WWE Payback will be held at the SAP Center in San Jose, CA tonight. The event is set to start with a kickoff show that begins at 7pm. The card for tonight’s show leaves a little to be desired, but is sufficient enough to further RAW’s most important feuds. There’s also a couple of Smackdown Live Superstars that will get some shine tonight, as we build towards SummerSlam. A few matches have pretty major implications, while the majority are simply filler, sidebars to feuds I expect to see ramped in intensity in the coming weeks. Here are my predictions for tonight’s card!
WWE Payback Kickoff Show:
Enzo & Big Cass V Gallows & Anderson: No real rivalry here. Both teams have squared off in the past, with a shot at the Tag Titles on the line. Tonight is simply a grudge match with no real consequences for the losers. Expect to see Gallows and Anderson do what they do best: Be mean, and make green with a victory on the pre-show.
winners: Gallows & Anderson
MizTV: The Miz will host Finn Balor in a MizTV segment. Why Finn isn’t on the main card boggles my mind, but I’m sure we’ll get a decent interaction out of him at the least. The Miz has been doing the best mic work of his career, and I’d expect him to say something to push Balor over the limit. Balor will of course get the best of Miz, which will then either set up a match between the two later in the night, or tomorrow on RAW.
WWE Payback Main Card:
Seth Rollins V Samoa Joe: These two have been quietly having a decent feud, with each man getting the better of the other over the weeks. Samoa Joe has taken up the role of Triple H’s enforcer, while Seth Rollins is Trips’ former protege’ hell bent on slaying the ‘King Of Kings.’ I’d expect to see a pretty hard-hitting match between these two, with Samoa Joe coming out on top by hook or crook.
winner: Samoa Joe
Tag Team Titles – The Hardy Boyz(c) V Sheamus & Cesaro: Not entirely sure where this match will end up, but I’m sure we’ll all be happy with what it could potentially introduce. The Hardys had the single best gimmick in all of wrestling working the “Broken” angle. I’d like to think that tonight will be the start of the introduction of this into the WWE universe, and they’ll instantly be the most over act in the company. Look for a sneaky heel turn by Cesaro this time around, as he’s been teased as being more aggressive the past few weeks on RAW. In the end, I look for Sheamus & Cesaro to dethrone the Hardys and enjoy their second run with the tag team titles.
winners: Sheamus & Cesaro
United States Title – Chris Jericho V Kevin Owens(c): The first match of the night that will see a talent from Smackdown Live compete on a RAW PPV. It’s no secret that Chris Jericho will soon embark on a nationwide tour with his band Fozzy, to promote their upcoming album. It’s looking like Owens will retain, and head on back to Smackdown to begin his feud with AJ Styles. Jericho could still win via DQ, but either way Owens will retain.
winner: Owens via pinfall or Jericho via DQ
Cruiserweight Title – Austin Aries V Neville(c): Neville has been on a tear lately, and in my heart of hearts, I would love to see him continue on. On the other hand though, a freshly heel TJ Perkins will be waiting in the wings to challenge the champ after tonight. I happen to think that champ will be Austin Aries. Look for Aries and Neville to have one of, if not THE match of the night.
winner: Austin Aries
Roman Reigns V Braun Strowman: This is the match that I’m most hyped about tonight. Braun has been the most entertaining part of RAW for like, the past month and continues to get better every week. He’s been portrayed as a monster, doing everything from totally destroying Roman Reigns, to LIETRALLY throwing Kalisto in the trash. It’s time WWE started treating him as such, and there’s no better way than with a clean win over Reigns. WWE can continue to play up Reigns’ injuries, while also making Braun out to be the monster he so boldly claims he is. An injured Reigns losing to Braun still keep Reigns looking strong, but also elevates Strowman in the process. Strowman needs to beat Reigns, otherwise he’ll end up just like his former leader.
winner: Braun Strowman
RAW Women’s Title – Alexa Bliss V Bayley(c): Bayley is good. She could be even better minus the hokey gimmick, but it works for her. But let’s face it, her title run has lost steam. With focus on the Women’s division now more than ever, there needs to be a certain amount of quality in every match that’s put on. I’m not saying that Bayley is bad, it’s just her title run hasn’t really been believable. With WWE seemingly holding off on a Sasha Banks heel turn, now would be the best time to take the strap off Bayley, at least for a little while. During her time as Women’s champ on Smackdown, Alexa Bliss was gold on the mic and in the ring, and this could be a huge boon for RAW to put the title on her. Not to mention, if she were to win, she’d be the only woman in history to hold the RAW and Smackdown Women’s title in a year. And you know how WWE likes to talk about history…
winner: Alexa Bliss
House of Horrors Match – Bray Wyatt V Randy Orton: Initially pegged as a WWE Title match, the script has been flipped since Bray has been moved to RAW. It appears this match will simply be a way to blow off the feud between Orton and Wyatt, so that Orton can move on to his battle with new No. 1 Contender, Jinder Mahal. The biggest issue here, is that no one knows exactly what the hell a “House Of Horrors” match is. Speculation puts that match as a cross between the “Final Deletion” match Matt and Jeff hardy had at TNA and the “Hollywood Backlot Brawl” between Goldust and Roddy Piper from Wrestlemania 12. All this means is that a portion of the match will be pre-taped, and it will most likely conclude in the arena. Seeing as how this is a non title match, I fully expect to see Bray Wyatt go over, and hopefully move on to a feud for the IC Title with Dean Ambrose. I’m also hoping Bo Dallas finally joins his brother, and wreck mayhem across Monday Nights.
winner: Bray Wyatt
Those are my predictions, let’s hear yours! Comment on the YouTube video above, or on this post with your predictions for tonight’s card!