Was anyone excited about Payback? The first big show after WrestleMania is always a bit of a slog, but this year a slog would have been an improvement. The Superstar ‘let’s move them all around a bit and not really explain it’ Shake-Up threw a spanner in the works, and we hit Payback with all the momentum of a wet hanky. But when have we ever let that stop us? Here’s a few thing we noticed during this horribly average show.
Bray Wyatt Needs To Go
I used to think I was a Bray Wyatt fan but as time passes, I’ve had to accept that I’m not. I’m a fan of the idea of him, but he is awful and has been since he left NXT. Yet, somehow, this feud with Randy Orton is the worst thing he’s done yet, and the House of Horrors match is the shit flavoured cherry on top of it. This wasn’t scary, exciting, brutal or even funny. It was just boring. It was two men having an average brawl inside a ‘spooky’ house which I presume was put together with stuff from the local dollar store. It was all bollocks, and I have nothing good to say about it. It’s time for Bray Wyatt to go away and I’m sad to say I’d be happy if he never came back.
Y2J Heads To SmackDown KO Does Who Knows What
How badly did WWE explain the stipulation to this match? We are aware Chris Jericho is off to SmackDown (although we also know he’s off on tour with Fozzy) but we have no idea where Owens is going. When the match was first announced, it was suggested he’d return to Raw if he lost, but there was no mention of that on this show. Combine this with the confusion over whether the House of Horrors match was for the title or not and WWE really mucked up their messaging around this show.
Neville And Aries Continue To Hold Back
For the second event in a row, I felt like Austin Aries and Neville were holding back in their Cruiserweight Title match. Once again, it was good fun, and the two of them put on a solid showing, but we all know they can do better. This should be a match of the year contender, and instead, it’s a match of the show contender. The feud continuing gives me hope that we’ll eventually get that match, but so far I’m underwhelmed by their work.
Sheamus and Cesaro Bring The Fight To The Hardys
Sheamus and Cesaro have low-key become one of my favourite tag teams. I’m a huge fan of teams made up of two big dudes who like hurting people, and they cover that basis nicely. They also went out there and had the best straight up match The Hardys have had in a long time. The injuries were unfortunate and it does show the downside of that hard hitting style, but if there is no long-term damage then they might have been a blessing in disguise as they added to the story of the match. I’m 100% behind a badass heel run from these two, but I’m worried WWE will revert to type and turn them into the cowardly baddies they love so much.
The Home Town Curse
Bayley dropped her title in front of her hometown crowd, and I’m only slightly sad about it. I love Bayley, but I haven’t loved the way she has been booked since hitting the main roster. She’s a character that should lose matches, and should be getting beat up. Having the dastardly Alexa Bliss take the title in San Jose won’t hurt her, it will make little girls love her all the more. Also, credit has to go to Bliss too. She’s not the finished article but she’s come on leaps and bounds since being leaving NXT, and as characters go, she’s one of the best in the division.
Dream Matches Don’t Always Live Up To Expectations
Seth Rollins vs. Samoa Joe is one of those matches that should be perfect. The hard-hitting Samoan machine versus the risk taking Rollins. Unfortunately, Payback was a show where the story took precedent over quality. This was still a good match but rather than being a classic it was a slower and more methodical affair. It was all about Joe working the knee of Rollins and inflicting pain. I didn’t hate this match, but we all know they can do better and I hope one day we get to see that.
Braun The Man
We have somehow got to the point where Braun Strowman is the most over man in WWE. Don’t get me wrong, he’s worked hard to get there, but let’s not kid ourselves, Braun is not a great wrestler. He’s a big fucker who looks good in short matches. Do you seriously want to watch him go half an hour with anyone? Even AJ Styles would struggle to make that good. In saying that, WWE have to be questioning whether feeding Braun to Roman/Lesnar is the right thing to do at the moment. He’s getting reactions that Reigns could only dream of and capitalising on that might be the thing to do in the short-term.