24th Aug2013

‘WWE Payback 2013’ Blu-ray Review

by Phil Wheat


WWE reinvigorates its pay-per-view line up with a fresh new concept that will answer the question, how far will the Superstars of WWE go for payback? Following on the from the events of Extreme Rules 2013, WWE Payback features WWE roster of superstars try to settle their long simmering grudges and set the stage for the sizzling road to SummerSlam. And with all the major championships on the line including the revamped WWE Championship and the World Heavyweight Championship, Payback looked set to be one hell of a pay per view. But was it? In a word. YES!

Finally the WWE get it right with their latest PPV, Payback, with a concept and execution that work together well to sell the new format and provide some truly great matches – something which cannot be said of some of the WWE’s other recent pay-per-views.

Thankfully the matches are great from the get-go (no waiting for the main event to get the best match of the night here), starting with a superb three-way match between The Miz, Wade Barret and WWE newcomer, and son of Mr. Perfect (Curt Hennig), Curtis Axel who, in true Paul Heyman-stable fashion, steals the win from an unsuspecting Miz. It’s a great debut from someone who the WWE are obviously set to give a huge push…. Payback swiftly moved on to what I expected to be a less-than-stellar Divas match between the psychotic AJ Lee and Kaitlyn for the WWE Divas Championship. And surprise, surprise, much like the entire pay-per-view, the Divas pulled it out of the bag, bringing an intensity and rawness to a Divas match unlike we’ve seen in a VERY long time – perhaps not since the days of Trish Stratus and Lita.

The Shield’s Dean Ambrose goes head-to-head with Kane in an entertaining match, once again proving just how good Ambrose and his Shield cohorts are – even the the outcome of the match was somewhat unexpected. Dolph Ziggler (one of the WWE’s most misunderstood wrestlers, and one hell of a wrestler when given the chance) got a chance at the World Heavyweight Championship against Alberto Del Rio in yet another match that belied expectations – it seems everyone, no matter the match or the status of the wrestler was bringing their A-game to the debut Payback PPV.

Speaking of which, Chris Jericho, who had such a god-awful match against Fandango at Wrestlemania, proves why he is, and should be, a WWE superstar as he takes on a returning CM Punk in a match that almost outshone the main event – especially given that Punk was wrestling with a hometown crowd. Easily the second-best match of Payback 2013, even surpassing the main event between John Cena and the machine that is Ryback. That’s not to say Cena vs Ryback was a bad match – in fact it was easily the best pairing the duo have had at a PPV, with a crowd-pleasing finish that saw the pairs feud come to a satisfying, body-slamming, conclusion.

And who knew that the tag-team match featuring Daniel Bryan and Randy Orton vs The Shield would actually be a pre-cursor to the events of Summerslam and the WWE’s big push for Daniel Bryan? The man’s come a long way in the company and this is the push he admittedly deserved much sooner.

Payback is easily the best pay-per-view the WWE have put on this year, here’s hoping the company can keep up the standard in future Payback PPVs. Definitely one for the must-buy pile, WWE Payback 2013 is released on DVD and Blu-ray this Monday, August 26th.


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