It’s time to bring back the WWE predictions column! Payback 2017 is a WWE Network event/PPV produced for the RAW brand, even though it does feature some of the stars on the SmackDown brand thanks to the SuperStar Shakeup that occurred earlier this month. As usual, all images here were taken straight from the source over at WWE.com, as are the descriptions for each match.
CURRENT 2017 RECORD – 0 out of 0 Predicted Correctly (Just started back up!)
Enzo Amore and Big Cass vs. Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson
“Before WWE Payback gets underway this Sunday, two of sports-entertainment’s most exhilarating combinations will go head-to-head as Enzo & Big Cass seek both retribution and momentum inside Raw’s highly competitive tag team division against Luke Gallows & Karl Anderson as part of the Payback Kickoff.
Though there has never been much love lost between the two explosive tandems, the spark for their Kickoff showdown came two weeks ago. With The New Day on their way to SmackDown LIVE as part of the Superstar Shake-up and the up-and-coming Revival suddenly sidelined due to Dash Wilder’s injury, Gallows & Anderson overcame Enzo & Cass in a heated tag team encounter on Raw. One week later, Gallows & Anderson added insult to injury by attacking Enzo, leaving him unable to compete just before they were about to go to battle in a Six-Man Tag Team Match.”
Winners – Enzo Amore and Big Cass
WWE Cruiserweight Championship Match
Neville (c) vs. Austin Aries
“At WWE Payback, Austin Aries will have another opportunity to expel The King of the Cruiserweights from his throne when he challenges Neville for the WWE Cruiserweight Championship in a WrestleMania rematch.
Since his return at Roadblock: End of the Line and winning the WWE Cruiserweight Championship at Royal Rumble, Neville is undefeated in singles competition. The King of the Cruiserweights has vanquished all challengers and holds true the claim that without him, the Cruiserweight division would fall into obscurity.
However, one of Neville’s closest calls as titleholder came against Aries at The Ultimate Thrill Ride. Returning from injury and immediately setting his sights on Neville, A-Double soon earned the opportunity to challenge The King of the Cruiserweights. An intense battle nearly saw the fall of the king, but Neville resorted to attacking Aries’ surgically repaired orbital socket to walk off The Grandest Stage of Them All with the Cruiserweight Title still in his possession. Refusing to accept defeat, Aries overcame Gentleman Jack Gallagher, Mustafa Ali and TJ Perkins in a high-stakes Fatal 4-Way Match on the first WWE 205 Live after WrestleMania, earning a second chance to dethrone The King of the Cruiserweights.”
Winner and STILL Cruiserweight Champion – Neville
RAW Women’s Championship Match
Bayley (c) vs. Alexa Bliss
“The Wicked Witch of WWE is looking to cast her dominant spell over the entire Raw Women’s division. Fresh off her move to WWE’s flagship show, Alexa Bliss will attempt to unseat Bayley as Raw Women’s Champion when they clash at WWE Payback.
Bayley returned from WrestleMania’s Fatal 4-Way Elimination Match with her coveted title still firmly around her waist, but thanks to the Superstar Shake-up, the landscape of the Women’s division immediately transformed around her. Enter Alexa Bliss, who reigned supreme over Sasha Banks, Mickie James and Nia Jax in an explosive Fatal 4-Way Match in front of her hometown Columbus crowd to earn the right to face Bayley at Raw’s April 30 pay-per-view.
Everyone’s Favorite Hugger is no stranger to her latest challenger, as the two fierce competitors did battle on WWE NXT. However, as the current Raw Women’s Champion prepares to reengage the former two-time SmackDown Women’s Champion, the WWE Universe is reminded just how much these Superstars have upped their game since joining the main roster … and we weren’t sure that was possible. Truly the resulting showdown will be nothing short of incredible.”
Winner and NEW Raw Women’s Champion – Alexa Bliss
RAW Tag Team Championship Match
The Hardy Boyz (c) vs. Sheamus & Cesaro
“At WWE Payback, glory will meet power head-on as Raw Tag Team Champions The Hardy Boyz go to war with former titleholders Sheamus & Cesaro.
Arguably, one of the biggest crowd reactions of WrestleMania came when Matt & Jeff Hardy suddenly reemerged on The Grandest Stage of Them All. However, that reception was trumped soon after, as the extreme brothers reigned supreme in the subsequent Fatal 4-Way Ladder Match to capture their eighth tag team championship in WWE! Riding that momentum all the way to Raw the following night, the Hardys successfully defended their newly-claimed gold against former champions Luke Gallows & Karl Anderson.
That same night, however, The Swiss Superman & The Celtic Warrior once against proved themselves to be a formidable threat when they earned the opportunity to challenge Matt & Jeff by overcoming Enzo & Big Cass in a turbulent No. 1 Contender’s Match.”
Winners and STILL Raw Tag Team Champions – The Hardy Boyz
WWE United States Championship Match
Kevin Owens (c) vs. Chris Jericho
“Payback is defined as “an act of retaliation” — how fitting for this United States Championship WrestleMania rematch between former best friends Chris Jericho and Kevin Owens, who claimed the star-spangled title from Jericho at The Ultimate Thrill Ride.
As the story infamously goes now, Jericho and Owens ran roughshod over Raw for months, having one another’s back en route to Owens becoming a dominant Universal Champion and Jericho keeping a stranglehold on the United States Title. However, KO flipped the script when he betrayed and brutalized Jericho during their “Festival of Friendship” on Raw. The six-time World Champion would return and cost Owens his Universal Title at WWE Fastlane, but The Prizefighter has recaptured the last laugh. Owens overcame his now-bitter foe at WrestleMania 33, taking Jericho’s United States Title following a savage Powerbomb on the ring apron.
What’s next for these former friends-turned-archrivals? Payback, in every sense of the word. Can Owens put the definitive period on his conflict with Jericho and retain the United States Championship? Or will the curator of The List retaliate and pry another title from The Prizefighter’s hands?”
Winner and STILL United States Champion – Kevin Owens
Seth Rollins vs. Samoa Joe
“Seth Rollins defeated Triple H, but unfinished business looms on the horizon. The Architect will go one-on-one with Triple H’s handpicked enforcer, Samoa Joe, at WWE Payback, just months after the two-time NXT Champion injured Rollins’ knee and nearly put him on the shelf for his second consecutive WrestleMania.
While Rollins seemed to believe that his defeat of The Game at The Ultimate Thrill Ride would lead to an emancipation of sorts, Joe quickly re-emerged to assert himself. The Samoan Submission Machine both battled Rollins in a tag team match the night after WrestleMania and attacked the former WWE Champion after Raw General Manager Kurt Angle revealed he would not be trading The Architect to SmackDown LIVE despite the wishes of Raw Commissioner Stephanie McMahon.
The news was then broken before the April 17 edition of Raw that Angle had sanctioned a one-on-one match between the two Superstars at WWE Payback. While Rollins has proven he can survive against long odds before, whether he can survive this one as his knee still recovers remains to be seen.”
Winner – Seth Rollins
WWE Championship “House of Horrors” Match
Randy Orton (c) vs. Bray Wyatt
“At WWE Payback, WWE Champion Randy Orton will take on Bray Wyatt in the portentous unknown that is a House of Horrors Match. After Orton overcame Wyatt and his mystical forces at WrestleMania to recapture the WWE Title, he was quickly dragged back into The Reaper of Souls’ wicked agenda.
Seemingly obsessed with avenging his loss, Wyatt interrupted the new titleholder on the first SmackDown LIVE after The Ultimate Thrill Ride to make it clear that he wasn’t done with The Apex Predator. Instead, he challenged his adversary to the first-ever House of Horrors Match. Admittedly unaware of what he was getting himself into, Orton agreed to again take on the mystical Superstar.
But what exactly is a House of Horrors Match? Moreover, as of now, Wyatt is on Raw and Orton remains on SmackDown LIVE. Could this be the last time the two Superstars clash in their epic rivalry? With the match being the maniacal brainchild of Wyatt, will The New Face of Fear have a distinct advantage? Or, will The Viper’s relentless spirit and resolve lead him to triumphing yet again?”
Winner and STILL WWE Champion – Randy Orton
Roman Reigns vs. Braun Strowman
“Payback at WWE Payback will be on the mind of Roman Reigns this Sunday, live on WWE Network, when The Big Dog goes head-to-head with Braun Strowman in a matchup guaranteed to bring chaos and destruction. The WWE Universe hasn’t seen a force quite like The Monster Among Men, as painfully evidenced by the hurt Strowman put on The Big Dog during the April 10 edition of Raw. The colossal Strowman not only destroyed Reigns to the point where he had to be carted into an ambulance, but the massive monster then tipped over the emergency vehicle with his adversary inside!
The former WWE Champion suffered multiple injuries from the horrific assault, including cracked ribs and a separated shoulder. Because of that, even the thought of Reigns stepping back inside the squared circle at WWE Payback is hard to believe. And trying to picture a less-than-100-percent Reigns withstanding more punishment to defeat a giant like Strowman, is almost impossible. However, if anyone among the WWE roster can recover and will himself to victory, it will be the Superstar who managed to overcome The Undertaker at WrestleMania 33.
Having faced plenty of obstacles during his WWE career, Reigns is known for eventually finding a way to triumph past most, if not, all of them. Whether he can do it in his current condition against Strowman remains to be seen. The only thing one can be sure of is that these two Superstars aren’t just determined to settle a score; they want to rip each other limb from limb.”
Winner – Braun Strowman