WWE Payback 2015 Predictions
May 17, 2015
By: Mike Tedesco of Wrestleview.com

It’s kind of hard to feel like this PPV coming to us tonight isn’t just a rehashing of last month’s PPV, just with two more guys added to the main event. The stipulation is basically the same in the main event as well: Kane has to help Seth Rollins win, which guarantees the crowd in attendance (and the viewers at home) won’t be into any near falls until after Kane eventually gets involved. WWE goes the screw job route a little too often. Hopefully it doesn’t hurt the match. Even though the television has been great these last two weeks, I’m not completely pumped up to watch this program. Hopefully the execution is better than I think it will be.

Kickoff Match
Macho Mandow and Curtis Axel vs. The Ascension

I heard about the big reaction Macho Mandow got two weeks ago before the Smackdown tapings started up, and I was curious to see how it would do on the actual show. I got my answer this past Monday, and it was disastrous. The crowd farted on it, as did Vince McMahon through JBL. Not a good sign. Then you throw in The Ascension as their opposition, who criticized them for impersonating old gimmicks, which is what they’re doing, and we’ve got one heck of a Kickoff Match. I’m not going to catch the Payback Kickoff show tonight, and I don’t think I’m going to go out of my way to see it.

Prediction: Macho Mandow and Curtis Axel

Dolph Ziggler vs. Sheamus

I’ve said it numerous times since he came back the night after WrestleMania 31 – I absolutely love the new and improved Sheamus. Was I right or was I right? That heel turn has completely revamped him. I like this match-up. I thought it would be good in spite of the stipulation on the last show, but they rushed the match. Hopefully they’re given a little time tonight. That brawl they had a few weeks back on the King of the Ring special that left Sheamus bloodied got me really psyched about this. They haven’t really followed up well on that aside from the stupid distraction finishes for their matches, but I’m hoping that same intensity is there. Sheamus really should win this. Ziggler is going nowhere fast. He’ll always be in this spot forever. There’s no hope of him ever moving further than he is now. Sheamus could be a monster heel that could challenge a champion Roman Reigns a while down the line. Let’s start building him up strong tonight.

Prediction: Sheamus

King Barrett vs. Neville

Neville looked absolutely fantastic in his match against John Cena this past Monday on RAW. The guy is on a roll. WWE put him over huge by leaving that open-ended question of if he would have truly defeated John Cena had it not been for Rusev. No one came that close to beating Cena in the US Title Open Challenge yet. Coming off that and nearly defeating Cena, I don’t think they should stop his momentum by having him lose to the newly crowned King Barrett, whose reign as the wrestling monarch has not gotten off to a hot start. Honestly, it’s a complete toss-up. I’ve got a lot of heels winning on this show, so I’ll give it to the face.

Prediction: Neville

The Bella Twins vs. Naomi and Tamina Snuka

Ok, so Naomi gains some traction as a heel, gets a badass bodyguard who also happens to be her kind of, sort of cousin… and this isn’t a title match. Now is the perfect time for her to become the Divas Champion. Instead, we’re going to have to sit through a lame tag match and – gulp – watch Tamina wrestle. To say Tamina’s return to the ring was poor on RAW would be an understatement. I know she can do better than that, but I’d much rather see her at ringside for a Divas Title match than watch her perform in a match that has zero stakes. I think Naomi and Tamina will pick up the win with Naomi possibly pinning Nikki, thereby keeping her status as the number one contender, but they’ll be attacked by a returning Paige after the match. Just a guess.

Prediction: Naomi and Tamina Snuka

Bray Wyatt vs. Ryback

This is probably the match I’m least looking forward to. Bray Wyatt got that monster push where he didn’t get pinned from October to WrestleMania (I don’t think Tribute to the Troops should count) and since then, he’s kind of just been spinning his wheels. After losing to The Undertaker at WrestleMania, he disappeared from appearing in the ring for a month while cutting cryptic promos. A lot of people thought it would be Roman Reigns, but it wound up being Ryback. My only thought is they just want to give Wyatt a win or two on PPV before feeding him to Reigns. I can’t think of any other reason for them to pair him up with the stagnant Ryback other than that. The build-up for this has been pretty brutal. It’s not clear why Wyatt is targeting Ryback. Wyatt has babbled something about why, but I don’t get it. This is just something that’s going to happen before being immediately forgotten about. I hope they can have a good match, but I don’t think they’ll match up well.

Prediction: Bray Wyatt

WWE Tag Team Championships – Best of 3 Falls Match
Cesaro and Tyson Kidd vs. The New Day (c’s)

I can’t believe that I’m going to write this, but there hasn’t been an act more entertaining on WWE television in recent weeks than The New Day has been. What a difference a few weeks makes. A gimmick that looked about as dead as a doornail has miraculously been revived with a strong heel turn and some incredibly goofy antics. I also like that they operate under Freebird Rules, even though some of the commentators don’t know how to properly explain what that is. This match-up was probably the best thing on the Extreme Rules PPV last month aside from the Last Man Standing Match. I’m expecting another strong effort tonight. Don’t get me wrong – Tyson Kidd and Cesaro haven’t been slouches either. Their face tag team has really taken off as well. They’re hitting on all the right buttons as well. However (again, I can’t believe I’m writing this) The New Day has the hotter gimmick. I think they should take it as far as it can go, so I wouldn’t take the titles off them tonight.

Prediction: The New Day retains the titles

WWE United States Championship – “I Quit” Match
Rusev vs. John Cena (c)

Well this feud has officially jumped the shark. I thought for sure the Russian Chain Match would be it, but they stretched it out for another show. I think this one is being held just to complete the Lana face turn. I don’t actually think she’s going to be an out and out face coming out of the show, but I can see her quitting on Rusev’s behalf or throwing in the towel (which I guess is the same thing, but without verbally saying it). Rusev will flip out on her, and that will be the end of their relationship on television at least. I’m sure the match will be fine, but I’m not completely amped up to see their fourth bout, especially since their first meeting was their best one… back in February. It’s been downhill from there, though in fairness working that Russian Chain Match in a PG environment was never going to work out for either guy. I really hate to see the end of Rusev and Lana, but it looks like it is upon us.

Prediction: John Cena retains the title

WWE World Heavyweight Championship – Fatal 4-Way Match
Randy Orton vs. Roman Reigns vs. Dean Ambrose vs. Seth Rollins (c)

Like I said in the opening paragraph, this is basically the same main event as last month’s show, except without a cage, two guys are added, and the RKO isn’t banned. The overarching storyline is that Kane has to ensure that Rollins comes out as the winner or he is fired from The Authority. In short, WWE is blatantly advertising a screw job, unsatisfying finish. At least it’ll only cost $9.99 for those that watch on the WWE Network. I can’t imagine many people clogging up the queue to order on PPV. What’s worse is the only reason this is a Fatal 4-Way instead of a Triple Threat is because they don’t want to have Orton or Reigns take the pinfall. They’ve done a great job building up Dean Ambrose these last few weeks, but I fear it was all so he can take that pinfall loss in the main event. I also have a sneaking suspicion Big Show might make an appearance in this match to take Reigns out. I just have a feeling like that Big Show/Reigns feud will never truly end. The match will probably be good in the early moments, but everyone will be waiting for Kane to do something. I think Kane will probably hesitate before attacking Rollins, but something will go awry, and Rollins will pick up a cheap victory. WWE just loves their screw job finishes.

Prediction: Seth Rollins retains the title

It certainly took a little bit, but I got my predictions record back up to respectability with a 6-2 performance at WWE Extreme Rules. Hopefully it continues to go up tonight!

Predictions Record: 16-12

Well, those are my predictions for the show. What are yours? Do you agree? Disagree? Let me know!

E-Mail – MikeyT817@gmail.com
Twitter – @MikeTedescoWV

As always, Wrestleview.com will be providing excellent, top of the line live coverage of WWE Payback. Live coverage by the great Adam Martin begins at 8 PM EST (7 PM CST) along with brief updates on Twitter.

Thanks for reading and enjoy WWE Payback!