Well, I’ve just finished watching Payback and I was pleasantly surprised to find that it was a good show, barring the finish of one particular match. But that was minor so really there’s no big deal there.
First I was pleasantly surprised to see that the Ascension defeated the jobbers in the preshow. Maybe there’s hope for them yet. Well we can hope.
The first match was Sheamus vs. Dolph Ziggler in a solid match. Unfortunately the network failed so some of the match was fast forwarding and/or freezing. Sheamus controlled most of the beginning of the match before Dolph came back and then repaid him from their Kiss Me Arse match. Then the match picked up after Sheamus got his wits back about him. Near falls until Dolph headbutted Sheamus and busted himself open before hitting a last gasp superkick but it wasn’t enough, and he took a Brogue Kick for the loss.
Next was New Day defending the WWE World Tag Team Championships against Uppercats in a 2 out of 3 falls match, and it was great. It was at least just as good as their match at Extreme Rules, if not better. The first fall was pretty quick. My only real criticism was that Big E was a little botchy in this – the New Day tag finisher didn’t look great as he dropped well before Kofi had any hold of Tyson, and Cesaro lifted Big E but couldn’t pull off a maneuver because of it. The two times I can remember a botch that Cesaro was involved with both include Big E. But anyways, the third fall breaks down and Woods gets in and rolls up Cesaro for the win. I can buy that because I wasn’t able to tell them apart in their attire either. Also I appreciate Woods attempting to use the Freebird rule after fall one.
Also, New Day, in terms of cutting a promo about Baltimore before the match – you could at least say something about their racist cops. I mean, relevance.
Next was Ryback vs. Bray Wyatt which actually overdelivered for me. Better than I was expecting. Once Bray hit the apron DDT and then the senton off the apron things got real. Ryback could’ve sold it better but oh well. Wyatt also kept trying to do things off the top rope which was weird to me, but it was interesting. Ryback’s diving splash was appreciated. And Wyatt won after a Sister Abigail which is good.
Next was the I Quit match for the WWE U.S. Championship with John Cena defending against Rusev. The match was better than expected and I appreciate Lana quitting for Rusev because he loses no credibility that way. He looked like a beast. I also called the “Lana throws in the towel” angle. The only thing that annoys me about I Quit matches is when the ref asks if they want to quit AFTER a move is done to them because it makes no sense. Why would they quit after something happens to them when there’s no threat of more harm. The worst pain they’d be feeling would be the pain they already are – no more harm would be done. But anyways.
Next was Naomi and Tamina vs. the Bellas which is the default worst match of the night. It was fine but they can’t seem to get exciting divas storylines done on the main show like they do on NXT, even if the people in the match aren’t bad. Just please do Naomi vs. Nikki either tomorrow or at Elimination Chamber and put that belt on her to end that title reign.
Neville vs. Bad News Barrett was next, and while it was good, the ending kind of took away from it. Barrett getting counted out on purpose, but then attacking Neville from behind, and just when you think he was going to have the last laugh, Neville crawls back in, hits a deadlift German and the Red Arrow. Should’ve just had Neville win clean if you’re going to do that. Took a little too long too.
And finally the main event, the Fatal Four Way for the WWE World Tag Team Championship with Seth Rollins defending against Dean Ambrose, Roman Reigns, and Randy Orton. This match was awesome. Sure there was a ton of interference from the Authority but we knew that was going to happen – it was basically 4 on 1 on 1 on 1. Eventually we get Orton taking apart the announce table only to get a Shield Triple Powerbomb for all of the memories. Rollins puts his arms around the others and is all like “We’re all friends now right?” and Ambrose is all like “Nope.” Rollins gets put on the Spanish announce table and Kane is powerbombed on top of him, but the table doesn’t break and the fans call for another one, so they do and Kane is put through Rollins again through the table. Ambrose and Reigns get in the ring and face off until Rollins and Kane get back in take them out. Orton eventually gets back in and everyone from the Authority gets RKO’ed, but eventually he gets a Pedigree and Rollins wins.
Overall a very good show outside of that Neville/Barrett booking. With Elimination Chamber in two weeks which will crown a new IC Champion and a tag team title chamber which intrigues me, and NXT Unstoppable this Wednesday, WWE could have a few good, solid shows in a row.
Overall Rating: ***1/2
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