Posted April 30th, 2016 by jshannon

Crystal Ball: Payback (2016)

Jay Shannon draws upon all his predictive skill to look at an upcoming major wrestling event.

So, WWE is ready to present the first post-Wrestlemania event. Payback has several decent matches that are likely to be launching pads for future shows. Let’s take a look…

Kalisto vs Ryback
United States Title Match


On paper, Ryback should just devour the much-smaller Kalisto. However, Kalisto is this generation’s Rey Mysterio, so I’m thinking he will somehow slip past Big Hungry.

Predicted Winner: Kalisto
Predicted Grade: 2.0

Enzo Amore and Colin Cassidy vs Aiden English and Simon Gotch (The Vaudevillains)
Number One Contendership Match


These are two of the brightest stars on the tag team horizon. This one is actually more difficult to predict than one might think. I’m wondering if Karl Anderson and Luke Gallows might get involved. If they don’t, I’m going to go with the super-popular Enzo and Cass to take this one and go on to win the titles, soon.

Predicted Winners: Enzo Amore and Colin Cassidy
Predicted Grade: 3.0

Dolph Ziggler vs Baron Corbin


WWE is really pushing the whole “new stars, new opportunities” thing, right now. Dolph has been on a major de-push for some time. I do think Dolph will work a good match with Baron but Ziggler will find himself on the wrong end of End of Days.

Predicted Winner: Baron Corbin
Predicted Grade: 3.0

The Miz vs Cesaro
Intercontinental Title Match


I’ve talked this match over, in great detail, with my little coffee clutch, at work. The voting was definitely split. Raul and Chris feel it is high time that Cesaro got a good run as a champion. Maggie and Will think Miz should have a run with the title, since Zack Ryder’s reign was so ridiculously short. I can see both sides and agree with both arguments. In the end, it goes back with what will sell tickets. I’m going against my norm and picking the challenger to take this one.

Predicted Winner (and NEW I-C Champion): Cesaro
Predicted Grade: 3.25

Mr. McMahon’s MAJOR Announcement:

In theory, either The Authority or Shane McMahon will gain control of Raw. I just can’t believe Vince will do a simple “Either/Or” situation. Vince has to make this entertaining. I have a feeling that Vince is going to set up a series of matches, either between HHH and Shane, or their representatives. The winner gets control. As far as who would take that little war, I’m thinking Shane (at least initially).

Sami Zayn vs Kevin Owens


This one just might steal the show. Both of these men are incredibly talented. They have worked together for close to a decade and a half. This one is so tough to call. There are no titles on the line, just bragging rights. Owens has been on a slight down push, as of late. I really think Sami is going to pull this one out.

Predicted Winner: Sami Zayn
Predicted Grade: 4.25

Charlotte (w/Ric Flair) vs Natalya (w/Bret Hart)
Women’s World Title Match


I went back to my little crew for thoughts on this one. Raul, Maggie and William feel it is time for a new champ. Chris thinks Charlotte needs a few more substantial wins to make the first reign of the new Women’s champion more meaningful. I tend to agree with Chris. Sure, Charlotte will drop the belt, eventually. I just don’t think it will change hands at a B-level show. I don’t think it will be a clean win but a win is a win.

Predicted Winner: Charlotte
Predicted Grade: 3.25

Dean Ambrose vs Chris Jericho


This feud just makes no darn sense to me. It feels like Creative had two guys that they really didn’t know what to do with and figured that they could just fight to flesh out the card. I realize there is the backstory of Dean getting Jericho’s talk show and such. Since Dean just came off a losing effort against Brock Lesnar, he is due a substantial win. Jericho, on the other hand, came out shining against A.J. Styles. I am going with the Lunatic Fringe (Dean) to take this one.

Predicted Winner: Dean Ambrose
Predicted Grade: 2.5

Roman Reigns vs A.J. Styles
World Title Match


This match is going to tick off the fans. Roman and A.J. may give the match of their careers but it won’t mean much. Jimmy Uso, Jey Uso, Karl Anderson and Luke Gallows are almost certainly going to get involved. I just sense that this one is going to break down into a total mosh pit and the ref will end up throwing it out. That would be a horrible ending to what could be an epic battle. However, I’m pretty darn sure that Roman will leave with the belt and the fans will leave…feeling cheated. There is one other options that might happen. I’ve noticed that the poster for the event features the Wyatt Family. Since none of Bray’s bunch are scheduled to compete, I could see Bray and his posse stroll out and attack Roman, Styles…or maybe both! That could lead to Bray vs Roman vs A.J. at the next PPV. That would, maybe, save the show.

Predicted Winner: Double Disqualification/Match Thrown Out
Predicted Grade: 2.5

In Conclusion:

I know WWE likes to give the fans a big show, every 3-4 weeks. Sadly, they can’t all be Wrestlemania or Summer Slam. This one just doesn’t feel like it is going to be that great. Since I do have the afternoon off, I’m sure I’ll sit down and check it out.


–Jay Shannon

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