I’m gonna take a break from the usual recap bulletins I usually do for Pay Per View this time around. Yes, I saw it in its entirety on WWE Network as usual. It was EPIC.
There were five events from tonight that stood out for me more than the rest:
- Enzo Amore suffered a concussion in the opening minutes of the match to determine the number one contenders for the Tag Team Championship. I will be very surprised if Enzo is cleared to wrestle tomorrow. Some might not agree with WWE’s decision to hold off deciding The New Day’s next opponent but it’s the smart decision given the circumstances even if it’s another week.
- Shane and Steph working together: Pure genius! The move kills two birds with one stone: It helps boost revenue first and keeps the product from feeling stale for a while second. It also allows Vince to return to working behind the scenes again for the time being. As everyone who’s ever known him have attested to, he is an egomaniac but he’s not gonna look a gifted horse in the mouth if you know what I mean!
- Going with the above, the main event went exactly as I expected up until after it finally ended. I looked at my clock when Reigns was counted out and knew that wasn’t it. When the restarted match with no countouts ended in DQ, I knew it was gonna be restarted again with no DQ. That opened the door to outside interference, which happened a few minutes later. Despite the interference, Reigns succeeded in his first title defense.
- Dean is SO over now. His in-ring performance at Payback was amazing. I can’t help but wonder when he and Mick Foley will convince the powers that be it’s time to bring back the Hardcore Championship. If not that then he should be given a title shot by the end of the year.
- The “CM Punk!” chants got old 3 years ago. Seriously. He’s not coming back anytime soon and contrary to rumors spread over the internet, he was NOT released by UFC. Folks need to accept reality in that regard. They also need to accept the fact WWE has no say in weather he comes back or not. He chose to left of his own volition.
…For the first time since Wrestlemania 32, the house crowd was left speechless after the main event ended. As I said in my post-WM32 post, the Roman Reigns hate is undue. In my opinion, it would have been terrible booking for him to drop the title at Payback. More so given he didn’t cleanly lose the title the last two times he had it. Folks forget Reigns is not a heel–not right now, anyways–he needed to cleanly win at Payback, which he did after the match was restarted twice.
The house crowd’s muted reaction was certainly better than the boos he’s been greeted with since WM32. AJ Stiles was given another title shot by Vince, Shane and Steph for Extreme Rules right after Payback’s main event. Extreme Rules is in three weeks. I think Stiles will definitely win the title before Summer Slam. If he doesn’t get it in 3 weeks, he’ll get it then.
It’s obvious his buddies are there to make the feud work. In-ring, they’ve got the skills. Selling a promo with Reigns vs. selling a promo with Jericho are two different things. Jericho knows how to sell cut a good promo on his own. Reigns doesn’t have alot of experience doing it on his own. Ambrose is clearly focused on his solo career and has obviously been improving his in-ring skills compared to this time last year.
Switching gears, I’m wondering if WWE would be open to setting up a Women’s Tag Team division with Women’s Tag Team Belts. The Bella Twins were the last consistent women’s tag team but with Nikki likely being forced into retirement due to injury and Brie going on maternity leave, that leaves other female superstars.
It certainly would be interesting. I’d also like to see WWE step up and allow a woman to win the IC or US Title. I think Chyna was the only woman ever to win the IC title so…yeah. Now that I’m thinking about it, it HAS been a few years since there’s been a tag match featuring male and female superstars. Not since the brands merged, anyway.
Could this be the OTHER reason Shane and Steph are working together?! The plot thickens!
Before I forget:
A certain WWE Superstar is confirmed to be returning to WWE from TNA =O
Hint: It’s not Kurt Angle.
Hint #2: His last name is Hardy.
…You may commence hype NOW.