WWE Payback is only several days away and the company has finally released a final card. Nice to see WWE Creative take a break from working on those dramatic McMahon family skits to put some matches together.
CM Punk is also booked to return to action after a lengthy post-WrestleMania 29 layoff. Punk returns to the ring in his hometown to take on his old rival Chris Jericho. I have always felt that the match will serve as a catalyst to Punk turning babyface. It’s a weird build in that Punk hasn’t appeared once, relying on Paul Heyman to sell the match. I would guess that this match has the best chance of surviving any major time cuts as a result of the main.
Dolph Ziggler has finally been cleared after suffering a concussion and will defend the WWE world heavyweight championship on Sunday night. Ziggler will take on a familiar foe in Alberto Del Rio in what will probably be booked as the semi-main event. Like the Punk match, I’d suspect that these guys will have ample time regardless of the Three Stages of Hell headliner.
The Shield probably won’t steal the show that night due to the lack of time. Regardless The Shield will be featured twice in WWE tag team and U.S. championship matches. Dean Ambrose will defend his U.S. title against Kane in what will probably be a pretty short match.
Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns will defend the tag team titles against the hostile team of Daniel Bryan and Randy Orton. I would have higher expectations if not for the time constraints. This appears to be a shift in plans as Dave Meltzer reported that Randy Orton vs. Bryan was originally booked with the idea that a win over Orton would launch Bryan into the WWE championship picture. The biggest disappointment here is that it appears the Bryan vs. Cena match will probably take a backseat to Bryan vs. Orton at Money in the Bank.
I rarely talk about WWE intercontinental title matches but the Payback match is intriguing. Wade Barrett will defend the I-C title against The Miz and Curtis Axel in a Triple Threat Match. I’d look for Axel to capitalize on his newfound push and take the title here. The Miz will swap pre-match duties with Sheamus who will open the event on free television against his new rival Damien Sandow. Kaitlyn and AJ will also battle in what is probably the most well promoted WWE Divas title match in a long time.
John Cena (c) vs. Ryback in a Three Stages of Hell match (a Lumberjack match, a Tables match and an Ambulance match) for the WWE Championship
Chris Jericho vs. CM Punk
Wade Barrett (c) vs. Curtis Axel vs. The Miz in a Triple threat match for the Intercontinental Championship
The Shield (Roman Reigns & Seth Rollins) (c) vs. Daniel Bryan and Randy Orton for the Tag Team Championship
Dean Ambrose (c) vs. Kane for the United States Championship
Kaitlyn (c) vs. AJ Lee for the Divas Championship
Dolph Ziggler (c) vs. Alberto Del Rio for the World Heavyweight Championship
Sheamus vs. Damien Sandow
[amazon_link id=”B00CAYH2NM” target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]WWE Payback DVD[/amazon_link]
[amazon_link id=”B00BCMT2CC” target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]WWE: WrestleMania 29 DVD[/amazon_link]