What I enjoyed about: WWE Payback 4–30–17
Well off to a good start eh? You heard “BRAAAAUUUNNNN” in your head just how the Giant himself bellows it right?
Good. Glad we’re on the same page.
The finger of America has been dismembered
My goodness did I enjoy the narrative Jericho and Kevin Owens laid out there in the ring. There is certainly a reason that Kevin Owens, truly a Canadian-American treasure, is my absolute favorite in the business. For him to “finger” the rope, just like at Wrestlemania, only to have his finger mangled strategically by Jericho where he could not get the rope break to save himself before tapping to the Walls of Jericho, was pure beauty. I yelped like an excited dog when Owens tapped. True story.
Jericho on Smackdown? We’ve been swerved y’all. I much prefer to be swerved than to follow the smart money. Looking at you Chris!
Don’t get it twisted — Bliss is champ
I’m a bit prone to looking at this move to make Alexa Bliss the champion in relation to its long term relevance. Bliss will go down as the first ever woman to win the Smackdown and Raw women’s titles. Charlotte nor Sasha Banks can say that. While Bliss’ character work continues to be top notch, her in ring work continues to improve. She and Bayley put on a fun match. And often, what Bliss has to say after shows is just as entertaining as her antics in the ring itself. A certain friend of mine whose name starts with an S and ends with two t’s has a certain obsession with Bliss’s figure that is also a bit entertaining when we watch PPV’s together.
I do appreciate the continuity in multiple shots to the head being Bayley’s undoing. Didn’t get to watch the whole match because of some work things, but enjoyed what I saw.
JOE JOE JOE JOE Wait, no, Rollins
This was decent enough as both got their offense in. While fans love him decently enough, I feel like Rollins has to get really well-written booking decisions for me to enjoy his act. Otherwise, on nights like this, I enjoy his in-ring work enough to be satisfied.
At some point, when the time is right, I do need a huge Samoa Joe push in which he just WRECKS people.
DELETE the sportsmanship
Rational thought in my mind leading up to this #TEAMEXTREME (Hardy Boiizzzz) match against Cesaro and Sheamus led me to believe a heel turn was coming for the latter.
The match was brutal. Foot blasts (that’s right, foot blasts) to the face knocked out one of Jeff’s teeth, and Sheamus worked stiff as a pine tree. Let me add how much I love the noises and things Matt yells while he’s in character during these matches.
Jeff Hardy looked knocked silly late in the match before dumping Cesaro over the barrier outside the ring, which naturally set up what everyone expected, the Swanton Bomb for the win.
Now at this point, I’m basically stating for a fact that a turn is going to happen here to the two guys I’m watching this show with. Say it repeatedly. No way they go the whole angle with this whole sportsmanship for it not to all blow up at the end.
Then Cesaro and Sheamus walk away. I feel dumb as hell.
PSYCHE. Eff you Jeff, you get dumped. Take a hike Broken Matt.
This is good for everyone involved. It gives Raw another legit heel tag team it needs, and it provides a good jumping off point for the Hardys to open up on their character work, as this might just set them off or ‘break’ them.
Why expect anything normal?
This House of Horrors match between Bray Wyatt and Randy Orton has needed a payoff. I was pretty happy with how the feud went until Wrestlemania, and I’ve soured on it plenty, especially after how Luke Harper, a damn talented man, has been left out.
As for this? I don’t necessarily believe anything about the House of Horrors was good. BUT. Big but here, I was happy with how goofy and terrible it was. Seriously. Sometimes I find myself incredibly amused by the dumbest things WWE does, and this was one of those situations. At least to an extent.
I’m happy Bray got a win, and I suppose this means it is time for him to be sacrificed to Finn, which is alright in my book if they tease DEMON FINN and all. That booking was super odd though, and I suppose Jinder has to look somewhat strong before he gets annihilated in his title match.
I’M NOT FINISHED WITH YOU
Props on some great work by Roman to look like he has been through a massacre. Then again, if Monster Bro McBigpants (credit in some sense to Cageside Seats) was beating up on me, I’d probably look scared silly and defeated too.
Strowman’s running power slams are always fun to watch him connect on, and when Roman weakly pulled his shoulder off the mat, much to Strowman’s chagrin…
I thought we were set for another weird booking end where they’d both be counted out or knocked out to finish it. Instead, we saw Strowman finish what he started and pin Roman clean.
After more beating, (STAIRS TO THE GUT) and whatnot, the show goes off air, only for Strowman to try and maim Reigns by blasting him through another ambulance.
Except this time, Strowman misses and runs through the door, which hilariously flies off the hinges pretty far, and takes a few lumps from Roman.
Either way, PLEASE give me Strowman versus Brock Lesnar. If you’re not going to put Lesnar on Raw at least once every other week, at least let us have this.
Payback was better than expected in my book. Plenty to enjoy this time around. And if you recall how excruciating some of the booking after Wrestlemania was last year and compare it to what we have on the agenda right now, I’m pretty excited.