Skip to main content

The Only Review of Payback That You'll Ever Need

From now on I'll be reviewing all TNA & WWE PPVs that Scott doesn't. So, hoorah, no? [this question is not allowed to be answered by Cultstatus]

The PPV opens up with a terribly corny mob guy speaking about payback in between promo videos for Ryback vs. Cena and Jericho vs. Punk

The Miz vs. Curtis Axel vs. Wade Barrett - IC Title

I literally hate everything about The Miz. I hate his jacket, his catchphrase, I hate the stupid way he walks to the ring, I hate his hand sign. I boo that man. What I do not boo is the bit of Perfect's music spliced into Curtis' theme. Am I the only one who feels that Barrett's jacket really kills his cool factor? It's so out of place. Miz and Barrett start off the match, keeping things crisp. Eventually, Barrett is out as Miz and Axel do damn well for themselves. I've never seen Curtis wrestle, and if what I see here is any indication of what he's capable of, then he's gonna be alright. Not sure if it was intentional or not, but Axel does the Mr. Perfect "you kick my leg while I'm holding the rope and I do a flip" spot. They eventually get all three in the ring, and they continue to tear it up. Curtis almost gets Wade with the Perfectplex, which causes the building to absolutely explode. Miz tries to tap out Barrett with the Figure 4, but Axel comes in and pins Barrett, and the crowd goes nuts. This was one HELL of a match. Really, it's fantastic, marking the first time since Jericho and Mysterio fought over the IC title that I felt the belt was actually worth something. This one kept rolling without a hitch, and is one of the best openers I've seen in a good long while. Hell of a way to open the PPV. 
Axel pins Barrett while Miz has him in the Figure 4 at 10:36  | ***1/2  A fantastic opener, with Curtis getting a real chance to shine. Look for it. 

Backstage, Triple H & Curtis have a stare down. Vince shows up, and he has the pompadour back, which is good because he just wasn't Vince with the Cesar cut. 

Kaitlyn vs. AJ Lee - Divas Championship

Kaitlyn starts the match by tossing AJ outside and then throwing her over the Spanish announce table. It's nice when the women actually show some passion. AJ quickly turns the momentum to her side by goading Kaitlyn to chase her around ring side, then climbing up the ring apron and leaping off it with a drop-kick to Kaitlyn's face as she rounds the corner. Back in, AJ hits her with a neckbreaker, continues to hold it and brings Kaitlyn back up for another. That's what I like to see, distinctive, cool maneuvers that actually separate one diva from another. Kaitlyn eventually earns her momentum back with a series of harsh clotheslines, followed by a sweet Dean Malenko-style off-the-shoulders-gut-buster. AJ soon puts Kaitlyn in the Black Widow submission, which is great, but once she gets out she hits AJ with one of the harshest spears I've ever seen. You know, the term to describe most divas is hot, but AJ is the first one I'd say is sexy. Normally a girl needs more curves to earn Caliber's affection, but I can make an exception for AJ. I'm sure she'll be delighted to hear this. As for the match, AJ soon makes Kaitlyn tap to the Black Widow, ending one of the best WWE women's matches I've ever seen. It was technical, hard-hitting, with little to no botching. A hell of an effort. Great stuff. Naturally, Kaitlyn is distressed, and the Chicago crowd tries to cheer her up with chants of "you tapped out". She's actually not a bad actress, as she makes herself cry on command. These two are definite keepers. 
AJ forces Kaitlyn to tap out to the Black Widow submission at 9:56 | ***1/4 One hell of a woman's match. They went out there and busted their asses. I hope they keep this up

We then get some jabber from the "Payback panel," which I guess was part of the pre-show. It looks like they're trying to emulate those football pre- and post-shows, where commentators and former/current football stars talk about the game. I think it's a great idea, and I'd watch a show that was entirely that. 

What's this Wyatt Family thing? Are they supposed to be like a heel version of Duck Dynasty or something?

Kane vs. Dean Ambrose [C] - US Championship
I know someone in the comments section mentioned seeing a person in a "I'M A CHRIS BENOIT GUY" T-shirt. I just saw him as Ambrose was coming through the crowd. The only guy I want to punch more than the type who laughs at their own jokes is the one who purposely tries to be offensive. As for this match, it doesn't have much going for it, to be honest. It's rather basic. Kane is really much better suited for tag teams. King finally makes the comparison we all made months ago when he says Ambrose is like Ledger's Joker. It's a pretty basic Raw match, really. It's not terrible, and isn't a blemish for the PPV, it just doesn't live up to what we've seen tonight. Pretty sweet DDT Ambrose hits on Kane outside. As it goes, the DDT causes Kane to be unable to make the 10 count, thus a win for Ambrose. 
Ambrose wins via count-out at 9:34 | **1/4  Perfectly suitable match, but nothing worth seeking out

We get the RVD video. I'm interested to see him back in the WWE, hopefully giving a damn and getting a program with the likes of Punk or Jericho. 

Alberto Del Rio vs. Dolph Ziggler [C]  - WHC
If Russo were writing this, Ziggler's concussion would have him being all sorts of confused, and he'd have him kiss Big E on his way to the ring because it'd draw money and get him over. They really need to unify the WHC with the IC title, and then make the IC title the belt. Bam, the IC title is worth what it was 25 years ago, and you don't have two fucking world titles in your company. The Twitter Ticker is so damn obnoxious and reeks of TRL.
 Del Rio is fierce on Ziggler, giving him absolutely no chance to breathe, and chasing him any time he gets but a few feet away. Dolph is acting like his previous concussion is affecting him, which causes Alberto to beat the living hell out of his skull. They're clearly going for a double turn here. Del Rio nails a...well, there's no name for it, really. You act like you're going to go for a Scorpion Death Drop, but pick the person up and drop them down in a Diamond Cutter. Except he did it from the top rope. Great moment when Ziggler is outside and a trainer keeps trying to get him to stop the match and Ziggler yells "NO! I'M FINE!" as Del Rio comes flying through the ropes, feet first into Dolph's skull. He soon wins the match by winding up and kicking Dolph in the head. Really? The guy's first defense and he loses? Why do they hate him? Either way, this match made Dolph look gutsy as hell, and very much a fighting champion. However, from a quality stand point it just wasn't that great. It was literally nothing but Del Rio kicking Ziggler in the head for 13 minutes. The double turn was interesting though. 
Del Rio boots Ziggler in the skull for the pin at 13:49 | **3/4  They went a different way with this one, and went big on story telling. I'm fine with that, but save it for TV

CM Punk vs. Chris Jericho

They trade some mat wrestling in the beginning, with neither really able to hold the momentum. Jericho is finally the first to build a little bit, but it's cut short with a neckbreaker from Punk. CM has an awesome moment when he whips Jericho into the turnbuckle and delivers the running knee where he stays with the opponent, then bulldogs him. Well, after delivering the knee, he looks to Cole and says "vintage Punk!" The bulldog is stopped short by Jericho, however. They trade submissions in a pretty sweet spot, followed by a few finishers. Jericho hits a super Codebreaker when Punk does his clothesline from the top-rope. I love stuff like that. An awesome finish soon comes afterward when Punk hits a GTS on Jericho, causing him to stagger into the corner then back out, where Punk grabs him for another GTS and the pin. Needless to say, these guys went out and killed it again. It wasn't as great as WM, or Extreme Rules, but they completely brought the goods, without having to repeat any of their other matches. Great stuff. 
Punk hits Jericho with the GTS for the pin at 21:21 | ****1/4 This match is fantastic, definitely worth obtaining the PPV for.

Roman Reigns & Seth Rollins [C] vs. Randy Orton & Daniel Bryan - WWE Tag Team Championship

It's too bad D-Bry is saying 'yes' again, because this tag-team could have been called RKNo. D-Bry and Reigns are in first, with Orton eventually tagging in. An awesome moment soon comes when Orton attempts to put Reigns in the second rope DDT, but then just throws him to the side like so much trash in order to grab Rollins and give him the DDT. For the second time tonight, the crowd has a booming chant for RVD. The Shield cuts the ring in half, keeping Randy on their side for quite a while until Bryan is tagged in, and he does massive damage with drop-kicks so big he almost leaps over the top rope. The finish sees D-Bry eating a spear because of Orton, and then getting hit with...not sure what to call it. It's set up like a Fameasser, except Rollins runs at you, jumps and steps on your head, then drives it down. Pretty interesting. As for the match, it delivered. The Shield was dominant, and looked like tag champions should. There wasn't a slow moment, and serves as another bright spot on the PPV. 
Rollins pins D-Bry after a Stepmaster at 12:10 | *** A solid match that did great things for all parties involved

Ryback vs. John Cena [C] - 3 Stages of Hell for the WWE Championship

Ryback has "Unlimited Energy" written on the straps of his singlet. How is that supposed to scare or intimidate anyone? I don't think anyone has ever been afraid of a cup of coffee. Ryaback controls a good portion of the beginning, keeping Cena down with his usual power offense. The first stand-out moment of the match is when Ryback is thrown outside and causes a brawl between all 30 wrestlers. Cena then climbs to the top of the rope and jumps into the fray. Back in, Cena goes for the STFU, but Ryback reveres it into the Shellshock for the pin. I would have thought they wouldn't be smart enough to have a guy they're trying to build actually pin the champ, but they were. Ryback brings in a table, then both try to put one another through it to no avail, it's finally destroyed when Ryback throws steel stairs right through it as he was aiming for Cena. Another one is destroyed the same way. I miss blood. This match needs Cena gushing, and Ryback reveling in it, painting himself with it. Ryback is finally driven through the table with the FU. He answers back by powerbombing Cena through the announcers table, then dragging him to the ambulance where they tear it apart in ridiculous but entertaining fashion. They battle to the top where Cena delivers an FU that drives Ryback through the roof of the ambulance, which is pretty sweet. Overall, not a bad match whatsoever. Ryback looked very strong, even getting a clean pin on Cena. The tables and ambulance match were more fitting to Ryback's abilities and the more entertaining portion of the 3 stages. A perfectly acceptable ending to a PPV that's been stellar.
Cena delivers an FU that puts Ryback through the ambulance roof for the win at 24:38 | ***1/4  A worthwhile main event that works in context of the PPV, but nothing really worth hunting down alone

Showcase Showdown: For a PPV that no one thought would be worth much, if anything, they really came through. We got a fantastic opener, one of the best women's matches I've ever seen, another classic from Punk and Jericho, and an entertaining main event. This is one that's definitely worth checking out, and probably the biggest surprise of the year.

As always, thanks to my editor, Steven Ferrari. He and I met while we were both training in the League of Shadows. However, we left because we both felt we could serve justice better by writing about wrestling & editing. 

For more Caliber, do go...
Str8 Gangster, No Chaser - Recently updated with a review of Man of Steel, plus, an exclusive look at the script of an upcoming episode of The Big Bang Theory! With notes from Chuck Lorre and everything!
WCW In 2000 - Recently updated with a review of the PPV New Blood Rising. It's Russo in all his glory, baby. 
Man Movie Encyclopedia Vol.1 - Scott Keith, Maddox, fellow BoD'ers, they all endorse The Man Movie Encyclopedia. I'm not saying it'll improve your life as a whole, but your sex life? Oh, mos def. It's only 99cents, you absolutely can not lose. 

Want to email Caliber so you can say you did on your resume? Well send it on this way partner,

- Caliber


  1. What sport do you play that caused all the concussions? Or are you part of an underground fight club? Please ignore the first two rules and tell me about it...

  2. I did a topic on it on here not too long ago. Basically backyard wrestling, but with quite a lot more effort than just going in to your backyard and fucking around.

    Used to plan some long term storylines. Become a real big thing here in England. We used to have guys all over the country coming together for monthly shows. Pretty impressive when you think about it like that.

    But yeh, countless concussions. Definitely noticed being slower and struggling with concentration and spelling, which really sucks.

    Too many unprotected chair shots, but mainly just from bumping. It's amazing the amount of times your head springs back and hits the ground on bumps.

    Lost my memory.... twice, I think? (There's irony for you)

    The worst case of it was seeing a pal of mine having to be told (again) his nan had passed away the day before. He literally just broke down in floods of tears because he had no recollection of it.

    So yeh, this is why the whole concussions thing strikes home for me.


Post a Comment