This Sunday, the WWE launches the Payback pay-per-view in Chicago. It is the first time this event will be held, taking over from No Way Out. There is a big card for the event, including several matches reigniting previously stalled rivalries - hence the name. So, who will get their Payback on Sunday? Let's take a look, match by match.
Pre-show: Damien Sandow vs. Sheamus
The segments between Sandow and Sheamus have been pretty entertaining so far. Both combatants have shown strength in the feud, with Sandow recently getting the upper hand with some post-match attacks. Personally, I'm a fan of Sandow. He is great on the mic, especially with his gimmick. Plus, he can hold his own in the ring. I think it's just a matter of time before he starts getting some important feuds, possibly for a mid-card title first. Sheamus is a good start, but the match was relegated to the pre-show. For that reason, I think Sheamus gets the win. Giving the face the win before the show will get the crowd into it for the pay-per-view.
Divas Champion Kaitlyn vs. AJ Lee
This match-up seemed like it was just going to happen with no build up. AJ won the right to challenge a couple of months back, but nothing came of it. The secret admirer angle was a great way to get some renewed interest in the match, without having to force too much. It actually made sense when AJ revealed it was all a hoax. While Kaitlyn has been down the last couple of weeks thanks to the reveal and attacking a referee, I think her time as champion will end. It'll be a nice storyline to have a new power couple in Ziggler (more on that in a minute) and AJ Lee both holding titles. How long until Big E gets some gold around his waist?
United States Champion Dean Ambrose vs. Kane
Ever since The Shield debuted, I've been a huge fan of Ambrose. He's done extremely well on the mic, portraying himself as the vocal leader of the stable. Ambrose has also looked strong in single matches against top competition like the Undertaker and Randy Orton. That's why I don't see him losing his title so quickly. Kane will help the continued push of Ambrose and the rest of The Shield (more on that later as well). Ambrose picks up the win here, possibly with some outside interference leading to some mayhem in the tag team match later in the night.
Intercontinental Champion Wade Barrett vs. The Miz vs. Curtis Axel
Before the injury to Fandango, I thought he would win the title hands down. There seems to be a huge push behind him, and giving him gold would only add to that. Now, this is a bit more confusing. If you look at IGN writer Matt Fowler's reverse momentum logic, Wade Barrett should walk away with the title. He lost to Curtis Axel on Smackdown. After the match, The Miz laid out Axel with a SCF. But what purpose does Barrett holding the IC Title have? The company is in need of some top heels and Barrett could start his rise to the top. He would create some new title match opportunities as opposed to the same matches the WWE Universe has seen rehashed over the last year. So, after all of that, I think The Miz holds the title. He can feud with Axel and Fandango for the time being, maybe even bringing Antonio Cesaro back into the mix. This frees up Barrett to start challenging for world championships.
WWE Tag Team Champions Seth Rollins & Roman Reigns vs. Randy Orton & Daniel Bryan
As I mentioned earlier, if there is interference in the Ambrose/Kane match, I expect some to be in this match too. It will be the official break up of Team Hell No at Payback, leading to a feud between Bryan and Kane. Why is Randy Orton here? What else has he been able to do lately? He's not in any title picture, but he has to do something as one of the company's top draws. So, I don't see how The Shield drops the tag titles under any circumstances, especially after being submitted for the first time on Friday's Smackdown. The most notable thing to come out of this will be a Bryan/Kane feud that will continue the huge push of Daniel Bryan back into the world title picture.
Chris Jericho vs. CM Punk
This will be the match of the night. Punk, after taking some time off, will come out firing in his hometown to the roaring approval of the Chicago faithful. Jericho is the perfect opponent for the returning Punk, especially with Y2J picking up some wins over the last few weeks. It will be important for Punk to look strong and pick up the win here to get back as the company's top heel. He had a fantastic match against the Undertaker, but his absence since 'Mania has left a void. Look for him to regain that against Jericho, especially since Jericho is probably leaving again for the summer.
World Heavyweight Champion Dolph Ziggler vs. Alberto Del Rio
Like I mentioned before, with a win from Ziggler and AJ, they will form another of WWE's classic power couples. Ziggler, who has been out with a concussion, has yet to defend his title. After missing so much time, it will be important for his character to come out and look like a champion. It works out extremely well that he has facing Alberto Del Rio, with whom Ziggler has had some classic TV matches. I don't see why that trend will end at this pay-per-view, but think Ziggler will have the advantage. He'll keep the title around his waste, opening up for some new challengers. Daniel Bryan anyone?
WWE Champion John Cena vs. Ryback (Three Stages of Hell Match)
To be completely honest, I have no interest in this match. I fell asleep during their Last Man Standing match at Extreme Rules. It's hard to see Cena losing this, especially with how Ryback has been shown as a dominant monster with the use of tables. It will probably break down like this: Ryback will win the Lumberjack Match, then Cena will win the Tables Match and the Ambulance Match. It wil reinforce Cena as the man who can fight off the disadvantage. Plus, Ryback has used tables so much in the build up to this match that he can't possibly win that portion of the three stages.
So, there you have some predictions for the match. Agree or disagree? Sound off below or let us know on Twitter.
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