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Random Thoughts on WWE Payback 2016

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Payback is in the can and I’ve returned with my random thoughts on the show. Bear in mind that this post contains spoilers, so look away now if you haven’t seen the show.

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Enzo Amore & Colin Cassady vs. The Vaudevillians was called off due to an injury to Enzo Amore

Kevin Owens def. Sami Zayn via pinfall

WWE Intercontinental Championship: The Miz © def. Cesaro via pinfall to retain the Intercontinental Championship

Dean Ambrose def. Chris Jericho via pinfall

WWE Women’s Championship: Charlotte © def. Natalya via “submission” to retain the WWE Women’s Championship

WWE World Heavyweight Championship: Roman Reigns © def. AJ Styles to retain the WWE World Heavyweight Championship

 

*Random Thoughts*

The big news coming out of the show was the concussion Enzo Amore suffered during the tag match. The way his neck snapped back was gruesome viewing and everyone instantly knew something was wrong. The look on Colin Cassady’s face said it all! That was just a freak accident. Since WWE takes concussions very seriously it’s difficult to tell when Enzo would be cleared to wrestle. Let them take all the time they need, Enzo’s health is important, given the circumstances.

AJ Styles vs. Roman Reigns was a gripping main event, in spite of the overbooked restart silliness. It had a little bit of everything. I didn’t expect AJ to win the title so early in his WWE career, but they did a good job of making the ending somewhat unpredictable. Loved the usage of the near falls to heighten the drama. The finish consisted of a cool moment where AJ went for the Phenomenal Elbow, but he flew over Reigns and got finished off with a spear. He could bring that up in a promo by saying something along of the line of Reigns got lucky because of a mistake he made. The chemistry between Reigns and Styles is there. It just clicked into place. I expected to see a rematch and that’s what we’re going to get at Extreme Rules. I hope they can focus more on the match, rather than making this a background feature in the McMahon angle.

The Women’s title match was ruined by such a lame finish. Can they just let go of the Montreal Screw Job? It was a fun match, but nothing like their NXT Takeover encounter. Charlotte is completely at ease in her role as a heel. She worked over Natalya’s leg with some smart offence throughout the match. Natalya was great as usual. She’s always been a reliable worker who can bring out the best out of anyone. I’m just annoyed by that shitty finish, plus Bret and Ric didn’t have any involvement until after the match. The ending just let this one down.

On that note, it’s nice to see Bret Hart in fine spirits again after winning his fight with cancer. He looked choked up from the reaction he got from Chicago crowd. Awesome pop for the Sharpshooter!

I never normally talk about the pre show during these random thoughts blogs but Ryback’s CM Punk piss take entrance was hilarious. What a way to piss off a crowd as hardcore as Chicago! Yeah, I’m actually praising Ryback!!

Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens was tremendous. They’ve been tearing it up on the indy scene and now they’ve finally getting their chance to continue their storied rivalry on the main stage in WWE. Zayn had the crowd backing him, but Owen’s heelish ways got him some crowd appreciation as well. This was a quality match between two heated rivals who always bring their A-game to the table. WWE really need to go all out and make this a yearlong feud!

The Zayn/ Owens interaction didn’t stop there! It boiled over into the next match which played a part in seeing The Miz successfully defend his Intercontinental title against Cesaro. On a side note: Kevin Owens’ ringside commentary was hilarious. If anyone needs a podcast show it’s him! Miz & Cesaro looked impressive throughout their match. It was a solid back and forth contest that was made all the better due to the Swiss Superman’s offence and the crowd being firmly behind him. This match was fun while it lasted, not we’re looking forward to seeing Miz, Cesaro, Owens and Zayn fight over the Intercontinental championship.

Chris Jericho proves once again that his is a proven commodity when it comes to talent who can put on a great match with anyone, and that’s exactly what we got here with Dean Ambrose. Why couldn’t this not have been a WrestleMania match instead of that lame one sided fight Ambrose had with Brock? Ambrose did everything in his power to land Dirty Deeds on Y2J, which occurred after some intense struggling. It was the right call because Ambrose has lost quite a bit during the last few months. If they do a re-match, Ambrose should win that one as well. Ambrose finally got a worthy PPV and had a great match to cap it all off.

Vince McMahon comes out to announce who will take control of Monday Night Raw between either Shane or Stephanie. Instead, after 18 minutes, Vince decided to have both of his kids to run Raw. The rivals much work together for a common good? Now that’s original, huh? They tried to make this the hook for the pay per view, but it was basically the same type of promo they use to open Raw. It did nothing to get me excited for Raw because all it did was to build more McMahon family drama. I liked Shane’s performance most. He brought up a lot of valid points regarding how things had changed when he was in charge of Raw. He talked about his 2009 departure because he and Vince had a difference of opinion. There’s so much they could have done with this segment but it just fell flat. Vince could have rewarded Shane with control of Raw and Stephanie could say that she’s controlling Smackdown as a way of being in competition with Shane and there you have it; WWE Brand Split Version 2. Will they do a Brand Split? I’m on the fence, but it could be beneficial if they did!

 

Overall show rating (out of 10): 7

Payback was a surprisingly good show. The in-ring action was good all night long. Owens v Zayn was the best of the bunch. The main event was also entertaining. Pay per views should be all about good matches that are given time to tell stories in the ring and that’s exactly what we got here. Good work, WWE.

2016 PPV Rankings so far:

Royal Rumble – 8

Payback – 7

WrestleMania 32 – 6.5

Fastlane – 6

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