WWE Payback 2015 Reaction

ReactionBy Nicholas Jason Lopez

At the end of it all, we got the desired result.

We can at least say that for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship match, where Seth Rollins retained and Kane undoubtedly chose to remain loyal to the Authority in the process.

The rest of the night had its share of thrillers, as the night started out hot, ended up hollow somewhere in the middle, but recovered enough by the end to make this night an above-average effort.

WWE risks feud overexposure with four Pay-Per-Views in the span of eight weeks, but it’s so far, so good.

Let’s run through the show, shall we?





The Breakdown

– The R-Truth-Stardust pre-show match was pretty much what it sounded like: filler. In between Truth’s odd gyrations and Stardust’s “out to lunch” mentality, this was all foolish nonsense. Both of these guys are going nowhere creatively and you wonder why they are saddled together. R-Truth got the win, but will anybody even remember this by next month?

– So, AxelMania and Damien Mandow are now known as “The Mega Powers,” the original team’s name. “Meta Powers” worked just fine as a name because it paid homage to the original. Putting it as the original name just doesn’t do any favors. That said – they at least went all the way with things. AxelMania practically looked like the “Huckster” from the old Billionaire Ted skits. It seemed the idea going into the match was to introduce the AxelMania/Mandow team to people and beating The Ascension would’ve accomplished that just fine. Instead, The Ascension went over in pretty decisive fashion. Hmmm… what? It’s going to take a lot of work to undo the damage already done to The Ascension, but now wasn’t the time to start. Something tells us this is a feud that is just getting started, but with an intro bout like this one, how far can this vehicle travel in all honesty?

– The Sheamus-Dolph Ziggler match was a good old-fashioned “wear and tear ’em down” match that excelled in all its back-and-forth glory. Ziggler getting revenge on Sheamus with his buns was predictable, but at least the Irishman sold it well. The near-falls were also entertaining down the stretch. The Ziggler headbutt was the turn of the tide once he got busted open, but the crimson mask-effect actually enhanced the finish, as it made Sheamus’ final Brogue Kick appear like an execution. Ziggler essentially looked like a human plate of spaghetti and marinara sauce.

– The Kane-Rollins backstage segment added the next step to their “rivalry” (which has received more attention than the Title match itself – no promos from the other challengers in the actual match?) as the Champion tried to make amends, only for the two to again bicker back and forth. Kane laughing off Rollins’ threats was red flag number one for the man event.

– The 2-Out-Of-3 Falls Match for the Tag Team Championships between Kofi Kingston/Big E and Tyson Kidd/Cesaro followed suit of their previous matches – gutsy athleticism, an excitable pace and momentum swings galore. Given that this went the full three falls, but length-wise felt like one big match was probably the biggest hinderance of enjoyment. The New Day’s pre-match heel-styled promo was classic “Insult the town” stuff, but they threw Adam Jones of the Baltimore Orioles in there for an added effect, and it worked in that regard. The New Day are actually getting better at being heels as the days pass and we come to find that this was what we wanted all along. The only irony here is that The New Day and Bo Dallas literally have the same heel gimmick. Will the world ever survive a collaboration? The match had some memorable spots, like Big E’s Spear to Cesaro through the ropes for one. As far as the finish, it works for us despite the racist assumption that the Referee sees Kofi Kingston and Xavier Woods as the same guy, mainly because it made the New Day win “dirty” and Kidd/Cesaro looked like they got robbed. Excellent match that calls for another in the near future.

– Why wouldn’t they air the Ryback-Bray Wyatt feud hype video before the actual show? It made their conflicts appear halfway interesting and relevant, compared to how they came across in the original segments, and more than Ryback’s backstage promo tried to portray them.

– The Wyatt-Ryback match exceeded expectations with a purely physical encounter that saw Wyatt dominate early on. Between his Smackdown match with Rollins and the selling of his ribs in this one, Ryback deserves a lot of credit for his recent performances. Let’s face it – Wyatt needed the win more and got it. With the rib attacks and exposed turnbuckle used on him, Ryback looked great in defeat. This feud should end right here, as it risks losing momentum if they drag this on.

– The “I Quit” match between Rusev and John Cena for the United States Championship was essentially an entertaining street fight-like bout that went all over the place from ringside to the pyrotechnics. There were some points where it dragged, but it came back to the ring when it needed to. The visual of Rusev ripping off the ring rope worked, but we all knew this was leading to the typical Cena comeback we’re all immune to by this point. The finish was controversial, but we liked it, because it could be looked at in different ways. Was Lana throwing in the towel for Rusev again seeing him in a defenseless state (like when she accepted the WrestleMania match for him) or was she getting back at him by ending the match for him without his consent? Obviously, they continued this later on, but it was a good hook for the time being.

– The New Day’s over-the-top backstage celebration segments continue to be a winner, as we saw with the “Champagne Glass with Milk” stuff. Their shocked reactions to the news of having to defend their Titles in the Elimination Chamber was laugh-worthy, though they made the match announcement on WWE.com along with the Intercontinental Championship Chamber match earlier in the day, but you could argue New Day was in their own little world of positivity and paid it no mind. Asking a lot for us to bank on though.

– The Bella Twins-Naomi/Tamina match was thankfully short. Naomi/Tamina looked strong, which seemed to be the goal. Fans aren’t truly behind the Bella Twins, but you can’t blame them. Why are we cheering for them again? Plus, how many times can Naomi pin the Divas Champion already? Her complaints of lack of opportunities are beginning to ring true. Never good.

– Evidently, the Rusev-Lana program continued as he yelled at her to get out of the room, making it apparent that he didn’t want to quit the match and she stepped in and made the decision for him. The plot thickens…

– The King Barrett-Neville match was okay while it went on, though it suffered from not having enough time. The countout finish seemed lame in retrospect, even though Barrett’s postmatch attack tried to make us forget about it. Neville ended up getting the last suplex in things, but the whole thing felt kind of underwhelming. Perhaps this was done to protect both guys as we know they are almost shoo-ins for the IC Title Chamber match.

– The Fatal 4-way WWE World Heavyweight Championship match between Rollins, Randy Orton, Dean Ambrose and Roman Reigns was great from start to finish, with the sense of utter chaos throughout. Some highlight-worthy moments included the Triple Powerbomb, teased Shield reunion, the other announce table spot and sudden RKOs. Everything just came across well. The Reigns-Ambrose sequence was also good while it lasted and made for some believable near-falls. We can also hope that the Kane tweener act is now a thing of the past. It was telling that Rollins got the pin with the Pedigree, though it initially came off anticlimactically, but nevertheless, Rollins remains Champion and that can only conform the long-term plans to be in the works.






– Pre-Show – 

– R-Truth def. Stardust via pinfall

– The Ascension def. The Mega Powers via pinfall


– Sheamus def. Dolph Ziggler via pinfall

– Tag Team Championships – 2-Out-Of-3 Falls – Kofi Kingston/Big E (w/Xavier Woods) (Champions) def. Tyson Kidd/Cesaro (w/Natalya) two falls to one to retain 

– Bray Wyatt def. Ryback via pinfall

– United States Championship – “I Quit” Match – John Cena (Champion) def. Rusev (w/Lana) to retain

– Naomi/Tamina def. The Bella Twins via pinfall

– Neville def. King Barrett via countout 

– WWE World Heavyweight Championship – Fatal 4-Way Match – Seth Rollins (Champion) (w/J & J Security) def. Dean Ambrose, Roman Reigns and Randy Orton via pinfall to retain 


Original Predictions Correct: 3/8

About Nicholas Jason Lopez

Just a 29-year-old Brooklynite. Nothing more, nothing less. Currently a freelance journalist with two websites - Pro Wrestling Opinion and The Music Bugle - he has also been published on sites such as The Bensonhurst Bean, Sheepshead Bites, Review Fix, College University of New York Athletic Conference, Dying Scene, Brooklyn News Service, All Media NY, BrooklynFans.com and Yahoo Voices. He has also interned for The Home Reporter/Brooklyn Spectator based out of Brooklyn, NY.

Posted on May 18, 2015, in WWE and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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