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WWE Payback
Baltimore, Maryland
May 17, 2015

I missed the first half of the one hour Payback kickoff show by choice. I joined as a bonus match was added.

The announce team of Michael Cole, Jerry Lawler and John Bradshaw Layfield welcomed us to the show. R-Truth did his pre-show rap before a match with Stardust.

Stardust vs. R-Truth

Slow start to the match as Stardust tried to avoid Truth early, but got control with a suplex onto the top rope. Truth came back with a front suplex of his own. Stardust jumped from the apron, over the top rope and hit a Disaster kick to the face of Truth for a two count. Stardust applied a chinlock as Truth began the comeback by slamming Stardust head first into the top turnbuckle. Stardust hit a Side Effect for two. Stardust took off his glove and slapped Truth with it, but Truth came back with a standing side kick. Truth hit his finisher Little Jimmy or the Lie Detector for the win after seven minutes.

Winner by pinfall: R-Truth

Post match, Stardust looked frustrated at ringside. The announcers were saying that maybe he is questioning the change to Stardust.

Analysis: *1/2 It was a basic match between two guys that have wrestled several times recently. The result with Truth winning and the commentary by the announcers suggests that Cody will return and Stardust will be no more. That’s for the best. There’s not much more Cody can do with Stardust, so time to go back to the Cody Rhodes name and hope he takes off from there. He’s definitely got the talent.

A video was shown announcing the return of the Steve Austin podcast on June 1 after Raw with Paul Heyman as the guest on WWE Network. Oh yes. That’s awesome. They’ve done a few podcasts together already that you should listen to if you haven’t, but it will be great to see on WWE Network as well.

There was a video package for the Bray Wyatt/Ryback match. The PPV panel of Renee Young, Booker T, Corey Graves and Byron Saxton discussed the feud.

Sheamus answered some tweets from fans. I’m not going to recap it, but he basically complained about the types of questions. He also said he wasn’t afraid of what Dolph Ziggler might do tonight and said he’d be lucky if he lasts 18 seconds, which is a WrestleMania 28 reference.

The Ascension were out first. A video aired about the forming of Macho Mandow and AxelMania. Mandow got his own entrance to Savage music and AxelMania was dressed in full Hogan gear even with a mustache and the hair. JBL said they look like Nacho Man and the Huckster. Quality reference!

Macho Mandow (Damien Sandow) & AxelMania (Curtis Axel) vs. The Ascension

AxelMania hit a big boot early on and then a legdrop with the left leg, which Hogan never did. He got a two count, but The Ascension broke it up and then worked over Axel in their corner. Axel hit a back suplex to knock down Viktor and here comes Mandow off the hot tag. He hit some Savage like forearm smashes and the choke on the top rope. Mandow hit a bodyslam. Konnor attacked Axel and knocked down Mandow to prevent the Flying Elbow. Konnor tagged in and they hit the Fall of Man on Mandow for the win. It went about four minutes.

Winners by pinfall: The Ascension

Analysis: * I was a bit surprised by the decision because it seemed like they would put over the comedy team, but it’s nice that The Ascension actually got a win. Since they are doing an Elimination Chamber tag team match, WWE might want The Ascension in it, so they need to get them a win like this to justify putting them in there. The crowd liked the comedy duo. I would assume they aren’t together for that long. It’s a limited gimmick.

A video package aired for the main event of the show. The panel discussed things and it’s time for the PPV to begin.

WWE Payback Pay-Per-View

There was a video package setting up the main event with clips of Rollins turning against Dean Ambrose, Roman Reigns and Randy Orton. It moved on to featuring John Cena vs. Rusev as well. Those videos are always well done.

The set looks very basic and bland. WWE has cut back funding on set design, so they rarely do anything special anymore. Sheamus made his entrance as the announce team of Cole, Lawler and JBL welcomed us to the show. A replay of Ziggler beating Sheamus at Extreme Rules was shown, but then Sheamus hit a Brogue Kick on him and made him kiss his ass or at least the upper thigh.

They showed the Spanish announcers. Pretty sure the Spanish announcers just said “If this table breaks again I quit.” I dunno. My second language is Greek.

Sheamus vs. Dolph Ziggler

Ziggler was really aggressive early on with a diving attack off the apron. They went back in the ring and Sheamus was able to gain control. Sheamus blocked a kick, then elbowed him in the knee. Brilliant counter as Ziggler sold it by rolling to the floor. Sheamus applied an aggressive headlock. Lawler’s asking the other announcers if they prefer the term backside or arse. Thrilling commentary. Ziggler hit a backbreaker. Sheamus stomped away and then did his “Are you not entertained” line and back to a headlock. Ziggler got back to his feet, Sheamus did a corner charge and missed, so he hit the turnbuckle. Ziggler hit four forearm smashes to knock down Ziggler followed by a dropkick in the corner. Leaping DDT by Ziggler for two. Ziggler yanked up his tights a bit and rubbed the side of his arse into the face of Sheamus. Sheamus oversold it by going outside the ring and got a sip of water to get the taste out. The crowd loved seeing Sheamus humiliated like that.

Back in the ring, Sheamus missed the Brogue Kick and Ziggler hit a Fameasser for a very good two count. Ziggler went for punches in the corner and Sheamus countered with a Powerbomb out of the corner for two. Sheamus hit a British Bulldog-like running powerslam for a two count. White Noise by Sheamus. He applied the Texas (Irish) Cloverleaf submission, but Ziggler was able to get to the ropes that were pretty close. Sheamus did some trash talk, Ziggler hit a headbutt and Ziggler nailed a superkick for another great nearfall. Ziggler’s head was bleeding after the headbutt he did. Sheamus hit the Brogue Kick for the win after 14 minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Sheamus

Post match, Sheamus celebrated the win while Ziggler was looked at by refs and doctors. No closeups of bloody Ziggler of course.

Analysis: ***1/4 It was a back and forth match with a lot of great nearfalls for both guys. The crowd was into it. I liked that they got more time than they did at Extreme Rules. It was a unique ending to the match because Ziggler actually did an offensive move that ended up costing him the match. That’s rare, but it’s not a bad thing. Do I think the blood was legit? Yes. Last time I thought a cut was a blade job I had a WWE employee email to drive home the point that they don’t allow blood in matches, but it happens once in a while just in the course of a match. Ziggler losing is no surprise since he won their last match.

Kane was on the phone backstage saying he’s got things under control when WWE Champion Seth Rollins showed up. Kane just said he likes this job, but he doesn’t need this job. He told Rollins he hasn’t made a decision about what he’s going to do. However, when he does decide he says Rollins will be the first to know. Rollins threatened Kane by saying that if he does anything against Rollins then losing his job will be the least of his concerns. J&J Security stepped up to face Kane, so he just laughed. That ended the promo.

Analysis: It’s a continuation of this storyline that has been going on for a while. Just like Extreme Rules, the build is about what Kane might do.

Commercial for NXT Takeover on Wednesday. I’m probably going to write about that one live too.

The New Day trio of Big E, Kofi Kingston and Xavier Woods entered for their tag team title match. Big E pointed out Baltimore Orioles star Adam Jones along with JJ Hardy and Steve Pearce. Fans cheered for Jones, who had a WWE Title with him. Big E wondered if Jones was upset that the Orioles haven’t won a World Series in 32 years. They told him to think positive. They encouraged everybody that you can change.

WWE Tag Titles 2/3 Falls Match: The New Day’s Kofi Kingston & Big E (w/Xavier Woods) vs. Cesaro & Tyson Kidd (w/Natalya)

First team to get two falls wins the titles. Pretty simple to understand. Kidd started with Kingston and then Cesaro went at it with Big E, which led to a Cesaro slam on Big E. Gorilla Press by Big E. Cesaro took down both guys with slam and hit double foot stomps on both guys. Delayed suplex by Cesaro, then he tagged in Kidd and Kidd slammed Kingston down for a two count. Kidd slingshot into Cesaro led to a Chokeslam like move on Kingston and Cesaro did the Swing on Kingston, which led to Kidd hitting the dropkick. There’s the pinfall for Kidd & Cesaro three minutes into the match.

Winners of first fall: Cesaro & Kidd

Woods wanted to go into the match as he yelled “Freebird Rule” and the ref told him no. Kidd was on fire as a he did an athletic dive over the top rope to avoid an attack. When he tried an attack on Big E outside the ring, Big E caught him and nailed a huge slam on the floor. That led to New Day working over Kidd in their corner. Woods was yelling about how he’s a mastermind. Big E hit a splash on Kidd, but Cesaro was there to break it up. With Cesaro on the apron he hit a kick on Kingston and Big E hit a Spear on Cesaro to take him out. Kingston hit a hard kick to the side of the ribs of Kidd. Fans chanting “this is awesome” and Woods yelling “we are well aware.” Kidd was able to break free thanks to a dropkick on Kingston when he jumped off the top rope, but Cesaro was still down. Kidd tried to fight his way back, but Big E caught him. That led to Big E tagging in Kingston, who jumped off the top rope for the Big Ending double team. Kingston was a bit off on his part, so it didn’t look like a double team move as much as it could have. That fall happened at the eight minute mark.

Winners of second fall: The New Day

For the third fall, Kidd was still alone for one minute until he was able to tag in Cesaro. Cesaro hit four uppercuts on Kingston in a row. Cesaro went for a gutwrench powerbomb on Big E, but wasn’t able to lift him, so Big E just rolled out of the ring. Cesaro hit a massive uppercut shot on Kingston, which sent Kingston into the turnbuckle. Blind tag by Kidd, who hit a flying elbow off the top after a Cesaro backbreaker for a great nearfall. Kidd applied the Sharpshooter on Kingston in the center of the ring with the crowd cheering loudly for it. Cesaro sent Big E onto the announce table. Kidd running attack, Kingston ducked it and Kidd did a skin the cat move onto the back of Cesaro, which looked amazing. Another huge uppercut by Cesaro on Kingston. Big E broke it up. The ref sent Big E out of the ring, Kingston draped Cesaro’s neck on the top rope and then Woods went into the ring with an inside cradle for the pinfall win for New Day. The ref had no idea that they did a switch. The match went 13 minutes.

Winners of third fall and the match: The New Day

Analysis: ***1/2 It was a fantastic match for the time they were given. I liked the finish because it was creative. There was so much going on that it’s believable that the ref wouldn’t be able to tell who was in the ring at the end, so from a believability standpoint it worked. I would have liked to see them get 18-20 minutes because if they did it would have been one of the better tag matches in a long time. It was still enjoyable to watch and it makes me want to see more although next time it will be a part of Elimination Chamber. There were a few times where they missed on some little spots, but they were able to continue on as if nothing went wrong. Great job by New Day and Cesaro/Kidd like usual. Tag team wrestling is well on its way to being very important again thanks to their outstanding work.

A commercial aired for Elimination Chamber on May 31. Only two weeks of build, but it’s fine with me because I love EC matches.

Ryback did a quick interview with Byron Saxton. He just said the eater of worlds gets eaten.

A video package aired for Ryback vs. Wyatt. They have barely interacted and they get a video package? Weird. I guess it’s WWE trying to sell it as important.

Bray Wyatt vs. Ryback

The response for Ryback for his entrance was pretty weak for a face that’s supposed to be popular. Ryback was aggressive early, but Wyatt hit a running crossbody block to knock him down. Wyatt took advantage after Ryback went shoulder first into the steel post. Wyatt with a DDT on the side of the ring apron. With Ryback on his back, Wyatt hit a senton splash off the apron and onto Ryback on the floor. Back in the ring, Wyatt hit a running splash in the corner. Wyatt posed on the turnbuckle, so Ryback dropped him with a Powerbomb. That’s the second time they did that Powerbomb spot out of the corner during this show. Ryback charged at Wyatt outside the ring, but Wyatt dropped him with a hard clothesline. Wyatt did a suplex into a slam. Ryback came back with a corner splash of his own and then hit a Spinebuster for a two count. The crowd was dead for this, but then they did chants for both guys to wake up a bit. They battled by the turnbuckle, then Ryback knocked Wyatt off the top rope and Ryback hit a Frog Splash for a two count. The Big Guy did a good job of hitting that move that he never usually does. Wyatt wanted Sister Abigail, Ryback fought out and when Ryback went for Shellshock, Wyatt got his hands on the turnbuckle and exposed the cover. Wyatt drove Ryback into the corner and Wyatt hit Sister Abigail for the win after 10 minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Bray Wyatt

Wyatt celebrated the win after the match while the announcers said it was a great match. I’d say it was

Analysis: ** The last couple of minute were really well done, but there were some dead spots in the match and you could tell the crowd really wasn’t into it. Wyatt winning makes a lot of sense. I thought Ryback might win because a Wyatt win is too obvious, but they decided to go the obvious route and that’s fine. Wyatt needs wins like that. Looks like Ryback may have got a rib injury from when Wyatt jumped on him outside the ring.

A commercial for the Money in the Bank PPV that takes place on June 14. In my opinion that’s really the fourth biggest PPV after WrestleMania, SummerSlam and Royal Rumble.

A commercial for the Steve Austin podcast on WWE Network on June 1 following Raw with Paul Heyman as the guest. That will be awesome. As I mentioned earlier, they’ve done several great podcasts together already. I have high expectations for this one.

John Cena’s feud with Rusev was summarized with a video package.

Rusev entered first with the lovely Lana. Cena got a mixed reaction like usual. Rusev told Cena that half the people already hate him and he should quit now. Cena was having none of that.

United States Title “I Quit” Match: John Cena vs. Rusev (w/Lana)

Rusev was aggressive early on. The fans chanted for Lana, so Rusev grabbed a chair from ringside and told her to sit down on it. Rusev knocked Cena down a few times, which led to the ref asking Cena if he quit, which is pretty ridiculous. It was impressive seeing Rusev hit some good dropkicks. Cena hit a clothesline as the fans chanted “We Want Lana” again. Rusev hit a spinning heel kick and then he yelled at Lana at ringside. She just sat there without an expression on her face. Rusev told Lana to give him the flag, so Rusev waved it in the air to piss off the fans. Cena came back with the shoulder tackles and the spinning suplex followed by the masturbation shuffle. Rusev hit a fallaway slam that sent Cena all the way to the floor. Rusev whipped Cena into the steel steps with Rusev telling the ref to ask him again if he wants to quit, which of course leads to Cena saying no. Rusev brought the steps into the match and whipped Cena back first into it. He did it again. Rusev hit a spinning slam on the steel steps that were in the ring. Rusev missed a stomp and Cena hit the Attitude Adjustment on the steel steps in the ring. Cena tried to throw the steps at Rusev outside the ring, but Rusev moved. Cena tossed Rusev into the steel post, so the ref asked Rusev if he quit. Nope. Cena said he’d put Rusev through the wall if he didn’t quit, Rusev said no and Cena tackled him through the barricade at ringside.

Cena went into the crowd where he found an equipment case. Rusev met him there with a superkick. They fought over to the equipment area. Looked like Rusev wanted to put Cena through the table with an Alabama Slam, but the table didn’t break. When Cena tried an AA though it, the table tilted over. Cena set up the table vertically against a railing. Cena attacked Rusev with a small laptop on the back. Rusev drove Cena through the table with an Alabama Slam and of course Cena won’t quit. Cena was by the entrance. He went for a Superkick. Cena picked him up and hit the Attitude Adjustment onto some table that was behind some lights by the staging area. Some pyro went off when Rusev hit, so the idea is that Rusev was hurt by the pyro going off. Lana was concerned. Rusev said he won’t quit. That spot reminded me of a Cena/Orton Ironman match from 2009. Cena picked up the steel railing, ref asked Rusev to quit, he said no and Cena nailed him with the steel railing. Cena set up the steel railing by the ring, Rusev countered him and hit a suplex onto it. Match is over 20 minutes now.

Back in the ring, Rusev nailed a superkick to knock Cena down. Rusev applied the Accolade submission hold in the middle of the ring. Cena got to his feet to fight it off, but Rusev held on and Cena went back down. There was a small cut on the left side of Cena’s face. Ref asked Cena if he quit and it appeared as though Cena was passed out. Rusev thought he won. Rusev realized he had to keep going, so he unhooked the top rope. He poured water on Cena to wake him up, so when Cena got up he tripped up Rusev and applied the STF while holding the top rope on his face for added pressure. Rusev was yelling something in Bulgarian, so Lana started freaking out at ringside. Lana yelled “he quits” and that is enough for the win. The match went 26 minutes.

Winner by forcing opponent to quit: John Cena

There was a replay of Rusev yelling into the microphone and then the shot of Lana going into the ring to say that he quits. JBL was saying that doesn’t mean Rusev quits.

Analysis: **1/2 The effort was there, but it was too long. It was so boring in the first 15 minutes that I felt like I could have gone to the bathroom, came back a minute later and not missed anything because of how slow the pace was. Did we really need the ref asking him if he quit after nearly every move? It was a bit much. The last ten minutes of it were much better. I just felt like they could have cut some of it because it kept on going so long that it felt boring at times. The finish with Lana giving up for Rusev is why they did the match because it’s a way for Rusev to dump her because he can say she gave up for him. Rusev losing to Cena in three straight PPVs is not good for his career. I like him as a performer, but it’s going to be tough to recover from this.

There was a recap of the Kickoff Match win by The Ascension.

The New Day were celebrating their win with milk in wine glasses. Saxton interviewed them and said they are good guys that don’t curse or do anything wrong. Saxton informed them that The New Day will defend their titles at Elimination Chamber in the first ever Tag Team Title Elimination Chamber match. They said that’s not happening, so Saxton said he guesses that it’s a new day.

Analysis: Good line by Saxton at the end of it. The tag title EC match was known by those of us online, but not mentioned on television. That’s the official announcement of it. I’m intrigued to see how they’ll do it. They do have six teams, but it’s a lot of guys in the chamber too.

Prior to the divas match, they plugged NXT Takeover on Wednesday. That will be a very good show.

Naomi & Tamina vs. The Bella Twins

Nikki hit a nice kick off the middle and Brie tagged in with a running knee attack on Naomi against the ropes. Tamina crushed Brie with a superkick while she was on the apron. Brie sold it like a big deal, so Naomi worked on Brie in the ring. Tamina with a hard kick to Brie’s back as the heels continued to work over Brie. After a couple of minutes of that, Nikki tagged in. She nailed Naomi with an Alabama Slam that was a bit sloppy. Tamina broke up the pin. Nikki kicked her out of the ring. Tamina was on the apron, which distracted Nikki and Naomi hit the Rear View for a two count. Brie took down Tamina with a dive outside the ring. Nikki hit a spinebuster on Naomi for a two count. Tamina tossed Brie into the barricade. Nikki looked at that while she was on the top rope and Naomi slammed her off the top rope. Naomi covered for the win after six minutes.

Winners by pinfall: Naomi & Tamina

Analysis: *1/4 That was the obvious finish since champions often times get pinned in tags to build up to a future title match. Tamina can say she pinned Nikki, so she’ll get that title shot in the near future. The work in the match was pretty average with some spots in the match that looked sloppy. I think Tamina missed a moment where she was going to interfere. It was given about the usual time as a divas match on PPV. Paige is probably back on Monday, which means she can get her revenge on Naomi.

There was a commercial for a WWE Network show called Swerved where pranks are done on WWE Superstars. It premieres in June.

Lana was shown in a locker room with Rusev. He told her to get out. He yelled in Bulgarian and the crowd said “WHAT” at it. He told her to get out again, so she left.

Analysis: She’s going face, so the breakup is coming possibly on Monday. Maybe he just wanted quality time with the camera guy.

A video aired with Daniel Bryan relinquishing the IC Title on Raw.

The Elimination Chamber event will feature an Intercontinental Title match. They didn’t announce any names, but some of the rumored participants are Dolph Ziggler, King Barrett, Neville, Sheamus and two others.

King Barrett vs. Neville

Barrett dominated the beginning of the match as the announcers went through the usual discussion about past King of the Ring winners, which they say in every Barrett match in the last month. Barrett hit the boot to the face that knocked Neville off the apron and onto the mat below. Neville came back with some kicks to the ribs, a running dropkick and then a flying forearm smash. A standing SSP by Neville earned a two count. After a Neville attack, Barrett nailed him with a kick to the ribs. Barrett hit the Winds of Change slam for a two count. Neville jumped off the top, Barrett grabbed him and Neville got a rollup for two. Enziguiri kick by Neville. To the top, Neville went for a Red Arrow, but Barrett rolled to the floor to avoid it. Neville ran the ropes and hit the dive over the top where he turns in mid air. Neville grabbed his knee when he landed. The ref counted Barrett out and Barrett didn’t get back into the ring, so Neville won by countout. It went 7 minutes.

Winner by countout: Neville

Post match, Barrett went back into the ring and hit a Bull Hammer elbow. Barrett slammed Neville into the stairs and then he tossed him into the barricade. Barrett put on his crowd, robe and held his scepter proudly. Neville got back in the ring, he avoided an attack and took down Barrett with a German Suplex. Neville went up top and hit the Red Arrow to end the post match interaction.

Analysis: ** The match wasn’t nearly as good as some of their others especially with a countout finish, but they did the post match stuff to make the fans happy. It’s pretty rare to see a PPV match end in a countout like that. I guess the decision was done because they didn’t want either guy to lose decisively, so that’s why they added in the post match interaction. It means their feud will continue with both guys likely in the Elimination Chamber match for the IC Title.

A Tough Enough video aired showing some submissions from people trying out for the show. Good time for a pee break.

Seth Rollins was shown backstage with J&J Security. Kane wished him luck.

A video package aired for the main event.

Here’s the order of entry for this match: Kane in a suit out first. Randy Orton is up next to a nice ovation like usual. Dean Ambrose gets a good reaction as the second competitor. Roman Reigns sounded like he got a louder reaction than the other two. The WWE Champion Seth Rollins appeared with J&J Security last.

WWE World Heavyweight Championship: Seth Rollins vs. Randy Orton vs. Dean Ambrose vs. Roman Reigns

The match begins at 10:31pmET so they should have 20 minutes or more. There was interference by J&J right away. Ambrose took out a couple of guys with a dive between the ropes. Reigns hit a dive over the top to take out everybody. That is impressive every time he does it. It’s hard to keep up with all the action in this match. Ambrose hit a flying elbow attack off the top for a two count, but Orton broke it up and Ambrose dropped him with a bulldog. Backbreaker by Orton for two is broken up by Reigns. Rollins splashed Reigns in the corner, then Ambrose and Reigns worked together with Ambrose tossing Rollins into a Reigns clothesline. Kane grabbed Reigns leg and tossed him into the barricade. Kane hit an uppercut punch on Ambrose and then Kane stomped away on Orton. Rollins hit a neckbreaker on Ambrose for a two count. Rollins hit a flying knee off the top rope for a two count. Rollins gave Ambrose the powerbomb into the corner and then a superkick for a two count. Barely a reaction from the fans because they know it’s too early. Dropkick by Rollins was a mistake because Ambrose bounced off the ropes with a clothesline. Ambrose tried to capitalize, but Kane nailed a Chokeslam on Ambrose. Reigns hit a dropkick on Kane outside the ring. Orton with clotheslines for Reigns and Ambrose and then Orton hit a T-Bone suplex for two. Orton hit a superplex on Rollins for a two count. It was around ten minutes at this point.

The English announce table was cleared off as the three Shield guys were working together. Huge reaction for it as they did a three man Powerbomb to put Orton through the table. That was really cool to see and the announcers did a good job of putting it over. Rollins celebrated it, but the other two guys didn’t want to do that. Ambrose and Reigns put Rollins back first on the table. They picked up Kane and Reigns did a Powerbomb on Kane onto Rollins. The table didn’t break. Fans chanted “One More Time” so they did it again and Kane was driven through Rollins through the table. Fans were chanting “this is awesome” as Ambrose went face to face with Reigns with Roman commenting that the loser gets the beers or something to that effect. They went face to face in the ring. Ambrose took down Reigns with a cross body block and then Reigns hit a modified powerbomb for a two count. Ambrose got a rollup for two and Reigns came back with a Superman Punch for the two count. Ambrose went for Dirty Deeds, Reigns fought out of it and Reigns hit a Spear. Rollins slid into the ring to break up the pin.

In the ring, there were a few exchanges from the three Shield guys and Ambrose hit Dirty Deeds on Rollins for two as Kane made the save. Kane used the stairs to knock down Ambrose as well as Reigns. Kane gave Reigns a Chokeslam on to the steel steps. Orton shoved Kane into the ring post to knock him down. Orton hit RKOs on Noble and Mercury followed by a powerslam on Rollins. Orton hit the DDT off the ropes on Rollins. Rollins shoved off the RKO and Orton hit the RKO on Kane. Rollins used that distraction leading to Rollins hitting the Pedigree…yes the Pedigree on Orton for the win after 22 minutes. It wasn’t a great looking Pedigree, but it got the job done.

Winner by pinfall and still WWE Champion: Seth Rollins

Analysis: **** That was a lot of fun. Match of the night at four stars out of five. The right guy won too. It was a pretty hectic match with four guys in the ring, plus three guys outside the ring and so much interference throughout the match. The crowd became unglued when there was that Shield reunion during the match. It shows that when WWE wants to reunite the group as a babyface trio it will definitely work. It’s just not the right time for it to happen. Orton getting pinned didn’t surprise me that much because I figured this feud is over and that just makes a lot of sense. Rollins can still have a WWE Title match in singles against Ambrose or Reigns after this. Reigns had some great moments in the match, which is becoming the norm for him in PPV matches. Ambrose showed that he definitely belongs as well. I really like Rollins using the Pedigree. I hope he uses it as a finisher because it makes a lot of sense that he would since Triple H isn’t wrestling full time. Kane’s face turn didn’t happen tonight, but it’s coming soon most likely. Give a lot of credit to all four guys in the match as well as the ones that were outside the ring. It was an exciting end to the show.

After the match, Triple H walked out to raise the hand of Rollins, who is still the WWE Champion.

A commercial aired for Elimination Chamber on May 31 and the broadcast went off the air at 10:54pmET.

Payback Fallout

There was more discussion by Renee Young, Booker T and Corey Graves talking about the show.

John Cena did an interview with Byron Saxton. He said he had respect for Rusev. He knows that one day he might lose that US Title, but he’s still going to issue the US Open Challenge on Raw.

Renee Young ended the show right at 11pmET and that’s it.

 

Five Stars of the Show

1. Seth Rollins

2. Roman Reigns

3. Dean Ambrose

4. Randy Orton

5. (tie) The New Day

5. (tie) Kidd/Cesaro

I cheated and put too many people. I’m nice like that.

 

Final Thoughts

It gets a 7 out of 10 from me.

The work in the ring was pretty good all night long. The match results were all fairly predictable and there weren’t any shocking moments, so if you’re only reading the results you may not be overwhelmed by anything. However, if you saw it then you can definitely appreciate the effort by all the performers.

While the main event was the best match of the night, there were some other really good matches with New Day vs. Kidd/Cesaro and Ziggler vs. Sheamus both coming across as above average.

I felt like Cena/Rusev dragged too much. It just bored me at times. I hated the pace of it. Did we really need all the spots where they would hit one move and ask about quitting? It hurts the match when it is done too often.

That spot where The Shield reunited for the Powerbomb on Orton was the most memorable spot of the night. That’s something people will be talking about for a while.

Payback isn’t a show we’re going to remember as some all time great PPV by any means, but it was still above average and a fun how to watch, especially that main event.

 

2015 PPV Rankings (Scores out of 10)

WrestleMania – 8

Payback – 7

Extreme Rules – 6

Fastlane – 5

Royal Rumble 4

It had better matches from top to bottom than the other non-WrestleMania shows this year, so it’s the second best PPV of the year.

———

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This week’s Raw Deal won’t be live at TJRWrestling.net, but should get posted on Tuesday so check it out. Have a great week.

John Canton – mrjohncanton@gmail.com

Twitter @johnreport

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