn’t now for this match.
Gesus’ Predicted Winner and NEW Champion: AJ Lee
Kaitlyn has gone a long way since her NXT days and has been a rather impressive Divas Champion. Nevertheless, AJ Lee currently tops the entire division in terms of popularity and she has been a very exciting character to watch. It seems to me that WWE recognizes that and the time has come for her to have a run with the title. Considering how little is invested in the Divas these days, the duration of the secret admirer storyline leads me to think that it might be building to a major title change. Besides, it would further establish AJ and Dolph as the ultimate power couple in the company.
Elto’s Predicted Winner and NEW Champion: AJ Lee
This is legitimately a match to look forward too. Surprising, but this has the most build in a Diva's match in some time. Perhaps this is a foreshadowing of things to come? Regardless, both AJ and Kaitlyn can deliver in the ring unlike any other Divas. With Kaitlyn's recent breakdowns, it will do nothing bu help Lee get the victory. AJ will walk away from this match champion.
Adam’s Predicted Winner and NEW Champion: AJ Lee
United States Championship Match: Dean Ambrose (c) vs. Kane
If WWE decides to cut Ambrose's title reign short then I really have to question them on if they know how to book, make a star, and whether they have any logical brain cell in them. There's no doubt in my mind that Ambrose should keep the title. The Shield is hot right now. While Kane's hot with his fire he brings (insert laugh here), I don't see him going over at all. The Shield continues on.
Alex’s Predicted Winner: Dean Ambrose
This is Kane, Ambrose doesn't have a chance! Wait, Kane can't throw fire at Ambrose in these PG days. Kane's sunk! Okay, he'd have a chance if not for that rabid squirrel, and the little goat that lives underneath him. Yes, Bryan feels a need to get involved and prove that he's not the weak link, and cost his former partner the match.
Kendra’s Predicted Winner: Dean Ambrose
Little confused on this booking. One match after jobbing to the shield for how long warrants a title match? I will admit though I can’t deny it should be a quality match. A Promotor friend of mine tweeted “Kane today is better than Kane 10 years ago.” I think that was an interesting look, and I am inclined to agree. The man is putting on some of the best matches of his career. I think splitting Team Hell No up is a terrible idea. I’d love to see them have a clean break and team together from time to time. Obviously Kane won’t win. Ambrose what is there to say? The guy is awesome! Should be a good match with some great spots. This ppv will need quality matches and being in Chicago I feel it’ll deliver.
Gesus’ Predicted Winner: Dean Ambrose
This one is a no-brainer. WWE has invested so much in The Shield and especially Dean Ambrose, who has established himself as the unofficial leader. I don't see the benefit in dropping the title to Kane.
Elto’s Predicted Winner: Dean Ambrose
This match is here to further the build of Dean Ambrose as a singles star. This will be a good match, getting straight to the point. Ambrose will prove himself, going over another veteran once again. Perhaps an interference from the other parts of the trio is likely as well.
Adam’s Predicted Winner: Dean Ambrose
WWE Tag Team Championship Match: The Shield (Roman Reigns and Seth Rollins) (c) vs. Daniel Bryan and Randy Orton
One thing that doesn't float my boat is the transition from Team Hell No to Team Viper Yes. It seems like WWE threw the whole thing to the waste side. Not only that, but WWE really has nothing for Orton. Yeah, I understand how the tag team division works most of the time. When stars don't have anything on the plate, creative pins two together and makes them a team. We seen that throughout past and present. Orton hasn't done anything anywhere for awhile. He just isn't there anymore. I like Orton. He has amazing talent, but can we trust him? Maybe it is just too risky. Orton and Daniel sounds like a great tag team, but there's no doubt that The Shield prevails. They have to just like Ambrose's case. Why win the titles and then lose them? Wouldn't make sense at all.
Alex’s Predicted Winners: The Shield
This will be the screwy match of the night. Of course this match will start out with Bryan and Orton getting in each others faces, but a couple minutes into the match Reigns starts sympathizing with Bryan's plight and starts going easy on him in the ring. Bryan gets mad because he thinks Reigns believes Bryan is the weak link, so he is out to destroy Reigns. Rollins gets mad at Reigns and turns on him. Bryan gets confused about what is going on in the ring – his addled brain and all – and ends up locking Orton up in the surfboard dragon sleeper. Reigns helps Bryan and continues to work on Orton. Orton gets pissed an attacks Bryan, turning heel himself. Bryan and Reigns fight Orton and Rollins off until something clicks in Reigns' head and he thinks that maybe if he holds gold for a while The Rock might buy him a car, the way he did for Tamina, so he turns back to heel. That leaves Bryan as the only face in the match. An RKO on Bryan and Orton leaves him to his fate with The Shield. Bryan retains some control, briefly, but is overwhelmed and finally succumbs to The Shield himself. Even though Bryan doesn't win, the fans will be more behind him than ever, and hate Orton for turning on him.
Kendra’s Predicted Winners: The Shield
Another confusing, thrown together, last minute match. I just don’t understand why it’s on here. I’d pay to see Team Hell No v Shield again. Yes it’s been done but what phenomenal matches! I am interested to see if Orton and DB have any chemistry together. I think turning Orton or DB heel here would be a bad move. Just keep doing what the Shield is good at, destroying their competition. I think dissension between DB and Orty would be the way to go, but full out heel turn of either of them would be a mistake.
Gesus’ Predicted Winners: The Shield
As I said in relation to the United States Championship match, there is no way The Shield is going under, especially to the same names they have been feuding with for quite a while now. Besides, if Team Hell No was not good enough, chances are the unlikely duo of Bryan and Orton will not be able to get the job done either.
Elto’s Predicted Winners: The Shield
I believe this match is to serve more of a story building purpose, but that is not to say it won't be a show stealer. I think this will be the match that starts the turn of Randy Orton, leading into a feud between himself and Daniel Bryan. Even though The Shield was defeated this past Smackdown, I can only assume that there will be some dissolution of Orton and Bryan. Due to the conflict between the two, The Shield will pick up another victory and retain.
Adam’s Predicted Winners: The Shield
Triple Threat for the Intercontinental Championship: Wade Barrett (c) vs. Curtis Axel vs. The Miz
This may be one of the toughest matches to predict for this PPV. The thing I am questioning is what WWE is going to do with Curtis Axel. Will they keep him undefeated? Will they have Wade pin Miz so Curtis can still say he has never been pinned yet? Curtis is getting this push to the moon, but then they book him in a match where he can very well lose or he can win the title and he almost stops in his tracks. If Curtis becomes champion, he will no longer fight the likes of Cena or Triple H. The stars like Wade and Miz will be Curtis' target. Curtis will slowly fall to the waste side. I know people are talking whether Punk will face Curtis at Summerslam. Now that would be a great match, but that means Curtis won't win the title. Then he would lose this match. WWE is going to try to find a way around this and have Curtis say that he is undefeated yet he lost this match. I'm actually getting a feeling that The Miz will be getting the title. I'm going with it. May be a long shot, but I have this urge.
Alex’s Predicted Winner and NEW Champion: The Miz
Miz struts to the ring doing his best McMahon impression, he knows he has this in the bag. Barrett, since losing to Axel on Smackdown, knows he needs to take the perfect boy seriously. Barrett is quickly tossed from the ring where Heyman keeps him busy while Axel rolls Miz up for the win.
Kendra’s Predicted Winner and NEW Champion: Curtis Axel
What a damn shame that Fandango got injured. I think he would have had a nice little run and boost to his character by getting a strap. WWE is ruining his gimmick and this little break may be what they he needs to go back to getting over. Barrett has had a lackluster run as a champ. I don’t know what happened to that guy he was so promising. I hope they get him into the mix and on to bigger and better things. The guy is capable they just need to be willing. Miz, what is up with you lately? I used to be so high up on you. I hate your figure four, as many of you know. I don’t think he is worthy of using it. Maybe if he restored his character to that of Main Eventing Mania then we can talk. Then there is Axel. Talk about someone who can finally elevate that title a little bit. The man has potential. I think it’s too soon for them to put the strap on Axel and would make a great story about him chasing the title and restore it to the prestige that his dad did. Either way any of you who know me should know that I think the Fisherman suplex is the greatest move in wrestling of all time. I can’t wait to see Axel slam Miz to the matt, bridge him into the pin for the 1-2-3.
Gesus’s Predicted Winner and NEW Champion: Curtis Axel
Curtis Axel was added to the match after Fandango suffered a concussion and in most cases, that would mean chances are not on his side. If he was not meant to be in the Intercontinental Championship match to begin with, then it is not the direction WWE wants to take with the belt. Nevertheless, I doubt Axel would be added to the match at this point of his push only to be made to look weak. Recent weeks have seen him score wins over the likes of John Cena and Triple H, so a loss to Wade Barrett or The Miz would be a huge downfall.
Elto’s Predicted Winner and NEW Champion: Curtis Axel
Before Fandango suffered a concussion, I assumed he would get the win. Since he had the most to prove, it was almost guaranteed Fandango would get the win. Considering the fact that he is now injured, I must once again go to the one with the most to prove. Curtis Axel is an obvious pick for this match. Carrying on the Henning Family heritage with the Intercontinental Championship will do nothing but allow Axel to grow as a true main eventer. Hopefully, he will walk away champion.
Adam’s Predicted Winner and NEW Champion: Curtis Axel
Chris Jericho vs. CM Punk
This match will be nothing short but awesome. I can't wait for this match because we are going to see wrestling and the crowd will certainly make this the Match of the Night! I don't care if we saw this match again... it's going to be a wild ride! Looking at it, I don't see how Punk can lose in his hometown, and on top of that, on his return. Punk isn't 100%, which continues to explain my point on why Punk should be out for a longer time. WWE will make the crowd happy and Punk happy with him winning. Punk will move on as we know he wants to be back on the top... otherwise he would be complaining.
Alex’s Predicted Winner: CM Punk
There's so many questions about whether Punk will actually show to work against Jericho in Chicago, or not. I say not! Heyman was teasing that he wanted to replace Punk as a Heyman Guy on Twitter, so could he be replacing Punk? He will come out as a teaser, but in reality, it will be Brock! If it had been Punk, he'd have come out on top, but this is Brock! Brock and Jericho go head to head, stand toe to toe, work move to move, but in the end Trip sneaks to the ring and hits Brock with a cheap shot and the whole match is thrown out.
Kendra’s Predicted Winner: No Contest or Something Screwier than her Predictions!
Despite being there live I hope Punk doesn’t show. What a great way to continue getting heel heat on him. Maybe they could do a face entrance for him just to get the crowd hot, have Jericho come out, then Punk. I think they could really toy with the crowds emotions here if done right. I know going it will be a moment in wrestling history and I am getting goosebumps writing this. Though not comparable to MITB, I’m still super excited and it has the potential to be a great moment. These guys don’t really have any story to tell. I think Punk chose to work with Jericho so he could work with someone who is safe while Punk recovers.
Gesus’ Predicted Winner: CM Punk… If he shows! If not, No Contest.
As Payback grows near, it is getting more and more likely that Punk will actually be wrestling at the event. If that is the case, I see no logical scenario which would have him lose. As great as Jericho is, I do not see the guy who put Fandango over defeating the most credible WWE Champion in recent memory. And especially not in his own hometown.
Elto’s Predicted Winner: CM Punk
I'd like to believe that this isn't the match that we will be seeing, but I am too unsure about it. Considering that there is little on this match specifically is the main cause of my speculation. Regardless, I think replacing Punk would be best. I, like many others, thought Axel would take the spot; but that is no longer the case. Instead, I will go with Bray Wyatt. These two had a well fought match on NXT recently, with Jericho the victor. Wyatt may come for his payback and I believe Jericho could bring the best out of the Family. Perhaps it is not the most logical of a choice, but who knows, Punk could come out to make the save as a face. Anything is possible in the WWE.
Adam’s Predicted Winner: Bray Wyatt
Out of all of the matches on the card, this is the one I could not resist the urge to write about. While I have no doubt that Punk will return at Payback, the real question is in what capacity? Personally, I see it not as a blavk and white scenario. I think Heyman will come out and claim Punk isn’t there, bringing Axel out for his second match of the night. They will go a good 10 minutes before there is a commotion in the crowd. It’s Punk, and he hits the ring attacking Curtis Axel! Jericho smiles and looks at Heyman, realizing he’s been had. Jericho planned for Heyman to force Punk to come back and knew Punk would be unhappy to not return on his own terms. Granted, I may be overthinking this, as Kendra and I had a REALLY long conversation about my ideas for Punk all the way up to WrestleMania 30!
Jesse’s Predicted Winner: Curtis Axel by DQ if Punk doesn’t show at the beginning of the match, No Contest otherwise.
World Heavyweight Championship Match: Dolph Ziggler (c) vs. Alberto Del Rio
I don't expect WWE to end Ziggler's reign so early. I really should say, "What reign?" I like ADR, but I have felt that he is getting a bit messy in the ring. I expect WWE to play this match safely since Ziggler is just coming back. I see him winning as he really didn't even have a title reign yet. I'm expecting the duo champions with him and AJ.
Alex’s Predicted Winner: Dolph Ziggler
Ziggler was in the ring on Smackdown, but I wonder if he's actually healthy enough to work a full PPV match, especially against ADR and his enziguri. But, of course, Ziggler isn't out there alone. He has AJ and her new gold belt out there to protect him. Or, she heads out there to protect Ziggler, but Kaitlyn comes out and attacks AJ, continuing their fight from earlier. Big E grabs Kaitlyn around the waist, pulls her off AJ, but takes an elbow to the face. Big E drops Kaitlyn for the second time in a week, but this time when she hits the floor their eyes lock. Something in Big E breaks, and he finally admits to himself that he had fallen for Kaitlyn – they like all the same things – while AJ was setting her up for the big fall. Big E scoops Kaitlyn up into his arms, leans in and kisses her tenderly before turning his back on AJ and Ziggler to carry Kaitlyn up the ramp and away from those horrible people. In the ring ADR is so confused by all the absurdity going on outside the ring that Ziggler get the easy three.
Kendra’s Predicted Winner: Dolph Ziggler
I know ADR won the title, but since the ppv is called Payback don’t you think Ziggler should fight Swagger for giving him a concussion? I know Swagger is also benched, but not even a mention? This match isn’t one I really want to see either. It has potential to be really boring. The ring work will be great since Ziggler is in it, but ADR’s heel turn has left me really bored. I am a big ADR fan but something with his gimmick is just boring to me. It’s sad that the roster is so thin where people who need to refresh their gimmick don’t get the chance.
Gesus’ Predicted Winner: Dolph Ziggler
As with other matches on this card, it is very easy to distinguish the ones momentum favors. Much like The Shield, the time and effort invested in Dolph Ziggler's character renders his spot as champion safe. In addition, taking the title away from him would miss out on a big boost coming from the "power couple" status, provided AJ wins her match.
Elto’s Predicted Winner: Dolph Ziggler
After his return from injury, Ziggler has a lot to prove, despite being champion. Ziggler will put on a clinic with Alberto Del Rio, hopefully and justifiably pulling out all stops. Ziggler will definitely go all out in this match, proving that he still deserves to be the champion. Hopefully this is just the beginning of Ziggler's run a World Champion.
Adam’s Predicted Winner: Dolph Ziggler
Three Stages of Hell Match for the WWE Championship: John Cena (c) vs. Ryback
This match won't get a long explanation because it doesn't need one. Ryback is not a valid contender. In my books, this story should have been over at the last PPV, hence why it is a Last Man Standing Match. That match had a crazed booking ending and this match will probably have it too. I actually may be surprised that WWE does something strange to end this match only because it would be twice in a row. Cena will win and carry the title some more. That is not a surprise.
Alex’s Predicted Winner: John Cena
The lumberjacks are still confused from RAW, and they're not sure if they're supposed to keep the wrestlers in the ring, or out of it. After both Ryback and Cena are announced to the ring, the bodies start flying! Cena and Ryback go through more than ten lumberjacks each before they actually get in the ring and get their hands on each other. That leaves all of ten Superstars around the ring, and they get taken out very quickly. Cena ends up using Khali's leg as a weapon and getting the three on Ryback.
Winner – Cena
Tables Match -
Ryback and Cena will somehow manage to break every table hidden under the ring. Between missed tosses, stairs going through the tables, and other absurd things happening ringside – including a few of those straggling lumberjacks – and they're out of tables to put each other through. Ryback then decides there's nothing left to do, and he puts Cena through Spanish announce for the win.
Winner – Ryback
Ambulance Match -
After all the times Ryback came out making us think he's Scotty Steiner in that ambulance, you'd think he'd have a clue of how to handle it, but he really doesn't. You'd think after all the time he's been in the back of those ambulances that he'd have figured out some great weapons back there, but no, it's Cena who breaks out the stethoscope and the IV pole to use as weapons on Ryback. Sadly we're not treated to a stretcher ride down the ramp, but after putting Ryback through the top of the ambulance – no using the back doors for Cena this time – Cena retains his WWE Championship!
Kendra’s Predicted Winner: John Cena
I am so happy they didn’t do the lumberjack match on Raw. I would have felt so cheated. I vented some of my anger on Twitter for the lucky few who follow me. The guys coming out to the ring though and getting a show bonus for doing really nothing was also probably a good boost of moral. Them going to a three stages of hell match is a bit perplexing though. It is just another one of Vince’s short sided temper tantrums. The reason I am against it is because Wrestlemania, and Extreme Rules were two ppv’s that were hard pressed for time. With multiple matches on this card, while essentially three matches in one here, it’s a loaded card. I don’t want to see us getting cheated out of a match. I can see them blowing up the second stage that is a Tables Match. Those are easy to get to a quick finish on. Lumber Jack and Ambulance will be tricky. I am proud to say I will be able to see John Cena in two Ambulance Matches live. Talk about lightning striking twice! Sarcasm aside, this does have potential. Despite the fact that any logical believability that Ryback can win is slim to none. They have really ruined the Ryback character. It just makes no sense. A topic for a different day perhaps. While the result of Cena winning seems inevitable, the story of how they get there is intriguing. I can’t wait to see.
Gesus’ Predicted Winner: Super Cena
Despite the fact that he has already had one shot at the WWE Championship, Ryback is still not a viable contender for Cena's title, and considering the name Cena won it from at WrestleMania, Big Hungry does not seem like much of a threat. Let's be honest here and note that the Three Stages of Hell stipulation was introduced only to make sure that Ryback does not look too weak, even if he loses. Unfortunately for him, Payback promises to be another major Pay-Per-View loss on his record, and at this point it is getting hard to figure out why we should still care about Ryback.
Elto’s Predicted Winner: John Cena
Does anyone actually expect Ryback to win? Honestly, there is too much going against him for anyone to even consider a victory from him. Ryback has not won a single PPV match, which begs the question why he is even in a championship bout in the first place. Also, he has been getting quite the big head; assuming it wasn't big enough already. Every week there is something going on with Ryback backstage. Unless anyone wants to see this progress, he will most definitely lose this match. Perhaps we will see Ryback wins some PPV matches after he has defeated his ego first.
Adam’s Predicted Winner: John Cena
Jesse CJ Blaze Chris
Sheamus Sheamus Sandow
AJ Lee (Big E Helps) AJ Lee AJ Lee in one of the best matches of the night.
Ambrose (Win by DQ) Ambrose (Gets DQed) Ambrose (Clean)
The Shield (Orton turn) The Shield (Clean) The Shield (Bryan turn)
Curtis Axel (Pins Wade) The Miz Curtis Axel (Pins Miz)
Curtis Axel/No Contest CM Punk Curtis Axel (Axel replaces Punk, wins dirty)
Ziggler (Dirty) Ziggler Ziggler (Big E interferes)
Cena (Wins last 2 falls) Cena Ryback (Wins in the 3rd fall)
I have quite the day planned as I go into quite the ppv. For those who care I will be stopping by to see Tara, formerly known as Victoria in the WWE’s pizza place, The Squared Circle. I am excited to help out a wrestler pursue a dream outside the business when I can. I will be sure to post my thoughts on Twitter for those who are interested, maybe an article or pre-blog somewhere. Then on my way to see Payback. So much buzz going into Chicago. I also have the privilege of going with my great friends Matt and Cat. We all are over the moon with how electric the crowd will be waiting and anticipating the return (if he does) of CM Punk. I do worry the crowd will be unruly until Punk comes out so I hope it doesn’t put a damper on the in ring work. I also want to point out, if I still have your attention, this ppv is loaded with Championship matches. Only one match on the PPV card is a non-title match. When was the last time WWE gave us a loaded ppv? So much can be shaken up in the WWE and really set that atmosphere to create new stars and story lines going into the summer. Let’s sit back and see where this roller coaster for the future that is this ppv will take us. If done right, it will be a heck of a ride.
Well said Gesus! Honestly, I am not surprised about how similar all of the predictions are, thanks to WWE’s poor build to the PPV, but the real story is in the gaps between all of our predictions for Punk/Jericho. That shows where WWE has done well despite themselves in placing some mystery in a feud. And while no one called for Jericho to win, it’s not like he needs it. At this point in his career, he is doing what so many other stars from that generation should be, establishing the next set of stars. But one other thing I want to echo from Raw’s Watch Party is that Payback might as well be Night of Champions, since every title is on the line. The last time that occurred was Hell in a Cell last year. I just hope that they continue emphasizing the titles on PPV like this, because it is a small step in re-establishing some prestige to them. Thanks for reading, and we will see you tomorrow night for our live coverage and in the Live Blog!
Jesse, Kendra, Alex, Gesus, Elto, Adam, CJ, and Chris