WWE Payback 2017 Predictions

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If you like normal words such as these, then here we go…

It is indeed WWE Payback this evening and, unfortunately, no one seems to care. This is mostly because the build hasn’t been the best, aside from when Braun Strowman turned into a lunatic and tried to kill Roman Reigns.

As ever attempted murder was rewarded in the WWE as Strowman got his match with Reigns which, you would imagine, will be the main event of the show.

Roman Reigns vs Braun Strowman

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There can really only be one winner tonight and that has to be Braun Strowman. While we all know that Roman Reigns is the chosen one who will eventually bring balance to The Force, all of RAW has revolved around Braun recently. To beat him now would be madness, especially as it seems the Monster Among Men – or ‘MAM’, which he shall be known as for the rest of this article – is scheduled to be Brock Lesnar’s first challenger for his [Belt Doesn’t Currently Exist] championship.

It’s not like WWE doesn’t have an easy way out of this either. Ever since MAM did turn over Roman’s ambulance, The Big Dog has been off TV through injury. He can come in and fight valiantly, but ultimately lose because, yes, the wear and tear got the better of him.

What you want to do with Reigns from there is irrelevant at this point. The fans will treat him the same regardless and he won’t lose any steam by taking the fall here, whereas MAM can probably use a win to take the step into proper main event territory.

And if that doesn’t happen, Roman has his hand raised and yet everyone involved still wants to pretend that MAM is the number one contender… f**k off.

Winner: Braun Strowman (MAM)

Kevin Owens (c) vs Chris Jericho (US Title Match)

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If Kevin Owens doesn’t win this match, everything is over.

Aside from the fact it just makes sense to push him as a top heel on SmackDown, Jericho’s recent track record hasn’t been great. He’s lost clean on RAW, most notably to Samoa Joe, so overcoming that to beat Owens for the US Title is only going to hurt KO’s character.

Furthermore, if Y2J is about to head out on tour with Fozzy, why on earth should he capture championship gold, especially from a guy that’s ready to sit at the top of the heap on Tuesday nights? It simply doesn’t make sense.

This is why when it does happen I will moan as if pro-wrestling actually has an effect on the wider world.

The upside would be Jericho could be performing with Fozzy and have the US Title draped over his shoulder. That would be really, really, really cool…

Winner: Kevin Owens

The Hardys (c) vs Sheamus & Cesaro (Tag Title Match)

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This is hard to call. Logic states that it’s far too early to take the tag team titles away from Matt and Jeff. Their nostalgia/comeback run is still pretty damn popular, and getting to see them on WWE TV each week remains entertaining. It’s been that long they have a freshness to them, like a newly baked loaf of bread.

With that said, Sheamus and Cesaro have lost to both Hardys on RAW the last two weeks which, if we use the past to determine the future, would mean they’re scheduled to win Tag Team gold at Payback.

I’m alright with this, too, as long as certain seeds are planted.

While no one knows for sure, the dream scenario for Team Xtreme in the WWE is that we get to see their broken gimmick on Vince McMahon-controlled television. There’s certain legality issues that need to be cleared with Impact owner Anthem, but if that can be settled, the sooner we can pull the trigger the better.

Could the start of that be this evening? Could Jeff cost the pair the bout and their titles which slowly leads to the creation of ‘Broken Matt’ and ‘Brother Nero’? That is, of course, just telling the same story as before, but who cares? Shakespeare doesn’t need tweaking. And neither does this.

My gut tells me we’re not quite there yet and this was all just coincidence, but I have everything crossed for the future.

Winner: The Hardys

Bayley (c) vs Alexa Bliss

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WWE Payback is in Bayley’s hometown of San Jose.

WWE loves to have good guys lose in their hometowns.

WWE will have Bayley drop her title for the ‘lols’…

Winner: Alexa Bliss

Neville (c) vs Austin Aries (Cruiserweight Title Match)

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With the potential to have the best match of the evening, Neville vs Austin Aries for the Cruiserweight Championship should be awesome, and the best part is, I don’t mind who wins!

Neville right now is in the midst of his best run in the WWE to date, and Austin Aries is Austin Aries. If he was a foot taller and 250lbs he’d be one of the strongest booked world champions in history. The man has it all. Except that he’s not a foot taller. Or 250lbs… Solid beard, though…

Even at WrestleMania 33 the two managed to showcase what they were capable of, and that was on the pre-show with the sun trying to melt their eyes. Here, with time and normal lighting, the platform is setup for them to shine, and knowing how good they both are, I imagine that’s exactly what happens.

There’s still a lot left in the tank for this feud, though, so my gut tells me Neville retains at Payback, mostly thanks to TJ Perkins.

Winner: Neville

Randy Orton (c. but don’t matter) vs Bray Wyatt (House Of Horrors Match)

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I like to think this conversation is happening in households around the world right now:

Casual Steve: “Yo, Dave. What’s a House Of Horrors match?”

Hardcore Dave: “I have no idea.”

Casual Steve: “But you watch this s**t every week?”

Hardcore Dave: “Yeah. WWE just hasn’t told us what is it…”

Casual Steve: “Right. Why do you watch this?”

Hardcore Dave: “I don’t know…”

How we’ve gotten to the night of Payback without learning what the hell this is baffles me. The whole point of a gimmick/stipulation match is that it makes the PPV seem more interesting. It gives it an edge and that edge convinces you to tune in to the damn thing. At the moment we just know Orton and Wyatt are going to a house, and then they’ll end up in the ring.

Great. Take my money! Two dudes in a house!

This programme is a dud now and the sooner it ends the better. Let’s just hope Bray takes the win because he’s lost more than Sunderland FC. And yes. That is a football reference. I won’t do that again…

Winner: Bray Wyatt

Seth Rollins vs Samoa Joe

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The weirdest match on the Payback card because it will undoubtedly be excellent and yet I just don’t care about it. Whether this is WrestleMania fatigue or the fact there isn’t much story here, I know I’ll love Rollins and Joe. As of writing, mind, I couldn’t give a damn.

This is even stranger because fate dealt WWE a wonderful card, even if it was awful at the time. Joe accidentally re-injuring Rollins’ knee is all the motivation Seth needs to whoop his ass, but the intensity and fire for this build hasn’t been there.

Both guys have kinda felt like they’re doing what they’ve been told to do, and saying what they’ve been told to say. This is obviously the case – we all know the current lay of the WWE landscape – but the execution has been poor at best. And that makes me sad.

However, we are talking about two of best workers in the world, so while it should have more buzz around it, it’ll be great when all is said and done. So that’s pretty good.

Winner: Samoa Joe

Enzo & Big Cass vs Gallows & Anderson

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I don’t care…

Winner: Gallows & Anderson