Pro Wrestling

Precap to WWE Payback featuring John Cena vs. Ryback

1 of 9

Precap to WWE Payback

Courtesy of WWE FanNation

WWE Payback comes to you live on pay-per-view on June 16, 2013 from the Allstate Arena in Rosemont, Illinois.

The main event features WWE Champion John Cena putting the belt on the line against Ryback in a Three Stages of Hell Match. First, the pair will face off in a Lumberjack Match. Then they will compete in a Tables Match. If both men earn a victory, the final stage will be an Ambulance Match. Can Cena continue his championship reign? Or will Ryback prove that he really does rule?

The co-main event is scheduled to be Chris Jericho going one-on-one with CM Punk. However, Punk has been absent from WWE since last April, and it's unknown if he will actually show up. Will "The Straight Edge Savior" make a dramatic return in his home town? Or will there be a vintage WWE swerve going down?

The card also features Dolph Ziggler defending the World Heavyweight Championship against Alberto Del Rio, Dean Ambrose and Kane battling for the United Stages Championship, Seth Rollins & Roman Reigns in a Tag Team Championship match against Daniel Bryan & Randy Orton, a Triple Threat Match between Wade Barrett, The Miz, and Curtis Axel for the Intercontinental Championship, and Kaitlyn defending the Divas Championship against her former friend, AJ Lee.

Payback looks to be an action packed event, and we'll be previewing each and every match on the card to give you a closer look at what to expect.

No more time for chatting, though! It's time to get right to the action!

2 of 9

Sheamus! Sandow! Pre-Show!

Photo by Anton (Wikimedia Commons)

Remember when Sheamus had the third longest reign with the modern World Heavyweight Championship and was on the cusp of being the top face of WWE? He was set to be John Cena's no. 2, the man the marks love and the smarks love to hate. 2012 was "The Great White's" year.

2013, though? Not so much.

Sheamus would finish 28th in the Royal Rumble Match and suffer a pair of pay-per-view losses to The Shield before finally bouncing back with a blow-off win against Mark Henry. Most fans probably expected Sheamus to come roaring back into the World Heavyweight -- or even WWE -- Championship picture.

Instead, he's slinging it on the pre-show with Damien Sandow.

It's amazing that on a card with no part timers, WWE couldn't find a real spot to put Sheamus. This isn't a shot against Sandow, who should be much farther along in his career than eating losses -- and there should be no doubt Sandow will be taking the pinfall -- on YouTube.

At the very least, Sandow is doing better than Antonio Cesaro, so lets be thankful for the small things.

Sheamus will take the victory by Brogue Kick, and will look for an opponent higher up on the card come Money in the Bank.

3 of 9

Wade! Miz! Axel! Triple Threat! Intercontinental Championship!

Courtesy of WWE FanNation

WWE has somehow managed to put everything I don't care about in one match! It would be remarkable if it wasn't so sad.

In one corner we have Wade Barret, the current Intercontinental Champion who has all the tools to be a star yet cannot seem to put everything together. In the other corner we have The Miz, the man who wants so bad to be the next big thing, but cannot stop being so annoying. And in the other corner we have Curtis Axel, the re-debuting rookie who has lucked his way into a nine -- nine! -- match winning streak by simply being in the right place at the right time.

Fandango was originally slated to be the third man in, but he was lucky enough to suffer a concussion last week and be spared the humiliation.

On top of all of that, these three men will be fighting for the Intercontinental Championship, a belt that is barely worth the gold and faux leather used to make it.

At least it was nice of WWE to get all this mediocrity out of the way in one swoop.

There is no reason to build Axel up only for him to take a loss here. Paul Heyman's newest apprentice will be leaving Chicago Rosemont with the title.

And I will continue to not care about any of this.

4 of 9

Kaitlyn! AJ! Divas Championship!

Courtesy of WWE Fan Nation

Hey, look at that! An actual Divas storyline! And it's not half bad!

The short version is this: Kaitlyn and A.J. Lee used to be best friends and tagged together as The Chickbusters. Then A.J. started dating Daniel Bryan, who proceeded to be a jerk to her. Kaitlyn tried to convince her friend this was a bad relationship, but A.J. was having no part of it.

So The Chickbusters disbanded, and the friends parted ways.

A.J. bounced from Bryan, to CM Punk, to Kane, to John Cena and finally to Dolph Ziggler. Kaitlyn, on the other hand, climbed up the singles ladder, eventually defeating Eve Torres for the Divas Championship on the Jan. 14 episode of Monday Night Raw.

Now A.J. has set her sights not just on her former friend's title, but on her dignity.

For the past few weeks, Kaitlyn had been getting showered with gifts from a secret admirer. It was revealed on the June 10 episode of Raw to be none other than A.J.'s bodyguard, Big E Langston. It was a wonderful scene, and for a moment it looked like the big guy had turned.

However, Big E quickly showed his true colors and dropped Kaitlyn on her perfect tushy. It turned out A.J. had planned the whole thing in order to humiliate Kaitlyn in front of the WWE Universe.

That's some Mean Girls tactics right there.

It's nice to see an actual plot besides "We need some pretty ladies in the ring for five minutes." This has real conflict and emotions involved, and I'm invested in what happens.

Again, that's a rarity in today's Divas division

It's impossible to predict how WWE will ever book the Divas. If I had to guess, I'm going with A.J. winning the championship. But it's very possible Kaitlyn retains, and this feud is stretched out a little while longer.

5 of 9

The Shield! Rollins! Reigns! Bryan! Orton! Tag Team Championship!

Courtesy of WWE FanNation

The Shield continues with its Tilt-A-Whirl booking, with Daniel Bryan and Randy Orton getting the short straws this time around. The new "Creative has nothing for you" is no longer a gimmicky tag team, but a feud with The Shield.

All things considered, there are worst fates within WWE.

There is no reason for Seth Rollins & Roman Reigns to not retain the Tag Team Championship tonight. Bryan seems destined for bigger and better things -- possibly the main event of Money in the Bank? -- and WWE will eventually figure out what to do with Orton.

Of course, it's always a possibility Bryan and Orton will simply starting a feud with each other while waiting for their chances at the main event titles.

Why? Because WWE Logic.

6 of 9

Ambrose! Kane! United States Championship!

Courtesy of WWE FanNation

With The Shield turning down the option of going the way of The Freebirds, Dean Ambrose finds himself the odd man out. So he has been given the task of raising the United States Championship into some form of respect.

I'm not going to lie: I'm a little afraid the strap's bad mojo is going to rub off on the rookie.

Hopefully WWE proves me wrong and actually book the U.S. Champion like a champion instead of a jobber. The first step is for Ambrose to pick up a pay-per-view defense against Kane.

I really hope WWE does the right thing here

There is no reason for Ambrose to drop the strap tonight, especially to a veteran like Kane. "The Big Red Machine" is in the twilight of his career, and putting over the rookie is the right thing to do.

Putting the outcome aside, I'm actually excited on how the match itself will play out. Ambrose is an amazing talent in the ring, and Kane has shown he can still go. This should be a short but entertaining match.

7 of 9

Ziggler! Del Rio! World Heavyweight Championship!

Courtesy of WWE FanNation

Did you know Dolph Ziggler was still in WWE? Even still, were you aware that he was still the World Heavyweight Champion?

Because I'm going to be honest — I had completely forgotten.

Since taking a Jack Swagger sized hit to the dome (see what I did there?) on the May 10 episode of Smackdown, Ziggler has been on the sideline with a serious concussion. It's unfortunate too, since this was supposed to be the time to really shine. Ziggler has been working his butt off, and his injury came at the worst possible time.

But now Ziggler is back, and ready he's to resume his feud with Alberto Del Rio, the man he cashed in the Money in the Bank contract on to win the World Heavyweight Championship. The assumption has to be Ziggler will retain and continue with his reign.

Lets hope no one in the back got cold feet about this push in the past month.

8 of 9

Jericho! Punk! Will There Be A Match? Maybe!

Courtesy of WWE FanNation

In a card filled with absolute certainty, this is a match we don't even know will go down.

After finally picking up a win against Fandango at Extreme Rules, Chris Jericho remembered he was Chris Freakin' Jericho. No longer content to trade victories with the lower card talent, he is setting his sites on his former adversary, CM Punk.

The only problem, though, is Punk has been absent from WWE since April 15, the week after losing to The Undertaker at WrestleMania 29.

Punk's manager Paul Heyman has promised "The Straight Edge Savior" will show up tonight. Yet the man with the longest WWE Championship reign in modern history has failed to make an apparence on television. Hell, I don't think he has even mentioned the pay-per-view on his Twitter account.

There is something wonderful about the thought of Jeritroll getting a taste of his own medicine.

Will Punk show up tonight? Most likely. A win against Y2J in Punk's hometown is a great way to re-debut.

On the other hand, not showing up is a great way to extend this feud to Money In The Bank.

I can say this much though: only Jericho and Punk can make a "will he/won't he?" this entertaining.

9 of 9

Cena! Ryback! Lumberjack! Tables! Ambulance! Three! Stages! Of! Hell! WWE Championship!

Courtesy of WWE FanNation

In what some people are calling the potential "Feud of the Year," John Cena and Ryback follow up their no-contest at Extreme Rules with a Three Stages of Hell match. Stage One will be a Lumberjack match with 30 WWE Superstars surrounding the ring. Stage Two will be a Tables match. And if necessary (hint: it will be necessary) Stage Three will be an Ambulance match.

That is about as gimmicky a trio of matches you can get.

This will not be a "good" match in the sense of entertainment value. There will be a lot of rest holds, a lot of laying around to recoup stamina, and a lot of crawling up the ramp to finally end the Ambulance portion of the match.

On top of all that, it's almost certain Cena will remain WWE Champion at the end of the show.

The rule of thumb is to always assume Cena will win. I can see a scenario where Ryback gets the belt tonight, and these two go on for a blowoff at Money in the Bank. Cena, though, has always been a character who defies logic. These two may very well continue their feud moving forward.

But Cena is a man who is rarely booked to look weak, and only then it's against someone with the stature of The Rock.

As much as I love Ryback, he's no Rock.

So we have a bad match with a boring outcome. Unless there are some super amazing spots thrown in, I don't see anyone over the age of 12 being entertained.

What I'm trying to say is you might as well turn off the pay-per-view once you here the ambulance sirens hit. You'll thank me later

C.J. Bradford is a writer for Follow him on Twitter @Li0nford, or “Like” him on Facebook