WWE Payback Review

So last night WWE held Payback and I don’t think it is harsh to say this was a PPV that very much felt like filler.  Despite this, the card actually looked quite strong and I was intrigued enough to check it out.  If you don’t like wrestling I really wouldn’t bother reading any further and if you haven’t figured it out, it will contain spoilers for Payback.

Sheamus pins Cesaro

Sheamus does not get the credit he deserves as a worker.  His character is a bit meh at the moment, but in matches like this one he always delivers.  The story going into it was basically that they both have nothing to do, but this is a match where I’m kind of willing to accept that.  These two work such physical styles that just watching them beat the crap out of each other was great.  Cesaro once again showed how ridiculously strong he is.  While the swing is always impressive, I was actually more wowed by the dead lift suplex in this one.  You could see they struggled for a second, but he pulled it off.  I also thought the finish was smart.  Sheamus got the win, but not convincingly enough to make it definitive and at the same time they didn’t over book it or give us a dirty finish.  TNA could learn from that kind of move.  It also barely needs to be said but the amount that Heyman adds to a match just by walking around the outside is always incredible.

Match: 8/10

Result: Thumbs up

Rybaxel pin The Rhodes Brother

I’ve been very critical of the way WWE has dealt with The Rhodes Brothers.  They went from being the MVP’s on most shows, to not getting a look in.  This match seemed to point towards them getting at least slightly back on track.  Elsewhere, the commentators spent the match putting over Rybaxel’s growth as a team, which I have to agree with.  I still don’t get particularly excited by these guys and the way Ryback has gone from one of the most over guys into the company, to a guy in a beanie, is a bit sad, but they have become a very solid tag team.  At the end of the day this was a good if unspectacular match, that was really about setting up where the Rhodes brothers go next.  It was nice to see that tease coming via something a bit more inventive than one of them hitting the other one after they lose.

Match: 7/10

Result: Thumbs up

Rusev beats Big E by submission

I like the Lana shtick but I think she needs to mix it up a bit now.  The Putin thing was funny the first few times and is a good way to get cheap heat, but it will grow stale.  Big E not that long ago seemed like he was heading for a big push, now he’s playing enhancement talent to the stars, due to his ability to wave a flag.  Saying that him and Rusev waving flags at each other was genuinely funny, I don’t know if that was intended but it kept me entertained.  The match was what it was.  It let us see a bit more of Rusev and he looked good, if still a bit dull. Big E’s spear was very cool.

Match: 6/10

Result: Thumbs up

Bo Dallas and Kofi Kingston to a no contest

It was nice to see Bo Dallas finally heel it up.  A lot of people seem to have been a bit confused about what role he had been playing recently and this set it out clearly.  He’s a character that I think could do very well as a pest heel.  Kane roughing up Kofi feels a bit pointless, I don’t really see what it achieves but it wasn’t offensive.

Match: N/A

Result: N/A

The commentators having a serious conversation about Hornswoggle vs El Torito summed up why I don’t show my friends wrestling.

Wade Barrett pins RVD

RVD used to be one of my favourite wrestlers.  Now he seems to have the ability to go stale without actually having been around long enough to do so.  Barrett on the other hand is on the up.  I’m still not completely enamoured with his character, but considering it felt like he was being handed a damp squib, he really has ran with it and managed to get it over.   The action itself was very solid.  Van Dam can still go and Barrett has been putting together a very physical, very solid move set.  The combination of the two worked quite well and while it was by no means a 5-star classi,c there was enough happening to keep anyone entertained.  As a complete side note when will RVD learn that if he didn’t taunt before doing the 5-Star Frog Splash, he’d probably win a lot more matches.

Match: 7.5/10

Result: Thumbs up

Daniel Bryan and Stephanie

A lot of wrestlers in the back should be looking at the fact that Stephanie is getting more heat them and ponder why.  She is the biggest heel in the company right now and it’s not because she’s a McMahon.  It’s because, much like Bryan himself, she is just that damn good. This segment was great.  I assume Bryan’s recovery is going well and we will see him in the ring soon, hence him keeping the title.  I also expect we will be seeing Brie quite soon.  In one slap she got herself more over than any diva has been in a long time and I can’t imagine they’ll waste that.

Rating: Just a big old thumbs up for a job well done.

John Cena beats Bray Wyatt

Once again WWE has a chance to just do it, let the old hero fall and the young guy stand victorious and they once again threw it away.  John Cena beating Bray Wyatt in this match probably won’t stop Wyatt moving on up.  He’s too good for that, but could you imagine the reaction if he’d won.  If he’d beaten Cena in the match that has in many ways become his signature conflict?

I liked The Uso’s involvement, it made sense and too often in WWE babyfaces don’t help each other.  They and the other members of the Wyatt family allowed Cena and Wyatt to have a break from beating the crap out of each other and both teams involvement made sense.  I have to admit for the first couple of minutes I was worried about this match though.  Two men just trading finishers doesn’t entertain me.  It’s one of the reasons Kurt Angle matches often leave me cold.  However, when things broke down with The Uso’s it begun to pick up.  So while it was obviously a complete garbage match, with two men just beating the crap out of each other, it still completely entertained.  In the context of this feud that kind of match made perfect sense. It was also very well constructed with a couple of huge spots, in which the throwing of the steel steps at Wyatt stands out as a personal favourite.  It just looked brutal and I can honestly say I don’t think I’ve seen anything like that before.  All in all once again Cena has delivered on PPV.  It’s just a shame about the finish.

Match: 9/10

Result: Thumbs Down

Paige beats Alicia Fox by submission

I like Paige.  At 21 she is way too talented and as a diva the world is her oyster, but if you’ve seen NXT Takeover (go see it if you haven’t) then you will have seen what two women given time can do.  This on the other hand felt a bit clunky, particularly the finish.  I did appreciate that rather than just having Fox win a battle royal to get her shot they have actually decided to give her a character, but it’s led to the announcers spending more time talking about her than the young Diva’s Champion.  Paige has the potential to put on matches the quality of that at NXT Takeover, but this wasn’t it.  JBL’s questioning of how Cole could tell Alicia was frustrated was very funny though.

Match rating: 5/10

Result: Thumbs up

The Shield pin all three members of Evolution

Has WWE ever managed to put together and push a team as well as they have the Shield?  These guys have beaten everyone and yet they are still as cool as they were on their debut.  Actually I felt rather sorry for HHH and co.  They were basically squashed.  I hope those that accuse all 3 of these men of not putting people over remember this feud, because I can’t think of a time when 3 veterans have put over 3 young rookies (I don’t care what they did on the indies these guys are still WWE rookies) as completely as this.

The match itself was interesting.  It started fast but then much like their Extreme Rules match they slowed everything right down.  I actually like that way of working.  It’s classic ring psychology for the heels to work slower, but it’s classic because it works.  I also like that they didn’t rush into any eliminations.  These 6 men are main event talent, having someone get pinned after 5 minutes would have felt a bit quick.  When it broke down it did so in a way that was hugely entertaining.  It did feel a bit much after the similar style of the Cena Wyatt match, but in isolation of that it was a very strong effort.  The fact HHH still does these big spots when he is in the position he is in, i.e. in charge, deserves a lot of respect in my opinion.

My only issue with the match is that it feels a bit like Evolution have just been squashed.  Where do they go from here?  I’m sure there are plans but they don’t currently feel like a tough team.

Match Rating: 9/10

Result: Thumbs up, but I would have liked to see Evolution get a couple of eliminations

Overall Thoughts

This turned out to be a very strong PPV.  Nearly every match delivered and we saw what I presume is the end of two of the companies big feuds.  Raw tonight will be very interesting and I’m intrigued to see where the WWE go next.

Overall Rating: 8/10

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: