Monday, June 2, 2014

Payback: More Like Money Back

High flyin'
By Chad Smart
@chadsmart & @my123cents on Twitter

What a difference four days can make. Last Thursday, WWE presented NXT: Takeover, a show with mostly non-main roster talent that had two really good matches and arguably the best Divas match since NXT: Arrival. Last night, WWE presented Payback. Payback had a mixture of established stars and fresh talents who have the crowd soundly behind them, yet the only thing memorable about the show was how unmemorable it will end up being a week from now. 

I realize with “pay per views” now being on the WWE Network almost exclusively there isn’t the need to convince fans… I mean, members of the WWE Universe to fork over $45 on a monthly basis. However, WWE needs to realize with these shows being three hours long, they need to entice fans to spend that time watching the show. Out of the three hours for Payback, only about 45 minutes were worth watching. And that’s being generous. 

Bad news for RVD
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Payback was essentially a one-match show in my opinion. There are several popular WWE Superstars that I don’t really care to watch and that affects my view of the show. That list includes, Sheamus, Rob Van Dam (which is sad since I used to be a huge RVD mark back during ECW’s heyday) and Evolution. 

Because of that bias, and the fact I didn’t watch the show until around 11pm due to watching the Kings/Blackhawks game, I’ll admit that I didn’t really give 100% attention to the Cesaro/Sheamus, Bad News Barrett/RVD or Big E/Rusev matches. 

In addition to matches with little personal interest, another complaint I had was with the announcing. I know complaining about WWE announcing is like complaining about a visit to the DMV. You know what you’re going to get before you get there but it’s still annoying. 

During Payback, Michael Cole started a new trend of telling the WWE Universe what hash tag to on Twitter during each match. When he wasn’t coaching the social media users, most of the time he sounded like he was parroting whatever was being said into his ear instead of actually calling a match. JBL and Jerry Lawler were their typical selves. So take that how you will. 

Evolution vs. the Shield
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As for the actual matches, other than the Shield doing a complete sweep over Evolution in the elimination match main event, I don’t think there was anything worth going out of your way to see on this show. Even the Shield/Evolution match wasn’t as good as their match at Extreme Rules. It was more of Evolution lays out a member of the Shield until another member of the Shield comes flying into the picture taking out all three members of Evolution. Repeat that sequence for 30 minutes. 

Yes! Yes! Yes!
Photo courtesy:
The big announcement coming out of the show is Daniel Bryan is still WWE Champion after his wife Brie Bella decided to quit instead of being fired. After quitting, Brie slapped Stephanie McMahon who then ran off backstage never to be seen again. If you like bad acting, this segment was designed for you. 

They're both still standing...
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The moment that really took me out of the show and made me question WWE booking was John Cena defeating Bray Wyatt in the Last Man Standing match. Everything WWE has done right with the Shield, they seem to do wrong with Bray Wyatt. Even though John Cena put over Bray at the press conference table, having Cena come out victorious instead of helping establish a new talent, doesn’t make sense to me. Or maybe I’m just a bigger Bray fan than Cena fan so I’m upset Bray didn’t win. 

Overall, if you have three hours to kill and are looking for something to watch, go to and buy Chikara’s You Only Live Twice. If you have 30 minutes to kill, the Shield/Evolution match isn’t a bad time filler. 

Match results :

Sheamus defeated Cesaro to retain the US title

RybAxel defeated the Rhodes Brothers

Rusev defeated Big E.

Kane attacked Kofi Kingston before his match with Bo Dallas

Bad New Barrett retained the IC title over Rob Van Dam

John Cena was the last man standing against Bray Wyatt

Paige defeated Alicia Fox

The Shield had a clean sweep against Evolution in an elimination match.

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