With the oddest WrestleMania behind them, the WWE presses on into another year of wrestling. There has been an influx of fresh talents like Sami Zayn, the Vaudevillains, and Enzo & Cass, and this will be their first matches on the big stage of a WWE pay-per-view.
After a disappointing WrestleMania, the card for Payback looks to be full and is poised to have some really good matches. Another exciting thing to see is that it won’t be part timers like the Rock or Stone Cold who will get to shine under those lights. Instead, it will be the young talent that the WWE will have to make stars of for the next decade.
Baron Corbin v. Dolph Ziggler
Corbin has looked really good in his arrival to the main roster. He has been able to hone both his character and in ring abilities since his days as a rookie in the NXT developmental wrestling brand. This pairing with the veteran Dolph Ziggler should result in a good match that will make both men look really good.
By pairing Corbin with Ziggler, WWE has allowed Corbin to look like a monster when Dolph takes his hits and has also given him someone who is incredibly proficient in the ring to guide him through matches until he gets the hang of working on the main roster.
Prediction: Baron Corbin looks strong in the match and also gets the win.
Chris Jericho v. Dean Ambrose
In another match that should be really good, the veteran Jericho will be taking on what could be a future superstar in Dean Ambrose. Ambrose himself really needs to win because his loss to Brock Lesnar at WrestleMania made him look pretty weak. Couple that with Jericho’s win at Mania and it should be a good match.
Prediction: Solid match, Dean Ambrose gets the win.
Kevin Owens v. Sami Zayn
In a feud that has gone on since their were in the independent circuit together, Sami Zayn will once again take on his mortal enemy/best friend Kevin Owens. This feud has been going on for so long and it has been played out extremely well with interviews from the two describing their close relationship turned hatred for each other.
Both men are at the top of their game in the ring so this match should be another classic from them both. With the addition of the background from their personal lives, the WWE has placed more interest and more at stake with this match. There is pride and hatred on the line on Sunday between these two.
This could be a sleeper match early, meaning that it will surprise a few as to how good it’s going to be. Expect the two to bring great psychology to the ring and pull out all of the moves that they have to win.
Prediction: Kevin Owens cheats to win. Another classic.
Enzo Amore & Big Cass v. The Vaudevillains (Tag Team #1 Contenders Match)
In a surprise rematch from NXT nearly one year ago, two of the most entertaining tag teams take on each other for the right to face The New Day for the WWE Tag Team Championships. Enzo and Cass are loved by the crowd and by some miracle so are the Vaudvillains. Neither of the recent call-ups have been forgotten by the machine that is the WWE.
It will be the first appearance for both on a WWE pay-per-view but this match should be a fun cross of styles. Since the teams have met before, expect them to work well together. The match should be memorable and full of entertaining moves and jokes thrown in for both the crowd and those at home.
This prediction for this match is difficult as the Vaudvillains need the titles more than Enzo and Cass who the crowd already loves. In order to keep the team going and get an entertaining series of promos and matches with the New Day, the Vaudvillains have to take this one.
Prediction: Vaudvillians win an entertaining one.
Kalisto (c) v. Ryback ( United States Championship Match)
Here they are again. After a barn burner at WrestleMania the two wrestlers are going to go back at it for the title at Payback. This should follow a David vs. Goliath script yet again as the large Ryback goes after the very small Kalisto.
The WrestleMania match was fine and the expectation is that this match will be as well. Nothing to marvel at and nothing to be super excited for. Unfortunately for these two, this match will likely be the bathroom/snack break match which is unfair to them.
Very little momentum going into this match and therefore very little excitement.
Prediction: 50/50 on who wins. Get a snack.
Charlotte (c) v. Natalya (Women’s Champsionship) with Ric Flair and Bret Hart at ringside
This is another match that has been done before on NXT. But the saying goes, “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” Charlotte and Natalya are two fantastic women’s wrestlers on the main roster. This match will be an incredible athletic contest with both women fully capable of putting on a great match and able to work well together. They will be given plenty of time and will surely take advantage of it.
This stipulation and match was done nearly two years ago with Charlotte beating Natty and winning the NXT Women’s Championship. The match was great then and should be fantastic now. Adding Bret and Ric to the match will give the crowd more to cheer for and gives it a bigger match feel. Look for Bret to throw a punch at Ric or vice versa.
Prediction: Natty wins with a little help from Bret.
The Miz (c) v. Cesaro (Intercontinental Championship Match)
The Miz is a master at making the crowd hate him. He has reinvented himself so many times in order to make sure that the crowd always wants to see him get beaten. He is a pro at making good guys get cheered and he is putting those skills to work with Cesaro.
Since his return and feud with the Miz, Cesaro has been getting more and more cheers from the crowd. His reactions now are more than they were when he was staring to get cheers before his injury. He could be in that upper echelon of wrestlers and Payback is the place to get that started. Unfortunately, this will probably be an inconclusive match to continue the feud.
Prediction: The Miz wins by shenanigans.
Roman Reigns (c) v. AJ Styles (WWE World Heavyweight Championship)
With the most complete build to match of the whole show, this should be awesome. So many story lines in play with the Bullet Club looming and Roman not being a good or bad guy. Who will they help? Will they come after AJ or Roman? Will Roman or AJ go bad?
All of these things serve to make this match extremely interesting on the outside, but on the inside it should be good too. Roman has steadily become an even better wrestler and AJ is one of the best. It will be a good technical match with AJ and Roman’s size disparity making it even more exciting.
The outcome means very little as Roman has about a 95 % chance of winning this one. What is exciting is where the story goes after the match ends. Who will get attacked and who is on who’s side?
Prediction: Roman Reigns wins and Bullet Club interferes.
This will be a great pay-per-view for all of those fans who were disappointed by WrestleMania. Strong card, strong story-lines, and the culmination of what should be a really enjoyable night. Absolutely a worthy watch.