Predicting WWE Payback 2014

May 31, 2014|By Aaron Oster | The Baltimore Sun

The WWE routinely goes through highs and lows during the year. Unfortunately for wrestling fans, the WWE is in one of those lulls, and Sunday night's 8 p.m. Payback pay-per-view reflects that.

Now this doesn’t necessarily mean that this will be a bad pay-per-view. However, since Extreme Rules, the storylines have been more or less stagnant. There are two rematches on the card three if you include Hornswaggle-El Torito  and those storylines are more or less exactly where they were a month ago. Throw in the fact that the top title won’t even be defended, for the first time on pay-per-view since December 2012, and you can see why there isn’t a whole lot of buzz for this show.  This is one of those pay-per-views that shows why the WWE might want to consider dropping down to nine or 10 a year, especially now that the shows are on the WWE Network.

Despite this, the show could have some good matches on it. The two big matches (Shield-Evolution and Cena-Wyatt) should be fairly brutal affairs and have the potential to be great matches, and Cesaro-Sheamus should be a good match between two of the hardest-hitting wrestlers in the company. Throw in Barrett-RVD and a potentially good Divas match in Paige-Alicia Fox, and this could actually end up being a solid show, from top to bottom.

Here’s my look at the card:

Hornswaggle vs. El Torito ("Hair vs. Mask" match)

This is an example of the WWE taking a decent thing and going way too far with it. The WeeLC match last month was decent, but they really didn’t need to continue this feud. I assume that Hornswaggle needs to shave his head for the "Leprechaun: Origins" movie WWE is putting out, or something, so Torito gets the win.

Winner: El Torito

Rusev vs. Big E

This should be the first time we see Rusev in a match that lasts longer than five minutes. I assume Big E will look decent in this match, and while they’ve soured on him somewhat, I can’t see them just completely burying him. The outcome isn’t in doubt, but it should be interesting to see Rusev have a decent-length match.

Winner: Rusev

Paige vs. Alicia Fox (Divas title)

This is the first real feud Paige has had during her run on the main roster. Unfortunately for Paige, the feud has focused mainly on Alicia Fox and her antics. But while you could say it’s been disappointing on Paige’s side, it has been nice to see a diva actually have a little bit of personality. Will this last?  It’s hard to say. You can pour soda on yourself only so many times before it gets old. But for now, it at least is a compelling reason to watch Divas matches, even if it’s just to see what she’ll do next. This actually has the potential to be a pretty good match, as Alicia Fox quietly has been one of the better wrestlers among the Divas on the main roster for a while now. Their earlier match on RAW, in which Alicia gave Paige her first loss, was solid, and if given time, this could be another pretty good match.  While I could see Alicia Fox winning, just to capitalize on her recent surge, then giving Paige the title back at the next pay-per-view, I think Paige is going to win.

Winner: Paige

Bad News Barrett vs. Rob Van Dam (Intercontinental title)

There’s good and bad with the way this match was built, with a lot of time dedicated to the title. First there was the tournament that crowned Bad News Barrett as the No. 1 contender, which he then used to beat Big E for the title. RVD got his title shot by winning a Beat the Clock challenge. But when the title has diminished in prestige so much, what you need is a real solid feud over the belt to make people care again. If random competitors are just getting shots, even if they have earned the shots, it's going to be hard to make people care. And who knows? Maybe this will be the start of a feud. But that’s the next thing this belt really needs. I do like the fact that the belt is getting time, though, and this is a step in the right direction. I can’t see RVD winning this, and if he was, he would’ve just won the tournament in the first place.

Winner: Bad News Barrett

Sheamus vs. Cesaro (U.S. title)

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