PPV

Payback Analysis (May 2)

Credit: WWE.com
Credit: WWE.com

Like most PPVs, I enjoyed watching this one. However, there were a few decisions on this show that made me scratch my head.

Dolph Ziggler vs Baron Corbin

I thought this match deserved a spot on the main show. For the most part this contest moved slow, but that was the ideal pace as it helped showcase Corbin’s strength. Who better to sell his strength than the master of selling, Dolph Ziggler? Baron played very well off the crowd. His transition from NXT has been seamless. The spot of the match was undeniably Ziggler being thrown into the ring post.
I was shocked with how the ended the match. Like most, I was expecting Baron to win clean, however I didn’t mind the roll up finish. We still got to see Corbin dominate, while keeping Ziggler’s credibility intact. I liked how Mauro Ranallo emphasized how it was a rookie mistake on Corbin’s part.
5.9/10
Kalisto vs Ryback
I wasn’t excited at all for this match, then Ryback had his entrance. His added CM Punk antics were a beautiful touch for this Chicago crowd. These two deserve a lot of credit for putting on a solid match. Even though their feud is stale, and the match was on the pre-show, these two worked this as if it were the main event. This match was filled with so much energy and intensity. The latter half of the match had me on the edge of my seat, as I thought Ryback would actually pull of the victory. I’m glad Kalisto won clean, and hopefully this can catapult him into a better feud.
7/10
Enzo Amore & Big Cass vs The Vaudevillians 
I couldn’t think of a better match to open the show. This gave us something to care about right away.
It’s unfortunate that Enzo was injured. We don’t know the extent of the injury yet, but I hope he has a speedy recovery.
N/A
Sami Zayn vs Kevin Owens
From start to finish, the energy never died in this match. Throughout the contest both men continued to tell a story. They consistently let the viewers know that they hate each other. Zayn had an early burst of energy, but I’m glad Owens took over. I always found that Zayn is stronger as a performer when he’s in the role of an underdog. The crowd even reacted postively when he started to make his comeback against Owens. The announce team was excellent in calling this match. They were sure to remind the fans that these men despise each other.
There was no lack of bumps and spots in this match, because these two men gave it their all. I kept wondering how they’d top the previous move, and they did. Thankfully, we were given a clean finish; that was the only way to end this match. Most importantly, the post match antics were perfect. Owens is just pure gold on the mic, and I couldn’t stop laughing when he had Byron interview him.
8.5/10
The Miz vs Cesaro
This PPV continued to get better, as we were graced with Owens’ presence on commentary. Out of all the superstars, he’s arguably the best on the announce desk. I would have been happy with him staying on for the rest of the show.
I found that this match moved at a slow pace, and not in a good way. At no point did these two manage to grab my attention .In my opinion, this just felt like a buffer match, considering how intense the previous one was. The most exciting action we received was Zayn and Owens’ feud leaking into this match. I find it neat that they were at least able to set up the next program for the IC title.
4/10
Chris Jericho vs Dean Ambrose
Was it just me, or did Jericho’s entrance last longer than usual? It could be because the introduced the other announce teams.
Watching heel Jericho wrestle is great. Just about everything he did in this match suited his character, and that’s not something every wrestler can do. That’s also an ability that Ambreose has, so it was great to see them play off each other. I enjoyed how these two mainly stayed within the ring. By them doing that, it made the possibility of a table spot more exciting. I found that this match moved pretty smooth, however, it started to drag towards the end. I felt like I was watching Jericho beat down Ambrose for hours. Dean definitely needed this win, and I’m glad they realized that. They also left it in a way where the two could wrestle a rematch, which wouldn’t be a bad idea for Extreme Rules.
6.9/10
Charlotte vs Natalya
While the two have wrestled many times, this was probably the match I was most excited to see out of them. Throughtout the entire match, Charlotte was on fire with her insults. Her many chirps towards Natty and Bret were hilarious. Her mannerisms were actually the highlight. In terms of in ring action, this had to have been one of their weaker encounters. There seemed to be a ton of botches, and when they add up it makes the match look sloppy. Unfortunately for these two, they had a string of mistakes. The commentators were great at covering up. I can’t believe they tried another screwjob angle. Why not let Charlotte win with a pin/submission? Who was the referee working with to rig the match? It didn’t make any sense.
2/10
Vince’s Decision
This Chicago crowd was just tearing this segment apart. It was actually quite amusing. I’m glad they at least appreciated the presence of Shane McMahon. Why would Shane show a headline referring to him as the on screen boss? Are we supposed to assume he’s not the boss off screen? It’s a small detail, but it bothered me. The decision to let both of them run Raw will make matters more interesting for Monday night. Sometimes I don’t mind a good ol’ power struggle.
Roman Reigns vs AJ Styles 
After all the video packages and analysis from the panel, this truly had that “big match” feeling. I’m glad both of them even took there time to start the match, as it made me feel more anxious. During this I found to be annoying. I was actually enjoying the in ring, but their hate for Roman was off putting. I loved how these two exchanged strikes and took small time outs. It felt more realistic that way.
The spot of the match, and show, was the Phenomenal Forearm to Roman through the table. I was initially thrown off by the first DQ, but I started enjoy how the match ended more than once. I saw it as a neat twist. It had us guessing on how the match would end. I was marking out like crazy when Styles landed his forearm after Gallows and Anderson interfered. I actually thought Styles had it won. Considering how the forearm is one of AJ’s finishers, Roman took too many in this match. After taking four of those (also one tag team finisher), he should have definitely lost. Yes, Roman must still look strong in victory, but there’s a point where it starts to look ridiculous .
I like clean finishes, but what was the point of restarting the match if it was going to end clean. Having it end with interference would also make more sense in terms of scheduling a rematch. Anderson & Gallows or the Usos didn’t play any part in AJ losing, so why does he receive a rematch?
6.5/10
Conclusion
I didn’t hate the show, but I wasn’t exactly in favour of many decisions that were made. With that being said, there weren’t any blunders that will effect the long terms plans .The in ring was strong, and there weren’t too many questionable booking decisions. The low point of the show was Charlotte vs Natalya, while the high point was Zayn vs Owens. Overall, I’d give this a 6/10.

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