Man, it feels like only last there was a WWE Pay Per View. Here are our WWE Payback 2020 Predictions.
WWE Universal Title
“The Fiend” Bray Wyatt (c) vs Roman Reigns vs Braun Strowman
Is Bray Wyatt a selfish performer? That’s the topic of my TED Talk today. Maybe not Bray himself (I’ve no idea how these matches are put together) and whilst I get “people are changed by The Fiend” people seem to be leaving matches with Wyatt looking… well… dumb. Not that they’re “out-smarted by The Fiend” which would be a lot better, but rather “facing The Fiend makes you behave like a bit of a div”
Seth’s suddenly forgot how to do a convincing curb stomp. Braun spent 10 minutes cutting up the ring only to get beaten by letting his opponent rest. Goldberg can’t do a Jackhammer. Even Dean Ambrose forgot to unplug the sodding TV before hitting trying to hit Wyatt. Why is it these matches are booked this way?
The Triple Threat format here could be done to protect the returning BIG DAWG. I think because he’s just won the title (and HOW he won the title) will see Wyatt retain here (the bookies agree – he’s 1/3 currently) and he’ll almost certainly do it by beating Strowman. Hopefully there’s a plan here – it’s important that Roman looks good (his presence has been missing on RAW) so how he’s positioned during the fall will be crucial.
This will then lead us straight into a Wyatt / Roman feud and I have absolutely no idea where Braun goes from here. Maybe we get Roman / Braun first (with weekly Bray wackiness) and then Roman / Wyatt (with a potential re-joining of Braun & Bray). But let’s focus on the night ahead and the night ends with Bray keeping his shiny blue belt. Please don’t return to the eyeball nonsense one he had. Please.
Prediction: “The Fiend” Bray Wyatt Wins
WWE United States Title
Apollo Crews (c) vs Bobby Lashley
You know who I feel bad for in this match? Shelton Benjamin.
If they’re very much going with the Apollo Crews vs The Hurt Business, then it feels like the journey should go MVP, then Shelton then Lashley. Going straight to Big Bob feels like Apollo is skipping a level.
Having a hero work their way through the group of bad guys is solid story arc and I’d like to see more of it. Winning here would be a bigger boost for Apollo than it would be a negative for (more established) Lashley; it would also help the US title more. However, WWE’s booking of champions – especially face champions – isn’t a great record. It’s probably the hardest thing to book in the modern era (a face champion) – just look at the issues PROGRESS have with their face champions for example.
Because of this, I think the smart money goes on Lashley winning here. The saying goes that “the money is in chase” and it’s something The E very much seems to believe in. As such, Apollo’s reign (sadly) ends at Payback. Although, current odds have this as such a backing for Lashley (2/5 for the win) it’s not worth the gamble.
Prediction: Bobby Lashley Wins
WWE Women’s Tag Team Titles
Sasha Banks & Bayley (c) vs Nia Jax & Shayna Baszler
Any heel vs heel (or, in this case, heels vs heels) match will have its share of issues straight away and does highlight some of the issues for WWE in their women’s division caused – in part – by a rush to turn as many women heel as possible. We get it writers, they hurt you. Maybe still give us some female heroes though yeah?
The Ballad of Banks & Bayley continues here and I expect them to drop the titles to Baszler and Jax. This result would accomplish a number of things – helps move the titles away from *just* the 2 Woman Power Trip, establishes a new team of Jax and Shayna (WWE has long been high on Nia and, honestly, being Andre to Shayna’s Haku in Colossal Connection 2.0 is one of the best uses for her). It also feels like Shayna, more than most, could just do with a win right now. Finally, it moves to the story of Banks/Bayley along to the inevitable conclusion of a match between the two – probably now for the Smackdown Women’s Title.
It’s becoming a bit of a shame that this conclusion has to happen though as this pairing between the long time frenemies has been some of their best work in a long time and really helped establish Bayley’s bad guy persona. However, the seeds have been long sewn and the flowers and starting to show. We get new champions here. Bookies currently predicting similar – 5/7 for Jaxzler and EVENS for Banks & Bayley
Prediction: Nia Jax and Shayna Baszler Win
Keith Lee vs Randy Orton
The bookmakers are totally split on this one – you’ll get roughly 5/6 odds on both men at the moment – and understandably so. It’s a really hard one to call.
In one corner, you have Keith Lee. Fresh off his NXT Title loss, but even fresher off his big and (long awaited following *that* encounter with Brock at the Rumble) debut. They’ve already dressed him up in culottes and taken his theme music… are they really doing to have him lose in his first main roster single’s match?
In the other corner you have one Randy K Orton and – had this been really any other time over the last few years – I’d have said “meh, Orton doesn’t need the win. It’s Orton.”. Only now, right now, he kinda does.
The Edge feud was sadly stopped early and he (correctly) lost the match to McIntyre when most where pegging him as a title win (except me, that’s why you read this – right?). I feel like Orton kinda needs a win here too.
And this is the problem – whoever wins is going to gain something and whoever loses it feels like will lose more (which begs the question – why book them against each other?). Orton seems really motivated at the moment and Keith Lee is always fun so this should be a good match.
I’m going to make a bold pick on this one. It’s going to be a draw. Match ended via RETRIBUTION shenanigans. Just need to find some odds for it now…
Prediction: Draw (No Contest)
At time of writing we’ve only got a four match card – very much caused by WWE’s odd decision to hold two PPV’s back to back. With only four matches to preview, I’m going to guess some others we might see…
Kevin Owens vs Aleister Black – Black returning from his eye injury, Owens seeming a bit out of sorts with the company on social media recently – I think TAFKA Tommy End wins it here with his nifty Snake Eye Bandage and crippling fear of steps.
I assume we’ll get Andrade & Garza vs Street Profits vs War Machine. Because that’s the RAW Tag Division. I’d prefer to see which ever Viking Raymond Rowe is (Ivar? Erik? Johan? Sven?) versus Dolph Ziggler in a Blood Sports style match.
Akira Tozawa : Ninja Battle Royal
… and of course, RETRIBUTION.
Those are our predictions, what are yours? Please leave them in the comments!