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WWE Payback Preview: John Cena vs. Ryback 3 Stages of Hell WWE Championship Match

All signs point to the final battle between John Cena and Ryback taking place tonight (Sun., June 16, 2013) at the Allstate Arena in Chicago, Illinois, as the main event of WWE "Payback" in a 3 Stages of Hell WWE championship match. Check it.

3 Stages of Hell for the WWE Championship

John Cena (c) vs. Ryback

After the two somehow managed to go to a No Contest in a Last Man Standing match, one designed specifically to avoid a non-finish, John Cena and Ryback will meet for what appears to be the final time (for now) in a 3 Stages of Hell (lumberjack, tables, ambulance) match with the WWE championship on the line.

The Road to Payback

The issues between these two started when Ryback, seemingly out of nowhere, came to the conclusion that Cena hadn't been helpful enough while he was fending off The Shield on a weekly basis. The two had tagged together a few times on top of forming somewhat of a bond simply through the fact that Cena had offered up his title shot to him at Hell in a Cell and gave "Big Hungry" a glowing endorsement.

But it wasn't good enough, not when there was no help to be found when The Shield were triple powerbombing Ryback through tables.

This led to a heel turn and Ryback and challenging Cena to a match at Extreme Rules, one that was quickly make into a Last Man Standing match. The idea behind that was WWE wanting fans to buy into the fact that someone would definitively lose and Cena would be vulnerable to defeat at the hands of the latest monster coming after his throne.

Yet they still managed to book a non-finish, going to a No Contest after Ryback speared Cena through the stage set up onto some metal and steel below. Because no one could answer the 10 count, which wasn't even made on the live broadcast, no decision was made and that was that.

Now, though, the two will wage war in a 3 Stages of Hell match that will emphatically bring an end to any and all problems between them. The first stage: Lumberjacks. Pretty much any wrestler with nothing to do at that particular moment will surround the ring so the heels can beat up the babyface when he's thrown out and the babyfaces can beat up the heel when he's thrown out. The idea, though, is to always throw the competitors back in the ring until a fall is decided.

The second stage: Tables. This one is simple in that you only need to put your opponent through a table to win the fall. It also opens the door to a sneaky way to get the score evened up. This entire gimmick makes it look clear that Cena will score the first fall before somehow accidentally going through a table to lose the second fall. It doesn't require a pin, after all, so it's more acceptable to the powers that be.

Sounds silly, but don't doubt that it's the case.

That leads to the third stage: Ambulance. The idea here is to incapacitate your opponent to the point that you can throw him in the back of an ambulance and it drives away with him inside. It's a blowoff gimmick and one WWE is using to put Cena over big.

What's at Stake?

The WWE championship, for starters, but really it's Cena's continued star.

When he defeated The Rock for the belt at WrestleMania 29 to conclude their three year program, he wasn't given the belt for no reason. Indeed, the powers that be are hoping to make him the next legend of the ring, on par with the likes of Hulk Hogan and Stone Cold Steve Austin.

To do that, he needs to retain the championship while looking strong in the most important matches against the biggest monsters WWE can find. That's what Ryback represents, nothing more, and the hope is Cena can come out looking even more like "The Man of Steel."

We'll see.

Remember, you can follow along with the WWE Payback live blog with complete results later on this evening RIGHT HERE at

See you tonight, Cagesiders.

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