Ahead of Sunday’s WWE Payback event, which is being held in Baltimore, Graham Caygill makes his predictions on who will be standing tall in the respective matches.
Seth Rollins to defeat Roman Reigns, Randy Orton and Dean Ambrose to retain his WWE world heavyweight title in a fatal four-way
Rollins on paper appears to be up against it in this four-man match where the first man to gain a pinfall or submission wins, meaning Rollins does not necessarily have to be involved in the decisive moment to lose the match and the title he won at WrestleMania.
But expect Rollins to prevail, in all probability through help from The Authority and Kane, who will provide the outside interference in proceedings.
Orton does not need the WWE title at this point in the career, a Reigns title success is unlikely given the WWE are still rebuilding him after the negative reaction from fans to his Royal Rumble win and WrestleMania push, while Ambrose brings unpredictability to the match, but he is the least likely of the four men to leave the title belt. despite his clear popularity with the fans.
Rollins will get the pinfall, probably over Ambrose, to ensure the main event revolves around him going into the summer.
John Cena to beat Rusev in an I Quit match to retain his United States Championship
The fourth match between these men and expect the storyline to focus around Rusev’s deteriorating relationship with his sidekick Lana.
There has been clear dissent between the two since Cena won the title from the Russian at WrestleMania, and Lana is becoming more and more popular with the fans.
I do not expect her to outright cost Rusev the match, but a possible scenario in a match where the winner has to make their opponent verbally quit, is that Lana grabs a microphone and quits for Rusev when Cena has his submission hold locked in and Rusev refuses to give up, despite being in great pain.
Cena is winning the match and retaining the title, how he does it is the most interesting thing here.
The New Day to beat Cesaro and Tyson Kidd to retain their Tag Team Championship
The New Day caused an upset at Extreme Rules by beating Cesaro and Tyson Kidd for the tag team titles and they have been great fun since, the over elaborate celebrations after their successes bringing genuine heat from the fans.
With this being a best of three falls match expect them to get at least 15 minutes, and with four very good workers in the ring this could be match of the match, but the titles will remain with the New Day, who have a lot of potential to become the centre of the tag division over the summer.
Naomi and Tamina to defeat the Bella Twins in a tag match
Naomi has stepped up in a big way as the new villain of the piece in the women’s division, and she and Tamina will get the win here to add more heat to her ahead of another likely challenge at Nikki Bella’s Diva’s title in the near future.
Neville to beat Bad News Barrett
An interesting one this, as Neville beat Barrett at Extreme Rules on the pre-show, but Barrett won cleanly against his English compatriot at King of the Ring to win the tournament. Both men will almost certainly be in the Elimination Chamber match for the vacant Intercontinental title later this month so both could do with the win.
This could easily go either way but Neville could do with the win just to cement his credentials for the Elimination Chamber as a serious contender, with a defeat unlikely to hurt Barrett’s overall prospects.
Sheamus to defeat Dolph Ziggler
Ziggler got the upperhand with victory at Extreme Rules, although it was Sheamus who stood standing post-match after beating down Ziggler. Both men could well feature in the Money in the Bank briefcase match next month, but Sheamus needs something to shout about to justify his new darker character and a victorious showing against the ever entertaining Ziggler will help him do that.
Bray Wyatt to defeat Ryback
A big match for both men who need momentum after a stop-start recent few months. Wyatt, who has been directionless since losing to the Undertaker at WrestleMania, arguably needs the win and a strong showing more, so that for reason expect him to triumph, possibly with some help from his former family members Luke Harper and Erick Rowan in a reunion of the Wyatt family faction.
WWE Payback will be televised on the WWE Network, which is available through OSN, on Monday morning in the UAE from 3am.