WWE Payback Review

Kickoff Match: Enzo & Cass vs Gallows & Anderson

Well this was a bit shit. Enzo once again looked terrible. Anderson & Gallows did all the work and Enzo & Cass picked up the flash pin. On the pre-show for a reason. *1/2

Next up we have Miz TV with Finn Balor. The crowd loves Balor. Balor says he wants his title back. Miz tells him he's crazy if he thinks he can beat Brock Lesnar. Balor goes to attack Miz but Maryse gets in the way. Balor says Miz isn't worth it which pisses Miz off. In the end Balor beats up Miz. It's a decent segment but I would have rather have seen a match.

Kevin Owens vs Chris Jericho (US Title)

This was a good match. Jericho was clearly having fun out there. There were callbacks to their Mania match with Owens getting to the ropes by a fingertip. Jericho decided he didn't want that happening again and worked over the hand. That played into the finish too as Owens couldn't grab the ropes with his injured hand and had to tap out for the surprise loss. There was a really nice moment between Jericho and a fan after the match. I'm not sure how this will work with Jericho going on tour with Fozzy. ***1/2

Neville vs Austin Aries (Cruiserweight Title)

This was a great match. It came across as a bruising, hard hitting encounter and it really helped make the Cruiserweight Title seem like something worth winning. It ended with Neville getting DQ'd but even that wasn't the worst non-finish you will see as it showed the increasing desperation of Neville to keep his title. At WrestleMania he attacked the injured eye and here he got himself disqualified. This is the best built feud on the roster at the moment. It's not going to trouble an end of year best match list but it was really fun. ***3/4

Hardy Boyz vs Cesaro & Sheamus (Raw Tag Team Titles)

This was another really good match. This PPV is punching above it's weight. This is a really fun back and forth match that highlighted the quality of both teams. The Hardys have been fantastic since leaving TNA/Impact. Jeff Hardy got a tooth kicked out by Sheamus here. Following the match Shesaro turn heel and attack the Hardys. Matt even gets a spot of accidental colour. My initial thinking is that this could be the catalyst for the Hardy Boyz becoming Broken but knowing the WWE it probably won't be. ***1/2

Bayley vs Alexa Bliss (Raw Women's Title)

I feel like a broken record here but this was another good match. Bliss is getting better every time she performs and Bayley seemed to relish performing in front of her home town fans (which should have been a spoiler for the result). The finish is done well with Bayley getting rammed into the post head first and Alexa taking advantage with a DDT and taking the title. I find it weird that they took the title off Bayley before she had her program with Sasha Banks but this was really good in and of itself. ***1/2

Bray Wyatt vs Randy Orton (House of Horrors Part 1)

Oh lordy, this was a special kind of ultra wank. Randy turns up at a random house that is bathed in blue light for some reason. He enters by kicking the door off and what followed was WWE's version of a haunted house movie. That is to say one that was made by someone that was making it for film school. It featured dismembered dolls and everything. In the end Bray crushes Orton with a fridge and buggers off outside. He laughs as the blue light becomes a red light. He gets in a limo to make his way back to the arena. To be continued.....

Seth Rollins vs Samoa Joe

Back to actual wrestling now. They had to get the crowd back onside after that shitfest but when they did this became another really good match. There is a pattern forming here. The match follows the pattern of Joe working over the injured knee and Rollins digging deep to snatch a victory from the jaws of defeat. I have no doubt that these two can have a better match but this was a good starting point. ***1/2

Bray Wyatt vs Randy Orton (House of Horrors Part 2: The Revenge)

Wyatt is back in the arena and the fans are booing him very loudly. The commentators are speculating (quite rightly) that Orton might have to forfeit the match due to being crushed by a fridge. That isn't the case though as Orton has shook that off and got to the arena quicker than Wyatt. I would guess that the red light at the house was actually some kind of teleportation device. That or the fridge was really a TARDIS. They have a bit of a brawl with chairs and whatnot before the Bollywood Boys run in to attack Orton. Orton fights them off and hits an RKO on Wyatt but Jinder Mahal runs in to hit Orton with the belt. This allows Wyatt to hit the Sister Abigail and end this torture. This was honestly one of the worst things that WWE has put out in years, if not ever. This feud has been the dirt fucking worst and it's a small mercy that it's over. I don't feel like a star rating is a worthwhile thing here so I'm going to rate it by the level of movie that it represents. Rating: Troll 2 (but worse)

Roman Reigns vs Braun Strowman

This was exactly the match it needed to be. Reigns comes out bandaged up from his beatdown a few weeks ago. They construct a hard hitting fun match that teases a Reigns win before delivering the desired and sensible Strowman victory. It had some nice spots, such as a chokeslam on the announce table and a spot where Braun ran into the ring post, knocking out the LEDs. For me this was the best match on the card. Following the match Strowman attacked Reigns with the ring steps leading to Reigns doing the coughing up blood/internal injury gimmick. Great way to finish the show. ****

Overall Grade - B

If you take out the shambles that was the House of Horrors this was a consistently strong show. I gave every other main card match between ***1/2 and ****. Nothing on this show, with the exception of the House of Horrors which will be remembered for Kennel From Hell reasons, will be remembered for years to come but it was a fun way to spend 3 hours. Also, Reigns lost clean to Strowman, so that's nice.


  1. Can't really disagree with anything here, except maybe the pre Show tag match, think you gave it at least one * too many


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