The date says Monday 17th June which means this blog post has been published a little under twelve hours before it was meant to. The reason why is simple - on Sunday morning, I noticed that there are a number of bookmakers offering bets on Monday morning's WWE pay-per-view (starts at 1AM BST hence the earlier post) so I thought I would share with you my opinion on each of the markets that are available.
If you read, and had a bet using, the WrestleMania betting write-up I did a number of days before WrestleMania XXIX, you would have made a little something back. I'm going to be up front about tonight's card and warn you that I am taking a few risks with some of these selections. Be warned and don't bet over what you're willing to lose.
So, without further ado, here are my picks for WWE Payback.
Sheamus vs. Damien Sandow
This match is going to be the featured bout on the preshow. The intention of the preshow is to lure last minute buyers to order the event so, from where I am sitting, the most obvious choice of winner is the babyface in the match. Start the event off on a happy note. Sheamus all the way.
Best price: Sheamus 1/6 Sky Bet
Dean Ambrose vs Kane for the US Title
Ambrose won the belt at the last WWE offering, Extreme Rules, in May. Remember where I told you there may be a few risky plays? Well, this is one of them. My head is telling me Dean Ambrose will win this and retain the title. My gut is telling me they could have Ambrose lose via disqualification and still walk out as champion as belts don't change hands on a DQ. I'm going with Ambrose but it's a mild lean.
Best price: Dean Ambrose 2/7 Paddy Power
The Shield vs Daniel Bryan & Randy Orton for the WWE Tag Team Titles
Dean Ambrose's Shield colleagues of Roman Reigns and Seth Rollins will be defending their tag team titles against the team of Daniel Bryan and Randy Orton. I cannot see the challengers procure the belts in this match as I have a feeling there will be a spot that will lead to Randy Orton turning against his partner. The end result - a Shield victory.
Best price : The Shield 1/7 Paddy Power
Kaitlyn vs AJ Lee for the WWE Divas Title
It's time for AJ Lee to win the title. It will work well for the storyline of Lee being associated with the Heavyweight Champion, Dolph Ziggler.
Best price : AJ Lee 1/4 Paddy Power
Dolph Ziggler vs Alberto Del Rio for the Heavyweight Championship
This is a tricky one for certain reasons. As I noted, I have a feeling AJ will win the women's belt and it will make for an interesting dynamic to see both AJ and Dolph with world titles. On another thought, there seems to be a lot of money going on Alberto Del Rio in the off-shore betting market. This could be an indication that somebody has bet big on a Del Rio win. And he could win via DQ which means Ziggler is still the champion. Big risk number one is on Del Rio.
Best price : Alberto Del Rio 5/2 Paddy Power
Three-way for the WWE Intercontinental Title
Wade Barrett defends his belt in a three-way against The Miz and Curtis Axel. Axel has been given a strong(ish) push lately and putting a belt like the Intercontinental championship on him may be seen as another tool to help him on his way. There is no coincidence that Axel's father - the late 'Mr Perfect' Curt Hennig - is a former two time Intercontinental champion. An IC win on Father's Day? Looks likely to me.
Best price : Curtis Axel 1/6 Paddy Power
John Cena vs Ryback for the WWE Title
Cena is defending his title in a best of three match where the first bout is a Lumberjack Match, fall two is a Tables Match and - if it goes that far (wink, wink) - an Ambulance Match. The Bookies on this side of the pond are only taking action on the overall winner. Cena will somehow win this series 2-1.
Best price: John Cena 1/10 Paddy Power
CM Punk vs Chris Jericho
I've left this match until last because it is the most intriguing on paper. It's also the most risky of the selections. Punk hasn't been on WWE TV for a number of weeks. The last time we saw him was as a heel alongside Paul Heyman. That will still be the case when he returns to take on Chris Jericho tonight. So, why am I writing this? The thing is Punk is going to be wrestling on home soil. The Chicago native will be cheered heavily in this match and there has been some speculation that he and Jericho will somehow switch roles in this match. For this to happen, Paul Heyman will need to play a part. One of the scenarios I can envision is having Jericho and Heyman join up and cost Punk the victory. It will lead to a Punk (as a babyface) rematch against a heel Jericho at the Money in the Bank pay-per-view and then have Punk versus Brock Lesnar at SummerSlam in August. I don't like fantasy booking and I would rather see Punk play a heel for a little while longer. However, if the plan is for CM Punk versus Brock Lesnar, then the right time to put those wheels in motion is in Punk's backyard tonight. It's a gamble but I'm taking Chris Jericho for the W.
Best price: Chris Jericho 11/2 Sky Bet