It’s time for some Payback!
The first PPV after WrestleMania is only a few hours away and it could be an odd one. There’s talent from both Raw and Smackdown as the superstar shakeup played havoc with the card. Plenty of post-Mania storylines to clean up though so let’s get to it.
1) Tonight is Monday Night Raw’s Pay Per View Payback. Based on the card which matches are you looking forward to the most? Which matches are you least looking forward to?
Corey: I’m definitely looking forward to Roman Reigns vs Braun Strowman especially after how good their last bout was before Mania. Austin Aries vs Neville should be really good as well along with Cesaro and Sheamus vs The Hardy Boyz. The match I’m least looking forward to is Bray Wyatt vs Randy Orton simply because I’m not looking forward to seeing Bray get buried even more.
Josh: I’m really looking forward to Seth Rollins vs Samoa Joe. That should be a very physical and entertaining match. I’m also with Corey in the skepticism of the Randy Orton vs Bray Wyatt match. We still have no idea what a House of Horrors match is, but if it’s anything resembling their WrestleMania match then it won’t be particularly enjoyable.
2) Speaking of the Hardys vs Cesaro and Sheamus, what do you think the outcome of this match will be?
Corey: With the tension that’s been building up I have a feeling that Cesaro and Sheamus may have a heel turn coming up as a tag team after they lose. I never really envisioned Cesaro as a heel but with him tagging with Sheamus it could actually work. Now rumor is that WWE has been trying to work something out with TNA to allow the Hardys to use the Broken Gimmick. If, and that’s a major IF, the WWE was able to work something out then I see the the Hardys dropping the titles to then convert to the Broken Gimmick, but if not I see them retaining.
Josh: I smell a heel turn coming for coming for Cesaro and Sheamus. It’s just so rare to see a respect storyline without a swerve coming in somewhere. Hardys retain, Sheamus goes off and then Cesaro pulls Sheamus away only to turn around and start beating up on the Hardys as well.
3) Chris Jericho will be challenging his former best friend Kevin Owens in a rematch for the United States Championship. What do you see as the outcome for this match?
Corey: Pretty standard rematch. Owens is definitely walking out with the title and I foresee it being Jericho’s last match for a while until he comes back from tour with his band Fozzy.
Josh: Owens definitely wins and finishes out this feud with Jericho. Jericho can take some time away to tour with Fozzy and Owens moves into a hotly anticipated feud with AJ Styles.
4) Seth Rollins and Samoa Joe will be meeting tonight as well. Who do you see coming out of this bout the victor?
Corey: I’m gonna go with Joe on this one. Seth is already solidified in the crowds eyes and he’s also coming off of his WrestleMania win against Triple H so a loss here won’t hurt him at all. Also even though WWE has done an amazing job with the booking of Joe, I still think he needs a win here to solidify his monster status on the card.
Josh: I’m going with Seth Rollins as the winner. Joe can look strong even in a loss if it’s super close and Rollins wins with a roll-up or something that makes it look like he squeaked out a win. Rollins continues his ascent to the Universal Championship and then they can take the next month or so to figure out who out of Rollins, Strowman and Reigns is the next challenger to Brock Lesnar.
5) WWE has been showing teaser videos of one of their newest NXT recruits Bianca Blair. What are your thoughts on her?
Corey: From the little bit I’ve seen I’m already excited about what she can do. She’s already being dubbed as a “Genetic Beast” and I’m already starting to imagine matches with her against the likes of Asuka, Ember Moon, Charlotte, Sasha Banks, and others. Time will tell what she turns into but I’m excited to see where things go.
Josh: She’s definitely a blue-chip athlete, but we really need to see how those athletic gifts are going to translate into the ring. There have been many great athletes that have come through WWE and never made it anywhere. Let’s hope she turns into something great.
– I’m really looking forward to when Dolph Ziggler and Shinsuke Nakamura finally have their one on one PPV match. Give them 15 to 20 minutes and they can steal the show.
– I’m already not looking forward to the Miz being on Raw. It’s so easy for him to get lost in the shuffle because of all the other talent that’s clearly placed over him whereas on Smackdown he was one of the shining points when given the time. Less than a month on Raw’s roster and he’s already been moved to the pre-show.
– I’ll be taking in NXT live and in person next weekend as they come out to the west coast. Their live events tend to showcase some talent that’s not currently on the weekly programming so I’ll provide a full report of my time there and who looks primed for a breakout in the coming year.