This Sunday marks the 2014 edition of WWE Payback, where for the first time in a while, there will be no WWE World Heavyweight Championship match on the show. There is, however, an angle surrounding the championship itself, which will play out during the show.
Chicago, Illinois will host the event and if any of the past WWE trips to Chicago have proved anything, it's that the Chi-Town fans want CM Punk. I expect that they will make that clear through the use of passionate "We Want Punk" chants, and/or the traditional "CM Punk! CM Punk!" chants.
With that being said, let's take a look at the lineup for this Sunday night's WWE Payback pay-per-view.
- El Torio vs. Hornswoggle (Mask vs. Hair)
Boone's Breakdown: This is what it is for a pay-per-view pre-show match. Their "WeeLC" match on the Extreme Rules pay-per-view pre-show was a lot of fun, as well as many of their past television matches. I expect much of the same here. We have the added-twist of the gimmick of the match guaranteeing us either a de-masked El Torito or a bald-headed Hornswoggle. I'm assuming it will be the latter.
Boone's Prediction: El Torito
WWE Divas Championship
- Paige (c) vs. Alicia Fox
Boone's Breakdown: This one is kind of interesting, as we have Alicia Fox coming in with a new gimmick that "the office" seems to enjoy, particularly because it gives them the opportunity to screw with the announcers and the crew around the ring -- most of the time without their knowledge. With that being said, the gimmick does rely a lot on her losing to warrant the "freak out" or "meltdown" reactions. While that makes the most sense, they have had her go nuts after winning as well, so I guess it's not mandatory that she lose. Regardless, I'm going with the champ to retain.
Boone's Prediction: Paige
- Rusev vs. Big E.
Boone's Breakdown: This one will be interesting in the sense that I don't see Rusev simply squashing Big E. in two or three minutes, meaning we might actually see Rusev doing some selling for a change. It will be interesting to see how WWE handles that in the booking of the match. In the end, I'm sure we can all agree who's getting their hand raised.
Boone's Prediction: Rusev
WWE United States Championship
- Sheamus (c) vs. Cesaro
Boone's Breakdown: This one is difficult for a few reasons. First and foremost, Cesaro is coming off a loss in his last championship match, which was a shot at the WWE Intercontinental Championship in the tournament. I can't see him coming up short in another championship effort given the fact that the company is reportedly trying to push him. At the same time, Sheamus just recently won the title and I can't see him losing it so soon. That makes for an interesting dynamic in a pro wrestling match, and considering the work rate level of these two, it should be a fun match. I'm assuming the only way out of this is to "angle out of it," with someone interfering and possibly causing Cesaro the match, thus allowing Cesaro to branch off into a new program, as well as have an excuse as to why he didn't win the U.S. strap.
Boone's Prediction: Sheamus
WWE Intercontinental Championship
- Bad News Barrett (c) vs. Rob Van Dam
Boone's Breakdown: This one seems pretty easy to pick. With Rob Van Dam having a short-term deal with WWE, they tend not to do a whole lot with him, or put much into him, as they know they'd just be building up something that's not going to pay off in the long term. Barrett just recently won the title and is seemingly on the rise, so I can't see him losing. Seems pretty basic. Unless WWE is planning on bigger and better things for Barrett, whereas they'd need to get the I-C strap off of him to free him up to go for a more prestigious championship, I can't see him losing on Sunday night.
Boone's Prediction: Bad News Barrett
Last Man Standing
- Bray Wyatt vs. John Cena
Boone's Breakdown: Another tough one to call. You would assume Wyatt needs the win more, and a loss wouldn't hurt Cena, but that doesn't necessarily mean WWE -- or Cena -- will be jumping to do so. Wyatt got the win at Extreme Rules, Cena got the win at WrestleMania, who takes the rubber-match? We'll find out on Sunday, and I assume this one is wrapping up, so that adds to the confusion when trying to predict a winner.
Boone's Prediction: Bray Wyatt
No Holds Barred Elimination Match
- The Shield vs. Evolution
Boone's Breakdown: There have been rumors of a new member possibly being added to Evolution. I've heard Sheamus' name thrown around. Unless WWE is actually doing something like that to keep the faction alive after...