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WWE Payback: Here’s WHY big title match ISN’T on the show

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As the WWE Payback 2023 event draws near, the wrestling community has been buzzing with questions. One query, in particular, has been on the lips of many: why isn’t the much-anticipated title match between Intercontinental Champion GUNTHER and Chad Gable scheduled for the event?

The third face-off between GUNTHER and Chad Gable was widely expected to be a highlight of the Payback event in Pittsburgh, PA on September 2nd.

However, in a surprising twist, WWE announced that the match would instead take place on the following week’s Raw, scheduled for September 4th in Charlotte, NC. This decision left the Payback card with a total of six matches.

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WWE Behind the Scenes: The Reason Revealed

Ibou, a notable figure from WrestlePurists on Twitter, may have shed some light on this puzzling decision: “I reached out to WWE for comment on why Chad Gable vs Gunther wasn’t put on Payback. The general word I got back was that the Payback PLE had “enough”, the show was sold out, and they wanted a big match that they could use for television that would help the ratings. If this is the case, I think WWE should give Gunther and Gable the last half hour of #WWERAW next week.”

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Triple H’s Strategy with WWE PLEs

This decision aligns with previous reports about WWE’s Chief Content Officer, Triple H. It’s been noted that Triple H prefers to keep Premium Live Events (PLEs) concise.

Instead of overloading these events, he often moves select matches to weekly shows like Raw or SmackDown. This strategy was evident before the ‘Money in the Bank’ event, where significant matches, including the WWE Women’s Championship and the Undisputed Tag Title, were defended on SmackDown rather than the main PLE.

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The Stakes of the GUNTHER vs. Gable Match

The match between GUNTHER and Gable isn’t just another bout; it holds significant implications. If GUNTHER successfully defends his title in this match, he will be on the brink of surpassing the all-time title record, currently held by the legendary Honky Tonk Man.

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A Potential Surprise at Payback?

While the GUNTHER vs. Gable match is set for the post-Payback Raw, there’s a whisper in the wrestling community about a possible addition to the Payback line-up.

Rumours suggest that the 16-time world champion, John Cena, might make an appearance. However, for the latest updates on Cena’s status for Payback, fans will have to stay tuned.

Written by
Jake Skudder
Jake is an SEO-minded Combat Sports, Gaming and Pro Wrestling writer and successful Editor in Chief. He has more than ten years of experience covering mixed martial arts, pro wrestling and gaming across a number of publications, starting at SEScoops in 2012 under the name Jake Jeremy.