PB 2016 Miz v Cesaro

Well, that didn’t take long, did it?

Cesaro has only been back two weeks from shoulder injury, and The Swiss Superman already has a golden opportunity — brass ring, if you will — set before him in the form of an Intercontinental Title Match with The Miz at WWE Payback. Even taking The King of Swing’s physical gifts into account, that’s an impressive bounce back from the kind of injury that has put many a lesser competitor on the shelf for good.

But will it be enough? Cesaro, for all his power, has tended to be undone at the moment of truth by some random, unforeseeable X-factor that creeps into his matches — an inconvenient stipulation here, an interfering Superstar there — and in Miz, he’ll not just be facing down the dream-crushing wheeler and dealer who stole the glory of one of WrestleMania’s most unlikely heroes. He’ll be facing Miz’s wife as well.

In case you forgot, or missed the legendary #RawAfterMania, The Awesome One underwent a career makeover worthy of a Hollywood star by bringing his wife Maryse, a former WWE Superstar in her own right, into the fold. Spontaneous as her return was, the presence of the former Divas Champion immediately paid dividends. Not only did she help Miz win the Intercontinental Title from Zack Ryder in the first place, she helped him retain against The Ultimate Broski during their rematch on SmackDown.

Inspiring stuff … if underhanded, power-couple #squadgoals is your kind of thing. But no matter your views on the spouses’ scruples, it’s a pairing that, on the surface, spells disaster for just about anyone looking to relieve Miz of his gold. For a self-proclaimed “Professional” like Cesaro, doing that without resorting to the trickery that Miz used to become champion will be a tall order indeed.

And then there’s the matter of Cesaro’s own limitations. True, he doesn’t have many. But he is coming off an injury that sidelined him for more than four months. And, as he continues to battle back toward 100 percent, that’s a weakness, however temporary, Miz and Maryse could exploit to their advantage. That’d make for one disappointing ending for the Cesaro Section, if not the entire WWE Universe. But if WWE Payback will take its cues from Hollywood blockbusters, Miz should tread carefully. After all, what scheming villain wasn’t undone, in the end, by a gentleman badass in a suit?

See also

Payback 2016 previews

Kalisto v RybackRoman Reigns v A.J. StylesThe Miz v CesaroSami Zayn v Kevin OwensDean Ambrose v Chris JerichoCharlotte v NatalyaThe Vaudevillains v Realest GuysDolph Ziggler v Baron CorbinMr. McMahon announced who controls Raw