WWE Payback 2020 Preview: Full Card, Match Predictions & More


Match Predictions and Heat Index Anticipation Levels

Temperature Scale = Scorching > Hot > Lukewarm > Temperate > Chilly > Cold > Freezing

Heat Index is my assessment of how interesting the segment is, including how excited I am for the match and how intriguing the feud has been. The hotter, the better. Scorching translates to not being able to wait to see it, while Freezing means I couldn’t possibly care less and think it will be awful.

“The Fiend” Bray Wyatt (c) vs. Braun Strowman vs. Roman Reigns

Heat Index = Hot
Prediction: Roman Reigns wins.

Thoughts: The easy pick is to say they just go right ahead to giving the belt to Reigns. I don’t think that’s necessarily a guarantee to happen. It certainly has a STRONG chance of going down, don’t get me wrong. However, with WWE’s love of milking things, I think they could have a triple threat going on in order to have Reigns fail to win the title, but avoid losing. My anticipation was fully that Strowman takes another loss with Wyatt retaining so they can do a singles Reigns vs. Wyatt match at Clash of Champions and change the title there. Then, Reigns and Wyatt fight in a Hell in a Cell match. Meanwhile, Strowman picks up with this Alexa Bliss storyline and has some other feud around Clash of Champions time. Then, SmackDown ended with Paul Heyman being by Reigns’ side. That changes things. Now, I have to lean more toward Reigns capturing the title and WWE just cutting to the chase.

King Corbin vs. Matt Riddle

Heat Index = Lukewarm
Prediction: Matt Riddle wins.

Thoughts: Like so many other things on this card and on recent cards, I like these guys, but I’m not as hyped about it because the feud’s been dragged out longer than it should have been and they’ve already had many fights together in various ways. I don’t think there’s much more to talk about that hasn’t already been said. Riddle wins.

The Golden Role Models (c) vs. Nia Jax and Shayna Baszler

Heat Index = Lukewarm
Prediction: Nia Jax and Shayna Baszler win.

Thoughts: This is strange. Is this just a means for WWE to keep stretching out the Bayley and Banks split by having them fight people who can’t get along and implode? Or, is this WWE doing the typical thing of only being invested in a tag team if they are two singles people? If that’s the case, then Baszler and Jax win the belts and have a transitional reign before they break up and drop them to some other duo (Natalya and Lana? IIconics? Chef? Denver Broncos?) I’m intrigued, but I’m also scared this is going to be awful in many ways going forward.

Apollo Crews (c) vs. Bobby Lashley

Heat Index = Lukewarm
Prediction: Bobby Lashley wins.

Thoughts: This is the match that should have happened at SummerSlam. They only did the MVP thing again so they could just get one more week out of this stuff. If I had it my way, they would have just cut to the chase and then followed it up on Payback with something else (like maybe that Cedric Alexander heel turn that may be pending). I do think there’s a good chance Bobby Lashley wins the title from Crews here, if not just so he can drop it to Keith Lee down the line. WWE is certainly making Lashley look pretty strong this year, which is good, and Crews has held it long enough that I don’t think anyone would scoff at his reign as being awful if he dropped it now.

Keith Lee vs. Randy Orton

Heat Index = Hot
Prediction: Randy Orton wins.

Thoughts: Keith Lee is one of my favorite people in WWE right now and Randy Orton has been having an amazing year, doing some of his best character work ever. Even though WWE spoiled a lot of the fun of this by having them wrestle on Raw this very week, I’m hoping they have a much more dedicated match here. I also hope they go back to using Lee’s old music and ring gear and that he isn’t used as a stepping stone to just eat a loss to make Orton look stronger. If I had it my way, McIntyre would return and screw Orton out of this match, giving Lee the victory, but Orton doesn’t look bad. Alternatively, Orton should only win by low-blowing Lee or something that proves he outright cheated and wouldn’t have necessarily won otherwise (and then, WWE would need to follow it up with something good to rehab Lee so he doesn’t start off his main roster run a failure and have to work his way back in good graces). Sadly, I just assume Orton’s going to straight-up win and it will have been completely unnecessary in hindsight.

Seth Rollins and Murphy vs. Dominik Mysterio and Rey Mysterio

Heat Index = Chilly
Prediction: The Mysterios win.

Thoughts: Again, we JUST saw this. It literally just happened on Raw this week. Just because they have a messed up finish doesn’t mean it’s worth revisiting a few days later and that it will have any more interest to it. This feud has gone on forever and I’d love to see all parties move on to something else rather than just rinse and repeat multiple times per week. It doesn’t matter who wins, as they’ll just keep having matches and none of them will have any consequences or repercussions. In fact, they’ve already even announced that Rollins and Mysterio will have another match this coming Monday. See what I mean?

Big E vs. Sheamus

Heat Index = Chilly
Prediction: Big E wins.

Thoughts: Big fan of Big E. Thumbs up on Sheamus. However, like with many other things, we’ve seen this enough times already in recent weeks that just having another match with no extra element to spice it up makes it not something I’m hyped about. If I wanted to watch reruns, I’d replay the matches we’ve already seen.

The IIconics vs. The Riott Squad

Heat Index = Cold
Prediction: The Riott Squad wins.

Thoughts: Rinse. Repeat. Copy. Paste. Rematch. Singles match out of tag teams. Tag team match out of singles. It must be so easy to do this job. Why aren’t these teams at least fighting for the tag titles instead of that Jax and Baszler duo?

How excited am I for the event as a whole?

Heat Index = Lukewarm

Thoughts: There’s no reason this event needed to exist if you look at what happened at SummerSlam and what’s booked for this. They definitely tried to split the difference. I think we all would have been more fon of one SummerSlam card that had the best of both cards, rather than trying to have rematches, piggyback off feuds that have gone on a long while and so on. There are some good things to look forward to here, but there are also some things that I just can’t wait until WWE moves past.

What do you think is going to happen at WWE Payback? Which matches are you most excited to see? Keep the discussion going in the comments below!

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