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WWE Payback 2017 Thoughts and Review

It’s time for WWE Payback!  The pay per view after Wrestlemania.  It’s historically been my favorite pay per view behind the big three of the Royal Rumble, WrestleMania, and Summerslam.  It’s time of year when we rode the road to WrestleMania but tensions and energy still remain high but they eventually cool off into the upcoming summer feuds.

Kickoff Match: Enzo & Cass Defeat Anderson & Gallows: I don’t know about you but Enzo & Cass’ act is wearing thin on me.  Either give them the title or split them up.  Anderson & Gallows deserve better than this kickoff match.  No surprise Anderson & Gallows beat Enzo to a pulp until a hot tag to Cass.  Had to give the win to Enzo & Cass but I hope the bookers put Anderson & Gallows into a better within the tag team division.  They’re much better than this.

Opening match – Chris Jericho defeated Kevin Owens to win the United States Title: Y2J moves to Smackdown.  Great opening match with both combatants showing off their moves.  Just like Wrestlemania it all came down to Owens’ finger.  Jericho took care of that stomping on Owens’ hand to make sure it didn’t happen again when Owens tried to touch the ropes but succumbed to the Walls of Jericho.  Great opening match and great addition for the Smackdown roster.

Austin Aries defeated Neville by Disqualification: Neville retains the cruiserweight title by using an old school finish by grabbing the ref’s shirt and tossing him around rather than tapping out.  I’m happy to see this feud continue; nothing but good stuff coming out of this.  I could foresee Aries winning that title one way or another.  Neville’s rocking it as champ.  Great opening matches so far.  Hopefully the rest of the card keeps the energy.  I’m always amazed how the cruiserweights walk away from their matches unscathed.

Hardy Boyz defeat Cesaro & Sheamus to retain the Raw Tag-Team Title:  Three for three.  Another action packed match.  Great chemistry from both teams.  Did Jeff Hardy really lose a tooth?  Never paid attention to see if it was lost prior to the match.  Looked like Matt Hardy was about to tap out when Cesaro put him in the Sharpshooter.  Match ended with a Jeff Hardy splash for the pin.  Too early for the Hardyz to lose the belts.  They’re too popular at the moment.  Was anyone shocked Cesaro and Sheamus turned on the Hardy Boyz?  Not me.  I like the heel turn of Cesaro and Sheamus.

How many announcers tables were there?  Now I’m half Greek and Albanian and you’re telling there’s no table representing the Aegean or Adriatic region?  Vince?  HHH?  Can you add one more table?

Alexa Bliss defeated Bayley to become the new Raw Women’s Champion:  This could be considered the shocker of the night as Bayley lost in her home town.  I hate the “What” chants when Bliss speaks but Bliss has shown me more and more each week playing the heel role very well.  I didn’t get the Bliss fascination for a while.  So Bliss becomes the first woman to hold the Smackdown and Raw Women’s title.  Impressive stat.  Impressive match.  Where does the title picture go from here?

Randy Orton vs. Bray Wyatt in a House of Horrors match:  Okay, let’s see what going on with this.  So Orton enters a house that reminded me of a combo of the Texas Chainsaw Massacre & House of 1,000 Corpses.  Horrible!  My friend Chris texted me, it was “WCW-esque”.  So true.  Another friend of mine, Michael texted us saying he was “Embarrassed to be a wrestling fan” after watching this.  I loved the creepy background music to add to the suspense/horror.  Didn’t work for me and likely didn’t work for anyone else.  Should’ve just stuck with a match in the arena so I’ll wait for part two of the match goes.  I’m curious as to what part of California this house is located?

Seth Rollins defeated Samoa Joe:  Clever ending with Rollins countering Joe’s Koquina lock by flipping Joe over for the surprise three count.  Does Rollins have a right knee anymore with all the abuse the past two months?  Samoa Joe is bad ass!  A great blend of power, agility, and quickness.  He makes every move look devastating.  I noticed Joe and I have one thing in common; we both wear Asics sneakers when the camera cut to the back of Joe’s feet and I saw that logo.  A good rebound match from the House of Horrors atrocity.  Speaking of which….

Oh no!  Part two of Orton/Wyatt!  Wyatt defeated Orton if anyone cared:  So Wyatt made it to the ring and Orton was right behind him?  That limo driver must’ve taken the scenic route.  Nice viciousness on Orton’s part but went downhill when the Singh Brothers and Jinder Mahal interfered in the match allowing Wyatt to finish off Orton with Sister Abigail and finishing off the painful match.  This was a bad ending to a great feud.  Up next for Orton: Jinder Mahal; obviously.

Braun Strowman defeated Roman Reigns: I don’t get it.  I may be in the minority of this has been booked horribly!  Reigns scores a huge win over The Undertaker at Wrestlemania only to be squashed all month long by Strowman?  I understand what Reigns is going through with the death of his brother but the continuous beating is making Strowman look like an angry man with no purpose.  It’s looking like a Lesner/Strowman feud for the time being until Reigns comes back.  The crowd chants “Thank you Strowman” but the reality is Reigns is one of the top stars on the roster.  Believe that!!

That is all!  Except for the House of Horrors, it was a really good pay per view.  Post Wrestlemania phase comes to an end and time to move onto normal course of wrestling business.  Looking forward to what’s in store for the Raw roster heading into the summer.

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Paul Laska

Paul Laska is a Self-Published Author, Sports Writer, & Travel Writer who resides in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Currently working on articles on Sevilla, Lisbon, and Oregon while writing a new novel for a 2015 release. Check out my Facebook page, Laska Travels. I'm also a freelance writer. Contact me for potential projects.

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