Two pay per views removed from “Wrestlemania 30,” and Daniel Bryan is unable to defend his WWE World Heavyweight Championship at “WWE Payback.” Instead of a title match, the show features two main event bouts in The Shield vs. Evolution and John Cena vs. Bray Wyatt.
Like “WWE Extreme Rules,” there is a definite old school vs. new school vibe to the show, with the younger superstars attempting to make their mark on WWE. Even without Bryan competing, he is scheduled to appear on the show to address the WWE World Heavyweight Championship situation.
As for the matches, check out Zap2it’s predictions below, and make sure to come back Sunday (June 1) at 8 p.m. ET for live blog coverage of “Payback.”
The Shield vs. Evolution in a No Holds Barred Elimination match
This is likely the last stop for the feud between Evolution and The Shield. While the Hounds of Justice took the first victory at “Extreme Rules,” don’t count them out here. The three members of The Shield are the future of WWE and having them take Evolution out two months in a row is the perfect tool to build their credibility even more.
Additionally, Evolution’s reunion run has been mediocre at best. Calling them Evolution doesn’t even make sense, as none of them are actually the future of wrestling, they’re the past and present. It’s time for the new guard to cement their place in WWE and this is the spot to do it.
Winners: The Shield
John Cena vs. Bray Wyatt in a Last Man Standing match
It’s the third pay per view outing for Cena and Wyatt. The two have had great matches, with endings that left a bit to be desired. At “Wrestlemania,” Cena won clean over Wyatt. At “Extreme Rules,” Wyatt took the victory with no end of interference and a creepy, singing child.
This final bout is the chance to end the story right. Wyatt needs a clean win to solidify himself as one of WWE’s top feels and reinvigorate his Family. There’s nothing really to gain from John Cena winning or losing. His character has gotten to a place where victories are meaningless. Now he’s just the establishment. He’s been on top so long that everyone knows it’s exactly where he’ll stay until it’s time to retire.
Winner: Bray Wyatt
Bad News Barrett vs. Rob Van Dam for the Intercontinental Championship
WWE deserves kudos for bringing some legitimacy to the Intercontinental Championship. Making wrestlers earn shots at that title is important, even more so when the WWE World Heavyweight Champion can’t wrestle.
That said, it’s too early in Barrett’s run to take the title away from him. Rob Vam Dam is still who he is, with or without the title. After so many years in wrestling, fans know exactly what they’re getting from him and that won’t change with a second-level title.
Winner: Bad News Barrett
Sheamus vs. Cesaro for the United States Championship
Before teaming with Paul Heyman, Cesaro was most entertaining as a United States Champion. Now, on the rise again, this is a good chance to give him some much needed momentum. As a Paul Heyman guy, Cesaro needs to deliver.
That said, without the United States Championship, what is there for Sheamus? He’s sort of floated around over the last year and has nothing promising on the horizon. Perhaps he could lose the title, turn heel and become the “future” Evolution is missing?
Paige vs. Alicia Fox for the Divas Championship
Bonus points to Alicia Fox for reinventing herself into a crazy person who is somehow more nuts than AJ Lee ever was. That all said, there’s no way they’re taking the title off Paige now.
AJ still hasn’t had her rematch and Paige as champion is way too interesting to end this early.
Pre-show: Hornswoggle vs. El Torito in a Hair vs. Mask match
The biggest prediction is this will be nowhere near as fun as the WeeLC match at “Extreme Rules.” Still, it’s more entertaining watching these two go at it then 3MB and Los Matadores.
Surely they wouldn’t dare unmask El Torito, though. Say goodbye to your hair, Hornswoggle.
Winner: El Torito
“WWE Payback” is live Sunday, June 1, at 8 p.m. ET on the WWE Network and pay per view.