Rasslin’ Roundtable for WWE Payback 2016

WWE Payback 2016 is the first PPV in the post-Wrestlemania 32 WWE Universe. It has a pretty decent lineup with a ton of new faces.

Here is the Pulse Wrestling team’s full preview and match by match predictions!

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WWE World Heavyweight Champion Roman Reigns vs. AJ Styles

CB: One of two things happens: 1. Reigns joins the Bullet Club in a swerve; 2. Balor shows up and Bullet Club causes a Double Disqualification. Let’s hope for option 2.
Winner: Double DQ/no contest

Spain: As much as I would love to see Styles become our new WWE World Heavyweight Championship, I’m not going to fool myself. Reigns’ heel turn, when it comes (if it comes), is going to depend upon him having the belt. I’m going to limit my optimism to Styles bringing out the absolute best in Roman for this match, giving us a genuinely good contest.
Winner (and still WWE World Heavyweight Champion): Roman Reigns

Brittney- The crowd hates Roman as champion and WWE doesn’t want to give up on their “heir apparent.” So, what do we do? Bring in a crowd favorite and see what happens, of course. This could go a few ways. If Roman wins after a SPECTACULAR (yes, it needs to be spectacular with all caps) match with Styles maybe the crowd will begin to respect him a little? (Probably not but still I think that’s WWE’s hope). Another way is that if Roman wins the crowd continues to hate him and boo him so nothing changes. The final way is that Styles wins and the crowd loves it. We have to account for Karl Anderson and Luke Gallows maybe getting involved as well as The Usos. The involvement of friends and family could make this more complicated and change the status of these superstars as far as been heels and faces.
Winner- AJ Styles

Paltrowitz – The best person will not win.
Winner: Roman Reigns

Sam P – Will Gallows and Anderson get involved? Will Balor debut? Will Reigns fully turn heel? It’s awesome to have these sorts of questions and possibilities swirling about the main event. There’s no way Reigns will relinquish his title after WWE bullheadedly put the strap on him at Wrestlemania, so the story here is about Styles and his New Japan buddies.
Winner: Roman Reigns

Michael McMonigle: Vince McMahon is way too stubborn to give up on the Roman Reigns Project to let AJ Styles win this. Even if they thought they could use Anderson and Gallows and turn AJ heel in order to win, it would never work as the crowd would cheer just because Reigns lost. I think Anderson and Gallows will be involved, but they will turn on AJ under the leadership of a debuting Finn Balor. And then Balor and Styles will feud all the way down to the mid-card while Reigns remains on top, because WWE.
Winner: Roman Reigns

Kate – Yay for Styles getting a title shot! Even though he’s only been in WWE for a short time. I imagine Styles putting on a better performance than Reigns, but with Reigns retaining. Reigns might get a “break” during the match, like another fake injury or something (could be different situation this time, since they’ve used that repeatedly for quite a few of the PPV matches in which he’s involved), and he’ll bounce back. I mean, eventually, another champ will be crowned, but Vince can’t possibly be giving up on him yet. Vince is as Vince does.
Winner: Roman Reigns, anything but via pinfall.

Matthew Michaels: Too soon to take the belt off Reigns, but not too soon to turn him heel. Have Gallows, Anderson and EVA MARIE all involved, and after a solid 15-20 minute match, they all come out, save Reigns from the Calf Crusher, and BEAT AJ SILLY. The Usos, initially come out to “save” AJ, but then join their first cousin, once removed, as part of a new, unstoppable, Roman Empire that celebrates to close the show. WWE should also plant people in the crowd to start throwing garbage at them in the ring.

On Raw, you begin the push to Extreme Rules with Roman vs. whoever his next opponent is (Cena?), and AJ, Dean Ambrose, a debuting Finn Balor and I donno, someone else the hardcore fans like like Dolph Ziggler vs. the Usos and Bullet Club… of course Finn also turns and re-aligns with Anderson and Gallows, setting up feuds that can pay off at SummerSlam with AJ vs. Finn. (I’m assuming Rollins vs. Reigns is the money-match there, and I don’t disagree, unless they do Lesnar.)
Winner: Roman Reigns

Sebastian Howard –
Winner: Reigns

Penny – Well as much as I’d like to hope that this is WWE calling an audible and ending the abysmally failed Roman Empire by appeasing the fans and putting the belt on a hugely over Indie Darling the crowd loves, and in spite of Finn Balor’s repeated insistences that he’s staying in NXT, I’m reasonably certain that the Bullet/Balor Club will screw AJ out of a win and very possibly have Finn with them, and Roman will continue to prove Vince is tone deaf to the audience.
Winner and still Chumpion; Boreman Strains.

Dalton – Match seems to have more people invested in it than a ppv main event has in a while actually. Definitely expecting some outside shenagians. Would personally love to see Balor but a huge swerve with Gallows and Anderson turning on AJ would also be pretty great. Either way though sadly, Roman walks out champ.
Winner: Roman Reigns

James – As much as I would like to believe that the WWE is giving Styles a huge push and making him one of the quickest world champions in history, I just can’t see it happening. Now sure you could debut the Bullet Club and start a revolution, putting Shane McMahon in charge of Raw or something, but I have been fooled by the WWE too many times before into believing that they are willing to make a monumental change to how they do things. Instead I see this as being a ploy to garner sympathy for Reigns as he has to fend off both AJ and Gallows & Anderson. I just hope that they don’t turn Styles heel in a losing effort as it would be such a waste of the face momentum he has been building so far.
Instead I see it being the same as it has been on the past couple of Raws, with Gallows & Anderson getting involved without Styles’ say and that leading to him getting disqualified or something, then maybe we will see Styles vs. Bullet Club with a debuting Balor as the head of the group, which frankly would be pretty cool in and of itself.
Winner: Roman Reigns (Still Champion)

Sam Keola – I expect the fans to be into this match with plenty of boos for the champ and cheers for Styles. The Bullet Club element looks to be the clincher to make this match interesting. Will we see Balor show up or just Anderson & Gallows?
Winner: Roman Reigns

Pat Metalhead – Wow. WWE actually has me interested in a Roman Reigns Main Event. Never thought I would see the day. But credit where credit is due, what was first thought of as simply WWE throwing AJ at Reigns so Reigns would have a good match has become a rather intriguing storyline also involving Anderson and Gallows.
Winner: The New and Evil Roman Empire

Widro – It’s nearly impossible to imagine a scenario where AJ wins here. Anderson & Gallows come down and cost AJ the match, either clearly or by accident, then later Finn Balor is revealed as the leader either at the PPV or Raw.
Winner: Reigns

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Mr. McMahon will announce who controls Raw at WWE Payback

CB: One McMahon gets Raw, the other gets SmackDown

Spain: I honestly don’t know. This storyline has abandoned all logic and narrative sense, so I really figure that anything could happen. I reckon they’ll be getting a show each and start to compete against each other.

Brittney- At this point….who cares? I mean I don’t want The Authority back because that was stale but making Shane fight in the Cell and then have him run Raw anyway ruined the worth of the match. We’ll see what failed plot twist they throw at us in this one.
Winner- Shane (because why not?)

Paltrowitz – Ditto.
Winner: Stephanie McMahon / The Authority

Sam P – In the only logical step Mr McMahon can take, thanks to his win at Wrestlemania, the Undertaker will be given control of Raw.

Michael McMonigle: Who really cares? Nothing has changed and nothing will change. Hell, let’s say Shane gets Raw and Stephanie gets Smackdown and Triple H gets NXT. And this annoying storyline will continue forever.
Winner: Absolutely no one.

Kate – There are rumors floating around that The Authority angle will be wrapped up pretty soon. Taking that and Shane’s popularity into consideration, I’d say it’ll be Shane – in the end. I have a feeling they could be using this as a way to put The Authority to rest.
New Manager: Stephanie McMahon, but somehow she loses the title as manager to Shane on Raw the next night.

Matthew Michaels: Just giving power back to Steph is SO F’N STUPID. They already ignored the stipulation from Mania, so going back now is really dumb unless Shane has other off-screen commitments. Therefore, on paper, i want to see Vince announce some sort of competition between the two siblings that will go on for a couple of months. Maybe he gives Stephanie power over Smackdown and Shane over Raw and has them have to “prove themselves” to him each week. Or maybe he and Shane turn heel and screw over Steph somehow. Or maybe Steph says I don’t WANT Raw – you keep it. All of those are better than just “choosing Steph.”
Winner: Shane, since he’ll still have a chance to prove himself

Penny – Vince has proven he can’t listen to the audience, and it’s no secret who is favourite kid is. Despite Shane’s ridiculous popularity, and the genuine respect that the audience has for him, and despite Steph’s ridiculous X-Pac heat, (seriously, no one boos her because she’s a good heel, we boo her because we’re sick to fucking death of her and want her off our tv’s), the chances are that Vince will do what makes his baby girl happy regardless of her detrimental effect on business. So he’ll probably give control back to Steph in storyline and set up a pointless feud between Shane-O and Tripsy.
“Winner”; Not us.

Dalton – Brand split has to be coming. Been talked about forever now. It’s very much needed. See Shane gaining control of RAW and the Authority weaseling their way into control of Smack down.

James – Despite pessimism over the Reigns-Styles match, I still have some hope that Vince will put Shane in charge. It seems to have worked well so far, although admittedly the ratings haven’t been showing that yet. Here’s to hoping that the WWE are playing for the long game rather than some short-sighted scheme where the Authority reign supreme again, oh the drama! *sarcasm*
Winner: Shane McMahon

Sam Keola – I expect somewhat of a swerve. The Shane O Mac stuff had everyone excited for Mania, but that has seemed to die down. I can’t imagine beating the dead horse of the Authority too, especially so soon.

Widro – Vince comes out and sets up some kind of competition between Shane and Stephanie/HHH which will culminate in a Shane vs. HHH match at Summerslam or sooner.

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WWE Women’s Champion Charlotte vs. Natalya

CB: I actually think it wouldn’t be the worst thing for Nattie to go over here, but I think this is a placeholder feud until Sasha-Charlotte heats up for SummerSlam.
Winner: Charlotte

Spain: Once again, we’re going to have a Women’s match which could be the best bout of the night, if they get the time. I can’t see Charlotte dropping the belt to Natalya: I still think the belt is waiting for Sasha Banks to wrest it away from the current Champ. Ric and Bret should get into it, which is another little bonus.
Winner (and still WWE Women’s Champion): Charlotte

Brittney- Okay here’s the deal. No one really like Charlotte as the champion. Everyone is tired of Ric stealing the spotlight. Dragging Bret Hart into this to counterbalance Flair is still stealing the show from the two women in the ring. This match could be great if it was just these two mixing it up. So, unless Flair and Hart drag each other backstage to fight or knock one another out and the women are given enough time for this it will be a waste of a title match. The only thing I can say about who might win is that Natalya is overdue for this shot at the title (as are many others) and it may be her time to land the title.
Winner- Natalya

Paltrowitz – Ditto.
Winner: Charlotte

Sam P – It’s great that WWE are acknowledging quality rivalries from NXT, but there’s not been a huge amount of progression in this programme. Regardless, it’ll be a solid match and having Bret Hart back on screen after his illness will be very welcome.
Winner: Charlotte

Michael McMonigle: I like both of these women, but do not care about this match. The reason is two-fold: 1) I think this is the same as the World Title match – The Champion gets a good opponent to roll over and cement him/herself as champ. And 2) I don’t want Ric Flair or Bret Hart anywhere near ringside for this match. This is the Women’s Championship. If they are going to have men out there, let them be true managers or valets. Otherwise, just let the women wrestle. In fact, best case scenario would be to put Crazy Uncle Bret and Senile Grandpa Ric with live mics, all alone on commentary while Charlotte and Nattie tear down the house.
Winner: Charlotte

Kate – NATALYA. PLEASE LET IT BE NATALYA. She should have had the Diva’s title several times over by now. It would make no sense to keep Charlotte as champ. Yes, I like her as a top heel, and I’ve admired watching her grow as a wrestler since she’s been Diva’s and Women’s champ, but she’s overstayed her welcome now. Same goes for her dad. Maybe something will happen outside of the ring between Ric and Bret as well – but if something does, let’s savor it. Bret mentioned how he’s only making this comeback as a manager purely out of respect for his niece.
Winner and new Women’s Champion: Natalya via submission

Matthew Michaels: Charlotte should keep the title here, and until Sasha beats her in Brooklyn, but I expect a great match, and for Flair to bleed from his hand AND head.
Winner: Charlotte

Sebastian Howard – This one is pretty hard to guess, Charlotte won at WM so logically she should be champion until at least the next big PPV BUT would they pull Bret Hart out of mothballs for nothing? Probably. Going with Charlotte here.
Winner: Charlotte

Penny – Charlotte has had an average reign length and an underwhelming reign completely ruined and overshadowed by the entirely unnecessary presence of her creepy leathery father. Seriously Ric has done her NO favours by being her interfering stooge, especially as rapey as he acts doing so. His presence makes her look weak and my skin crawl. Every time he touches one of the other women to help his daughter I feel compelled to shout “stranger danger!” at my screen. It’s past time for a title change, and while I’d have preferred Sasha or Becky, (but really, mostly Sasha), Natalya’s been a loyal workhorse for years and deserves a thank-you reign, so I’m calling a Nattie win.
Winner: Nattie By Nature.

Dalton – Not who I wanted to see in this match but I’ll take it. Flair is going to obviously be a factor in this. Expect a moment from Bret and Flair also. Should be an amazing match if their NXT stuff was any indications.
Winner – Charlotte

James – Hopefully we’ll get a good woman’s match out of this, they are certainly capable of putting one on given enough time and hopefully without too much interference. Personally I would rather see another Charlotte vs Sasha or Becky, but this is fine filler to add another successful defense to Charlotte’s resume.
Winner: Charlotte (Still Champion)

Sam Keola – At this stage it’s the “feed Charlotte contenders”.
Winner: Charlotte

Pat Metalhead – In other circumstances, this is where I would treat you guys to yet another Metalhead’s rant about old geezers taking the spotlight from younger, more deserving talent.
Winner: Natalya

Widro – Great to see both Ric and Bret involved. The match should deliver and Natalya is a great worker but is here to put over Charlotte.
Winner: Charlotte

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Sami Zayn vs. Kevin Owens

CB: “Fight forever!” I think Owens wins here, but this storyline won’t be over anytime soon, if ever.
Winner: Kevin Owens

Spain: Cannot wait. As to the result itself, it’s difficult. Sure, Zayn retains some measure of revenge, but if I was running things, I’d want to push KO up to a title match before committing to a Reigns heel turn (the crowd would still cheer for Owens). That, plus the general dominance of Kevin Owens in general, leads me to believe that he will stand triumphant.
Winner: Kevin Owens

Brittney- This match could potentially steal the show and here’s why. Two great performers, a huge grudge, some hurt feelings and you’ve got a match. The history between these wrestlers is fantastic and the fact that they’re playing it up for the sake of the feud is perfect. With Owens’ brutal nature and Zayn’s quickness we could definitely see some great moments here. Zayn hasn’t been successful on his recent pay-per-view matches but Owens can’t really afford the loss either. This finish should be interesting.
Winner- Sami Zayn

Paltrowitz – This should be a great match, although they haven’t established Sami Zayn as someone who wins matches.
Winner: Kevin Owens

Sam P – This feud will continue into the summer. It has to. Screw it, let them run until Wrestlemania. I can’t help feeling there’ll either be some screwy finish, like a no contest or a double count out or DQ… Essentially, this is far from over. And that’s delightful.
Winner: Kevin Ownes in super sketchy ending of some kind

Michael McMonigle: Absolutely loved the video package detailing this feud. WWE always does great with those. Of course, this match has the best backstory, arguably the two best workers in WWE right now, and has the fans interest. This will definitely be the match of the night, although they will have competition from Miz/Cesaro and Ambrose/Jericho. I think Owens can absorb a loss better at this point, which of course means it will booked differently. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Zayn suffer another injury angle just because I don’t think the WWE knows what to do with him.
Winner: Kevin Owens

Kate – Ugh. Don’t do this to me. I love the “frenemies” angle though. It seems cliché but because they’re both talented, it’s not. I want to see KO sustain a huge string of losses until he has the Heavyweight, US, and IC titles all at once, this loss included. I want to see him go through all kinds of BS to get there, like how he was kicked out of the venue a couple Raws ago. I expect another amazing match between these two, possibly with a cheap shot here and there, but if my hopes turn out to be true, then Zayn will get the win. But I also understand that Zayn is still fresh to the main roster, so I feel like for that reason, Owens could still get the win.
Winner: Sami Zayn via pinfall

Matthew Michaels: Owens should win here with a handful of trunks, to keep this feud going.
Winner: Kevin Owens

Sebastian Howard –
Winner: Zayn

Penny – They’ve done a pretty decent job of filling the WWE audience that doesn’t watch NXT in on their history, and Sami is long overdue for his feel-good revenge win over Kevin, so I’m expecting an incredible match with Sami pulling off an underdog-pulled-the-win-out-of-nowhere victory.
Winner: InZayn in the Membrane

Dalton – Been waiting for this one for a long time. Going to be one helluva slobberknocker. Better hear some fight forever chants too. These two are destined for this. It’s only up from here.
Winner – Zayn (with a roll up)

James – This is a hard one to call since both men both need a win if either is going to go back into the title picture, or else this could be the first match in a long feud. Both being relatively new and over it would help either man to get the win, but overall what is important is that they get given the time, in which case they will most likely steal the show. I think the best thing is for Zayn to get the win here so that Owens can go all crazy and make the rivalry even more brutal for their next meeting. The only way I think Owens would get the win here is if they are planning on this being a one-time deal and he will be fed to Reigns next. As much as I want Owens to get a title shot in the near future, in this case I would rather see the rivalry continue, so I am rooting for Zayn in this match. I just hope it’s not a double-countout or something because both men can definitely stay over even if they trade wins, we don’t need smoke and mirrors for this one.
Winner: Zayn

Sam Keola – I don’t think the fans can get enough of Owens vs Zayn. Owens for the win to continue the feud.
Winner: Owens

Pat Metalhead – While there have been some improvements on RAW in recent weeks, there are still very basics booking mistakes here and there.
Winner: Kevin Owens

Widro – They are just getting started on the main roster, and their promo on Raw to hype the match was top notch. Owens wins here but the feud continues
Winner: Owens

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Intercontinental Champion The Miz vs. Cesaro

CB: Cesaro has the suit, all he needs is the gold.
Winner: Cesaro

Spain: Tough call. Miz, no matter what you want to say about him or his stupid, stupid face, is an amazingly effective heel. And when the spotlight’s on him, it’s also on the belt. Will Cesaro (and, by definition, the belt) get the same exposure. On the other hand, Cesaro is pretty damn hot right now, and the WWE would be fools not to take advantage of that. I’ll go with my gut and say that Miz wins due to shenanigans, leading to a fun programme.
Winner (and still Intercontinental Champion): The Miz

Brittney- Okay, The Miz (and Maryese) have been annoying me lately. Plus, I like Cesaro more. So, in my opinion, Cesaro (the fan favorite) deserves to win. Plus, it seems like they’re playing Hot Potato with the title so maybe we’ll see how fast the title changes hands this time.
Winner- Cesaro

Paltrowitz – Fingers crossed that The Miz was intended to be a transitional champion.
Winner: Cesaro

Sam P – The Miz is frequently underestimated. Or underMiztimated. I just invented that. Despite the void of talent that is his wife, I’ve enjoyed his recent segments and he provides a perfect foil for the Swiss Superman / Bond hybrid.
Winner: The Miz

Michael McMonigle: I think this match could be a dark horse for match-of-the-night. Miz has been putting on very good matches lately, and I think Cesaro will continue to shine. I would love to see Cesaro win and celebrate with the Cesaro Section, I think the WWE wants to push Miz a little more, especially with Maryse front and center. We all know Vince likes his blondes to be on camera as often as possible. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised to see this feud continue with Summer Rae starting to come to the ring with Cesaro. Because he needs a heat suck to bring him back to lower mid-card. Again, because WWE.
Winner: The Miz

Kate – This feud is so good. The promos are great, the characters are moving up to main event material. I have no complaints so far. Because of that, I feel like it could go a little while longer. But not too long. I’m expecting a decent match here, as well.
Winner and still IC Champion: The Miz via pinfall

Matthew Michaels: I really think they’re gonna have Miz retain but that’s a mistake. Cesaro should win and help bring this belt back as “the workers’ title” that they tried to do with Bryan and Owens last year.
Winner: Antonio Cesaro

Sebastian Howard – Another tough one but I think that WWE likes the whole Miz and Marayse story right now so I’m giving it to Miz.
Winner: Miz

Penny – NO ONE wants the Miz as champion, not even the bookers. He’s only champion at all as a huge fuck you to the fans who still support Ryder after everything Vince did to try to bury him. They gave Ryder a token feel-good win at Mania then screwed him with the Miz. And that’s not a knock on Mizanen, he’s actually very good at what he does, but he’s been mishandled so long that he will forever be teetering on the edge of X-Pac Heat, and who better to piss off the Ryder fans? But now that Ryder’s gone from main roster tv again and has a huge dead weight chained to his neck in NXT again, they need to get that belt off of Miz, and rumour has it that Tripsy is seriously hardcore pushing for Vince to get over himself and accept that Cesaro truly is hugely over and deserves a push.
Winner: Cesaro. Antonio Cesaro.

Dalton – Love what Maryse does to Miz’s overall persona. Exactly what he needed to matter again. Tough to call this one but what they have with Miz-Maryse right now is pretty entertaining.
Winner – The Miz

James – This is a hard one, almost the opposite of Zayn vs. Owens because in this case both men desperately need a win to maintain their momentum. Miz has just gotten Maryse by his side and losing the title will severely undermine any heat he has generated for that. Whereas Cesaro has come back more over than ever, but since he lost his first match in the Fatal-4-Way it would hurt him to lose here as well and I wonder if he will be lost in the shuffle despite just how much he could be utilized it the WWE were willing. Frankly I can’t decide, but I will go with the old standard of heel uses manager to retain title, challenger gets another shot next PPV.
Winner: The Miz (Still Champion)

Sam Keola – Please put the strap on Cesaro. Everyone hates the Miz. I think he’s a good worker and all, but his gimmicks suck. This extended movie star gimmick still does.
Winner: Cesaro

Pat Metalhead – After Zach Ryder’s fifteen minutes of fame (almost liberally this time) it was time for Miz and Maryse to step up to the plate, and, while I wasn’t very optimistic about that particular prospect at first, I must say they did deliver. Big time. And yes CB, you can now gloat and say: I told you so.
Winner: Cesaro

Widro – It’s strange to think they would change the title again so soon, but it’s also not a good idea to have Cesaro job. I think Maryse gets involved setting up a rematch.
Winner: Miz retains/Cesaro DQ

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Dean Ambrose vs. Chris Jericho

CB: Ambrose will win here, a much-needed victory for him.
Winner: Dean Ambrose

Spain: Dean needs a win; Chris Jericho doesn’t. The match should be a great one. There’s not anything else which needs saying.
Winner: Dean Ambrose

Brittney- Both of these stars are great in this feud so far and it seems likely that, depending on how long Jericho is signed on for, this could go for a while. Still I don’t have faith in booking so regardless of who wins this may end the feud. Ambrose needs a win at a pay per view and given that Jericho beat fan favorite AJ Styles the last time around it may be time for him to lose.
Winner- Dean Ambrose

Paltrowitz – Doesn’t Jericho have a Fozzy tour to do soon?
Winner: Dean Ambrose

Sam P – Another great singles match for Payback. Veteran Jericho will yet again tell us a brilliant story within the squared circle, and Ambrose will match him every step of the way. Not sure what the bigger picture is for either of these men, but in the mean time, I’m happy to gorge myself on these two dudes going at it.
Winner: Dean Ambrose

Michael McMonigle: This match also has a possibility of being match-of-the-night. It won’t be, but it could be. I have no idea how long Jericho plans to stick around, but if he wants to leave soon, it makes no sense for him to win. In fact, the only reason I can see to having Jericho win here is to set him up as the new #1 Contender to feed to Reigns. Ambrose, on the other hand, needs a big victory to wash out the taste of his WrestleMania beating to Brock Lesnar. I’d like to see both men put on a show, including cutting promos on each other prior to the match, but I am not hopeful.
Winner: Chris Jericho. Because Roman Reigns must get over, no matter what.

Kate – This could go either way. Heel Jericho is so AWESOME but if WWE is grooming Ambrose for a title run, then Jericho could help get him even more over. The latter has more at stake and more direction, unless WWE has another feud with another wrestler with Jericho in mind. But I would think that WWE would want to keep the amount of heel wins at a minimum for this PPV… But my gut says Jericho. They might want to milk this one out a bit more.
Winner: Chris Jericho via submission

Matthew Michaels: Dean has to win this. Especially after his losing streak at big events. That is all.
Winner: Dean Ambrose

Sebastian Howard – Ambrose… but I want Jericho to win so he’ll actually have some lasting credibility which he’s been sorely missing since like 2012.
Winner: Ambrose

Penny – Easy. Jericho only ever comes back to put young guys he likes over.
Winner: That Nice Young Man in his Clean White Coat

Dalton – Nice to see these two finally going at it. Was originally going to be a Wrestlemania feud so expect this one to possibly go on a bit longer.
Winner – Ambrose

James – There is less promise in this match than I’d thought there would be, the only thing that has me sort of excited is the idea that Jericho will probably be leaving after it so maybe they will give Ambrose the win in a death-defying and commanding fashion to make up for his domination by Brock Lesnar at Wrestlemania. Still though they will probably just have Jericho lose in normal fashion and then just leave with little ceremony since that is what seems to happen most of the time if my memory serves. Either way I see Ambrose coming out on top here.
Winner: Dean Ambrose

Sam Keola – I can’t imagine not having Ambrose go over clean here, but WWE always seems to have Jericho beat their top guys. I don’t know why. It doesn’t keep him relevant and it doesn’t help anyone else.
Winner: Ambrose

Pat Metalhead – Amusingly, while I do think WWE has attempted to present Ambrose/Jericho as “more important” than Zayn/Ambrose (probably because Jericho is involved) fans do seem to buzz more about the latter than the former.
Winner: Dean Ambrose

Widro – Ambrose has lost a lot since back to back losses to HHH and Lesnar. Jericho continues to gain credibility, and seems like the next contender for Reigns. I think Jericho wins.
Winner: Jericho

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Dolph Ziggler vs. Baron Corbin

CB: Sorry, Dolph.
Winner: Baron Corbin

Spain: Ziggler’s going to do the job. I just hope we get more of a showcase of Corbin’s skills which aren’t punching or kicking, whilst seeing him in an honest-to-gods match.
Winner: Baron Corbin

Brittney- Ziggler is great at putting new talent over. I wonder if that will be the case here or if it’s time for a feud between these two to allow both of them to get a moderate push? Corbin isn’t great on the microphone and is much better as a “beat up now, think later” type. Ziggler can be the mouthpiece of this feud if it’s booked correctly but the problem is, what’s the angle here? Why do they hate each other? I also think that if I could arrange the card I’d have this on the pre-show just because I think titles should be on the main show more. Still, this match may be better than Kalisto and Ryback’s so it may belong on the main card. Corbin and Ziggler will need to bring their best, especially Corbin if he wants to prove he should be on the main roster and in a pay-per-view. Corbin will most likely walk away with the win because it’s clear WWE is backing him.
Winner- Baron Corbin

Paltrowitz – Corbin was not ready for the main roster.
Winner: Baron Corbin

Sam P – Corbin is being given a decent push, and Ziggler is a wise choice to get a good match out of the Lone Wolf. For my money, Corbin can be a bit lazy in the ring, but Ziggler’s energy will put him over.
Winner: Baron Corbin

Michael McMonigle: If anyone thought that this “feud” was too one-sided and maybe Ziggler would steal a victory to bring balance back to the booking room, Ziggler came out on top during a meaningless attack on Raw. Corbin is being pushed as a monster, and you don’t have monsters lose to glorified jobbers at this point (Sorry, Dolph, but it is true). If Ziggler cares about trying on Sunday night, he might be able to pull a decent match out of Corbin. But, most likely, it will be a boring squash.
Winner: Baron Corbin

Kate – I dunno. I don’t feel like I had enough time to feel this feud out as a viewer. Corbin makes more sense, but I suppose Dolph could win purely out of a count-out. But if WWE has any plans of having Dolph make a HUGE comeback, this match isn’t it.
Winners: Baron Corbin via End of Days

Matthew Michaels: Corbin needs to win, period.
Winner: Baron Corbin

Sebastian Howard –
Winner: Corbin

Penny – Wait, this isn’t a rib? This is legit happening? They’re actually giving this trainwreck valuable PPV time? Are you fucking shitting me? FOR REAL???

*sound of gunfire followed by a loud thud*
Winner: Whomever Corbin blew to get his push.

Dalton – Weird match to me. Corbin is very dull but hey he must be doing something right to be where he is now. Sucks Ziggler got the short end of the stick.
Winner – Baron Corbin

James – Poor Dolph, it seems like he is at the stage in his career now where he is just being fed to new stars before they themselves lose momentum, making the loss meaningless. This is a little like the spot Jericho is in except Ziggler has achieved nowhere near the accolades that Jericho has to justify being used solely in this way. I see Corbin winning clean and probably moving on to a feud with Jack Swagger or something.
Winner: Baron Corbin

Sam Keola – Corbin for the win. It’s the WWE mentality. Feeding Ziggler to this guy just seems a bad move. I’m not a huge Corbin fan so I don’t see any future in the guy compared to Ziggler.
Winner: Corbin

Pat Metalhead – The fact this match (and feud) is happening says a lot about not only the way WWE sees Corbin but also how Ziggler’s place in the promotion.
Winner: Baron Corbin

Widro – Poor Dolph.
Winner: Corbin

20160418_match_payback_EnzoColinVaudevillians--dac5dad8213e2bb38d0e60164eea2af3
Enzo Amore & Colin Cassady vs. The Vaudevillains (WWE Tag Team Championship No. 1 Contenders’ Tournament Final)

CB: The Vaudevillains should win here so that Enzo and Cass vs. New Day is saved for another day. Enzo and Cass don’t need the belts or to be in the title picture to be over, and I’m thinking the Dudleyz cost them.
Winner: The Vaudevillains

Spain: I feel like the New Day are entertaining enough to have a match against anyone. That, plus the fact that people are literally yelling Enzo’s promo along with him, makes it seem pretty obvious that Enzo and Cass take it. My only reservation is that WWE might want to stick to matching heels and faces up against each other.
Winners (and new No. 1 Contenders for the WWE Tag Team Championships): Enzo and Cass

Brittney- Okay, two good NXT tag teams came up to the main roster at the same time. The team of Enzo Amroe & Colin Cassady have the fans behind them. They’re the most over team I’ve seen come through in a while and reminded me of when Paige came up from NXT and got her huge pop. The Vaudevillains may not be as over as they were in NXT but they’re certainly entertaining. I’d like to see a feud here after the winners of this match go on to win the Tag Titles. Enzo and Big Cass draw a bigger crowd and will be a bit more equal against The New Day with Xavier on the outside so I’m thinking they’ll walk out as the No. 1 Contenders.
Winner- Enzo Amore & Colin Cassady

Paltrowitz – This is really shaping up to be a doomed card, eh?
Winner: The Vaudevillains

Sam P – The reaction generated by Enzo and Big Cass is outrageous. This tournament has essentially been built for them, and I worry that the Vaudvillains will get lost in the shuffle. As heels, they’re far weaker than they were as chivalrous faces. An Enzo and Cass / New Day match is what we all want out of this, surely? We can just give the first hour of Monday’s Raw to them on the mic.
Winner: Enzo Amore and Colin Cassady

Michael McMonigle: This is a weird match in my mind. Most of the WWE crowd has not seen a lot of, or any, NXT. So all most fans have seen of these teams are a few promos and even fewer matches from each of these teams. I would love to think that the WWE is getting serious about the tag team division, but I am not going to get burned on that one again. Amore and Cassady get New Age Outlaw pops due to their pre-match promos, and can probably live off that for a while. The Vaudevillains need the win because New Day needs a heel team to beat and cement their tag team reign.
Winner: The Vaudevillains

Kate – OMW this match. I’m really pumped for this. But it’s Enzo and Big Cass’s time.
Winners: Enzo Amore and Colin Cassady via pinfall

Matthew Michaels: I understand why you may have to have the heels win here. New Day is over HUGE still (biggest merch sellers at Mania, I heard somewhere) and should keep the belts for a while, therefore I don’t think you want to have New Day beating Enzo & Cass just yet. HOWEVER, Enzo and Cass is a hot act, the VV is terrible, and F it, pull the trigger and push E&C to the moon. New Day will still be over w/o the belts.
Winners: Enzo Amore & Colin Cassidy

Sebastian Howard – Enzio Amori and Big Cas to win the Tag Tournament
Winners: Enzo & Cass

Penny – I’m genuinely saddened by how little reaction the Villains have gotten on the main roster, but absolutely loving the reaction the Guidos are getting. And it’s amazing to see a finally fresh match-up in the title picture. Given crowd reactions, and respective lack thereof, this one’s a no brainer.
Winner: Enzo & Cass and everyone from Jersey desperate for people to forget Snooki exists.

Dalton – Enzo and Big Cass are absolute gold. On the mic, in the ring, everywhere. A feud with New Day over tag titles would be the best thing on tv to date.
Winner – Enzo Amore & Big Cass

James – There is so much momentum behind Enzo and Cass coming in that it is hard to root against them in this one. As well as that you have to believe that them going against the New Day would be best for business. But something is telling me that the Vaudevillains will actually get the win here so that they can be the heel team against the (kayfabe) newly turned face team of the New Day.
Winners: The Vaudevillains

Sam Keola – It looks like Enzo and Cass will win. I’d prefer the Vaudevillains, especially for a feud with the champs. Maybe we’ll get lucky and the Bullet Club will destroy everyone.
Winner: Enzo and Cass

Pat Metalhead – While WWE’s most recent tag team tournament hasn’t given us much in terms of good matches, it HAS accomplished its mission by introducing the main roster’s two newest tag team to the “larger” audience.
Winner: The Vaudevillains

Widro – Enzo and Cass have gotten over huge on the main roster and now is not the time to have them lose, especially to the Vaudevillains who are seemingly DOA on the main roster thusfar. That said, my prediction is the Dudleyz cost Enzo & Cass and the VV go onto face New Day, possibly at the PPV also.
Winners: Vaudevillains

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U.S. Champion Kalisto vs. Ryback (Kickoff Match)

CB: Probably Ryback.
Winner: Ryback

Spain: There’s a reason they’re doing this again, and I reckon it’s to put the belt on Ryback. Used properly, he could be an effective Champion in his own right.
Winner (and new United States Champion): Ryback

Brittney- It seems like they’re going back to trying to give Ryback a push. Putting him in the hunt for a title could do that and even though this is a kickoff match I think it will be a decent one. Kalisto has done well with the title and the crowd certainly enjoys seeing the underdog win. However, with a history of failed title runs and a lack of true support from the powers that be in WWE I wonder if Ryback will stand tall on Sunday or not. I think it may be time for the title to change hands, not because I want it to but because the “formula” says it is.
Winner- Ryback

Paltrowitz – I don’t recall any build-up of this feud after Wrestlemania.
Winner: Kalisto

Sam P – I’m pretty sure that Ryback is now married to the Kickoff shows, and he definitely hates his wife. This rivalry is utterly stale, and while it’d be way more fun to keep Kalisto as champion, another Ryback loss would be a flat out embarrassment.
Winner: Ryback

Michael McMonigle: Hahahahahahahahaha. This has to be either a rib on Ryback or punishment. After running his mouth about his placement at WrestleMania, he gets put in the kickoff match again. Seriously, I love that type of petty screwing over of a malcontent. If this is a rib, I say Ryback takes the belt here because I think that could set up more matches with more guys later. If this is a punishment, expect Kalisto to win and then have Ryback put his career on the line for the next PPV, where the match will STILL be on the pre-show. HA!
Winner: Kalisto

Kate – Why are we even discussing this? What is the point of even having this Championship matches if they don’t treat the matches like one? Not even proper buildup. Can’t even.
Winner and still US Champion: Kalisto

Matthew Michaels: Whatever, they made this a joke, might as well change the title and try again.
Winner: Ryback

Sebastian Howard – Kalisto goes over Ryback
Winner: Kalisto

Penny – I love Kallisto. But I could not possibly in any conceivable way care any less about this match.
Winner: my bladder, because this will most definitely be my piss break, if I even bother watching the pre-show at all.

Dalton – US Title means nothing anymore. Three straight kickoff title defenses. It’s not Kalisto’s fault one bit but they have to do something here but they may not be thinking what I’m thinking.
Winner – Kalisto

James – I was surprised when Kalisto retained at Mania and I think that this time his number is up. Hopefully Ryback will actually use some heel tactics to win rather than just dominating the ‘little guy’ before beating him clean, undoing anything they achieved with his win over the Big Guy at Wrestlemania.
Winner: Ryback (New Champion)

Sam – Kalisto retains. I’m surprised we’re seeing this match again. If this feud was on one of those TEW or EWR wrestling games, it’d have been ‘dead’ months ago and everyone would lose points. Everything the title gained from being on John Cena for months has been wasted with the sloppy booking of Kalisto, especially the feud against Ryback.
Winner: Kalisto

Pat Metalhead – Can’t help but laugh at this one, because the most notable thing about this particular “feud” has been Ryback complaining about being on the WM pre-show in recent interviews.
Winner: Kalisto

Widro – Seems like the new guys have taken the spots of Ryback, Kalisto and Dolph. Kalisto retains.
Winner: Kalisto

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