17th Aug2014

‘WWE Payback 2014’ DVD Review

by Paul Metcalf


It may be a little boring to say this, but I find that I like WWE more when they get down to the business of actual wrestling.  I’d argue that this is what should be happening on a pay-per-view anyway and yes the storyline has to be present of course but the actual fighting in the match should have more importance than the drama of the event.  This is why I found myself enjoying WWE Payback 2014 because it focused on actual fighting for the most part, though there was the Daniel Bryan segment but this was just a reason to get him at the event in some form.

Starting off WWE Payback 2014 with a Cesaro match is a good idea because he normally brings quality.  Although Sheamus isn’t the most technical wrestler the WWE has got the match still had good chemistry.  Putting Cesaro’s style against Sheamus and his brawler style was interesting, especially when they seem to have fun fighting each other.  Cesaro is one of my favourite wrestlers at this time so I’d be disappointed if the match didn’t deliver.  While this may not have been one of his best fights the high energy put into it still started the show on a high.

On the mid-card, the matches of most interest for me were Cody Rhodes & Goldust vs. Ryback & Curtis Axel and Bad News Barrett vs. Rob Van Dam.  With the tag team match I found this notable because not only does it show the team of Ryback and Curtis Axel finally finding the chemistry to make them an entertaining if fairly dumb team but it is also the birth of the Stardust character for Cody.  Stardust doesn’t appear yet, but this is the start of the quest to find Goldust a better partner, and really like the new character and his strangeness, it really feels like it freshens Goldust too making them a very good team.  Bad News Barrett’s match with RVD was noticeable not only for its entertainment value but Barrett himself who really has a good gimmick with his bad news.  Only a shame that not long after this event he got his own bad news with an injury.

After the Daniel Bryan decision segment of the show we got to the main events (and a fairly forgettable diva match).  John Cena vs. Bray Wyatt in the Last Man Standing match for me lacked a bit of the excitement of some of their previous matches but there was still enough chaos to keep it entertaining.  I found it interesting that when Wyatt started the crowd singing for him Michael Cole called them brainwashed, yet we are expected to see John Cena as a superhero? WWE may write what they want to happen and try to brainwash the fans into seeing things their way, but just as Triple H playfully mock that the fans don’t always get what they want, neither does WWE with the product it provides us with.

The big main event though was the No Holds Barred Elimination Match with The Shield vs Evolution featuring “Bluetista”.  I find this match a shame, though entertaining and very violent parts of it lost its pace and slowed down a little too much so that Evolution could hit Roman Reigns with various weapons while he was held down.  I know this was to highlight that he is seen as the star of what was The Shield, but still a shame that the match had to pay the price just so the ken-do sticks could come out.

While there were some issues with WWE Payback 2014 for me, on the main part it was an above average event because it actually focused on actual wrestling.  WWE has moments where they do tend to like to focus on the more dramatic side of the show sometimes, and they’ve even allowed this to weaken some of their events.  Thankfully Payback didn’t suffer this fate and we actually had some conclusions to feuds and the birth of new ones.

WWE Payback 2014 is released on DVD and Blu-ray on August 18th, courtesy of FremantleMedia.

Review originally posted on PissedOffGeek

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