John: Welcome to the TJRWrestling WWE Payback preview featuring the Monday Night Raw brand. The show this place this Sunday, April 30 at the SAP Center in San Jose, California.
For this preview, we’ll talk about every match while offering up our predictions as usual. In addition to that, we have also added five quick questions about things like what match we care about the most, the least and our excitement level.
Joining me for the preview are Kurt Zamora and Mike Holland. No Matthew J. Douglas because work is too busy.
(Note: All graphics are from WWE.com. The banner up top is courtesy of our friend Melo Man.)
Miz TV with Finn Balor as the guest (Kickoff Show)
Kurt: John gave us the chance to preview this segment, so I just wanted to use this space to say that if Balor doesn’t use this platform to immediately call out Brock Lesnar and go after the title he never lost, he may officially become the worst booked superstar on the roster when the segment is set and done.
Mike: One would imagine that The Miz figured, fresh off the heels of some of his best comedy work in years and a match at WrestleMania against the WWE’s biggest name, that he’d be in the catbird seat following his switch over to Raw before Payback. Instead it’s another interminable Miz TV segment, further complicated by the fact that while it’s always a treat to see Finn Balor, microphone work is not known to be a strong suit contained within his wrestling wardrobe.
Therein lies the issue with filling a Raw event partially with blue brand talent: some folks are bound to be left off the guest list. While I’m in no hurry to see my next Miz match, I can only surmise this show leads to some type of interaction with Intercontinental Champion Dean Ambrose, who also has absolutely nothing to do Sunday. They’ve already interacted since the draft, so that would make logical sense should Miz push his luck against a still-healing Demon.
Remember when Ambrose getting drafted first to Smackdown Live made absolute sense? That genie needs to get back into the bottle post haste. Until then, it’s a Shield holding pattern plain and simple.
John: I think this segment will lead to a match on the main card. I’m not sure if that’s going to Miz vs. Balor or if Dean Ambrose gets involved to make it Miz vs. Ambrose like I was expecting last week. I just think they are doing this segment leading to the Payback lineup. It could lead to a Raw match as well. Other than that, it’s just a talk show segment.
Enzo Amore & Big Cass vs. Luke Gallows & Karl Anderson (Kickoff Show)
Kurt: You’ve seen this match a 1000 times. I’ve seen it a 1000 times. John has reviewed it a 1000 times. So all I’ll say is I’m picking Gallows and Anderson because I like Chad 2 Badd and Tex Ferguson more than Enzo’s KFC commercial.
Prediction: Gallows & Anderson
Mike: There was a time when this match felt like a way bigger deal deserving of a far better fate than being cast aside to the desolate confines of the preshow, but frankly that was both many moons (and many matches) ago. Gallows & Anderson have at least somewhat overcome the unfortunate booking that plagued their early transition from Japan to WWE, and are generally stirring up enough trouble on a weekly basis to not make their badass reputation look like the ravings of a lunatic.
As for Enzo & Cass, the return of the Hardys to the WWE spelled big trouble for them, eliminating any chance they had at capturing Raw’s tag belts before the vaudeville act got old already. Even with The New Day gone, they seem so far down the ladder at this point as to risk irrelevance, and the steady stream of matches that end with Enzo’s shoulders getting pinned to the mat tell you exactly where confidence is regarding him at this point.
While we all long for the moment when Balor is reunited with his former mates, something tells me this is another situation where WWE plays chicken with the IWC. They win here, though.
Winners: Luke Gallows & Karl Anderson
John: This is probably the match that I’ve reviewed the most since last summer’s draft. Why does WWE feel the need to do it again? I’m not sure, but here we go again. I’m going with Enzo & Cass without really having any logical reason other than I think they need a win for the sake of positive momentum. If Gallows & Anderson win that’s fine too because they could be used as future opponents for the Hardys as well.
Winners: Enzo & Cass
Cruiserweight Championship: Neville vs. Austin Aries
Kurt: When my Good Brother Mark McAllen writes in this week’s 205 Live Review that he’s getting bored with the show and there needs to be a change, and he’s one of the biggest supporters of the Cruiserweights that I know, then I know this has officially gone off the rails. The division is floundering and there just isn’t enough star power or time invested to fix it. There has been more “personal” aspects to TJ Perkins’ turn on Aries than his actual feud with Neville.
If I had to guess, Aries will transition to a full on storyline with TJP and Neville’s next contender will be Kalisto after he’s done selling his dumpster dive.
Prediction: Neville retains
Mike: As I both predicted and expected, Neville/Aries I stole the show at WrestleMania, further cementing Neville’s status as one of the hottest things going in the company right now and providing ample evidence that Austin Aries could (and should) be the one to end that reign, as long as it keeps the war going. Unfortunately, WWE’s half-hearted “push” of the cruisers means many people were still finding their way into the building as these two were doing battle. C’est la vie.
This will be another extremely solid match, and hopefully they’ll get more time on a much-reduced card. While the outcome could really go either way, the situation involving TJ Perkins and his well-done heel flip factors into this one in a big way for me. Neville’s done a hell of a job and there’s no reason to give AA a clear-cut path right to the title. Perkins getting involved here allows the King of the Cruiserweights to once again finagle victory from the jowls of defeat and gives Aries something to do in the short term while he pursues Neville to his eventual defeat.
No idea if TJ has the chops to pull it off, but at least it’s interesting.
Winner (and STILL Cruiserweight Champion): Neville
John: They did this match at WrestleMania earlier in the month with Neville retaining, so it’s possible that Aries got the rematch in order to put the title on him. I’m not going that way, though. I think Neville is better as the long-term heel champion that has been on fire as the “King of the Cruiserweights.” If he were to lose the title, that’s fine, but I don’t think there are a lot of great opponents for Aries. With Neville, they can have Kalisto feud with him, hopefully Gran Metalik gets used more and Cedric Alexander can be there when he’s healthy. Keep it on Neville. It makes the most sense to me.
Raw Women’s Championship: Bayley vs. Alexa Bliss
Kurt: I’ve said this before but it bears repeating after the apathy the crowd on Monday showed Bayley during her promo with Alexa Bliss…Bayley was the most can’t miss superstar I’ve seen in YEARS, and yet now she’s barely a shell of herself. The alliance with Sasha Banks has officially gotten annoying. Annoying in a way that I want to just boo both of them now, because they come across obnoxious together and all we’re doing is waiting on Sasha to finally turn on her.
Alexa is the best all-around woman in WWE not named Charlotte and if the writers behind Raw had half a brain, they’d give her the title now and just build around her. Bayley has already gone as far as she can with the title.
Prediction: New Raw Women’s Champion, Alexa Bliss
Mike: On the flip side of things, you have the Raw Women’s division, which in my mind has lagged a bit since the never-ending stream of Charlotte/Bayley matches ran its course. Things are now in a bit of a holding pattern as we wait to see just when Sasha Banks will become a “bad” Boss character at the expense of her one-dimensional friendship with the person who’s suffered most in this scenario, that being current champion Bayley.
Gone is the fresh buzz accompanying her arrival from NXT, and it’s unfortunate that all of that promise and anticipation has waned in favor of the same monotonous slog we’ve frankly become accustomed to all too often on the flagship program. Swapping Charlotte with Alexa Bliss should prove beneficial to both characters in the long run, and Bliss brings some moxie with her run as big fish on the blue brand. I’m starting to tire of myself saying Banks factors into the decision to take the strap off the hugger, but why quit a sure thing? Sooner or later it has to be right, like the Abominable Snowman or Roman’s heel turn. Bliss makes far more sense as the champion right now.
Winner (and NEW Raw Women’s Champion): Alexa Bliss
John: This rivalry has very little heat since Bliss became number one contender two weeks ago and they had one promo last week. I don’t think the crowd is going to care too much even though Bayley’s in her hometown of San Jose. They might make noise for Bayley because she’s from the area, but are we supposed to care about the story? There isn’t much there.
A title change is possible, but I’m leaning towards Bayley retaining the gold. While Bliss is a good promo, her matches haven’t impressed me that much. I’m not sure if they are going to have a good match since Bliss is a smaller heel challenging a popular champion. The crowd tends to die when Bliss is on offense for a lot of her matches, which hurt her rivalry with Becky Lynch on Smackdown. A title change could happen, but I’d rather see Bayley retain leading to an eventual summer feud with heel Sasha Banks as the opponent.
Raw Tag Team Championships: The Hardy Boyz vs. Cesaro & Sheamus
Kurt: I thought Sheasaro had finally turned a corner on the Raw after WrestleMania with the crowd solidly behind them and what appeared to be Sheamus fully accepting his face turn. Now, just a few weeks later, it looks like they’re forcing Cesamus to turn heel. Probably because The Revival getting hurt left a big gap in the heel side of things. This is incredibly short sighted to me.
There’s nothing wrong with a babyface vs. babyface feud for a little while and then when it’s over, have The Celtic Supermen go into a feud with Gallows and Anderson, in which I think those matches would have potential to steal some shows. Instead though, I’m sure we’ll see The Hardys win a hard fought match, only for The Swiss Warriors to turn on them post match to help keep the angle going.
Prediction: The Hardy Boyz retain
Mike: This upstart feud has lacked a bit of focus for me personally. Maybe it’s the fact that the current incarnation of the Hardys’ WWE presentation feels like a purposeful shadow of what they’d been up to in rival TNA and elsewhere. While it’s understandable that WWE wants to avoid legal landmines, it’s just as likely that Chez McMahon has continued its “No Shirt, No Shoes, No Gimmicks Found Elsewhere” motto. They’ve done decently since their surprise return, but it’s not the nineties anymore and it shows.
For Sheamus and Cesaro, the news is even worse. Their odd partnership performed decently enough and included a title run, but now it’s back to status quo and, oddly, face vs. face. Recent weeks have seen cracks form in the surface of the partnership as they endeavor to reclaim gold, but does anybody actually care what happens here? The only solution for the odd couple is to turn them heel, which favors Sheamus but leaves Cesaro and his section once again looking for answers.
In short, the Hardys don’t need titles as their “Broken” versions but they probably do need them until that happens. It will take a more defined story than this one.
Winners (and STILL Raw Tag Team Champions): The Hardy Boyz
John: The champs should retain in what should be an awesome match. I like all four guys and I am not worried about the match quality at all. One of the Hardys will likely be worked on for most of the match, hot tag time and go to the finish from there with the Hardys retaining.
I’m interested in the potential story development. The last two weeks on Raw, Sheamus and Cesaro have done handshakes after their losses in singles matches. I think it’s building to something where the Hardys win again, so Sheamus and Cesaro will do the handshake after, but they’ll follow up with an attack. That would set up future matches between them. All of this is going to keep the Hardys busy until The Revival return to action in two months since Dash Wilder has been recovering with a broken jaw. For now, the Hardys should retain.
Winners: The Hardy Boyz
United States Championship: Kevin Owens vs. Chris Jericho
Kurt: I’ll admit I’m making this prediction strictly on the basis that Chris Jericho has been the MVP of 2017 thus far. He’s as good as he’s ever been and will be sorely missed when he goes away for his time with Fozzy. With that said, everyone assumes Kevin Owens will retain and just go to Smackdown to face AJ Styles at Backlash. However, Jericho’s tour doesn’t start until May 5th, so he is realistically available for this week’s Smackdown.
What would you say to Jericho getting his Payback (see what I did there?) on Owens and winning the US Title to go to Smackdown, only for Owens to get a rematch on Tuesday and absolutely destroy Jericho then and retain the title? No harm done right? They have not explained clearly that if Owens loses the title he would go back to Raw, so you can easily explain that afterwards. Then you have Jericho written off TV definitively and Owens comes out looking strong still. Plus, now you’ve just given Smackdown another top talent in Jericho that can be used once he’s done with his tour duties. With the talent Smackdown is trying to build, Jericho would be the perfect babyface to have for them come SummerSlam time.
Prediction: New US Champion, Chris Jericho
Mike: In one of the odder outcomes of the shakeup, it was the United States Title which was apparently drafted to Smackdown Live, rather than its actual owner. How else to explain that should incumbent Kevin Owens lose the belt to former bestie Y2J, he will return crestfallen to Raw while Jericho heads over to Velocity…er, Smackdown? If that seems like major impetus for that to not have a snowball’s chance in hell of actually occurring, well congratulations: you’ve already sniffed out the major fallacy here.
The bad news, then, is that this match has the most likely outcome of any on the card. While it’s possible that Jericho absconds with the title and gets a month on the blue brand before his Fozzy dates, it’s unlikely in the extreme. Owens is clearly being set up as a dominant heel on SD, which makes total sense after his Universal Raw run, and that’s actually all that matters here. Jericho will do what he always does, effectively set the table for someone else before paying the check.
The bright side? It will be a whale of a match again. I don’t think it tops the WrestleMania one, but well worth watching.
Winner (and STILL United States Champion): Smackdown’s Kevin Owens
John: The obvious thing is a win for Owens since Jericho is going off television very soon for his Fozzy music commitments. When thinking about the story, a case can be made for Jericho winning because Owens was the friend that turned on him, so fans will want to see Jericho get revenge by winning. However, it just isn’t likely going to happen since Jericho is busy with Fozzy.
I don’t think they’re going to surprise us by having Jericho win or anything like that. Owens retains his title in what should be a very good match similar to what they did at WrestleMania.
Winner: Kevin Owens
Seth Rollins vs. Samoa Joe
Kurt: No matter how bad Raw can be on a weekly basis sometimes, I’ll always tune into a PPV that has Jericho vs. Owens and Rollins vs. Joe. I thought they’d put more of an emphasis on Joe being angry that his attack on Rollins didn’t cost him his WrestleMania spot and how this match is his time to finish Rollins off once and for all. The angle has been good, but it could’ve been better. I wouldn’t imagine this will be the only match in this angle and since I see a lot of clean finishes for once in this show, I could see these guys getting disqualified after the match just turns into a big brawl, leading to a gimmick match at Extreme Rules in 5 weeks. Potential show stealing match though before that happens.
Prediction: Double Disqualification
Mike: Now we’re talking. In a match that both personifies Payback and provides a completely fresh take on a long-simmering feud, Seth Rollins will deal with Triple H’s main henchman Samoa Joe in a match that provides ample intrigue no matter which way it plays out. Ostensibly speaking, this is a shrewd move. Rollins is working his way back into the main event limelight through the Authority detour, and Joe has been a straight unbeatable wrecking ball since his callup, precisely the way he ought to be presented. It is in fact those aspects that make this match puzzling in all the best ways, as there are big questions as to which of the two men can truly afford to lose here. That’s the kind of stuff that’s wicked fun to write about and even more wicked fun to watch play out.
Answering that query is of course a matter of personal opinion, but I’d say the upward arc of Seth Rollins is more important to preserve than continuing Joe’s outright dominance. Raw already boasts more than one beast (both Brock Lesnar and Braun Strowman come to mind) and Joe’s political machinations have been more interesting than his physical ones. Rollins getting the win re-establishes him as a main event player while Trips and Mrs. Trips remain on the mend. That will make Stephanie’s eventual return (and how that meshes with new GM Kurt Angle) all the more interesting.
There also exists the possibility that this match doesn’t reach a real conclusion. I’d normally take that route of least resistance (as it’s one the Titan Tower GPS seems to enjoy), but given some of the same fuzziness present in the next match up for discussion, I don’t think the band strikes the same tune twice. Joe will be just fine for this feud’s next dimension.
Winner: Seth Rollins
John: I’m excited about this match because I’m a fan of both guys and I also like seeing fresh matchups. Since Joe is new on the main roster, there are a lot of new opponents for him. Rollins will benefit from working with Joe due to Joe being in the heel role and the crowd actually boos him unlike other heels.
I like the idea of Samoa Joe being booked as an undefeated monster type heel on the main roster, so that’s why I’m picking him to win. It would be easy to have Rollins go over as the face that is trying to get revenge on the guy that hurt him a few months ago, but then what? This is another example where I’m trying to look ahead to figure out what’s next for somebody in order to come up with a prediction. I think a win by Joe benefits him more while also leading to rematches between them. This is probably going to be a rivalry that leads to two or three PPV matches, so that’s another reason to have Joe go over in their first match. Give them 20 minutes, let them do their thing and it’s a match of the night contender for sure.
Winner: Samoa Joe
“House of Horrors” Match: Randy Orton vs. Bray Wyatt
Kurt: I’d like to say something positive about this match, but I just can’t bring myself to do so. Bray is made to look incredibly dumb with this not being a title match. This is going to be the Ambrose Asylum match with more pre-taped footage. Jinder and his not Bollywood Boys anymore will come out with Orton’s title to distract him and Wyatt will win the match. Because for the love of God, if you’re going to take everything else from Bray, at least let him win his own damn match since he’s the only one that knows what it is!
Prediction: Bray Wyatt
Mike: Truly unfortunate is about all I can say for this one. Fresh off the heels of an underwhelming showdown between the two at WrestleMania, ersatz Wyatt émigré Randy Orton claimed the WWE Title from his “mentor” Bray Wyatt. When your match becomes more about the slideshow on the ring apron than the actual bout itself, you know you have issues. (Incidentally, let’s hope WWE avoids any Willy Wonka tunnel of love outtakes this time around. Please?)
What bothered me most about that outcome was that Wyatt was once again cast aside without any chance to cement himself as a real threat. He’s always gotten plenty of airtime to babble incoherent and disturbing phrases, but when you can’t get it done over and over again at the big dance, you’re a paunchy Waylon Mercy. Orton’s an acceptable champion and can wrestle solidly with anyone, but it’s a been-there, done-that solution that smacks of creative laziness. It will be a big issue for Smackdown moving forward, as their lack of heels and emergence of both AJ Styles and now also Shinsuke Nakamura as A-level face threats will likely force another allegiance switch down the line.
For now, though, it’s obviously Wyatt that needs the rub. The minute the WWE championship was taken off the table, the minute it became clear that Orton was being booked to lose. It’s a risky play to have him go down, but he’s on enemy territory and facing a former champion in a match that he created. There’s plenty about this I don’t understand, and trying to figure out what House of Horrors match is the least of my concerns, though it smacks of WCW Nitro Lite Russo booking. The bigger problem is once again segregating Wyatt, and the writers will have to go into full court press to rehabilitate his character again. Can’t do that with an embarrassment here.
Winner: Bray Wyatt
John: Yawn. That’s my reaction to this match. I don’t know what a House of Horrors match is and I’m not optimistic about it being good. A few months ago when Orton burned down the Wyatt Family Compound I thought the story was pretty solid. Then they had that below average WrestleMania match that only got about ten minutes with the stupid graphics featuring bugs. Now we’re supposed to care about the rivalry without the title on the line? Come on WWE, you can be better than this.
I like both performers and I hope it turns out well, but I’m not optimistic about it. As for my prediction, I’ll go with Wyatt because I think they made it a non-title match in order to put him over. He really could use the win too.
Winner: Bray Wyatt
Roman Reigns vs. Braun Strowman
Kurt: Were those actual “we want Roman” chants I heard on Monday? Sure, the other half of the crowd was chanting that he sucks, but this is a vast improvement on the entire crowd sounding like they want to riot and vomit at the same time just at the thought of Roman coming out. I feel like an ass just saying this, but maybe the loss of his brother has made him sympathetic for once? Like some of the fans that were booing him for no reason, figured, “hey, we should probably cut this guy some slack for a bit.”
On the other end of the match, in words I thought I’d never type out, Braun Strowman is my favorite thing going on Raw right now. Imagine if Raw could book just 50% of the roster as well as they’ve booked him. They’ve booked him so well that I am chomping at the bit to see him vs. Lesnar. That would truly be a spectacle.
My only fear in this match is that Roman comes out no selling everything (Vince logic: “Well God Damn Pal, he’s had two weeks to recover.” Shout out to Bruce Prichard.) and takes the fight to Strowman. Roman should be fighting an uphill battle all match long and just when he has his last desperation gasp and chance to win, Strowman snuffs it out and gets a clean win on Roman and finds himself the next challenger for Lesnar. (Because I know Balor isn’t calling out Lesnar as I mentioned at the beginning of this preview.)
Prediction: Braun Strowman
Mike: The main event of the evening has had the biggest and most impressive build, and it’s not for the Universal Title. It’s been more than fascinating to witness WWE juggle their presentation of perma-#1 contender Roman Reigns with the majority of the fanbase’s reaction to him, and you know you’ve reached a new level of bizarro when even a monster tipping over an ambulance with the face wrestler inside only evokes laughter and joy. You can’t deny that you bellowed out “I’m not done with you!” more than once following that absurdist spectacle. Or you’re a far, far better person than me.
Reigns is clearly being groomed for the far greater run he’s been destined for since the last one, and many of us are simply unwitting passengers on the ride. As for Strowman, let’s give the WWE credit: They’ve generally played the freak show card well, and having a former strongman that looks like a doomsday prepper on hand suits that rather nicely. Strowman has gotten the drop on Roman quite a few times going into this match, and the safe play would be to assume that he obtains his revenge here. Some of that depends on the plans involving new Universal champion Brock Lesnar, though. Given that he’s really neither face nor heel at this point and they’ve already teased a Braun showdown more than once, it would be deadly to show him up prior to that.
There was much thought that a stipulation would be added to this match to allow Roman to save face if he took the loss, but the truth is you don’t need a stipulation for that. Strowman has shown a callous disregard for the rules and the ability to break both barriers and rings if need be, so I’d wager a disqualification could be the order of the day here. Strowman is consistently being presented as someone who dispatches with all vestiges of authority and can’t be controlled, and that fits with this story. Roman will get the win, because, Roman. But Strowman won’t be made to look weak in the process. Everybody loses.
Winner (by DQ): Roman Reigns
John: This should be a win for Strowman. There’s really no reason for Reigns to win since Strowman is likely going to get the next Universal Title shot at Raw’s July 9 PPV titled Great Balls of Fire, which is arguably the worst PPV name in wrestling history. Strowman should win every match he’s in until that match with Lesnar, which means he should even do the unthinkable and beat Roman Reigns. I realize that some of you are shaking your head at that since Reigns so wins so much, but it’s just common sense to want to elevate a title contender like Strowman. Simply put, he could use the win more.
I think WWE dropped the ball with this match because they didn’t announce a stipulation for it. Why do a regular match again when they already had a singles match at Fastlane that Reigns won? This should have had some kind of stipulation to allow them to brawl all around the arena and make it a more interesting match. Make it Falls Count Anywhere, Last Man Standing or even an Ambulance Match. Just do something to make it feel special. That’s something they could change on Sunday, but I would have advertised it weeks before.
They should get 20 minutes, Reigns will be selling the ambulance injuries from three weeks ago quite a bit and it won’t lead to a sympathetic crowd even if Reigns does a good job of it. They are against him and that’s how it is. In the end, Strowman should have his hand raised as the victor.
Winner: Braun Strowman
Match I’m Looking Forward To The Most
Kurt: Roman vs. Braun. Just because I want to see how the match is booked and if Braun gets a much needed win on the way to challenging Brock.
Mike: Oddly enough, I’m going Reigns/Strowman here. It’s got the best build, and it will be spectacular no matter what. Potential ending notwithstanding, this is one accident I’ll gladly rubberneck.
John: Rollins vs. Joe. They are two of my favorite performers in WWE right now and I’ve never seen them in a proper singles match, so it should be pretty good if they get time.
Match I Care About The Least
Kurt: House of Horrors Match. Considering who is in the match and what should be on the line but isn’t, and the fact no one knows what the hell it’s going to be, I can’t get invested into this at all.
Mike: House of Horrors in a landslide. The match will be decent enough, but there’s enough weirdness to make me skeptical. I’m desperately hoping it doesn’t have pre-taped lameness. It’s like they came up with this right before they found out about the roster swap and didn’t bother changing it. Follow the boredom.
John: I’m going with House of Horrors as well. While stuff like the pre-show tag doesn’t interest me as well, House of Horrors is supposed to be one of the bigger matches and my interest level is low.
Kurt: House of Horrors Match. Like I said, this will be the Ambrose Asylum Match just with more pre-taped footage and that went 27 minutes for some reason.
Mike: Owens/Jericho. These two have already shown they can carry the mail and the feud couldn’t be more personal. It will take a strong effort to top them.
John: I think it will be Rollins vs. Joe with Reigns vs. Strowman as a possibility also.
Kurt: Pre-Show Tag Match.
Mike: If we’re including pre-show, the tag match (E&C vs G&A) would be the obvious choice here. On the main card, the women seem to get short shrift more often than not unfortunately, so Bliss/Bayley.
John: I think it will be Bliss vs. Bayley because there’s not enough of a story and if it goes long the crowd is going to lose interest.
Excitement Level on a Scale of 1-10 (1 being low, 10 being high)
Kurt: A 6. There’s enough on this show that will get me to tune in live. Excitement might not be the right word, interested is more appropriate.
Mike: 4. Not much to get jazzed about here. Rollins/Joe and the main event have some intrigue, but other than that it feels like a blah episode of Monday Night Crawl.
John: It’s a 6 from me. It was a 6.5 last weekend, but last week’s Raw was bad. I think the build could have been a lot better and the crowd may be dead for a lot of this show because of that.
John: It’s the first WWE PPV since WrestleMania and there’s no sign of the Universal Champion on the card. Meanwhile, the WWE Champion Randy Orton is on the card, but he’s not defending the title in his match. That makes it hard for fans to really buy into this show as a major event. I think it’s fair to say there’s only mild interest for this show. The optimist in me believes there are going to be some very good matches, so that’s something to look forward to.
I will write a live review of WWE Payback this Sunday night, so check out TJRWrestling.net during the show or after it’s over for my thoughts on everything.
Kurt – @KTankTMB
Mike – @DharmanRockwell
John – @johnreport
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