A WWE match with a solid buildup is taking place on Raw this week instead of being part of the WWE Payback PPV that took place this past weekend.
According to fightfulselect.com, the decision to have GUNTHER face off against Chad Gable on WWE Raw serves a few purposes. Citing WWE sources, the report notes that having the match on Raw helped maintain the runtime of WWE Payback, ensuring it doesn’t run too long. Second, it brings GUNTHER closer to potentially breaking the IC Title record, adding an exciting element to their match. Lastly, it allows WWE to give more prominence to the match than it might have received on a Pay-Per-View event (PLE).
Over the past year, WWE has been cautious about not letting the runtimes of their Pay-Per-View events “overstay their welcome,” especially for events that aren’t held in larger stadiums. This has led to the decision to move some matches that would traditionally be on Pay-Per-View events to WWE Raw.
On a related note, a WWE source has clarified that Honky Tonk Man was never seriously considered for a match on the recent WWE Raw in Memphis, nor was there any intention for GUNTHER to face off against him as was rumored last week.