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Posted in: Mr. Tito
Mr. Tito's PHAT WWE Payback Pay Per View Review with Match Ratings and Show Grade
By Mr. Tito
Apr 30, 2017 - 10:45:58 PM

Follow Mr. Tito on Twitter.com: @titowrestling

It's INSTA-COLUMN time for Mr. Tito's PHAT Pay Per View reviews here at LordsofPain.net / WrestlingHeadlines.com. I wrote this review column as the WWE Payback Pay Per View occurred... It's convenient for me because it saves me time (usually takes me 2 hours to write columns) and it gives you an instant product immediately after the Pay Per View. Everybody wins...

Heading into WWE Payback, I thought that the CARD looked pretty good from an in-ring standpoint. And it better because WWE stacked the RAW roster per this "superstar shake-up". However, like the logic of the superstar shake-up, I felt that the booking was highly questionable. For example, Kevin Owens moves to Smackdown and yet he's defending the US Title against a RAW roster wrestler (who would join Smackdown if he won). Then, Bray Wyatt moves to RAW and yet his feud with a Smackdown wrestler MUST continue. And mind you, that Smackdown wrestler is just the WWE World Heavyweight Champion named Randy Orton.

Credibility thrown out of the window... WWE really hurt itself with the "Superstar Shake-up" when they could have just added a few new NXT bodies to both rosters and be done with it. Both the RAW and Smackdown rosters deserved another year to develop and grow. Nope... Gotta strip Smackdown of its identity, particularly the Miz and Dean Ambrose moves, and then moving a JOBBER to Smackdown and instantly pushing him like a Main Eventer (Jinder Mahal). RAW is left with a problem of having too many upper midcarders while everybody is beholden to Roman Reigns while Smackdown has no identity. Seriously, what will Miz do against Roman Reigns and Braun Strowman? Please...

Meanwhile, your WWE Universal Champion Brock Lesnar is NOT wrestling on this show and might not appear again until June/July. Hey, hasn't the WWE enforced the "30 Day No-Defense" rule on various midcard titles for the past year? I guess World Titles or Brock Lesnar are exempt?

See, it's these little DETAILS like having consistent rosters, rules, or titles that just erodes pro wrestling and the product WWE puts on weekly.

Onto the show.

Mr. Tito's PHAT WWE Payback Review

Did not catch Big Cass/Enzo vs. Anderson/Gallows. Oh well. Feels like I've seen that match about 10340949839829 times on RAW already.

OPENING MATCH of the main show was the US Title bout between Chris Jericho vs. Kevin Owens (c). I predicted Chris Jericho would win because I figured with Jericho about to tour full time soon, it wouldn't hurt him to quickly move to Smackdown and then main event the next edition of Smackdown against Kevin Owens. And I was right... Chris Jericho wins the United States title against Kevin Owens in a good match, although I liked their Wrestlemania 33 bout better. They just seem too comfortable working together and their real life friendship seems to evident in this match. In other words, they are too prepared and the match lacks anything that looks spontaneous. Otherwise, perfectly acceptable match with Jericho making Owens tap. [ *** ]

Next, the Cruiserweight Title was defended between Neville (c) vs. Austin Aries. Another case of the "Wrestlemania 33 match being better", and in this case, much better. Match lacked anything unique that would set itself apart from the rest of the WWE. For all of the detailed work of changing ropes to the purple ones to resemble 205 Live, it still looks like a typical WWE match where everybody has to be careful and work the same formula. And I'm sorry folks, but 205 Live does absolutely nothing for me. Just robotic wrestling in front of a dead crowd. You're telling me that you can't book Full Sail University's arena for a 205 Live television taping? Really? I'm sure that their ropes can be changed to purple... Oh, the match? Neville got himself disqualified to retain the title, blah. [ *3/4 ]

RAW Tag Title match was up next, as I probably would have had this as my starter match instead because the fans are really digging the Hardy Boyz's return. Hardy Boyz vs. Sheamus/Cesaro had the most mystery behind it, in my opinion... Hard to see where it was going because of the "Broken" gimmick that may be debuting soon. Jeff Hardy becomes the "face in peril" and the "DELETE" stuff is very over. Congrats to Matt for finding this character late in his career. This tag match was GREAT! The chemistry among the 4 guys was there but the "sense of urgency" to win in a big spot was more present here than in the previous 2 title matches. Tag matches can give you that excitement but the Hardys have been a team for years and Cesaro/Sheamus are really working well as a unit now. Good ending, too, with Cesaro getting knocked out on the outside while Jeff Hardy sneaks in a tag to Swanton Sheamus as he thought he was pinning the legal man (Matt eats the Swanton too). I really enjoyed that tag match, [ **** ], and I'm only lowballing the match because if given more time, they could do even better. Afterward, Sheamus/Cesaro shook their hands and then as Matt/Jeff Hardy celebrated, Sheamus and Cesaro went on the attack. Brutal attack on both with Matt taking Sheamus's kick to the head in the ring... Might that trigger "Broken" Matt Hardy? Could be... They seemed to really focus on that vicious kick, particularly with Cesaro holding Matt when Sheamus sized up to drill Matt.

Women's Title match was up next between Bayley (c) vs. Alexa Bliss. WWE was playing up the hometown crowd for Bayley although aside from the beginning of the match, the crowd went quickly silent. It's quite alarming at how much Alexa Bliss has grown as a wrestler compared to Bayley. Remember, Alexa was like a midcard female wrestler in NXT while Bayley was top dog for about 2 years there. Yet, in the WWE, the one with the better mic skills, personality, and confidence rules the day. Makes you wonder how protective the NXT bookers are down in Orlando and how reliant Bayley was on them to showcase her. Good match, though, as the sequence of Alexa reversing the Bayley to Belly into the turnbuckle and then hitting the Sunset Flip Bomb was damn impressive. Nice knee strike and then a sweet Macho Man elbow for the top rope by Bayley... Now, we've got the hometown crowd hot for their local wrestler. This match is getting BETTER by the second! The ending had Bayley eating the ring post hard and Alexa got the win via DDT afterward. [ *** 1/2 ] Funny how much better Bayley looks with Alexa than in her many matches with a taller yet overpushed Charlotte. Alexa Bliss becomes the first post RAW/Smackdown brand split women's wrestler to capture both female titles. How about that?

Next up... The "House of Horrors" bullcrap "match" between Bray Wyatt vs. Randy Orton. This was embarrassing. Orton drives up to a house and walks around... Of course, Wyatt ambushes him. But then in various rooms of the house, there were goofy gimmicks like hanging babydolls to play with Orton's head. Yeah, like those stupid ring projections of worms and bugs from Wrestlemania. Soooo psychological (sarcasm). They brawl with multiple camera angles and obvious edits. Good to know that Kevin Dunn's camera crew are there to witness it all! Then, as if this hot mess couldn't get worse, Bray Wyatt drops a refrigerator onto Randy Orton. Seriously. Bray Wyatt then drives to the arena. Oh, that's right, they found a "house of horrors" venue near tonight's arena for the Pay Per View. By the way, the event is in California... Why is it pitch dark there during the 6:00pm hour there? Details, guys. This kind of goofy stuff will undercut any unique identity that the "Broken" Matt Hardy could have in the WWE, as this was a total copycat of the stuff he was trying in TNA.

Back in the arena, you know, where the World WRESTLING Entertainment company holds WRESTLING events... Seth Rollins vs. Samoa Joe. So you have the guy who lacks identity and can't explain why he's apparently a babyface now (Rollins) versus a guy that the internet fans like yet won't admit that he's a shell of his former mid-2000s' self (Samoa Joe).
Joe was heavily reliant on his strength during his younger years to manhandle his opponents but now that age has set in, he's trying more of a ground game. Just not as impactful, although he's not a bad wrestler by any means. Both wrestlers tried to tell a story of a grueling battle following their past few months worth of heat and both tried to sell that each move did great harm. Problem is that there wasn't anything connecting the two with the fans, as Rollins is a confusing babyface while Samoa Joe is a Triple H thug... But Rollins disposed of Triple H earlier this month. Back and forth, back and forth... I'm just not into it. Seth Rollins wins cleanly by rolling Samoa Joe as he attempts his submission hold. [ ** ] So, that ends that. What's next for Seth Rollins? Oh yeah, REUNITE THE SHIELD already.

Backstage... Bray Wyatt limps around. LOL, this is just getting worse and worse. Mind you, Randy Orton is the WWE Champion for the other brand.

Back in the arena, Bray Wyatt appears with his theme song and special effects entrance. Bray is in the ring and with the lights turned on, Randy Orton appears... Completely no-sells an appliance dumped on him without any explanation who on earth he made it to the arena. Oh, and why he's not selling pain. Maybe the Wellness Policy needs to look into his painkiller use? Orton pounds Wyatt with a chair, slams him on the announcer's table, DDT off the announcer's table, another chairshot, and the Viper then sets up for the RKO in the ring. However, Jinder Mahal and his friends have other ideas and attack Randy Orton. Several poor uses of the WWE Title as a foreign object (LOL @ Jinder avoiding Orton's head, looked weak) and then Bray Wyatt scores the pinfall via Sister Abigai. This reeked of BAD stuff seen from 1993 World Championship Wrestling. WHAT A JOKE. [ - ***** ], as that becomes the first negative 5 stars rating that I've ever given. The first part was an absolute joke with the House of Horrors but then second part was even worse with Orton no-selling a freakin' appliance being slammed on him! ZERO effects. Gee, wonder why he's not convincing as a wrestler? And then the Jinder Mahal stuff... WWE has gone from SUCK to BLOW with this stuff. FINGER OF SHAME to this overproduced bullcrap that has zero business being in the wrestling business.

MAIN EVENT was Braun Strowman vs. Roman Reigns. Maybe Randy Orton was taking some of the magic healing pills that Roman Reigns was taking? After all, Reigns was mauled on RAW and was in an ambulance that was tipped over. Given that beatdown, Roman needs to be selling an injury for the entire match and Braun needs to give him an extended beatdown with Braun winning. That's what should happen... HEAVY boos for Roman Reigns, the "savior" of the WWE. To his credit, he's all taped up to "sell" the previous assault by Braun. GOOD, but will he actually sell the injuries in the ring? Of course, the announcers are gushing all over him for attempting the match. And of course, Roman Reigns easily runs around the ring and jumps off the ring steps without issue. However, Roman tried his Drive-by move and it was blocked and Roman got slammed hard. Strowman works on Roman for a while, which was just fine... Roman should be on the receiving end for a while here, given that beatdown from RAW. Roman selling injuries works because at this point, he'd be sucking wind from the match anyway... I wonder if Michael Cole can sleep well at night knowing how much propaganda he has to spew about Reigns having "heart" or being "great". Must get paid well by WWE... Samoa Drop on a 300 pounder, no problem says Roman Reigns with a "separated shoulder" and "injured ribs". Ditto for hitting a Drive-by, as Michael Cole explains that Roman is in "survival mode". Roman then hits a Spear which would impact that "separated shoulder" and has no problems rolling up Strowman for a pin. Should he sell pain of that impact? Roman is able to escape a Powerbomb and hits 2 Superman punches and when attempting a 3rd, Strowman locks in his submission hold and then tosses Roman around into his Powerslam. 2 count only, LOL. That should have been it... Another Running Powerslam and this time, Strowman gets the win. [ *1/2 ] What crap. Strowman gets the win but it was heavily tainted by Reigns not selling the injuries and the announcers pushing pro-Reigns propaganda the entire time. Afterward, Strowman attacks Roman further by slamming him on the steel steps. They added blood, too... Fans chant "THANK YOU STROWMAN" and then a "YOU DESERVE IT" chant directed at Reigns. He's a babyface? Reigns refuses medical attention to end the show... I need medical attention for watching this crap willingly.

LAST WORD: If you ignore the "House of Horrors" embarrassment of a match, it wasn't a bad event. FUN tag match and the women's matches were highly entertaining but the other matches fell short. Main event was awful with Roman being put in a position to "sell" injuries yet look like Superman at the same time. However, that House of Horrors match is one of the worst match bookings that I've ever seen and I've witnessed years of BAD crap attempted by both WCW and WWE. What were they thinking? And mind you, we still have to get through this Jinder Mahal vs. Randy Orton feud. This is only going to get WORSE before it ever gets better. [ D+ ] for the Tag Match and the Women's match, while I'm happy for Chris Jericho getting the win.


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© Mr. Tito and LordsofPain.net/WrestlingHeadlines.com - 1998-2017

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