WWE PAYBACK PRIMER: Preview and Predictions for WWE Payback including Seth Rollins vs. Shinsuke Nakamura, Becky Lynch vs. Trish Stratus in a cage, Cody Rhodes on Grayson Waller Effect

By Javier Machado, PWTorch contributor


On September 2, 2023, WWE Payback will emanate from the PPG Paints Arena in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania.

Seth Rollins vs. Shinsuke Nakamura, World Heavyweight Championship match

Story in a nutshell: Shinsuke Nakamura attacked Seth Rollins after they had teamed up in a bid by Shinsuke to capture the World Heavyweight Championship.

After winning a six-man tag, Shinsuke Nakamura turned heel by attacking Seth Rollins as they celebrated. Shinsuke made his intentions known that he wanted Seth’s World Heavyweight Championship. Seth agreed to give Shinsuke a shot, saying that the ambush was unnecessary and all Shinsuke had to do was ask. Shinsuke whispered something to Seth that left Seth shaken. Shinsuke revealed that Seth had been wrestling with a badly injured back. Seth confirmed this, saying that he has two fractured vertebrae.

Prediction: Karrion Kross’s “gimmick” is that he’s taking something from those he feuds with. During his feud with Shinsuke, Kross stole Shinsuke’s “honor”, hence, the heel turn. Unencumbered by an adherence Bushido, Shinsuke is free to win by any means necessary, even attacking a previously existing injury. While I think there is a story you can tell there with Shinsuke, I’m thinking Seth though not before he suffers some serious damage. More on this later.

Becky Lynch vs. Trish Stratus, Steel Cage match

Story in a nutshell: Becky Lynch and Trish Stratus have been feuding since April and due to Zoey Starks interfering in matches on Trish’s behalf, they will settle things in a cage.

Trish Stratus turned on Becky Lynch and claimed that she (Trish) had not received the respect she deserved for saving women’s wrestling. Trish took Zoey Starks on as a protege to help her in her feud with Lynch. Due to Starks’s interference, she was barred from ringside when Trish and Lynch next wrestled. The match ended in a double count out and a brawl that saw Starks getting involved once again. It was decided that Lynch and Trish would settle things once and for all inside a cage.

Prediction: Becky Lynch wins, ending the feud.

Rhea Ripley vs. Raquel Rodriguez, Women’s World Championship match

Story in a nutshell: Rhea Ripley has been a bully in the women’s division and Raquel Rodriguez wants to take her down a peg by taking her Women’s World Championship.

The Women’s World Champion, Rhea Ripley was bullying Natalya when Raquel Rodriguez intervened. These events eventually led to a brawl where Raquel was injured which ultimately cost Raquel and her tag-team partner, Liv Morgan, the WWE Women’s Tag Team titles. Morgan challenged Ripley to a match, but she too was injured by Ripley. Raquel tried to avenge Morgan but AGAIN was injured. It was decided that once she was medically cleared, Raquel would be challenging for Ripley’s title.

Prediction: I’d be surprised if Ripley drops the title here. The biggest question is what, if anything, are they going to do to protect Raquel.

Kevin Owens & Sami Zayn (c) vs. Finn Balor & Damien Priest, Undisputed WWE Tag Team Championship match

Story in a nutshell: Despite several mishaps stemming from internal Judgment Day strife, Finn Balor and Damien Priest were able to pick up several key victories to win a shot at the Undisputed WWE Tag Team Championship.

There has been friction inside of the Judgment Day faction ever since Damien Priest won the Money in the Banck contract. Finn Balor has started to spend time away from the group, linking up with fellow countrymate, JD McDonagh. An outsider coming into Judgment Day’s orbit have exacerbated tensions between the members. However, during a match, a miscommunication between Priest and Balor led to Kevin Owens getting his hands on the Money in the Bank briefcase. Owens used it to hit Balor which led to a disqualification. Later, JD McDonagh helped Priest beat Sami Zayn. When Zayn went after McDonagh, Priest, angry at interference from an outsider, let Zayn have at him. Balor and Priest were granted a shot at Owens and Zayn’s tag titles. Balor confronted Priest about abandoning McDonagh when Rhea Ripley had enough of the squabbling. She declared that either they all come out of Payback as champions, or else there would be consequences.

Prediction: Continuing issues lead to Priest and Balor’s defeat.

Then my hot take. Priest takes advantage of Seth Rollins’s hurt back and cashes in to become the World Heavyweight Champion. Balor, the only one without a belt, gets kicked out of Judgment Day.

Rey Mysterio vs. Austin Theory

Story in a nutshell: Austin Theory tries to win back the WWE United States title that he claims was stolen from him by Rey Mysterio.

A United States Championship Invitational was held to determine then-WWE United Stares champion Austin Theory’s next challenger. LWO faction mates, Rey Mysterio and Santos Escobar, each won their respective four-way matches and faced each other in the finals. Santos won the match when Rey was injured and couldn’t continue. The night Santos was to face Theory for the title, Theory attacked and injured Santos backstage. With the match in danger of being called off, Santos implored Rey to take his place. Rey won the title later that night. Theory complained that the belt was stolen from him since he wasn’t prepared to face Rey that night and demanded the belt be returned to him. Instead, he was given a match to determine the next challenger for the United States title that he won setting up the match.

Prediction: During the build Grayson Waller has been insinuating that Rey stole Santos shot at the title in an attempt to drive a wedge between the two faction-mates, so maybe Santos causes Rey to lose. However, I’m pretty sure the WWE wants to continue to milk the LWO brand more, so I’ve got Rey retaining.

L.A. Knight vs. The Miz

Story in a nutshell: Miz is jealous of LA Knight’s sudden rise in popularity.

LA Knight eliminated the Miz during the Branded SummerSlam Battle Royal on his way to win the match. The Miz took umbrage to that and the groundswell in popularity LA Knight has been experiencing. The Miz accused Knight of being nothing more than a fad. The two cut promos at each other on their respective nights and began crossing over the brands to interfere in each other’s matches. The Miz challenged Knight to a match at Payback.

Prediction: I’m surprised the Miz was the one to lay down the challenge since he is usually the cowardly heel. While LA Knight should win this (my pick), Miz might have an ally waiting in the wings to help him win and give Knight a new target to feud with.

The Grayson Waller Effect with guest Cody Rhodes

The Grayson Waller Effect is an interview segment hosted by Grayson Waller where he generally stirs things up between wrestlers. We’ll likely see who Cody’s next opponent is going to be whether is a part-timer (John Cena?), someone on the WWE or NXT rosters (Bron Breaker?), or Waller himself. Waller is definitely ending up looking at the lights by the end of the segment.

RECOMMENDED NEXT: WWE SMACKDOWN RESULTS (9/1): McDonald’s “alt perspective” report on John Cena’s return, Jimmy Uso returns, Mysterio/Escobar vs. Theory/Waller, Knight and Miz face to face

OR CHECK THIS OUT AT PROWRESTLING.NET: Kurt Angle on his quality of life, Gable Steveson’s future with WWE, executing a moonsault

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply