WWE Payback 2017 Review

wwe payback 2017 reigns strowman cover

The name of the second April WWE PPV in 2017 was called Payback with Roman Reigns headlining the show against Braun Strowman while Kevin Owens faced Chris Jericho and Seth Rollins battled Samoa Joe as well.

I wrote this review live when it took place in 2017. I’ll leave it as is with some additional thoughts in blue font as well.


Here’s what happened on the Kickoff Show with a match and The Miz hosting Miz TV as well.

Enzo Amore & Big Cass vs. Luke Gallows & Karl Anderson

Enzo was aggressive going after Anderson with a kick to the ribs. Fans chanted “How You Doing” for Enzo. The heels took control quickly with Gallows hitting Enzo with a punch. Enzo got a rollup on Anderson, Gallows made a blind tag and took down Enzo by grabbing his arm leading to Enzo rolling to the floor. A commercial aired for WWE Network for about one minute.

Back from break, Enzo started his comeback with a Tornado DDT on Gallows. Anderson tagged in and knocked Enzo out of the ring before he could tag in Cass. Enzo kicked Anderson away. Enzo lunged to the corner, but Gallows pulled Cass off the apron to prevent a tag. Anderson got a nearfall for two. Nice job with the false tag spots. Cass got the hot tag, body slam to Gallows and an elbow drop. Cass hit two running splashes in the corner. Anderson saved Gallows, so Gallows hit a superkick on Cass, who went to his corner and Enzo tagged himself back in. Anderson kicked Enzo off the apron to send him to the floor. The heels went for the Magic Killer, but Cass hit a big boot to knock Anderson out of the ring and Enzo did an inside cradle for the win at 6:35.

Winners by pinfall: Enzo & Cass

Analysis: **1/4 It was a solid match to put over the faces. Enzo getting the win was a bit of a surprise because normally Cass is the one that gets the pinfall for this team, but they opted to have Cass do the kick to the face leading to Enzo getting the win. It was fine to do it that way. I picked Enzo & Cass to win just because I thought they could use some momentum. It wouldn’t shock me if they did the match again tomorrow with Gallows & Anderson winning just because WWE tends to do that kind of thing with 50/50 booking.

Miz TV with Finn Balor as the guest

The Miz made his entrance for his talk show with his lovely wife Maryse. Miz was in a suit while Maryse had on a pink top with a skirt. She looks fantastic. The crowd booed him pretty hard when he got out there. The Miz said that his guest has an aura and presence about him. He introduced his guest…Finn Balor. Finn Balor walked out with his leather jacket, Balor Worldwide shirt and jeans. Big ovation for Balor as the announcers put over the fact that he was the first Universal Champion.

Miz, Maryse and Balor were all seated in the ring with Miz wondered if Balor was done after that five-minute entrance. Miz yelled at the crowd for cheering a five-minute entrance. That led to “yes” chants. Balor said, “this is Balor Club.”

Miz asked Balor if Miz and Maryse can be in the Balor Club. Balor said it’s a group decision, so the fans said “no” to that idea although they did cheer Maryse. Miz talked about how Balor had so much promise coming to WWE because wherever he went, he became a champion and he became a star. Miz pointed out that Balor was the longest reigning NXT Champion ever. Miz even mentioned that Balor was picked in the draft last year even before Miz. That led to Miz asking Balor if he felt like a failure. Balor talked about how he tore his shoulder and still continued on in the match to becoming Universal Champion. Miz pointed out that Balor was a failure because he was only Universal Champion for 24 hours.

Miz told Balor that he’s too small. Miz said that he was on Smackdown Live hoisting up the IC Title while Finn was just trying to rehab his shoulder. When Miz asked what’s next for Balor, it led to Balor saying he’s going to get his title back. Miz pointed out that Brock Lesnar is the Universal Champion and Balor said he knew. Miz said that Lesnar would break him in half. Balor said he’s faced bigger men his whole life, but the way he sees things now is Miz can join the Balor Club (which Miz can’t get into) or the “Finn Balor just kicked my ass” Club. Miz put Maryse in front of him to prevent an attack. Balor pointed out that every episode of Miz TV ends with Miz getting his ass kicked, but Balor is going to be the bigger man because Miz isn’t worth it. Miz yelled at him, so Balor hit Miz with the Sling Blade takedown. Balor hit a running dropkick that sent Miz into the corner. Balor’s music hit to end it.

Analysis: It was a fun segment with Miz getting his ass kicked just like Balor mentioned. That was likely done to set up a match. I liked the part where Balor mentioned he wanted to get his title back and that he has been beating bigger guys like Lesnar his whole career. Fans want to root for a face like Balor. I’m not sure if Balor vs. Lesnar at some point, but that would be pretty cool.

The Kickoff Panel talked about Reigns vs. Strowman and went over the card. That’s it for the Kickoff Show.

WWE Payback
SAP Center in San Jose, California
April 30, 2017

The opening video package aired showing the key feuds for the show.

The pyro went off in the arena as the crowd went wild. It looks like a sold out show. Michael Cole noted that it’s been ten years since they held a PPV there.

Chris Jericho made his entrance for the US Title match. He’s got a light-up leather scarf. Loud “Y2J” chants for him.

The announce team of Michael Cole, Corey Graves and Booker T were shown on camera welcoming us to the show.

Kevin Owens, the US Champion, made his entrance. The KO on his shirt and shorts are red, white and blue since he’s the US Champion. The Spanish and German announce teams were shown at ringside. Good luck to their tables surviving the whole show.

United States Championship: Kevin Owens vs. Chris Jericho

Owens is a part of Smackdown. If Jericho wins then he takes the title and goes to Smackdown as well.

Jericho with a dropkick to take control early. Jericho followed that up with a back elbow off the middle rope. Jericho hit a running bulldog. Owens back to his feet and he sent Jericho face first into the ring post. They were on the floor with Owens whipping him into the barricade and Owens hit a cannonball attack on the floor. Jericho was slow to get back into the ring at the count of eight. Back in the ring, Owens hit a senton splash for two. Owens took him to Chinlock City leading to the crowd rallying behind Jericho with a “stupid idiot” chant. Jericho came back with a rollup for two and Owens came back with a clothesline that hit Jericho on the nose. Owens kicked Jericho in the gut and hit a DDT for a two count. Owens grounded Jericho with a chinlock again. Jericho fired back with chops to the chest and Owens avoided a corner charge, which sent Jericho out of the ring for a rough landing. Jericho got back in the ring, went up top and hit a chop off the top to knock down Owens. Jericho hit an enziguri kick for a two count. Jericho whipped Owens into the corner and Owens nailed him with a superkick for two.

Jericho made a comeback, went for a Codebreaker and Owens blocked it. Jericho went for Lionsault, Owens got the knees up and Owens hit a cannonball in the corner for two. Jericho countered a Powerbomb attempt with a hurricanrana leading to Jericho applying the Walls of Jericho submission. That was a great sequence. Owens teased tapping out, but he was able to crawl to the bottom rope by putting one finger on the rope like he did at WrestleMania. An enraged Jericho slammed the hand of Owens against the steel steps. Jericho trapped the left hand behind the steel steps and kicked the steps to cause a lot of pain. Owens did an eye poke while the ref was pushing Jericho back and that got a two count for Owens. KO hit a superkick. KO went for Popup Powerbomb, but he couldn’t lift him due to the hand injury. Jericho came back with the Walls of Jericho submission. Owens tried to crawl, but he couldn’t make it. Owens couldn’t get to the ropes, so he tapped out. Jericho wins by submission at 14:00.

Winner by submission AND New United States Champion: Chris Jericho

The win means that Jericho joins the Smackdown Live brand.

Analysis: ***1/2 Good match as expected from two of the better in-ring performers in WWE. I liked the last few minutes of the match with Owens getting to the ropes again, Jericho getting mad about it and attacking the hand to prevent it. That led to the Walls of Jericho again and the finish. Well done. Did I expect it? Absolutely not. I thought Owens would retain since he just won the title four weeks ago and Jericho is off for Fozzy music commitments soon, but I was wrong with that prediction. I think Jericho will have a short title reign, though. Owens will probably win it back as soon as this Tuesday.

(It was similar to their WrestleMania match or a bit better. Owens won the title back two days later on Smackdown and would take out Jericho as well. This was Jericho’s last year as a regular in WWE.)

Post match, Jericho signed a List of Jericho that a young boy had at ringside and showed that the boy had “KO” written on the list. Cool moment.

Commercials aired for WWE Network and WWE Shop.

Austin Aries made his entrance for the Cruiserweight Title match. Neville, the champion, entered last. Cole noted that Neville is 6-0 in singles matches on PPV.

Cruiserweight Championship: Neville vs. Austin Aries

Aries was in control early on as he used arm drags followed by a dropkick. Aries remained in control with an elbow to the head, senton splash and a slingshot plancha over the top on to Neville on the floor. Aries went up top, so Neville hit a dropkick to the ropes to knock him down. Neville took control with a hard whip into the corner. Neville went up top and hit a missile dropkick for a two count. There was a slow pace to the match with Neville taunting the crowd to get heat. Neville was standing on the ropes, so Aries kicked him out of the ring. Aries nailed a running forearm, chops, gutbuster, STO and a pendulum elbow in a cool sequence. Aries hit a flying elbow smash off the middle rope to the back of the neck of Neville for two. They battled on the apron with Aries hitting a neckbreaker using the ropes as an assist. Aries hit a suicide dive that sent Neville hard into the barricade. Back in the ring, Aries got a two count. The way he does that dive looks so vicious.

Neville hit a jawbreaker. Aries came back with a forearm. Neville caught him with a kick to the ribs. When Neville went for another kick, Aries caught him with a back suplex followed by a running forearm in the corner. Aries went up top, Neville went after him and Aries hit a sunset flip into a Powerbomb. Aries applied the Last Chancery submission. Neville pulled the ref Darrick Moore down by the shirt, which led to Neville getting to the ropes after. The ref disqualified Neville to end the match at 11:12.

Aries argued with the ref about it, but the ref told him that Neville was disqualified. Aries wins, but Neville keeps the title.

Winner by disqualification: Austin Aries (Neville remains champion)

Analysis: **3/4 It was a slow-paced match without a lot of moments that seemed like the end might happen, but the work was good. They are both awesome performers, so that’s no surprise. I just thought they could have built up to potential finishing moments a little bit better. Aries was on fire on offense and got the crowd behind him well. Neville played the heel perfectly. He keeps doing all the little things right. The DQ finish isn’t what I was expecting. It’s a way to keep the feud going while possibly adding a stipulation next time they have a match.

(It wasn’t that interesting. They are talented guys, but the cruiserweight division never really got over that much with the fans and the matches suffered because of that.)

A commercial aired for the movie Sleight.

A commercial aired for Backlash on May 21 featuring Shinsuke Nakamura because it’s his in-ring debut on the main roster as Cole mentioned.

A clip aired of Sheamus & Cesaro talking to Charly Caruso on the Kickoff Show. Raw tag titles are up next.

Sheamus and Cesaro made their entrance. Clips aired of their losses to individual Hardy members in the last two weeks leading to post match handshakes. The Hardy Boyz entered to a huge ovation. There were “Delete” chants after the music stopped.

Raw Tag Team Titles: The Hardy Boyz (Matt & Jeff) vs. Sheamus & Cesaro

Cesaro started with Matt. Big pop for Jeff when he tagged as the crowd chanted “Brother Nero” for him. Jeff teamed up with Matt to do their Poetry in Motion spot. Cesaro came back with an uppercut on Matt. Sheamus tagged in with a rolling senton on Matt for two. Sheamus and Cesaro made quick tags to work on Matt on their side of the ring. Sheamus went for a powerslam, but Matt slipped out and tagged Jeff, who hit an atomic drop, double legdrop and dropkick for two. Sheamus came back with a counter to an armbar where he launched Jeff out of the ring with Jeff taking a hard fall on the floor. Cesaro and Sheamus took turns working over Jeff with Sheamus hitting a knee drop off the middle rope. Jawbreaker by Jeff, but Sheamus came back with a hard kick to the face. That looked nasty. Cesaro tagged in for a leg drop for two, but he’s not Hulk Hogan. He got a lot of height on it. It looked like Jeff Hardy legit lost a tooth. Sheamus tagged back in and hit the backbreaker for two. Jeff came back with a twisting crossbody block to take down by opponents at the same time.

Hot tag to Matt, who was against Cesaro. Fans chanted “delete” for Matt, who did the delete hand gesture followed by a bulldog for two. Matt with an elbow smash to the back of the neck followed by a Side Effect for two as Sheamus made the save. Jeff hit a dropkick that sent Sheamus out of the ring followed by a cross body block off the floor. Matt went for a moonsault on Cesaro, but Cesaro moved. Cesaro came back with a springboard uppercut. Cesaro did the Swing to Matt with the crowd chanting along while the camera kept zooming in and out to make us feel dizzy. Cesaro applied the Sharpshooter, but Matt got to the bottom rope because Jeff pushed the rope towards his brother. Sheamus knocked down Jeff on the floor. Cesaro hit an uppercut on Matt while he was on the top rope. Sheamus picked up Matt and hit White Noise off the middle rope for a two count as Jeff made the save. Great spot. Jeff battled Cesaro on the floor with Jeff sending him over the barricade. Matt avoided the Brogue Kick by Sheamus and Sheamus hit a DDT for two. Blind tag by Jeff. Sheamus hit a powerslam on Matt. Jeff hit a Swanton Bomb onto Sheamus’ back and turned him over for the pinfall win at 12:45.

Winners by pinfall: The Hardy Boyz

Analysis: ***1/2 That was a very good tag match. I enjoyed it a lot and the crowd was really into it as well. The Hardys worked well together as usual. It was wrestled at a good pace with the Hardys taking turns as the faces in peril and finding a way to come back. I liked some of the nearfalls they did towards the finish. The finishing sequence was great with Jeff making the blind tag and pinning Sheamus after the Swanton. Tough match for Jeff since he legit lost a tooth, but he kept going and got the win for his team.

(The Hardys were riding momentum after their WrestleMania return, so it made sense for them to keep the titles. The crowd’s energy helped a lot. I liked the finishing spot of the match. I also remember Jeff losing his tooth as well. It’s part of the business, pal.)

Post match, they shook hands. Sheamus and Cesaro raised their hands as the Hardys music played. Sheamus and Cesaro left. The Hardys celebrated with their titles. With the Hardys on the turnbuckles, Sheamus & Cesaro attacked them from behind. It was a cheap attack. Sheamus hit a Brogue Kick to Jeff’s back that sent him into the ring post. The crowd booed Sheamus and Cesaro. In the ring, Cesaro held up Matt and Sheamus hit a Brogue Kick to knock him down. Sheamus and Cesaro held up the Raw Tag Titles while the crowd booed them. They dropped the titles onto the fallen Hardys to end it. Sheamus and Cesaro posed at the top of the ramp to celebrate. Cole ripped on them for their actions while Booker said sometimes you gotta do things like that.

Analysis: There’s the heel turn that was expected. It made sense to do it after a loss. I like the new attitude of Sheamus and Cesaro.

(It was a logical heel turn because it freshened up the Sheamus/Cesaro team and gave them a longer run as a team.)

A video aired for WWE’s charity work.

Braun Strowman was shown backstage. He said that Roman Reigns looked for the big fight and for payback, but he thinks Roman is just a wounded animal. He said that Roman will be looking for Strowman to put him out of his misery.

Alexa Bliss made her entrance. The hometown girl Bayley, who is the Raw Women’s Champion, received a huge ovation.

The other announcers were shown also in the arena. It was the Mandarin team, Japanese team (hello Funaki), the Russian team, the Hindi announce team and the Portuguese announce team.

The women stood in the ring as ring announcer Jojo did the introductions for the title match.

Raw Women’s Championship: Bayley vs. Alexa Bliss

Bayley was in control for the first two minutes while Cole kept on telling stories about Bayley being a big WWE fan. We get it, WWE. You say it too much. They sure like driving a point home huh? Bliss took control with a stiff forearm to the face. The crowd cheered for Bayley to get her going, but Bliss tossed her into the rope to keep her down. Bliss kicked Bayley in the back for a two count. Bliss stepped on Bayley’s hair followed by a chinlock. When Bayley got back to her feet, Bliss hit a clothesline. Bliss kicked Bayley out of the ring. When they got back into the ring, Bayley hit a neckbreaker while using the middle ropes for an assist. Bayley sent her face first into the top turnbuckle and a clothesline. Vertical suplex by Bayley followed by an elbow to the back of the neck and a running clothesline. Bayley hit a belly to back suplex for a two count. The crowd cheered as Bayley hit a back elbow off the middle ropes. Bliss sent her face first into the middle turnbuckle. Bliss went up top, Bayley teased a suplex off the ropes, but Bliss countered into a Code Red (sunset flip Powerbomb) for a two count. Good nearfall there. Bliss hit double knees to the ribs. Bayley bounced off the ropes and hit a running knee strike. Bayley went up top and hit the Flying Elbow for a two count as Bliss kicked out. Bayley has won matches with that before, so good spot to do a nearfall. Fans cheered for Bayley again.

They brawled in the corner with Bayley stomping away. Bliss shoved her off. Bayley countered a sunset flip and sat on top for a pin attempt. Bliss kicked out, which sent Bayley head first into the ring post. That was a good spot that also looked painful. Bayley with an inside cradle for a two count. Bliss hit a DDT for the pinfall win at 11:15 and Bliss wins the Women’s Title.

Winner by pinfall AND NEW Raw Women’s Champion: Alexa Bliss

Analysis: **3/4 Good work by the ladies. Bayley was in control for much of it, Bliss came back and Bayley was able to come close to winning a few times. I really liked that spot where Bliss kicked out, Bayley went headfirst into the ring post and Bayley wasn’t able to recover from it. The problem with Bliss winning with a DDT is everybody on the roster seems to use a DDT and most of them don’t win with it. I guess it’s okay here since Bayley hit her head on the ring post to weaken her earlier in the match. I thought Bayley would retain. Nope. This feud barely had any story and they already booked a title change. I thought it was too soon, but it should be fine. Bliss is a good performer that keeps improving. I just thought Bayley could have used a longer title reign.

(I like both women, but it was just an average match for the most part. Bayley’s first title reign ended here and I thought it could have been a lot better. I thought she should have won the title at WrestleMania and held it for a lot longer. Bliss was a good heel, though, so it’s nothing against her. I just think it hurt Bayley’s run as a face champion with how they didn’t book her in a consistent way.)

After the match, Bliss celebrated with her title while Bayley was stunned in the ring. The crowd was stunned by it. Bliss is the first woman to hold the Raw & Smackdown Women’s Title.

A video package aired for Wyatt vs. Orton.

House of Horrors: Bray Wyatt vs. Randy Orton (Part One)

This is not for Orton’s WWE Title. It was announced that it would begin in Wyatt’s “House of Horrors” and end up in the ring with No Holds Barred rules.

Orton was shown in a limo that pulled up to some house. It was late at night – it was taped on Saturday night in the San Jose area. Orton crept up to the front of the house. Orton kicked in the front door to get in and of course cameras were all over the house to film them. The door closed behind Orton, but we couldn’t see who did it. Wyatt attacked Orton from behind. Wyatt whipped Orton into a wall and trash talked him. Wyatt tossed Orton into some lamp. They went into some part of the house where there were a bunch of creepy looking children’s dolls while baby sounds played. Orton grabbed a doll and Wyatt attacked from behind. Wyatt sent Orton into another wall. Orton was down again, so Wyatt took off into somewhere else in the house and Orton was looking for him again. Orton walked into some room that had red light in it. They battled in a small kitchen with Orton seizing control. Orton beat on him with punches to the head. Orton put his head in the sink and wanted to attack with a frying pan, but Wyatt hit him with a low blow kick to the groin. Wyatt grabbed hold of the refrigerator and dumped it onto Orton, who was on the floor. Wyatt stumbled his way out of the house. Wyatt yelled “follow the buzzards” and the house lights went all red. Wyatt made his way to the limo. He laughed manically. Wyatt told the driver to take him to the arena. Wyatt sang the “whole world in his hands” song in the car as the scene ended.

I should point out also that the announcers didn’t speak during any of that. There was eerie music playing and a lot of cut scenes showing creepy images.

Analysis: It was weird and I think it was pretty bad, to be honest. I don’t say that very often, but I’m not sure what the point was. It’s different sure, but is it different good? No. It didn’t feel that way. It felt bad to me. Not going to rate it. It was WWE’s attempt to do something similar to the Hardys doing the Final Deletion stuff in Impact Wrestling. I enjoyed that stuff more than this because it was like a campy comedy. This was just cheesy and didn’t come off that well. It should be noted that it aired at about 6:40pmPT in San Jose where it would be light out still, yet it was dark out. Anyway, the main story is that Wyatt won the fight and dumped the fridge on Orton to end it.

(Note: There are reports online that they filmed it somewhere in Missouri at some point in the last week. It doesn’t matter, but I figured I should share that.)

(I remember it being really bad and I think it was. It certainly was as good as the “Boneyard Match” between The Undertaker and AJ Styles at WrestleMania three years later.)

The announcers were shown on camera. The lights were out in the arena while the crowd was booing loudly, which is smart. They should boo that. They said that Wyatt is going to show up there and Orton had a fridge thrown on him, so they don’t know if it will end.

Analysis: That means they are doing the return to the arena later in the show. I’m not sure if I want to see more! Just move on already.

A video package aired for Rollins vs. Joe.

Seth Rollins made his entrance first to a nice ovation. Samoa Joe entered second.

Seth Rollins vs. Samoa Joe

They brawled early on. Rollins ran the ropes and hit a dropkick. Rollins hit a diving attack over the top to the floor onto Joe. They brawled on the floor with Joe sending him over the barricade, but Rollins recovered quick with a clothesline off the barricade. Rollins hit a suicide dive that knocked Joe down again. Rollins back into the ring and he hit another suicide dive. Samoa Joe took control after twisting the right knee against the middle rope. Joe came back with a suicide dive ending with a forearm strike that knocked down Rollins on the floor. Joe continued on offense with a leg sweep on the right leg. Joe hit a senton splash onto the right leg. Rollins fought back with chops, but Joe sent him into the turnbuckle with a splash and an enziguri kick for a two count. Rollins came back by sending Joe face first into the middle turnbuckle. Rollins hit a standing side kick to the face, two forearms in the corner and a neckbreaker for Rollins earned a two count. Joe picked him up, put Rollins on his shoulder and hit the knee capper move to add more pressure to the knee. Joe applied the knee bar submission with Rollins crawling to get to the ropes. Joe nailed a Powerbomb that looked really stiff for a two count. Rollins kicked out, so Joe applied the Texas Cloverleaf submission and Rollins got to the ropes.

Joe went for an attack, but Rollins fought him off with two back elbows followed by the Sling Blade neckbreaker. Rollins avoided a corner charge, hit a kick to the head and Rollins hit the Blockbuster takedown off the middle ropes for a two count. Joe missed a splash when Rollins moved and Rollins hit a standing side kick for a two count. They fought by the turnbuckle with Rollins going for a Powerbomb, but his knee gave out. Rollins hit the Falcon Arrow slam for a two count. Rollins went to the top rope and connected with a Frog Splash for a two count. That was an impressive move. Both guys were selling fatigue. Joe applied the Coquina Clutch, Rollins countered into a pinfall and Joe kicked out at two. Joe connected with a stiff clothesline. Joe slapped on the Coquina Clutch sleeper. Rollins countered it by flipping him over and laying on top for the pinfall win. It went 15:55. It looked like one of Joe’s shoulders wasn’t down, but the ref was on the other side.

Winner by pinfall: Seth Rollins

Analysis: ***1/2 Pretty good for the most part, but thought the finish was weak. That was a slow-paced, methodical match with Joe doing a great job of working on the right knee of Rollins, which has been injured multiple times in the last few years. Rollins kept on fighting back with a lot of cool aerial moves including that Frog Splash for a nearfall. Joe looked like he was going to finish him off, but Rollins coming after him. I thought the finish was weak because they made it seem like a fluke. I would have preferred a win for Joe to keep him undefeated on the main roster. They didn’t need to put Rollins over here. Let Joe win and make him look like the dominant heel that Raw needs. Instead, Rollins got the counter win and I’m not sure what purpose it served.

(I thought Joe could have used the win here for sure. I know they were trying to get Seth over as “the man” and a top babyface on Raw, but I think Joe would have gotten over a lot more as a heel if he was the winner of this match. They had an entertaining, longer match here.)

Post match, Joe was shocked by the finish while Rollins celebrated and left the victor.

A black limousine pulled up to the parking lot. Bray Wyatt emerged from it looking exhausted from his fight from earlier. He stumbled his way around the backstage area. Wyatt made his way up the steps.

Wyatt made his entrance with the lamp in his hands. Replays aired of his attack on Orton with Wyatt dumping the fridge on Orton to end their battle.

When the lights went on in the arena, Randy Orton was standing behind him.

House of Horrors: Randy Orton vs. Bray Wyatt (Part Two?)

Orton hit Wyatt in the back with the chair. Orton whipped Wyatt over the announce table onto the chairs that were there. Orton cleared off the table top. Orton hit Wyatt with a chair. Orton wasn’t selling injuries at all. Didn’t he get a fridge dumped on him? He did, but he’s fine after it. The Singh Brothers went into the ring to attack Orton from behind. Orton sent one of them out of the ring and hit a powerslam on the other brother. Wyatt went for Sister Abigail, but Orton hit him with an RKO. Jinder Mahal showed up and hit Orton in the back with the WWE Title. The crowd hated it. Mahal hit Orton with the WWE Title again. He left with the Singh Bros. Wyatt hit Sister Abigail and pinned Orton to win the match. Their fight around ringside was about five minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Bray Wyatt

Analysis: * That rating is just for that part and one star may be generous. I don’t know how to rate the house part other than to say it was bad. It would have been nice if Orton actually sold the beating he took in the house because he showed up as if nothing happened there and barely sold anything. The interference from Mahal and friends made sense since Mahal faces Orton at Payback in three weeks. What bothers me about this whole thing is it was supposed to be a rematch for the WWE Title match at WrestleMania and instead, was just done to further the Orton/Mahal story while Wyatt looked like a loser even though he won. I’m glad this rivalry is over now because it started out pretty good a few months ago, but everything from WrestleMania until now was a failure. It just didn’t work.

(It was a bad feud and match. Very forgettable. I also had no idea that Jinder Mahal attacking Orton with the WWE TItle would lead to Jinder winning the WWE Title from Orton, but that’s what happened at Backlash three weeks later.)

The video package aired for the main event between Roman Reigns and Braun Strowman.

Braun Strowman made his entrance. Mostly boos for him, but there were some cheers as well. Roman Reigns entered to a mixed reaction like usual. Okay, so it was mostly boos. Reigns is all taped up on his left shoulder and upper body.

Braun Strowman vs. Roman Reigns

They brawled early on. Reigns hit a leaping clothesline off the ring steps on Strowman on the floor. Strowman grabbed Reigns outside the ring and tossed him into the barricade. Strowman picked up Reigns and slammed him onto the German announce table, but not strong enough to break it. The fans did the chants for and against Reigns as Strowman worked on Reigns in the ring with a running clothesline against the turnbuckle. Strowman sent Reigns left shoulder first into the steel ring post. Strowman did a running attack that sent Reigns into the steps and Strowman whipped Reigns into the steps. Strowman with a clothesline leading to a cover for a two count. Reigns got some momentum going with an uppercut punch followed by a Samoan Drop for a two count. Reigns hit Strowman with a clothesline that sent both men over the top to the floor. Reigns connected with a Drive By dropkick on the apron. Strowman caught Reigns outside the ring, but Reigns shoved him into the ring post. Strowman charged at Reigns on the floor, Reigns moved and Strowman hit the ring post. They were outside the ring for way more than ten seconds, but the ref wasn’t counting. When both guys were down, the ref counted. Both guys got back in before ten.

Reigns ran the ropes and hit a Spear for a two count. There was a shot of this little girl in the crowd reacting to it. I couldn’t tell if she was happy or sad. When Reigns charged again, Strowman kicked him in the chest. Reigns came back with two Superman Punches in a row. Reigns ran the ropes, Strowman caught him and Strowman applied a head/arm submission to work on the injury. Strowman hit a Running Powerslam and Reigns got his right shoulder up at two. Strowman was shocked by it. Strowman hit another Running Powerslam for the pinfall victory at 11:50. The crowd cheered.

Winner by pinfall: Braun Strowman

Analysis: ***1/4 It was a pretty good match with the right man going over. Reigns sold the upper body injuries well the entire match. I know he has his haters, but he did a good job of selling during the match. The story was all about Reigns selling. Every time he got the advantage, Strowman was able to come back by going after the injured body parts. I liked that it took two Powerslams to put Reigns away because one shouldn’t be enough in the main event.

(They wrestled a lot in 2017. I liked a lot of their matches. This one was early in the rivalry and included some post match stuff to keep the story going. Braun getting the win was big for him.)

After the match, Strowman tossed the top half of the ring steps into the ring. Fans chanted “Thank You Strowman” for it, which the announcers ignored. Strowman picked up Reigns and dropped him face first onto the steel steps. Strowman picked up the steps. He slammed them onto the ribs of Reigns. Cole was yelling about how they had to get Strowman out of there. Reigns was bleeding from the mouth to sell the attack. Officials like Fit Finlay and Adam Pearce showed up to get Strowman out of there.

Analysis: That was done to gain sympathy for Reigns, but the crowd was happy that Reigns was hurt. It’s so awkward to see Reigns booked as a face like this. They didn’t feel bad for the guy at all. It was a simple heel attack by Strowman using the steel ring steps to bring more pain to Reigns.

Strowman walked up the ramp to cheers from the crowd. Fans chanted “Thank You Strowman.” Referees and officials were checking on Roman in the ring while Reigns struggled to his feet. Reigns stumbled over to the announce table area. Medical personnel showed up to help him. Reigns said he’s not getting on the gurney. The show ended there.

Analysis: Reigns not wanting to go in the ambulance was the face thing to do to make it look like he was too tough to rely on help.

During the Raw Talk broadcast, Reigns was limping around backstage, Strowman yelled “I’m not finished with you” and ran at him. Reigns moved, which sent Strowman crashing into part of the ambulance door and Strowman landed into some conveniently placed boxes. Strowman stumbled out of the way. Reigns stumbled around to end the broadcast in the backstage area.

Analysis: I thought they might do the post match attack by Strowman, but instead Reigns avoided it to end the night. It wouldn’t surprise me if they do this match again at Raw’s next PPV, Extreme Rules, in June since Reigns and Strowman each have a PPV win against eachother.

The broadcast turned to the Raw Talk show with Renee Young and Jerry Lawler. I’m not going to review that.

(This GIF made me laugh and I can remember using it a lot in the weeks that followed.)

Five Stars of the Show

1. Hardy Boyz
2. Sheamus/Cesaro
3. Seth Rollins
4. Chris Jericho
5. (tie) Samoa Joe
5. (tie) Kevin Owens

Final Thoughts

It gets a 6.75 out of 10 from me. It was a mixed bag kind of show. There were several matches around the three-star level that you can see in my ratings above, but there wasn’t anything on this show that I’m going to remember in a few days except House of Horrors, but more on that shortly. The Hardys vs. Cesaro/Sheamus was my favorite match. Rollins vs. Joe was pretty good too. Nice job of elevating Strowman in the main event as well.

I thought House of Horrors was awful in terms of the concept, the execution and the way it was filmed. I understand wanting to try something different, but it didn’t work in terms of making me care about either guy. A cheap win for Wyatt because of Mahal doesn’t hurt Orton at all while it fits the heel Wyatt. I just think if they had a regular match it would have been a lot better than what they actually did. Please don’t do it again, WWE. It’s not necessary.

It wasn’t a predictable show because I got several matches wrong. That doesn’t bug me at all.


That’s all for me. Check out the full list of my WWE PPV Review archive right here. Thanks for reading.

My contact info is below.

John Canton


Twitter @johnreport