Kester's WWE Payback Preview and Predictions: John Cena vs. Ryback in a Three Stages of Hell Match, CM Punk makes his return, Dolph Ziggler vs. Alberto Del, and more

Posted in: Kester Editorials, MUST-READ LISTING
Jun 16, 2013 - 05:53 PM

By Ryan Kester

The following predictions are made with no foreknowledge as to what the finishes or booking will be. They are predictions made solely based on what WWE has done and what I think they will do.

John Cena vs. Ryback in a Three Stages of Hell Match for the WWE Championship: I'll admit, the hype for this match has left me underwhelmed more than anything. It wasn't until the closing of the go home Raw that these two men actually treated their feud like it needed the gimmickry that it's getting tonight. I cannot see a situation where Ryback walks out of this match with the title considering how short John Cena's run has been with the belt. I'm having Cena go over here, but I hope they find some means of having Ryback lose without coming across as completely buried.

Prediction: John Cena retains the WWE Championship.

Chris Jericho vs. CM Punk: This is going to be an interesting match to watch. The build for the contest hasn't been much to write home about, but the news of CM Punk getting new theme music and the fact that he's making his return in front of his home town crowd leaves me to believe that he will be turning babyface. It's the point where his character needs a refresh anyway, and wrestling gets few opportunities like this to cement a turn in front of a crowd that will be guaranteed to eat it up and return the energy a turn deserves.

By the same token, I see this as the point where Chris Jericho goes heel. He's done what he can as a babyface and helped several acts get over. He could use a fresh persona every bit as much as Punk can, and a simple siding with Heyman as Heyman helps Jericho win against Punk in Chicago would be all it takes.

Prediction: Chris Jericho defeats CM Punk.

Dolph Ziggler vs. Alberto Del Rio for the World Heavyweight Championship: I'm excited for this match. We've seen it several times before, but Ziggler is beginning to really get over as a heel, and a decisive victory, be it in a heel capacity or clean, could do wonders for his character. Plus, it will be a treat to see him returning to his PPV move set and going all out after his concussion left him out of WWE's last big event.

As far as the actual match goes, I doubt that WWE will be moving the belt off of Ziggler until after the Money in the Bank PPV, and if they did the last person it needs to be with is Alberto Del Rio. Del Rio needs a better and fresher character before he is called upon to help sell PPVs again.

Prediction: Dolph Ziggler retains the World Heavyweight Championship.

Seth Rollins & Roman Reigns vs. Randy Orton and & Daniel Bryan for Tag Team Championship: Look for this match to try and steal the show. Between the heat The Shield has acquired and the reactions Randy Orton and Daniel Bryan have received as of late, this will be one to watch. WWE has been booking the Shield masterfully thus far, and between protecting their act and the story involved with Daniel Bryan, it would make little sense for The Shield not to retain the tag titles here.

Prediction: Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns retain the WWE Tag team Championship.

A.J. Lee vs. Kaitlyn for the Divas Championship: I am of two minds on this one. AJ does not need the Divas Championship in any capacity, and Kaitlyn could use the belt for her character more. However, WWE likes to refer to their women as former Divas Champions, and AJ has yet to capture ther title. I see AJ going over here in a fashion that earns her some heat, and Kaitlyn will enter chase mode. I'm sure Kaitlyn will get the belt back down the road and be in an overall better spot than she is in currently.

Prediction: AJ defeats Kaitlyn to win the Divas Championship.

Dean Ambrose vs. Kane for the United States Championship: This one is simple; Kane's role for years has been making other wrestlers look good and Dean Ambrose is involved with the mega push that the Shield has been getting for the past few months. Ambrose goes over, but these two have a match that may surprise some in terms of quality.

Prediction: Dean Ambrose defeats Kane.

Damien Sandow vs. Sheamus in the WWE Payback Kickoff Match: I have Sheamus going over, but this is one of the rare times that I hope my prediction is completely wrong. WWE likes to have a babyface go over in these spots to entice viewers to buy the PPV, but the story told on the way to this PPV has made Sandow shine. He could use a push and a victory over Sheamus here would be excellent for him. Still, I would be shocked if that came to pass, so my prediction is for Sheamus to continue the trend of babyface victors in preshow matches.

Prediction: Sheamus defeats Damien Sandow.

If you have any questions or comments or just wish to chat with a fellow wrestling fan about whatever, then feel free to email me at or follow me on Twitter.

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