Sunday, April 30, 2017

WWE Payback Predictions

Stop me if you've seen this match before. For what feels like the hundredth time already, we're getting this tag match. It doesn't inspire, doesn't sound too interesting and feels like they're just trying to get these guys on the card. I'll say Gallows and Anderson win because Enzo will get rag dolled and eat a pin since he's the most expendable guy in the match.

Winners: The Good Brothers

Something about WWE Samoa Joe hasn't fully clicked with me. He hasn't been at all bad and it's the best shape he's been in since his prime in TNA. However, a lot of his matches haven't been as good as I'd hoped. Outside of one Finn Balor match (Dallas) and one Sami Zayn match (2 Out of 3 Falls) everything has fallen just short. I sadly suspect more of the same here. I'm expecting a really good match but something that won't be great. I'd love to be wrong though. Anyway, I'm gonna say Joe wins here. Other than Sami and his tainted win over Roman Reigns, Joe hasn't really done anything. A win here would be good for him and Seth can get revenge later.

Winner: Samoa Joe

Since the brand split, I've firmly been a Team Smackdown guy. They've consistently been the better show and have elevated more stars. The one thing I feel Raw has absolutely excelled it is how they've handled Braun Strowman. Braun has been the best booked monster in a long time. He's entertaining as hell, everything he says or does just works and he's improved in the ring. He's had good matches with Zayn, Show and others. I'd say nobody has come further in the past two years, especially considering he came to the main roster with no time in NXT. Anyway, despite all that, Roman Reigns is Roman Reigns. He'll return and win.

Winner: Big Dog Gotta Eat

Man, I loved their match at WrestleMania but this feud has kind of fallen a bit flat since then. Even with the addition of TJ Perkins. On the one hand, I don't think Aries loses straight up again. On the other, I don't think Neville is quite done as champion. The title has changed hands frequently since it returned and Neville as a steady hand for the division is a good thing. So what do I think happens here? Aries picks up the win via disqualification thanks to shenanigans from TJ Perkins. Maybe it leads to Perkins/Neville/Aries at the next PPV or something.

Winner: Austin Aries via DQ

I absolutely think Alexa Bliss is the best choice for the top female heel on Raw. That's why I think they probably hotshotted this match too soon. I assumed Nia would become number one contender as a placeholder feud or even Mickie James. Mickie/Bayley would've been fun as a one-off feud since Bayley could say she looked up to Mickie and Mickie could put her over. I'd have saved Alexa/Bayley for a bigger feud and show. I do think the WWE is building towards Bayley/Sasha in the Barclays Center at SummerSlam like it's TakeOver two years ago. Alexa could win here and Bayley win it back but I say Bayley retains until then.

Winner: Bayley

The Hardy Boyz are a fun nostalgia act but I've personally never been a huge fan. I was always more of an Edge and Christian or Dudleys guy. Still, I liked their return since it was a legitimate cool moment and they're working a full time schedule. Whoever beats them should get a pretty good rub. Anyway, this has been strangely booked. The Hardys beat Sheamus and Cesaro, two good singles guys in their own rights, in singles matches. That usually means they won't get the better in the tag match but I can't see the Hardys losing.

Winners: The Hardy Boyz

I like that these guys are gonna be on different shows now. Their feud was excellently built and the payoff of the turn was perfect. The match at WrestleMania was really good and this should be more of the same. If Jericho wins, he also joins Smackdown. That's not gonna happen. They've planted the seeds for Kevin Owens' first real Smackdown feud with AJ Styles already and I suspect they main event Backlash in Chicago. That can't happen if Jericho is champion again. Plus, it's not like Jericho needs it.

Winner: Kevin Owens

What the hell is this? The WWE haven't explained this match at all and I don't expect good things. Orton and Wyatt were FAR better as partners than opponents. They shit the bed at WrestleMania, which I feel will be the case at Payback too. Weird shenanigans, wacky b movie horror antics and mediocre wrestling. With this being non-title, I get the sense Bray wins so he can have some momentum before jobbing to Finn Balor in his first real Raw rivalry.

Winner: Bray Wyatt

2017 Prediction Record: 22-14
2016 Prediction Record: 65-37