• WWE Payback 2016 Preview and Predictions

    Not the Mel Gibson movie.

    Giving their thoughts and predictions on what to expect from the PPV are members of the site @JoeyOnEarth, @TimWelcomed and @TomBlargh.

    wwe-payback

    Kalisto vs. Ryback for the United States Championship on the kickoff show

    Joey:

    The WrestleMania pre-show match between these two was good but the lack of a crowd hurt it. I think WWE is intentionally putting Ryback on every pre-show for the rest of the year after he made public comments threatening retirement if it doesn’t change. The match should be good but it’s not anything worth going out of your way to get the show on early.

    Interest Level: 6/10
    Prediction: Kalisto wins.

    Tim:

    Oh! Sorry, I was reminiscing about that time John Cena made the United States Championship feel important. I’m not the biggest Ryback fan but I do think he has potential to be an entertaining character. Kalisto can be hit or miss but he’s mostly fun to watch. They’re just not being booked to be cared for. Ryback is already hard to care for as it is so them relegating these two to this feud that barely exists sucks. It sucks that WWE creative sucks but what can we do?

    Interest Level: 4/10
    Prediction: Kalisto wins

    Tom:

    Last month, I was onboard with Joey as far as giving this a chance. Now though? Naw. Naw son. I don’t dislike either guy but I have zero interest in seeing them wrestle again, unless it’s in some kind of match with all sorts of mad stipulations.

    Interest Level: 2/10
    Prediction: Kalisto wins.

    Dolph Ziggler vs. “The Big Breakfast” Baron Corbin

    Joey:

    WWE has a tendency to go with “Even Stevens bullshit booking” in the words of Brad Ward so I am terrified of Dolph Ziggler winning here to ruin Baron Corbin’s momentum. Ziggler doesn’t really matter in the grand scheme of things so they can’t possibly screw over Corbin. The chemistry between these two doesn’t appear to exist and I’m not excited at all for the actual match unless Big Banter lives up to his name.

    Interest Level: 4/10
    Prediction: Baron Corbin wins.

    Tim:

    Ziggler’s ridiculous selling will make Baron Corbin look good but I see Ziggler coming out on the winning end this time and then a rematch happening next month where Corbin gets the win. I can’t say I am excited about any of this. There’s stuff I like about “The Big Breakfast” Baron Corbin but his wrestling isn’t really apart of that. His finisher is good! Ziggler could retire to The Comedy Toilet tomorrow and I wouldn’t mind.

    Interest Level: 2/10
    Prediction: Dolph Ziggler wins

    Tom:

    Ziggler has seemed to be the go-to guy as far as making an NXT guy’s debut as underwhelming as possible (big shout out to my main man Tyler Breeze), so hopefully this is the first and last PPV match between these two. I really hope this isn’t much more than a squash, I don’t enjoy most longer Ziggler matches and I want to see Breakfast become more established on the main roster.

    Interest Level: 5/10
    Prediction: Breakfast’s got this.

    The Miz vs. Cesaro for the Intercontinental Championship

    Joey:

    This one is tough to predict because both men have momentum right now. Miz has been on fire as a heel personality and Maryse has only added to the act. They are perfect together. Cesaro looks like a million bucks right now and the talk of a “new era” would make it seem a long run with the title would be beneficial right now. I think Cesaro ultimately wins the title to end this feud but Miz will retain via shenanigans on this PPV.

    Interest Level: 7/10
    Prediction: Miz wins.

    Tim:

    The Miz has finally settled into the right space for his personality and adding Maryse to the mix has been a surprising plus. They’ve both grown a lot. The Miz… well, I can’t say he is my least favorite wrestler in WWE any longer. That’s a big accomplishment. Cesaro probably needs this win more with him being fresh off the heels of his return and the scary thought of him falling to the wayside lingering behind his beautiful bald head constantly. I can see it going either way and I understand why The Miz would retain but I’m praying Cesaro gets a big win as a way to show he’s back and as strong as ever. Plus, the Intercontinental Championship is the perfect accessory for Cesaro and his updated persona.

    Interest Level: 6/10
    Prediction: Cesaro wins.

    Tom:

    I completely forgot that this was happening, but I’m excited to see it! Miz has quietly become one of the better guys on the roster and I’m onboard with the addition of Maryse. Her accent has evolved to a new level of weirdness, and I’m a big fan of that. Cesaro is consistently incredible. I’m worried that he’ll never breakout from the level he’s at, but he’s still capable of very fun matches with just about anyone, so it’s just nice to have him back.

    Interest Level: 7/10
    Prediction: Miz wins.

    Enzo Amore and Big Cass vs. The Vaudevillains in a #1 Contenders Match

    Joey:

    Two teams have been called up from NXT. Enzo and Big Cass are clicking with the audience. The other team is The Vaudevillains. There’s no way WWE goes with New Day vs. Enzo and Cass this early on, right? That has to be saved for Summerslam or later down the road when fans are used to Big Cass and Enzo?

    Dudz cost Enzo and Cass the match. WWE hopes a feud and eventual loss to the New Day helps establish the Vaudevillains as relevant enough to exist on the main roster.

    Interest Level: 7/10
    Prediction: The Vaudevillains win.

    Tim:

    I don’t think they should do Enzo and Cass versus New Day yet. New Day is too hot to lose those belts and Enzo and Cass just debuted on the main roster. They are pretty over and it would be a shame to give them a clean L right now. I agree with the Joey above me. The Dudleys will attack Amore and Cassady. Hopefully The Vaudevillains find their lane because I think both guys may have some potential hidden away in there. I don’t think the crowd could be any quieter for them as it is.

    Interest Level: 6/10
    Prediction: The Vaudevillains win and you can probably teach that.

    Tom:

    I feel bad for The Vaudevillains. They seem like nice enough guys and they’re something different, but debuting at the same time as Enzo and Cass is gonna make things tough on them. I imagine these two teams have wrestled enough that they know what they’re doing together, and hopefully it’s another hot crowd for Enzo and Cass.

    Interest Level: 7/10
    Prediction: Enzo and Cass win.

    Charlotte with Ric Flair vs. Natalya with Bret Hart for the Women’s Championship

    Joey:

    I am not a Natalya fan at all. She’s fine but nothing stands out in a way that makes me care about her matches or promos. Charlotte is not too much better but the momentum is there that adds relevance to her. The addition of Bret Hart is the only thing has me really into this match. Charlotte and Nattie have had dozens of dull matches after their NXT standout but the legends should help add to it. I have a feeling Natalya will win the title for a few weeks as a “thank you” for her years of service and to give Bret a feel good moment.

    I really just hope Bret knocks Ric the fuck out.

    Interest Level: 6/10
    Prediction: Natalya “The Hitwoman” Neidhart wins.

    Tim:

    I see Natalya as just someone else for Charlotte to beat here. These two can work well together when the stars align and hopefully this will be one of those times because I’d really like to see them pull something surprising out. Natalya may not be the best but she can definitely be fine against the right opponents. She always comes off really corny on the mic and that doesn’t help her case. It’s real bad. I do think she deserves more than she has gotten in her time in WWE. I’m not as harsh on these two as some are but I am aware they’re both far from amazing. Okay, maybe that was still a little harsh. I’m still more interested in seeing how these two work together this time around than most of the other matches on this card though. Mostly, I hope Bret Hart makes some good faces at ringside.

    Interest Level: 7/10
    Prediction: Charlotte wins.

    Tom:

    While I also enjoy Charlotte for the most part, I’m also in the camp of being tired of Nattie. She’s just… there, you know? Her matches are fine but I think I’ve seen all I want to of her and Charlotte. The real main event will be Bret and Ric clowning around. Hopefully they make this shit REAL and get vicious with each other.

    Interest Level: 5/10
    Prediction: Charlotte wins.

    Dean Ambrose vs. Chris Jericho

    Joey:

    Neither of these guys do anything for me at this stage and long Dean Ambrose matches are a pain to watch unless facing someone really good. Chris Jericho’s current heel work is far better than anything he’s done in his last few returns but that usually only translates to tag matches or silly promos. The match could be interesting but I see it being a complete bore with lots of 80s Ambrose and 2010s Jericho.

    Interest Level: 2/10
    Prediction: Dean Ambrose wins.

    Tim:

    I don’t care. I do not fucking care about this match.

    Interest Level: 0/10
    Prediction: Dean Ambrose wins.

    Tom:

    Of the three of us, I think I’m most prepared to give this match a little bit of a chance. I think these two are most likely to be a bad combination and it’ll be a pretty boring match. Jericho has slowed down a bunch and Ambrose is one of those guys who seems to have a fetish for the “old school” way of working, except this is 2016 and his interpretation of that style isn’t enough for me.

    So, look, maybe I’m not prepared to give this match a chance.

    Interest Level: 3/10
    Prediction: Chris Jericho wins because why not.

    (Editor’s note: Deal with it, other Tim.)

    Kevin Owens vs. Sami Zayn

    Joey:

    Here we go. The first official WWE match between Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn taking place in Chicago should be wonderful. Zayn has been quite lackluster on the main roster so far but this screams breakout performance. Owens is already established as a credible talent and I’d be he wins MITB this year. My expectations for this one is a great match but without a winner. Extreme Rules is the next show and I can see Owens and Zayn both falling off the stage or going through a table to end it in a no contest leading to a street fight next month.

    Interest Level: 10/10
    Prediction: No contest/DQ finish.

    Tim:

    Hopefully this is only the first main roster one-on-one match of many between these two over the course of the next few years. One of the greatest feuds in the history of wrestling is finally hitting the big stage and I am beyond excited about it. Zayn has had some good moments on the main roster but he’s yet to have a great match. This isn’t Stardust he’s wrestling this time though! I see Owens being dominating in this one kind of like their NXT matches except with a little more back and forth and then getting the win. Zayn will get his big win next month in some sort of stipulation match.

    Interest Level: 10/10
    Prediction: Kevin Owens wins.

    Tom:

    FINALLY. Even though there hasn’t been as much build for this as I would have liked, the package put together for Raw was incredible and I’m very excited for the first chapter of their main roster feud. I sincerely hope they’re the ones given time and not Jericho/Ambrose, because this deserves it SO much more. It’s hard to know what to expect! They could emulate their NXT feud and have this first match be a KO domination, or they could go a whole other direction. I just don’t know but I can’t wait to find out!

    Interest Level: 10/10
    Prediction: Sami Zayn wins but the night ends poorly for him regardless.

    Vince McMahon selects who runs Raw: Stephanie McMahon or Shane McMahon?

    Joey:

    Shane runs Raw. Stephanie runs Smackdown. Not a brand split. Just different bosses on each show that must collaborate to make PPV matches.

    Tim:

    This storyline has been nonsense since it began. I’m not even sure I should call it a story because none of it made sense at all. I’m sure they give Shane Raw because it’s been so incredibly different since he began running it. Hey, Vince is a man of the people after all for some reason. I’m guessing Stephanie gets Smackdown again. I would be all for a brand split if it wasn’t for one of the shows being Smackdown and the fact that WWE couldn’t write itself out of a puddle right now.

    Tom:

    This is a weird deal. What a dumb storyline. Having Shane run Raw and Steph run Smackdown would make sense, but even WWE seems to have acknowledged that Smackdown is pretty irrelevant. Give Shane the first hour of Raw, Steph the second hour and then have the third be a mess as they share responsibilities, just screaming over each other as they try and make matches. Linda gets Smackdown. Stevie Richards gets Sunday Night Heat.

    Roman Reigns vs. AJ Styles for the WWE World Championship

    Joey:

    I am very excited about this match. I’m expecting a “Match of the Year” candidate and one of Roman Reigns’ best singles matches yet. AJ Styles might be wrestling the biggest match of his career and that’s saying a lot given how long he’s been doing this. I’m expecting instant chemistry once these two lock up with a tremendous atmosphere.

    My expectations for the finish are Karl Anderson and Doc Gallows costing AJ Styles the match before attacking both men. Finn Balor shows up as the leader. Balor Club here we come.

    Interest Level: 10/10
    Prediction: Roman Reigns wins. Everyone gets beat up. Balor Club unites.

    Tim:

    A lot of interesting ways this could go but I have to go with the most generic and obvious. Gallows and Anderson attack Reigns. AJ Styles loses. AJ tells them off and then they attack him. I’m not sure if I think Balor shows up here. I think they wait for Raw. I’m sure AJ Styles can help make this match more interesting than “Reigns lays in the corner over and over again.” We’ll see. I’m excited to see Styles in a WWE World Heavyweight Championship match. I’m not excited about him losing his second WWE PPV match but it’s The Reigns Era now. Everything is in service of him. Anyway, I thought the final Raw segment leading up to this match was done well and this will hopefully lead to some interesting stories and matches for The Bulletproof Balor Bullet NWO Good Brother Club.

    Interest Level: 8/10
    Prediction: Roman Reigns wins.

    Tom:

    Okay! I think the AJ stuff so far has been… mixed. Any storyline that asks me to be interested in the Bullet Club in 2016 is a bit of a stretch, especially when they haven’t done much to make Anderson and Gallows appear interesting on Raw. Just a couple of bald lads in t-shirts, you know? A Balor debut would help spice things up, but I don’t know if they’ll rush into that quite yet.

    Anyway, storyline business aside, I think an AJ/Reigns match has a lot of potential. I just hope whatever the ending is doesn’t ruin things too much! Maybe Roman will bond with Karl and Doc over their shared appreciation of dad jeans.

    Interest Level: 8/10
    Prediction: Roman Reigns wins.

    5 thoughts on “WWE Payback 2016 Preview and Predictions

    1. VictorIsBien

      I wonder if Chris “Cool Dad” Jericho is going to make Ambrose wear a scarf after he beats him.

    2. Tim

      I could complain that you guys were so negative about Dean vs Y2J but I’m gonna let it slide for mentioning me in this preview.

      Can’t believe you guys haven’t gotten around about Dean after his stellar plant humour.

    3. Jerry

      Why only terrestrial? Let’s see Wrestling in Space!!!
      The bouts will be balletic.
      The summit would be a match-off outside the command module. 20 wrestlers all secured to the mother ship by a lifeline each. As they lose, so the line is cut and the useless wrestler is seen spiralling helplessly into black space.

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