Monday, June 2, 2014
WWE Payback Recap
OK, Payback is in the books. We have no new champions,
US Title Match: Sheamus vs. Cesaro - Very match in my book. Both men hit all their signature stuff, and some other good work that they were saving up the show. Paul Heyman worked the crowd great as always, and his opening riff where he acknowledged the chants for CM Punk was well done as usual. The finish surprised me some. I figured Sheamus would retain, but I didn't have him winning the match clean. I'm not sure what it all means. Cesaro is way over with the crowd, so an abandonment by the bookers isn't in order. I can see not taking the title off of Sheamus since he just got it, though. We could be getting another match at Money in the Bank and I'd be fine with that.
Tag Team Match: The Rhodes Brothers vs. Rybaxel (Ryback and Curtis Axel) - This was an unannounced throw in, obviously to fill time. It was ok, but I admittedly watched it using the 30 second skip button on my remote. Rybaxel won, and set up another episode in the 'Cody loses confidence' story when Cody told his brother after the match that he needed a better partner. We'll see where it goes.
Rusev v. Big E - It was short and to the point, and was better than most matches you'll see with two big men. Big E hit a pretty wicked dive through the ropes onto Rusev that popped the crowd pretty good. Rusev won of course, continuing his push.
Intercontinental Title Match: RVD vs. Bad News Barrett - Pretty good match here. Both guys did what they do. Barrett won clean, which I picked to happen.
Last Man Standing: John Cena vs. Bray Wyatt - Excellent match here. Both guys were good in the ring, and brought out the tables, chairs, and ring steps. Last month's cage match was an overbooked mess, but this was better. There was extracurricular activity involving Rowan and Harper on behalf of Bray and the Uso on behalf of Cena. All four guys ultimately took each other out, leaving Cena and Wyatt to finish things mano y mano. Things spilled into the crowd, and both guys beat the hell out of each other real good. Cena won, so if you're a Cena hater the result spoiled what was a great match for you. But that's not reason to hate on the match itself. This match made what was turning into a really great episode of RAW into a purchase worthy event.
Divas Title Match: Paige vs. Alicia Fox - Paige won, match was ok. The Alicia Fox is crazy thing is going to continue, apparently. I would beef, but at least they're giving one of the divas some personality.
Elimination Match: The Shield vs. Evolution - To be honest I wasn't that enthused for this match. The match at Extreme Rules checked all the boxes, as far as I'm concerned, and after the Last Man Standing Match earlier anything was a letdown. The guys involved all worked hard, but they should have put this match on before the Cena-Wyatt match. I guess they're trying to not have Cena in the main event every time, and might have been wary of the Chicago crowd because of how they're notorious for not following the script in terms they're supposed to cheer for, but Cena and Wyatt had the best match on the show and should have closed it. Things got pretty brutal, in a good way, once they picked up the pace. The finish was surprising. Not only did the Shield win, they didn't lose a man in the process. They won as decisively as you can in this kind of circumstance. The eliminations went pretty quickly once they started, too. If not for the execution, I would call that a pretty big black mark on the match.
All in all, this was an OK show. If you missed it, or opted not to watch, I wouldn't say you missed out. The Cena-Wyatt match was excellent, and the elimination match was good enough. The rest wasn't bad but could just as easily have been shown on a special edition of RAW. This is definitely the kind of show that will make you prefer to shell out the $10 a month for the WWE Network instead of regular pay per view prices. The other big deal of the night was Daniel Bryan refusing to surrender the WWE World Title, while his wife Brie Bella opted to quit instead of being fired by Stephanie McMahon. That segment was pretty entertaining to me, but could have been shown on RAW instead of Pay Per View. My overall grade is.....OK. I've seen worse and I've seen better.