Views From The Turnbuckle: Payback Preview, Weak Main Event Saved By Strong Undercard

If there is one thing that I can say about Payback it's that I'm glad WWE is presenting us with a normal ppv that is void of any gimmicks. Hell in a Cell, Elimination Chamber, TLC etc. all lose their appeal when they happen at a designated time each and every year. It also allows the match to determine the storyline, instead of the storyline determining the match, which is wrestling booking 101. Anyways, the card for Payback looks promising in some areas and weak in others; let's take a look at it.

Ryback vs John Cena for the WWE Championship is a match that I'm not too thrilled about. "3 Stages of Hell" is an interesting touch, something that we have not seen in the WWE in 4 years. I think it will be a very typical John Cena type match. Since Cena is the better in-ring performer (never a good sign) and the match is set up for a lot of outside the ring brawling, it should be similar to last month's match at Extreme Rules, a brawl with a few recycled spots and a limited amount of actual wrestling.

I don't think Ryback has a chance to win this match. He is too raw and has yet to prove he can be a viable WWE champion. I also think that the WWE wants to give John Cena a lengthy title reign, you don't take the WWE Championship off of the Rock only to have that guy dethroned a few months later. The first match is a Lumberjack match, which I think Cena will win fairly quickly, perhaps not cleanly as one of the lumberjacks gets involved. The tables match is destined to have Ryback win, it is the ultimate match to get a fluke victory in. Ryback pushes Cena off of the entrance ramp or a ledge or something through a table to tie it up 1-1. Cena will finish Ryback off in the ambulance match, most likely hitting an AA onto something (off the top of the ambulance through two tables would be my plan) and retain the belt.

Chris Jericho vs CM Punk is probably the most interesting match on the card, especially because we haven't seen Punk on WWE TV since he walked out back in April. Some are predicting that Punk will not show up for the ppv, but I find that hard to believe since the show is taking place in Chicago. If the WWE bait and switches the crowd that badly, they will boo the crap out of the following match (probably Cena vs Ryback).

Their feud never really fulfilled its potential last summer, mainly because Punk won every single time and the "CM Punk's family is a bunch of druggies and alcoholics" probably wasn't the greatest idea by creative. Jericho is now the babyface and Punk the heel, although that will hardly matter in Punk's hometown, so things will definitely be different. I think the match will end in a draw, perhaps a double DQ or a double countout, with Punk hitting the GTS on Jericho after the bell has rung. That will further the feud and send the crowd home happy.

Dolph Ziggler vs Alberto Del Rio for the World Heavyweight Championship is a match that has been on hold for a while, and now the WWE finally gets to run with it. I can't see anyway Ziggler loses the title unless Big E turns on him. ADR hasn't done anything to deserve the WHC except get a billion undeserved title shots and Ziggler needs to move on to a feud with a better babyface. This match opens the card with Ziggler winning cleanly in under 15 minutes. Both guys are really good in-ring workers, and the Chicago crowd could really fall for Dolph so don't sleep on this one.

The Intercontinental Championship went from being a triple threat, to a singles match, back to a triple threat. I have to think that the newly inserted Curtis Axel is going to win the title. The WWE doesn't seem to care that much about Wade Barrett or the Miz, but they do care a lot about Axel and they need to start justifying all the hype for a guy who's matches almost always end in flukes and go under 5 minutes.

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