September 27, 2023

With SummerSlam done, WWE now turns its attention to Sept. 2 when Payback comes to Pittsburgh. The event kicks off the march to the next of WWE’s “big four” pay-per-views, Survivor Series.

While the card is still coming together, there are already some big matches set for the event. Those matches include Seth Rollins defending his world heavyweight championship against Shinsuke Nakamura and another title match that will see Rhea Ripley put the women’s world championship on the line against Raquel Rodriguez.

In addition, the long rivalry between Becky Lynch and Trish Stratus comes to a head when the two women meet in a steel cage match.

Take a look below at the confirmed matches for Payback and take a glance at the crystal ball of what may come. The event streams live on Peacock on Sept. 2 with the main card starting at 8 p.m. ET.

2023 WWE Payback matches

World Heavyweight Championship — Seth Rollins (c) vs. Shinsuke Nakamura: Nakamura turned on Rollins after the two teamed together in a six-man tag match, Rollins responded by offering Nakamura a shot at the belt “any time.” Nakamura also whispered into Rollins’ ear, visibly shaking the champion. Nakamura would later reveal that he told Rollins he knew that his back was failing and that he is living with pain every day and now Nakamura will end him.

Women’s World Championship — Rhea Ripley (c) vs. Raquel Rodriguez: Ripley and Rodriguez had engaged in a series of brawls before Ripley injured Rodriguez’s knee. Ripley also attacked Rodriguez’s tag partner and friend Liv Morgan before injuring Rodriguez again. For weeks, Rodriguez was not medically cleared to get back in the ring. Finally, Rodriguez was cleared, attacking Ripley before announcing that she had secured a match with the champion at Payback.

Trish Stratus vs. Becky Lynch (Steel Cage Match): The rivalry between Stratus and Lynch has been ongoing for months. Their last two matches did not go as planned, with interference from Zoey Stark ending one match and a wild brawl — again featuring interference from Stark in a match where she was banned from ringside — ending in a countout. To try and make sure the two women can end things without any outside interference, Adam Pearce booked a cage match for Payback. Of course, matches designed to “prevent outside interference” almost always result in outside interference.

United States Championship — Rey Mysterio (c) vs. Austin Theory: Theory earned a rematch against Mysterio after defeating LA Knight with help from The Miz in a No. 1 contender’s match on SmackDown. Mysterio defeated Theory to capture the U.S. title on an earlier episode of SmackDown. Mysterio had subbed in for his injured LWO teammate Santos Escobar after the latter was sidelined by Theory on the evening of their scheduled match.

The Miz vs. LA Knight: Miz and Knight have exchanged words on across various WWE programming. Miz cost Knight a U.S. title shot on SmackDown. Knight returned fire by appearing on Raw and aiding Akira Tozawa in an upset victory against Miz. SmackDown commentators confirmed the match for Payback during the Bray Wyatt and Terry Funk tribute show.

2023 WWE Payback predictions

Jimmy Uso vs. Jey Uso: It may be a little soon to fully pull the trigger on the Uso vs. Uso match but the first stage could happen at Payback. Things may not play out in a clean way if the match does happen, allowing the storyline to drag on toward a major pay-per-view like Survivor Series. WWE certainly is showing no signs of wanting to end the years-long Bloodline story at this point.

Intercontinental Championship — Gunther (c) vs. Chad Gable: Gunther is set to break Honky Tonk Man’s record as the longest-reigning intercontinental champion in history but he is struggling to get the better of Gable. First, Gable survived Gunther’s “five-minute challenge.” Then, after winning a four-way match to become No. 1 contender, Gable became the first person to beat Gunther in a singles match on the main roster when he won their title match on Raw by count out. That left Gunther still as champion but with something to prove going forward.

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