Despite being one of the filler Pay Per Views and having one of the most predictable main events in history, this show still has a lot going for it. A lot of potentially long term feuds are kicking off and they all look good. And, I’d like to point out that in my predictions for the last three Pay Per Views I’ve correctly predicted all but ONE of the announced matches. That’s pretty good. I mean, that’s better than that Dolphins guy, right? Do you want to know my secret? It’s not the cartoons I’ve been putting at the top. All I do is I pick the safest option and don’t think of anything that happened over a week prior. Let’s dive in!
WWE Network Exclusive PreShow Final Dismantling of Tons of Funk: Cameron vs. Naomi
Okay, so this is NOT one of the feuds I was referring to in the opening paragraph. I really think this match is more about a future Total Divas episode than anything else. While I like Naomi a hundred times more than Cameron, her recent feud with Paige for the Divas Title was fairly lackluster so I think Cameron will win. If nothing else, Cameron is great at getting people to hate her.
The Battle for Ultimate Xenophobic Stereotype: Jack Swagger vs. Rusev
I kind of hate and love Zeb in this current face run. Everything he says comes across as so wrong and yet somehow between his and Lana’s mic skills it stirs some patriotic sensations within me that make me really want to see Swagger win. Unfortunately I don’t think Jack can last as a face against anyone else and I really don’t think he’ll be the one to end Rusev’s win streak. So I’m picking Rusev to win, but Swagger will probably give him the toughest fight so far.
The Match I Really Want to See: Dean Ambrose vs. Seth Rollins
I did a comic touching on this recently, but it’s very strange to me that everyone in the Shield is trying to move on to bigger things, but Ambrose is stuck as the guy who just can’t get over it. I’m totally okay with it though, because Ambrose plays the crazy anti authority role so well. Since Rollins is the one featured in segments with Randy Orton week in and week out I have a feeling he’s going to be moving upwards into feuds with them in the coming months, which means he’ll most likely win against Dean. It’ll be a hell of a fight though and the match I’m looking forward to the most.
The Latest in the Wyatts Neverending Rematch Clause for Losing: The Usos vs. The Wyatt Family
The Wyatts haven’t beaten the Usos yet for the belts, so I’m not really sure why they’re getting a rematch or are even considered to be likely to win. These four are always entertaining together so I’m sure the match will be good regardless. I’m picking the Usos to win, and we’ll probably see them defending against The Ascension before too long.
The Match I Really Want to See #2: AJ Lee vs. Paige
This is another one of those blossoming feuds that I think will be great. Paige’s subtle heel turn has been great to watch, and I’m really glad that AJ is able to be a face while still acting like her normal self (as in not crying or making lame jokes). I think AJ will win, prompting Paige to freak out.
The Match I Really Want to See #3: Bray Wyatt vs. Jericho.
While I’m a big fan of the Wyatts and Jericho, this feud is just starting and I don’t think it’s really found its footing just yet. Like Bray’s speeches to Jericho could be easily inserted into his feud with Cena, and other than the names you wouldn’t be able to tell the difference. I’m thinking that the story between these two will be going on for a while though, so I’m predicting that the end will be decided by disqualification, most likely with Jericho winning.
The “So I’m Definitely Not Going To Be In The Main Event Anytime Soon? Okay, I guess…” Championship Battle Royal.
This is another hard one to pick because I’m looking over the list of entrants and seeing only people I think WON’T win. Most are just treading water in the midcard, except… Bo Dallas. Yup, he’s my pick to win. And I think he’ll be a good champ, too. The only other person who stands out as a potential winner would be the Miz, but he’s in his “moneymaker” feud with Sheamus (the moneymaker being his face, that is, not the feud), so I don’t think he’ll win.
The Main Event Fatal 4-Way for the WWE World- Oh Cena’s Winning and We All Know It.
And I’d be a little disappointed if anyone else beat him for the title after he just won it last month. This main event seems too much like painting (booking?) by numbers to be that interesting. Roman being inserted into it is very weird though, seeing how Vickie was fired over letting him into a title match at Money in the Bank a month ago. The rivalry, if you can call it that, between Roman and Cena over the past few weeks has been fairly half assed, though I guess it’s more about giving Reigns a taste of the main event than anything else.
Well maybe I shouldn’t have bragged so much about my prediction prowess beforehand, because now I’m not feeling so hot about my predictions. But that’s a good thing that there aren’t too many safe picks this time around. Maybe Cena winning makes up for the rest.
Recently I heard someone comment that “Money in the Bank” is now one of the WWE’s big four Pay Per Views/ special events- replacing Survivor Series in terms of importance. While I personally wouldn’t go that far due to the history that Survivor Series has in the company, I’ll admit that the MitB ladder match- whether at Wrestlemania or it’s own event- is one of my favorite matches. And I especially feel that way this year with there being only one match for the contract (seeing as how there’s only one title), making the contract even more of a rare item to have.
The Usos vs. The Wyatt Family for the WWE Tag Team Championship
Hm… This is a tough one to call. On one hand, the Usos have been getting more and more over with the crowd lately, and getting more mic time to boot. On the other hand, the Wyatts have new entrance music… But I think fortune favors the Usos. I know lots of people are hoping for a Wyatt family clean sweep (which I don’t think will happen for more than this match). I think this will be an exciting match either way, and I’ll be fine no matter who wins the match.
Paige v. Naomi for the WWE Divas Championship Match
Y’know, if Alicia Fox didn’t beat Paige for the Diva’s title, then I don’t know who will. Not Naomi, though I think she is quite good. I feel confident in saying that Paige will win, though I am worried about Ariane/ Cameron from Total Divas slipping in to the title picture (or on to TV at all) somehow.
Rybaxel vs. Goldust and Stardust
I’m pretty sure the Rhodes brothers will win this one since they just came around and Rybaxel is yesterday’s news. Remember when Ryback was the hot thing to talk about after he went all twitter crazy? Seems like forever ago… While I don’t hate Stardust, I don’t really find myself buying into the character either. I feel like it’s just Cody acting silly in makeup.
Summer Rae vs. Layla (with Fandango as special guest referee) (and maybe a dance off before hand!)
Wow, two divas matches and two tag matches in one show? It must be Money in the Bank… I think Summer will win because it seems like they’re pushing her as a face now. I guess that’s kind of a lame reason, but I don’t feel like there’s any consequence no matter who wins or loses. Both women are replaceable in my mind as very talented, kind of bitchy, dancers. After all of the recent releases I’m glad to see these three in an actual storyline because it gives them all something to do… but I really can’t bring myself to care about what happens.
Big E. vs. Rusev (with Lana)
Since we’ve already seen this match before I can’t possibly see how it could end any differently at MitB. I’d certainly like to see Big E. win over Rusev, but I still think the WWE wants to protect the Bulgarian-Russian Brute for a big feud with someone like John Cena. I predict that Rusev will win within a few minutes.
Money in the Bank Match (the contract one) with Barrett vs. Ambrose vs. Ziggler vs. Swagger vs. Kofi vs. RVD vs. Rollins
I think the person most likely to win this match is Seth Rollins. Actually, I don’t know if it’s so much that I think he has a really good shot at winning as I just can’t see anyone else pulling it off. Swagger and RVD have been there, done that. Kofi’s time to be in the main event is long over, and Ziggler is headed in the same direction. Barrett’s rumored to be injured, and out of the two Shield members Rollins seems the likeliest to win, so I see him going home with the contract. And I think that’s a good thing too. It’s always more fun to have a person who’s never held the title before holding the contract and Rollins still seems credible enough to pull off a win.
Money in the Bank Match (the one for the WWE title) with Del Rio vs. Wyatt vs. Cesaro vs. John Cena vs. Kane vs. Orton vs. Reigns vs. Sheamus
Cena. Cena, Cena, Cena. Yes, this is the safe prediction, but I think the WWE is looking for some safe predictable times after their recent stock tumble. While I would not be happy about Cena being the champ AGAIN, if Brock does come back at Summerslam to face him for the title and we get a match on par with their Extreme Rules ’12 match, I can’t complain. Well I will complain, but I’ll enjoy seeing Brock beating the crap out of Cena again anyway.
Y’know, I think this is going to be a good special event. While these are the outcomes I’m predicting, and I would be happy-ish with most of them, if it goes a completely different way and we see a Wyatt clean sweep, I’d still be a happy customer. As long as Del Rio doesn’t win. Man, I’m sick of that guy.
If you look to the left of the site, you will notice a link to the redesigned Over Like Olav, with the start of a new storyline and a special message about the future of Over Like Olav (the long and short of it is that Olav will be updated with one large Sunday-style strip on the weekends)! As I mention in the OLO blog, while I’ve tried several different ways of drawing Olav and putting him online through the years, I feel like this method will be the best. I hope you will take the time to check it out in the future!
And for my newer readers who don’t know what I’m talking about, Olav, Rad Bad DeBone, and all of their wrestling buddies are my own creations that are featured in my original story lines. When I started Botched Spot they were the main feature in comics, but as the site progressed I felt like it was being pulled in two directions- one with comics that followed Olav’s adventures in the wrestling world and the other with comics that satirized the wrestling product you see on TV today. So a few years ago I decided to put Olav on his own site, where he lives today.
And if you don’t see the widget or notice any problems with the site, please let me know! Thanks, and I hope you enjoy the comics!
Payback is tonight and it looks to be a good show, although I can’t say I would be spending sixty bucks on it if it weren’t for the Network. With no WWE World Heavyweight Championship match involved it’s missing that “big show” feel for me, especially considering that seeing the second tier titles are defended regularly on Raw, but I’m sure some of the matches will be great. Let’s dive right in-
El Torito vs. Hornswoggle in a Hair vs. Mask match
While I know a lot of people have grown to hate this feud, especially with Torito going over non-little person wrestlers a couple of times already, now that they have two preshow matches under their belt I kind of want to see if they can stretch this feud through an entire year of preshow gimmick matches. Isn’t the preshow just when everyone’s getting their PPV junk food ready anyway? Since Hornswoggle can grow his hair back and Torito can’t put his mask back on (y’know, metaphorically speaking), the bull is winning this one.
Rusev vs. Big E
Since the WWE has made it clear they’re putting more focus on Rusev and less focus on Big E by taking the IC title from him, this one is easy to pick with a Rusev win. Since the Bulgarian-Russian brute hasn’t been catching on with crowds I would like to see Big E win, but I think the WWE will wait a little longer before giving Rusev the ol’ Sweet T. treatment.
Bad News Barrett vs. Rob Van Dam for the IC Title
While I think BNB will win and I WANT him to win, I’d actually be okay with RVD going over here if only so he will have won at least one match of importance since his return almost a year ago. I know that it’s the worst thing ever when a wrestler comes back from retirement or a break and runs all over the younger guys, but RVD seems to have the opposite problem going on. Some guys like Jericho can come back, lose every match and still be able to main event for the title when needed. I don’t thing RVD is in that same category though and I worry he will lose any remaining credibility unless he gets a big win sooner or later.
Sheamus vs. Cesaro for the US Title
This match is a hard one to call. I’ll officially pick Sheamus to win because he just won the title not long ago, though I feel like Cesaro has more of a push going on right now with the new music and all of the mic time they’re giving Heyman. There have been lots of backstage rumblings about Cesaro being one of the big guys that the WWE is going to base the coming year around though, so you never know…
Paige vs. Alicia Fox
As much as I enjoyed Paige in NXT, her Divas Championship run has fallen fairly flat. I know it’s very “IWC” to blame the writers and not the wrestler, but Paige has been booked as an underdog champion with little mic time and it’s not working for her. And to be honest the crowd has little reason to cheer for her other than the fact that she has an awesome looking submission finisher. Alicia on the other hand is giving crowds something to look forward to with all of her unpredictable post match antics. When Paige first won the championship I thought she would hold it at least until AJ came back, but the longer she’s gone the more I think the title is up for grabs.
John Cena vs. Bray Wyatt in a Last Man Standing Match
There is little doubt in my mind that Cena will win. While this feud could have been a great way of putting Bray Wyatt over as a threat in the ring, I’m starting to think that the WWE believe that Cena just being in the ring with someone is putting them over. I’ll admit that I’ve lost interest in this feud since Extreme Rules where Cena almost won several times despite it practically being a handicap match for most of the match. The fact that Bray only won due to the deep voice kid who has never been seen again shows that their not interested in making Bray look like he can physically beat Cena. I mean sure, he’s gotten way more exposure as a result, but as a singles competitor he looks like he needs the help of two giant dudes and one gimmicky little kid and even then can just barely win.
Daniel Bryan surrendering the championship???
While this obviously isn’t a match, it’s a huge part of the show so I think it’s worth predicting. As such, I predict that Bryan will NOT surrender the title, and Brie will get out of being fired by challenging Stephanie to a match at the next special event (PPV), Money in the Bank. While that isn’t a match I look forward to in terms of in ring quality, it will be nice to see Steph get her comeuppance without Bryan attacking her and making all wrestling fans look like wife beating misogynists. I don’t really think that the WWE will make Bryan surrender the title for Brie, given how many wrestling fans want to see Bryan wrestle and don’t want to see the Bellas stay employed.
The Shield vs. Evolution in a No Holds Barred Match
Even though this feud started on shaky ground (Orton couldn’t get his world title rematch until they dealt with the Shield?) it has been great to watch. Thinking back to a decade ago when “Evolution” became synonymous with Triple H & pals burying anyone except themselves, it feels good to see them making new, young stars really shine. I especially appreciate that while the golden child is Roman Reigns, all members of Shield are made to look strong. Given Batista the Destroyer’s upcoming movie promotion schedule, I think the Shield will win. Maybe I could see Evolution squeaking by with a win, but it isn’t really Evolution with only Hunter and Orton. I may be assuming too much about Dave leaving, but this whole program has been about putting over the Shield so I honestly see them winning no matter what.
After looking over the card, I can honestly say that Payback definitely falls into the category of pay per view special events that I wouldn’t be watching if it weren’t for the WWE Network. There are a few matches that look good and I’m sure the Shield vs. Evolution will be stellar, but the main draw for me- Bryan and the WWE World Heavyweight Championship- is something I could get by following a recap online.
The Extreme Rules “special” (since “pay per view” doesn’t qualify anymore) is creating a big problem for me. Every time in the past when we would order a PPV we always ordered a ton of junk food to go with it in order to have the best viewing experience. This worked for us because we’d really only ever order the Big Four PPVs and maybe one or two of the in between ones, so it wasn’t a big financial strain and we didn’t feel guilty over eating a ton of junk. But now with them being “specials” on the WWE Network, we essentially are getting all of them, even the ones we normally wouldn’t watch like Extreme Rules. So should we still order a bunch of junk food and devote the whole night to watching it? Or should we treat it like Raw/ Smackdown and kind of watch the matches we’re interested in, but mostly work on drawing stuff, checking twitter, or playing video games? I’m not complaining, I’m happy to be able to watch Extreme Rules through the Network, but at the same time I realize that I’m entering a bold new world of wrestling-watching, and I have to, in the words of Triple H, “evolve or perish.” On to the predictions!
El Torito vs. Hornswoggle in a WeeLC match
In today’s world of bringing up terrible misfires in wrestling in order to make a catchy video/shirt/meme about it, I’m always surprised that the WWE’s brief “Juniors” division isn’t brought up more. It was everything you hate about this match, but in a division with it’s own wrestlers and entrance graphic. I can’t remember if there was a championship though… Anyway, I’m predicting a win for El Torito, presumably after goring Hornswoggle in his nether regions.
Big E vs. Bad News Barrett
Bad News Barrett has so much momentum going into this match that I think he’s going to pull it off. He’s been ripe for a push and a real title run for a while now, and I think this BNB gimmick is just what he needs to pull it off. He got close to the world title as the stuffy English leader of the Nexus, floundered a bit as the “business is booming” boxer businessman, but as the smarmy asshole who brings bad news to people? He’s gold. Big E. hasn’t had much of a presence at all during this tournament, so I feel like there was a good chance that whoever won the tournament would go on to win the gold anyway.
Paige vs. Tamina Snuka
I’m pretty sure Paige is going to win this one and at some point AJ will come back for a real feud with her over the belt. That being said, I think Tamina and Paige will have a great match together. Paige is being pushed as an underdog and I think it’s going to work a lot better against the larger Tamina than it does when she faces the jobbers of the Divas division like Aksana.
Alexander Rusev vs. Xavier Woods and R-Truth
It’s the easy pick of the night. Rusev will win cleanly and definitively. I don’t know what the future holds for these competitors, but I imagine Xavier and R-Truth having a brief career in jobbing, Rusev having a brief Tensai-ish failed push, and Lana going on to Total Divas. I’ll let you decide which fate is worse.
Jack Swagger vs. RVD vs. Cesaro
All I can imagine RVD thinking is “I came back for this?!” I can’t believe I’m saying this, but I really wish it were a tag match with Paul Heyman and Zeb Colter teaming with their clients. Actually it wouldn’t surprise me at all if that’s where this is headed, so I’ll cautiously pick Rob Van Dam to win so he can go on to better things and Heyman and Colter can continue to go at it.
John Cena vs. Bray Wyatt
This feud has gone too far to end at Extreme Rules, so I’m picking Wyatt to win as a way to continue it. It COULD end here with Cena winning, but that would make Wyatt look a little like a chump, so I don’t think it will happen. Given that Wyatt doesn’t seem to want to beat Cena in the ring as much as screw with his mind, I don’t feel like it really matters if he wins or loses. I’m still looking forward to this match though, based off of the quality of their Wrestlemania match.
Evolution vs. the Shield
I may be in the minority here, but I think the Shield are going to win. It will probably be them just squeaking out a win after getting their butts kicked for most of the match, but I just don’t see Evolution winning. Which is weird considering at the last PPV all three of them were involved in the main event. Maybe they will win! But I’m putting my online credibility on the Shield. Either way I see some kind of post match beat down to continue the feud.
Daniel Bryan vs. Kane
Am I the only one who thinks this will close out the show? I’m picking Bryan to win of course! Kane’s the big filler monster when it comes to in between feuds, so I don’t see him having much of a chance at all. And for that matter, I’m still not sure why Orton never got his rematch either. I get that “storyline wise” Triple H convinced Orton that he’d have to get rid of the Shield before going after Bryan, but, y’know, that’s kind of dumb. My hope is that Bryan pins Kane cleanly to end this feud before it gets much traction. I don’t hate it, but I want to see Bryan defending against real contenders, not someone who got jobbed out in five minutes at Wrestlemania only a month ago.
So there’s Extreme Rules 2014. Not very Extreme in my opinion, but with Wrestlemania 30 coming off pretty solid last month I’m willing to give them a chance.