Because of a wrestling trivia contest yesterday afternoon, the UFC fights last night and taking our dads to the Baltimore Orioles game for Father Day today, I do not have the time I normally would to devote to my monthly WWE pay-per-view preview/predictions post. However, I did want to put my predictions out there, so below is a very quick preview of the WWE Payback pay-per-view tonight, forgoing my usual What Should Happen/What Will Happen. predictions in favor of straight-up predicting the winners.
Before I get to that, however, I want to post to all of you the final trivia question from the contest last night at The Tilted Kilt in White Marsh. Our team technically only got one question wrong the entire game until the final one when we bet half our points and got it wrong (it wouldn’t have mattered anyway because another team swept the entire game). The final trivia question was – between Shawn Michaels, The Undertaker and Bret Hart, list them in order of how many times each WWE Superstar has held the WWE Championship, from least to most. (As a side note, this does count the WWE Undisputed Championship but does not count the World Heavyweight Championship, the former being what screwed us up a little). I’ll post the answer all the way at the bottom of this blog post.
There is obviously no way John Cena loses the WWE Championship and, if he was, it would not be to Ryback. There’s also no way this match ends before the third fall after having Ryback come out in an ambulance for the past month. So with the winner and number of falls a foregone conclusion, the true test will be to guess which Superstar earns which falls. I’m going to predict that Ryback wins the first fall and Cena the next two.
After being out of action for over a month due to a concussion, Dolph Ziggler has finally been cleared to return to the ring and this is his second match back since then. (Thankfully, WWE officials did not enforce the rule that states that a champion can be stripped of his or her title if he or she is unable to defend it for 30 days.) Like with John Cena, there is absolutely no way Ziggler loses his world title tonight.
Not only is this match in Chicago, CM Punk’s hometown, but it is CM Punk’s first match since losing to The Undertaker at Wrestlemania 29 and unexpectedly disappearing without an explanation after WWE Raw the following night. Therefore, there is no doubt in my mind that CM Punk wins this match. The only question is whether it can top, or at least match, the previous two PPV matches between these two Superstars. Frankly, I think this match steals the show.
The storyline behind this match is twofold – Daniel Bryan & Kane (formerly Team Hell No) have broken up and Vickie Guerrero is forcing Bryan to team with Randy Orton (who also has major beef with The Shield) for this match and Daniel Bryan earned the pinfall for his team in a six-man tag team match against The Shield on Smackdown two nights ago, the first six-man tag team match loss for the super group. However, I see no way that The Shield drops either of their two respective titles tonight and so Seth Rollins & Roman Reigns will retain the WWE Tag Team Championships while….
….Dean Ambrose defeats Kane to retain the United States Championship.
Intercontinental Champion Wade Barrett vs. The Mix vs. Curtis Axel – Intercontinental Championship
Fandango was supposed to be in this match but a concussion forced him out and Curtis Axel in. Originally I would have picked Fandango to win and now I think Axel will, as Barrett has been pretty worthless as the champion (not entirely his fault) and Miz is Miz. Giving Axel the title would bring automatic prestige and importance to both the title and the Superstar and would be, in a word, perfect.
Can you believe that the WWE actually invested over a month into a Divas storyline that was not only centered around the Divas Championship but actually quite compelling and interesting with a payoff that made sense and sent all the fans home happy?! I know I can’t but I hope that this is now the norm in the Divas division and not the exception. As for this match, after stalking and preying on Kaitlyn for over a month, I see AJ Lee defeating her (albeit by nefarious means) and becoming the new Divas Champion. Don’t get me wrong, Kaitlyn is easily my favorite WWE Divas on the roster right now, but in terms of storyline I find it more compelling with AJ as the champion. Plus, with her and Ziggler both holding titles, they could actually give the McMahon-Helmsley Era a run for its money.
This match will take place online before the PPV actually starts which means almost no one will see it. This is a shame because Sheamus deserves better than these throwaway storyline and Damien Sandow deserves better than to be jobber meat for other Superstars. Regardless, Sheamus most likely wins this match.
Trivia Question Answer:
1) The Undertaker
2) Shawn Michaels
3) Bret Hart