WWE Payback 2023 is back for the first time since 2020. The event goes down during Labor Day weekend at the PPG Paints Arena in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
The card features a host of exciting matches. The one with the most intrigue is Becky Lynch vs. Trish Status who are putting an end to their feud inside a Steel Cage Match. The card also boasts four title bouts, one of which is a Steel City Street Fight plus LA Knight’s first PPV singles match since Royal Rumble.
There is also an edition of the Grayson Waller Effect with guest Cody Rhodes, which will no doubt see some shenanigans leading to the American Nightmare’s next feud.
And finally, the returning John Cena will be the host of the Premium Live Event and will very likely see the 16-time World Champion interact with several Superstars throughout the night.
The full card is as follows…
- Seth Rollins (c) vs. Shinsuke Nakamura – World Heavyweight Championship
- Becky Lynch vs. Trish Status – Steel Cage Match
- Rhea Ripley (c) vs. Raquel Rodriguez – Women’s World Championship
- Kevin Owens & Sami Zayn (c) vs. The Judgment Day – Undisputed WWE Tag Team Champions Steel City Street Fight
- LA Knight vs. The Miz
- Rey Mysterio (c) vs. Austin Theory – United States Championship
With all this going down let’s pick our winners…
Rey Mysterio (c) vs. Austin Theory – United States Championship
Rey Mysterio relieved Austin Theory of the United States Championship on the August 11th episode of Friday Night SmackDown. Enraged at losing the title, Theory demanded he receive a rematch, which he got after defeating LA Knight in a number one contenders match.
Prediction: As per his MO Theory will attempt everything he can to get his title back. But the champ has plenty of backup in the form of his fellow LWO stablemates. Rey Mysterio retains.
LA Knight vs. The Miz
This match has been brewing since just after SummerSlam, where Knight was victorious in the Slim Jim Battle Royal. Following his win The Miz began taking shots at Knight calling him an “Attitude-Era wannabe” and a “poser.” Knight fired back with a barrage of insults that resulted in a match between the two loudmouths.
Prediction: This feud is all about elevating LA Knight. Surprisingly despite being so popular, this is Knight’s first major feud since Bray Wyatt at the beginning of the year and one in which he will ultimately win. However, with that being said, it feels as though there is a lot more these two can do in a longer feud. The Miz wins.
Kevin Owens & Sami Zayn (c) vs. The Judgment Day – Undisputed WWE Tag Team Champions Steel City Street Fight
Kevin Owens and Kevin Owens have been having Judgement Day problems for months. At one point Zayn had to face the faction on his own due to Owens suffering an injury and having to take some time away. However, he made his return to help out his partner in their hometown to a thunderous reaction, which resulted in the Canadian duo defending their titles against Finn Balor and Damian Preist at Payback.
Prediction: Although stablemates there has been clear tension between Balor and Preist ever since the Archer of Infamy won the Money in the Bank briefcase. This friction plagued Balor’s pursuit of the World Heavyweight Championship and will undoubtedly come into effect during this match. Owens & Zayn retain while Balor & Preist implode.
WWE Payback – Rhea Ripley (c) vs. Raquel Rodriguez – Women’s World Championship
The dominant Judgement Day member targeted and took out the Women’s Tag Team Champions Liv Morgan and Raquel Rodriguez with a brutal attack that cost them the titles. Out for revenge, Rodriguez suffered another beatdown courtesy of Ripley that resulted in her suffering an injury to her knee. Following a brief hiatus to recover, Rodriguez returned to beat up the champion and challenge for the title.
Prediction: Ripley and Rodriguez are two of the most physically imposing women in the company and have a history going back to their in NXT. During this time they clashed in a heated Last Woman Standing match at New Year’s Evil, which saw Rodriguez pick up the victory. But Ripley is now a much different beast. Her power and confidence are through the roof and no one is taking the title from her any time soon, not even someone as intimidating as Rodriguez. Ripley retains.
Becky Lynch vs. Trish Status – Steel Cage Match
After months of rivalry, Becky Lynch finally gets her hands on Trish Stratus. This intense rivalry began all the way back in April when Stratus betrayed Lynch. The Man then lost to her at Night of Champions after interference from Zoey Stark, who would continue to come in between Lynch and her attempt at payback. After a match between Lynch and Stratus turned into a wild arena-wide brawl and more interference from Stark it was announced they will face off inside a steel cage.
Prediction: While this has been a fun and entertaining feud in which the WWE Hall of Famer has thrived, it is time for it to end. Of course, the Steel Cage will do little to quell the constant interference from Stark but Lynch has dealt with her on multiple occasions and will do so again to finally triumph in this rivalry. Becky Lynch wins.
Seth Rollins (c) vs. Shinsuke Nakamura – World Heavyweight Championship
Shinsuke Nakamura took out Seth Rollins with a surprise attack after they teamed together on the August 7th edition of Monday Night Raw. Following the assault Nakamura declared he wanted a shot at Rollins’ title, a challenge to which the champion accepted. However, despite getting what he wanted the Japanese star whispered something to Rollins that left him visibly shaken. While he was reeling, Nakamura once again took him out with a Kinshasa. He later revealed that he not only knows about Rollins’ back injury but just how bad it is.
Prediction: Rollins’ back injury will undoubtedly be a huge factor in the match and something Nakamura will exploit. Rollins retains but Damian Priest cashes in his MITB briefcase to capture the title and become the new World Heavyweight Champion.
WWE Payback streams LIVE on Peacock in the United States and on WWE Network everywhere else.