The first PPV after Wrestlemania from the Monday Night Raw brand should be a good one, with matches suited for the casual fans, the hardcore fans, and even returning fans of the sport. These are my predictions for Payback 2017!
Pre-Show: Enzo Amore & Big Cass Vs. The Club
Opening the pre-show should be a fun tag-team match from two of the best tag-teams on the RAW brand. The only point of the pre-show is to get extra network subscribers, and pump up the in-house crowd. Obviously with an amazing entrance from Enzo and Cass, and the good in-ring chemistry between the two teams, the goal of the pre-show should accomplish what is needed. Enzo & Cass haven’t won a match in a rather long time, they lost the #1 contender match to Sheamus & Cesaro, and before the Hardyz came back, everyone guessed that they’d win at ‘Mania. They need a win here more, but at the same time, the pre-show doesn’t necessarily matter. Nevertheless, I’m picking Enzo & Cass to win this match because they need to be the next #1 contenders for the Hardy’s tag-team championships.
Prediction: Enzo Amore & Big Cass
Neville Vs. Austin Aries: Cruiserweight Championship Match
I believe that Austin Aries will unseat Neville as the cruiserweight champion, but it just won’t be at Payback 2017. Neville has been on a roll as of late, proving to be one of the top workers in the business, as well as elevating the cruiserweight title to prestige amongst that division. However, Aries is really hot with the crowd, his move-set is exciting, and he is the best babyface of the division. Furthermore, he is great on the mic, and even on commentary, but I think Neville’s new found friendship with TJ Perkins will cost Aries at the upcoming PPV. Some sort of distraction or interference will be the reason for Aries loss, but seeing that it will be a loss through shenanigans, the feud can continue.
Bayley Vs. Alexa Bliss: RAW Women’s Championship Match
Alexa Bliss is great. She’s a great promo, great in-ring work, and has the perfect look for the heel diva. She is the antithesis of what Bayley is, and that is why this feud can be a good one if booked correctly. That being said, I think Bayley will retain the championship in her hometown of San José. Finally, WWE will not let the hometown hero lose there match, as Sasha did in Boston at Hell in a Cell. I believe Bayley will hold the belt through Summerslam, whoever takes it off her is up for discussion, Alexa’s time will come, but not just yet.
The Hardy Boyz Vs. Sheamus & Cesaro: RAW Tag Team Championship Match
The Hardy Boyz will not lose their first title defence back in WWE. Those Tag Team title belts will remain on the Hardy Boyz until Matt once again becomes “Broken,” or when The Revival are healthy enough to compete. This should be a good match. All four men had good singles bouts with each other, so add in the tag team chemistry, and this could prove to be a show stealer. Sheamus and Cesaro has their time with the belts, and probably won’t get them back anytime soon. I feel like Sheamus and Cesaro need to break up, or turn heel, they’re getting stale as a pairing.
Prediction: The Hardy Boyz
Randy Orton Vs. Bray Wyatt
As I’ve said in previous blog posts, with the title on the line this is the most predictable match in WWE history. However, the title in no longer on the line! For the most part, this entire feud has been a mess, and may win the Wrestling Observer Award for “Worst feud of the year.” Regardless, I’m picking Bray Wyatt to win this match. Its sort of like the Ambrose Asylum match, which Dean won, someone cannot lose their own gimmick match. If Bray loses, his career just may be unsalvageable, and a loss for Randy doesn’t really hurt him because he is now in a feud with Jinder Mahal.
Prediction: Bray Wyatt
Kevin Owens Vs. Chris Jericho: United States Championship Match
Unlike Randy and Bray, this feud has been great! Its been being built since last year, their climax was at ‘Mania, and now its time for the final chapter. Jericho has been looking for revenge since Owens turned on him at the Festival of Friendship, and losing his championship at ‘Mania, but he won’t be getting it anytime soon. Seeing as Jericho is leaving for his rock tour with Fozzy for a few months, Kevin Owens will be retaining his title and moving on to a feud with AJ Styles.
Prediction: Kevin Owens
Seth Rollins Vs. Samoa Joe
This is a tough prediction based on the type of feud this could be. Seth Rollins has taken care of Triple H, now he needs to take care of HHH’s enforcer. This pick is all based on how long this feud will last, because I anticipate that this feud will go for another month or two, Im picking Samoa Joe. I see this feud transitioning deep into the summer, and because Seth will still be out of the title picture, hell need something to keep himself occupied. A feud where Seth can overcome yet another obstacle will hopefully get more momentum under the Architect, so I anticipate that his big win against Joe will come at a later time. Another possibility is that this match ends in a DQ, with a Seth Rollins win, but at the end of this match, I think Joe needs to look strong.
Prediction: Samoa Joe
Roman Reigns Vs. Braun Strowman
The fact that Roman Reigns is gonna wrestle on this show is mind-boggling. The kind of beat-down he took from Braun Strowman paired with what was reported on WWE.com means that Roman shouldn’t even be healthy enough to wrestle, but kayfabe is dead. If Roman factors his injuries into the match, this could be a star making night for Braun Strowman. My prediction is that Braun Strowman wins this match clean in the centre of the ring. This pick just makes sense if the plan is to have Lesnar’s next opponent be Strowman, then he cannot lose at Payback. 50/50 booking in recent weeks has slightly hurt Braun, but if he comes out on top, he could legitimately be Raw’s top heel, and WWE’s best project in years.
Prediction: Braun Strowman
Who do you predict will win their matches? How would you book them? Leave a comment down below, and watch out for The Wrestling Fanatics next PPV predictions