WrestleMania has come and gone and after a few quality Raw’s in a row, WWE Payback is shaping up as very interesting pay-per-view. Here’s how the card final card should end up.
Intercontinental Championship Match: The Miz versus Cesaro
This is one of the two matches already announced for the event and is already shaping up as a very interesting encounter. With the addition of Maryse, The Miz is as interesting as ever and the A-lister is thriving as Intercontinental Champion. Cesaro made his return from injury after WrestleMania and looks set for a big babyface run. Putting the Intercontinental Championship straight onto him is the way to go and give him a lengthy title reign.
Result: Cesaro submits Miz with the Sharpshooter.
WWE Women’s Championship Match: Charlotte versus Natalya
Given the way their match ended on last week’s Raw, you’d think Charlotte and Natalya’s feud will carry over to Payback. While the decision to not put the title on Sasha at WrestleMania was baffling, Charlotte versus Natalya is one of those matches you can always rely on and they may have the best chemistry of any two women in the history of women’s wrestling in the WWE. Expect a fantastic match and hopefully one without interference from Ric Flair. Let Charlotte get a clean victory to get some credibility under her belt.
Result: Charlotte pins Natalya after Natural Selection.
United States Championship Match: Kalisto versus Ryback
Given we haven’t had any developments with the United States Championship since WrestleMania, it’s safe to assume we’ll be getting a WrestleMania rematch here. However, there might be a nice twist here if they go with this. Have Kalisto retain over Ryback in a similar means to the way he did at WrestleMania, then have Ryback attack Kalisto. Sin Cara come out and Ryback retreats, but then Sin Cara attacks Kalisto, turning heel. We saw last Monday the seeds planted for this with Kalisto being ‘injured’ and Sin Cara having to deal with The Dudley Boyz alone. The feud writes itself, but it shouldn’t be rushed.
Result: Kalisto rolls up Ryback to retain.
Baron Corbin versus Dolph Ziggler
This is the most straightforward match of the night. Unfortunately for Dolph, he’s here to put someone far less talented over and that’s what he’ll do in a match that makes Corbin look good, but shouldn’t be particularly long. Expect this to be the toilet break of the night.
Result: Corbin pins Dolph after The End of Days.
Dean Ambrose versus Chris Jericho
This match was originally planned for WrestleMania, but plans changed after Styles’ debut. Expect Ambrose and Jericho to feud for a while and despite it starting in a comedic nature on Monday, it should become darker and more heated over the coming months. Expect this to simply be the first chapter in the feud and because of that, Jericho should win via shenanigans.
Result: Jericho pins Ambrose after using the referee as a shield.
Becky Lynch versus Emma
This match has been teased over the last few weeks and with the injury to Bray Wyatt, this may make it onto the pay-per-view. Lynch and Emma are the best two women to never win the NXT Women’s Championship and they will put on a quality match if given the opportunity. This may end up being the pre-show match, but they should still give it time on Raw and SmackDown to build. Emma focusing on the fact that Lynch passed her in NXT and got the chance to come to the main roster is a good way of building this match. As for the result, Becky deserves a pay-per-view win, but expect Emma, having just come back up, to be put over.
Result: Emma submits Becky Lynch with the Muta Lock.
Tag Team Championship Match: The New Day versus The Vaudevillains
Expect this to be the result of the tournament. Enzo and Cass defeat The Dudley Boyz, The Vaudevillains defeat The Usos and then The Vaudevillains win the final after The Dudley’s distract Enzo. It’s hard to see a spot for The Vaudevillains on the main roster and having them dethrone The New Day’s significantly long title reign wouldn’t feel right. Expect New Day to retain the titles until The Bullet Club is ready to take them.
Result: New Day retain, Big E pins Aiden English.
Sami Zayn versus Kevin Owens
The WWE have crafted this feud to perfection so far. The match should never have been rushed at WrestleMania and instead we’ve had a solid few months building to it. This is the feud to carry the WWE through to SummerSlam and because of that, there’s only one way this match can end. Owens walking out or getting himself disqualified. That gives us an Extreme Rules rematch, which Owens should win, leading to both men being in the Money in the Bank Ladder Match and then two more matches at Battleground and SummerSlam. This is only the beginning for the two men destined to fight forever.
Result: Sami Zayn wins via disqualification or count out.
WWE World Heavyweight Championship Match: Roman Reigns versus AJ Styles
If you think the WWE are going to take the title off Roman a month after he won it, then I’m afraid I’ve got some bad news… Roman is leaving with the championship one way or another here. The interesting part will be how they get there. The crowd won’t be booing AJ, that’s for sure, so if they do have Bullet Club run in and attack Roman, the crowd will go nuts for Styles and the Bullet Club. The WWE’s best bet here is to have Roman retain clean, but have him work the match predominantly as the heel and no shaking hands afterward. A result that keeps Styles babyface and utilizes the jeers Roman will get is the way to go.
Result: Reigns spears Styles for the win.
Other Possible Matches:
Apollo Crews versus Heath Slater
A simple showcase match for Crews who’s battled everyone else in the Social Outcasts except for Heath.
Braun Strowman and Erick Rowan versus Sheamus and Alberto Del Rio
It’s hard to see this match taking place without Bray and there’s not much appeal to it whatsoever without him.
The Bullet Club versus The Usos
Given what happened on Raw, this is a possibility, but it’s far too soon and given the way Anderson and Gallows debuted, its best to keep them running in rather than a proper part of the roster for the time being.
Enzo Amore and Colin Cassady vs The Dudley Boyz
This is probably the most likely match of the bunch to make the card, but time might see it saved for the Raw after Payback. It’s a good sign of how deep the WWE’s roster is that matches like this can’t fit on the card, but are still being built up.
Match for Control of SmackDown: Apollo Crews (Shane McMahon) versus Sheamus (Vince McMahon)
The chances of this happening are basically zero, but the concept might actually play out over the coming months. Shane and Vince (somehow) agree to the match and they both pick a superstar. Vince picks Sheamus, because he’s been The Authority’s lacky since Survivor Series and Shane chooses Crews, because he’s someone Shane brought up from NXT and he represents the future of WWE. Crews wins the match, the brands are split and Shane is in charge of SmackDown. Again, this probably doesn’t happen at Payback.