Heading into Payback, it looked as though this pay-per-piew was poised to be one of the best we’ve seen in years. Two former best friends were set to collide, the tag team division was moving forward full swing and Balor Club were gonna tear the house down (sure it wasn’t confirmed but we all knew it was coming). This card oozed with potential. But as we all know, potential and reality are two completely different things.
In reality, this was just another one of those pay-per-views that will be forgotten in a couple of weeks' time - and rightfully so. Just some masked acrobat took on just some big guy for the United States championship stemming from a rivalry that deserved to be on a bad episode of Superstars. Charlotte took on Natalya in a hard fought match that was unfortunately overshadowed by withered old men and withered old story-lines. The match I was looking forward to the most ended after two seconds when the superstar I was looking forward to the most got injured. Jericho should probably consider switching from wrestler to commentator. AJ Styles versus Roman Reigns was overbooked but probably not in ways we were hoping for, and well McMahons were McMahons, but hey, what’s new? At the very least Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn tore the house down not once but twice in a single night.
I don't want to spoil too much from the article, so without further ado, here are 10 Most Important Moments/Matches from WWE Payback 2016.
10 US Title on the Pre-Show
Not too long ago, The US Title scene was hella entertaining with John Cena’s weekly US Open Challenges and some orgasm inducing pay-per-view bouts. Now, the title has been on the pre-show two pay-per-views in a row and, quite frankly, nobody cares who wins.
Let’s be honest here. As talented as Kalisto is, he’s never going to reach the popularity level of Rey Mysterio. He’s just some guy. Ryback is also just some guy. Sure he’s massive and Vince probably has wet dreams about him but, in the eyes of the fans, he’s just some guy. My issue isn’t with this match being placed on the pre-show. When it comes to Kalisto vs Ryback, I could hardly care if the match was on the pre-show or not even on the show at all. My issue is with how WWE has allowed the United States Championship to descend to such a level.
Kalisto shouldn’t be champion. He should lose the title in the next pay-per-view to a worthy champion and hopefully we’ll see some prestige restored to this title.
9 Commentary Team Should Burn in Hell
Once upon a time, we had good ol’ JR! Now, we have Byron Saxton. He has no voice and is there simply to get bullied by his teammates. In addition to that, we have Michael Cole, who clearly doesn’t know jack about wrestling. He thinks using the word “vintage” makes him a cool hipster. In reality, it just makes him sound like a complete moron. Then again, he is a moron. Blue Thunder Bomb? B*tch please, that’s a Michinoku Slam. Oh and we also have JBL, who clearly only has a job because of his name. Well, at least he’s better than Booker T.
All three of them were upstaged by Kevin Owens, who killed it at commentary. KO spent his time owning the time he was given by crapping all over Byron Saxton as well as providing some legitimate input on the match. Why are Byron and Michael still allowed to sit at that table when a full time wrestler can do a better job then they can, without even trying? Is there no one in the world applying for a job as a WWE Commentator or does Vince actually believe people tune in to Monday Night Raw specifically to listen to Michael Cole not do his job well?
8 The McMahons Have Their Heads Up Their A*ses
This story-line has gone from garbage to donkey’s pi*s to borderline un-watchable. Vince hated Shane and so he set up a match between Shane and The Undertaker at WrestleMania 32. If Shane wins, he gains control of Raw, if he doesn’t, then goodbye Shane. The Undertaker won at WrestleMania but Shane was for no apparent reason, given a chance to run Raw. Well, all right then. Stephanie will have none of that and wants control of Raw back.
Last week on Raw, we learned that Vince would make his decision at Payback. Why does this segment deserve to be on Payback? It doesn’t. But hey, maybe WWE has something up their sleeve right? A surprise return? An interesting curve ball? Nope. After 20 minutes of The McMahons being self indulgent on the mic, Vince copped out and decided that both of them would run Raw because he wants them to slit each others' throat, kill each other and there was also something mentioned about throat slitting and blood. BORING!
Meanwhile, Triple H is sitting at home, not giving a sh*t.
7 Dean Ambrose vs Chris Jericho Wasn't A+
Ambrose and Jericho are among my favourite pro-wrestlers of all time. Their match at Payback felt a little flat though. Unlike the millions of Jerichoholics that chant “You still got it!” every now and then, I don’t think Jericho has it anymore. He’s definitely losing his touch and Payback was proof of that. I’m not saying he’s suddenly morphed into The Great Khali but he’s not what he used to be. Dean Ambrose vs Chris Jericho should have been the best match, but it turned out to be just another match.
But of course, the fault doesn’t solely lie on the shoulders of the wrestlers. The creative team should be blamed as well. Why are they fighting again? Why do they hate each other oh so much? Right. Because Shane McMahon canceled The Highlight Reel and replaced it with The Ambrose Asylum. I guess my three year old cousin has been secretly working for WWE’s Creative team.
6 Intercontinental Championship Scene Looking Awesome
Short aside: I’m gonna get some flak for what I’m about to say but who gives a sh*t? The Miz is underrated and deserves to be in the main event scene. He’s decent in the ring, good on the mic and the only heel WRESTLER on the current roster to make us genuinely want to shove a rod straight up main street. People cheer for Kevin Owens and while Reigns and Cena get the most boos, they aren’t heels. Heck he probably would have been a main event star had it not been for The Rock and Cena stealing his spotlight in and around WrestleMania 27.
Okay, done with the aside. The match itself was exactly what you’d expect from this match. However, it’s the external shenanigans that everyone will be talking about. Zayn going apesh*t on Kevin Owens was enthralling and a Fatal Foursome Fourway at Extreme Rules is imminent. Exciting times ahead, my friends.
5 Enzo Amore Injury
Injuries suck. It sucks even more when you’re one of the hottest acts on the roster making a pay-per-view debut. Since their debut a few weeks back, Enzo Amore and Big Cass have rejuvenated the tag team division. There’s just an air of awesomeness that surround this pairing, especially Enzo. Enzo makes every girl in the audience and at home want to have sex with him, and you can’t teach that.
The match between Enzo Amore & Big Cass and The Vaudevillains was perhaps the only match on the card where there wasn’t a clear winner going in. This match was sure to be one of the most entertaining matches of the night. And then it happened. Very early on in the match, Enzo Amore snapped his head while hitting the ropes. The match had to be stopped and Enzo was stretchered off.
Here’s to hoping he’ll be back for Extreme Rules!
4 Kevin Owens & Sami Zayn Tore the House Down
Three weeks ago, this rivalry meant absolutely nothing to everyone whose religion isn’t pro-wrestling. But as usual, WWE’s production/marketing team can’t stop outdoing themselves. A phenomenal video package discussing Owen’s and Zayn’s friendship lit a much needed rocket under this feud’s ass. While this feud has not and perhaps never will reach the heights it did in NXT, it is slowly starting to be one of the most entertaining rivalries in recent memory.
These guys stole the show at Payback with such intensity and ferocity, getting the crowd back on their feet again, after Enzo Amore’s unfortunate injury. This feud can and should span at least five pay-per-views, with more layers added each time, culminating in a Last Man Standing match.
3 Natalya and Charlotte Overshadowed by Their Daddies
Was the match perfect? No. If WWE believed they had a brilliant idea on their hands, they’re as delusional as they ever have been. This wasn’t a remake of the controversial 1997 Montreal Screwjob. This was the Montreal Screwjob Porn Parody, at best.
Not-controversial ending aside, this was a great match. Charlotte is a fantastic heel and Natalya, a worthy veteran babyface. Together they put on a good match. *Unfortunately it’s reported that thousands of fans wet their seats as they couldn’t hold their bladder any longer. “I assumed this was gonna be one of those pee break matches, but it was not the case. The match was good and my bladder exploded.” said a fan donning a "Chat Sh*t Get Banged" T-Shirt.*
* = Garbage I made up while taking a dump.
Since WrestleMania 32, it seems WWE finally has confidence in its women’s division but at the same time, it has no confidence in its women’s division? Why else would you allow two talented wrestlers be overshadowed by their has-been saggy-balls dads?
2 Roman Reigns vs AJ Styles Overbooked
Was the match good? Sure it was. AJ Styles once again proves why it isn’t weird to reject sex with your double-D supermodel girlfriend just to watch the phenomenal one do his thing. Not only did he perform at the top of his game (pfft, what’s new?), he even made Roman Reigns, the wrestling equivalent to Jai Courtney, look like an actual wrestler.
It’s important to keep in mind though, this isn’t the indies, but the WWE, where story-line and spectacle play just a big a role as the actual match itself. This match had story-line, conflict, drama, everything. Only, everything sucked.
This match was overshadowed by overbooking. Not only did we have to endure the McMahons feeding their ego for 20 minutes, we then had Shane come out to restart the match after a count-out victory for AJ Styles. “No count-out!” he screamed.
Sure, nobody likes a count-out ending to a main event, but at this point, Gallows & Anderson were yet to intervene, and there were only two ways the match was gonna end; One, through disqualification or two, “No disqualification!” It was Stephanie this time around. Enough is enough! Mind you, this is coming from someone who fantasizes a bra & panties match between Stephanie McMahon and Stephanie McMahon’s clone.
Look, buddy. If it all resulted in a Bullet Club vs Shield feud, screw overbooking. I would have even forgiven an interference from Doink The Clown and God. Which brings me to my final point.
1 Bullet Club Runs Rampant
The story-line writes itself. After a 15 minute hard fought battle, Reigns hits three Superman Punches and a Spear. Fans start to boo, eyes wide open, balls tightly clenched as our worst fears are about to be realized. Reigns goes for the pin. One, two, LIGHTS GO OFF! Lights come back on. Karl Anderson and Doc Gallows and Finn Motherf*cking Balor (real name) wearing matching Balor Club T-Shirts, beating the crap outta Reigns. Styles looks shocked for a second before smiling and joining his brothers. Reigns is wrecked! Out comes Dean Ambrose, Seth Rollins and NEVILLE (without a cape, dressed in black). The four brawl and bleed. The ring is destroyed, tables are broken and most importantly, nobodies mom’s name is Martha. 20 security officials. No, 200 security officials try to break up the brawl as fans start jacking off to close the show.
Then I wake up from my dream to realize that there is no Balor Club, no Shield reunion and no naked fans masturbating. Sorry for wasting your time.