WWE Payback 2013 predictions

BY WWE.com editorial staff

June 12, 2013

No fewer than six championships will be decided Sunday at WWE Payback, and that’s saying nothing of the match that holds perhaps the most intrigue for the WWE Universe, CM Punk’s return to in-ring action against Chris Jericho.

Who will leave Chicago’s Allstate Arena with their heads held up? Which Superstars are most at risk of ending their nights on their backs, staring up at the lights? Join WWE Hall of Famer Howard Finkel and members of WWE.com’s editorial staff for match-by-match predictions for Sunday’s huge event, and don’t forget to catch all the action starting with a very special Kickoff to Payback, which will stream live Sunday starting at 7:30 p.m. ET/4:30 p.m. PT.


World Heavyweight Champion Dolph Ziggler vs. Alberto Del Rio

Howard Finkel: Although cleared to compete, how effective will Ziggler be in his first title defense in nearly a month? Very! I look for Ziggler to prevail in a close contest, literally just being three seconds better than Del Rio. WINNER: Ziggler

Anthony Benigno: The Showoff is coming off a nasty concussion, and Del Rio has been stewing for his title rematch ever since Ziggler cashed in his Money in the Bank contract. But The Pride of Mexico should be sufficiently softened up by weeks of fighting Big E Langston, and let’s face it: There’s no way Ziggler’s going to let his title reign be this short. WINNER: Ziggler

Alex Giannini: While there’s always the likelihood of so-called “ring rust” when a Superstar takes time off due to an injury, The Showoff is just too good to fail in his first pay-per-view title defense since cashing in Money in the Bank. WINNER: Ziggler

Jake Grate: For his first title defense, Ziggler has an uphill battle. Returning from a concussion to face a decorated former champion — who holds a serious and personal grudge, no less — in Alberto Del Rio is a recipe for disaster and defeat. Even AJ Lee and Big E Langston won’t be able to help The Showoff at Allstate Arena. WINNER: Del Rio

John Clapp: Ziggler’s cleared the imPACT test and been given a clean bill of health. Still, one must wonder if any Superstar is ever truly ready for Del Rio’s kick-heavy offense. Forget the Cross Armbreaker; Del Rio shocks all by regaining the title via pinfall. WINNER: Del Rio

Ziggler: 3, Del Rio: 2