WWE Payback 2014 predictions

WWE Payback 2014 predictions

With WWE Payback just around the corner, retribution is on the minds of WWE’s top Superstars and Divas. But on the collective mind of the WWE Universe is one simple question: Who’s going to win this Sunday?

Find out how to watch WWE Payback |  WWE Network-ready platforms

With several of WWE’s most riveting rivalries set to reach a new level of brutality (See: The Shield vs. Evolution in a No Holds Barred Elimination Match and John Cena vs. Bray Wyatt in a Last Man Standing Match) and no fewer than three championships at stake, the outcomes from this Sunday’s big event are of paramount importance.

Find out who the editorial staff at WWE.com has picked as the favorites heading into WWE Payback, and add your own predictions in the comments section below!

Hornswoggle vs. El Torito (Hair vs. Mask Kickoff Match)

WWE Payback 2014 predictions

@JoeyStylesThis match is so unique that I consulted my sports-entertainment almanac (aka my co-worker and WWE Hall of Famer, @HowardFinkel), then made my prediction based on past match results. Most Hair vs. Hair Matches have been won by fan favorites. Most Mask vs. Mask Matches have been won by fan favorites. Most Mask vs. Hair Matches have been won by masked Superstars. WINNER: El Torito

@HowardFinkelThis should be something to see. Meeting again after their “Wee-LC” match on the previous Kickoff event, these mighty mites have no love lost for each other. What took place last Monday between the two has ensured that another chapter to this “tale” will unfold this Sunday. I like Torito to eke out the win, and then we’ll see what a “BaldSwoggle” looks like! WINNER: El Torito

Kickoff Match Preview: Hornswoggle vs. El Torito

Jake Grate:  After doing battle in the first-ever “Wee-LC” Match at Extreme Rules, El Torito and Hornswoggle take their rivalry to the next level at WWE Payback. Will the WWE Universe see an unmasked bull or a bald rocker on Sunday? After a loss at WWE’s last pay-per-view, ‘Swoggle gets some fitting “payback,” with the help of his 3MB cohorts. WINNER: Hornswoggle

Anthony Benigno: Give Hornswoggle and El Torito credit: They are beating the snot out of each other at every turn. The latest chapter in this unusually barbaric rivalry has both Superstars putting body parts on the line, literally: 'Swoggle's flowing locks and Torito's furry face. What it really comes down to is this: There have been bald rock stars before (hello, Billy Corgan), but a bull with a man's head? That's just plain wrong. Torito all the way. ¡Olé! WINNER: El Torito

John Clapp: El Torito’s assuredly embarrassed after being de-tailed on Raw, and I seriously doubt Los Matadores’ mascot will let his mask — a treasured item, according to lucha libre tradition — go without a big fight. I bet El Torito channels his rage and Hornswoggle gets his ears lowered, 3MB groupies be damned. WINNER: El Torito

El Torito: 4, Hornswoggle: 1

Divas Champion Paige vs. Alicia Fox

WWE Payback 2014 predictions

@JoeyStyles:There is no substitute for WWE experience, and Alicia Fox’s antics must be getting inside Paige’s head. Despite the rookie stunning the WWE Universe by dethroning AJ Lee — the longest reigning WWE Divas Champion ever — I think the Fox is ready to once again rule the henhouse that is the WWE Divas locker room. WINNER: Alicia Fox

@HowardFinkelFrom out of nowhere, Alicia Fox has busted out of the Divas pack and established herself as a force to be reckoned with. Her recent defeat of Paige in London went a long way to getting Fox this title opportunity. But Paige, for her age, has the poise of a seasoned veteran, and has her sights focused on the Foxy lady to return the favor. I look for Paige to derail the momentum that Fox has garnered, and retain her Divas Championship. WINNER: Paige

Divas Championship Match preview |  Paige discusses Alicia Fox

Jake Grate: Unhinged, volatile, impulsive. The new Alicia Fox is certainly must-see TV. But is she Divas Championship material? Paige has had an impressive run with the butterfly-emblazoned title, but the British beauty has not been dominant in her defenses. A motivated, energetic, veteran challenger like Alicia could spell trouble. To paraphrase the great Bob Seger, “Turn the ‘Paige.’” WINNER: Alicia Fox

Anthony Benigno: If Alicia loses, she riots. So, Miss Fox has gone a little cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs. It happens. Yet even though the former Divas Champion has become an unmitigated danger to ringside officials, she hasn't managed to get one over on Paige besides an out-of-nowhere win in which she smashed the champion's skull into a turnbuckle. Already a fighting champion after just two months on the roster, Paige will use Alicia's erratic personality to her favor; Foxy will lose, and the meltdown will. Be. Epic. WINNER: Paige

John Clapp: Alicia Fox has done a bang-up job of getting the most out of her TV exposure, but will she continue to enjoy the renewed prominence after her title bout against Paige? I’ve no doubt Paige was born and bred to be an all-time great Divas Champion, but I also sense her first reign is ready to come to an end at the hands of a determined Alicia, who has always had the talent (check out that bridge on the Northern Lights Suplex, or the snap in her tilt-a-whirl backbreaker). Now she has the confidence, to boot. WINNER: Alicia Fox

Alicia Fox: 3, Paige: 2

United States Champion Sheamus vs. Cesaro

WWE Payback 2014 predictions

@JoeyStylesThe Celtic Warrior is both a former World Heavyweight and WWE Champion. That said, Cesaro has been handpicked as the newest Paul Heyman Guy, and the man who mentored me chooses his clients very carefully. The King of Swing was also called a future World Champion by John Cena on a WWE European tour. Assuming this battle of the Irish brawler and The Swiss Superman is a pick 'em, Paul Heyman will be the difference-maker because, to be blunt, he will cheat to win and no referee is his intellectual equal. WINNER: Cesaro

@HowardFinkel: So, an Irishman is facing a Swiss for the United States Championship. Only in WWE can that happen! Since returning from injury, Sheamus has looked better than ever, as evidenced by his winning the U.S. Title. Cesaro continues to impress, and having Paul Heyman’s representation is a plus. I look for a very close match, with Cesaro being three seconds better than Sheamus at the end. A new U.S. Champion will be crowned! WINNER: Cesaro

United States Championship Match preview

Jake Grate: The illustrious U.S. Title is up for grabs between a pair of European-born powerhouses. There’s no doubt that Sheamus is a fighting champion who’s always up for a brawl, but Cesaro has taken his game to another level in recent weeks. The newest Paul Heyman Guy makes a statement at WWE Payback and commences his second reign with the star-spangled championship. WINNER: Cesaro

Anthony Benigno: First off, Paul Heyman’s client, Brock Lesnar, conquered The Undertaker’s Streak. Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, his latest client, Cesaro, has looked like a solid heir apparent to The Beast Incarnate. Sheamus’ second U.S. Title win gave the Celt a much-needed boost, and he promptly stumbled out of the gate. I hate to bet against Heyman, but all things considered, Sheamus needs it more. Hometown love from the recent WrestleMania Revenge Tour  in Europe — and maybe the faintest whiff of desperation — will spur the Irishman to victory and a pint in short order. WINNER: Sheamus

John Clapp: I don’t want this rivalry to end. There’s nothing pretentious or artsy or glamorous when Cesaro and Sheamus step in the ring — it’s just a good, old-fashioned fight, the type of fare that’ll play wonderfully before the WWE Universe in Chicago. Keep in mind that there is more at stake than the U.S. Title, prestigious though it is; this is a matter of respect, too. Despite the presence of Paul Heyman at ringside, I think Sheamus will remind everyone why the U.S. Champion is not to be slept on. WINNER: Sheamus

Cesaro: 3, Sheamus: 2

John Cena vs. Bray Wyatt (Last Man Standing Match)

WWE Payback 2014 predictions

@JoeyStylesThe Last Man Standing stipulation may seem to favor the brawling Bray Wyatt, and the rules of the unique match allow Luke Harper & Erick Rowan to get involved at will. However, WWE Tag Team Champions The Usos have been more than happy to watch the Cenation leader’s neon-clad back in recent weeks, and I expect WWE Payback to be no exception. Last Man Standing Matches are historically brutal affairs with Superstars continuously trying to knock one another unconscious. Yet, Cena has proven that it can be a thinking man’s match, once duct-taping Batista’s legs to the ring post so he simply couldn’t stand  during the 10-count. I expect Cena to try and embarrass Wyatt in similar fashion Sunday to earn both a physical and much-needed psychological victory. WINNER: John Cena

@HowardFinkelThis contest is right up Cena’s alley. He has proved time  and again that he has tremendous endurance and stamina for a match like this, and he is a veteran of this type of combat. But in my view, Bray Wyatt has got the best of Cena in all aspects of their issue, and I feel that Wyatt will stand tall after all is said and done this Sunday. WINNER: Bray Wyatt

Last Man Standing Match preview |  Watch Cena's "last stands"

Jake Grate: Bray Wyatt has the whole world in his hands, but does he have the Cenation leader right where he wants him? Locked in a conflict unlike any he has faced during his legendary WWE career, Cena must find a way to overcome the charismatic, erratic “New Face of Fear.” Fortunately for the 14-time World Champion, his mantra of “Never Give Up” will carry him through one of the toughest matches of his life, though he may never be the same. WINNER: John Cena

Anthony Benigno: You can count the number of times John Cena loses in big matches on one hand, with digits left over. And yet, for all the Cenation leader’s “Never Give Up” tenacity, Last Man Standing Matches are kind of his Achilles’ heel. His record in these particular contests is less successful than the WWE Universe may realize, and Bray Wyatt has set up shop in his psyche for the better part of three months now. Look for The Eater of Worlds to complete his conquest and move on to his next convert. WINNER: Bray Wyatt

John Clapp: It’s a foregone conclusion that Harper & Rowan will elbow their way into the festivities, but I’m also of the belief they’ll be neutralized by Jimmy & Jey Uso. So, removing those towering intruders from the equation, I foresee the Last Man Standing Match being contested the way it’s intended, as a one-on-one match. However, this won’t be a test of attrition in the tradition of, say, Dory Funk Sr. and Mike DiBiase’s hours-long Texas Death Match decades ago. Rather, this will be fast, blunt and physically intense, ending with a kiss from Sister Abigail. WINNER: Bray Wyatt

Bray Wyatt: 3, John Cena: 2

Intercontinental Champion Rob Van Dam vs. Bad News Barrett

WWE Payback 2014 predictions

@JoeyStylesTwenty years ago, I’d have expected this to be a one-sided affair that saw The Human Highlight Reel add yet another title to his remarkable record. However, even though Van Dam has Five-Star Frog Splashed Father Time in the 24th year of his Hall of Fame-worthy career, just one second is the difference between ducking a Bad News Bull Hammer Elbow to the skull and taking one that leaves you regaining consciousness with the help of smelling salts. WINNER: Bad News Barrett

@HowardFinkel: RVD has always risen to the occasion when big-time matches are on his plate, and he’ll be ready at WWE Payback. But so will Barrett, who wears the Intercontinental Title this time with more confidence than he has ever had. The brash Brit will, in effect, deliver some “bad news” to Van Dam, and in the process retain his championship. WINNER: Bad News Barrett

Intercontinental Championship Match preview

Jake Grate: For Rob Van Dam, there’s some good news and some bad news. The good news is that the WWE fan favorite is back in action and competing for the prestigious Intercontinental Title. The bad news is that he’s challenging … well, Bad News. Barrett is a dangerous, tricky champion. RVD can always be counted on for some explosive offense, but Barrett will not relinquish his title. WINNER: Bad News Barrett

Anthony Benigno: RVD has looked solid in highly competitive matches over the past month and a half, and he gave Cesaro a run for his money in that wild Triple Threat Elimination Match at Extreme Rules. Still, Barrett has looked even better since his own resurrection as WWE’s resident, elbow-throwing Debbie Downer. Capturing his fourth Intercontinental Title has lit a fire under the Brit’s bum, and even an educated foot-stomping from Van Dam won’t be able to put it out. WINNER: Bad News Barrett

John Clapp: The Intercontinental Championship Match guarantees big strikes, but who has the better chin: BNB or RVD? I can’t answer that for sure, but regardless, let’s not forget this important piece of history: Had it not been for Cesaro’s interference, Van Dam might very well have won the Intercontinental Title No. 1 Contender’s Tournament final against Barrett last month. RVD’s capable of overcoming the Superstar who deals in bad news, and I think he’ll do just that at WWE Payback. WINNER: Rob Van Dam

Bad News Barrett: 4, Rob Van Dam: 1

The Shield vs. Evolution (No Holds Barred Elimination Match)

WWE Payback 2014 predictions

@JoeyStylesThere will be no payback at WWE Payback for Evolution. The three members of Evolution have many more years of experience and many more championships to their credit than The Shield. However, as we saw at Extreme Rules, re-editing an entrance video and making some new Evolution T-shirts does not make Triple H, Batista & Randy Orton the same triumvirate of terror they were a decade ago. Though I don’t expect The Hounds of Justice to achieve a clean sweep, I do expect one of them to be howling in victory following the final pinfall. WINNERS: The Shield

@HowardFinkelDuring their initial encounter at Extreme Rules, Evolution found out that The Hounds of Justice meant business in every way. The Triple H-Orton-Batista triumvirate will not let that happen again. The anything-goes, elimination rules, to me, work much better for Evolution, and if they can force a quick exit for one of The Shield, that will go a long way for the veteran trio to emerge victorious. WINNERS: Evolution

Six-man video preview |  No Holds Barred Elimination Match preview

Jake Grate: In a clash of two of WWE’s greatest factions ever, it’s a simple question of who will adapt and who will perish. Evolution is undoubtedly a dominant force with three decorated World Champions, but The Shield has shown greater versatility of late. Facing all kinds of different Superstars and situations, Ambrose, Rollins & Reigns have found a way to stay on top. They do that again at WWE Payback. WINNERS: The Shield

Anthony Benigno: Triple H & Co. have made high theater out of their proposed dismantling of The Shield. Yet apart from setting Dean Ambrose up to lose the U.S. Title, nothing they’ve done seems to have fazed The Hounds of Justice. In fact, one bad week aside, The Shield has been making Evolution eat their words like so much humble pie. The No Holds Barred stipulation should even the odds a bit for the struggling former World Champions, but this ain’t The Shield’s first rodeo. It may be Evolution’s last, though, if they’re not careful. WINNERS: The Shield

John Clapp: If The Shield vs. Evolution match at Extreme Rules had WWE fans clamoring “This is awesome”; can you imagine what the reaction will be when there are no holds barred and the match doesn’t end until every member of a team is eliminated? The elimination stipulation is particularly intriguing and could benefit more experienced strategists, like the trio of former World Champions. I see Evolution securing a temporary 3-on-1 advantage and, ultimately, WWE’s Apex Predator outlasting all as the sole survivor. WINNERS: Evolution

The Shield: 3, Evolution: 2

WWE Shows Latest Results

View all Shows