WWE Payback 2013: 7 Huge New Rivalries We Could See Going Forward
One word that can describe both WWE's inaugural Payback pay-per-view and the post-Payback Raw that went down Monday night. We saw some insane matches, mind-blowing surprises and crazy storyline angles in the last two nights.
From those crazy nights the next few months of WWE programming started to become clear as new feuds started.
So, as we go forward, here are seven new rivalries we could see after Payback and Raw.
1. Curtis Axel vs. the Miz
Curtis Axel was thrown into the Intercontinental Championship fray at the last minute and he was able to sneak away from Payback with the title.
While it looked like Barrett would get his rematch on Raw, he instead took on the returning Christian and Axel's focus shifted to The Miz who joined commentary during Axel's match against Sin Cara.
Axel and Miz had some words after the match (seen above) which makes it pretty apparent that what started as a last second addition to a pay-per-view match could very well turn into a long-standing feud between two extremely talented young Superstars in the WWE.
2. Randy Orton vs. Daniel Bryan
Daniel Bryan and Randy Orton have had minor run-ins before, but after their tag team dreams were shattered at Payback, they finally started to settle their frustrations in the ring...well, mostly in the ring.
As Bryan and Orton met in a No DQ match on Raw, the anger between these two intensified greatly. During the match, Bryan went down with what looked like a legitimate injury, but as the night went on it became apparent that it was most likely a work.
Bryan would go on to argue with Triple H about the ruling to stop the match, but it'd be pretty random for the COO to jump back into the ring so soon against someone he isn't really involved with.
Bryan will most likely be back in action soon, and when he is, Randy Orton will be waiting.
3. Wade Barret vs. Christian
Wade Barrett has been hanging around the Intercontinental Championship scene for a while now, even holding the title a few times, but it seems that he's finally getting pulled out of the race.
As Barrett prepared for his IC rematch after losing the title at Payback, he was interrupted by Vickie Guerrero and Brad Maddox, who sent Christian to the ring to take on the former champ.
Christian and Barrett put on a solid show, and with Curtis Axel throwing words at Miz after his win later in the night, it appears that Miz and Axel will go forth and Barrett will be left behind, possibly to get into a program against the returning Christian.
4. Mark Henry vs. John Cena
John Cena put Ryback to rest in epic fashion at Payback, which begged the question "Who's Next?"
Dolph Ziggler and Alberto Del Rio have their plates full, Daniel Bryan and Randy Orton seem to be a bit pre-occupied and CM Punk ran into a fellow Heyman guy, so who's left for Cena to take on?
After one of the most shocking moments in recent Raw history, Mark Henry made it pretty apparent that he's got next as he proverbially put his quarters on the table with a thunderous World's Strongest Slam after delivering a fake, yet touching, retirement speech on Raw.
Cena and Henry have a little history, mostly coming from when he and Cena stood back to back against the Nexus a few times, but now the feud that we've always heard rumors of will finally take place.
This one will have a few weeks to intensify before WWE's Money in the Bank pay-per-view in July.
5. CM Punk vs. Brock Lesnar
Raw was chock full of surprises and moments that left the collective jaw of the WWE Universe on the sticky stadium floor.
One of the most surprising moments came when Brock Lesnar came down the ramp to deliver a vicious F5 to his fellow Heyman guy, just about an hour after Punk asked Heyman not to accompany him any more.
This is a feud that we were all pulling for but didn't expect to see until Summer Slam or possibly even WrestleMania. It appears that the WWE is fast-tracking this showdown of the titans to happen right now, but hey, who's complaining?
It was just a matter of time before these two met in the ring, and it appears that that time will be Money in the Bank and possibly even beyond that.
6. Dolph Ziggler vs. the Heels
After a vicious sneak attack from Ziggler on Del Rio on Raw, it's pretty clear that we're going to get more Del Rio vs. Ziggler but in a way unlike anything we've seen before.
This time it looks like it'll be a babyface Ziggler against the born-again heel Del Rio.
Ziggler has been a heel since his days on the Spirit Squad and it'll be extremely interesting to see how he continues to get over with the WWE Universe as a good guy, assuming the WWE continues the way that they're going.
Looking even further down the road puts all current heels on notice because it looks like the WWE just gained another Main Event level face.
7. AJ vs. Layla
It's no secret that most Divas matches are conveniently placed on the card during prime bathroom break or snack run times, but if you got up during the Divas Championship match at Payback, you missed a solid match, especially by Diva standards.
AJ and Kaitlyn put on a surprisingly decent show for the crowd in Chicago, but after the match, as Kaitlyn sobbed on the ramp, Layla was the first Diva to come to her aid, closely followed by a few other random Divas.
Unless Kaitlyn and AJ continue their long running "meh" feud, Layla would be the only logical choice to take on AJ in the coming months. The Bellas have held the strap before, but they, like AJ, are heels. None of the other face Divas have enough experience to tangle for the title, which leaves Layla, who might be the most talented in-ring Diva anyway.
Unless the WWE finally pulls the trigger on NXT's "Anti-Diva" Paige, who will immediately be one of the best on the roster when she gets called up, we could very well see AJ take on Layla as she continues to come to the aid of Kaitlyn.