Saturday, April 29, 2017

WWE Payback 2017 Preview & Predictions

with Dan Moore (@SouthieDanimal) and Landon Wayne (@LSWayne21)

Welcome to another round of WWE Predictions here at!  This month we're trying a three-man predictions panel, as our colleague Landon Wayne joins Dan and myself for some prognostications.

Well folks, the first post-WrestleMania PPV of 2017 looks quite solid on paper, minus one match (it's pretty obvious which one).   It's always refreshing when 'Mania season is over and we can get back to focusing on the actual roster.  As for this Superstar Shakeup nonsense, I'm holding judgment for a little while to see how everything plays out.  But I do hate this new Jinder Mahal push, which reeks of the same out-of-nowhere booking as in 2002 when the Big Show jumped from RAW, where he was a jobber to the stars for months, to Smackdown, where suddenly he was so fearsome Paul Heyman dumped Brock Lesnar to manage him.  Most of us either watch or follow both shows, guys.  We're not morons.

Anyway, back to the matter at hand.  This show should be quite good overall, so let's get to it.

***So far this season I'm 9/12 to Dan's 5/12.  Landon's season will start now.***

Pre-Show Match: Enzo & Cass vs. Anderson & Gallows

I don't care much about either of these teams anymore - The Club got a half-assed, brief Title run that did them no favors, and Enzo & Cass's shtick got old months ago.  The match should be okay I guess.

Justin's pick: Enzo & Cass finally get a win I guess.
Dan's pick: I guess. I don't care. Both these teams annoy me at this point.
Landon's pick: Bullet Club, because Landon's policy is Ride till you die, and I will die with Gallows and Anderson

WWE Cruiserweight Championship: Neville vs. Austin Aries

These two had a pretty damn good opener at 'Mania and hopefully they'll get a comparable amount of time.  Neville has been a great custodian of the division and I'd probably keep the belt on him a while longer, but I dunno if WWE has the patience for that.

Justin's pick: I have a feeling AA takes the belt here
Dan's pick: AA FTW
Landon's pick: There's no one left for Neville to face, so Aries gets it here.

RAW Tag Team Championship: The Hardy Boyz vs. Sheamus & Cesaro

I like this pairing - the Hardyz got one of the biggest pops at 'Mania for their surprise return and Title win.  However I don't see them as long-term Champions this time around.  S&C really should never have dropped the belts when they did.  Plus Matt needs a reason to be "Broken."

Justin's pick: Cesaro & Sheamus recapture the gold
Dan's pick: Hardyz keepz the beltz
Landon's pick: We can do to hold off on the broken turn for a little longer.

RAW Women's Championship: Bayley vs. Alexa Bliss

Kind of strange that Alexa is the first Smackdown acquisition to get a Women's Title match, particularly since management isn't high on her in-ring skills.  Of course Nia Jax almost killed Charlotte twice, so she's out of the hunt for now.  I imagine this is just keeping Bayley busy till Sasha's inevitable heel turn over the summer.  Should be a decent little match.

Justin's pick: Bayley retains
Dan's pick: Yeah, too early for Bliss.  Bayley wins.
Landon's pick: It's Bayley's hometown. It's her first defense since Mania. There's absolutely no reason for her to lose here. So, of course Alexa is winning.

Roman Reigns vs. Braun Strowman

The Stubborn Babyface Push of Roman continues.  Strowman attempted to murder the guy and the fans still like Braun better than his victim.  Just turn Roman heel for fuckin' Chrissake.  Anyway, these two had a fine match in February so this should be quite solid, especially since it's more personal this time.  Strowman really should've won at Fastlane, so he's due for a win here.  Then again they did job him out to Kalisto of all people the other night.

Justin's pick: Reigns probably wins again.  Yawn.
Dan's pick: Strowman needs this win.  And he'll get it.
Landon's pick: Strowman has to get ready to lose to Lesnar.

Seth Rollins vs. Samoa Joe

This is the one I'm most looking forward to.  We were supposed to see it at Fastlane but Seth's knee got reinjured.  So I've been waiting quite a while for this.  I'll be surprised if this isn't the Match of the Night (either this or JeriKO 2).  Joe has to win this to be the dominant monster.  I imagine we'll see a rematch or two over the next couple months, so it makes sense for the heel to win the first outing.

Justin's pick: Joe
Dan's pick: Seth takes out the monster.
Landon's pick: Joe to pick up momentum. If I gotta hear "Kingslayer" one more goddamn time I may punch my TV.

House of Horrors Match: Randy Orton vs. Bray Wyatt

This is fucking stupid.  House of Horrors?  What is this, WCW circa 1991?  Is Abdullah the Butcher gonna show up?  We don't even know what the rules are, but if those idiotic bug projections from WrestleMania are any indication, this is gonna be a big steaming shitshow.  The Title's not even on the line here so who gives a shit?  Orton vs. Wyatt is a lock for Worst Feud of the Year at this point.  Just utterly baffling at every turn.

Justin's pick: The only reason for this to go non-title is if Wyatt's winning.  Wyatt is so beyond damaged at this point I don't even know what else you can do with him.
Dan's pick: Wait, this isn't for the belt? What the fuck is the point? I guess Bray wins then.
Landon's pick: Who fucking cares anymore? (Wyatt)

US Championship: Kevin Owens vs. Chris Jericho

I'm putting this last because there's actually something on the line, unlike in the previous match.  So I hope this is the main event - it'll be great for the US Title.  Also, since Dean Ambrose is on RAW now, why isn't the Intercontinental Title being defended at this show??  JeriKO part 1 was damn good at 'Mania but needed another five minutes to crawl into **** territory.  This is their chance to do that.  Should be a hella contest.  I assume Chris is going back on tour after this?  So obviously KO has to retain and move into his impending feud with AJ Styles (Oh dear god that's gonna be incredible).

Justin's pick: KO retains
Dan's pick: Only makes sense for KO to win.
Landon's pick: Owens retains, gets the ever-living fuck off of Raw. Thank God.

There you have it - Payback looks mostly quite good, hopefully it'll live up to expectations and set the tone for a decent spring/summer on the red brand.  Thanks for reading - comment below with your thoughts!

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