This year’s Payback was built up to be one of the most exciting pay-per-views in a long time.
With the potential for debuts, major heel turns and title changes, a strong percentage of the 1.8milllion network subscribers tuned in for the event.
Whether WWE made use of this excitement is debatable, but nevertheless, the WWE did teach us a thing or two about some particular superstars and how the road to SummerSlam may look.
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Roman vs Styles feud to continue
Okay, so the one concern most fans will have out of the main event from Payback was the non-appearance from Finn Balor. However, the match itself was pretty good and a big improvement from what WWE have produced in the past.
First of all, the shocking countout victory to AJ, and then the restart DQ victory, all lead to an exciting prospect for interference. Anderson, Gallows and Uso’s got involved predictably and in the end after four or five superman punches and phenomenal forearm’s, Roman was able to win with an emphatic spear.
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After the match, WWE aired a segment backstage between the McMahon family where Steph and Shane booked the main event for Extreme Rules to be a rematch match contested under Extreme Rules.
The feud between Roman and AJ is set to continue now, as Roman fights for credibility and respect as the champion and AJ tries to tick the final thing on his wrestling bucket list.
The good thing about the match being contested under Extreme Rules means that Anderson and Gallows and the Uso’s can get involved again, with the possibility for swerves more real.
Also, a debut for Demon also seems likely on the cards.
Kalisto is an amazing in ring competitor
Once again, Kalisto retained his United States Championship for the third consecutive PPV event. No doubt his second reign as champ has been quite stale and many predicted Ryback to pick up the victory this time to shake things up a bit.
For a pre-show match, it was excellent. With near falls and plenty of brilliant high flying spots, Kalisto may have just rejuvenated his reign as champ. The hostile Chicago crowd got behind the champ, mainly because of the antics from The Big Guy in mocking hometown hero CM Punk.
The corkscrew dive particularly went over well with the crowd, as he once again puts another underdog win onto his resume.
Off the back of this, its important WWE capitalise on Kalisto’s small momentum boost by pairing him up against some other excellent in-ring talent. A victory over a strong worker like Stardust or even a babyface like Cesaro or Dolph Ziggler this week will give him some serious momentum moving into Extreme Rules.
Hopefully, WWE bite the bullet and break up the Lucha Dragons and allow the two to feud over the belt; possibly with a Luchas de Apuestas stipulation involved as well.
The importance of family
Vince McMahon announced that both Shane and Stephanie would be in charge of running Raw. The two have never been on the same page in WWE since the invasion angle in the summer of 2001.
However, there is precedence from that angle that they can work together and do what is ‘best for business.’
What fans can expect is the two to run Raw up until SummerSlam where eventually the power struggle will come to its head in a match of some sorts. Either a Team Shane vs Team Stephanie or even a match between Shane and Triple H at the event will probably end up deciding the eventual true controller of Raw.
The possibility of a brand split is still real though, with the likelihood of the Raw post SummerSlam being the draft episode. In the near future, expect the two to find common ground for now.
No title changes after the big one
Payback 2016 had four title matches with each champion retaining. A usual good rule of thumb at any event is that you want to see one title change because when there isn’t, it ends up leaving the entire show been a tad flat and forgettable.
It was the first time since 2010 when the first PPV of the WWE calendar year resulted in no title changes. It surely means that WWE are setting up a big event in Newark for Extreme Rules. WWE swapped the dates of Payback and Extreme Rules, so maybe the plan was to drag out a potential change to a belt or two until then.
It also makes a little more sense for a title change under a stipulation and that’s what the opportunity Extreme Rules provides. Expect a multi team tag match, or even a fatal 4-way Intercontinental championship match, where the current champions could lose the belt without being pinned or submitted.
Baron Corbin hasn’t beaten anyone
Corbin went into his match with Dolph Ziggler as the absolute favourite. There match was relegated to the pre-show and after dominating the entirety of the match, Dolph picked up the victory with a roll-up.
During his time in NXT, Corbin went on a yearlong undefeated streak where he basically just beat jobbers in under a minute. In his final months with NXT, he defeated Apollo Crews, but picked up losses against the likes of Samoa Joe, Finn Balor, Sami Zayn and Austin Aires.
No disrespect to Crews, but he’s not a former world champion like the others and every time Corbin steps up against somebody of that calibre he is beaten. It starts to beg the question to the WWE audience if Corbin has any credibility to be on the main roster.
It will be interesting to see how the Lone Wolf is booked over the coming months and if his loss is a one off to push Ziggler or just the beginning of this continuing cycle.
Were you happy with the results from Payback? Did you learn anything else, let us know YOUR thoughts in the comments sections.