Remember how the booking on WWE shows has been awful for months? Yea, it’s still like that. Let’s run down Payback 2016.
How About That Preshow?
The preshow had two matches, Dolph Ziggler vs Baron Corbin and Kalisto vs Ryback for the U.S Title. Corbin vs Ziggler was a nothing match that isn’t worth talking about. Ryback actually put on one of the best performances of his career, and got some terrific heat from the Chicago crowd by mimicking some CM Punk mannerisms. The match moved in fast forward and ended quickly with Kalisto retaining.
No Jokes to be Found Here.
The PPV opened with the tag team #1 contender’s match between Enzo & Cass and The Vaudevillians. Long story short, about 3 minutes into the match Enzo takes a bad bump to the outside and is knocked legitimately unconscious. Like, really unconscious. The match is immediately called off and Enzo is stretchered to the back. This was not a work. It was announced later in the show that Enzo had a bad concussion and was released from the hospital. Get better Enzo.
Best Friends Kick the Shit Out of Each Other
Sami Zayn vs Kevin Owens was the match of the night. These two guys kicked the absolute fuck out each other. Tons of hard hitting spots and convincing near falls. Eventually Kevin Owens hit the Pop-Up Powerbomb and pinned for the clean 3 over Zayn. Well that’s a weird booking decision. Post-match Owens cuts a great heel promo and proclaimed that he’d be on commentary for the next match. Gee, it’s almost like that’s setting up for a story of some kind.
James Bond is a Wrestler
Cesaro put on a clinic against The Miz in the IC Title match. The match was a one man show proving how Cesaro is the best wrestler on the roster. Kevin Owens was a delight on commentary as well. Eventually Sami Zayn showed back up to brawl with Owens and the distraction lets Miz pin Cesaro to retain the belt. Looks like a fatal four-way for the belt at the next PPV. It would be nice if someone actually got put over clean, but you know, that would make sense.
World’s Most Uncool Dad Still Wrestles
What an absolute waste of time. This match had almost no build and had no story development that made any sense. The match itself was slow and quite boring. It seemed like the match ran long to fill time that was lost because of Enzo’s injury. Eventually Ambrose got the clean win, but this match killed the momentum of the card.
Token Bret Hart Appearance
Charlotte vs Natalya was an entirely forgettable match that was a nice reminder that Charlotte is not a very good wrestler. The ending of the match was disgusting. Apparently having Bret at ringside meant that it would be a great idea to book a worked screwjob. That’s right. They re-enacted the Montreal Screwjob with Lil’Naitch calling for the bell when Natalya was in a Sharpshooter. This led to a contrived double Sharpshooter spot from Bret and Natalya. The crowd sandbagged this and rightly so. A worked screwjob re-enactment might be the absolute dumbest finish to a match booked in years. I wanted to turn the pay per view off after I saw this. Fuck off WWE.
Vince announced that Stephanie and Shane are both going to be running Raw. This storyline is so backwards that it just needs to die. The segment with the 3 in ring is stretched for a long while; probably still to make up for Enzo.
Roman Reigns in Chicago, what could possibly go wrong? Roman was up against AJ Styles, possibly the most popular wrestler in the company. So everything went wrong. The match was pretty average; Styles did his absolute best to drag Roman along. The booking of the match was horrific. Early on into the match, Roman gets counted out because AJ apparently didn’t consider leaving the ring to break the count. Shane McMahon came out and ordered the match be restarted with no count outs. Well that shatters the rules. The match continues for about 30 seconds before Roman accidentally hits AJ in the dick, causing a DQ. Stephanie now comes out to restart the match and make it no DQ. Fuck off. As the match is no DQ it’s perfect for a run in from Anderson and Gallows, and run in they do. The Usos also ran in. In the end, Roman wins clean, because fucking of course he does. AJ laid down for the 3 after 1 Spear, despite Roman kicking out from 4 of AJ’s finisher, as well as from Anderson and Gallows’ finisher as well. Roman is rightly booed to the end of the show. A post-match segment shows Vince booking the main event of the next PPV, so now there’s really no reason to watch Raw. Shite.
Should You Care?
No. I was a real idiot for thinking that the booking would improve, or that something interesting would happen in the main event at Payback. While there were a few fun to watch matches, this whole PPV was nothing but Vince McMahon reminding the fans it’s not about what they want, it’s about what he wants. And what Vince wants is pretty shitty. Give us your thoughts on Payback in the comments.