Welcome to WhatWrestling’s WWE Payback 2015 Review. Please make sure you share this post on social media so that other people can find it, and share in their opinions. In addition, make sure you follow us on Twitter, for live tweeting coverage of all upcoming Pay Per Views: @WhatWrestling
So, we were live in Baltimore for WWE Payback 2015. The crowd was definitely lively at the start, which is a good thing. R Truth seemed to get them amped up well with his standard, cheesy as hell “Rapping” entrance. So, I’ll start off with the kick off match between Stardust and R Truth.
Kick-Off Show: R Truth vs. Stardust
I’m not a fan of the Stardust gimmick, and genuinely think it is about time that he goes back to being Cody Rhodes. Whether that happens any time soon is still yet to be seen. However, I’m still keeping my fingers crossed.
It was a bit difficult to get excited by this match. I hadn’t yet got into the spirit of the pay per view (I suppose that was the purpose of the match), and I don’t really have much of a connection to either wrestler. They’re both far ‘too’ gimmicky. There’s a line, and they cross it.
It wasn’t an awful match in general. However, as I’m writing this article the morning after WWE Payback 2015, I am struggling to remember much of what happened during it. Overall, very forgettable. However, it is only the kick-off match, so it didn’t have particularly high expectations to begin with.
Result: R Truth Winner
Kick-Off Show: Curtis Axel/Macho Mandow vs. The Ascension
The entrance of Curtis Axel and Macho Mandow was probably the highlight of this match. It was purely a bit of fun, nothing more, nothing less. It wasn’t a bad match. However, it ended very abruptly, and I would have liked to see the comedy duo come out with the win. That could be just because I really dislike The Ascension. They just seem like skinny copies of The Road Warriors to me. Zero connection with them. Their hair annoys me, and their “Fall of Men” finisher just seems like it’s supposed to look high risk and flashy, but just isn’t anything special.
I was quite impressed at Curtis Axel’s ability to replicate Hulk Hogans total of, what, 3 moves? ha! It was good to see someone wearing those yellow lycra leggings without having old hide leather bulging over the top of them for once.
Result: The Ascension Win
Score: 6/10 for entertainment 3/10 for the match itself.
The Main Pay Per View Begins!
Sheamus vs. Dolph Ziggler
At least there weren’t any stupid stipulations this time in this rematch. It was just a straight up 1 vs. 1 pinfall match. Ziggler did end up getting his revenge and making Sheamus “Kiss his Arse” during the match though. There was nothing spectacular about this match. The main talking point is where Dolph Ziggler headbutted Sheamus in the last minute of the match and ended up splitting his head open. Whether or not this was done the hard way, or whether Ziggler bladed isn’t clear. There is a moment after the headbutt that Ziggler puts his hand to his forehead with his back to the camera. However, it isn’t particularly clear. Either way, the match ended VERY quickly after the bleeding.
Whether that is a complete coincidence, or they wrapped up the match as quickly as possible on purpose isn’t clear either.
The start of the match was very fast paced and reasonably enjoyable, so I’ll give them credit for that. Dolph Ziggler was the more entertaining wrestler in this bout.
Result: Sheamus Wins
Tyson Kidd/Cesaro vs. The New Day
I predicted on Saturday that the New Day were going to walk out victorious from this match, and I was correct. However, there were moments where I thought it could go the other way. Tyson and Cesaro picked up the first fall in the match, and seemed strong.
Cesaro stayed down WAY too long after being dived upon by Big E. He must have been down for a good 5 minutes, which isn’t particularly believable, as the hit wasn’t that big.
I’m growing on The New Day slightly with every passing week. However, I’d still prefer to see Tyson and Cesaro pick up the titles again at some point in the future.
It was announced during Payback 2015 that there will be a tag team Elimination Chamber match in 2 weeks time! I can’t wait for that one. I love me an Elimination Chamber match, and considering there will be more than one, I can’t wait. Especially to see how they’re going to squeeze Big E into one of those chambers! ha!
There was a bit of a botch on Cesaro’s part where he failed to hold Big E up and ended up almost dropping him. I think this was more of a case of loss of balance as opposed to lack of strength, as we saw on plenty of other occasions in the match, Cesaro is one strong mother f’er.
Result: The New Day Win via Useless Xavier Woods Trickery
Ryback vs. Bray Wyatt
This match had very little storyline, and to be honest, it was far better than it really should have been.
Ryback supposedly broke his ribs after a Bray Wyatt drop from the edge of the matt. If this was the case, then big props to the big guy, as there were plenty of hits, including a frog splash by Ryback during the rest of the match. Going back to that….you did read correctly. A frog splash from the big guy! It was a bit awkward looking, and he seemed to land on his knees before actually landing on Wyatt, however, it was still pretty cool to see.
In the end there were just a load of finisher counters, a removal of the turnbuckle and a finish out of nowhere. As seems to be increasingly common in WWE PPV’s as of late, they’re having unexpected endings far too often. The end of the matches seem rushed.
Result: Bray Wyatt lands the Sister Abigail
John Cena vs. Rusev
Anybody who has read this blog before today will know that I literally despise this feud. After the Russian Chain match, I had all but given up even watching this one, because Extreme Rule’s Russian Chain match was absolutely terrible.
This wasn’t THAT bad.
Admittedly, they dragged it on a little too much. It was essentially a match where someone who land a good spot, there would be a minute or two rest where the other wrestler would be asked if they quit, and then they’d move onto the next spot.
The match was a little boring to begin with, and essentially just consisted of Rusev beating Cena around the ring, and eventually Cena doing his standard comeback with 3 of his moves of doom. Shoulder barge right, Shoulder barge left, Five Knuckle Shuffle.
Once they moved outside the ring, the match begun to pick up. Probably the best spot was Cena getting dumped on the guard rail. It legitimately seemed painful, and was sold well.
The ending was a bit expected. I think we all knew the ending of this match was going to either include someone fainting and being unable to continue. However, as we found out when this happened to Cena, this doesn’t result in a loss. Or, would include Lana in some way.
On the topic of Lana, she was looking “ravishing” as always!
Result: Lana says I Quit! for Rusev
Naomi/Tamina vs. Bella Twins
I’ll save you the heartache of watching this match. The highlight was the eye candy. The ending was awful. Nikki gets pinned from being dragged off the top rope. Seriously?!
Worst match of the night. I could barely pay attention to it.
Result: Naomi/Tamina win from rubbish distraction/top rope fall into pin.
Score: 3/10 (That’s being kind)
King Barrett vs. Neville
I had really high hopes for this match. I generally always enjoy a Neville match. However, it was a big disappointment, and was a bit half a**ed.
Barrett let himself get counted out essentially, and then attacked Neville after the “win”. Afterwards Neville lands the Red Arrow on Barrett, which makes up for a percentage of how bad this match was.
While it was nowhere near as bad as the Divas match, the ending was poor, and just made Barrett look a bit lazy. Which won’t sit well with the fans.
Result: Neville wins after Barrett lets himself get counted out
Seth Rollins vs. Roman Reigns vs. Randy Orton vs. Dean Ambrose
This was probably my favourite match of the evening. Which, in all fairness, it should be. It’s the main event after all. So, this essentially marks the third pay per view in a row where Roman Reigns has been involved in one of my favourite matches. What is happening?!
There was a small The Shield get together, which soon ended once Reigns and Ambrose ganged up on Rollins.
Reigns and Ambrose powerbombed Kane ontop of Rollins who was lying on the 2nd announcers table (the first had already received the force of Randy Orton through it). However, the table didn’t break with the first powerbomb, so they picked up Kane again to put him through the table, on top of Rollins. I don’t think this was planned, and feel a bit sorry for Seth having to have Kane, who isn’t small by any means, dumped on top of him twice.
The crowd really POPPED when The Shield had their miniature ‘thing’ together. I think the WWE will really be taking note on that, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see some sort of Shield collaboration in the near future. Perhaps Reigns and Ambrose will help Rollins defend his title against Brock Lesnar when he likely returns at Summerslam.
Randy Orton seemed a little ‘removed’ from this matchup. It was a match that was heavily focussed on Kane, and the former members of The Shield. It made very little sense to me that I saw more of Kane on my screen that I saw of Randy Orton.
Dean Ambrose was expectedly entertaining, and I’m glad he was put into the match. I think that the WWE will be certain now that he deserves his place in the top tier wrestlers.
Rollins seems to have begun using the Pedigree instead of the Curb Stomp, as this is the second PPV in a row he’s used Triple H’s finisher. It makes little sense to me that if they removed the Curb Stomp due to risk of head injury, they would replace it with a move which involves having your head driven into the matt. However, I suppose Hunter has likely given young Rollins plenty of guidance on how to perform his signature move.
Result: Rollins retains the title