Sunday marks the first PPV of the new season and the first since the recent superstar shake-up, and it has some promise. It’s difficult to call this a RAW exclusive since two of the top matches involve Smackdown stars, with one of them determining which person is going to Smackdown, but this was unavoidable with the shake-up.
Overall, the card is looking pretty interesting, and there should at least be a couple of solid matches, but who’s going to win them?
Roman vs. Braun
Please be Braun. This is more of a hope than a prediction. While Roman will eventually get his revenge on Braun for that brutal, backstage beat down, I don’t think it should be Sunday. They’ve been telling us that Roman suffered some major injuries (cracked ribs and a separated shoulder), but somehow he’s going to be fit to fight for Payback. It will be impossible to believe that he is ready to defeat Braun in his current condition, but then again, this is Roman, and this wouldn’t be the first time we’ve had to stretch our suspension of disbelief to the breaking point. Here’s to hoping they don’t force us to do that.
Randy vs. Bray
What was originally a Championship match has now been unceremoniously turned into just a feud match. I have opinions on this but that’s for another post. As it is, there is really no reason for Bray not to win this one other than wanting to continue the trend of Bray never winning a feud. A trend that is quickly becoming tired and rather unfair to Bray. Again, I’m more hoping that they let Bray have this one. The whole House of Horrors gimmick was his idea. If Dean gets to win in the Ambrose Asylum, than Bray should win the House of Horrors.
Bayley vs Alexa
Going to go with Bayley. She has been set up for a while as the woman that overcomes the odds, and while it would make sense for Alexa to win it, I don’t believe Bayley has had the title long enough to warrant a title change. I’m also holding out for a Sasha heel turn, and the best way to do that is for her to turn on Bayley. Here’s to hoping.
Owens vs Jericho
This is the only match that I am totally confident about predicting, because Kevin is going to win this one. Even without the rumors that Jericho is going to be taking a hiatus to tour with his band, Kevin’s “Face of America” has been the best thing to happen to the US Title since Rusev had it. He’s brought relevancy back to it, and having Kevin come out every week and make fun of Americans while calling himself “The Face of America” is pure gold.
Seth Rollins vs Samoa Joe
Joe wins this one dirty. Watching these two go at each other has been entertaining, and having Joe win would keep this feud going for a while longer, which I’m down for. It’s also a great way of keeping up a semblance of Seth’s feud with Triple H without Haitch being in the spotlight. This would help to elevate Joe, something that fans would love, since Joe is undeniable great.
Hardy Boyz vs Cesaro and Sheamus
The Hardys are going to retain their titles. The Hardys have only had the title since Mania, and it wouldn’t seem beneficial for the WWE to take the titles off of them yet. Plus, with the Hardy Boyz holding the title, any matches they have with other tag teams will only help to elevate their opponents. The Hardys don’t really need the push, but others do, and the Hardys can do that, making the tag team division stronger, something that has been lacking lately on both shows.
Neville vs Austin Aries
Since Neville won at Mania, and won dirty at that, it’s time for Aries to win. Neville has managed to elevate the cruiserweight division with his run as champion, and this elevation could continue with an Aries run as well. Story wise, it makes sense for Aries to win, and there aren’t really any negatives to this happening. Either way, this is going to be a great match.
But something is missing here…
Neither the IC title or the Universal Title are up for grabs. The IC Title being excluded isn’t very troublesome as they are still setting up a feud with The Miz, and Dean has defended it since Mania. The real hole here is the Universal Title. Supposedly, a title is supposed to be defended at least every 30 days. It will be 28 come Sunday, and Brock hasn’t even made an appearance. Since Brock generally doesn’t show up until PPVs, we are now left wondering if we aren’t going to see a Universal Title defense until Extreme Rules…in June. I told you giving him the title was a bad idea!