In order to move forward, you oftentimes have to look to the past. In this particular case, I cannot talk about this PPV without at least acknowledging Wrestlemania 32. Do you remember how Ryback and Kalisto had a US title match at Mania, and Kalisto won cleanly? Do you remember how Zack Ryder won the Intercontinental Title? Remember how Jericho beat AJ Styles cleanly? Remember how Brock and Dean underwhelmed us and Dean lost very, very cleanly? Remember how Shane lost to the Undertaker and therefore would have no control of RAW? Do you remember the Wyatts or League of Nations? Remember when The New Day was a big deal because they were tag team champions? Remember how the Diva’s Revolution happened, but the following night, it became the Women’s division, and the prestige was brought back? Do you remember the awesome crowd friendly reaction that Roman Reigns received after pinning HHH cleanly in one of the most boring main events in Mania history? Keep ALL of this in mind because when you look at the card to Payback, we are used to having some fallout from Mania and the night after Mania.
Fair warning, none of what I am about to tell you is going to be logical.
U.S. Title Match
Kalisto vs. Ryback
So Kalisto beat Ryback cleanly at Mania, correct? Since then, they have had no contact on RAW in the 4 week build up. Sooooo why is this match taking place? I see no rhyme or reason for Kalisto to lose it. He should be a big star, and on every RAW. The dude is incredibly talented. When in doubt, go against logic.
Winner: Ryback as the new US champion because fuck logic
Vince chooses who is running RAW
Sooo Shane lost to Taker, and he should have been gone, that is what we were led to believe prior to Mania. Since then, I believe Shane has run every RAW. Why? Because fuck logic! Seriously, they don’t even have a game plan long term. This much is fairly fucking obvious. Shane has been incredibly over, so they are taking advantage of that. BUT, did you see how hot Steph was this week? Mmm mmm mmm. Let me be perfectly honest here, I don’t care. I want to see more Shane, and more of Steph looking hot, and more HHH with a sledgehammer. Can we make this happen? No? Then I don’t care.
“Winner”: Shane because he’s going to inevitably turn heel by Summerslam
Baron Corbin vs. Dog Ziggler
I like calling him Dog Ziggler because Rusev is a funny dude. Remember how last year, Rusev was in a top of the card match with Cena? Yeah. What does Dolph gain by beating Baron? Nothing. What does Baron gain by beating Dolph? A nice rub from a guy who bumps his ass off and is consistently under-appreciated. am absolutely expecting a nice post match beat down from Baron to Dolph. And yes, these guys would make a nice tag team in the same vein as HBK and Diesel.
Winner: Dolph Ziggler because logic be damned, and then post match beat down leading to a re-match at Extreme Rules with maybe a street fight stipulation, or last man standing would be even better
#1 Contender for the Tag Team Titles
Enzo & Cass vs. The Vaudevillains
This tag tournament has been the best booked thing this past month. Enzo and Cass are already among the top 5 most over acts, and the Vaudevillains are going to win. Yeah. Why? Well, The Dudleys nor the New Day have a match on this card. The Dudleys are going to feud with Enzo and Cass, so that’s probably how this match ends. New Day should feud with heels anyway, and this would be a nice fresh match up. I actually like everything that I just wrote. Save the Enzo and Cass vs New Day match for Summerslam in Brooklyn. They can’t fuck this up, right? This is the most obvious outcome on the card, right? Do I dare predict a match with logic?
Winners: The Vaudevillains thanks to help from the Dudley Boys
Dean Ambrose vs. Chris Jericho
Well, Y2J beat AJ Styles, and the internet got pissed off. According to internet logic, Jericho should lose every big match, and then still allow the fans to complain that beating Jericho means nothing. Internet logic is the fucking worst. Funny though, Y2J beats AJ at Mania, and then the next night, AJ becomes the number one contender to Roman’s Empire. Life is funny. Meanwhile, these 2 guys have feuded over a talk show and yet, it has stole the show at various points. Sometimes, you need to let new talent work with old talent and watch magic. That’s what we are witnessing.Oddly enough, I don’t know what logic dictates here. Dean hasn’t won a PPV match since Royal Rumble. Technically, I would suggest that Dean needs the win more. I would suggest giving it to Jericho. Follow my logic. We have no fucking clue about where AJ Styles goes after tonight. Roman needs credible opponents for a few months. Dean still shines somehow no matter how bad his PPV record is. I’m an Ambrose guy, but I actually think that he should eat some more losses IF the WWE refuses to make him their next Austin. I don’t think that they will. I would keep having Dean lose, and have him snap at some point, and turn on Roman. I’d have Dean almost win Money in the Bank, just to get screwed over, and have Roman try to console him, and there’s your big Summerslam main event. On top of that, Jericho helps elevate Roman after the AJ feud. This is all so simple. They need credible heels for Roman. With that being said…..
Winner: Dean Ambrose because fuck logic
Sami Zayn vs. Kevin Owens
Does the outcome even matter? Seriously, does it matter? I’ll tell you how it should be booked, and I will tell you right now, it will not be booked this way. Owens should win. Owens shouldn’t ever lose to Sami. ECW fans may remember Tommy Dreamer vs Raven, and how Dreamer could never beat Raven. It became cliche, until one fateful day, Dreamer finally won, and it was a huge moment for ECW. Replicate that story. Maybe next year, have Zayn win Money in the Bank and have Owens eventually win the title, and Zayn finally win like the Royal Rumble in 2 years. Owens should be as cocky and dismissive as possible while Zayn shines as the babyface who never gives up, but just falls short. Wrestlemania 34, headlined by Owens vs Zayn would be money. Zayn is that good, and I have to say, Owens may be the most complete package in WWE right now, and by may, I mean that he is. He can work the mic great, he can do flippy shit, and he can brawl, and his offense looks believable. He’s the future, no matter how much I tout Baron Corbin as the future, that’s just me having fun. KO is the real deal. Sami is too. It’s a long road, but the pay off would be epic.
Winner: Sami Zayn because my story makes wayyyy too much sense.
Intercontinental Championship Match
The Miz vs. Cesaro
I just gave KO some huge praise. I need to say that nobody, and I mean nobody, has been better than The Miz the past 4 weeks. Miz is reminding everybody that his World Title run wasn’t a fluke. He was finally given something to work with, and he nailed it. That sums up the Miz though, in the same vein as his good buddy Dolph. Both guys, when given the chance to shine, they steal the show. Unfortunately, it feels that too often, WWE would rather sabotage them to push their new flavor of the day, like Ryback, AJ, or Roman. Bringing Maryse back was a stroke of genius. Giving Zack Ryder a 24 title reign, fucking genius. I mean, in hindsight, it meant so much to give a low card NXT guy the IC title at your biggest event of the year, right? I mean, at least Zack bounced back and is in a meaningful feud for ……… oh wait, he just jobs now. Fuck. Where the fuck was the logic again? I haven’t even mention 007 Cesaro. Yes, he should be more like Jason Statham. Thank you for the hundreds of people who keep pointing that out online. I am stupid and did not notice it, so thank you for clearing that up for me. Fuckheads. Cesaro is a superstar. Cesaro should be in the main event. Let him lose and challenge Roman or at least right below the world title. Him and KO need more matches. Cesaro is a guy that should be a tweener, meaning he doesn’t give a fuck who he fights. Now, now is the time to showcase this man before Seth, Bray, Luke, Cena, Randy, Neville, and Tyson Kidd return. Pull the trigger now, and let him get a taste of the main event, even if it’s in a clusterfuck 4 man main event. He deserves it. If he don’t get over now, he will fall back down the card, as is tradition. Still, he should lose here, because the Miz with the belt is the right call. Miz should hve a 6 month reign and make people loathe him. I hate this, but I am using logic here. Let Miz screw over Cesaro, whatever works.
Winner: The Miz via fuckery with Maryse
WWE Women’s Title Match
Natalya w/Bret Hart vs. Charlotte w/Ric Flair
This match actually should get 15-20 minutes as these 2 work really well together, and Natalya deserves it. The big question is perhaps not so obvious. We’re going to be in Chicago, and Natalya, and more importantly Bret, are going to walk away triumphantly. The question is: will they have the belt, or just have a post match bullshit thing to make fans smile? That is a tough question. If Natalya wins, who does she feud with? The heels are Charlotte, big booty bitch Naomi, Tamina, Emma, and Summer Rae. So basically Charlotte and Emma as the only credible ones, although Summer can be a good heel. If Charlotte retains, she won’t go back to Becky, and I feel that Sasha is just waiting for her big night at Summerslam. That would leave Paige as the Bellas are gone. Alicia is around, she can be either heel or face, but WWE hates her and refuse to give her a meaningful run. I’d have Charlotte vs. Alicia because that’s a great match up as well. We all suspect Bayley is due up some time, but I think that is much farther off than people realize. Sasha needs her moment first. Unless Sasha gets it and then we have Bayley vs Sasha at Summerslam. Everything is obviously just filler until Summerslam. I don’t know who to pick, and Ric Flair may or may not be in trouble with WWE, but I suspect that he is not.
Winner: Charlotte, and then some post match stuff where Bret gets to do something cool. Also, Bret screwed Bret.
WWE World Heavyweight Championship Match
Roman Reigns vs. AJ Styles
I am shocked to say this, but a match with Roman Reigns is by far the most interesting one on the card. Before we go into speculation mode, let’s lay down what we know. AJ Styles now has 2 buddies on the main roster in Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson. They were members of the Bullet Club along with Finn Balor, and I believe Shinsuke Nakamura (Maybe??). We know that Finn Balor has dropped the NXT title to Samoa Joe. We know that WWE specifically went out of their way to show Roman granting a wish for a Make a Wish kid on RAW. So let me just state the obvious. Much like Negan isn’t killing Rick or Carl, WWE is not turning Roman heel tonight. That is not happening, no matter how great it would be to see. It would be awesome to have Gallows and Anderson fuck over AJ and align with Roman. That isn’t happening. I will bet my let testicle on that. We know that they will play a part in tonight’s match, as could the Usos. The boring prediction is that G & A interfere, and the Usos help out, and Roman hits the spear, and then either on RAW, or the next PPV, we get a 6 man main event match. That is the boring way of booking. Others predict that G & A turn on their good buddy AJ. Or a twist on that is that they accidentally cost him the match. While others are speculating that Finn Balor makes his main roster debut tonight. I think that is fool’s gold right there. I think that Finn’s main roster debut has to come when somebody issues an open challenge, like Cena’s US Open. I think Bray with some momentum would be good, as would Taker, HHH, Y2J, or even Roman. I don’t think I would even involve Finn in a bullet club thing immediately. I know, you want to strike while the iron is hot, but I think that is a mistake with Finn. He’s special, and he can push merchandise. They need to make his debut epic, with lights down, the paint and every thing. That don’t happen mid match tonight in a throwaway PPV, so stop deluding yourself. I feel that people are over thinking things and wishing for what they feel is better booking when it is incredibly short sighted. Just have G & A stay good with AJ, let the Usos come out after G & A, have AJ distracted just enough to lose the match. Let his anger build slowly.This is actually really good booking for long term. No need to blow your load tonight.
Winner: Roman Reigns via Spear after AJ is distracted
I expect this to be about a 7.5 tonight. It has a much better card than Mania does, and it features full time people in all matches, like it should. Damn shame that we don’t get the Wyatts in a match, and who knows when they come back, but when they do, I hope that he finally gets the push that he deserves, same for Luke.
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