5/17 Payback: Best PPV effort in months

WWE Payback PPV Review
May 17, 2015
By: Adam Martin of Wrestleview.com

This company was in dire need of an entertaining, solid PPV event.  It’s been months since these “special events” have felt special, including a very underwhelming WrestleMania. WWE delivered in Baltimore and did so when they needed it the most.

I don’t seem to be alone either.  All early feedback we received was positive.

@Frank__Samuel: “8.5 Glasses of Milk out of 10”

@DustinHolland84: “#Payback was just Good again, staying on trend with the last few @WWE PPV’S. The main event did not disappoint. #shieldreunion”

@SNS_BronxZilla: “#WWEPayback was a great PPV in my opinion. Everyone worked hard and the matches were solid and the storytelling was great.”

@LennyStarkNJ: “The Shield spot was really great.  Kane involvement with Seth needs to cease.  Good I Quit match.  Excellent tag. 8/10.”

Chaotic main event was the right call

Setting up a fatal four way match for Payback was clearly the right call after seeing the finished product on Sunday night.  With a variety of outside factors including J&J Security and Kane, the addition of Dean Ambrose to this match really helped the interest factor and allowed for quite possibly one of the best moments of the night: a mini-reunion of The Shield.  The crowd reaction alone in Baltimore to the sight of Rollins, Reigns and Ambrose teaming up again for even a brief moment was worth it alone.

I loved Ambrose and Reigns playing off the crowd reaction of the botched attempt at a Spanish table spot not working out originally as planned and just going with it.  All four guys worked really hard and it created a fun atmosphere both in and outside the ring.  Having Rollins finish off Orton with a Pedigree and closing with the smiling proud father in Triple H was very entertaining. This was an excellent PPV main event effort by WWE.

Cena and Rusev tear it up yet again

I’m going to repeat myself and I don’t even care. John Cena and Rusev have incredible chemistry and have been able to keep both their feud and matches interesting for months now.  The babyface teasing of Lana at ringside really added a fun element to the atmosphere, including the finish with Lana supposedly translating on behalf Rusev.  The use of the top rope brought back memories of Cena vs. Umaga from Royal Rumble 2007 and it was a good spot to recycle.  The brawling in the crowd got a bit goofy (especially with Rusev executing one of the lighest Alabama Slams I’ve ever seen), but they were able to rebound with the fun pyro spot including the great reactions by Cena and Lana at ringside.  While this clearly feels like the conclusion of Cena vs. Rusev, I’ve quite enjoyed myself and wouldn’t mind a revisit.

Quick Thoughts

* Sheamus and Dolph Ziggler had a really fun opener. Ziggler got busted open bad!

* I loved the finish with Xavier Woods subbing in to get the pinfall.

* Bray Wyatt and Ryback had a fun big man brawl. Worth watching if you missed it.

* Naomi’s new heel character is growing on me.  Still not a big fan of the new theme though.

Overall Impression

This was easily WWE’s best PPV effort in months.  What might have been viewed as an average show with an average card by some turned out to be very entertaining and worth going out of your way to check out if you passed on it.  The Elimination Chamber special event in two weeks is already looking very fun by putting titles on the line never before done inside the Chamber. It may have felt rushed at first, but looks very promising.

Agree? Disagree? You’re in luck. We now have a new comments area down below where you can share your thoughts about Payback.

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