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Posted in: Chair Shots
Chair Shots Presents: WWE Payback "WIGWIB" Review
By TripleR
Jun 16, 2013 - 10:33:06 PM

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TripleR goes live on LOP Radio on June 24th with the inaugural edition of “Trippin’ Out”. We’ll talk about CHIKARA with Son of Shockey, Ring of Honor’s “Best in the World” PPV which I SHOULD be in attendance for, a segment called “Trip’s Picks”, and a juggling monkey (probably not). Hope you tune in!

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OK folks, it’s that time of the month again (no, not THAT time, ewww). The WWE roll out their latest PPV offering, conveniently titled Payback, considering there are a lot of feuds culminating this particular evening. I’m not really sure what to think going into the event, as I’m hoping that the title doesn’t mean the PPV is so bad that I want them to “Payback” the money I’m putting out for it, but we’ll just have to wait and see. As I’ve been doing lately, the review will be in real time, so my immediate thoughts on the show are put down on paper.

So there are quite a few questions going into the evening. Will CM Punk come back as a heel or face in his hometown of Chicago? Will The Shield remain dominant in their WWE presence? Will Dolph Ziggler tone down his style any in light of his recent concussion? Will Ryback be able to handle a 2 out of 3 falls “Three Stages of Hell” match? Lots to figure out, and it all starts with the pre-show. So let’s get to it!

(Pre-Show) Sheamus defeats Damien Sandow with a Brogue Kick

Why it’s Good
First off, the Chicago crowd is already in rare form, and this was just the Pre-Show match. There were quite a few cheers for Damien Sandow, and at times during the match he was most certainly the crowd favorite. Whether you like Sandow or not, he proved that he can be a “Next Level” guy in my opinion with that performance this evening. He was definitely smoother in the ring than Sheamus, and had a new level of aggressiveness that fits with his “Intellectual Savior” character. I enjoyed the match for what it was, even if the match ending was a foregone conclusion. Sandow brought out quite a few new moves, and LOOKED like a legitimate challenger for a man that didn’t really need to win that match.

Why It’s Bad
Seriously, a commercial break during the pre-show match? Nice one WWE, let’s go ahead and advertise a pre-show match, one that’s been built up for weeks no less, and show a commercial during 90 seconds of it- a commercial for the PPV that is starting in 15 minutes. WTF?

In terms of the match, it was one that Sheamus didn’t need to win. Damien Sandow would have benefitted more from a victory there than the Great White. It goes back to the WWE continuing to push the same guys down our throats week after week after week. A loss by Sheamus would not have hurt his credibility in the least, especially considering how strongly he’s booked for absolutely no reason whatsoever. His character is stale, and it seems as though the crowd is caring less and less about the Celtic Warrior. Just another case of “same old, same old”

The Miz vs. Curtis Axel vs. Wade Barrett for the IC Championship

Why it’s Good
The Chicago crowd continues to be on fire for a match that has three competitors that wouldn’t normally sell a match whatsoever, and to their credit the three men involved delivered. The Miz was crazy over with the crowd, and may have put on his best match I’ve seen from him in quite some time. The finish was very creative, with Barrett being in the Figure Four but the Miz not noticing Axel sneaking in and pinning Barrett before he tapped. I must admit, for a match I had no interest in seeing, it was a hot start to the evening. A true, heartfelt reaction from Axel too after winning the belt. You could see he was thinking about Mr. Perfect at that moment, at that time.

Why It’s Bad
Not really a lot to say bad about that match. Is the WWE pushing Curtis Axel too soon, too fast? Quite possibly, but it’s not like Joe Hennig hasn’t been around before. We’ve seen him in his Michael McGillicutty phase, and he’s spent quite a bit of time training with some of the top guys in the WWE. Time will tell is Axel truly has the gifts that his father and grandfather have, but for right now, he’s the Intercontinental Champion. Let’s hope tonight wasn’t a fluke, but I do worry about such a hard, fast push.

Kaitlyn vs. AJ Lee for the Divas Championship

Why it’s Good
Holy crap that was good! Seriously, a Divas match that was worth commenting about, who would have ever thought that? This was a match that had a legitimate storyline behind it, and both Kaitlyn and AJ delivered in a match that was given considerable time in the ring. It had 2-count kickouts, hard-hitting action, and the crowning of the crazy Black Widow herself AJ Lee as the NEW Divas Champion. This was by far the best Divas match of the entire year. Oh, and that ass….

Why It’s Bad
The crowd was brutal towards Kaitlyn after she lost the belt, and the only real thing that didn’t work here was Kaitlyn’s attempts at real emotion. While it was much better than the past Raw, she still seemed like she was trying way too hard to elicit REAL emotion. The attempt by Layla, Natalya, and Alicia Fox to console Kaitlyn was almost laughable, but even that can’t take away from a GREAT Divas title match. Nice job by both ladies (wow, still can’t believe I’m typing that).

Dean Ambrose vs. Kane for the US Championship

Why it’s Good
Kane is one of the most consistent performers on the WWE roster and one that I continue to feel in undervalued in what he brings to the table. Dean Ambrose is possibly one of the brightest up and coming stars on that same roster. He legitimately looks like someone who would have gotten in the ring with Andre the Giant and smacked him in the face. The man shows no fear, even against bigger opponents. He’s got the right kind of crazy to really get over with a crowd, but….

Why It’s Bad
For whatever reason, this match just didn’t work. It was slow and plodding and just seemed like both men were a step off of their game. It was easily so far the worst match of the night, and the crowd showed that as well, as they just couldn’t seem to get into it like they had the previous two matches. It’s a shame, because both men are solid in-ring performers, but on this particular evening, they didn’t fire on all cylinders. Hopefully this was an anomaly for the evening.

** The Money in the Bank preview announces the return of Rob Van Dam to the WWE. I’m not really sure how I feel about that, especially considering the talent ALREADY not getting the airtime they deserve. Rob Van Dam has wrestled the same match for the last 3-4 years, and quite frankly, I could do without his return. **

Alberto Del Rio vs. Dolph Ziggler for the World Heavyweight Championship

Why it’s Good
Dolph Ziggler was crazy over. He played the face to a Chicago crowd that was completely behind him 100%, and that IS ALL I have to say good about this match.

Why It’s Bad
First, I continue to be confounded by a company that says they are so conscious of concussions, and then have a match where a competitor ACTIVELY tries to give his opponent one. Concussions are no laughing matter, and the fact that a company that supports anti-bullying, and concussion awareness continues to do such stupid things shocks me to no end. And showing a “Be Smart, Be Safe” clip after the match doesn’t make up for that.

But enough about that, let’s talk about the fact that Alberto Del Rio won the match. I try not to be vulgar in my columns, but **** You WWE! **** You Ten Ways to Sunday! Are you seriously going to continue to shit all over a man that is SO INSANELY OVER with the crowd and works his ass off in that ring day in and day out. Alberto Del Rio is NOT over. He’s never been over. Please stop shoving him down our goddam throats!

Is Ziggler in worse shape than the WWE has let on? Or as Mazza questioned, has Ziggler been a bit too candid on Twitter as of late and pissed off some people. I can only wonder, but I guess we’ll see in the days to come, but right now I hate that outcome. Hate it with a passion!

CM Punk vs. Chris Jericho

Why it’s Good
CM Punk is back! You never really miss something until it’s been gone for a while, and CM Punk showed that tonight. He and Chris Jericho have always worked incredibly well in the ring, and this match was no different. The near falls, the submission counters, the back and forth action kept this one interesting from the beginning to the very end with CM Punk hitting Y2J with two GTS’s in a row. While not a 4-star classic, this surely does rank up there as one of the great matches of the year. Both men proved why they deserved the accolades they both receive. Another great match on a really good PPV so far.

Why It’s Bad
I would have liked to have given them possibly another 5 minutes of fast and furious action to really crank it up a notch and get the crowd into an even bigger fervor than they already were. Another segment or two of pinning combinations and reversals would have put a bit of a question to the match as to who may actually win. That’s a small complaint for a very good mat battle.

Randy Orton and Daniel Bryan vs. The Shield for the WWE Tag Team Titles

Why it’s Good
The Shield comes out of Payback keeping both their US Title and Tag Team Titles. Quite frankly, this match wasn’t about The Shield as much as it was about the dissention between Orton and Bryan. Their inability to be on the same page popped up numerous times throughout the match, and MAY signal the beginning of the eventual Randy Orton heel turn. It was a solid match, with Reigns (doing his best Wookie impersonation) and Rollins continuing to cement themselves as big time players on this roster. Rollins in particular continues to increase his move set, and the variation on the Curb Stomp to end the match was well done. However, the main focus of this, and something that I think the WWE has finally come to realize, is how incredibly popular Daniel Bryan is with the fans.

Daniel Bryan is like nobody else in the WWE. He’s quick, he’s innovative, and he’s downright impressive inside the squared circle. He’s developed a personality, when there once wasn’t one. If the John Cena/Daniel Bryan feud comes off as has been rumoured, the WWE fans are in for a treat throughout the Summer. The only thing that would make it more special is if at the end of the day, Daniel Bryan ends up the WWE Champion.

Why It’s Bad
What the hell is there to do with Randy Orton? He’s not in the title picture. He’s not one of the top guys anymore. And in my opinion, he’s gotten more and more dangerous in the ring. At one point in the match he T-Boned Seth Rollins very sloppily, dropping him right on the back of his head. Orton is no longer a benefit on the roster; he’s a liability. With him being one violation away from a release, there has got to be trepidation on the WWE’s part to push him any further than he is now. Has Orton matured? With him being stuck in mid-card limbo, I’m not so sure the WWE believes he has.

John Cena vs. Ryback for the WWE Championship in a 3 Stages of Hell Match

Why it’s Good
John Cena retained the WWE Championship, after losing the first fall to Ryback. Yes, that’s the good part. It means we are on track for the John Cena/Daniel Bryan program everyone is hoping for. Also, almost the entire WWE Roster got some sort of payday for surrounding the ring for 5 minutes. JTG got on TV, Zack Ryder didn’t get pinned, and Sin Cara didn’t break anything. For such a good PPV, the Main Event left me feeling empty. I’m pretty sure I’m not supposed to laugh during a 3 Stages of Hell Match.

Why It’s Bad
For a match called 3 Stages of Hell, not one bit of that match was hellish. The lumberjack match was your standard fare, with John Cena pinning the entire WWE roster in one segment, leaping off the top rope like, dare I say it, Superman. The second stage, the Tables match, wasn’t much better with your obligatory “almost got sent through a table but didn’t” spots throughout. Cena wins pretty handily, countering the Shell Shock into an AA on the table.

The third stage, the Ambulance match, became somewhat laughable. First off, I’ve never been a fan of having a match where the majority of the action takes place away from the ring. If I’m in attendance, I don’t want to have to watch a video board to see what’s going on when I’m right there. That’s always been a pet peeve of mine, and the only thing worse is when the action goes backstage. Secondly, where does one buy a breakaway ambulance? This thing was built worse Tara Reid after her botched boob job (OK, old reference I know, but it works). First the door gets knocked off, then a side panel, then the ambulance lights, and finally the worst of it all. We are to believe that John Cena, a mortal human being, has the strength and fortitude to drive a man clear through the top of a vehicle. This match went to insane levels of ridiculousness. And it’s a shame, because overall this was one of the WWE’s best PPV outings of the year.

So there you have it loyal readers, a solid PPV from the WWE, with some actual WRESTLING happening on the card. No Touts, no WWE App plugs, no Hardee’s burger breaks, just actual in-ring competition. Yes, I’m still pissed about Ziggler. Yes I’m surprised that Ambrose and Kane didn’t really click. But overall, I’m very happy with what I saw this evening.

Oh yeah, don’t forget to check out my show on LOP Radio June 24th, and all the other great shows happening this week.

Until next time,
Trip Out!

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