WrestleMania has passed and a new year of wrestling has begun in WWE. A week after the biggest show of the year, the Superstar Shake-Up has changed what many of us thought was going to occur following Wrestlemania. Now the rosters have been greatly adjusted and new rivalries have begun to bloom. While some of the decisions leading up to this PPV have led to certain matches being forgone conclusions, the potential for great matches is there. Whether or not they will be great remains to be seen. Here are my predictions for Payback (2017):
Note: predictions for title matches are based on who walks out with the title. Meaning if the challenger wins by DQ, the correct prediction would be the champion retaining.
Enzo & Cass v. Gallows & Anderson
This has been a clash that has occurred many times before, though many of the results have yet to be clean. Enzo & Cass seem to be floundering at this point, struggling to gain momentum. While a clash against the previous Raw Tag Team champs seems like a chance to gain some forward movement, the match is a repeat of many times before and is occurring on the kickoff show. To further how pointless this match is, neither team seems to have a real reason to be competing against each other at this point, other than to simply try to gain a win.
Prediction: Enzo & Cass
While a loss for Anderson & Gallows seems like a huge step down for the team, Enzo & Cass need the momentum immensely, with the hope that they find a new rivalry soon. Perhaps a rivalry with the Revival (when Dash Wilder is healthy again) will do wonders for both teams, allowing the Revival to show what they are capable of and provide Enzo & Cass with something fresh.
Seth Rollins v. Samoa Joe
A feud that was likely meant to occur before WrestleMania, Rollins and Joe have been clashing multiple times over the last few weeks. The reasoning seems a bit strange though. Joe wants to beat down Rollins for his injury. While it is great to see these two guys battling each other, the inclusion of Triple H as the reason behind it all points to the possibility of something bigger in the shadows. There was rumor of a new stable being built with Joe, Owens, and Triple H, but that rumor seems to have died with the move of Owens. Maybe there is still a stable being formed and the catalyst will be this match. Whether that is true or not, Joe and Rollins are likely to put on an excellent match.
Prediction: Samoa Joe
While Joe is meant to look like a destroyer, he has been faced with multiple tag team losses in the past few weeks. While he wasn’t the one to eat the pin, the victories have been taken by Rollins, making Joe look somewhat weak in the process. This doesn’t affect him in the long run unless he takes his first singles defeat this Sunday. Rollins has a great deal of momentum after overcoming his biggest challenge in Triple H, but Joe has seemed like a secondary player in all of this when he should be a primary star. Giving him a win here, even if it is dirty, will allow this feud to pick up momentum and help both stars in the process.