Official Theme Song: "Another Way Out" -Hollywood Undead
This is in Chicago? Oh boy. Welcome fellow smarks to yet another long-winded tirade that I like to call a Preview! This month, WWE presents a new PPV concept called Payback. Why it took them this long to name a PPV as such is puzzling. The card is a little lacking in actual “payback,” but the main events hit on the theme nicely so let’s just roll with it and see how it goes. Chicago is notorious for being a “hot” wrestling city. The list of Chicago moments in wrestling could fill up a 3-disc DVD set (aw crap, do I least get a royalty for the idea?). It’s also the 2nd year in a row Chicago gets a post- WrestleMania PPV, with Extreme Rules 2012 emanating from the Windy City. The Extreme Rules PPV last year benefitted from the Chicago crowd, and they will be loud for this one, particularly a rematch over a year in the making. We’ll get to that. But let’s take a look at how Victor & I did last month with our picks from Extreme Rules.
Me: 6 for 8-- @PaulHcle
Victor: 7 for 8-- @weenusenvy
Sheamus vs. Damien Sandow
The Pre-Show has been renamed, probably because Vince McMahon hated everyone referring to it as “The Pre-Game Show.” The Kickoff is well paced, and let’s face facts, the only purpose of the Kickoff is to convince the WWE Universe to buy the PPV. The fact they give us a match on it is purely a bonus. The only thing I don’t get is why they can’t just can the pre-taped in-studio garbage on the PPV feed and just show this? I don’t know about you, but watching a preshow match on my 4 inch touchscreen vs. my 32-inch HDTV is a no-brainer. Just like this match. Sheamus is winning with a Brogue Kick. You can probably just skip this match and catch the highlight during the actual PPV. That’s what I’ll be doing.
My Pick- Sheamus wins, fella.
Victor’s Pick- Damien Sandow wins (because he can’t just pick the obvious choice).
WWE Tag Team Championship:
Daniel Bryan & Randy Orton vs. The Shield (c)
The Shield’s dominance ends on Smackdown this Friday, taking a clean loss in the Main Event. The loss comes at the hands of Daniel Bryan. It’s great seeing the reaction Bryan gets each time he’s on tv. He’s gotten really hot thanks in large part to The Shield. But the haphazard pairing with Orton reeks of heel turn. There’s no reason The Shield loses this match. The question becomes how do they win? One way is to finally turn Orton heel. I don’t really understand his over-the-top desire to turn when he’s so popular, which translates to merchandise sales. He’s even in a straight-to-disc movie. My guess is he thinks he’ll get a Title shot by turning, but with the 2 strikes he has with the Wellness Policy I don’t see Randy Orton ever holding either of the top titles again, nor should he. I don’t see rewarding people who make conscious, stupid decisions. As for the match, Shield wins when Seth Rollins hits a Springboard Diving Knee on Bryan who inadvertently knocks Orton out of the ring.
Our Pick- The Shield retains.
United States Championship:
Dean Ambrose (c) vs. Kane
I have to admit, I’m picking Kane in this even though I don’t expect it to happen. My reason is simple. WWE tweeted shortly after this match was announced on Raw, the only active championship in WWE Kane has never won is the U.S. Title. So my pick is because Kane is one of the longest enduring superstars in WWE and deserves one more accolade to add to his storied career. Easy way to pull this off is have the Tag Title match open the show and this follows it. Randy Orton, in a rage, RKOs everyone in the ring including Daniel Bryan, before the match starts. Kane Chokeslams Ambrose and gets the win. Then, swap the Title back to Ambrose in a rematch the next night on Raw.
My Pick- Kane wins.
Victor’s Pick- Dean Ambrose retains (Believe in The Shield)
Intercontinental Championship- Triple Threat Match:
Wade Barrett (c) vs. The Miz vs. Curtis Axel
Originally, Fandango was to be in this match. But he suffered a concussion in a match with Zack Ryder on Smackdown. So Axel replaces him. There’s a really cool story here that WWE could tell if they pay attention to their history (I know, novel concept). It took Mr. Perfect nearly 4 years after his return from the AWA to capture the Intercontinental Championship. It could take his son, Curtis Axel 11 matches to accomplish the same feat. Yes, I’m aware Axel competed previously as Michael McGillicutty and I’m ignoring it. If WWE can randomly rewrite parts of their history, then I can be a little selective here. Needless to say, if Axel wins this Sunday it will be a monumental upset. He may be undefeated, but it’s still hard to fathom winning any championship so quickly. The only superstars who come to mind who can lay claim to a sudden Title run are Santino Marella (Intercontinental) & Christian (Light Heavyweight). I like the idea of Axel running with Paul Heyman and this could be the way to get him over as he prepares for an on again, off again match with Triple H. And no, I’m not even going to touch that debacle.
My Pick- Curtis Axel wins.
Victor’s Pick- Wade Barrett retains.
Kaitlyn (c) vs. AJ Lee
I hope I’m not in the minority, but after Raw last Monday I’m looking forward to this match. The slow burn on this feud gets its payoff at Payback. The promo AJ cut on Kaitlyn was just brutal. AJ’s skill on the microphone made that promo so good. AJ swiftly and confidently destroyed Kaitlyn. Also, did anyone see my Twitter timeline Monday as I for some unknown reason was tweeting during Raw? I tweeted AJ would be revealed as the “secret admirer,” and while Big E Langston may have come out, AJ was behind it so I’m claiming a win on that one. I will also admit to be being a bit of an AJ mark. She’s a different diva than the rest, and it’s great to see her rewarded for outshining a good portion of the superstars and all of the divas for the last year or so.
Our Pick- AJ Lee wins.
World Heavyweight Championship:
Dolph Ziggler (c) vs. Alberto Del Rio
It’s great to see Ziggler back in the ring after sustaining a concussion last month. This feud is just getting started, so expect Ziggler to retain here. He needs a strong win to get back on track after being sidelined with injury.
Our Pick- Dolph Ziggler retains (While showing off.)
CM Punk vs. Chris Jericho
Chicago is going to fired up for this one! I’m very much looking forward to this one, and it’s one of the main reasons I’ll be spending my Father’s Day with my dad watching Payback. Will Punk have ring rust? Is Jericho going to prove he’s The Best in the World? How does Paul Heyman factor in? I love a match with so many questions and few answers! WWE is trying to condition fans to treat Punk as a heel heading into the event, since he’s going to be over massively as a face in Chicago. Punk/Jericho III has featured no actual input from Punk, as he’s been watching Chicago Blackhawks games since leaving after WrestleMania.
Wait. What? Victor & I have discussed this match a lot and we’ve had one big concern. Punk no shows. Punk has not made any mention of this match on Twitter. Paul Heyman has represented “his client” for the duration of the angle. It feels a little suspect that WWE would throw Jericho to the wolves by booking him against CM Punk in Punk’s hometown and a little sudden. But if Punk doesn’t compete in this match, WWE will have a PR nightmare on their hands. Chicago fans will crap all over the main event, viewers may demand a refund for an obvious bait-and-switch. This would be ugly if the “Second City Saint” fails to appear at Payback. So for the sake of seeing a great match, I’m saying Punk will be there. Hell, he’s already in Chicago anyway. All he has to do is grab a train and head to the arena from home.
Our Pick- CM Punk wins (#BITW)
WWE Championship- 3 Stages of Hell Match:
John Cena (c) vs. Ryback
Stage 1- Lumberjack Match
Stage 2- Tables Match
Stage 3- Ambulance Match (if necessary)
Some history on this match. It’s essentially a 2 Out of 3 Falls match, with each fall having a special stipulation. The first 3 Stages match was held at No Way Out 2001 between Triple H & Steve Austin. This will be only the 4th 3 Stages match in WWE history, with Triple H having competed in each of the previous 3. Anyone who knows me knows I love old-school wrestling. 2 Out of 3 Falls is as old-school as it gets. This match ups the ante on a classic wrestling gimmick. I loved the finish to their match at Extreme Rules. And this is a good way to end this feud. There’s no reason to take the Title off Cena for Ryback as he just can’t get over with fans as a heel. I see this match going to Cena in a clean sweep. Cena AAs Ryback after a distraction by one of the lumberjacks in Stage 1. Then, Cena hits a Diving Leg Drop through a table on Ryback to win the match. Post-match sees Cena lug Ryback’s “heavy ass” into the ambulance and sends Ryback into a two week absence.
Our Pick- John Cena retains (because Vince truly knows his audience… damn I wish there was a font for sarcasm).
Payback will be occurring on Father’s Day. So I’d like to send my best wishes to all the dads out there, including my Old Man who will never read this post but I hope knows the apple didn’t fall too far from the tree. Also, the next PPV is going to be Money in the Bank. I’d like to give my early picks for MITB, which won’t count in our preview standings.
WWE Title MITB- Mark Henry
World Title MITB- Cody Rhodes
Any debate on that? Thanks for reading. We’ll do it again next month. Until then, I’m going to see Kenny Chesney in concert. With no shoes, no shirt & no problems.
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