Notable Superstars Missing from the Card
Note: This is not a full list of everyone on the roster who is not scheduled for the show. It excludes jobbers, injured talent, people who wouldn’t have normally been expected to appear on the show for some fashion, those who are unable to perform due to travel restrictions and so on. It also should be noted that much of the information regarding COVID-19 pandemic regulations and precautions is not public knowledge, so there’s no telling if anyone on this list or elsewhere is not going to be on the card due to those factors.
Aleister Black / Kevin Owens = This past Monday, Aleister Black turned heel and nailed Kevin Owens with a Black Mass seemingly for the hell of it. It’s the very start of their feud (we can assume) so I’m not too shocked they don’t have a match already for this show. Then again, if WWE randomly announced on The Bump or something that this was added to Payback, I wouldn’t be shocked, as it fits better here than Clash of Champions. I expect instead, though, that it will simply play out as a Raw storyline.
Asuka = She did just win the title at SummerSlam and defend it the next night on Raw. There aren’t any viable contenders to fight her. It’s more than okay that she’s not on this card. I’d rather the show be a little shorter than for them to just throw on a random Asuka against a jobber match.
AJ Styles / Jeff Hardy / Sami Zayn = A rematch between Jeff Hardy and AJ Styles felt like a solid chance. However, the return of Sami Zayn has thrown a third party into the equation. Maybe we get Styles vs. Hardy on SmackDown with Hardy vs. Zayn at Clash of Champions? Maybe it’s a triple threat at COC? If WWE wants to add another match, they could just do Styles/Hardy at the last minute at Payback, that’s for sure, but I think rushing Zayn would be a mistake.
Cesaro and Shinsuke Nakamura / Lucha House Party = These two teams have been having enough matches together. I’m not all too shocked they don’t have a match going on here, too.
Big E, Heavy Machinery / Sheamus, The Miz, John Morrison = Being Mr. Money in the Bank hasn’t helped Otis get on a card recently. We had a six-man tag featuring these guys on SmackDown, so I guess that’s what we could’ve gotten at Payback. While I enjoyed some of that segment, I don’t think the PPV itself is missing much by not having that. (Update: Since posting this, Big E vs. Sheamus was announced.)
Alexa Bliss / Nikki Cross = WWE took another step forward in the split between these two when Bliss snapped and broke the mug she gave to Cross. Since that just happened on SmackDown, I don’t think a match between them will be added. That seems like it will just be an angel for Friday nights.
Of course, there’s also The Street Profits, Andrade and Angel Garza, the rest of The Hurt Business, Cedric Alexander, Ricochet, Mustafa Ali, Mickie James and Natalya and so many more not on this card, but all of them felt like they weren’t worth necessarily talking about.
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