After a SummerSlam that saw the latest twist in the story of the Bloodline while Roman Reigns continued to stand tall, the Tribal Chief is taking a back seat and sitting out Payback 2023.
In truth, the card is looking a little light for the PPV, but the WWE has been on a pretty good run of Premium Live Events, so we're giving them the benefit of the doubt till this one is all over.
After all, while Roman Reigns's two belts aren't up for grabs, Seth Rollins will be defending his World Heavyweight Championship against serious competition in Shinsuke Nakamura, while Rhea Ripley will look to shake off the challenge of Raquel Rodriguez for her own Women's World Championship.
Meanwhile, a fully recovered Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn defend their Undisputed WWE Tag Team Championship against a Judgment Day duo that seems always on the verge of imploding.
And there's the not-so-small matter of Becky Lynch and Trish Stratus finally putting their feud to bed in a Steel Cage.
And there's much, much more, besides.
WWE Payback 2023 takes place at the PPG Paints Arena in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania with a start time of 8pm ET/5pm PT (1am in the UK)
A one hour kick-off show starts at 7pm ET/4pm PT (Midnight in the UK).
What's the full match card and predictions for WWE Payback 2023?
Women's World Championship: Rhea Ripley (c) vs Raquel Rodriguez
Rhea Ripley has been in an odd spot of late. A world champion, utterly dominant, but her time and energy consumed by the squabbling within The Judgment Day.
At Payback she gets back to doing what she does best... demolishing any pretenders to her crown.
What's more, there's plenty of history behind this battle with Raquel Rodriguez, and not just the recent fisticuffs that led to Raquel (and her Tag Team Partner Liv Morgan) being on the shelf.
Rhea and Raquel's battles go back to an immense feud in NXT, so they'll be leaning into all of that here.
In the here and now though, we simply can't see past a convincing win for the champ.
PREDICTION: Rhea Ripley
World Heavyweight Championship: Seth 'Freakin' Rollins vs Shinsuke Nakamura
Shinsuke Nakamura is one of the hardest hitting, most talented, most experienced wrestlers in the entire history of the WWE.
It's a shame that over the last couple of years he's not been able to show that as much as he did in NXT on such a consistent basis, but his recent moments with Seth Rollins show that it's all there bubbling under the surface.
There's nothing I'd love to see more than Nakamura turning back the clock and putting away Seth Rollins with a massive Kinshasa and getting himself back on top.
But we just can't see that happening just yet... Seth looks like he's settling in to a nice groove here as World Heavyweight Champion and he won't be kicked off course.
PREDICTION: Seth 'Freakin' Rollins
Undisputed WWE Tag Team Championship: Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn (c) vs The Judgment Day (Finn Bálor and Damien Priest) [Steel City Street Fight]
Sami Zayn has been holding steady and palling with various sorts while Kevin Owens has been on the shelf for a little while, as a result of the dastardly actions of The Judgment Day.
Now KO is back and he and his best frenemy are defending their unified tag titles agains the faction that have given them so much grief recently.
That should be story enough, but of course there's plenty going on within The Judgment Day itself.
Finn and Damien are a good enough team to take on anyone when they're on the same page, but they've been squabbling like mad of late, and with Rhea Ripley busy with her own match, that glue keeping them together could well be absent.
And that's not to mention JD McDonagh lurking in the wings... it being a Street Fight means that anything goes and it probably will.
For those reasons, we're giving this one to the incumbents.
PREDICTION: Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn
WWE United States Championship: Rey Mysterio (c) vs Austin Theory
As he inches towards 50, Rey Mysterio is making a case as the most evergreen superstar of recent WWE history, and his recent win to make him US Champ certainly puts more evidence behind that argument.
Austin Theory is much nearer the beginning of his career than the end, and he'll be utterly livid to have let the championship out of his grasp, especially after going through hell with John Cena at WrestleMania to hold on to it.
He's brushed off the competition from a hotly tipped LA Knight (with The Miz making his presence felt there... more on that later) to immediately earn a rematch against Mr 619.
Despite Theory's swagger and undeniable confidence, we think Rey will have just too much experience to lose the strap just yet.
PREDICTION: Rey Mysterio
Becky Lynch vs Trish Stratus [Steel Cage Match]
This one has been rumbling on longer than many thought it might, and hasn't been quite as satisfying as many of us hoped at the outset, but all can be redeemed if this presumably final chapter is the classic we all know it can be.
Even when it's not been five-star matches, Trish Stratus has proved that she's utterly ageless in the ring, and Becky Lynch is still at her incredibly high peak as a performer.
Stick them in a Steel Cage with enough recent bad blood, and well, let 'em go at it.
With enough room to breathe on the card rather than being squeezed on to a packed SummerSlam, this has all the potential to really deliver.
And as for who'll win, well, The Man will prove that she's THE superstar of this era.
PREDICTION: Becky Lynch
LA Knight vs The Miz
After The Miz stopped LA Knight earning a shot at the United States Championship, the crowd favourite won't need any more encouragement to make a statement.
Apart from that setback, Knight has been clocking up important victories, including in the SummerSlam Battle Royale, and it feels like the time is right for him to challenge for the only thing that really matters... championship gold.
To do that he'll have to first overcome The Miz, and while we think he will eventually get the better of him, at this meeting we think his opponents willingness to twist and bend and break every rule to get what he wants will give him the edge.
PREDICTION: The Miz
What date and start time is WWE Payback 2023 the UK?
WWE Paybackl 2023 takes place in the UK at 1am on Sunday, September 3.
A one-hour kick-off show starts at Midnight.
What date and start time is WWE Payback 2023 in the US?
WWE Payback 2023 has a projected start time of 8pm ET/5pm PT on Saturday, September 2.
A one-hour kick-off show starts at 7pm ET / 4pm PT.
How do I watch WWE Payback 2023 ?
The venue for WWE Payback 2023 is the PPG Paints Arena in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania and tickets are available now.
If you're not going in person, you can watch on the WWE Network (direct in the UK, or via Peacock in the US), which we highly recommend, or if you don't have a fast and reliable internet connection, the more traditional – and expensive – pay-per-view.
How do I live stream WWE Payback 2023 on the WWE Network?
To watch the premium tier for live PPVs, which includes WWE Payback 2023, the WWE Network is priced at £9.99 per month in the UK – first-time subscribers get a month free.
You can access it via the following platforms and devices – click for info on how to access with each app:
In the US, to access the WWE Network you need to subscribe to Peacock after the WWE signed a deal in 2021 to give the NBC service exclusive access. It'll only set you back $4.99, and you get oodles of other content too.
You can sign up for Peacock here.
How do I watch WWE Payback 2023 on WWE pay-per-view in the UK?
You can buy WWE PPVs in the UK via TNT Sport Box Office, after a deal was struck in 2019 that saw UK broadcast rights for WWE move from Sky to BT Sport starting January 2020. BT Sports rebranded as TNT Sports in July 2023.
How do I watch WWE Payback 2023 on WWE pay-per-view in the US?
You can only watch WWE PPVs in the US via Peacock.
What are your predictions for WWE Payback 2023?
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