• WWE Payback 2017 Preview and Predictions

    Still 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.

    Enzo Amore and Big Cass vs. Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson on the kickoff show

    Joey:

    Please have someone throw Enzo Amore off the stage already. PLEASE!

    Interest Level: 3/10
    Prediction: Gallows and Anderson win.

    Tim:

    My interest in WWE is at the lowest point it’s been in years and Raw is the brand I am most disinterested in. I’m hoping things will straighten out on each brand after Payback but I have some worries. NXT has been surprisingly good the past three weeks. Oh, this match? I have nothing. No thanks.

    Interest Level: 0/10
    Prediction: Enzo and Cass win.

    Tom:

    I can’t think of anything to say about this. Nothing at all.

    Interest Level: 1/10
    Prediction: Okay.

    Neville (c) vs. Austin Aries for the WWE Cruiserweight Championship

    Joey:

    Neville and Austin Aries had a pretty good showcase in the windy WrestleMania pre-show match. I imagine this one will be better since the majority of fans will already be in their seats. Neville and Aries are really the only guys that have gotten over in the cruiserweight division. I’m expecting Aries to win here so they can continue the feud for another month.

    Interest Level: 8/10
    Prediction: Austin Aries wins.

    Tim:

    I am looking forward to this. Aries and Neville are a great match-up and the two biggest parts of the Cruiserweight division right now. I think they can pull off something better than the fun bout they had at Wrestlemania. I do hope Aries slips on his banana at some point but I have a feeling it won’t happen this time as he is fixing to be the champion.

    Interest Level: 5/10
    Prediction: Austin Aries wins.

    Tom:

    I disagree with Joey’s notion that Aries and Neville are the only two to have gotten over in the Cruiserweight Division; Neville has been amazing in his new role, but I feel like Aries is still kind of riding the hype over being a former indies star, as opposed to any of his WWE performances. Not that he’s been bad, I just don’t feel like interest levels or fan investment have increased for him. Also, I think Jack Gallagher has been a much bigger deal in terms of breaking out as someone people are interested in seeing (or at least him doing silly umbrella things), though he’s hamstrung by the division still feeling like a throwaway, time-filler thing.

    Anyway, match should be good but they should have high-powered fans pointed at the ring to make Neville’s hair flow beautifully like it did at ‘Mania.

    Interest Level: 6/10
    Prediction: Neville wins.

    The Hardy Boyz (Matt Hardy and Jeff Hardy) (c) vs. Cesaro and Sheamus for the WWE Raw Tag Team Championship

    Joey:

    This is a nice first rivalry for The Hardys in their return tour. Sheamus and Cesaro badly need some relevance and working with the most popular act in WWE should do that. As disappointing as the overall result has been, Cesaro and Sheamus do have good matches on PPV most of the time as a team. Hopefully they all have chemistry to pull off an impressive match.

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

    Tim:

    The build has been whatever but this is a match I have been looking forward to. Sheamus and Cesaro have turned into a great duo over time and The Hardyz have been bringing the goods. I think Sheamus and Cesaro should wrestle in the kilts though.

    Interest Level: 5/10
    Prediction: The Hardyz win.

    Tom:

    I enjoy Sheamus and Cesaro’s “big” matches but The Hardy Boyz Nostalgia Tour is wearing pretty thin for me already. They do seem like two teams who should compliment each other well, but if there’s some kind of legal business that’s holding the Hardyz up from using their “#BROKEN” personas in WWE, I hope it’s resolved ASAP.

    Interest Level: 8/10
    Prediction: The Hardy Boyz win.

    Seth Rollins vs. Samoa Joe

    Joey:

    The fact that this match had to wait two months longer than expected is not doing it any favors. Seth Rollins losing a few weeks after defeating Triple H at WrestleMania would be dumb. Samoa Joe losing would also be tough, but I think he’s a lot less important to the near future of WWE than Rollins. Hopefully they are able to pull off something that benefits both.

    Interest Level: 6/10
    Prediction: Seth Freaking Rollins freaking wins.

    Tim:

    Samoa Joe’s main roster run started off really good but just like nearly anyone that isn’t Reigns or Strowman he feels like an afterthought on Raw. He’s definitely been lost in the shuffle. I expect I’ll enjoy what these two do together and there’s at least a reason for the match even though it needed to happen way earlier or not any time soon. Seth Rollins is established on the main roster and I think Samoa Joe would get more out of the win but I would think Rollins is a higher priority to them.

    Interest Level: 4/10
    Prediction: Seth Rollins wins.

    Tom:

    Joe’s adventures on the main roster have been a little sad so far, and I think Triple H’s retreat from television since ‘Mania have hurt him – there were some storytelling seeds that seemed to indicate he’d be forming some kind of a stable with the likes of Joe and Kevin Owens, but that hasn’t come to pass. While KO’s established enough that it won’t impact him, Joe is such a new player that it leaves him kind of directionless without Triple H around as his keeper/bossman/dad, so… yeah, that’s an issue.

    I liked Rollins’ match with Triple H at ‘Mania, but again, he was so defined by the Triple H feud for months that he’s another one left without a clear destination or impetus right now. Hopefully both guys get something to do in the coming weeks, because their current feud feels like limbo.

    Interest Level: 5/10
    Prediction: Seth Rollins wins.

    Kevin Owens (c) vs. Chris Jericho for the WWE US Championship

    Joey:

    This is another case of a match losing momentum due to things outside the control of the performers. Kevin Owens going to Smackdown has me excited to see him face AJ Styles in the feud that is going on there. Another match with Chris Jericho seems to be in the way, especially since there’s no stipulations or anything that different from the WrestleMania match. I wish they were able to really make this a special match to blow off the long story, but it just seems like another match. That being said, I’m sure it will end up being one of the best things on the show.

    Interest Level: 7/10
    Prediction: Kevin Owens wins.

    Tim:

    I should be more excited for this but WWE is a fucking mess. This feud was so well done for most of its build and now here we are. Anyway, I just need Owens to win so he stays on Smackdown and then I’ll pray that the blue show gets back on the right track. The match will be entertaining though. Bye, Jericho!

    Interest Level: 6/10
    Prediction: Kevin Owens wins

    Tom:

    The Superstar Shake-Up kinda pulled the rug out from under this one, huh? It’s left us with face-Jericho delivering terrible promos about Grumpy Cat on Raw, while KO already seems ready to move onto other feuds over on Smackdown, so this just kind of exists for the sake of it. I initially thought Extreme Rules followed ‘Mania, but nope, it’s just a regular match! I’m still excited to see Owens though because it feels like he’s shifting his character a little and I’m curious to see how that manifests in a match.

    Interest Level: 8/10
    Prediction: Kevin Owens wins.

    Randy Orton vs. Bray Wyatt in a House of Horrors match

    Joey:

    The worst WrestleMania match in years has a rematch with a stipulation WWE had to poll fans about to think up ideas for it. Randy Orton is the dullest wrestler of all time and Bray Wyatt isn’t wacky enough to make this “silly fun.”

    My prediction for the stipulations: Smoke filled arena. Weird lighting. Weapons. Stupid camera cuts. Garbage – both literally and figuratively.

    Interest Level: 0/10
    Prediction: Bray Wyatt wins.

    Tim:

    This just needs to be the stupidest shit they can imagine otherwise I am going to fall asleep and WWE does not want me falling asleep! Oh, they don’t care because they have my money? Uhhh… well, I guess I’ll just nap anyway.

    Interest Level: Maggots and snakes lined up to make a big fat zero/10
    Prediction: Randy Orton wins so I can laugh at Bray Wyatt being a constant failure.

    Tom:

    I’m hyped for this and I know I shouldn’t be! In an ideal world, this would be WWE’s Final Deletion, but I just don’t trust that they’re capable of that. Remember when The New Day went to fight The Wyatts at their compound and it was just a bunch of trucks in a field? What a bummer THAT was. I sincerely hope they’ve learned from that mistake and they overload on magic tricks and special effects for whatever this will be.

    Ideally, Randy Orton should be wearing a Go-Pro camera strapped to his forehead so it’s filmed from his perspective, and it’s just Resident Evil 7 but with wrestlers.

    Interest Level: Against my better judgement, 9/10
    Prediction: Bray Wyatt wins.

    Bayley (c) vs. Alexa Bliss for the WWE Raw Women’s Championship

    Joey:

    Tom set up the predictions post this time and he put Roman vs. Braun as the main event over the Women’s CHAMPIONSHIP!!! match. Makes you think!!!!!

    All jokes accusing Tom of being sexist aside, Bayley vs. Alexa Bliss should definitely be the main event. The Women’s Championship is the top title on Raw by proxy with the Universal Championship dead. It’s time to start having the women main event a frequent thing enough for fans to stop thinking about it.

    Bayley is great at being nice and Alexa is great at being evil. That should hopefully make for a great dynamic. I think Bayley is holding the title for another few months so she’ll retain here.

    Interest Level: 9/10
    Prediction: Bayley wins.

    Tim:

    I am with Joey. This should be the main event. It’s unfortunate Tom is like this. Alexa Bliss is the only reason to tune into Raw for me right now. I think they’ll put the belt on her here. I’m looking forward to see what her and Bayley can do together.

    Interest Level: 8/10
    Prediction: Alexa Bliss wins. Tom is sexist.

    Tom:

    Joey is a liar and Tim is a snake. I am NOT sexist and I will NEVER apologize for making correct assumptions about the WWE mentality (though I would be delighted if the women’s title match main events over Braun recreating more Attitude Era moments with “Big Uce” Roman Reigns).

    Anyway, I love Alexa Bliss so much. She’s the most complete character on the roster in many ways and, for me, that hides any flaws she has as an in-ring performer. I generally enjoy Bayley matches more than I expect – that’s not to say I dislike her, but her presentation on Raw in promos and whatever can feel kind of off sometimes. I don’t see her losing the belt quite yet, though Bliss as champ would be no bad thing.

    Interest Level: 8/10
    Prediction: Bayley wins, I am not sexist.

    Roman Reigns vs. Braun Strowman

    Joey:

    Braun Strowman beating the hell out of Roman Reigns was great stuff. Almost everything else involving these two after WrestleMania has been stupid. There’s no stipulation for this match and the next Raw PPV will be Extreme Rules. I expect there’s either a non-finish that ends with weapons or Reigns getting injured again. Regardless, I doubt there’s a conclusive ending.

    Interest Level: 4/10
    Prediction: No contest.

    Tim:

    They’ve done really well with Strowman. It’s been fun to watch here and there. It’s nice when they get behind someone like that and do everything they can to make them look good. I am sure these two will have a spectacle of a match. They’re not my cup of tea and I do not have any real interest in the match. If there’s going to be a winner I would guess Braun but I see them stretching this out.

    Interest Level: 1/10
    Prediction: No contest.

    Tom:

    Okay, so the Strowman stuff has been interesting, in that it’s been ridiculous to a level that we haven’t seen for years. Like, obviously the Reigns push has been relentless, but Strowman’s presentation of late has been an endless retread of “the greatest hits of sports entertainment” that they’re quickly running out of options on what they can do to keep building on it.

    Like, we’ve had him push over an ambulance, throw a guy in a dumpster and break a ring with a superplex, so what’s next? Throwing a guy off a bridge? Monster trucks? It’s kind of fascinating but it’s not something I find myself emotionally invested in whatsoever. I’m assuming this match will be more nonsense, building to increasingly silly gimmick matches until whatever the conclusion of their beef is.

    Interest Level: 6/10
    Prediction: Braun Strowman wins.

    One thought on “WWE Payback 2017 Preview and Predictions

    1. Jerry

      I’m worried that Tim is at an all-time low re. his WWE interest levels.
      I think each contributor to this newsletter should write without sight of what either of the other two scribblers have to say. Otherwise, their views will be contaminated

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