WWE Payback: Title Matches We Must See at WWE's Next PPV
I am of the conviction that with very few exceptions (such as gimmick-heavy pay-per-views like Royal Rumble and a Survivor Series card full of traditional Survivor Series matches), every WWE title should be up for grabs at every WWE PPV. Considering the fact that you're working with three hours of commercial-free programming (not to mention a 30-minute pre-show), WWE Creative shouldn't run into the problem of having too little time to work with.
Sure, WWE puts on Night of Champions once a year. But I don't think putting every title on the line during a PPV should be a gimmick—I think it should be the norm.
The following slides will give my predictions and my preferences for every WWE title match at June's three-hour spectacular.
If the WWE has a Divas Championship match at Payback, I think the challenger will be an inconsequential heel. I would say someone like Layla, but I'm sure she'll still be involved with Fandango, Emma and Santino. I can't imagine them giving a title match to Aksana or Rosa Mendes (although I think Aksana has really improved in the ring), and I don't think they'll go with a rematch from Extreme Rules.
The Total Divas don't need any further exposure, so I think that leaves us with Alicia Fox.
I think of all of the Divas on the main roster, Natalya would put on the best match with Paige. I'm not sure what sort of angle will go over really well with Paige until AJ returns.
United States Championship
Rumor has it that Sheamus is due for a heel turn sooner rather than later. And if they're having you turn, that means you're in for a push as well. I don't think the heel turn will happen before Payback, but it could happen before Money in the Bank on June 29.
Either way, Sheamus won't be losing the title at Payback. But I don't think any of the heels that are currently on their way up are going to be putting Sheamus over at the pay-per-view. Given that Sheamus has made Zeb's latest Deportation List, I think they'll put Jack Swagger in the title match, with Sheamus going over pretty easily.
Although I think it's much less likely, if they are willing to turn Sheamus heel at Payback, and if they book The Shield in singles matches, I could see Dean getting another rematch for the US title. That would be in addition to a match against a member of Evolution. Evolution would make sure Sheamus won (leading to his heel turn) and Dean Ambrose would be expected to compete against the Evolution member immediately after losing to Sheamus and suffering a post-match beatdown.
But I think Jack Swagger is much, much more likely, albeit less exciting.
Although I wouldn't mind seeing Swagger or Ambrose in the ring with Sheamus, I think I'd rather see Cesaro. Cesaro doesn't need the title, and they could come up with a way to put Cesaro over without winning the strap. And as we saw at Elimination Chamber, Cesaro and Sheamus have great in-ring chemistry.
I'm not sure where WWE is going with Bad News Barrett at this point. It seems as though he's finished with Big E. They do like to use RVD to put over younger talent, but that match wouldn't generate a lot of interest. I could see them booking a Triple Threat Match, using Rob Van Dam and Cesaro.
Inserting Cesaro gives the match a much bigger feel, and RVD can take the fall so that neither Cesaro or Barrett end up looking bad.
I'd like to see Cody Rhodes earn a shot at the Intercontinental Championship. I think Rhodes and Barrett could put on a really solid match. Leading up to the PPV, Goldust could be offering tips and advice to his little brother, being a three-time former IC champ himself (while Cody is only a two-time champ).
Cody would obviously be a little annoyed with his older brother's advice, and ultimately, Goldust could cost Cody the match. This, of course, would be the final straw, leading to the brother vs. brother feud that has been slowly building for some time.
Tag Team Championship
All of the current champions in WWE are relatively new, and I don't think any of them will be losing their titles at Payback. It seems pretty obvious that Rybaxel will be getting a title match soon, and I assume they'll save that match for the pay-per-view.
The Usos are growing on me (just barely), but I'm still not pumped to see them as the WWE Tag Team champions. I think The Wyatt Family deserves some gold. Luke Harper and Erick Rowan were great tag champs in NXT, and I think they would actually elevate the status of the titles by being the WWE Tag Team champions.
WWE World Heavyweight Championship
Triple H and Evolution don't appear to be finished with The Shield, and the name of the pay-per-view infers a theme of revenge. I think Kane will get another shot at the biggest prize in the game. There will probably be some new stipulation added, but I don't think anyone believes Kane has a chance at walking away with the gold.
Kane has already had his chance to defeat Bryan for the title, so I'd rather not see him in the ring again. I think it will be spectacular when Daniel Bryan and Bray Wyatt rekindle their feud, but I like what Wyatt is doing with Cena, and I'd rather wait for the Bryan/Wyatt clash. I also like The Shield and Evolution going at it, so all of those guys are out of the question.
I know it will never happen, but I'd love to see Daniel Bryan defend against Dolph Ziggler. I hope Bryan's reign lasts until at least SummerSlam, but I think just being in the main event would be a huge rub for Ziggler, even in a clean loss to Bryan.
Ziggler's character is better as a heel, so assuring Stephanie McMahon that he can do what Kane couldn't would be a step in the right direction. Plus, there are few people in the WWE who can put on a match at the same level as Dolph Ziggler. I think the combination of Bryan and Ziggler in the main event could result in a five-star classic.
What are your thoughts? Do you think every title on the line at a pay-per-view should be the norm, rather than the exception?
Which titles should be on the line in Rosemont at the Allstate Arena on June 1? Who do you think deserves a title shot?