WWE Payback: Not Really The First PPV Of The New Era

The Future Of WWE Is Just A Little Brighter…

May 1st has been dubbed the first day in a new era of WWE. After ‘Payback’ was finished, I have to dis-agree. While the latest PPV on the WWE Network showcased the next generation of Superstars shining bright, the booking was more of the same. The show had an influx of NXT wrestlers but the show felt like any other pay-per-view.

  1. Big Cass/Enzo vs The Vaudevillains
    -I wasn’t looking forward to this match. I’ve seen both teams fight before during my time living in Orlando & attending NXT shows. With that being said, having the match cut short like that wasn’t what I was hoping for. Simon Gotch threw Enzo Amore outside of the ring and it seems that Amore hurt his neck. Amore’s partner Big Cass seemed very distraught with this result. The match ended in a no-contest. This will only get the people behind Enzo more. The crowd was cheering his name as soon as he went down. Curious to see how this progresses.

  2. Sami Zayn vs Kevin Owens

    -One of the most beautifully built feuds in WWE. Best friends turns bitter enemies. This has been building since late- 2014. Hell, this has been building for 14 years. No WWE feud gets this amount of time anymore. The match didn’t start with the heat it deserved;  the crowd was still shook from the finish of the last match. They were hot for the “Ole!” chant and firmly behind Sami Zayn during the match. Also, every crowd respects the amazingly heel Kevin Owens. That man is honestly one of the best at what he does. Owens won the match but their blood feud is far from over.
  3. The Miz (w/ Maryse) vs Cesaro
    -Sadly this match was outshined by Kevin Owens being his usual awesome self on commentary. Cesaro & Miz were putting on a decent match but they were seemingly passing time until they got to the big angle at the end of the match. After a fairly quick bout, Zayn returns to ringside and attacks Owens. This allows a major distraction and Miz steals the win from Cesaro. All the men end up brawling after the match. Will this lead to a Fatal 4-Way?
  4. Dean Ambrose vs Chris Jericho
    -The build for this match was fairly simple. Chris Jericho was getting too cocky and Dean Ambrose embarrassed him. This led to both getting more violent with each other as the weeks went on; finally boiling over at this PPV. The match was nothing spectacular. Both men did well but it will be a fairly forgettable contest. I’m just happy this match ended clean. We didn’t need another sketchy finish this evening.
  5. Charlotte (w/ Ric Flair) vs Natayla (w/ Bret Hart)
    -I’m a fan of both women; I had to chance to see their first encounter at the first NXT Takeover. Ironically, both their relatives were in their respected corners in that match as well. Glad to see Bret Hart back after he beat prostate cancer. The match itself was filled with in-ring psychology and mat-based wrestling. Natalya is one of the best wrestlers in the entire company and she only made Charlotte look better. Not to take anything away from Charlotte who has grown into this vile heel character. The ending was horrid. The call back to the Montreal Screwjob was bad. Piss-poor booking but at least they will fight again.
  6. Vince McMahon Announces Who Runs Monday Night Raw

    – Vince in front of a Chicago crowd…it was inevitable. But this time-filling segment was a good way to weaken the crowd before they boo Roman out of the building. I haven’t heard heat like this in a very long time. Line of the evening is from Stephanie: “Don’t worry Dad, they respond to pandering”. The whole segment dragged on. Eventually, Shane & Stephanie are forced by their daddy to share.
  7. Roman Reigns vs AJ Styles
    -Well the boos were still there for Roman Reigns. The Chicago crowd was easily 60/40 during this match, obviously leaning more towards AJ Styles. All I can say is Styles tried his best; he really shined with his selling and transitions between moves. The gimmick ending with the force McMahon influence weakened any attempt to make this serious. The final moments of the match were insanely hot; Roman even got lucky enough to get a pop from his win. Then right back to boos.

Sadly I got more of the same from WWE tonight. The show wasn’t the worst I’ve seen but it was a bit lackluster. ‘Payback‘ seems like a stepping stone for something bigger later one. Let’s hope ‘Extreme Rules‘ is much better later this month.

What did you think of WWE’s PPV ‘Payback‘?

EJ Moreno
EJ Morenohttp://Vimeo.com/EJMoreno
Who is EJ Moreno? Is he a trained physician? No. Is he a former Miss Universe contestant? Possibly. With a bachelors degree in film and a love of pop culture, he brings an alternative view to the world of pop culture journalism. Follow him on Twitter @EJKhryst and check out his film work at Vimeo.com/ejmoreno