Thursday, May 12, 2016

WWE Payback 2016

A little late to the dance with this one, but I just got around to rewatching the show and I'd figure a fresher take was in order so...

As per the case when I usually do these things, I don't watch the pre-shows and therefore I don't talk about the pre-show. Also, I'm not going to touch the opening tag match where Enzo Amore suffered that nasty injury since there's not much to talk about. I suppose we could say it'll give Big Cass a chance to shine on his own and we know how Vince loves his big guys. All snark aside, shout out to Enzo, hope he comes back in one piece.

Kevin Owens defeated Sami Zayn in a great showcase of two guys busting their asses in the ring. Considering two guys who worked each other for years and should know each other better than anyone, you'd expect something good or great and they fucking delivered. Funny bit; at one point while watching this match, my older brother popped in and wondered who these two guys. He got a kick when it was the battle of Quebec and they had the accents and make your own jokes. When I told him that Sami Zayn's former gimmick used to be a masked guy called El Generico, he remarked that he liked El Generico better as it was a cooler sounding name. See, WWE? Even the guy who doesn't watch wrestling thinks an indy gimmick is better than your repackaged product.

Kevin Owens gets interrupted by worthless idiot Byron Saxton (who hasn't been fired and somehow survived the recent string of releases for some reason) and decides to do commentary for the next match.

Intercontinental champ the Miz defeated Cesaro to retain the title. On its own merits, this was a phenomenal match. Cesaro looks like he hasn't missed a beat since injury time and Miz actually plays his role of irritable little shit nobody cares about rather well... oh and Maryse is always nice to look at. But the highlight of the match was Kevin Owens on commentary, who manages to be the most interesting character on WWE television... and I don't say this because he's a fellow Quebecois or anything. Right now, this guy is money. He might not have "the look", but he has the gift of gab, he has an intensity, and he's a vaguely interesting character without having an overly silly or over exaggerated gimmick. Looks are one thing, characters are another thing. I don't care if the guy looks like my next door neighbor, as long as his character is worth a damn.

Dean Ambrose defeated Chris Jericho in a somewhat okay match, but hey, at least Ambrose FINALLY won a match after being made to look like a fool. Guys like Jim Ross and Jim Cornette can talk about how finishes don't matter as long as the meat is good, but at the end of the day, nobody wants to get behind a loser. And while I like Ambrose and his garbage style, even I have to admit that he's starting to lose his luster and I'm starting to not care about what happens to Ambrose at this point.

Mauro Ranallo interviews AJ Styles, talking about involvement from Machine Gun Anderson and Doc Gallows. For a brief moment, you'd be forgiven for thinking that this is from a fight network telecast or a New Japan segment for the English audiences until the bucky-beaver motherfucker strikes again with his retarded camera cuts showing the audience watching a big screen.

Women's champion Baby Flair defeated Nattie via Montreal Screwjob... again. For a company that keeps hammering us Canadians to get over it, they sure have a hard time doing so. Even worse is the minute I heard they were going to do this match and Bret was going to be involved, I knew that somehow, they were going to resort to this finish... your new Women's division, ladies and gentlemen. You get generally better matches, but at the end of the day, it's all about the dirty old men. Oh well, at least they chose the right ref for the fix; Charles Robinson is an uber Flair fan and seeing him stick up to his idol is a nice continuity nod.

Bret then gives Flair a sharpshooter... because sure, why not? After all, we needed something to lift this match to 4/10 territory.

For anyone who cares, Vince decides that both Stephanie and Shane will run RAW. There goes any future viewings of RAW for me. Maybe if you swapped Stephanie for HHH, you'd have something... but then again, maybe Hunter should stick with NXT for the foreseeable future until Vince drops dead or something.

World champion Roman Reigns (coming out to muted audience) defeated AJ Styles to retain the title... after the match was restarted twice due to a count-out and a disqualification (because Roman accidently Aquaman fisted AJ's nutsack). Yes, the former Bullet Club Anderson and Gallows got involved and so did the Super Uso Bros., but it was ultimately AJ Styles showing off cool moves while Roman Reigns just did his usual thing... or something.

The match was good for what it was - even with all the goofy restarts to tries (and fails) to recapture that Austin-Dude Love Over The Edge 98 magic - but I feel I was more interested in the Bullet Club/AJ Styles relationship than I was Roman Reigns. If anything, Roman Reigns was the spare tire in the trunk while the more interesting characters were showcasing their stuff. It also didn't help that what should have been a nice little match or feud to elevate Roman Reigns to something more than just the damaged goods chosen one and actually give him something interesting to do and work with so that people would actually give a shit about him was turned into yet another chapter in the endlessly life-sucking McMahon family feud.

Oh, by the way, Reigns-Styles II at Extreme Rules is booked. Hopefully, that will be a better match than what we got here because what we got here was good, but I'd like their match to have something of merit come out of it from a storytelling aspect.

Payback was a good show as far as the wrestling goes; I'm not going to complain about the quality of the matches from a wrestling standpoint. Some of the booking, on the other hand?

I mean... Montreal? Again?

More McMahons? Again?

And honestly, I don't care what kind of guy Roman Reigns is, as long as they eventually start giving him something resembling a personality and give people a reason to care.

But hey, it was better than Wrestlemania... by a considerable margin.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Keep it real and keep it clean.