Angelic Heel Once Again…
The word payback generally means getting someone who has wronged you to see the light and atone for their sins. WWE’s Payback (which could be seen on the WWE Network FREE for the month of May) more than lived up to the stereotype of the word as the night was filled with retribution and wrongs made right. The power of positivity reigned supreme, false idols were torn down, and what was best for business prevailed. It was a night filled with high impact, hard hitting matches that more than showcased why the WWE Superstars are the best in the world. Did you miss it? No worries, I’ve got your back. I always do what’s best for business.
Payback Kick Off
Stardust vs R-Truth
The night kicked off with a bonus match between R-Truth and Stardust. I say bonus because it was a total surprise. The two have had some bizarre issues involving spiders recently so it was a treat to see them finally attempt to get these things sorted. The match began oddly with a bit of a slap fest but finally went into a full on match that saw Stardust take control of the rapper. The cosmic superstar and Truth battled back and forth trading blows and near falls. It appeared that Stardust had everything in hand as he began to use his glove to deliver punishment to R-Truth’s exposed back. But Truth battled back was able to deliver a Lie Detector to pick up the win over the man formerly known as Cody Rhodes.
This match was a bit of a treat. I enjoy watching both do their thing in the ring and they work well together. As this match was not advertised it was a total bonus. It did not matter to me who won as my feeling on it is, I won because I got to see this entertaining match. Was it anything special? not really but it was just fun. A good match to wet the appetite of what was to come. R-Truth did get to make Stardust pay for that nasty spider incident though so all is well in the world.
Mega Powers vs The Ascension
Winner: The Ascension
THEY’RE BACK! My beloved Ascension have returned from obscurity to show why they dominated the tag team division of NXT. Konor and Viktor took on the cutely named, Mega Powers (Curtis Axel & Damien Sandow parading around as imitations of Hulk Hogan and Macho Man Randy Savage) While Mandow and Axelmania did put on a good showing at the beginning of the match, Konor and Viktor used the refs count to their advantage as they stomped a mud hole in Curtis. Their quick tags avoided the disqualification and their team work decimated the 80’s throwback team. There was a bit of life left in the Mega team as Damien was tagged in but it all slipped away when Konor recovered from being tossed to the outside, pulled Axel from the apron and then pushed Damien from the top rope before he could land a flying elbow on Viktor. One Fall of Man and the Ascension welcomed Curtis Axel and Macho Mandow to the Wasteland.
So good to see my boys again and on the winning side. This is what I expect of Konor and Viktor. They don’t have to talk, in fact they shouldn’t talk. It embarrasses me when they do. They should just get in the ring and destroy who ever their opponents are. Viktor and Konor derailed Axelmania and hopefully knocked some sense into Damien Sandow. And the Fall of Man is one of the most beautiful tag team moves in existance. I’d love to see The Ascension in the tag team title picture. Let’s see the New Day try and clap them away.
Dolph Ziggler vs Sheamus
The rivalry between Sheamus and Dolph reached beyond the professional and into the personal as the two were set to face off once again at Payback. The show of exploded into action as soon as the bell rang and the Celtic Warrior was left on the defensive and struggled to keep up with the super charged offense being thrown his way. Dolph landed drop kicks, and a cross body all before Sheamus got serious about the match. Ziggy attempted to super kick the larger man but Sheamus caught him and countered with a hard elbow effectively grounding Ziggler momentarily.
The pace slowed down as Sheamus continued to control his opponent, but the little engine that could spirit that is so prevalent in the former Intercontinental Champion allowed the Zig man to fight back and get Sheamus down and dazed in a corner long enough for him to make the red head kiss the tan lined arse of the Show Off. This infuriated fueled Sheamus to seek his own retribution on Dolph as After a near fall following a bloody head butt, Sheamus Bough Kicked Dolph into unconsciousness.
This match was physical and brutal. Ziggler put up a huge fight and nearly pulled off the win. He took everything that Sheamus threw at him, every hold and back breaker and fought on. Say one thing for Dolph, the man can take a beating and give one back. Sheamus though got sloppy and underestimated the threat that Dolph posed and it nearly cost him the match as well as his dignity from getting his face rubbed with the extremely toned glutes of the Show Off. Is this over? Ah hell no it’s not. It is too personal for it to end here.
The New Day vs Tyson Kidd & Cesaro
WWE Tag Team Championship Match
2 Out of 3 Falls Match
Winner: The New Day
It’s a New Day yes it is and these guys know how to retain a title in most spectacular fashion. The match began fast and hard with Tyson and Cesaro working seamlessly to dominate the first fall. The New Day had difficulty answering the offensive onslaught that the Fact droppers threw at them and after the swing/drop kick combo, Tyson pinned Kofi to get his team on the board.
The second fall came shortly after. Kidd, isolated from his partner suffered a Big Ending that Kingston assisted with. And the score was then tied 1 to 1.
The action began to hit boiling point as the end of this intense match began to be in sight for both teams. Cesaro, recovered from a huge Big E spear to the outside from the apron, made the tag to become the legal man for his team. The King of Swing began to dominate the WWE Tag Team Champions using his near super human strength. However, Kingston was able to get a lucky shot on Cesaro before he was dispatched. Xavier Woods took advantage of the situation and pretended to be Kofi long enough to roll the challenger into a pin for the ref to count to three. Before the ref figured out what happened, the tag team champions escaped with the belts, leaving a dumbfounded Tyson Kidd and Cesaro in the ring.
Oh this just got way more intense. I giggled uncontrollably as Woods shed his vest and fooled the ref. That is some true brilliance right there. Xavier really is the brains of the New Day. Loved the action of this match. It did not slow down one bit but continued to build to a satisfying and positive out come. What is next for our WWE Tag Team Champions? Well… an Elimination Chamber match for the titles. But that’s neither here nor there for the moment.
Bray Wyatt vs Ryback
Winner: Bray Wyatt
Two Words. Slug Fest. The WWE Universe knew that this would be a match that would not be high on technicality or artistic wrestling maneuvers, but one that was filled with hard hits, unorthodox offense, and mind games. Ryback dominated early as he tried to use his strength to blow through the Eater of Worlds. But the New Face of fear weathered the storm and took each blow and even survived the Big Guy’s trade mark Lou Thesz Press and pick up slam down to the mat combo.
Wyatt escaped to the outside but Ryback followed only to be clothes lined straight to oblivion. The tides of the match now turned to his favor, Bray Wyatt began to dismantle the Big Guy. The blow that ended up effectively keeping Ryback on the defensive due to injured ribs was when Wyatt used his body and landed a senton bomb from the apron onto Ryback as he lay on the floor. The fight was not completely out of the hungry man as he fought through the pain and even attempted to fly from the top rope despite his injured ribs. The move was ultimately what cost him the match as the Eater of Worlds kicked out and was eventually able to catch Ryback with a Sister Abigail to end the match.
Again if you are looking for a technically infused wrestling match here, keep on looking. This match was two men doing their best to destroy the other. Bray Wyatt is a ring genius. He is able to get into the minds of his opponents and force them to make mistakes and take risks they normally wouldn’t sometimes it works, but often times, the step outside their comfort zones end up being costly. In Ryback’s case, his gamble did not pay off and the Big Guy fell to the new face of fear.is this done? I hope so because as much fun as it was to see a beat down, not sure how they can top this. But it was fun while it lasted but let’s move on shall we?
John Cena vs Rusev
United States Championship Match
I Quit Match
Winner: John Cena
Speaking of matches that were brutal slug fests… The I quit match between John Cena and Rusev was not for the faint of heart. Before the bell even rang, The Bulgarian offered Cena the chance to quit before it all got started. Ever predictable, the man I wished we could not see, declined. Rusev dominated the first half of the match in a way that made me hopeful for a new US Champion. Constantly asking Cena if he wanted to quit after each hard kick or blow that left Cena staring up from the mat. Unfortunately, Lana, as predicted was often a distraction for the challenger as he would often become frustrated that the American crowd would cheer for the ravishing Russian.
These distractions allowed Cena to eventually gain the upper hand and the fight spilled out into the WWE Universe where everything was used as a weapon from tables, to monitors, to barricades, even the pyrotechnics were used as weapons in an attempt to get the other man to say “I Quit.’ But neither man would give his opponent the satisfaction.
As the crowd cheered and screamed, Rusev and John Cena fought all the way back to the ring where the former United States Champion locked in the Accolade on Cena. The champ passed out! Rusev thinking he had won released the hold and began to celebrate, however he became irate when the ref informed him that because John did not SAY “I Quit” the match would continue.
Looking to make a statement, Rusev revived Cena and began to dismantle the top turn buckle, the plan to use it as a weapon against the United States Champion. But as is often said, if you bring something in the ring, be prepared to have it used against you. The tables turned and Cena locked in the STF using the downed top rope. Rusev began to scream out in his native tongue and a distraught Lana jumped into the ring, took the microphone from the ref and declare that Rusev said that he quit. The bell rang and John Cena retained.
i didn’t expect that I would enjoy this match. But I was pleasantly surprised. yes it dragged in a couple spots but the use of pyros as a weapon was a holy sh*t moment for me. Not the usual tables and chairs as weapons match, but the tech crew should hope that their equipment was insured because a good bit of it was destroyed. As a final chapter (as it was billed) to this rivalry it was a good one. Sure Cena won most of it, but he’s got those damnable super powers that seem to have infected a few other superstars. From here where do they go? I’m sure Cena will continue to issue the open challenge and Rusev? There are so many other superstars to Crush and hey, isn’t there an IC title that is vacant?
Naomi & Tamina vs The Bella Twins
Winner: Naomi & Tamina
No stranger to teamwork, the Bellas used their weird twin powers of communication to effectively own the beginning of the match. They double teamed Naomi and attempted to end things but it was a quick kick to the back of Brie by Tamina that began to turn things around for the new faces of the WWE’s Divas division. The dominant diva and Naomi cut the ring in half and work Brie over in their corner while Nikki could only watch.
But Brie was able to muster enough energy to jump over Naomi and tag in the WWE Diva’s Champion. Nikki took control of the match and began to deal out punishment to the opposing team. Nikki had Naomi set up on the mat as she ascended the top rope, but she was distracted by Tamina introducing her twin to the barricade. Naomi recovered and capitalized on the situation and knocked Nikki down and shortly after hit a Rear View to pick up the win over the Diva’s champion and her sister.
The Diva’s are doing their best to live up to the reputation of what the NXT women can do. These matches are getting better and more physical. I enjoy watching the women mix it up like the guys, taking the same risks a the guys. It’s refreshing because it seems that they really are giving Divas a chance. This match while better, dis struggle to hold my interest. Perhaps it’s I just have nothing emotionally invested in either team? Sure I like Naomi’s new attitude but I’m on the fence about Tamina. I guess I’m just tired of seeing her paired with someone. I’d really like to see her on her own. And everyone already knows my disdain of the Bella Twins but even they put on a decent match. I do want the Diva’s Championship on someone other than Nikki though, so if Naomi is the girl to do it, then I suppose I will survive more Diva’s matches to see it happen.
Neville vs King Barrett
Once again, speed and agility met powerful striking ability. The man that gravity forgot lived up to the moniker as he began to fly around the ring in an aerial blitz on the 2015 King of the Ring. But this is not Barrett’s first time in the ring with the younger Brit and he was able to catch Neville and deliver a brutal bunch of kicks that effectively grounded the high flier. Wade continued his hard hitting moves against Neville as well as grounding submission maneuvers. But Neville refused to give up and continued to fight and fight hard.
Neville found new life as he fed off the energy of the WWE Universe and he rallied with a series of well placed kicks and a wicked German suplex that bridged into a near fall. The New Sensation set the king up for the Red Arrow, but Barrett rolled out of the ring and gave Neville the victory via count out. As Neville attempted to celebrate, Barrett rushed the ring in an attempt to teach the commoner a lesson, but Neville knocked the king silly and set him up and hit the Red Arrow.
While I do want Neville to wrestle other men, I do so enjoy him in the ring with Barrett. Sure, I like seeing me utterly destroyed but that’s just cuz I’m a sick individual, but my mommy loves me anyway. This was a simple match of pride. Wade wished to teach Neville a lesson but instead got schooled himself. I enjoyed this match immensely But I want to see Neville in matches with other Superstars.
Seth Rollins vs Dean Ambrose vs Roman Reigns vs Randy Orton
WWE World Heavyweight Championship Match
Fatal 4 Way Match
Winner: Seth Rollins
This match was our beloved WWE World heavyweight Champion’s largest test to date. Forced into a match where all three of his opponents have proven that they can put their differences aside long enough to dismantle him before turning on one another, Rollins faced the threat head on to defend his title. Luckily, J & J Security knew what had to be done as they divided the threats and allowed the future of the WWE to concentrate on one threat at a time. Chaos ensued as bodies began to fly and be tossed around with reckless abandon. Ambrose lived up to being Unstable as he saw and took the risk to suicide dive onto Rollins and Orton, but what’s good for the goose is good for the gander as Reigns followed with a leap over the top rope onto all the other men in the match.
As the match continued each competitor was able to take control and gain some near falls before ultimately having the pin broken up by another challenger. But the best moment of the night was but 90 seconds long and every member of the WWE Universe marked out. Orton dropped the savior of the WWE onto the barricade and then as he did in the past. As Randy was about to deliver more abuse, Reigns and Ambrose joined the fray and then all of a sudden it was the shortest most glowrious Shield reunion as the three men worked together with their pack of dogs mentality that they made famous right before Triple Powerbombing Orton through the announce table! As Seth, Dean, and Roman celebrated it became clear that it was just for a brief moment in time that the reunion had taken place. Reigns and Ambrose then turned on Rollins and delivered a powerbomb to him on the Spanish announce table.
But the brutality of the two men did not stop there. Kane, who decided that it was best for business to keep his job, attempted to come to out champions aid but he was caught and powerbombed TWICE onto Seth’s body as it lay on the table. The second powerbomb destroying the table and the men on it. Surveying the damage, Reigns and Ambrose realized it was just down to them and agreed that it was time to see what the other had. Reigns proclaiming that the loser would buy the beers.
Thier fight for the championship was fast and furious as they attacked and countered each other’s best moves. However it was a powerbomb that nearly ended the match and brought a new champion, but the Lunatic Fringe had enough left in him to kick out. The spear that followed however, would have done the would be champ in if it had not been for the true champion, Seth Rollins, flying in to save his title. Reigns was in disbelief as once again, Seth prevented his former business partner from attaining the richest goal of the WWE.
The final moments of the match saw all four men in the ring battling it out and the addition of J & J Security with Kane. A combination of Dean, Roman and Randy’s finishers disposed of the members of the Authority and each other, but Seth was able to get one over on the Viper and landed a Pedigree on Orton to retain his title.
This match had me on the edge of my seat and screaming at the TV and jumping for joy and crying in the fetal position in the space of bell to bell. Emotional roller coaster doesn’t even begin to describe the insanity of this match. The Triple Powerbomb gave me warm fuzzys and I do so wish that we’d get to see it again and a again. It is a thing of pure beauty. Oddly though, while Randy was in this match, he felt oddly absent from it. Sure he did get triple powerbombed through the announce table but even before that. It was almost as if he was just there for someone else to beat on.
The three ex Shield members stole this show. Roman continues to kick ass and take names and show exactly why he deserves to be where he is. Dean just did what he is good at. Show up, kick ass, break hearts. This match belonged to Seth though. Not only did he retain his title but he beat out 3 of the industries top guys and owned them. Rollins was everywhere in the match as he broke up pin falls to keep from losing his title, all the while destroying whom ever he can get to and try to pin them so he can retain. Ladies and gents, Rollins is the future and the Future is now!