Oooh, new PPV! That’s right, this is the inaugural WWE Payback, where you’d assume there’s gonna be a thick vein of revenge running through the entire show. Are WWE gonna deliver the goods, or is the name of this brand new PPV a promise they won’t live up to?
So when WWE announced this Payback PPV was jumping into the June schedule sometime earlier in the year, I got a little excited at the prospect. A whole PPV named “Payback”? Surely that’s got to mean lots of blow off matches, lots of feuds ending, lots of spectacle, animosity, and maybe…just maybe a bit of violence. Looking up and down the card, then it seems like that could potentially be the case, but I can’t help once again feeling a little deflated by the builds to the various matches on this show. Oh yeah, and NO ANTONIO CESARO AGAIN. For frick’s sake WWE. Let’s break this down a match at a time and see what we can make of the whole shebang.
Sheamus vs. Damien Sandow
No Antonio Cesaro and Damien Sandow only on the pre-show? Damnit WWE, you’re trying to make me angry, aren’t you? Actually, the most surprising thing about this is Sheamus finding himself on the pre-show for some reason. Last we heard WWE had big things planned for Sheamus this summer, but it would appear that getting a decent spot on even a B/C PPV card isn’t one of those “big things”. Poor fella.
Those of you who read regularly are more than aware that I think Damien Sandow is being woefully neglected by WWE right now, and the last month has done absolutely nothing to instill any faith in me that they are going somewhere. To be fair to Sandow, the man has promo’ed his socks off with his Smackdown displays of intelligence, but even after the reactions he gets, Sandow still finds himself languishing in the lower mid card, doing jobs for all and sundry. Someone needs to get a mid card title on this man, and fast. In my opinion, Sandow would make a perfect Intercontinental Champion (but more on that later) if they’d only give him the chance he so richly deserves.
I guess they could purposely be putting this match on the preshow to try to pull in some viewers, but I can’t help but feel that this would’ve been a better placed match on the main show. Either way, it should still be a decent match that I’ll go out my way to check out, so I guess you’ve done your WWE. You have my interest.
Who I want to win: I’d love Sandow to start picking up some victories, but unfortunately there’s pretty much no chance of that happening. We all know how this ends. Brogue Kick, Sheamus wins.
Who I think will win: Sheamus. Absolutely no doubt in my mind.
WWE Divas Championship Match
Kaitlyn © vs. AJ Lee
I like Kaitlyn. But then, I like AJ Lee as well. But which one’s best? There’s only one way to find out…FIGHT!!
Finally, after all these months of tease, my two favourite ladies are gonna get it on! ➡
Okay, quieten down loins, we’ve got a helluva lot of article to get through for you to start acting up now.
So yeah, I’m excited to say the least. AJ Lee, owner of “DAT A*S” vs. the best lingering “I don’t whether to feud or f*ck you” face this side of Beth Phoenix in Diva’s Champion Kaitlyn. Mmmmm. That’s it girls, you just roll around on the floor grappling each other…
Sorry. I drifted off a bit again there. Yeesh, this is harder than it looks…wait, not like that. Oh God, now they’ve got me flustered. Yikes.
**ONE COLD SHOWER LATER…**
Okay, so we all knew that Kaitlyn’s admirer was most likely to be AJ or the Bellas screwing with her (I still maintain they should’ve made it Cody and given him a face push, much to Sandow’s disgust, but hey-ho), but that didn’t stop it being any sweeter this week on Raw when they finally made the big reveal.
Oh AJ, you crazy chick. Seriously though, I loved that segment on Raw. Big E’s act as the nervous “admirer” was first class. Even his little stumble on the words part way through did nothing but add to the overall effect. And that “dip ‘n drop” was phenomenal. I think a lot of folks genuinely thought Big E was about to get him some Kaitlyn, when…nope. Literally and figuratively dumped (to the canvas).
AJ’s follow up promo was ace, and Kaitlyn being left a blubbering wreck was really nicely done too. In one fell swoop these girls (and Big E, who is a man, despite his massive rack) got me interested in this match. I want to see if Kaitlyn goes homicidal on AJ’s a*s…mmm dat a*s. And I want to see how AJ’s gonna manage to sneak away with the title. Because that’s got to be the end game here, right?
Who I want to win: Probably AJ I think, but I’ll be happy either way. I imagine they’ll be having at least another match after this one, so bring on the girl on girl action!!
Who I think will win: I think this whole angle’s purpose is to get the strap on AJ, and that’s no bad thing. As much as I love Kaitlyn (and I do), her title reign hasn’t set the division on fire, so why not let someone else take a crack? Besides, if Dolph AND AJ have titles, then I imagine they’ll give Big E some grief until he goes out and gets a title of his own…
WWE United States Championship Match
Shield Member Dean Ambrose © vs. Kane
Oh look, all of a sudden we’ve got a bunch of believers out there. Seems like a whole heap of folks finally learnt what Justice truly means, and it’s about damn time. If you listened to the TWO Community Podcast when we spoke about our Extreme Rules predictions, you’ll remember me telling Fury in no uncertain terms that the Shield would own that night, and own it they did. And they’ve continued to own WWE programming since that point. Show after show, week after week The Shield are the most consistently entertaining thing WWE have put out in way too long. They’re a genuine reason to get excited, as soon as the music hits, you know “business is about to pick up”.
I think the thing I love most about The Shield is that they’ve made the undercard interesting again. Way more interesting to me than whoever is next in line to face John Cena, and it’s a good thing. It’s almost as if The Shield have spurred on those around them to also up their game. Look at guys like Kofi Kingston, Kane, hell even Randy Orton seems to have found his enthusiasm again. While the main event continues to stagnate, there’s a revolution going on in the lower card and it’s breath-taking to behold. And then there’s Daniel Bryan, but you’ll have to wait a little while for my gushing about that wonderful, wonderful man.
So everything is set for this match. We know Ambrose can go now (as if there was any doubt, pfft), and we know that Kane is suitably motivated right now to be no slouch in the ring himself. Just let these two guys go at it for 15 minutes and watch the sparks fly. Expect good things from this match, mark my words…
Who I want to win: Ambrose. BELIEVE IN THE SHIELD!!
Who I think will win: It’s gotta be Ambrose. I’m expecting The Shield to keep their respective titles locked down for the foreseeable future.
Triple Threat Match for the WWE Intercontinental Championship
Wade Barrett © vs. The Miz vs. Curtis Axel
AWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWW, I don’t want to write about this match. Aside from Curtis Axel’s entrance music, there are literally no redeeming features for this match. Wade Barrett also has nice new music, but again, it’s the only thing interesting about him at the moment. The Miz…well, he’s just The Miz isn’t he? He’s always just…there.
I’m desperately trying to find something positive to say about this match, but the only thing I keep thinking is “None of these guys deserve to wear the title”. Axel can bleat on about being Mr. Perfect’s kid, but I can’t see him matching performances like his old man’s 91-92 awesome IC reign. I guess I give slightly more of a damn about Axel than FAHHNDAAHHHNGOOOOO, but that’s not saying much. Let’s just skip to the predictions…
Who I want to win: Axel. Simply by merit of being the man I dislike least in this match.
Who I think will win: Curtis Axel, and then they’ll start comparing him to his dad and I’ll die a little inside every damn time.
WWE Tag Team Championship Match
Shield Members Seth Rollins & Roman Reigns © vs. Randy Orton & Daniel Bryan
Daniel Bryan, how I love thee. Let me count the ways. In fact, that would be impossible. The number of ways Daniel Bryan is awesome are more numerous than the hairs in his impressive beard. Literally and figuratively G.O.A.T. Daniel Bryan has been absolutely on fire recently. Like, he’s always been brilliant fun to watch in and out the ring, but over the last month D-Bryan has cranked everything up a notch, and is consistently stealing the show in anything he touches. Look back at this last 4 weeks and tell me I’m lying. You can’t, because the Goatface Killah has worked out of his skin and been the Greatest Man on the Planet (©Jimmy Redman).
Just when you think he’s reached the apex of hot tag awesomeness, he pulls another level out of his back pocket and just blows you away. There has to be a peak at some point, but I’ll be damned if I can see when that’ll be. Week after week Bryan leaves me speechless. The only thing they could possibly do to improve on him would be to give him The Final Countdown as his music. Imagine that for a second. Jesus. And the fans are behind him. I haven’t heard YES! chants this loud in a few months now, but the fire ignited by the Dazzler has seemingly reinvigorated the crowd at the same time. Don’t ignore this momentum WWE, do something with it! PLEEEEEEEASE!!
Speaking of reinvigoration, what’s got into Randy Orton? After months of treading water and looking like the last place you’d look if you were searching for f*cks (because he doesn’t give any), Randy Orton has come alive?! The funniest thing is that no sooner does Orton look like he’s in the mood to be a bit motivated, everyone starts calling for a heel turn. Again.
“But he RKO’d Bryan?!” Yeah? And?
JBL put it best “When Roy was attacked by his tiger, everyone said ‘Why did the tiger do that? Did it go wild?’ The tiger didn’t go wild, the tiger went tiger!” Randy Orton RKOing Daniel Bryan isn’t Randy turning heel, it’s Orton turning Orton. Don’t forget, the man does have IED after all…
So what to expect from this match? More Shield craziness, Roman Reigns bringing the pain, Randy Orton going to “that special place” and another patented D-Bryan “Greatest Hot Tag in the World. Ever”. I can’t wait.
Who I want to win: The Shield. Like I said earlier, The Shield are keeping these titles locked down.
Who I think will win: I think The Shield are gonna walk out with the titles, but I’m totally expecting Daniel Bryan to (once again) be the MVP of the match.
Chris Jericho vs. CM Punk
Don’t tease me with this WWE. You know I’ve been suffering from a lack of Punk and now you dangle this carrot in my face? It’s a good job I’ve already convinced myself that Punk isn’t gonna show. Or at least he won’t be taking part in this match.
Remember a couple of months ago when I was speculating that Heyman is gonna end up turning on Punk and lead into a Punk/Brock feud? Well yeah, I’m fairly sure this is gonna be the start of that. I think they’re gonna play it that Punk feels Heyman overstepped his boundaries by agreeing to put Punk in a match without checking with Punk first. You’d have thought Heyman would realise that Punk’s too busy watching the Blackhawks right now to be concerned with Chris Jericho?!
Don’t ask me why exactly, but something about this whole situation feels…off? There’s something screwy going on here, but I’m not exactly what. I really don’t expect the return of CM Punk to be as straight forward as him walking into a normal match with Jericho that he hasn’t participated in the build for. I actually quite like it if CM Punk (to use a coined term) “lost his smile”. A dishevelled (well, even more so), disheartened Punk is at the arena in Chicago, but refuses to take part in the match. In a way, depriving us of the match could make the follow up all the more interesting?
Who I want to win: This match isn’t happening, so it doesn’t matter. If it should happen, then I think we all know which side I’m behind. CM PUNK!! CM PUNK!! CM PUNK!!
Who I think will win: Seriously, I don’t think there’s gonna be a match at all. People are gonna feel cheated and bitch about it, but stick with it because it’s only the beginning of Punk’s return…
WWE World Heavyweight Championship Match
Dolph Ziggler © vs. Alberto Del Rio
Woo! Dolph’s back!! So it’s time to get down to the serious business of making Ziggler a credible champion. With the recent concussion Dolph lost a lot of the momentum that came from his cash in (albeit through no fault of his own), so WWE are really gonna have to start from the beginning to try and get Ziggler over as their World Heavyweight Champion. I’m absolutely certain Dolph is capable of doing this, and this first true defence should hopefully go a long way towards proving that.
I’m still not sold on Del Rio as a face, though. It’s not even as if I completely hate him, he’s just there doing a perfectly proficient job, I just have no real strong feelings towards him? Del Rio evokes no emotion in me whatsoever, but as a pro-wrestler that is probably the worst trait you can have. Don’t get me wrong, I want Del Rio to succeed, but I’m just no getting any gratification from his work in or out of the ring. I’m sure it’s just me and there’s plenty of ADR fans out there, otherwise why would WWE be keeping him around the title picture? He’s just not for me.
So here we stand. Ziggler has missed the first month of his title reign, which in my opinion are the most important few weeks of any reign, that allow you to really stamp your mark on the title and make it your own. As far as I can see, if WWE want to get behind Ziggler then they need to put him over Del Rio in impressive fashion. If nothing else this match is gonna be interesting to see just how back into the swing of things Ziggler is after such a relatively short convalescence. Will he still be the same bumping machine as before, or will Dolph have to learn to work smarter to save himself from any potentially career shortening injuries?
Who I want to win: Ziggler. Let’s get this title reign back on track.
Who I think will win: Dolph. Otherwise they may as well of stripped him of the belt when he first got injured.
Three Stages of Hell Match for the WWE Championship
John Cena © vs. Ryback
Yeeeeugh. Bleh. Meh. All feelings I have towards this match. I just really, REALLY can’t get any kind of motivation to want to watch John Cena and Ryback battle it out one more time, let alone through three stages of hell. Yeesh.
I’m starting to think there’s some sort of unwritten rule that states WWE isn’t allowed to have a consistently great show throughout the whole card. If the main event is great, then the undercard tends to be pretty dire. At the moment the undercard is stacked with Shield/Daniel Bryan awesomeness, so obviously the Main Event has to be a pile of tiresome cack. I care so little for Ryback and John Cena that I already can’t see myself watching this match.
And we all know it’s gonna go to the third fall so they have the bloody ambulance match. Why not just cut out the cr*p and just have an ambulance match instead of this messing around? Ryback vs. Cena doesn’t warrant a three stages of hell match. This is supposed to be a HUGE feud ender, not just something you throw in there for sh*ts and giggles. I feel like I want to rant about this, but what does that really do? Regardless of what we think, how much I don’t like it, and how much it’s forsaking the future for the present, John Cena is the top guy and he’s gonna be there for the foreseeable future. And there’s not a damn thing we can do about it. Screw it, let’s just jump to the predictions on this one, before I depress myself any further.
Who I want to win: I honestly don’t care. I know that sounds bad, but big whatevs.
Who I think will win: CENA WINS!! CENA WINS!! CENA WINS!! (for the rest of time)
Well I ended that on a bit of a downer didn’t I? But then isn’t that really this PPV as a whole? For all the good stuff going on further down the card, I can’t see it ending any other way than a sucky match between two guys I couldn’t really care less about. I’m just hoping people like The Shield, Daniel Bryan, CM Punk, and Kaitlyn and AJ can entertain me enough to allow me to power through to the end of this one. Fingers crossed, eh?
So that’s me done for another month, so I’ll end this by shamelessly plugging the TWO Podcast that will be broadcasting Sunday night at 9pm GMT. If you want to kill some time before the PPV, then there’s worse ways to spend a couple of hours. Oh, and feel free to leave a comment below. You never know, it might lead to you winning some cold, hard cash in our awesome competition!
See you next time folks!