Prediction Day: WWE Payback 2016

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Kalisto vs. Ryback (WWE United States Championship)

Predicted Winner: Kalisto

The pre-show of WrestleMania gets a pre-show rematch. Not much to say about this match, aside from it falls flat. This will likely be the weakest showing of the PPV. WWE needs to decide whether to give Kalisto a legitimate push, or take the title off of him and give to someone else (preferably not Ryback). The title has lost much of its credibility since the days of the US Open challenge. This will be your typical David vs. Goliath match, with Kalisto scoring the pinfall.

Dolph Ziggler vs. Baron Corbin

Predicted Winner: Baron Corbin

Corbin has come a long way, from a sea of “boring” chants and boos, to a midcard match on the main roster PPV within 2 years. Corbin has never looked better, and continues to grow as a menacing ‘big guy’ heel. Dolph is the perfect matchup for him, because he can help fill any shortfalls Corbin has in the ring. Ziggler will sell great for him, and keep up Corbin’s strong persona. Speaking of strong, it would be interesting to see Corbin introduce some ‘strong style’ into his repertoire, especially as a guy who would benefit from a good striking game. The new guy always wins in this situation, so Corbin by pinfall via End of Days.


Enzo & Cass vs. The Vaudevillians – #1 Contender Match for the Tag Team Championships

Predicted Winners: The Vaudevillians


We’ve seen this match before in NXT. The crowd will be hot, and it will seem fresh on the main roster. Other than that, it will be your typical run of the mill tag match. Chances are the Vaudevillians will win, because it gives Enzo & Cass a chance to have a legitimate feud with the Dudleys, and gives the New Day something to do until SummerSlam. Keep in mind the New Day are the hottest merchandise sellers right now, so the belts will stay on them for the time being. Enzo & Cass also need to build up on the main roster before the capture the titles. It also gives the Vaudevillians a bit of a credibility boost, which they desperately need. Gotch & English to win.

Charlotte vs. Natalya (WWE Women’s Championship)

Predicted Winner: Charlotte

Although we have seen this match many times, this one still seems to stay fresh. A combination of good wrestling, better than average promos, and bringing Ric/Bret into this has made this another possible strong showing for the revamped division. Bret just had surgery, so don’t expect anything more than a simple punch to Ric Flair. Bret was also vocal about only doing this to support Nattie, so expecting him to do much more than a very small spot is just expecting too much. Either way, it will be great to see Hart back for one night. It would be hard to believe anyone but Sasha Banks would dethrone her for the title, so expect a Charlotte win.


The Miz vs. Cesaro (WWE Intercontinental Championship)

Predicted Winner: The Miz


Much like the Kalisto/Ryback match, this will be one of the weaker showings of the night (which is hard to say with such an in-ring talent like Cesaro). The Miz was given the IC title for one simple reason, to get Maryse over. Maryse will be featured in the upcoming Total Divas season, which has been given an increase in interest with Lana/Rusev and Rene/Ambrose joining, as well as the Total Bellas spin-off. While she does seem ‘over’ at this point, expect the Miz to hold the title for at least another month or two in order to solidify her as a television regular. Cesaro also seems ready to move past the midcard title scene at this point, so giving him the title is somewhat meaningless. Much like Dean Ambrose’s reign, it would be a forgettable prop. A title win for someone like Apollo Crews or Baron Corbin in the Fall would be much more meaningful. Miz to win via Maryse distraction.

Sami Zayn vs. Kevin Owens

Predicted Winner: Kevin Owens

This is the main event for the hardcore fans. The Zayn Owens rivalry has been going on for years, and they are so comfortable working with each other, it should be easy to create a masterpiece (provided they are given enough time). As much as 50/50 booking does not work well, Owens winning does give Zayn an opportunity to have a huge payoff win in another PPV. This will likely be the match of the night, and will provide the best action and biggest spots. If the stars align, this could very well be a possible contender for match of the year. Owens to win.

Dean Ambrose vs. Chris Jericho

Predicted Winner: Dean Ambrose

Even though this feud started out with the Highlight Reel being cancelled, it has been brewing much longer than that. Jericho joined Roman & Ambrose in a 6-man tag match in 2015, and after he lost, he walked out and shoved Dean. During the Royal Rumble, Ambrose was the one who eliminated Jericho. WWE has not touched on these points, and it would have been smarter to do so in order to help build this feud. Regardless of the feud, the match will be great. Both men are veterans of the craft, and both know how to put on a strong showing. Jericho is a great heel, and Ambrose is still very adored by the crowd. Jericho does not need this win, so expect Ambrose to pull this one off and end the feud (and possibly put Y2J into break-mode for a few months).


Roman Reigns vs. AJ Styles (WWE World Heavyweight Championship)

Predicted Winner: Roman Reigns

The match’s winner is a relatively easy one to predict, which is never good. The good news is that not only have the bookers paired Roman with AJ, but they have added in the wildcards of Gallows & Anderson, as well as possibly Finn Balor into the mix. The match itself will be more than acceptable, but the real question is what happens after the match? Do we get a heel turn for either AJ or Roman, or does Finn Balor debut? Or do we just get Anderson & Gallows attack AJ and have a mini feud between the three men until they plan on executing one of the first options later? Mystery around a match makes for a good PPV, so let’s hope WWE decides to keep the ending interesting.

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