Sunday, May 17, 2015
WWE Payback 2015 Complete Results and Review
WWE Payback 2015
-Live From Baltimore
-Your hosts are Cole, JBL, and Lawler
Sheamus vs. Dolph Ziggler
The 'DZ' on Dolph's headband I assume means "Discovery Zone", which is where he procured the item from a prize-grabber machine. Sheamus with the early pieface because he's a colossal douche. Ziggler comes back with a dropkick and clothesline up and over to the floor as Sheamus favors the knee. Dolph shows no mercy and flies after him on the outside. Crossbody off the top gets 2. Sheamus halts the momentum by elbowing Ziggler's knee off a kick attempt. JBL rails against Ziggler's 'flippy-floppy' stuff, thus proving who Vince especially dislikes on his roster. Maybe if Dolph gave Vince a cut of his stand-up dates..... Ziggler breaks free from a chinlock, but runs into a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker for 2. Another chinlock from Sheamus, immediately fought out of, though Ziggler favors the knee, which isn't factoring into the story of the match. Sheamus misses a corner charge and Ziggler comes back with right hands, and a series of running forearm smashes. Ziggler avoids a back suplex, and gets the snap DDT for 2. Sheamus ends up down in the corner, prompting Ziggler to give him a one cheek stinkface. Sheamus needs a bottle of water to flush out his disgust, so I guess Ziggler's ass really stinks. His father, Billy Gunn, approves. Back inside, Brogue Kick misses, and fameasser hits for 2. Ziggler has a corner leap countered into a sitout powerbomb for 2. Running powerslam is another 2 count. White Noise hits and Sheamus locks on the Cloverleaf, but Ziggler makes the ropes. Sheamus bullies Dolph, who comes back with a superkick for 2. Ziggler gets busted open horribly off of a headbutt, and Sheamus Brogue Kicks him to end it at 12:47. Slow start, but picked up strong enough by the end. **3/4 And my is Ziggler cut badly, with his hair resembling Top Ramen with the soup booster not mixed in properly.
-Seth Rollins and Kane have a heart to heart as Rollins extends the olive branch. Rollins makes it clear that Kane losing his job would be the least of his worries should there be a title change. I'm sure Lucha Underground could use a new monster heel.
WWE Tag Team Championship/2 out of 3 Falls: The New Day vs. K-Swiss
Please give this time. New Day cuts a benign Baltimore-related promo before mocking Orioles outfielder Adam Jones (not Pacman). Kidd and Kofi start off, Kidd getting a quick roll-up for one. Cesaro tags in quickly and Kofi drops out of a slam, tagging Big E. A Big E leapfrog is turned into a powerslam for 2. Big E responds with a military press, and Woods cheapshots Cesaro on the apron. Undettered, Cesaro takes down both opponents and then double-stomps each of their abdomens. Cesaro then elevates Kofi with a vertical suplex, holds him up forever, and Kidd, milking the moment, finishes the Rockerplex for 2. Kidd slingshots Kofi into a Cesaro front chokeslam, and their Cesaro Swing/basement dropkick finishes the first fall at 2:48. Kidd attempts a suicide dive onto Big E, who belly-to-bellies Kidd out of a catch. Eek. Kidd becomes face-in-peril, being alternately stomped down in the heel corner. Woods may as well just take a full-time manager's role, since he's the best speaker of the three. Big E works a bear hug Kidd escapes and tries to leap for the hot tag, but is free-felled by Big E. Cesaro breaks a pin after a Big E splash, and the sequence ends with Big E spearing Cesaro off the apron, through the middle rope. Always loved that spot. Crowd: "THIS IS AWESOME". Woods: "WE ARE WELL AWARE!" Kidd dropkicks a leaping Kofi, but there's no Cesaro for the tag. Kidd rolls up Big E for 2 and valiantly fights both opponents before succumbing to the Midnight Hour (mistimed) at 8:12.
Cesaro remains down on the floor, similar to AJ at WrestleMania, and Big E throws Kidd with an overhead belly to belly. A single-leg drops Big E onto the middle buckle, though. Cesaro gets to the apron and tags in, hitting Kofi with an "Uppercut Parade". That's WWE legal's way of saying "Fuck your Superkick Party". Running Swiss Death gets 2. Cesaro tilt-a-whirls Kofi onto his knee and Kidd slingshots in with an elbow smash for 2. Kidd wraps on the Sharpshooter, but Kofi makes the ropes. Cesaro sends Big E flying over the announce table. The challengers hit an elaborate spot where Kidd is backdropped over the top rope, lands on a hunched Cesaro's back, and is slung back in. Just wow. A wild finishing sequence ends with Kofi throating Cesaro on the ropes, and Woods (sans vest) running in to cradle Cesaro for the win at 12:40. Good cop-out ending for a wildly energetic match. ***1/2. Of course, the ending is contingent on the ref thinking 'they' all look alike, which is a story avenue WWE will not be going down, I'm sure.
-Ryback vows to eat Bray Wyatt. Crowd doesn't like that.
Bray Wyatt vs. Ryback
This will hopefully solve over who the more useless member of The Nexus was. Ryback with some early shoulder charges as I ponder what the storyline is. Crowd's cheering for Wyatt. When does Cole call an audible and claim Wyatt has led the people away from cheering Ryback? Wyatt gets his ass kicked outside the ring, but comes back with his twisting elbow smash inside. Early chinlock from Wyatt (as in, less than three minutes in), and Ryback comes back with a powerslam for 2. Ryback runs shoulder first into the post, and a kinda-scary-looking DDT on the apron follows. Looked really unsafe. Speaking of which , Wyatt comes off the apron with a back-first senton, and Ryback is legitimately gasping for air afterward. I assume he's hurt, because he usually doesn't sell this much, He does get back in on nine and Wyatt continues the methodical onslaught. Ryback comes back with a corner powerbomb, still clutching the ribs. Powerslam gets 2. Meat Hook is teased and Wyatt rolls outside. Ryback chases and Wyatt suckers him into a clothesline of his own. That gets 2 back inside. A nice throwing suplex follows, and Ryback ends a reversal sequence with a spinebuster for 2. Ryback bellows "FINISH IT" to no reaction. Shell Shock is blocked and Wyatt knocks him into the corner. A superplex is blocked and Ryback headbutts him down, following with a leaping splash for 2. Ryback's definitely in pain as Sister Abigail is blocked, as is Shell Shock. The turnbuckle pad comes off and Wyatt drove Ryback into the buckle, hitting Sister Abigail afterward at 10:52. Mostly plodding with some nice spots, but not much else. *3/4. The ref throws up the X-sign afterward for Ryback on the floor, so that senton definitely fucked him up. Lots of respect for how much he gutted it out, though.
WWE United States/I Quit Match: John Cena vs. Rusev
I predicted beforehand that Rusev would win when he threatened to beat up Lana and Cena would quit to spare her, and then they'd reveal it was a ruse and she stays a heel. If any WWE writers can read my mind, you can have that one for free. Heels are 3-0 so far. If Cena wins, they're 4-0. Rusev yells in Russian over the mic, then declares that the people of Baltimore already hate him. They'd probably cheer if Bob Irsay hit him with a chair. But no, Cena won't quit. This whole sequence took about 1:45. Rusev drops Cena with a chest kick and a couple of corner chargers. Crowd prefers Lana, so Rusev makes her sit in a chair by the commentary desk. That's punishment: being able to hear Cole and JBL. Rusev hammers away with headbutts and stomps. Cena refuses to quit, so Rusev hits him with a Paul Roma dropkick. Rusev: Ideal Horseman. Rusev gets the spinning heel kick, then takes time to berate Lana. Maybe she was plugging the App through Cole-osmosis. Lana fetches the flag and Rusev waves it as the drama really ramps up here. Cena comes back with shoulder tackles, spinout powerbomb, and five knuckle shuffle, but the AA is blocked. Rusev gets an awkward fallaway slam. Chioda asks Cena again if he wishes to quit. After all of these trivial moves. Wait until Cena gets his head blown off by the turret from Rusev's tank, THEN ask. Cena will still be like, 'nah.'
Rusev brings the 5000-pound ununoctium steps into the ring and throws Cena into them, but he still won't quit. Rusev attempted a piledriver on the steps, but Cena backdrops him off. Cole calls this "high drama" in the same voice you use to say that your mom's new wacky hairdo looks nice. Rusev misses the 'CRUSH' and stomps the steps, then gets AA'ed onto them. He won't quit either. He doesn't even need a novelty towel to declare as such. On the floor, Rusev gets sent into the post, and Cena threatens to spear him through the barricade if he doesn't quit. Rusev refuses, and Cena goes through with it. Cena gets an equipment creeper and rolls it toward Cena, but Rusev counters with a savate kick. There's a very awkward flow to this match. Into the tech area where the AA is blocked, and Rusev tries for the Alabama Slam, getting a weak-looking shot onto a table that is soundly booed. Cena is forced to improvise, so he leans the table against a back rail. Cena hits Rusev in the back with something and Rusev makes a classic anguished face that I'm sure will be meme-ified before long. Still no quitting from Rusev, who then gets hit with a laptop. Rusev cowers behind the slanted table, so Cena retrieves him, and the AA is countered into the Alabama Slam from before through the table. Cena won't quit. If only Rusev had a submission hold that he's had a great track record with. Rusev misses a charge by the entrance way, and Cena AA's him into a fireworks show. Rusev won't quit, as he enjoys pretty pyro that in no way touches his flesh. Cena gets an old-school metal barricade piece and threatens to hit the flailing Rusev with. Rusev no quitsky, so Cena runs it into him. Now the barricade is leaned against the apron. Cena goes for the AA, but Rusev counters with a suplex, bending the rail. Cena will not quit. Crowd's loving it, and I'm not sure I concur. Back in the ring, savate kick drops Cena, and the Accolade is applied. Cena manages to lift him and run him into the rail twice, but Rusev holds on, and Cena falls back down into the hold. Rusev breaks the hold prematurely, like an idiot heel from the 1980s. I think Cena fell asleep from this borefest. Rusev loosens the turnbuckle bracket, a la the Umaga match from the Rumble, and Rusev awakens him with a bottle of water. Rusev goes to hit him with the bracket, but Cena, suddenly lively, trips him into the STF and pulls the rope across his face. Rusev yells something in Bulgarian over the mic, and Lana explains to Chioda that he's quitting, ending this farce at 28:05. 28 minutes for that ending? Whatever. Match had too much silliness and stalling to be anything great, but it's not quite in the negative pantheon of horseshit. * Man, good thing they installed the American flag over the ring, assuming Cena would win. Even the ring crew has no faith in Rusev.
Naomi/Tamina Snuka vs. The Bella Twins
I don't see this turning the tide. Naomi is taken down with a double flapjack. The BRIE MODE scream is met with lots of boos. Tamina floors Brie with a high kick on the apron, and Naomi gets 2 back inside. JBL and Lawler have a side conversation about Brie's hair, because this feud is so engrossing. Brie takes the beatdown and Naomi lands a neckbreaker for 2. More aimlessness leads to a Brie jawbreaker and lands on her head jumping over Naomi for the hot tag. Alabama Slam gets 2 on Naomi. Lawler: "Who doesn't like Nikki Bella?" I counter with, "Who enjoys smog?" Naomi flattens Nikki with the Rear View, but only gets 2. Nikki gets 2 off of a front spinebuster. Nikki heads up top and Naomi wins by, I swear, simply throwing her to the mat at 6:10. Don't think that ever finished Ric Flair. The very definition of filler. 1/4*
-Rusev yells at Lana and kicks her out of the locker room. Next up for Lana: a relationship with Flavor Flav.
King Barrett vs. Neville
Steer this show out of the brush, please. First ever one-on-one match in WWE PPV history between two wrestlers from England. Neville gets an early roll-up for 2, and handsprings to the other corner before spinning Barrett with a headscissors. Neville gets cute outside, and Barrett kicks him in the abdomen off of a handspring on the apron. Barrett pounds Neville on the turnbuckle and gets 2 out of that. Chinlock follows, which Neville escapes, but slips trying to slide over the ropes in an omen that depicts the last hour and a half of this show. Slingshot backbreaker gets 2 for Barrett. Neville gets kicked through the ropes as JBL confuses Lawler with cockney slang. If Lawler ever says he read Jericho's first book, then he's lying. Slingshot suplex is avoided an d Neville kicks away at Barrett, felling him with a leaping forearm smash. Standing shooting star gets 2. Barrett guts Neville with a back kick to the abdomen. Bullhammer misses, but Neville is dropped with Winds of Change for 2. Wasteland is blocked, Neville springs in, avoids the Bullhammer, and cradles him unconventionally for 2. Enzuigiri takes Barrett down and Red Arrow looks to follow, Barrett instead rolls to the floor and Neville hits a running corkscrew plancha, hurting his knee in the process. Neville slides in and Barrett stalls on 9, choosing to be counted out at 7:17. Crowd doesn't like that finish. Barrett Bullhammers him afterward. Moving along a story is fine, but after three sluggish matches, that's not exactly helpful. Match was too short to live up to the expectations. **1/4. Neville attacks during the celebration and hits Red Arrow anyway. Yay.
WWE World Heavyweight Championship: Seth Rollins vs. Dean Ambrose vs. Roman Reigns vs. Randy Orton
Cole calls Kane Rollins' 'co-worker' before the match, which makes me wonder, isn't *everyone* on the roster a co-worker of Rollins? Then someone pointed out that no, they're all independent contractors. Touche. Kane is out here to usher along the screwjob finish. Crowd is way into Ambrose here, which should come as no surprise. Everyone stalks Rollins, but J&J trip Reigns and Ambrose, dragging them away temporarily. That doesn't last long, as Ambrose planchas onto Orton and Rollins. Reigns gets the super dive onto the pile to try and sway some sentiment. Reigns gets a tilt-a-whirl slam on Rollins for 2. Rollins gets the reverse STO into the buckle, and Ambrose gets the vertical elbow smash onto Rollins for 2, broken by Orton. Stupid zoom in/out on Orton's turnbuckle punches. I won't shed too many tears when Kevin Dunn goes. Orton counters the rebound clothesline of Ambrose with the twisting neckbreaker for 2, broken by Reigns. RKO is blocked and Ambrose clotheslines Orton over. Rollins jumps Reigns as we're reminded of the insipid Kane angle. That means there's no point in buying into a possible finish until Kane interjects. The babyface Shieldmates work over Rollins. JBL rips into Cole for 'revisionist history'. Oh, that's good. Kane pulls Reigns out on the Superman attempt, which feels early, and the Authority beats down Orton outside. Rollins gets a Shout Out for 2 on Ambrose. Springboard knee gets another 2. Kane takes off his dress shirt, which at his age usually means hot flashes. Corner powerbomb and low superkick put Ambrose down for 2.
Ambrose gets the rebounding clothesline off of a dropkick from Rollins, but Kane breaks up Dirty Deeds with a chokeslam. Rollins covers and gets 2. Orton pulls Kane off the apron, and Reigns gets the apron dropkick. Rollins avoids Orton's snap powerslam, and Orton blocks the corner STO, powering into a T-bone suplex for 2. Orton crotches Rollins up top, and gets Daddy's Superplex for 2. Match grinds to a mini-halt before Orton clotheslines Rollins outside, following with the back suplex on the rail, Orton clears off the English table before getting jumped, and we get a special moment with the Shield triple-powerbombing Orton through the table. Cole: "SHADES OF THE SHIELD". That's because it IS the Shield, you pontificating douche. Hilarious moment as Rollins goes for the Shield triple-fist pose before getting an angry rebuke from Reigns and Ambrose. With Rollins laid on the Spanish table, the duo tries to powerbomb Kane through him, though the table holds. The fans want another kick at the can, and they oblige, putting Kane through Rollins. And everyone is happy.
Ambrose and Reigns hit the ring to settle it one on one. Reigns gets the upper hand of a slugfest, but misses the leaping clothesline and Ambrose runs through him. Reigns powerbombs Ambrose for 2. Reigns calls for Superman, but misses and is rolled up for 2. Reigns connects with Superman after all, getting just 2. I sense this was a crowd litmus test. In that case, Ambrose succeeded. Ambrose blocks one spear with a knee, but not a second, Reigns scoring 2 before Rollins makes the save. Reigns takes down J&J and Supermans Rollins. Ambrose clotheslines Reigns and hits the Deeds on Rollins before Kane pulls him out. Kane smashes the ringsteps into Reigns. Orton takes Kane down and goes back after Rollins, blocking Rollins' attempt at a Draping DDT. Orton RKOs both Stooges, and catches Rollins in an incredible powerslam as Seth jumps off the top. Draping DDT hits. Orton calls for the RKO, is thrown off by Kane, and RKOs him before walking into a Rollins Pedigree, allowing the champ to retain at 20:50. Sure beats the layout DDT, that's for sure. A great match with a relatively satisfying, non-intelligence-insulting ending that actually makes Rollins look strong, even with the interference. ***3/4. Nobody looked weak here, thanks to the frenetic nature and insane bumps therein. Triple H arrives to congratulate Rollins, so the Kane angle probably continues. Yay.
OVERALL: A really poor middle to the show, but two strong title matches otherwise (World, Tag Team) makes this a decent thumbs-in-the-middle show. Moments of inspiration and moments of contrived badness, similar to many WWE shows. Not outright maddening, but Sheamus/Ziggler, Barrett/Neville, and Cena/Rusev kinda disappointed in their own ways. Seek out the other two title bouts, definitely.