Payback seemed to be one of those pay-per-views we just had to get through so everyone could move on.
You’d think I was lying if I said Sunday before Payback that it would be a show to remember this year. WWE surprised us though, putting on an excellent wrestling show with one questionable segment.
So, what’s next?
Braun Strowman may have killed Roman Reigns. The Big Dog was clearly not 100% after his beating in the weeks prior at the hands of the Monster among men.
This match was good. Both men looked strong, but because of Reigns’ injury, he just wasn’t able to takedown Strowman and that is the right move.
Strowman has all the momentum right now and is being built as the next beast who can’t be stopped. The injury angle also allowed Reigns to lose a match less then one month after beating Undertaker at Wrestlemania.
This feud is far from over. Once Reigns returns from injury — he will want a piece of Strowman. Maybe we get a best two out of three, assuming Reigns wins the first rematch.
Rumors also have it that we are building toward a Strowman versus Brock Lesnar match for the Universal Championship before we get to the likely Reigns and Lesnar showdown at Mania. All the pieces appear to be in place for this programs to play out.
Alexa Bliss made history. She became the first woman to win both the Raw and Smackdown Women’s championships by defeating Bayley in her hometown of San Jose.
The two women put on a great performance worthy of a history-making event. I was surprised to see Bliss win the strap so soon after arriving on the red brand, but it’s clear the locker room has all the faith in the world in her to carry that division.
If Bayley is going to get a rematch, I hope it happens soon so Bliss can move on to a new opponent. She already has history with Mickie James but bringing Sasha Banks back into the title picture is the money move.
The Hardy’s were possibly broken. In a physical Tag Team Championship match, the Hardy’s retained against Cesaro and Sheamus. But they certainly took a beating.
The heel turn by Cesaro and Sheamus was not shocking. I think most people saw it coming. The two men attacked Matt and Jeff after losing the match, teasing a broken future for the Hardy’s.
It’s a slow burn, but each week it seems Matt is moving closer and closer to returning to his BROKEN character. We get a little taste everyday on his twitter page.
I don’t think we are quite there yet but broken Matt and Jeff are coming. I think their program with Cesaro and Sheamus is likely to continue. I’d like to see it build until the next Raw PPV, where the Hardy’s take a brutal beating and lose the belts. At that point, we could see the Hardy’s go back to their broken gimmick.
The House of Horrors was a thing. Not sure what the point of this match between Bray Wyatt and Randy Orton was. I get that we had to bring their feud to an end, but was there not a better way?
I don’t want to bash the match too much. I like that WWE took a chance on something different. Unfortunately this just didn’t work.
It was weird seeing them leave a pitch-black setting to arrive in sunny San Jose to finish the match.
Possibly the worst part was that this at-times excellent story we’ve been told for the past several months, ended with a Jinder Mahal interference allowing Wyatt to pick up the win.
As excited as I am to see what happens between Orton and Mahal, I would’ve liked to see Orton and Wyatt finish their fight in a solid match.
At least both men get to move on now. Orton will take on Mahal for the championship, but it’s not clear what’s in store for Wyatt. Rumors are there is a possible rivalry with Finn Balor or a run at the Intercontinental Championship. Either direction has potential.
Rollins stuns Somoa Joe. Seth Rollins was able to catch Somoa Joe off guard landing himself a victory.
The booking kept both men strong and this match should allow both men to focus on something different but to be honest I have no idea what that is. With Lesnar’s Universal Title not in the mix, it makes things very difficult.
I’d like to see both Rollins and Joe in that title picture but an IC title run could be fun too.
Rollins versus Miz would be great to watch. Both men could tear into each other on the mic. And you can’t go wrong with Joe returning to his rivalry with with Finn Balor.
The Face of America loses his Championship. This was one of the most surprising finishes of the night.
Kevin Owens was sent to Smackdown during the superstar shakeup. When he arrived, Owens started a new gimmick, calling himself the “Face of America,” instantly making his U.S. Championship feel more important.
That’s why it is so surprising that just weeks after starting a new gimmick based on his strap, he loses it. It’s been rumored that Jericho will be taking some time off soon to go back on tour with his band. It’s possible that Jericho won the match just to be moved to Smackdown and will then lose the belt again this Tuesday or in the near future to Kevin Owens.
I don’t necessarily like Jericho on the blue brand, but I don’t think he is going to suffer because of it. I think he drops the belt to Owens in a rematch and then disappears for a few weeks. This allows Owens to build up what could be one of the best feuds of the year against AJ Styles.
Neville is still the King. Neville and Austin Aries put on the match you’d expect.
The two had a great battle at Wrestlemania and this was a continuation of that. But for the first time, Neville had to rely on disqualification to retain his title.
Neville has been dominant since arriving in the Cruiserweight division. But it looks like Aries has what it takes to eventually dethrone the king.
I think these two will keep going at it until Aries finally goes over. Right now, there just isn’t another face in the division who has been built up enough and has the crowd response to become the next Cruiserweight Champion.