WWE Payback 2014 took place last Sunday at the AllState Arena in Rosemont, Illinois. Last year's event was really good. Will this one be the same? Let's look at the card.
The Pre-Show match was between Hornswoggle and El Torito in a har vs mask match. I was unable to see this match because I don't have the WWE Network;. However, I saw the ending that they shown later on in the night. The end comes when Hornswoggle pulls off the mask. Unfortunately, El Torito had another mask on underneath and takes advantage of Hornswoggle's premature celebration to hit the bullsault to get the win. Afterwards, Hornswoogle had a very badly done haircut.
Winner: El Torito
Predictions: 1 for 1
The first match of the event is for the United States Championship as Cesaro challenges Sheamus. The match goes back and forth with some cool spots such as Cesaro countering a battering ram into an European uppercut; Sheamus hitting 3 knees from the top rope; and Cesaro countering a Brogue kick into a German suplex pin. Sheamus almost wins it with the white noise then he applies the Texas cloverleaf. Cesaro manages to get to the rope then does the giant swing. However, Sheamus employs the SuperCena card and puts Cesaro into a small package to get the win. Up until the end, I really enjoyed the match. However, the ending really bugged me.
Predictions: 1 for 2
We now get a tag team match with Cody Rhodes and Goldust facing Curtis Axel and Ryback. After a little while, Axel and Ryback work to wear down Goldust. Cody does get the hot tag and hits the Cross Rhodes on Ryback to almost win the match. Cody then goes for the disaster kick but Ryback catches him and hits the Shell Shock to get the win. Afterwards, Cody grabs a microphone and states that Goldust needs a better tag team partner than him. I enjoyed the match and it looks like it could lead to a Goldust/Cody feud. That is something that I'm looking forward to.
Winners: Curtis Axel and Ryback
Next is Rusev continuing his quest to destroy all the black wrestlers in the WWE as he faces Big E. Big E does get in some offence but it turns out to be in vain as Rusev hits a German suplex to get the advantage. Big E then spears Rusev off the apron to the floor and, back in the ring, he goes for the splash but Rusev hits a brutal superkick. Rusev then applies the Accolade to get the win. Whilst I thought that the match was too short for my liking, it was a good match.
Predictions: 2 for 3
Now we get Kofi Kingston taking on Bo Dallas. Well, that seemed to be the plan as the Corporate Demon Kane turns up. Bo Dallas goes “fuck this” and leaves and Kane proceeds to completely destroy Kofi. After Kane hits a chokeslam and a Tombstone piledriver then leaves; Bo grabs a microphone and tells Kofi to bo-lieve. I'm torn about the Bo Dallas character. His character on NXT was absolutely brilliant with him always being optimistic and acting like a five year old girl when upset. However, it does seem to have it being shoved down our throats at the minute, which might not be a good idea.
Anyway, we get Rob Van Dam challenging Bad News Barrett for the Intercontinental Championship. The match goes back and forth and RVD misses a 5-star frog splash and Barrett misses the Bullhammer but does hit the winds of change for 2. Barrett does eventually hit the Bullhammer to get the win and retain the Championship. I thought it was a pretty decent match and it was good to see Barrett deliver some bad news to RVD and his fans.
Winner: Bad News Barrettt
Predictions: 3 for 4
Next we get to see whether Daniel Bryan will vacate his World Heavyweight Championship due to his neck injury because if he doesn't, Stephanie McMahon will fire his wife Brie Bella. Bryan decides to keep his title and Brie quits the WWE. I might be in the minority here, but I think that Bryan is being a dick here. I can see Bryan's point about the Authority being determined to make sure that he doesn't become Champion. However, the fact remains that Bryan is injured for an indefinite amount of time. Stephanie is right, Bryan is being selfish. John Cena's involvement doesn't make sense either. Cena is supposed to be the boy scout and he must realise that Bryan is in the wrong here. I hope that Bryan will be back wrestling in the near future otherwise they may have to go in another direction.
We now get a match that I thought would be the main event: Bray Wyatt facing John Cena in a last man standing match. Cena, not wanting to face all the Wyatts by himself, gets The Usos to even things up. Both guys get in some good offence in the early going. Wyatt hits the Sister Abigail to put Cena down for 8. After Cena hits an AA, the Wyatts and The Usos get involved. Jimmy Uso manages to take them out (including himself) with a top rope corkscrew to the outside. Wyatt and Cena start using chairs on each other before Wyatt suplexes Cena through a table for a count of 8. Cena almost kills Wyatt by throwing the steel steps into him, which gets a count of 8. Wyatt hits Cena with another Sister Abigail on the outside, which keeps both guys for a count of 6. After Cena hits an AA on the outside, the Wyatts run in and attack Cena and he is saved by the Usos returning. They once again take each other out by them all going through tables. Wyatt sends Cena through the barrier into the timekeeper's area. That keeps them down both for a count of 8. The match then continues through the crowd up to the technical area by the stage. Cena then hits the AA, sending Wyatt through a box used to carry the electrical equipment. Cena then puts another box on top to effectively entomb Wyatt to get the win. I really enjoyed this match. However, the one thing that bugs me about last man standing matches is when someone pins down their opponent with something to get the win. I'm not a big fan of those endings. Despite that, this is probably one of my favourite last man standing matches ever.
Winner: John Cena
Predictions: 4 for 5
The Divas Championship is on the line as Alicia Fox challenges Paige. Paige overwhelms Fox with her offence and she goes off to regroup. Fox does get back into it and hits an impressive tilt-a-whirl backbreaker. Paige gets back into it with some clothelines and eventually gets the win by applying the Paige Tap Out to get the win. Afterwards, Alicia has a mini temper tantrum and runs away. I thought it was a decent match and they got a lot more time than I thought they would. I think that woman's wrestling is slowly getting better thanks to Sara Del Rey and Norman Smiley training them. I hope that WWE continues with these instead of shitcanning it.
Predictions: 5 for 6
The main event is a no holds barred elimination match with Evolution taking on The Shield. After some dominance by The Shield, Evolution get back into it and start to wear down Ambrose. Ambrose does manage to get the hot tag to Reigns who hits a Superman punch to Batista. The match degenerates into an all out brawl and Evolution triple powerbomb through the Spanish announce table. The fighting goes up the aisle and Ambrose and Rollins get destroyed by chairs. Evolution go back to the ring to beat up on Reigns. They continue the fight up to the aisle to the titantron where Rollins does crossbody from the titantron to all of Evolution. Rollins and Batista go back into the ring. Reigns spears Batista and Rollins covers to get the first elimination. Orton RKOs Rollins but Reigns stops the cover. Ambrose then hits a headlock driver onto a chair on Orton to get him eliminated. Despite Triple H's best efforts, it was in vain as he receives a top rope knee by Rollins followed by a spear by Reigns to get the win.
I really enjoyed this match and I was very surprised that The Shield did a clean sweep. I would say that I hope that The Shield would go on to bigger and better things. However, Seth Rollins decided to betray the group and join up with Triple H. Whilst I'm surprised that they would do this, I thought that Rollins turning heel was a really good move. If anyone was going to turn heel, I thought it would be Amborse. The decision to do it with Rollins was I think a good idea and I'm interested to see what they do from here.
I quite enjoyed WWE Payback. I thought it was a good show with some pretty good matches. The next event is Money in the Bank, which is one of my favourite events of the year and I hope it is as good as this one.