Seth Rollins faces Randy Orton as well as former Shield mates Dean Ambrose and Roman Reigns in a Fatal 4-Way match for the WWE Heavyweight title. The New Day takes on K-Swiss in a Best of 3 tag match for the titles. John Cena and Rusev once again lock horns for the US Title and other grudge matches come to fruition tonight at WWE Payback.
Payback comes to us live from Baltimore’s Royal Farms Arena. JBL, King and Michael Cole are the commentators for the night. We start right off with our first match of the night, one of several rematches from Extreme Rules.
Match 1: Sheamus vs. Dolph Ziggler
Now if this match took place at Extreme Rules, nobody would complain about the ending. Why? Because of the actual blood spilled in this match. That’s right. Just like with Brock Lesnar at ‘Mania, this one ended with Ziggler doing his best Ric Flair circa 1970’s impression and he left the ring in a crimson mask.
Ziggler gets in a bunch of quick offense. He goes for several early pinfalls but the Celtic Warrior kicks out of them. Sheamus finally gets his turn and the two men trade a bit of offense. Ziggler decides to get some revenge from last month and after shoving Sheamus into a corner, the Show Off shoves his bare ass in Sheamus face a la a Stinkface.
That of course infuriates the big Irishman as Sheamus goes for a Brogue Kick. Ziggler ducks it and hits a Fameasser but Sheamus kicks out just in time. Sheamus goes for several pinfall attempts following a sit-down powerbomb and a running powerslam but each time Ziggler kicks out at two. Sheamus then hits White Noise and locks in the Cloverleaf. Ziggler manages to reach the ropes, forcing the break.
During the next exchange Ziggler hits Sheamus with a headbutt and that when the blood starts flowing. The ref immediately pulls out the protective gloves. Sheamus is able to kick the Brogue Kick and pick up the three-count.
Winner by pinfall: Sheamus
Match Rating: 4/5
We go backstage to see Kane talking with Seth Rollins about tonight’s Main Event. Kane reminds Rollins that while he (Kane) loves his job as Director of Operations, he doesn’t need it and will have no problem losing his job if Rollins loses his title tonight. Seth decides to threaten Kane with J&J Security, but of course Kane just laughs the Stooges away.
Match 2: Tag Team Championship- The New Day (c) (Xavier Woods, Kofi Kingston, Big E. Langston) vs. Antonio Cesaro and Tyson Kidd (w/ Natalya)
The tag champs come out and cut a promo about how the city of Baltimore needs to be more positive including asking if Baltimore Orioles player Adam Jones is sick of playing for a team that hasn’t won a World Series in more than 30 years.
Kidd and Cesaro face Kofi and Big E in the first fall. Kidd and Cesaro win the first fall after Kidd hits the dropkick following the Cesaro Swing on Kofi. Woods wants in for the second fall as he calls for the Freebird Rule. Nattie starts arguing with Woods while Kidd takes him out.
Big E hits a dive on Kidd and a suplex on the floor. Thanks to this, Big E takes control for the majority of the second fall. Cesaro tries to intervene, but Big E spears Antonio off the ring. Kidd kicks out of pinning attempts by both Kofi and Big E, but in the end after eating Big E and Kofi’s double-team move, the New Day ties up the contest and one fall apiece.
Cesaro finally get the hot tag and starts hitting European uppercuts. Kofi eats an especially rough looking one into the corner for a two-count. Antonio then hits Kofi with a back breaker followed up by a Kidd springboard elbow but again Kofi kicks out.
Cesaro and Big E brawl outside the ring. Cesaro tosses Langston over the announce table. Big E is able to recover and break up another pinning attempt on Kofi. Eventually Cesaro and Kofi are in the ring when Xavier Woods sneaks in and gets a cradle pinfall victory as the champs retain.
Winners 2-1 by pinfall…and STILL Tag Team Champions: The New Day
Match Rating: 4/5
Backstage Byron Saxton is talking to Ryback. Ryback’s message is simple: he doesn’t know what to expect when facing Bray Wyatt, but he’s not playing games. Simple and to the point.
Match 3: Bray Wyatt vs. Ryback
Ryback starts off in control but Wyatt targets the Big Guy’s kneecap. Ryback counters with a Thesz Press, forcing Wyatt to get of the ring. The fight continues outside the ring and includes Bray hitting Ryback with a powerbomb on the edge of the apron. Wyatt follows that up with a back senton spash, but this one is from the top of the apron to Ryback outside the ring. Ryback looks genuinely hurt as he barely beats the 10-count and gets back into the ring.
The two men start exchanging their heavy offense. Later in the match Ryback goes airborne and sucessfully hits a splash on Wyatt, but only for a two count. Didn’t know the Big Guy could fly. A nice new wrinkle in his offense for sure.
At the end Wyatt goes for Sister Abigail only for Ryback to counter it into a Shell Shock. Wyatt is lucky enough to grab the ropes, preventing the finisher. The two men get tangled up in a corner which allows Bray to quickly pull apart one of the turnbuckles and then tosses Ryback into it, further inguring his core from the outside dive. Wyatt hits Sister Abagail this time and that’s all she wrote.
Winner by pinfall: Bray Wyatt
Match Rating: 3.5/5
Match 4: I Quit Match for the US Title- John Cena(c) vs. Rusev (w/ Lana)
This was a very physical match. A few of the high spots include the fight spilling into the crowd as well as the production area. Rusev actually locks Cena in the Accolade. Cena doesn’t quit, but passes out. The referee informs Rusev that the match can only end when someone quits so unlike a submission match, this one continues.
Steel steps, a steel barricade, a spear breaking through the barricade, Cena using a laptop as a weapon and Rusev using the pyro table for an explosion all come into play during this match.
If you remember the Royal Rumble match between John Cena and Umaga, this one ends in a similar fashion. Cena ends up using the ring ropes for extra torque on the STF as he locks up Rusev. Lana can’t take Rusev’s suffering so she grabs a microphone and calls for it to end. The ref obliges and Cena retains.
Winner…and STILL US Champion: John Cena
Match Rating: 3/5 because of Lana ending the match and Cena not losing despite passing out. Had either man actually given up, this would rank higher.
Backstage again we see New Day drinking ice cold milk out of champagne flutes. Byron Saxton informs the champs something I thought we already knew: at the Elimination Chamber next week the tag titles will be on the line inside said destructive structure. This causes Woods to claim “What the Hell!” just moments after saying New Day never swears because they are good role models. The champs walk away in less than a happy mood.
Match 5: Divas Tag- Divas Champion Nikki Bella & Brie Bella vs. Naomi & Tamina
Naomi ends up pinning Nikki after Tamina sends Brie into the barricade. Decent match, but not much to talk about.
Winners…Naomi and Tamina
Match Rating: 2.5/5
Rusev and Lana are backstage. Rusev yells at Lana and demands she leave. He starts tossing things and we get a video package of Daniel Bryan’s health status. The IC title will be up for grabs at the Elimination Chamber.
Match 6: King Barrett vs. Neville
If you saw the previous matches these two men have had in the last several weeks, you know what to expect. Neville starts out with his high-flying offense and then King Barrett starts pounding on the former NXT Champion.
The ending is somewhat anti-climactic as Barrett intentionally loses as he refuses to get back inside the ring following the ref’s 10-count. Following the match, Barrett continues to pound on Neville, including putting on his royal attire but Neville back suplexes Barrett (and breaks the royal scepter in the process) and then hits the Red Arrow on King Barrett.
Winner by count-out…Neville
Match Rating: 3/5 for the count out-ending
Main Event: Fatal 4 Way Match for the WWE Heavyweight Championship- Seth Rollins (c) vs. Roman Reigns vs. Dean Ambrose vs. Randy Orton
Of course, with the great chemistry the former Shield members had as a team, definitely shows up as opponents during this match. There’s a mini Shield reunion when the Shield hits their Triple Powerbomb on Orton into the announce table. Crowd loves it.
Following that move, Rollins wants the group to reunite but Reigns and Ambrose aren’t having any of it. Kane jumps in to help Rollins. Kane gets powerbombed on top of Rollins who was on a table and amazingly the table doesn’t break. Crowd chants for another powerbomb and this time the table breaks.
Ambrose and Reigns now start to unload on each other. Roman misses two Superman punches but finally nails the third one on Ambrose. Reigns hits a spear on Dean and at the last instant, Rollins dives in to prevent the three-count.
Orton now gets back into the fray and drops J&J with RKO’s and hits his hanging DDT on Rollins. Orton prepares for an RKO but Kane interferes and eats said RKO for his trouble. This allows Rollins to kick Orton and hit a Pedigree (you read that correctly) for the pinfall victory.
Winner by pinfall…and STILL WWE Heavyweight Champion Seth Rollins
Match Rating: 5/5
Triple H comes out to celebrate with Rollins. For an event that was free to new WWE Network subscribers, this was a hell of a show.
PPV Rating: 4.5/5
Matthew Asher of Atlanta is simply waiting for the eventual official reunion of the Shield. When do you think it will take place? Email him to [email protected] your thoughts on the show.