CM Punk enters Payback 2013 in a position where he, among many other stars, has to win his match. Otherwise, things will start to hit the fan.
CM Punk has yet to be seen since losing to the Undertaker at WrestleMania 29 and he is expected to take the ring for the first time in more than two months. Chris Jericho, however, will be standing in his way, trying to avenge a pair of losses from a year ago.
So, who is the best in the world?
We’re going to find out on Sunday night. That is, if Punk even shows up to the Allstate Arena, which doesn’t seem like a guarantee. Jericho will be taking on someone no matter what happens with Punk, that’s for sure. But Jericho doesn’t need this victory as much as Punk does.
After losing against the Undertaker, Punk must prove to the WWE Universe that he’s still a relevant star in the sport who is capable of winning matches. Losing back-to-back matches would do a lot of harm to his resume and may even put his future career in jeopardy. A victory, though, would put Punk back into the spotlight.
Simply put, Payback will be one of the biggest matches of CM Punk’s career, one way or another. But which other stars enter Sunday night in must-win situations? Here’s a glance at a pair of stars that can’t afford to lose at Payback.
Ryback (vs. John Cena—WWE Title)
This could be Ryback’s one and only chance to prove that he’s worthy of being a star in the WWE. He hasn’t done much of anything since coming into WWE and it’s time to finally put his money where his mouth is and win a title match against John Cena.
Ryback has a ton of potential, but the clock on him winning a belt is ticking quickly and time is about to be up. He has yet to have a better opportunity to win the WWE Title than on Sunday at Payback, where he and Cena will face off in a Three Stages of Hell Match.
Ryback is an absolute monster. There’s no other way of putting it. His combination of size and aggression makes him a good candidate to rip the belt from the waist of Cena, but that doesn’t seem like a very likely scenario.
F4WOnline, via Wrestling Inc., is reporting a spoiler that Ryback will be on the losing side of the match once again:
As of this week, Ryback is not scheduled to win the WWE Title from John Cena at this Sunday’s Payback pay-per-view. The whole idea behind the Three Stages of Hell Match is that it will be used as a vehicle to get Cena over big for the summer.
That doesn’t seem to bode well for Ryback one bit.
The Shield (vs. Daniel Bryan and Randy Orton—WWE Tag Team Championship)
Is anyone going to be surprised when Randy Orton plays a role in intentionally losing this match for Daniel Bryan? I didn’t think so. It seems way too predictable, but then again, its high predictability could lead us to expect the opposite of what’s to come.
The Shield can’t afford to lose either of its matches at Payback, but this seems to be the one that has the highest implications. In general, though, a loss by any member or members of The Shield would bring doubt to how dominant they really are. A win, however, would certainly solidify the faction’s dominance.
Bryan has been on fire lately, but his relationship with his partner, Orton, could have large effects on the result of the match. The Shield is out looking for blood, and if Bryan and Orton can’t coexist in the ring there’s no way that they’re going to come out victorious with the belts around their waists.
It would be somewhat strange for Roman Reigns and Seth Rollins to lose the Tag Team titles so soon after winning them, but the storylines around this match are endless. But The Shield cannot—and shouldn’t—lose this match. If Reigns and Rollins do, we may be saying goodbye to those trying to bring justice back to the WWE.