It’s time for Payback. It is supposed to be the pay-per-view where people get to seek revenge after WrestleMania. We’ll see about that. WWE kind of put themselves in a booking pickle when they threw the WWE superstar shake-up in the middle of promoting this pay-per-view.
Related Article: Finn Balor Teases A Bullet Club Reunion In WWE
It is now essentially a mixed-brand event under the Raw banner. The Universal Title is still MIA and the WWE World Title doesn’t look like it’s going to be defended either. Raw has the Intercontinental Champion, but Dean Ambrose isn’t doing anything at Payback (so far). It still might be a good show. Let’s discuss.
Enzo and Big Cass vs The Club
It’s always a good idea to start with the kickoff show. Enzo and Big Cass have been trying their best to get to the top of the heap on Raw. They’ve scratched and clawed as hard as they could. But with The Hardy Boyz as Raw Tag Team Champions it’s going to be hard to get up there and stay on top.
The Club are also trying hard to stay relevant, but they seem to have an advantage over Enzo and Big Cass. It might be because they’ve already captured the Raw Tag Team Titles, or it might just be because they’re a better tag team.
If Enzo and Cass can’t win this one, their break up might be in the cards soon. It might be possible Enzo and Big Cass will split before they are able to capture those titles. Then again, WWE might just be keeping Enzo and Big Cass at bay for now so they can win the belts at a bigger show like Summerslam. Whoever wins this one will be inconsequential though. Unless it is the beginning of the end for Enzo and Big Cass as a team. Let’s just hope it’s not the end of The Club.
Finn Balor On Miz TV
We all love Miz TV. We also love a good Finn Balor interview. It’s interesting WWE is setting up an interview segment instead of a match between the two. Some would say WWE isn’t quite sure Finn Balor can wrestle much without hurting himself. After all, we all know how well The Miz catches people.
But this will be a fun little addition to the kickoff show. Finn is expected to feud with Bray Wyatt for a while after Payback. Nobody’s quite sure what Miz is going to do except for continue to be awesome. Dean Ambrose is Miz’s most likely foe at this point.
Miz TV is always awesome. We’ll just sit back and enjoy this one.
Neville vs Austin Aries (Cruiserweight Championship Match)
This is a match that is all about Payback. Austin Aries needs to get the title off of Neville in order to dethrone the King Of The Cruiserweights. They put on a great match during the WrestleMania 33 kickoff show and Neville came out on top. Now it’s up to A Double to get the job done this time.
Whether or not Austin Aries captures the Cruiserweight Title, it probably won’t be the end of these two mixing it up. After all, the 205 Live roster isn’t that deep. They are grooming some heels on the cruiserweight roster, but nobody’s on Neville’s level yet.
It would be excellent to see Austin Aries win the WWE Cruiserweight title here. If anything, WWE needs to draw more people to 205 Live and making Aries the champion on the Purple Rope Show might be a good way to do that.
Braun Strowman vs Roman Reigns
Braun Strowman has been running roughshod over the entire roster recently. That monster’s on fire (just imagine Alicia Keys singing that… you’re welcome). Strowman looks primed to take on Brock Lesnar whenever he decides to show up on Monday nights again.
Braun might have suffered a chink in his armor on Raw by losing his Dumpster Match to Kalisto. But he got his revenge when he killed the former Lucha Dragon afterward. Braun doesn’t take losses easily. He will put you in a dumpster and push you off of a two-foot ledge. Seriously, we’ve seen bumper cars hit harder than that dumpster did. The point though, is that Braun Strowman is a beast.
But, WWE still looks at Roman Reigns like he’s their guy. Roman is featured heavily on all WWE promotional material and Vince McMahon sees him as the star of the show. It might take a lot, but Roman Reigns will probably get his Payback from the ambulance flipping fiasco a few weeks ago. Unless Strowman breaks another ring.
Kevin Owens vs Chris Jericho (United States Championship Match)
Here’s another match that’s all about Payback. It is also one of the cross-promotional matches on the show. Whoever wins will be headed to SmackDown. That might be a weird stipulation for a match on a Raw pay-per-view, but just go with it.
Out of all the matches at Payback, this is probably the most predictable. Chris Jericho is going to be doing some heavy touring with Fozzy throughout May. So, he’ll likely lose this one. He might even receive a brutal beat down that will write him off television.
Then again, WWE is no stranger to having absent champions. Has anyone seen the Universal Title recently? Jericho could win and surprise us all. But KO is already fixed on AJ Styles over on SmackDown Live. So it’s likely The Face Of America will stay on Tuesday nights.
The Hardy Boyz vs Sheamus and Cesaro (Raw Tag Team Championship Match)
The Raw Tag Team Titles will be defended at Payback. This is the first time The Hardy Boyz are defending their titles in a two-on-two setting at a PPV since their return. We expect The Hardy Boyz to win. It only makes sense.
Sheamus and Cesaro aren’t happy about the way they lost the titles at Mania. The Hardy Boyz swooped in and stole them. It was the pop of the night, but it was hardly fair. Shesaro didn’t have time to prepare for The Hardys. Now they will have plenty of time.
Unless WWE is planning on splitting up The Hardy Boyz this early in their WWE run, we expect to see them win. Matt has been hinting about breaking recently. Jeff could always go for a top belt too. But the tag team division seems like the right place for them at this point.
Seth Rollins vs Samoa Joe
Here’s a match that should have happened at WrestleMania. But Triple H wanted to ride to the ring on a three-wheeler with a police escort. There was actually no Samoa Joe at WrestleMania 33. That was a real shame.
Needless to say, Joe has some catching up to do. He seeks some Payback against Seth Rollins because that’s what he wants. After all, we’re not going to tell Joe he can’t have what he wants. He’s scary and will rip our limbs off. The Destroyer said he is going to get Seth back for what he did to Triple H and Stephanie in Orlando. It would be awesome if he did.
After all, these two deserve more than just one match against each other. If Seth wins this contest cleanly, then it will likely be over between the two. But if Joe can pull off a win of some kind, we might get to see these two go at it for a much longer program. It could also end with some kind of non-finish or schmoz. But honestly, this one could be the match of the night if KO and Y2J don’t take that honor.
Bayley vs Alexa Bliss (Raw Women’s Championship Match)
It’s time for The Hugger Of Huggers vs The Five Feet Of Fury. Let’s just call it like it is: Payback is in Bayley’s hometown of San Jose. WWE likes to have hometown champions. It adds to the story of the match. They get to come in and do the local media with the title belt in tow. Friends and family are at ringside during the match and everyone gets a case of the feels. But that doesn’t mean Bayley will leave as champion.
Alexa Bliss is an outstanding heel and her microphone skills are on point. It seems we’re in the days where heel champs rule. It wasn’t always like that back in the day when Vince was scared to not have a babyface champion. But Seth Rollins, Charlotte, Triple H, and many more have taught us it’s good to be a baddie. WWE should really consider letting Alexa win.
Alexa Bliss could use this new notch in her belt and capitalize on it in a big way. Can’t you hear the taunts now? Bayley is a good champion. But, Bliss is a great heel champion. She’s also pretty impressive in the ring too.
Of course, the eventual money match is Sasha vs Bayley. So Bliss very well might just be a hurdle for Bayley to overcome. But it wouldn’t be a bad idea to let the bad girl win just to see what happens.
Randy Orton vs Bray Wyatt (House Of Horrors Match)
WWE must have really dove deep into the box of gimmicks for this one. But, it seems Michael Hayes’ idea for The Hardy Boyz vs The Brood is finally happening. Let’s just hope it doesn’t go over like a fart in church.
The plan for this match is anything but simple. It will probably be a mixture of pretaped segments and then end in the ring. For all we know it could stretch throughout the entire show. That would be crazy AF, but I wouldn’t put it past WWE.
After all, this isn’t a championship match at this point. That might be one of the reasons Jinder Mahal stole Randy’s title on SmackDown Live. There will be chills, spills, and surprises. We could see two-way mirrors, trap doors, and livestock. One things is for sure, it will be entertaining. Hopefully.
Bray Wyatt could win. Randy Orton could win. It really doesn’t matter. Bray already has Finn Balor lined up for a long feud. Randy is set to battle Jinder Mahal at Backlash and Rusev after that on his “beat up the foreigner world tour.” Let’s just hope the match isn’t confusing. If it doesn’t main event the show we wouldn’t be surprised either. KO vs Y2J could close out Payback and that would be fine by us. Real talk.
So, that’s Payback. We’ll see if WWE lives up to the messy hype on Sunday.