Reviewing the Review: Payback 2015

We continue to marathon these pay per views and the big question here is can Payback continue to be the most unlikely good series in wrestling? The main event is a well enough built up fatal fourway with Rollins defending against Reigns, Ambrose and Orton, basically making it a Shield triple threat with Orton on the side. Let’s get to it.

I’m getting through the pre-show matches as fast as I can so I never have to think about them again. R-Truth beat Stardust in a bonus match with all the charm of a bad infection. These two have fought two or three times now and it’s gotten less and less interesting every single time. Therefore, look for them to fight again in the future.

In the other pre-show match, Ascension beat the Mega (changed from Meta for reasons of good taste) Powers in a short match. I would praise WWE for not going with the comedy act here, but I have some issues giving them credit for upgrading from a horrible move to common sense. Yeah they put Ascension over a newly formed comedy team. Am I supposed to be impressed? Finally, does anyone else feel dirty about calling them the Mega Powers?

The opener was a good back and forth match between Dolph Ziggler in Sheamus to seemingly blow off their feud. The key here was the end of the match where Ziggler headbutted Sheamus and busted himself open hardway, which caused the match to end in a hurry. Now granted they didn’t have to cut off much time as the match ran twelve minutes, but it always makes me curious to know what they were going to do otherwise.

Sheamus getting a nice win is the right idea though as he needs the push more than Ziggler. I’m pretty much over Dolph at the moment as he’s been the same guy for the better part of ever now. Yeah his matches are still good enough, but I haven’t been excited to see a Ziggler match in years now.

For reasons I don’t quite get, Kane and Rollins argued even more. On pay per view. I’m going to be really surprised if they set up a Kane face turn as that would be so far out of the realm of common sense these days for WWE. Rollins is almost going to have to turn face eventually though, as it’s the nature of being a heel in wrestling.

Now it’s time for the match people were drooling over: New Day defending the Tag Team Titles against Cesaro/Tyson Kidd in a 2/3 falls match. This had the potential to be one of the most entertaining matches in a very long time if they set it up right, but unfortunately that’s not exactly the way they went about it. Cesaro/Kidd won the first fall in less than three minutes (off a mostly botched Swing into the dropkick). This never sits well with me as the champions just got pinned in almost no time. Let the thing stretch out a bit or have them win the first fall by cheating so it doesn’t look that easy.

A bad looking Midnight Hour (with Kofi’s arm hitting Kidd’s back instead of being a DDT) tied things up in less than nine minutes total and NOW we could pick things up. This is where they get into the insanity with the hot near falls and all the good stuff…..and it was about five minutes long.

That’s where the match lost me a bit as the majority of the match was done in the first two falls instead of the really hot ending. This needed to be more of a bottom heavy match, setting up the really smart finish of having Woods pretend to be Kofi to steal the final pin. Yeah it’s borderline racist, but it was a really smart and even funny way to keep the belts on New Day. I would have liked more time here though and more offense from the challengers, but entertaining stuff all around.

Bray Wyatt and Ryback had a good power brawl built around the idea that Ryback had busted up ribs due to a backsplash off the apron from Wyatt. Granted it didn’t work as well as when Ryback hit a top rope splash and didn’t sell the ribs all that well. Either way, this was a fun enough match with Ryback going down at the end as he should have. Wyatt needed the win a lot more than Ryback did, but neither guy really needed a major loss at this point. Both guys are in need of a direction though, and that’s way too common a problem at this level of the card.

Now we had the most entertaining and probably divisive match of the night as John Cena defended the US Title against Rusev in their final battle with an I Quit match. These two beat the living tar out of each other for nearly half an hour with the spots getting bigger and bigger. I had a great time here as they kept building up to the big ending, but the key was I wound up forgetting that it was an I Quit match other than the constant DO YOU QUIT. I know a lot of people have found this annoying, but I really didn’t have a big problem with it. Yeah they said it a lot, but that’s kind of the point of the match no?

This was exactly what this match should have been with both guys beating the living tar out of each other until Lana submitted for Rusev, which is likely going to trigger their split. It’s not the beat match in the world, but it was more than entertaining enough which is the right way to go with something like this. Rusev can get right back on track by beating like, anyone in a big match, so this didn’t hurt him all that bad. At the end of the day, he was destined to lose this feud, though I could have done with cutting the chain match and just going with this as the finale at Extreme Rules.

We’ll follow that up with my favorite part of the night: a quick New Day promo where they drink milk out of champagne glasses, brag about not complaining or swearing…..and of course do a spot take, complain and swear upon hearing that they’ll be defending their titles inside the Elimination Chamber. That’s the perfect moment for these three and I laughed just as much as I expected to. These guys can do no wrong at the moment and they’re a major highlight for me.

Naomi and Tamina beat the Bellas in the worst match of the night, which had some bad looking botches, bad timing and the least time of any match on the main card. This was nothing more than a way to set up Nikki vs. Naomi for the title, which really should have just been here instead of the next night on Raw but WWE doesn’t have the best logic at times anyway.

Neville beat King Barrett via countout in a good but short match. This was designed to introduce Neville’s knee injury, which seems to be his major story going forward. It doesn’t really change much about his offense, but at least they’re giving him some attention instead of just letting him be the same guy week after week until the crowd gets bored with him.

That brings us to the main event which is your standard wild brawl with all four getting in their big stuff with a bunch of near falls to tease a title change that was never coming. The big deal here was a very short Shield reunion, which blew the roof off the place for just a few moments. That’s all the validation they need to pull the trigger on a real reunion for the trio one day, as those three are going to be a force going forward.

The match itself was fun and that’s all it really needed to be. Thankfully Orton ate the pin because he’s a made man who can do whatever he wants and keep popping back up without any real damage being done to him. The ending came when Rollins Pedigreed Orton for the pin, which I’m assuming is to fuel Rollins vs. HHH down the line, but it comes off as more like Rollins screaming for his daddy’s attention. Good match, not my favorite ending though. I didn’t mind all the brawling like some have though. Rollins is a heel who cheated. Why is this some big surprise?

Overall, Payback was another big surprise as they had no reason for this to be much of anything, but it wound up being a more than entertaining show with some really solid matches in there. I don’t know if it’s due to the really low expectations or the really hard work, but for a show with nothing important going on, Payback was really fun and a great surprise.

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1 comment

  1. Aeon Mathix says:

    Here’s that Rollins title reign everyone was so excited about. Filler until Lesnar returns and WWE gets interesting again.