13/04/2024

Picture: WWE

After an emotional week in the wrestling world, all eyes will be on WWE Payback when it makes it’s first appearance since the ThunderDome era three years ago.

The Premium Live Event is scheduled for this Sunday at 10am AEST on BINGE, with multiple main event-calibre matches to feature.

Four championships will be on the line and two grudge matches are so slated, as a number of rivalries should reach their culmination in a show that is expected to deliver.

Below is The Inner Sanctum’s preview and predictions for Payback.

Biggest certainty: LA Knight defeats The Miz

Picture: WWE

In a feud that has quickly become heated and one of the most intriguing aspects of television, LA Knight and The Miz will look to settle the score at Payback.

The Megastar has been riding a wave of momentum for months that has only increased since SummerSlam, finally receiving his much-deserved spotlight. However, the A-Lister has taken issue with it and claims Knight is only a, “flash in the pan”.

The Miz even cost his rival an opportunity at the United States Championship on the August 19 edition of Smackdown, as the latter should most definitely secure his revenge this Sunday.

It would be the right decision to give the Megastar the victory, which could even put him back in United States Title calculations on Smackdown. While The Miz has not looked credible in recent times, it would still be a huge boost for Knight to overcome the A-Lister.

Video: WWE

Surprise prediction: Zoey Stark betrays Trish Stratus

Picture: WWE

Becky Lynch and Trish Stratus’ long-term rivalry should come to a conclusion at Payback, when the two meet inside a steel cage.

The match surfaced after Adam Pearce became frustrated with Stratus using Zoey Stark to avoid facing Lynch in a pure one-on-one scenario.

It does seem like the Canadian will be stepping away from television after the contest, which would be the perfect time for Stark to disband from her mentor and become her own person.

There could be a number of ways WWE could conjure a betrayal – Stark could attack Stratus after the match or an assist could backfire, where the Hall of Famer becomes frustrated and later gets assaulted.

Regardless, the rising star should write Stratus off of television and begin a proper push. She has shown glimpses of what she is capable of in the ring, previously competing against the likes of Shayna Baszler and even defeating Lynch on Monday Night Raw.

Video: WWE

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Title most likely to change hands: United States Championship

Picture: WWE

Austin Theory will receive his rematch for the United States Championship, when he collides against Rey Mysterio at Payback.

The legendary Luchador shapes as the most likely champion to lose his title, with Seth Rollins, Rhea Ripley and Kevin Owens & Sami Zayn almost all guaranteed to retain.

The United States Title could even be given back to Theory in an attempt to revitalise his character, or could be an avenue to give LA Knight the gold.

There is still a chance Mysterio walks out of Payback as the champion and it could even drive a wedge between him and Santos Escobar, similar to Finn Balor and Damian Priest’s dynamic with the latter’s Money in the Bank briefcase.

Video: WWE

Match of the night: Kevin Owens & Sami Zayn vs The Judgment Day

Picture: WWE

Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn will look to finally dispatch The Judgment Day once and for all, when they defend their Undisputed Tag Team Championships against Finn Balor and Damian Priest.

What could have been the match at SummerSlam, Payback should spell the end for this prolonged rivalry and this was emphasised by the raising stakes made official on Monday Night Raw this week – the stipulation changing to a Steel City Street Fight.

This will ensure the match steals the show, along with the assistance of Balor and Priest’s current story. The two have been teasing a potential split since Money in the Bank, due to the briefcase and recent involvement of JD McDonagh.

Payback could be the scene where the two Judgment Day members reach breaking point with each other, despite the fact they have been adamant of not separating.

Video: WWE

What must happen: Cody Rhodes’ next feud commences

Picture: WWE

Cody Rhodes will receive the, “Grayson Waller rub” at Payback when he appears as a special guest on the Grayson Waller Effect.

The American Nightmare’s momentum and status on Raw has become stagnant since SummerSlam, not involving himself in a new rivalry and instead exchanging blows with The Judgment Day.

Therefore, his segment with Waller needs to result in the birth of a new feud. Whether it is with the Australian himself or another superstar, Rhodes needs to be occupied in meaningful rivalries ahead of another supposed tilt at the Undisputed Universal Championship next year.

If a fresh program does not eventuate for the American Nightmare at Payback, then something needs to start on next week’s Monday Night Raw at the absolute latest.

Other predictions:

Seth Rollins defeats Shinsuke Nakamura and retains the World Heavyweight Championship

Rhea Ripley defeats Raquel Rodriguez and retains the Women’s World Championship

Video: WWE

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