WWE Payback 2013: Predicting a Realistic Match Card for the Event

Jamie West@jamielogue94Analyst IIIMay 20, 2013

WWE Payback 2013: Predicting a Realistic Match Card for the Event

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    Coming off the heels of the successful Extreme Rules, WWE's next big event is the inaugural edition of Payback, the company's latest pay-per-view creation. 

    Marc Middleton of Wrestlinginc.com recently posted a brief concept overview for the upcoming show: 

    WWE reinvigorates its pay-per-view line up with a fresh new concept that will serve as the perfect stage for all the top Superstars to settle their long simmering grudges and set the stage for the sizzling road to SummerSlam. All major championships will be on the line including the revamped WWE Championship, plus the World Heavyweight Championship and much more. From the clashes for the ultimate prize, to fierce heavy-hitters with scores to settle, WWE fans will want to relive the historic debut of this riveting new event.

    Essentially, therefore, it would appear that the concept is, there is no concept. This is not necessarily a bad thing, however, as it could allow for greater freedom within Creative for the booking of the event. For instance, CM Punk and Ryback essentially had to face off in Hell in a Cell last October because of a pay-per-view name, even though the gimmick made little sense in the context of their rivalry. 

    The following predictions are not based on any insider information, with the aim of this article being to create a realistic match card for Payback and allow for readers to discuss their own ideas for WWE's newest show. 


Main Event: John Cena (c) vs. Ryback for the WWE Championship

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    WWE Champion John Cena and Ryback silenced many critics in putting on an impressive 20-minute match last night at Extreme Rules. 

    Although the no-contest ending suggested that both men could have suffered serious kayfabe injuries, the most likely reason for such a scenario was to protect both men's credibility and not have one fail to stop the 10-count.   

    With other top superstars such as CM Punk and Brock Lesnar likely missing the event, the idea of Cena not defending his championship seems highly unlikely. WWE will continue to book him as an injured fighting champion and Ryback will get his rematch as "The Champ" failed to beat him at Extreme Rules.

    I actually think that Ryback has a chance of going over at the second time of asking—Cena's injury combined with any underhanded tactics employed by "The Human Wrecking Ball" gives the WWE Champion an excuse to drop the belt after a two-month reign. 

    Moreover, given WWE's apparent desire to make Ryback a genuine main-event attraction, why would WWE book Ryback in this title feud if they didn't intend to put the belt on him? Cena could have feuded with and beat somebody like Mark Henry, whilst "Big Hungry" picked up momentum-building wins slightly lower down the card. 

    Match Predictions 

    Stipulation: Singles Match

    Winner: Ryback (pinfall after underhanded tactics and a Shell Shocked)

    Duration: 16 minutes

6. Dolph Ziggler (c) vs. Randy Orton vs. Big Show vs. Alberto Del Rio

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    The feud between Jack Swagger, Alberto Del Rio and Dolph Ziggler has ran its course. While I do not doubt the ability of the latter two men to put on an entertaining match, it is not worth drawing out this feud to another pay-per-view. 

    For this match to work, Ziggler will need to retain against Del Rio on free TV in a shady fashion, and Randy Orton and Big Show will have to find their way into the World Championship match. 

    The way I see it, there is no need for another one-on-one pay-per-view encounter between Orton and Big Show, and the Ziggler/Del Rio feud is becoming old. Therefore, why not combine the two feuds resulting in a fatal-four-way match for Payback?

    The idea behind this bout is that it could be used to build a singles feud between Ziggler and Randy Orton for the World Heavyweight Championship. The belt has arguably been floundering in the upper-midcard for quite some time, and throwing a genuine main-event star like Orton back into the mix could do wonders for the prestige and importance of the title. 

    Match Predictions

    Stipulation: Fatal Four Way

    Winner: Dolph Ziggler (pinfall after capitalising on an RKO to Del Rio).

    Duration: 15 minutes

5. The Shield (c) vs. Team Hell No and Christian: Winners Take All Match

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    Christian has reportedly been ready to return to the ring since before WrestleMania, but Creative have been waiting on an ideal role for him to be used in. Now that Dean Ambrose is United States Champion, he needs a challenger who could believably rid him of his newly found gold.

    Christian could fit that role perfectly. As much as many fans would like to see "Captain Charisma" in the main event picture, a US title feud with The Shield's Dean Ambrose would not lack prominence on WWE television. 

    Furthermore, a legitimate feud between two over superstars could save the title from the depths of obscurity it has faded into. 

    The idea behind having this six-man winners take all match is that we avoid two rematches from Extreme Rules on the Payback card and only one worker has to take a fall. Poor old Kofi Kingston can have his rematch on an episode of Monday Night Raw.

    Match Predictions

    Stipulation: Six Man Winners Take All Tag Team Match

    Winners: The Shield (pinfall)

    Duration: 20 minutes

4. Wade Barrett (c) vs. Chris Jericho for the Intercontinental Championship

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    Chris Jericho is a nine-time Intercontinental Champion. Y2J mentored Barrett in the very first season of NXT. This is a student versus teacher feud that could do wonders for both the Barrett Barrage and the prominence of the Intercontinental title. 

    Although it initially seemed like we may have seen this match at WrestleMania, Jericho instead became embroiled with newcomer Fandango. While Fandango and Jericho are now 1-1, there are no good reasons to continue the feud into next month's Payback pay-per-view. The story has been told, Fandango upset a former Undisputed Champion in his debut match, yet Jericho proved the value of experience at Extreme Rules. No more need be said. 

    This could be an enjoyable and fairly lengthy feud, with Jericho capturing a landmark 10th Intercontinental Championship before dropping the belt back to his student in the unselfish manner that only Y2J knows. 

    Match Predictions

    Stipulation: Singles Match

    Winner: Chris Jericho (submission)

    Duration: 9 minutes

3. AJ Lee (c) vs. Kaitlyn for the WWE Divas Championship

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    Assuming AJ Lee becomes Divas Champion on an episode of Monday Night Raw between now and June's pay-per-view, Kaitlyn can look to get payback and reclaim her title from the girlfriend of the World Heavyweight Champion. 

    This match could equally happen with Kaitlyn defending the title, but the feud would fit better with the event's gimmick if Kaitlyn feels the need to right a wrong.

    Match Predictions

    Stipulation: Singles Match

    Winner: AJ Lee (pinfall)

    Duration: 4 minutes 

2. Sheamus vs. Mark Henry

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    After their odd encounter at Extreme Rules, many fans will be hoping that the feud between Sheamus and Mark Henry is over. Unfortunately for those fans, however, it seems likely that there is at least one more pay-per-view bout between the two, as the rivalry was only sparked the week after WrestleMania. 

    The premise of the match could be Mark Henry complaining about a stupid gimmick contest at Extreme Rules, leading to a simple singles match at Payback. 

    Sheamus should win here in order to end the feud, even if Henry is being billed as a monster heel. 

    Match Prediction

    Stipulation: Singles Match

    Winner: Sheamus (pinfall)

    Duration: 11 minutes

1. The Miz vs. Fandango

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    As mentioned in an earlier slide, there is no reason for Chris Jericho and Fandango to keep feuding. The Miz would be an ideal wrestler for the latter to go over if WWE (Vince) is still serious about pushing him and his ballroom dancing gimmick.

    Furthermore, The Miz's cocky face gimmick should make for some interesting promo work between the two. 

    Match Predictions

    Stipulation: Singles Match

    Winner: Fandango (pinfall following top rope leg drop)

    Duration: 6 minutes


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    Notable Absentees: Brock Lesnar, Triple H, CM Punk, Kofi Kingston, Jack Swagger. 

    So, for WWE's Payback pay-per-view, I predict that there will be seven matches (excluding the pre-show), Ryback will win the WWE Title and The Shield will once again walk away with a championship belt each. 

    One thing looks certain: WWE is going to have to return to relying on full-time workers. 

    How do you see the event panning out? Think I've got it spot-on or completely wrong? Let me know in the comments section.