Tonight’s WWE Special Event took place in Chicago, Illinois and was a lot better than many people expected. While the go home episode of Raw left many fans concerned that this event wouldn’t live up to what most events are these days. Payback delivered on many different occasions, and could be one of the better events that isn’t a big named one. With technically eight matches tonight(counting Kofi Vs Bo Dallas).
Payback had three title defenses with Sheamus successfully defending his belt against Cesaro; Bad News Barrett retaining his title over Rob Van Dam, and Paige winning via submission against Alicia Fox. Two matches scheduled right before Payback went on air was Cody Rhodes and Goldust Vs Rybaxel(winner); along with Bo Dallas Vs Kofi Kingston. Kingston was somewhat critical of Stephanie McMahon over twitter which resulted in him being attacked by Kane before his match could start. The three other matches that were all non-title matches were Rusev(winner) Vs Big E, John Cena(winner) Vs Bray Wyatt in a last man standing match, and The Shield(winner) Vs Evolution in a No Holds Barred Elimination match.
Without a doubt The Shield Vs Evolution was the match of the night along with them being the main event. The action was intense throughout, and all six men will be sore from tonight’s match for upcoming weeks. Evolution although in a loss almost did what they set out to do and that was make The Shield go away. The beating Roman Reigns, Seth Rollins, and Dean Ambrose took tonight was the worst out of any superstars, but they were able to get the clean sweep over Evolution by eliminating all three members of Evolution without losing one single member. The Shield are without a doubt the most dominant stable in the WWE, and are on the path of greatness following their second straight event victory over Evolution.
The co-main event of the evening was the Last Man Standing match between John Cena and Bray Wyatt. These two men have been feuding for the last few months and it seems to have come to an end with Cena’s victory over Bray tonight. Different points in the match involved Luke Harper and Erick Rowan, but Cena had backup himself with Jimmy and Jey Uso coming to his aid. All the outside fighting between Harper and Rowan and The Usos will most likely lead to an eventual tag team title match for the two members of the Wyatt Family. The Usos & Harper & Rowan had some of the best spots during the match even though they didn’t have a match scheduled. Cena and Bray did some crazy things during tonight’s match which gives makes them the second best match of the night, but very well could have been the main event of plenty of other events. While Cena wins the feud(2-1); Bray has come out of this a bigger star than he started, and can become an even bigger star without fighting Cena. The entire Wyatt Family will continue to grow on the WWE Universe while this feud has made more and more fans call for a change in Cena’s character. With the change to his character unlikely it will be interesting to see who he feuds with next.
Tonight’s two matches made before Payback both seemed like time filler matches, but both gave the WWE Universe something to work with. The first time filler match was Cody Rhodes and Goldust vs Rybaxel; with Rybaxel pinning Cody for the win. Following the match an upset Cody Rhodes grabs a mic and tells Goldust “you need a better partner than me” and he walks out. With the eventual split of The Rhodes Brothers happening soon it appears that Cody Rhodes will be turning heel, and could be given the chance to flourish as a singles competitor. The other match was Kofi Kingston Vs Bo Dallas, and before the action could start Kane interrupts the bout to take out Kingston for his remarks about Stephanie McMahon. Following Kane’s beat down of Kingston; Dallas grabs the mic and does his happy go lucky, always looking at the positive side of things act. Dallas’ character can go either extremely well with how he is playing his overjoyed, over the top optimism character or the fans won’t by it at all and will stop “BOlieving”.
Tonight’s three championship matches all ended with the current champion retaining the belt. Sheamus defeated Cesaro, Bad News Barrett defeated Rob Van Dam, and Paige defeated Alicia Fox. Two out of the three seem to be continuing following tonight’s event; while Barrett vs RVD seems to be over with after tonight. Sheamus and Cesaro started off tonight’s show with a great match that ended with Sheamus rolling Cesaro up for the pin. Cesaro has main event talent along with main event moves that keeps the fans interested in what they are going to see next. Sheamus still has a main event name with the WWE Universe, but right now Cesaro(although he lost tonight) has a bright future ahead, and that could mean he will have a championship around his waist in a few months. The Divas match between Paige and Alicia Fox was better than the last few divas matches that have been given to the WWE Universe on PPVs, and could be something that can carry the divas division. Paige won via submission, and Alicia Fox played the crazy girl very well tonight after the loss. The feud between these two shouldn’t be over, and we could see a title change during this feud. The other match that needs to be brought up is the one between Rusev and Big E. This could be a very good feud but it all depends on how the WWE wants to showcase both Rusev and Big E. Rusev made Big E tap out, and Rusev remains undefeated.
Tonight’s Payback had no WWE World Heavyweight championship match due to the neck injury to Daniel Bryan, but a decision had to be made on what he was going to do with the belt. Bryan could either give up the titles or his wife Brie Bella would be fired. Stephanie McMahon calls them both out to figure out what choice he made. During their segment a very loud CM Punk chant breaks out while Bryan is talking(which he stops and laughs). Stephanie then says that the WWE Universe wants Bryan to quit, just like CM Punk did. A nice little shot towards Punk from Stephanie, but it didn’t change what was going to happen with Bryan and Brie. It appears that Bryan is ready to give up the titles, but his wife Brie stops him. Before Stephanie could fire her; Brie made the decision for her as she quit. After she quit she slapped Stephanie across the face, and the entire crowd erupts. Bryan, Brie and the WWE Universe begin doing the Yes chant.
Payback was a lot better than most WWE fans anticipated, and delivered on many fronts. Not many surprises come from tonight’s event, but plenty of story lines can be built from tonight. Including the eventual split of The Rhodes Brothers, Barrett/Cesaro both as upcoming stars. The Shield as the most dominant group in the entire WWE, Paige and Alicia Fox as the two big names in the diva division, and that the WWE can put on a very solid show even without the WWE World Heavyweight title being defended. Coming into the event I believed this would be at best a “C” event, but following all of the matches I would give this a “B +” event.
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