What up wrestling fans, I'm the WrestlingNerd bringing you another written review. Today we take a look at WWE Payback. Did the PPV deliver or was it a flop? Let's find out and start the review.
Bring down the ax
We open up the show with the IC Championship match, but I guess we should talk about the pre-show. If only I had the WWE App…..
If I did have the WWE App, I would've found out five-seconds faster than Sheamus defeated Damien Sandow with a Brogue Kick. This is literally the same match you've seen for the last 6-8 months. No new surprises or tricks, just the same old schtick. Continuing into the pre-show, it seems that having wrestlers/superstars give their critical analysis is quickly become WWE's way of saying, 'Sorry we don't have anything for you at the moment, so please offer some bulls*** opinion so you can afford dinner this week'. Hey, they have to eat too. The IC match was decent to sit through, but nothing really leaped out at me until the ending. The finish comes when Miz has Wade Barrett in the Figure 4, but Curtis comes in to pin Wade while Miz has the lock applied. I really liked the ending to the match, but do we have co-champions now? I guess it's the Miz, so it doesn't matter. I guess this is the part of the review where I talk about the importance of Curtis winning the title, but look at the current stock of the championship. I would love to come on here on a weekly basis and claim the IC title being important and how it holds prestige, but I honestly can't say that with a straight face based on how the IC title has looked for the last couple of years. I think winning a toy from a crane game holds more honor than this championship. Now that we have a new IC Champion, I would like to see a change of pace since I actually don't mind the Curtis Axel character. I don't think he looks like somebody who will literally be one of the top five guys of the company, but he does possess a certain amount of skill to get somewhere. Only time will tell if Curtis and the IC can continue to rise after tonight.
Did I just see the city of Chicago with a '#CHI' sign? I wonder how souls were harvested to give birth to that? Anyway, let's move on with the review with…..AJ/Kaitlyn? This is a little early for the bathroom break, but this was anything but a break for the viewing audience. AJ and Kaitlyn went out there and put on a pretty good match. I highly recommend checking this one out since the story was told very well. Still, you have to wonder what Kaitlyn was thinking when she hit her finisher and decides to taunt instead of pinning her. She pretty much became one of those cliche villains who has the protagonist where they want him but resort to talking instead of pulling the damn trigger. I understand why she did this, but you gotta admit that it makes her look stupid. I also thought she was gonna admit to her true feelings and start making out with a lifeless AJ, but I digress. Since Kaitlyn couldn't hide her emotions very well, this allowed AJ to apply the Black Widow and we have a new Divas Champ. After the match, Kaitlyn was crying. I know I should feel bad for her, but the only thing I could think about was the poster/box of Fruity Pebbles that was in the background while Layla was trying to comfort Kaitlyn. It's amazing how many divas show tears and not have it mean anything. Could you at least pretend your cat/dog died? You know…..so you can make it look good or somewhat believable? It's just a thought.
Dean Ambrose defeated Kane via countout……In other news, Dolph Ziggler and Alberto Del Rio had a WHC match. Did anybody catch the spot where Dolph's ass was hanging out while Del Rio was just standing right behind him. It's time for some surprise butt sex!!!
Del Rio: It's time for my new finisher…..The Burrito Special!
#surprisebuttsex!!! Anyway, Del Rio kept kicking and punching Dolph's skull while Dolph is doing everything in his power to stay in the match. As the match progressed, you can see Del Rio tapping into more and more of his inner asshole. The match ends when Dolph cannot stand up to any more kicks to the head. We have a new WHC. After the audience chanted for Mr. Ziggles, Del Rio comes out to talk about how he's the champion everybody deserves. As soon as this match ended, I bet this was the general reaction amongst the internet….
When you stop and take a look at the story being told, you would've realized something. The match started with Del Rio as the babyface while Dolph was the heel, but it now seems that the roles have been reversed. That's right, we may have just witnessed a double turn. If this is the idea, than I encourage people who are Ziggler fans to take a deep breathe and calm down. Once you have done that, give them time and see how it plays out before coming off as an immature child. WWE knew that Chicago would be pro-Ziggler and I think used that to their advantage to tell the story. For the time being, I think this is a brilliant move. It's still possible for Dolph to come out of this better than before. Although, I do wonder how Dolph will respond as a face. We've already gotten a taste of Del Rio as the bad guy and that doesn't get me ultra excited. At the same time, he will have more ammo at his disposable since he's had a chance for the audience to back him up and turn on him. If their plan was to go for a double turn, I think it will be interesting to see what they do moving forward. Speaking of which, wouldn't Dolph be contradicting himself with his Twitter account? What do you do now? Create a new profile @BabyfaceZiggler? I couldn't have been the only one to think this.
Best of the best
I'm one of the few people who thought CM Punk would no-show Payback, but I was wrong. Punk did return at Payback and put on another great match against Chris Jericho. The audience was very loud for their hero while Punk was playing to the crowd. If anything, he felt more like a good guy rather than a heel. When Punk was due to come back, I always figured he would come back to a warm response and possible tension between him and Pauly, thus resulting in a separation between Punk and Heyman. There was a split moment where Pauly tried to insert himself in the match, but Punk was thrown off and almost lost the match. I think this is gonna get the ball rolling for that storyline. I guess we have to wait to see how this will play out. Punk got the victory with the GTS. I honestly don't have anything else to add. It was a very good match and worth checking out, but would you have expected less from Punk and Jericho?
Rob Van Dam set to return
I freakin' love this. It's amazing how the internet is blowing up and talking about how RVD returning to WWE is the greatest move since slice bread, but it was those same people who basically trashed RVD whenever he did something in TNA. That pretty much convinces me there is fanboy/double-standards between WWE and TNA, but are you really surprised? In fact, I always knew this was the case with wrestling fans. As far as my feelings on RVD's return…..it's okay. Yeah….just okay in my eyes. If he returned to TNA….it's also okay. Overall…..it's just okay. RVD is at the stage of his career that while he can add something to the table, I don't think it's gonna be a whole lot. He does have veteran leadership and can do what Jericho is currently doing in the WWE. If that's the case, RVD being back isn't a bad idea. Sad truth is this is what he should've been doing in TNA, but it never happened. And if you use the argument of 'RVD helping out Kenny King' as you argument, just shut up. Kenny King is about as over as a rotting corpse.
Whatever happened to 'injustice'?
Daniel Bryan and Randy Orton couldn't get along, thus the Shield took advantage to steal the match. Yeah, some pretty basic booking for the Shield even though they finally lost a six-man tag match on Smackdown last week. I have to wonder why have them lose on Smackdown and not somewhere more mainstream like Raw or a PPV. They were due to lose, but I personally think they should've saved it on a bigger scale. At the same time, it's doing wonders for Daniel Bryan's character. Daniel takes the lose yet again, but it was mostly due to Daniel and Randy not being on the same page. The match was fine, but my favorite part of the match was Roman Reigns' roar. It reminded me of Nuclear Man's roar in Superman 4. Good thing I can rely on REIGNS to bring out that glazed ham.
Ryback Doesn't Rule!
The final match of the evening was the Three Stages of Hell match between John Cena and Ryback. While pro wrestling is gonna have those ridiculous moments, there was two moments in this match that were so ridiculous that they could be considered stupid. One of the spots was in the Lumberjack match. No matter how much you want to make Cena look like a superhero, the domino effect would NOT work when Cena jumps into 31 people. Let's look at it this way. There's an orgy circle going on while Cena is off on the corner shouting 'CANNONBALL!!!' while everybody falls victim to it. You have to admit it's a little silly. Ryback pins Cena with the Shell Shock to take the early lead. So, do the steel steps have a vendetta against tables? We saw those steps take out two tables this evening. Two tables! Don't f*** around with the steel steps. Cena pulls it out of his ass to send Ryback through the table. You knew Cena was gonna win the Tables match based on the earlier outcome. In fact, Ryback should've just saved you the trouble and just intentionally threw himself through a table. It would've saved the time. We get to the Ambulance match and it was pretty hammy as well. So, who authorize that ambulance? Was that thing made by Wal-Mart or did WWE hire a group of 8th Graders to build this thing? Yeah, we know things would've been more bloody if that was a legit vehicle. I love the moment where a pile of crutches open the door and Cena still manages to pick out his crutch. He was really determined to use that particular crutch. Remember when I said there was two ridiculous spots? Well, this is the next one. The match actually ends with Cena sending Ryback through the ambulance. Yeah, Cena sent Ryback through an ambulance. Well, I guess we know why they never opened the back doors to that thing. My guess is there was a mattress in there so Ryback could take a nap after this match. Anyway, back to…..this. Let's get this straight, this is an ambulance that cannot support sirens, the doors break easily, and the roof of the thing is made out of paper mache? Even in the realms of wrestling logic that's a bit much. I know WWE wants to make Cena look like the benchmark for superheroes, but there are times where even YOU think they are going too far. I've said in the past that if they could have Cena fly around the arena and defeat people with his laser eyes, they would do it. WWE would seriously book that if they could. It shouldn't be surprising that Cena won this match, but I'm convinced that they only turned Ryback heel so they could give Cena a new opponent for the next two months. Ryback really works better as a face than a heel. He just doesn't feel comfortable 'heeling out'. These weren't great matches, but matches that can be entertaining if you aren't taken it seriously. I did enjoy all three matches for what they were worth, so that has to be worth something, right?
I wasn't expecting much with Payback. After all, this isn't one of the big four, nor is it one of those gimmick PPVs that everyone at least gives a shot. Despite all of that, this might've been the best PPV WWE has put together all year. There was some good matches that really made the show worthwhile, lots of championship changes, new storylines that look interesting as we get into the summer season, and even some over-the-top moments that while stupid, are always a guilty pleasure. I would definitely say this is a PPV worth checking out for all types of wrestling fans…..but Ziggler fans may want to avoid being near any weapons just in case you get too caught up in it. If I have to give WWE Payback 2013 a score between 1-10 and 5 considered average, I'll give this PPV an 8 out of 10. What really helps this show is all the new storylines that should get people invested as the WWE works towards some of their bigger PPVs. I'm very interested to see what Raw has to feature since it looks like things are starting to get very intriguing. That does it for the review and I hope you enjoyed it. Tell me what you thought of my review or tonight's show. I will see you guys and girls in the next one.
WrestlingNerd's Official Score of WWE Payback 2013: 8 out of 10