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WWE: Payback predictions and analysis

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WWE present Payback, this Sunday night live from The Royal Farms Arena in Baltimore, Maryland, it is the fifth pay-per-view of the year and is just three weeks after Extreme Rules which took place last month. 

Even though there has only been three weeks build up, and there will only be two weeks build up to Elimination Chamber after this weekend's event, WWE have stacked up a decent card which sees the World Championship defended in one of the most eagerly anticipated main events this year. 

Here are the current predictions and analysis of the upcoming event. 

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PRE SHOW - CURTIS AXEL & MACHO MANDOW VS. THE ASCENSION

Lead WWE Writer Phillipa Hopwood - This is a gimmick match that I am actually quite excited to see, I like that WWE is paying homage to Hulk Hogan and Randy Savage in this match and I think it will be a lot of fun. It is a strange pairing between Axel and Mandow but The Ascension can't be buried any worse than they already have been and maybe a little bit of comedy about their gimmick could be a good thing. I fully expect Axel and Mandow to come out on top though. 

Lead WWE Writer Raza Kazi - It's surprising to see that the WWE Tag Team Championships haven't been demoted to the pre-show again which is great news, but the tag team match we will see on the pre-show is something the fans could enjoy.

It's about time The Ascension are put in a proper match and the team of Curtis Axel and Damien Sandow is something I can definitely get behind. It's not really an easy one to call, The Ascension need the victory, any victory for that matter, while there is potential in Axelmania and Macho Mandow joining forces, even if it is for a bit of entertainment.

Even though Curtis Axel and Damien Sandow could entertain, I believe The Ascension will pick up an important victory.

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RYBACK VS. BRAY WYATT

Phillipa - I think that ever since his defeat at WrestleMania, Bray Wyatt has become a little stale. All his promos seem to be around the same thing and whilst a feud with Ryback is going to lift the latter up in entertainment purposes, you have to feel that Bray is going to drop as a result.

I don't think the feud is working for me and I am unsure how much the win matters. For his first one since WrestleMania, you have to think WWE will give it to Bray Wyatt.

Raza - As much as I love Bray Wyatt, I fear for him and any potential championship push this year. He's the reason his feuds are entertaining and we've seen that with the work he put in against the likes of John Cena and The Undertaker, I just don't think Ryback is the right opponent for him.

I think Ryback needs Bray Wyatt more that Wyatt needs Ryback and although it will help elevate Ryback a little more, I doubt it will help Wyatt. This feud has started off very slow and obviously this is the first of many matches the two will contest, and the only way they will go at it again is if Wyatt continues to chase him, for me Ryback wins their first match.

WWE TAG TEAM CHAMPIONSHIP - 2 OUT OF 3 FALLS - THE NEW DAY (c) VS. TYSON KIDD AND CESARO

Phillipa - I love 2 out of 3 falls matches, they truly show who has it stamina wise and I think this will bring something new to the tag division. For the first time in recent memory the Tag Team Championship is not being defended on the pre-show and is going to be defended inside the Elimination Chamber in a few weeks time.

I think this will do wonders for the prestige of the belts and I think as heels, The New Day could be about to go on a decent run. 

Raza - I'll admit, I was wrong about The New Day. At first I thought they wouldn't really threaten the champions and ever be entertaining, but they've taken the negative chanting in their stride and they're doing well, especially Xavier Woods who is the most entertaining.

I am a huge Tyson Kidd mark and I would love to see him win the gold back again, I do think he and Cesaro will pick up one pin fall, but the New Day will steal the vital win from right under their noses, The New Day will retain their gold.

DOLPH ZIGGLER VS. SHEAMUS

Phillipa - I was hoping this rivalry would end last month but instead WWE have decided to prolong our misery. With Dolph tweeting all sorts about his future and Sheamus leaked as the new Intercontinental Champion, sadly there is only one way to see this match ending.

Personally I want Dolph to extract revenge for Extreme Rules, but I think it will be Sheamus who takes it. 

Raza - I'm not really into this feud as much as I thought I would be, to me it doesn't really seem like it's leading anywhere but the Elimination Chamber where the likelihood is, both Ziggler and Sheamus will be in it.

Their match at Extreme Rules was good but as expected, Sheamus didn't do much kissing even though he lost. If he is to be a serious contender for the Intercontinental Championship, he needs to gain momentum and I feel the best way to do that is to beat Ziggler, I think Sheamus has this in the bag.

WWE UNITED STATES CHAMPIONSHIP - I QUIT MATCH - JOHN CENA (c) VS. RUSEV

Phillipa - This is the fourth time we have seen these two fight it out, and now it's in an I Quit match, for me I can't see the outcome being any different from the previous three times.

Although I think Lana will quit for Rusev and begin their break up, whilst John Cena retains his gold. 

Raza - Round four now between these two and as much as I like Rusev, this feud is getting old and I don't like his chances in this one either.

I find the open challenge for the title is now more exciting than these two going at it again as there's an element of surprise involved, the only surprise we may get in the match is that we could potentially see Lana turn face. But at the end of the day, it's an I Quit match, Cena never gives up and he won't give up at Payback, John Cena will defeat Rusev.

KING BARRETT VS. NEVILLE

Phillipa - Their match at Extreme Rules was fantastic, even though it was a last minute edition after Daniel Bryan was deemed unfit to compete. These two make me so proud to be British and they will put on another fantastic performance much like the King of the Ring finals, but I think the result will be different this time.

Neville was absolutely fantastic against John Cena this week on Raw and I think WWE have realised they have a real talent on their hands. Neville to win. 

Raza - This is the match I am looking forward to, Neville is taking the main roster by storm and it's the least he deserves after being a major factor in the rise of NXT. I think Barrett is the perfect opponent for him, he's a natural heel and their styles contrast but they also have that chemistry which is key in ensuring the match is good.

Barrett has just won the King of the Ring tournament and defeated Neville to capture the crown, Neville will be looking for revenge but I don't think he will dethrone the King just yet, King Barrett will win this in my opinion.

WWE WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP - FATAL 4 WAY - SETH ROLLINS (c) VS. RANDY ORTON VS. ROMAN REIGNS VS. DEAN AMBROSE

Phillipa - This match has so much potential and so many recipes for disaster. The Shield reunion? Dean Ambrose turning heel? Kane turning face? There is so many possible scenarios but I think the most likely one would see Roman Reigns turn heel.

If Kane turns face then Roman will have a reason to turn heel after their recent run-ins and I think he would do well in the Authority with Seth Rollins. Dean has a lot of supporters and I don't think a heel turn is in his immediate future.

My hope is that once again WWE hasn't built up our expectations only to fail to deliver. For the second time in two years these four men are main eventing Payback and whenever The Shield are together, they steal the show, so hopefully this is another show stealer. I fully expect Seth Rollins to retain the gold. 

Raza - Will Roman Reigns turn heel? Or will it be Dean Ambrose? Will The Big Show interfere? Could we even see a Shield reunion?

There are so many questions and possibilities flying around that we're beginning to forget about the actual match. It certainly adds a bit more unpredictability to it compared to the triple threat, and it will be interesting to see how Reigns, Orton and Ambrose work together considering they all want to wrap their hands around Rollins' neck and take that title off him.

Regardless of how the match plays out and whoever turns heel and whatnot, the WWE have invested a lot into Rollins especially after making him cash-in at WrestleMania, there's no way he's dropping the gold this early, I expect Seth Rollins to retain his title.

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