Sunday, 18 August 2013

WWE Summerslam 2013 Preview

File:WWE SummerSlam 2013 poster.jpg

The twenty-sixth Summerslam, hosted by The Miz, takes place this Sunday at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. The last two WWE PPVs have been pretty good, so will Summerslam continue in that vein? Let's look at the card.

The Pre-Show match is for the United States Championship as  Rob Van Dam challenges Dean Ambrose. This has the potential to be a good match but I don't think we will see a new Champion here. Therefore, I'm going for Dean Ambrose.
Predicted Winner: Dean Ambrose

Kane will take on Bray Wyatt in a ring of fire match. I'm quite looking forward to the match and I can see the rest of the Wyatt family getting involved here. Bray Wyatt has to win this match otherwise, it will waste all the great work that he has done so far.
Predicted Winner: Bray Wyatt

Natalya will take on Brie Bella in a match stemming from Total Divas. I love Natalya and starting to despise the Bellas. I would love Natalya to win but I can see the Bellas fucking using their usual Twin Magic bullshit to get the win.
Predicted Winner: Brie Bella

Cody Rhodes will face Damien Sandow in a match that I'm quite looking forward to. I've been enjoying their rivalry so far and this could be an entertaining contest. It's a tough one to call but I'm going for Sandow to win here.
Predicted Winner: Damien Sandow

In an intergender tag match  Dolph Ziggler teams up with Kaitlyn to take on AJ Lee and Big E Langston (worst bodyguard ever). This also could be a fun match to watch and I like all of the competitors. I'm going for Ziggler and Kaitlyn to win here.
Predicted Winners: Dolph Ziggler and Katilyn

CM Punk faces Brock Lesnar in another match that I'm looking forward to. This is also another tough one to call as I can see both of them winning. I'm taking a punt here and going for Brock Lesnar to win and continue this feud til at least Survivor Series.
Predicted Winner: Brock Lesnar

The World Heavyweight Championship as Christian finally gets his "one more match" as he challenges Alberto Del Rio. Del Rio has been ok to watch as Champion and I don't see him losing here.
Predicted Winner: Alberto Del Rio

Now the main event that a lot of people are looking forward to seeing: Daniel Bryan challenging John Cena  for the WWE Championship with Triple H  as the special guest referee. This could be a really good match. Bryan is on fire at the minute and, whilst I'm not a fan of Cena's character, he is a good wrestler when he needs to be. My only concern is Triple H. He doesn't need to be in this match and I feel that the match will end up being the HHH Show. With Randy Orton lurking nearby with his MITB briefcase, there are a lot of ways that this could  go. I'm going for Bryan to win this match, although I can see this turning into a complete clusterfuck.
Predicted Winner: Daniel Bryan

 I have finally caught up with my PPV reviews so I hope to have this up during the week and I can hopefully start writing some opinion pieces again in the near future. Hope you guys enjoy the show.

Money in the Bank 2013 Review

WWE Money in the Bank 2013 took place on Sunday 14th July at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia. This event is rapidly becoming one of my favourite non big 4 events of the year. How will the WWE landscape look going into Summerslam? Let's take a look.

The Pre-Show match is for the Tag Team Championships as The Usos challenge Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns. Jey and Rollins start the match and Jey does a few pinning combinations to unsettle Rollins. Other highlights of the match include: Jimmy getting hit by a dropkick by Rollins then a brutal clothesline by Reigns; and Rollins stopping Jimmy from getting tagged in by pulling him off the apron. Jimmy gets the hot tag and does a suicide dive on both his opponents and a crossbody on Rollins for 2. Jimmy hits a bubbabomb then a Samoan drop for another 2 count. There was a really cool move at the corner which is hard to describe: basically Reigns powerbombs Jey, who is doing a back suplex to Rollins, who is doing a superplex to Jimmy. It looked really good. Anyway, Jimmy hits a superkick to Rollins then the frogsplash and the pin is broken up by Reigns. Jimmy tries to do a super Samoan drop but it's reversed by Rollins who powerbombs him into the corner. Reigns follows that with a spear to win the match and retain the Tag Team Championships. I really enjoyed the match, although I did find it hard to get into it due to the WWE having 2 commerical breaks during the match.
Winners: Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns
Predictions: 1 for 1

The Pay-Per-View officially begins with the World Heavyweight Championship Money in the Bank ladder match between Dean Ambrose, Wade Barrett, Fandango, Cody Rhodes, Jack Swagger, Antonio Cesaro and Damien Sandow. The match starts with Fandango doing a little dance and then getting fucked up by everyone else. Highlights of the match include: Cesaro doing a gutwrench suplex sending Rhodes onto  a ladder; Fandango doing a springboard legdrop, crashing a ladder onto Barrett; Barrett sending Swagger off the ladder with the Bullhammer; Fandandgo crashing Barrett off the ladder with a sunset flip into a powerbomb; Swagger putting Cesaro on his shoulders to try and grab the briefcase which is stopped by a top rope dropkick by Rhodes; and Rhodes doing the Cross Rhodes on Fandango then Barrett. Rhodes and Ambrose fight it out on the ladder before Rhodes pulls him off. However, his attempt to win is stopped by Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns, who then proceed to take out Barrett and Fandango. The Usos, ironically sensing an injustice, come in and beat up Reigns and Rollins. The fight goes to the outside with Cesaro, Swagger, Reigns, Rollins and the Usos all fighting it outside. Ambrose climbs up the ladder but Rhodes grabs it and pushes it, sending Ambrose into the guys outside. Rhodes climbs up the ladder and looks like he is going to win it. However, Sandow, who has been biding his time and taking tips from Edge's manual "How to be the Ultimate Opportunist", comes in and pushes Rhodes off the ladder to grab the briefcase and win the match.

I watched this match live and it was fucking amazing. All the competitors were brilliant and it told a great story, especially with Reigns and Rollins and the Usos coming in; and it seemed to set up a couple of matches for Summerslam. As for Sandow, to be honest, he was one that I thought had little chance of winning. Despite that, I am happy with him having the briefcase and being a future World Heavyweight Champion as I think he could take it in an interesting direction. For me, Cody Rhodes was the star of that match and it has set him up for a face turn, especially with Sandow betraying him to get the victory. I really enjoyed the match and it could be a frontrunner for LDW Match of the Year.
Winner: Damien Sandow
Predictions: 1 for 2

After a slightly weird yet awkwardly funny segment by Raw General Manager Brad Maddox praising Vickie Guerrero, who was on the Pre-Show panel; we get the Intercontinental Championship between The Miz and Curtis Axel. Miz starts to focus on Axel's knee and he flees to the outside. Miz hits him with an axe handle from the ring apron. He rolls Axel in and it looks like Heyman is going to attack the Miz but he turns round just in time to prevent that. Miz then does an Eddie Guerrero and claps his hands and falls to the floor. The referee, who was distracted with Axel, assumes that Heyman hit the Miz and sends him to the back. The action continues and Miz tries to do the skull crushing finale but Axel grabs the ropes and seizes that opportunity to take the advantage. Axel does a standing dropkick and later on, tries a back suplex. However, Miz lands on his feet and he starts to get some momentum with a high running knee and a boot to the face. Miz hits an axe handle from the top rope for 2. Axel tries for the Perfect Plex but Miz reverses into an attempt at at figure 4. Axel pushes Miz into the turnbuckle and hits the Perfect Plex for 2. Miz does eventually get the figure 4 but Axel manages to reverse the pressure. Miz turns it back and Axel reaches the ropes. Axel goes to the outside and Miz chases after him. Axel kicks Miz and hits a modified neckbreaker to get the win. I didn't think the match was bad but it was ruined by Miz getting Heyman thrown out. I understand why they did it to put the focus on the match. However, it seemed like a really dicky move to do, especially as Heyman hadn't done anything.
Winner: Curtis Axel
Predictions: 2 for 3

The next match is for the Divas Championship as Kaitlyn gets her rematch against AJ; and AJ looks good considering she was almost killed by a spear by Kaitlyn at the previous Smackdown. Anyway, Kaitlyn starts throwing AJ like a rag doll. AJ flees but Kaitlyn stays on her and puts her on her shoulders. AJ gets out of it and sends Kaitlyn into the ring post. This gives AJ the chance to get some momentum focusing on the elbow that Kaitlyn injured in that spear. AJ does a couple of submission moves, putting some pressure on the elbow while mocking her. AJ tries a sleeper but Kaitlyn swings her off her back into a backbreaker. Kaitlyn hits a dropkick and turns AJ inside out with a running shoulder block followed by a reverse DDT for 2. AJ hits an armbreaker on the injured elbow and goes on  the top rope. Kaitlyn pushes her off and AJ is caught by Big E Langston. Langston puts AJ back in and tries a small package  for 2. Kaitlyn once again attempts to murder AJ with a spear but she hurts her elbow in the process, preventing her from pinning straight away. AJ takes advantage and hits the Black Widow to make Kaitlyn tap out and get the win. The match wasn't as good as their match at Payback. Despite that, it was still a good match and it told a good story. The last few weeks has seen really good matches involving these two and Gail Kim and Taryn Terrell in TNA along with the heel run of Mickie James. All it needs now is for a couple of more of the Divas (like Natalya) to get involved and challenge AJ for the Championship. However, knowing the WWE, they will probably shit can it in a few weeks.
Winner: AJ
Predictions: 3 for 4

Next is a match between Chris Jericho and Ryback. The match goes back and forth at the beginning before Ryback goes out of the ring to regroup. When Ryback tries to go back in, Jericho baseball slides him to the floor and gets some momentum. When the action goes back into the ring, Jericho Irish whips Ryback to the turnbuckle but Ryback goes back with a clothesline. Jericho starts to focus on the injured leg and when he tries a springboard dropkick, Ryback grabs his head  and bounces it on the top rope. Ryback does a splash from the second rope for 2. Ryback continues his assault as he sends Jericho crashing inbetween the announce tables then later on, a chinlock. Jericho hits a northern lights suplex for 2 then tries for the walls of Jericho but Ryback powers out of it. Ryback hits an overhead suplex then a clothesline. He goes for the shell shock but Jericho gets out of it. Jericho tries for a codebreaker but Ryback reverses into a powerbomb. Ryback tries to continue his momentum but Jericho slows it down with kicks to the leg. Jericho does hit a codebreaker and Ryback rolls out of the ring and gets back in at the count of 9. Ryback tries for another shell shock but Jericho reverses it into a tornado DDT for 2. Jericho then goes for the lionsault but Ryback moves out of the way and Jericho lands on his feet. Ryback then rolls up Jericho to get the win. The match was quite good but I hated the ending. It looks weird that Ryback would win with a roll up that Jericho looked like he could easily kick out of and it makes Ryback look weak. I don't quite know where WWE are going with Ryback at the minute and I have a feeling that it might not be good.
Winner: Ryback
Predictions: 4 for 5

Next is the World Heavyweight Championship match with Dolph Ziggler challenging Alberto Del Rio. Del Rio gets the early advantage before Ziggler hits a dropkick then 10 elbow drops. He clotheslines Del Rio and the action goes briefly on the outside before Del Rio does a brutal kick to the back of the head to get the advantage. Del Rio starts to focus on the head. Ziggler tries to get back the advantage with a sunset flip for 2 followed by a dropkick. However, that is stopped when he tries a turnbuckle splash and misses, banging his head off the ring post. Del Rio continues to focus on the head. When Del Rio goes to the top rope, Ziggler grabs him and does a top rope facebuster. They start punching each other before Ziggler sidesteps a charge by Del Rio and he runs his shoulder into the ring post. Ziggler tries for the fameasser but Del Rio dodges it and hits a German suplex pin for 2. Ziggler does hit the fameasser but it only gets 2. Del Rio hits a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker for 2 then  Ziggler htis a dropkick when Del Rio was attempting a top rope move for 2. AJ's music then hits and she comes out. When Ziggler is wondering what the fuck she's doing here and asks her to leave, he hits a DDT for 2. Del Rio starts attacking and hits a reverse superplex for 2. Del Rio tries for the cross armbreaker but Ziggler gets out of it and gets hit with a kick to the back of the head for 2. When Del Rio tries to kick Ziggler again, Ziggler grabs the leg and flips him round when AJ comes in and hits him with the Divas Championship. Due to the fact that it was right in front of the referee, so Ziggler gets disqualified and Del Rio keeps the title. Ziggler doesn't take that well and he argues with AJ in the ring then he leaves. AJ is left all alone while the crowd "You screwed Ziggler" at her.

I enjoyed the match and Ziggler is starting to grow on me as a face. I understand the ending as AJ is doing really well as a heel and, if you want to build Ziggler up as a face, they needed to split up plus I loved her face while she was next to Ziggler after the match. It's a shame but it's necessary. Hopefully, this should lead to a Ziggler/Big E feud and Del Rio can focus on someone else.
Winner: Alberto Del Rio
Predictions: 5 for 6

Next is the WWE Championship match between Mark Henry and John Cena. Yay, we don't end with the John Cena show for once. The match starts with Cena rushing Henry and knocked down. Henry uses his strength to beat down Cena and keep him down. He headbutts Cena and Cena rolls out of the ring. Henry follows him and reverse suplexes him onto the steel steps. The match goes back in the ring and Henry continues his dominance and Cena tries a comeback before he gets hit with a clothesline. The action goes to the outside and Henry swings Cena into the barricade. When the action goes back inside, Cena tries to lift Henry but he falls down. Eventually, Cena does make a comeback with a back suplex and the five knuckle shuffle and tries for the AA but he can’t do it. Henry puts Cena on his shoulders and Cena manages to hit a armbreaker then the AA but Henry kicks out at 2. Cena tries a top rope move but Henry catches him and hits the world’s strongest slam and Cena kicks out at 2. Henry rips off a top turnbuckle then grabs 2 steel chairs. The referee Scott Armstrong puts the chairs away and puts the turnbuckle back on. While he is doing that, Henry rips off another turnbuckle and tries to ram Cena into it. However, Cena pushes Henry into the exposed turnbuckle then applies the STF. Henry grabs the rope then pushes Cena into Armstrong then hits a low blow for 2. Henry goes for the world’s strongest slam but Cena gets out of it and applies the STF and Henry taps out. It was a good match but the ending bothered me. It might be me, but I don’t think a 400+ pound wrestler should submit. Plus, I’m getting pissed off with the commentators saying they have never seen Cena do an AA before to a really heavy person. If he can do it to the Big Show, who is 500lbs, I think he can do it to someone who is over 400lbs. Just saying.
Winner: John Cena
Predictions: 6 for 7

The main event is the WWE Championship Money in the Bank ladder match between the returning Rob Van Dam, Christian, CM Punk, Randy Orton, Sheamus and Daniel Bryan. The match starts with RVD being welcomed back to WWE by beaten by the other competitors. After a little while, all the competitors are out of the ring except for Punk and Bryan and they have a mini one-on-one match. Punk tries for the GTS and Bryan goes for the LeBell Yes No Lock. Sheamus comes in with a ladder and hits them with it and a bit later on, RVD gets a chance to shine, gorilla pressing Christian onto a ladder then a rolling thunder crashing Bryan onto a ladder. Other highlights in the early part of the match include: Sheamus doing a rolling senton sending RVD onto a ladder; Bryan doing a running knee to the head of Sheamus; all of them on ladders reaching for the briefcase before they all fall like dominos; and Sheamus hitting a brogue kick on RVD. Sheamus gets the briefcase in his hand but Punk pulls the ladder under him, crashing him to the ring. Orton comes in and takes out Punk but Christian comes in and hits a spear on Orton then Bryan. A little later on, Christian and RVD fight it out on the ladder and he pushes Christian off the ladder and he lands onto a nearby ladder. RVD then hits the 5-star frog splash from the ladder onto Christian. RVD goes for the briefcase and Sheamus stops him and they fight it out before Bryan comes in and starts to kick the shit out of them. Bryan then kicks a ladder into Orton; a suicide dive onto Punk; a double flying kick to RVD and Sheamus; then a few minutes later, he hits Sheamus with a ladder, sending him crashing through another ladder. Bryan looks like he is going to win it but he is stopped by Curtis Axel with a steel chair. Axel then takes him out with a rolling reverse neckbreaker outside the ring. Punk hits Axel and Paul Heyman comes in and admonishes Axel while Punk rolls into the ring and starts to climb the ladder. Heyman goes from encouraging Punk to coming in and hitting Punk with a ladder, knocking him out and busting him open. Heyman then leaves the arena and RVD starts to climb the ladder. Orton stops him with a RKO (outta nowhere!) from the ladder and he grabs the briefcase to win the match.

I enjoyed the match although I enjoyed the World Heavyweight Championship one a lot better. It also told a good story, especially with Punk and Heyman. It’s a shame they had to split up but Punk doesn’t really need Heyman and it leads to what could be an interesting feud between Punk and Brock Lesnar. As for Orton, he doesn’t need the briefcase; although you can argue the same for Bryan and Punk. However, Orton does seem to have been in a rut over the last year and it could be what he needs to get going again. Hopefully, it will lead to a heel turn as I’m not a big fan of him as a face and possibly a Cena/Orton feud, which I’m actually ok with.
Winner: Randy Orton
Predictions: 6 for 8

I enjoyed Money in the Bank, although I didn’t like the way a couple of the matches ended. The first match is possibly the best MITB match that I have ever seen and it looks like the event has set up a few feuds coming into Summerslam. I’m looking forward to seeing where they go from here.

Monday, 12 August 2013

WWE Payback 2013 Review

WWE Payback took place on Sunday June 16th at the Allstate Arena in Chicago, Illinois. With a guarantee of an awesome Chicago crowd, how will the event fare? Let’s take a look.

The Pre-Show match was between Damien Sandow and Sheamus. The match starts with them both trading blows before Sheamus hits a powerslam for 2. The action goes to the outside and Sandow is sent into the barricade. Sandow gets some momentum after sending Sheamus into the ring post followed by a boot to the head. Sandow goes to the tope rope but Sheamus snapmares him off it for 2. Sandow stops the momentum and hits the elbow of disdain for 2. Sandow continues his dominance by wearing Sheamus with chinlocks and punches. Sheamus tries a comeback with axe handles to the head but Sandow stops that with a spinning neckbreaker. Sheamus hits a rolling senton for 2 then Sandow hits a top rope reverse neckbreaker for 2. Sheamus goes for the white noise but Sandow gets out if it and hits a neck tie neckbreaker for 2. Sheamus hits 3 consecutive Irish cruse backbreakers then murders Sandow with a Brogue kick to get the win. Despite the match being interrupted by a commercial for Payback, it was a fun match and I thought both of them performed well.
Winner: Sheamus
Predictions: 1 for 1

The event officially starts with a triple threat match for the Intercontinental Championship with Curtis Axel and The Miz challenging Wade Barrett. The match starts with The Miz throwing Axel out of the ring and trying to pin Barrett early. Barrett hits Axel with a pumphandle slam when he goes back in the ring but Miz stops the pin. Barrett then lays Miz on top of the turnbuckle and punches his gut a few times. Barrett continues to wear down his opponents before getting sent out of the ring. Axel focuses his attack on the Miz, particularly on back of the head. Miz tries a comeback but is stopped by a back suplex by Axel and Barrett runs in to break up the pin. Miz starts clotheslining his opponents and gets some momentum and tries for the figure 4 on Barrett. However, Barrett pushes Miz against the ropes and hits the winds of change and Axel breaks up the pin. Barrett goes for the wasteland but Axel gets out of it and hits the Perfect plex and Miz just breaks up the pin in time. Miz hits the skull crushing finale on Axel but Barrett throws him out of the ring and pins Axel himself, and Miz stops that by pulling Barrett out of the ring. He then pins Axel for a 2 count. Miz then goes for the figure 4 on Barrett and while is going on, Axel covers Barrett and gets the win. It was a good match and I found the ending a bit weird. Normally, when you apply a figure 4 and your opponent puts his shoulders down, that counts as a pin. It has been that way for decades, so for WWE to basically rip up that rule seemed wrong somehow. Anyway, congratulations to Curtis Axel, especially as he won on Father’s Day.
Winner: Curtis Axel
Predictions: 2 for 2

The next match was for the Divas Championship as AJ challenges her former best friend Kaitlyn in a match that I’m really looking forward to seeing. The match starts with AJ blowing a kiss and getting the crap beaten put of her by Kaitlyn, and getting sent flying over the Spanish announce table. AJ flees and when Kaitlyn chases after her, AJ hits a flying kick from the ring apron. AJ continues her dominance and hits a couple of neckbreakers for 2. AJ starts to mock Kaitlyn and applies a sleeper. Kaitlyn gets out of it by sending AJ into the corner but AJ responds with a kick to the back of the head. Kaitlyn makes a comeback with shoulder blocks and clotheslines but AJ applies a crucifix pin for 2. She then hits Kaitlyn with her belt but she only gets a 2 count. AJ tries a crossbody and Kaitlyn catches her and tries to slam her down. However, AJ keeps hold of her and applies the black widow. Kaitlyn manages to power out of it and hits a backbreaker then almost kills AJ with a spear. However, instead of pinning her, she blows a kiss to AJ, slams her head to the mat and pins her for a 2 count. Kaitlyn tries to spear AJ against the turnbuckle but AJ dodges it and she hits her head off the second turnbuckle. AJ then applies the black widow to make Kaitlyn submit and become the new Divas Champion. Afterwards, Kaitlyn starts to cry in the aisle and Layla comes out to comfort her.

The match is probably the best WWE Divas match that I have seen in years and it told a really good story as well. This goes to show, especially with the Kim/Tarrell match at Slammiversary earlier in the month, that given the time, the women can put on matches just as good and as brutal as the men. All the WWE needs to do to build on it is keep the Championship on AJ; use wrestlers such as Natalya and Layla more instead of doing other bullshit; and promote people such as Paige and Emma from NXT to the main roster. If they do that, the WWE has the chance to build a very strong Divas Division.
Winner: AJ
Predictions: 3 for 3

Next was the match for the United States Championship as Kane challenges Dean Ambrose. Ambrose starts punching Kane before Kane gets the advantage. He wears down Ambrose with punches and sending him flying into turnbuckles. Ambrose stops Kane with a dropkick to the knee and starts to dominate the match. Ambrose goes for a neckbreaker but Kane reverses into a powerslam, hurting his knee in the process. Ambrose hits a flying elbow from the top rope for 2 then keeps on wearing Kane down with a reverse headlock then a sleeper. Ambrose tries a move from the top turnbuckle but Kane hits him while he is in the air and starts to make a comeback. Ambrose tries to slow Kane down with another dropkick for 2 then he attempts the Undetaker’s old school move but Kane throws him off the top rope, starts sending Ambrose into turnbuckles and hits a side suplex for 2. Kane goes for the chokeslam but Ambrose leaves the ring. Kane follows him and gets slapped by Ambrose. Kane slaps him back then attempts to chokeslam him through the Spanish announce table. However, Amborse stops that and DDTs Kane to the floor. While this has been going on, the referee has been doing a 10 count. Ambrose rolls back in the ring at the count of 8 and Kane gets counted out. I thought this was a good match but I wasn’t a fan of the ending. I feel that Ambrose pinning Kane clean would have made Ambrose look strong.
Winner: Dean Ambrose
Predictions: 4 for 4

The World Heavyweight Championship is on the line as Dolph Ziggler defends his title against Alberto Del Rio. The match starts with Ziggler punching Del Rio in the corner before Del Rio hits a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker. Ziggerl goes outside to regroup and for the rest of the match, Del Rio focuses on Ziggler's head, starting with stamping on it. Del Rio sends Ziggler flying to the outside then bashes his head into the announce table. Big E Langston gets involved to protect Ziggler and the referee Mike Choida sends him to the back. Ziggler tries to fight back and throws Del Rio back into the ring. However, Del Rio kicks him in the head when Ziggler is going back into the ring and that gives the chance for Del Rio to apply a chinlock. Del Rio tries a suplex but Ziggler reverses into a sleeper and Del Rio gets out of it by sending Ziggler's head into the top turnbuckle. Del Rio continues to focus on the head and Ziggler slows the momentum with a neckbreaker for 2 then a slightly botched fameasser for 2.  Ziggler goes to the top rope but Del Rio stops that then hits a reverse super plex for 2. Del Rio baseball slides Ziggler to the outside then almost kicks Ziggler's head off and thsi prompts the doctor to look at him. When Ziggler is telling hi that he wants to continue, Del Rio does a dropkick through the ropes to the back of Ziggler's head which looked brutal. Del Rio puts Ziggler back in the ring and kicks him in the back of the head for a 2 count.  Ziggler manages to hit the zig zag but he bangs his head in the process so is not able to capitalise on it.  Del Rio then kicks Ziggler once again in the head to get the 3 count and become the new World Heavyweight Champion.

This was a very interesting match to watch. I saw it live and I was seriously cringing at what was happening to Ziggler, especially when Del Rio dropkicked him through through the ropes. It also led to a double turn which is good because I wasn't a big fan of Del Rio as a face. The whole point of a double turn is to make sure the heel look sympathetic and at the same time, make the face look like a total douche. They certainly acheived that here, especially when Del Rio came back out and celebrated. Looking at it now, I'm not convinced of Ziggler as a face just yet but he has the support of the fans so it will come.
Winner: Alberto Del Rio
Predictions: 4 for 5

Next is Chris Jericho taking on CM Punk. We get a lot of chain wrestling to begin with and Jericho goes for a springboard dropkick but Punk ducks and bounces Jericho's neck off the top rope. Punk gets the advantage for a few minutes before Jericho makes a comeback. Jericho hits a facebuster and goes for the lionsault, but he misses and Punk hits a neckbreaker for a 2 count. Punk hits a running knee and goes for the running bulldog. However, Jericho pushes Punk off and hits the lionsault for 2. Punk tries for the GTS but Jericho gets out of it and applies the walls of Jericho. Punk manages to get out of it and applies a standing anaconda vice. Jericho starts to punch the ribs to get out of it but Punk takes him to the floor and keeps on the vice and Jericho finally gets to the ropes. Punk goes again for the GTS and Jericho gets out of it and goes for the walls. The two exchange punches then Punk hits a heel kick followed by a running knee then the Macho Man elbow drop. Punk hits the GTS but Jericho kicks out at 2. Punk clotheslines Jericho to the outside then does a suicide dive. Punk does a springboard clothesline but gets hit with a codebreaker for 2. Punk almost wins it with a small package then Jericho applies the walls right in the middle of the ring. Punk starts hitting Jericho to get out of it. Punk hits 2 GTS's to get the win. This was a really enjoyable match and might be the best one out of the three they have had.
Winner: CM Punk
Predictions: 5 for 6

Next the Tag Team Championships are on the line as Daniel Bryan and Randy Orton challenge The Shield. Bryan and Reigns start the match and The Shield wear down Bryan for a while. Orton gets tagged in and handles Reigns and Rollins quite easily. Orton tries for the RKO but Rollins rolls out of the ring; and Orton gets hit with a flying punch to the head to give Reigns and Rollins back the advantage. Orton tries to fightback but he gets his head slammed into the turnbuckle by Rollins. Orton gets hit with a Samoa drop by Reigns for 2 then Rollins comes in and applies a chinlock. Orton sends Reigns into the ring post then does a fallaway slam sending Rollins into the back of Reigns. This gives Orton the opportunity to give the hot tag to Bryan and he proceeds to destroy Rollins and Reigns. Bryan sends them out to the outside and tries a suicide dive. However, they move out of the way and Bryan goes flying into Orton. The action goes back inside and Bryan applies the LeBell Yes No lock but he lets go of it to stop Reigns coming in. Rollins does a schoolboy but Bryan reverses into the Lebell Yes No lock. Reigns breaks it up and goes for a spear. However, Orton comes in and tries to RKO Reigns. Reigns pushes him into Bryan, almost colliding with each other. Orton dodges a spear by Reigns but Bryan doesn't and Orton hits a RKO (outta nowhere!) on Reigns. Rollins comes in and sends Orton out of the ring then hits the blackout to Bryan to get the win and retain the Championships. It was a very enjoyable match with Bryan coming close to stealing the show.
Winners: The Shield
Predictions: 6 for 7

The main event is a three stages of heel with Ryback challenging John Cena fo rthe WWE Championship. The first stage is a 30-man lumberjack match and it starts with Ryback stomping a hole in Cena in the corner being gettign forced away by the referee. Cena tries a facebuster but Ryback grabs him and hits a powerslam then a fallaway slam. Cena gets some momentum starting with a suplex. Cena gets sent out of the ring but the lumberjacks don't go anything and Cena slides back in. Ryback applies a chinlock and sends Cena out again. This time, 3MB and the Prime Time Players get a few digs in then roll Cena back into the ring. Ryback hits a suplex then sends Cena out again to where 3MB are. They once again roll Cena back in and later on, Ryback is thrown to that area but they don't do anything to him. Cena makes his comeback with a couple of shoulder charges but  when he does the five knuckle shuffle, Ryback picks him up and sends him crashing into some of the lumberjacks. Cena goes back in and sends Ryback out to the same area. The initially don't do anything but Ryback pushes Cesaro when he tries to help him back up. Therefore, they start beating on Ryback and all the lumberjacks join in then Cena does a flying crossbody to them, knocking most of them down. Ryback and Cena go back into the ring and Cena applies the STF. Ryback manages to power out of it and hits the shell shock to get the 3 count and take a 1-0 lead.

The second stage starts when the lumberjacks leave and it's a tables match. Ryback spears Cena into the corner then goes and grabs a table. Ryback tries to powerbomb Cena through the table but Cena wriggles out of it and goes for the AA. Ryback gets out of it then spears Cena. Ryback tries to Gorilla press slam Cena through the table but Cena gets out of it and once again goes for the AA. This time, Ryback pushes away the table and gets off Cena's shoulders. Cena then sends Ryback out of the ring. Ryback sends Cena into the ring steps then throws them into the ring. He rolls Cena back into the ring and hits him with the steps. He throws the steps at Cena but he dodges then hits Ryback with the steps. Cena goes to grab a table and gets hit with the steps after he had set the table. Cena hits a couple of shoulder charges then the five knuckle shuffle. Ryback responds with a brutal spinebuster followed by a meat hook clothesline. Ryback grabs a table and goes to put Cena through it with the shell shock. However, Cena reverses it into the AA which puts Ryback through the table to tie the series at 1 each.

The third stage is an ambulance match and Ryback immediately starts beating on Cena and powerbombs him through the announce table. He rolls Cena back into the ring and continues to beat on Cena as the match officially starts. Ryback starts to carry Cena to the ambulance but Cena wriggles out and pushes Ryback into the back of the vehicle. They start punching each other until Cena slams Ryback into the side of the ambulance. Cena then Irish whips Ryback through the open driver's door then he hits him with the now broken door. Cena tries to push Ryback into the driver's seat but Ryback pushes him away, sends him flying onto the bonnet then starting hitting with a panel of the amubalnce that he ripped off. Cena back body dropped Ryback onto the windshield then climbs onto the top of the vehicle and hits Ryback with the siren that he just pulled off. They both go to the roof of the ambulance and Cena AA's Ryback through the roof to win the match and retain the WWE Championship.

While the ending did seem a bit dumb to me, I quite enjoyed the match. I've liked Ryback as a heel, although that seemed to have stagnated over the last few weeks. As for Cena, his reign continues.
Winner: John Cena
Predictions: 7 for 8

I really enjoyed Payback. Except for a couple of questionable endings, I thought all of the matches were really enjoyable to watch. The crowd also made this event enjoyable and I think that Chicago generally has the best fans in the United States. The WWE have made some interesting decisions in terms of character development and it remains to see whether they have made the right choices.