The Weekly Beat Down! Final RAW Before Payback

Here we are, on the cusp of another Monday Night RAW.

It’s not just any normal Monday Night RAW though. Tonight’s show is the last RAW before WWE’s next PPV, Payback, this coming Sunday.

So, how are things shaping up with the card so far?

Well, interestingly enough there are only three matches officially set for the PPV as we speak: Ryback vs. Cena, CM Punk vs. Chris Jericho and Wade Barrett vs. Fandango vs. The Miz. I cannot remember the last time that a PPV was so close and had so few matches, but to be honest, I kind of hope things stay that way. The Three Stages of Hell match for the WWE Title will likely be a long match, probably at least 45 minutes. CM Punk and Chris Jericho could both benefit from a marathon match as well, considering Punk has been out for so long. Plus, they’re both more than capable of a 45 minute, or even hour-long match.

Hell, I wouldn’t even mind the Barrett match lasting a long time too. Barrett is a great wrestler who has gotten a criminally low amount of TV time in the past few months. Do I think the PPV will stay with only three matches though? No, odds are we’re going to see a few more matches squashed together (and I seriously hope that Sheamus vs. Sandow isn’t one of them, that could be a great feud) that have little to no build up or relevance in the grand scheme of things. Whatevs, though. A fan can hope for a PPV comprised of only three epic matches.

Anyway, let’s get onto my predictions. What can we expect to happen on the last RAW before Payback tonight, based on RAW’s official five point preview?

Point 1

Last week, Triple H was scheduled to compete in a match against Curtis Axel. His wife Stephanie and Mr. McMahon came out at the start of the show however and informed the crowd that they had made the decision to not let Triple H compete due to the concussion symptoms he was experiences (to some serious heat from the crowd).

After some stubbornness and bickering, Triple H ultimately left the arena instead of, “kicking his children’s grandfather’s ass on live TV.” Triple H has since vowed to compete against Axel on RAW tonight. Will that happen? I doubt it. My bet is that it will lead to Axel and Triple fighting at Payback. Triple H will dominate Axel, experience more concussion symptoms (thereby rendering him unable to continue the match) and then end up losing to Axel.

Point 2

Dolph Ziggler appeared on the Titantron on Smackdown after what was supposed to be a match pitting Alberto Del Rio against Heath Slater to inform everyone that he was now cleared to compete and that he was going to show off all over Del Rio’s face tonight on RAW.

So, what will happen? My guess is that Ziggler won’t compete in any sort of match. However, I would bet that Ziggler will come out, call Del Rio and the two will end up fighting. Ziggler will then hit the Zig Zag on Del Rio and stand dominate, gaining some much needed momentum rolling into Sunday. That’s assuming of course, that they announce Del Rio vs. Ziggler at Payback tonight (which they probably will).

Point 3

Tonight on RAW, Kaitlyn’s secret admirer will finally be revealed. Um, I’m not going to lie. I don’t care much for this storyline. At all. I don’t think very many people do either.

However, say that Kaitlyn’s secret admirer happened to be a debuting Bray Wyatt and Kaitlyn ends up ultimately becoming the first female member of the Wyatt Family?  They even hinted at it slightly on Smackdown (and a Kaitlyn heel turn) when Natalya asked Kaitlyn what if her admirer was a creep and she responded, “if he was a creep, he’d be texting you.”

Well now, that would be a story line I could get behind and would definitely inject some much needed life into not only Kaitlyn, but the Divas Title scene in general. If that’s not the direction WWE Creative is going, I literally have no idea who Kaitlyn’s admirer will be. Nor will I care.

Point 4

In one of the only WWE contract signings that I can remember that didn’t end in a fight, Paul Heyman and Chris Jericho signed the contract for Punk vs. Jericho at Payback. Jericho then shoved the contract down Heyman’s pants.

Not making it up.

So, what will happen tonight? WWE.com is teasing that Punk may make an appearance before Payback, but I don’t think that’s the case. I mean, there are people (me somewhat included) that have doubts that Punk will even show up on Sunday, leading to a bigger and better return match at Summerslam.

To be honest, I don’t quite know what to expect between Heyman and Jericho tonight.

Point 5

Last week, Ryback interfered in Cena’s match against Curtis Axel and ran him through a table.

Week after week, Ryback has come out on top of his feud with Cena with momentum and if Cena doesn’t do something serious tonight, he will have no momentum rolling into Sunday. So will that happen? My bet is no. By having Ryback best Cena again, they really put Cena’s whole “underdog” thing front and foremost for their match this weekend.

On an unrelated note, I discovered that you can watch highlights from all three of the previous 3 Stages of Hell matches in WWE history here on WWE.com in one playlist. I urge you to give the playlist a watch if you’re not familiar with the match.

What do you hope will happen on RAW tonight? Sound off in the comments section below!

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