Wrestle Review: The Big Payback Submitted by Andy Sullivan on 08/29/2020 at 12:14 PM
Before I give Payback predictions, some thoughts on the week that was in wrestling. Was Keith Lee ruined on his first Raw appearance? You know, the music and outfit make a wrestler's career. At least if you listen to twitter, that's what they'll tell you. If he's ruined, why was his first match against a big timer like Randy Orton? And why is he facing Orton again tomorrow night at Payback? Come one, guys! He'll be fine!
Karrion Kross suffered a separated shoulder in his NXT championship win last weekend. Therefore, William Regal announced that this Tuesday, a fatal fourway ironman match between Adam Cole, Tommasso Ciampa, Johnny Gargano and Fin Balor will take place to decide a new NXT Champion. My immediate pick is Ciampa. He should hold the title for however long Kross is out. Kross comes back and challenges Ciampa for the title he never lost in a match. If you recall, it was Kross who took Ciampa out backstage awhile back, causing this past return to Ciampa's heel version-his better version, if you ask me.
Retribution members are rumored to be Dominik Dijakovic and Mia Yim. Kross took Dom out on his way to Lee and Yim looks to have (maybe) wrapped her NXT stint after her loss to Shotzi Blackheart this past Wednesday. Time will tell. How much time? I wouldn't be surprised if they drag this angle out well into next year. That would be a horrible move but it sounds like something Vince would do.
Before I get into the insanely too soon Payback(I can't remember the last time we had two big shows within a week of each other), I'll do a quick Smackdown and AEW wrap. The biggest news from Smackdown happened at the very end. The entire night was centered around a new Vince minion getting the contract signed for the Universal Championship match tomorrow night. The final signature was Roman Reigns and sitting by Reigns on a backstage couch was...Paul Heyman! Roman Reigns is a Paul Heyman guy! That was the biggest takeaway for me last night. It was not the only big takeaway, though. It looks like the Alexa Bliss-Fiend angle isn't over. Alexa was a bit different last night. You might say she was Fiendish. I was afraid they'd drop the angle since Bliss wasn't on Summerslam.
Sami Zayne returning with his old Intercontinental title He confronted Jeff after his win against Nakamura. This should set up a ladder match with Zayn vs Hardy to determine the real Intercontinental Champion. AJ isn't done with Jeff, either. How about a triple threat ladder match for the title? I'd be in for that!
Payback predictions: WWE seems intent on Matt Riddle as a big Smackdown player so he has to beat Baron Corbin here. Bobby Lashley will win the U.S title over Apollo Crews. This will solidify that, hey, Bobby can win the big ones but can definitely win the smaller ones(former IC champ as well). Sasha and Bayley defending the tag titles against the thrown together team of Nia Jax and Shayna Baszler should be an open and shut case. They're teasing the champs splitting up again. This means they'd have to lose the tag titles. However, Shayna and Nia don't get along at all. The champs retain.
Rey and Dom Mysterio vs Rollins and Murphy. Rey and Dom have to win. If Rey doesn't win here, he's winless against Seth. I know there's been talk of a Dom turn but I think Rey needs a win in this feud somewhere or, let's face it, this is a clean sweep and it's over.
Randy Orton faces Keith Lee and Lee needs to win. How would it look for them to bring Lee, who everyone says has a rocket to the top with his name on it, in to lose in his first match? Granted, them having Orton lose clean two events in a row isn't a great scenario but he's established. He'll be fine. Lee needs the win.
The Fiend defends the Universal Championship in the main event against Braun Stroman and a returning Roman Reigns, who is now apparently a Paul Heyman guy. It'd be just like WWE to have The Fiend drop the title a week after winning it. It'd also be just like WWE to give Reigns the title in his first match back. To be fair, though, Roman had to relinquish the title. He never lost it. Of course he deserves the match. This will tick some people off if this takes place but I see Roman winning the championship. I understand this would make The Fiend the Sasha Banks of the men's division: can win a title but not defend a title. If the Fiend does retain, he beats Braun again. However this goes, Roman will be protected in this match. Is it too soon for Roman to win the title? Probably. Will Roman win the title? Probably. And it's no holds barred, which means Heyman gets involved.
I'll close with a little AEW quick strikes. I enjoy Chris Jericho on commentary. The man can do anything! Is Tay Conti the newest recruit to the Dark Order? She sure was receptive to Anna Jay's offer Thursday night. Who will be the first to step to Brodie Lee? Given this past week, I'm going to say Dustin Rhodes. It's really pretty obvious that Dustin would try to avenge his brother and sister-in-law but he'll unfortunately come up short to Lee when the time comes, which I'm guessing will be All Out. I'll save my All Out predictions until next week. Until then, enjoy whatever wrestling you choose to enjoy.