WWE Payback 2016 Predictions
WWE Payback 2016 is being billed as the first pay per view of the “new era”. This card is pretty stacked from top to bottom. It’s weird to say, but this show could be better than Wrestlemania! WWE has done an excellent job building to this pay per view. Here are my predictions for the show.
U.S. Champion Kalisto vs. Ryback (Kickoff Match)
Kalisto’s U.S. title reign has not been that memorable. Often times it seems like the creative team forgets that Kalisto even has the title, which is unfortunate. Having the U.S. title should have been used to elevate Kalisto. Ryback is another guy who seems to have been forgotten by the creative team. Ryback is a guy who should have been a main event star by now. I know it’s the cool thing to hate on Ryback, but I think he’s great. No matter what creative he is given, he puts forth maximum effort to make it the best it can be. I would love to see Kalisto’s reign salvaged, but I think Ryback is going over in this one. With Ryback winning I could see him defending the title against Cena on his return to Raw.
Intercontinental Champion The Miz vs. Cesaro
I’m so glad Cesaro is back from his injury. His in ring work was greatly missed. I’m loving his new “rip the suit off” gimmick. I’m also glad to see Maryse back ( I think any man with a pulse is glad she’s back). If I was booking I would give Cesaro the belt and push him to the moon. However, I don’t think WWE has that plan. Maryse could be the key factor in Miz retaining the championship. She is one of the new cast members of the next season of Total Divas. Which means she will need a lot of air time on Raw and Smackdown. This could be done without Miz having the title because they are a great act. However, I think this will be WWE’s excuse to keep the belt on Miz.
Winner: The Miz
Dolph Ziggler vs. Baron Corbin
At Wrestlemania 32, Baron Corbin was a surprise entrant and eventually winner of the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal. Since then Corbin has been destroying anyone is his path. Originally I was going to pick Corbin to win, but then I remembered how much WWE loves 50-50 booking. Corbin has defeated Ziggler on Raw and now it’s time for Ziggler to get his win back. I think Ziggler wins with a roll up and then he will be immediately attacked and beaten down by Corbin. Corbin will lose his first pay per view match, but he will still look strong and will probably have a return match at Extreme Rules later this month.
Winner: Dolph Ziggler
Sami Zayn vs. Kevin Owens
Sami Zayn versus Kevin Owens is the rivalry that will never end. Over the past decade, these two have had great matches against each other in various promotions. WWE did a great job telling the history of these two and taking a story that originally wasn’t there and making it their own. Since Zayn is being booked to be the new underdog superstar, I think he’s going to lose this match and eventually beat Owens down the road at another pay per view. I expect these two to wrestle each other at the next three pay per views.
Winner: Kevin Owens
Enzo Amore & Colin Cassady vs. The Vaudevillains (WWE Tag Team Championship No. 1 Contenders’ Tournament Final)
It is so great to see Enzo and Big Cass every week on Raw and Smackdown. They’re a really entertaining tag team and have had quickly gotten over with the main roster audience. On the other hand, there’s the Vaudevillains who have gotten absolutely no crowd reaction since being called up to the main roster. I think the Vaudevillians are great workers, but their gimmick is not connecting with the main roster audience at all. Yes, I know they’re supposed to be heels, but they’re not even getting booed. The one thing that will possibly get them booed is beating Enzo and Cass and becoming number one contenders. I won’t be surprised if the Dudley Boys screw Enzo and Cass out of the victory which could set up a tables match between the two at Extreme Rules.
Winner: The Vaudevillians
Dean Ambrose vs. Chris Jericho
We’re finally getting the payoff from Chris Jericho shoving Dean Ambrose at Night of Champions last year. Jericho has been great since turning heel and becoming the guy who wants to defeat the IWC’s favorite wrestlers. I think Ambrose needs this win more than Jericho, so I’m going with the Lunatic Fringe on this one.
Winner: Dean Ambrose
WWE Women’s Champion Charlotte vs. Natalya
Once again, the women’s match could be the match that steals the show. Charlotte and Natalya have had a series of great matches. The most memorable was their NXT Women’s Championship match which started the momentum of great women’s wrestling in NXT. WWE is looking to create magic again by doing the same match they did in NXT with Flair in Charlotte’s corner and Bret in Natalya’s. I think history will repeat itself and Charlotte will defeat Nattie once again. I expect for Charlotte to hold onto the title until at least Summerslam.
Mr. McMahon will announce who will control Raw
Even though it makes no sense, I’ve really been enjoying Shane running Raw. It’s so refreshing to have a babyface authority figure. The outcome of this segment could be disappointing no matter who Vince picks. If Vince picks Stephanie, we’re back to the same old Raw and we get an anticlimactic exit for Shane. If Vince picks Shane then it completely disregards the Wrestlemania 32 match with Undertaker more than it already has been. Some are hoping these leads to a brand split. I think that is a horrible idea. WWE is already struggling to make a weekly three-hour Raw entertaining. They need all hands on deck for each Raw. If they were to do a brand split they would need to make Raw 2 hours. Even at 2 hours, I still think they need the full roster available. I think the best possible solution is to have Shane and Stephanie compete for control. Maybe do a 5 on 5 tag match with each McMahon choosing 5 guys to represent their team.
WWE World Heavyweight Champion Roman Reigns vs. AJ Styles
I know a lot of fans are upset that AJ lost at Wrestlemania and then won the number one contendership match the next night. Yes, I agree AJ should have won at Wrestlemania, but I’m glad he’s main eventing a pay per view in a title match. WWE has done a great job adding some intrigue to this match by involving the “good brothers” Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson. They have been teasing AJ has been in cahoots with his former Bullet Club brethren. I think it would be a big mistake to turn AJ heel. He’s the most over babyface and probably the best in-ring performer on the roster currently. I think Gallows and Anderson are going to try and help AJ win, but AJ won’t want to win like that and he’ll end up getting speared. WWE is hell bent on making Roman the new face of the WWE even though he gets booed out of the building in every city. Roman is the one that is a desperately needs a turn, but I doubt we’ll see that.
Winner: Roman Reigns
Jeremy’s 2016 Prediction Record: Royal Rumble: 3-3, Fastlane: 6-1, Roadblock: 4-0, NXT Takeover Dallas: 4-1, Wrestlemania 32: 5-6
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