We’ve got WWE Payback predictions and seven matches to go through, so we’re not going to bore you guys with buildup. Let’s get right to it.
Match One: Hornswoggle Vs. El Torito
I admit, I’ll probably be ordering pizza during this match, even though it’s clear that these little people can work. The stakes are a little higher than they were last time with it being Hair vs. Mask, but on this, I’m with Erik Beaston of Bleacher Report: “El Torito is not losing his mask. Without it, he has no gimmick and becomes as generic as Hornswoggle currently is. That will not happen, especially since WWEShop.com is selling replicas of the mask.”
Prediction: El Torito by pinfall.
Match Two: Sheamus Vs. Cesaro (with Paul Heyman)
This one may seem hard to predict on the surface, but for me, the result is pretty cut-and-dry, and the clue to its simplicity lies in something that happened on the May 26 edition of Raw. Sheamus took some nasty head abuse at the feet of Alberto Del Rio in a messy victory. He was later attacked by Cesaro and left in the ring requiring medical attention. Look for the head injury to come into play again. That’ll help Cesaro win clean without burying Sheamus.
Prediction: Cesaro by pinfall.
Match Three: Rusev (with Lana) Vs. Big E
Rusev is picking up a lot of steam — thanks largely due to Lana — and with her by his side, he could be a brilliant future opponent for Daniel Bryan. Big E just lost the IC strap. Thus far, Rusev has been dominant, but it’s been against some lackluster competition. A victory over Big E would give him the push he needs to move ahead on the card. It would also allow Big E to step away for some much-needed repackaging.
Prediction: Rusev by ref stoppage after Big E passes out from the submission hold.
Match Four: Paige Vs. Alicia Fox
Paige hasn’t had the belt long enough, but she hasn’t been challenged, either. Alicia Fox has looked phenomenal during the recent shows. Those two realities mean you should get ready for an inconclusive finish in which Paige keeps the belt but gets belted in the process.
Prediction: Paige wins by disqualification.
Match Five: Bad News Barrett Vs. Rob Van Dam
Sorry, RVD fans, but I’m afraid I’ve got some bad news. Barrett is on fire right now, having just won the IC strap from Big E, and he’s not losing it here. As an RVD fan, it hurts to see him at that stage of his career where he’s always putting someone over and never getting there himself, but his work is still solid, and Barrett is fun to watch, so this should be a high spot on the card.
Prediction: Bad News Barrett by pinfall.
Match Six: John Cena Vs. Bray Wyatt
The storytelling between Cena and Wyatt has been mildly interesting; the matches, not so much. But then on the last Raw, there was a legitimately compelling segment where Wyatt finally got some real heel heat for the first time in weeks at the expense of Jerry Lawler and JBL. (Unfortunately, rumor has it that WWE is considering repackaging him as a face; please don’t.)
If WWE allows Cena to end the feud with a victory, they bury one of their hottest rising stars, but I’m afraid that’s where this is headed.
Prediction: Cena by pinfall; the Wyatt repackaging begins, and crap, that hurts to type.
Match Seven: The Shield Vs. Evolution
Rumors that Batista will soon be leaving, coupled with the fact that The Shield got the tar kicked out of them last Monday night, tells us one thing: The Shield wins this one. However, don’t make the mistake of thinking this is the end. Batista will leave after Payback, but he’ll be replaced — hopefully with Cody Rhodes — and the feud will continue throughout the year culminating with a Survivor Series heel turn from one member of The Shield, who will join Evolution. (We’re thinking Dean Ambrose.) That will pave the way for Roman Reigns to break out as the next big face in the Singles division.
Prediction: The Shield
Those are my WWE Payback predictions. For an alternative viewpoint and more WWE News, check out the latest edition of the Two Angry Jobbers podcast.