WWE Payback 2017 Review
The first pay per view for the WWE after WrestleMania was for the most part a very good show. The first half of the show were all title matches and not one of them was a disappointment. The second half of the show saw the conclusion of a feud in one of the weirdest matches ever and two feuds that no doubt will continue on. Who was able to get payback? Let’s get into the review right now.
Enzo Amore & Big Cass vs. Karl Anderson & Luke Gallows: While we have seen this tag team match before, this was perhaps the best match that these two teams have had on television. Told a very good story of how Enzo would attempt to make a tag and would be denied the tag every possible way. Once Enzo got the tag, Cass was on fire and able to take both Anderson and Gallows out to take control. The end of the match saw Enzo get a quick small package on Gallows to get the three count and the victory. This match was much better then the one they had at Fastlane two months ago and its sort of a shame that this was on the kickoff because this was a good match and a good way to start off the night. Match Grade: C-
Chris Jericho vs. Kevin Owens: The first of the four title matches and a rematch from WrestleMania, these two men put on a great performance in the return bout for the United States title. Each man would take advantage at some point to gain the upper hand and would get near fall after near fall. Where this match took a very good turn is when Jericho had the Walls of Jericho submission on Owens trying to get the submission victory, but Owens would reach the bottom rope with his index finger again. This time Jericho would take Owens to the outside, put the hand behind the steel steps and kick it over and over again to damage the hand and in particular the finger. Once back in the ring Owens would attempt to hit the pop up powerbomb only for his hand to come back and hurt him leading to Jericho putting on the Walls of Jericho and this time Owens is forced to tap out as Chris Jericho is for the second time the United States champion. Strong opening match for the pay per view. Match Grade: B-
Austin Aries vs. Neville: Another rematch from WrestleMania another great match between Aries and Neville. Just like the previous encounter both men didn’t use the high flying too much only when needed and that made the match that much better. This match was starting to get to the level that it was better then the one they had at WrestleMania, however the ending of the match to me sort of hurt how this match was. Aries locked in the Last Chancery onto Neville, and knowing that he wouldn’t be able to reach the ropes to break the move he grabs the referee and throws him across the ring that would get Neville disqualified. Austin Aries wins but Neville retains the title. A very good match with an ending I wasn’t too big a fan of. Match Grade: C+
Hardy Boys vs. Sheamus & Cesaro: The Raw Tag Team titles were on the line next as this was another good tag team match, perhaps the tag team division is starting to get better on Raw. During the match and you couldn’t miss it because of how many times the announcers were mentioning this, Jeff Hardy lost a tooth from a kick by Sheamus. It was getting annoying how many times the announcers would mention how Jeff Hardy lost his tooth. Hey by the way, did I mention Jeff Hardy lost a tooth in this match? Just making sure you know. A good match that saw both teams get near falls including Sheamus hitting White Noise from the second rope only getting a two count. The end of the match saw Sheamus working on Matt Hardy, but Jeff Hardy got a blind tag in and as Sheamus got a pin attempt from a Finlay roll, Jeff hits the Swanton Bomb onto Sheamus to get the three count and the victory. After the match, both teams would shake hands however as the Hardy Boys are celebrating both Sheamus and Cesaro would attack both Matt and Jeff blindside them and just beat the crap out of them. A very good heel turn from Sheamus and Cesaro and are starting to become one of my favorite tag teams to watch right now in wrestling. Match Grade: C
Alexa Bliss vs. Bayley: The fourth and final title match of the evening this time for the Raw Women’s title saw Bayley have the home field advantage against one of the most improved wrestlers over the last year. This match told a good story with Bayley taking the early advantage of the contest meanwhile Alexa Bliss was trying to figure out what to do with her opponent. Bliss would eventually send Bayley into the turnbuckle shoulder first that would be an important part of this match. Bliss would try to get the victory but would only get a near two count, but Bayley would come back and hit a very good looking elbow drop from the top rope for the two count. However, as Bayley was trying to set up the end Bliss would send Bayley shoulder first into the post and then would get hit with a DDT from Bliss and Alexa Bliss becomes the new Raw Women’s champion. If she was as good as she was as Smackdown Women’s champion, I can’t wait to see her as Raw Women’s champion. Match Grade: C+
Bray Wyatt vs. Randy Orton: Now to what is already becoming an infamous match, the House of Horrors. The match would begin at the house and would end in the arena via pinfall, submission or forfeit. Randy Orton came to the house via a limousine, I’m still trying to figure out why he would go to a fight in a limousine but that’s another time for another day. Orton was very hesitant going into the house and when he did was looking for Wyatt, only to be attacked from behind. They started fighting in the living room of the broken down house as this was just a straight fight no wrestling moves needed in this match. Every time Orton looked to get the upper hand Wyatt would get away and go to another room, just from a horror movie. Orton would go into a room where baby dolls were hanging above and Wyatt would attack him again fighting in the room, throwing a crib at Orton and sending him through the door of a closet. Orton would get himself back together and look in one room where he sees a statue of branches together with baby doll heads on them, a freaky image. Then we go into the kitchen where the third part of this fight took place and this time Wyatt would get the upper hand on the fight. The big moment saw Wyatt sends a refrigerator down onto the body of Orton, thinking he has won the fight he leaves the house and enter Orton’s limousine as he sings “He’s Got the Whole World” as he is driven into the arena. To be continued…
Seth Rollins vs. Samoa Joe: Surprisingly this is only the second time these two men have ever met, the one and only time these two men fought each other was in 2007 on a Ring of Honor show that saw Samoa Joe get the victory. This was perhaps the best match of the entire show telling a very good story, Rollins going right after Samoa Joe not being afraid of what he does to his body. Meanwhile Joe would go and try to break the body of Seth Rollins and make him pay for what he did to Triple H at WrestleMania. Samoa Joe was very methodical working on the body and in particular the injured leg of Seth Rollins and would do anything to get the victory. The end of this great match saw Samoa Joe lock in his submission the first time but Seth reversed it into a pin attempt only to get a two count. Joe then went back into the submission but while he locks in the submission, Seth reverses it into a cradle to get the pin and the victory. No doubt this feud is far from over and was a good match can’t wait to see how this goes. Match Grade: B
Bray Wyatt vs. Randy Orton Part Two: Now the continuing story of the House of Horrors match, Bray reaches the arena and makes his way to the ring entrance and all. As his back is turned to the crowd and the lights come back up Randy Orton stands right behind him. I know, how did he get there but it’s wrestling. They continue the fight outside the ring and bring it back into the ring with Orton taking advantage, until the Singh brothers came in and attacked Orton but to no effect. Wyatt then tried a move but Orton pushes him off and hits the RKO. But before he can get the pinfall, Jinder Mahal hit Randy Orton with the WWE title on multiple occasions since he is the number one contender sending a message to the champion. Bray Wyatt then got up and hit Sister Abigail on Orton to get the pin and the victory to end a weird and wild match. The reason I’m going to give the whole match the grade it gets is this was to me a better match then it should’ve been. We should’ve seen the absolute worst match of all time with the way it was explained but I rather enjoyed watching it. It’s not the greatest match of all time but was anybody REALLY expecting a five star match out of this? I hope not but this was rather entertaining to watch. Match Grade: B-
Roman Reigns vs. Braun Strowman: Now we get to the main event of the show and while this was a short match as far as main event matches go, this was a good match that told a great story. Roman Reigns bruised and beat up, tried everything he could to beat Braun but just couldn’t do it. Hit the spear, hit the Superman punch but could only get a two count. Strowman would end up winning the match with two power slams for the pin but it was after the match that makes the story. Braun brings in the top of the steel steps and lays it on its side, picked up Roman and dropped him stomach first onto the steps. The referees came out and some agents would come out to try and stop Braun but wouldn’t be able to do that, as Braun picks up the steps and hits Reigns stomach first causing him to bleed from the mouth. Strowman leaves as they try to get Reigns to wait for medical assistant but refused it as he tried to walk out on his own power. However, as we went into the Raw Talk show we see Reigns laying on the wall blood coming out as they try to convince him to go into the ambulance. But as he’s about too, Strowman tries a sneak attack but breaks a door on the ambulance and both men continue to fight as Strowman finally leaves and Reigns is grimacing in pain. Match Grade: C
Overall this was a very enjoyable show to watch, some very good to strong matches and a very interesting gimmick match that I’m not sure if people ever want to see again. Payback is a show I would recommend to people who didn’t see this show, it is worth going out of your way to see this show. A good show right after WrestleMania, let’s see how Smackdown does in three weeks with Backlash.