Monday, May 18, 2015

WWE Payback 2015

The idea of a filler PPV event is a typical event that doesn't mean much in the long term. It's something that's made to fill a schedule and while given a fair bit of hype, you know that, going in, not much is going to happen. Some filler events fill the role just fine, while others basically feel like filler and makes you wonder why you're even wasting your time (or money) on the show. And then there are rare instances in which you get into a filler PPV expecting nothing but an otherwise average (or less than) showing to fill the time and come out pleasantly surprised by how entertaining it was.

WWE Payback 2015 falls firmly in that third category. So let's go through this quickly.

Sheamus defeats Dolph Ziggler in a hard-hitting and satisfying opening bout. The end came when Dolph headbutted Sheamus, but ended up busting himself open (bleeding buckets) and Sheamus was able to come in and Brogue Kick Ziggler out of his misery. But while Sheamus got the win, he ended up making good on his payment due from last month and kiss ass... I mean, arse. Good start.

Tag Team Champions The New Day (Big E and Kofi Kingston) defeated Cesaro and Tyson Kidd in a Best-of-3-falls match to retain the Tag Titles. Cesaro and Kidd got the first fall, but New Day came back with two more falls to win the match. Didn't catch the match the first time, but on second viewing, I thought it was great stuff. I especially like the creative switcharoo towards the end of the match, although it does bring to light how racist this ref happens to be if he can't tell the colored folks apart. Aside from that, New Day is doing exactly the sort of thing you want a heel or television antagonist to do; make you want to follow their antics and build the anticipation to their eventual comeuppance. This is good.

Bray Wyatt beat Skip "Ryback" Sheffield in a match that was there. To be honest, I wasn't really feeling this one and they need to give these guys something better to do... but at least Bray won a match, right?

United States Champion John Cena defeated Rusev in an I Quit match that was fifty years too fucking long. Out of the many I Quit matches I bore witness to either live or through archive videos, I found that only a couple of them are worth watching. This is another in a long line of crummy I Quit matches. Also, I'm wondering what happens to Rusev now. Where does he go from here?

Some Divas wrestle in a match. I don't care. Does it concern me that this is the fate awaiting any lady from NXT who gets called up to the main roster? Not really... I guess it should.

I don't comment on the backstage bits or the commercials when I do these things, but I just got to comment on this Swerve thing that they're hyping up... it's stupid. It's almost liked that Punk'd show that ran for a bit, but with WWE guys and gals. Really, guys. If I want to watch Punk'd, I'll watch Punk'd.

Also, they replay bits of the pre-show match between the Ascension and the team of Curtis Axel and Damien Sandow, who are now dressing up as Hulk Hogan and Macho Man... now I kinda wish I didn't miss the pre-show, but I'm sure this is an ongoing thing.

Lana gets booted out of Rusev's closet... is this the point where she starts suddenly sounding American?

Neville beat Bad News Barrett by countout in a match that is... underwhelming. It's like they had a match going on that was about to pick up steam and then you have a shit finish. I guess it's a good thing that neither Barrett or Neville were exactly being tossed under the bus, but these guys have had better matches, so it's... underwhelming.

WWE World Champ Seth Rollins beat Randy Orton, Roman Reigns, and Dean Ambrose in a Fatal Four Way match to retain the title. Despite the constant interference from Kane that felt more distracting to the flow than anything, this was awesome stuff. Every one of those guys got a moment to shine, we got the Shield triple-power bomb on Randy, then we got Rollins laid out on a table and Kane getting powerbomed twice to break the table, and then in a nice moment after all that, Roman and Ambrose just look at each other and go "Wanna dance?" and they go at it. Rollins' Pedigree on Randy was a nice touch (even if it looks a bit sloppy) and it's nice that Randy took the fall here rather than give Ambrose another in a series of stupid losses such as getting punked out by holograms or exploding televisions.

So yeah, color me surprised. Payback was a show that I was expecting nothing of worth and came out of it thoroughly entertained. Despite a couple sour points, this was an otherwise good showing.

Next up, the NXT special.

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