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Pop-Break WWE Payback Preview


The irony here, is not a single member of the Wyatt Family is scheduled for the show. Half the stable is injured, the other half couldn’t cut a promo to save their lives.

Before I get to previewing tonight’s WWE Network event, WWE Payback, I have to point out that NXT is looking a lot more like TNA/ROH as of late. Is it just me, or are some TNA mainstays slowly leaking their way into NXT? For example, we got the big bombshell of Eric Young showing up to confront Samoa Joe at the most recent tapings.

Good and bad. Good, because Eric Young got shafted in TNA, even when he was main eventing. Good, because he is a great talent and NXT will benefit from his participation, and vice versa, he will benefit from the exposure of NXT.

The Bad. A lot of previous TNA talent are coming in. While it is good to see a lot of guys from that company get bigger exposure, it does leave to wonder what will happen to the NXT guys already there? Will the NXT roster face the same overcrowding issue the main roster has on WWE programming?

Now, onto Payback.

The only true rematch from WrestleMania, taking place in the exact same spot, The Ryback and Kalisto will highlight the pre-show with a United States Championship match. I think this time Ryback will take it, otherwise it is a lock we will all forget he has a job. Seriously.

Dolph Ziggler will go one-on-one with Baron Corbin, who, if you rearrange the letters, you turn into Bacon Rorbin. The Andre the Giant winner has beaten up on former Intercontinental Champion and WrestleMania ladder match winner Zack Ryder, and back from the character grave Damien Sandow. But now, he faces a much tougher and bouncier opponent, Mr. Ziggles. I feel Dolphy here has joined the ranks of Chris Jericho, Kane, Mark Henry, and possibly Big Show… enhancement talents. Put over the new guys. To be perfectly fair, no one cares who wins, because no one cares about this feud. NEXT!

In the “Destined to Fight Forever” we have Sami Zayn vs. Kevin Owens. If this were still CZW or ROH, then we might believe the gimmick. But this is WWE. In three years from now they’ll be on the same side, all smiles, handshakes and high-fives, while the WWE Universe giggles with their bout of dementia and the WWE Internet fan base will fume with rage. This is a “Fight Forever” just like The Rock vs. John Cena was “Once in the Lifetime” because, in case you forgot, happened twice. This is another match, where no one gives a damn about the outcome, however the difference between this match and the previous one I discussed is because we will get a show-stealer of a fight and will actually want them to fight over and over and over. We just don’t want their match to end. Ever.

In yet another booster for Dean Ambrose, he faces Chris Jericho in some sort of verbal grudge match. As Dean makes a gradual climb back to main event, he will likely get the victory over Chris Jericho, and thus win the copyrights and trademarks, along with royalties and cake to completely take over all talk-show segments. This match, I expect will have intense spots, some great in-ring action, hopefully an announce table break, a real Walls of Jericho, and lastly, a few comedy spots, like Jericho getting whacked in the nuts with a TV monitor or Lillian Garcia’s face. Now that’s extreme!

Intercontinental Championship Match: Cesaro vs. The Miz

Cesaro is back. Praise Primus. The Miz is also back. I don’t mean this Hollywood over-the-top DVD Windows Movie Maker gloatface, but a real we hate this guy and the woman he’s with. Even though she is hot. Put her and Lana in the ring. Just standing there. They don’t even have to move. Strap them to poles in the corner, let John Williams conduct a score, and that’s it.

Sorry, off track there. Anyway. Miz is back to his game, having dethroned Zack Ryder ONE GODDAMNED DAY after his biggest win, EVER. See? I’m still angry. Miz did his job. Miz is an arrogant arsepit and we have Cesaro back in full Jason Statham mode. Transporter, Crank, Killer Elite, whatever. Cesaro is a freakin’ wrestling machine and I have no doubts we will get a great match. We want Cesaro to win. We expect Miz to somehow steal the win. I feel a lot of heels are going to win tonight, and maybe tonight Cesaro gets his gold. Maybe. I am not convinced though. I see Maryse interfering, but will it backfire and cost Miz the title? Will Zack Ryder show up and interfere? Where is Barry Horowitz when you need him?

Women’s Championship Match: Natalya vs. Charlotte

They are carting out Bret Hart for this one. See, if I were still working at WWE, here is what I would do. I would bring back Alundra Blaze. See, she never actually lost the original Women’s Championship. That title, technically, by far-fetched and convoluted storytelling even by DC Comics standards, and possibly me trying for too many dates, could possibly be in the hands of Medusa. Or Blaze. Whatever we want to call her. Then Sunny is wheeled out, because she needs redemption of more sins than John Constantine.

Wow. I am really going off the rails today.

How about this. Angry that Nattie chose Bret, we get a surprise return by Jim “The Anvil” Neidhart who confronts Nattie and Bret, allowing Charlotte to retain the championship. This accomplishes something important and pushes an interesting new angle. The angle thus far as seen Natalya antagonize Charlotte for always having her father, Ric Flair, interfere and assist in retaining the title. This time around, it would have nothing to do with Charlotte’s family. We get a new drama angle between Bret and Jim, with Nattie stuck in the middle. We get one more big match at SummerSlam, where Charlotte is arrogant in her thinking that the Hart family drama will overwhelm her challenger, when in the end, it turns out to be a setup, both Bret and Jim take out Ric Flair, allowing Natalya to finally win the Women’s Championship. Now that would be awesome.

We will get some sort of promo from The Colons. Primo and Epico. I will hold a sign saying “Where is Carlito?”

The finals of the #1 Contender’s Tournament features two graduating NXT teams, the Vaudevillians and Enzo & Big Cass, and You Can’t Teach That. Awesome. Fantastic. This is a good sign of the times, that two top teams from NXT are now two of the top teams on the WWE main roster. One will go on to face The New Day, the other will have to float around on RAW and SmackDown for a while. The east bet is to go with the Vaudevillians, for two reasons. Basic babyfaces vs. heels. Second, when Enzo and Cass came to RAW, they mouthed off to the Dudley Boyz, then defeated them on an episode of RAW. The Dudley Boyz are not ones to just sit back and take a loss without retribution, at least that is how they are scripted to these days. My bet is some sort of dirty finish to give the Vaudevillians the #1 spot to face The New Day.

It’s Booty-o-Rific!

Lastly, it is the obligatory Time to Try and Make Roman Reigns Look Strong Waste of a Segement… Unless AJ Styles somehow wins. Which will not happen. The WWE Championship Match features AJ Styles vs. Roman Reigns. Here are our problems. This match is happening way too soon. The focus of the match is NOT on Roman Reigns (which is a good thing) and NOT on the WWE Championship (which is a bad thing). It is focused on the arrival and mysterious plotting of Karl Anderson and Doc Gallows. Right now they are a powerhouse team, yet they seem to be easily smushed by Reigns. This bothers me. The drama is whether they are in cahoots with AJ Styles or not. Then the rumor mill churns whether Finn Balor will show up tonight and form “The Balor Club” in lieu of The Bullet Club and keep AJ Styles a face. Truth is, Roman Reigns is so hated universally by fans, aliens, alternate realities, Cybertron, my left ventricle, he could come to the ring surrounded by Make-A-Wish kids and hand out baskets full of puppies, it wouldn’t do a damn thing. On the flip side, AJ Styles could pull a machete out and just start decapitating said puppies, the fans would still cheer and possibly throw confetti made out of the ripped ticket stubs. The main event will be a decent and watchable match, but it will be the outcome which fans focus on.

Hell, if a title change happened, NO ONE would complain.

Michael Dworkis
Michael Dworkis
Michael Dworkis has been a writer for The Pop Break since 2010. For over a decade he has contributed columns featuring Anime, Comics, Transformers, Television, Movies, and most notably, Professional Wrestling. Additionally, one of the key players in the original Angry Nerds column and a guest on one of Bill's various podcasts. When he is not grinding away at his next feature, or shouting expletives at the television while playing video games or watching wrestling, Michael actually has a full-time job,as a Mental Health Professional, working at a medical practice in New Jersey, and runs his own telehealth private practice. A family man through-and-through, requiring his three children to memorize all the Autobots and Decepticons on the collection shelves while also educating them in all things Marvel and Star Wars. You know, the stuff Disney owns.

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