The Superstar Shake-Up has revitalized the rosters, making now the prime time for each wrestler to want to step up and make a name for themselves to carry some momentum into the rest of 2017.
Sadly, for a good number of folks on the Raw brand, they won’t get the opportunity to even attempt to shine.
For one reason or another, the men and women on this list weren’t deemed important enough to figure out a way to include on the event—at least as far as it’s currently being advertised, despite the card always being subject to change.
Some of these omissions might be justified, while others are a bit more questionable, if not even astonishing. So without further ado, let’s break down another edition of the superstars missing from WWE Payback 2017 pay-per-view.
Far be it from Brock Lesnar to show up to more than four events per year, right? This was my biggest issue with Goldberg winning the Universal Championship to begin with as it meant WWE was setting up a Lesnar title win that would in turn mean the next time we’d see it defended would likely be SummerSlam.
Get used to seeing Lesnar’s name on this list, as it’ll pop up again for Extreme Rules, whatever event happens in July, and many more to follow.
How is Dean Ambrose not defending the Intercontinental Championship against The Miz?????
Those two have been causing problems for each other since the Superstar Shake-Up and neither are scheduled for a match. The Miz has his MizTV segment with Finn Balor, but unless that promo ends with some kind of announcement from Kurt Angle that a title match will happen later, it would be a misuse of The Miz as well.
There’s certainly still room on the card and a match might be announced over the next few days, but it’s strange the MizTV segment was talked about on Raw while Dean Ambrose and the Intercontinental Championship is just sitting there doing nothing.
This is one of those tricky situations where it makes perfect sense for Big Show not to be able to compete as he was just wrecked by Braun Strowman, who is busy with Roman Reigns—but at the same time, wouldn’t you want to see Strowman and Show follow up that performance?
It’s a catch 22. If you do it, you ignore the Reigns feud. If you don’t do it, you make it seem like Big Show was just a stepping stone instead of someone who could have a legitimate feud with Strowman, and the more they clash without having a program together, the less it’ll mean anything if they try to go back to that well further down the line.
If the best thing going for you is that Titus O’Neil gave you his business card, then I feel bad. Crews looks to be in the process of some rehabilitation to his credibility, but based on what’s happened since moving over to Raw, it’s going to be a slow process, that’s for sure.
Skipping out on Payback right now certainly does nothing for Crews, but it isn’t the end of the world. Even when it comes to Extreme Rules, it should be expected. However, if we’re still talking about him being left off the card for SummerSlam and the event that follows, his fans should worry, as that means he isn’t gaining any traction.
Since joining the Raw roster, Elias Samson hasn’t even had a match, nor a promo, let alone starting an official feud that would see him in a prime position to take up a spot on this card.
That being said, with his gimmick, it seems like a given that somewhere along the line during the Payback event, we’ll see people backstage and The Drifter will walk past the camera, playing his guitar and I’m assuming, looking for his shopping cart filled with empty cans and other trinkets he’s come across in his travels.
Immediately following Payback, can we get an edition of Ride Along called Walk Along that follows his adventures?
From the Women’s Division…
Bayley will be defending her Raw Women’s Championship against Alexa Bliss, which is arguably the best and most exciting feud to have out of that entire roster, but it leaves a number of other women out in the cold.
While their feud isn’t the biggest deal in the world, Emma and Dana Brooke easily could have been slotted into a pre-show match as the two are tied together in a program and have yet to properly face off. It’s doubtful it would have drawn a lot of viewers to the kickoff, but for those who were watching, they would be more invested in the storyline for the future.
We also have our usual crop of M.I.A. women in Alicia Fox, Paige and Summer Rae. Everything about them has been said before.
However, along with them, we have Mickie James, Nia Jax and Sasha Banks. All three of them are definitely important enough to be justified to be on the card—however, WWE never set up any kind of feuds for them. Without having something to work with to build to, a random match would just feel like an offshoot of Monday Night Raw’s booking, and in that scenario, less is more.
From the Tag Team Division…
Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson are very clearly feuding with Big Cass and Enzo Amore, so an impromptu match could happen if WWE gets closer to the show and realizes another segment needs to be added. However, as that isn’t the feud with the championship on the line, it has to take a backseat to The Hardy Boyz vs. Cesaro and Sheamus.
** UPDATE: A few hours after posting this, WWE announced Gallows and Anderson vs. Enzo and Cass for the pre-show. Disregard what is above.
Understandably, The Revival are out of action until Dash Wilder’s injuries heal, as there would be no reason to have Scott Dawson pop up and wrestle in singles competition without his partner.
There’s also The Golden Truth along with Heath Slater and Rhyno. As newcomers to the brand, it means much more for Slater and Rhyno to be overlooked than Goldust and R-Truth, who essentially only seem to wrestle on Main Event and in the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal, if that. Judging by the way he’s been used for the past few months, they’ll probably just give Rhyno some cheese and crackers and he’ll be happy with that. Check out his match with catering on Payback Fallout—oh, wait, that was Simon Gotch’s original role, nevermind.