18th May2015

‘WWE Payback 2015′ – Results & Review

by Chris Cummings

WWE-Payback

Okay, so it’s time for one of those B-shows of the annual WWE calendar, Payback, a show that, on-paper, sounds okay, but isn’t offering too much in terms of fresh or exciting new feuds in my view. We’ll see how the matches go, shall we?

The opening match on the “Kick-off” show saw Stardust lose to R-Truth. A “surprise” match, this was little more than what we see each week on television, and did nothing for either of them really. Truth winning is pretty silly, and goes further into showing how far Cody has fallen since a couple of years ago when he was getting monster pops alongside his brother, Goldust, in tag title matches with The Shield. Oh dear. The second kick-off match saw Damien “Macho Mandow” Sandow and Curtis “Axelmania” Axel, dressed as Randy Savage and Hulk Hogan, take on The Ascension. I’m not fond of the mocking and dressing as former wrestling stars gimmick, it’s been done to death. The Ascension won with their finish, possibly putting The Mega Powers down for good.

Now, we’re into the main show, and Jerry “The King” Lawler, JBL and Michael Cole welcome us to Baltimore and to WWE Payback 2015. The opening match saw Sheamus taking on Dolph Ziggler. These two top-class workers wrestled at last month’s “Extreme Rules” PPV too, and I’ve seen them wrestle so many times over the years, yet I was happy to see it again here at Payback. The two of them have chemistry that is undeniable, and in my view, this match, along with the tag team title match that I’ll talk about shortly, stole the show. Just a great back and forth contest that saw the heel Sheamus defeat a bloody Ziggler with his brogue kick. Excellent match.

Sheamus defeated Dolph Ziggler

Next up we have the best-out-of-three-falls match between the WWE Tag Team Champions, The New Day and the former champs, Tyson Kidd and Cesaro, who were accompanied by Natalya. Cesaro and Kidd are two of my personal favourite talents in WWE today, and they have gone a long way in solidifying themselves as a hell of a tag team too. I hope they keep them together for a while. The New Day, now that they’ve turned heel, have been getting a great response from fans who love to chant “New… Day sucks” at them. This was a fantastic match with some great spots of both high flying and power. Big E is clumsy and messed up a couple of times, but the rest of the guys put their hearts into this contest and made for a memorable and exciting encounter. The New Day cheated to win the third and final fall, retaining their belts in a heelish manner. Hopefully we’ll see some sort of match between the two teams soon that has a stipulation of “no outside interference”. Great match.

The New Day beat Kidd & Cesaro

Bray Wyatt took on Ryback next. Now, Bray Wyatt, in my view, has potential to be a headliner, possibly as a babyface, if booked right. He’s been booked strangely for a while, so hopefully this match with Ryback was a way to get Wyatt back on a road to being pushed again. The two men put on an okay match, though I do admit I find it hard to enjoy Ryback as a wrestler. Wyatt rightfully won with the Sister Abigail finisher. Thank buzzards for that.

Bray Wyatt beat Ryback

The U.S Champion, John Cena, defended his title against Rusev next in an “I Quit” match. I’ve seen plenty of these matches over the years and they are often entertaining. This had its moments too, though Cena’s insistence on looking powerful and not selling the holds and moves that his opponent deals out makes for a difficult match to enjoy. Rusev did a good job here at playing a desperate heel, trying to nail down the heroic babyface, but Cena gave little back. It was predictable, and the ending, saw Lana entering the ring as Cena held Rusev in his STF submission hold, and quit on behalf of her Bulgarian boyf. Okay. Didn’t make sense, but it’s pro-wrestling, I guess it doesn’t have to. I didn’t get much from this match, and Rusev losing this much to Cena on PPV isn’t a good thing for him. It’s time for them to move on now, and for Rusev to enter a dominating feud with someone he can defeat. It will be interesting to see how WWE books Lana as a babyface following what appears to be the beginning of a turn for her.

John Cena beat Rusev

Tamina and Naomi beat The Bella Twins in a sloppy match that did little to push the message of “Give Divas a Chance”. It wasn’t given long, and the moves and holds didn’t look very good. They have so many talented female wrestlers on the roster and they just won’t push them properly or promote them correctly. Waste of time. Such a shame.

Tamina and Naomi beat The Bella Twins

Bad News Barrett, or, as he is now known, King Barrett, took on Neville (formerly Adrian Neville, formerly PAC) next. This was a fun one on one match between two very talented British workers. It was nice to see two brits getting second billing and working a solid match before the main event of a PPV. Neville is getting over with the fans with his high flying moves and his in-ring charisma, not to mention he looks like a bona-fide star, and Barrett is a spectacularly enjoyable bad-guy who reminds me of 80’s and 90’s heels. This was fun, and another reason that WWE needs to start putting their chips on these guys now. Neville’s finishing move, The Red Arrow, is still amazing to see after seeing it hundreds of times already. Barrett bailed and got himself counted out, giving Neville the victory. The two brawled after the bell, showing the feud will likely continue.

Neville beat Barrett by Count-out

Finally, the main event of Payback. The WWE World Heavyweight Champion Seth Rollins defends against Roman Reigns, Randy Orton and Dean Ambrose. This four-way match has so much potential storyline-wise. Would Kane turn face?, would The Shield reunite? Would The Authority get involved? Would Reigns turn “bad-guy”? Would the belt change hands? Would Brock Lesnar appear? Would Jamie Noble bring Nidia out of retirement? Would Joey Mercury bring Melina back? Would Dean Ambrose stop almost falling out of the ring during matches? We’ll see. The match was a hoot in terms of match-content and the Baltimore fans ate it up. Entertaining spots between the four super-over and super-talented workers led to table spots on the outside and a tease of The Shield getting back together, before it being revealed as a “ruse” as Reigns and Ambrose attacked Rollins. The end of the match saw a bunch of finishing moves, and Kane hitting the ring with chokeslams, and J&J security doing their thing. Orton hits RKO’s on everyone including his mother, before being kicked and nailed with the pedigree by Rollins, who pinned him and retained his title. None of the potential angles occurred, but Rollins retained, which is fine with me.

Seth Rollins beat Orton, Reigns and Ambrose

______

It was a decent show in the ring. Payback did more right than it did wrong from the standpoint of wanting to see some entertaining matches, but the storyline side of things it where, like it usually does, Payback failed. Many feuds look like they will continue further, which isn’t always a good thing, and no surprises really occurred. No big reason to tune in to RAW. No major event that made the pro-wrestling fan inside me scream “holy crap” and set my Sky+ to record RAW as I looked for possible news about the upcoming show. It was all just… okay. I loved the two opening matches, and the Neville/Barrett match, and the main event was fun in terms of its content, but I wanted more. Maybe next time, eh WWE?

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