The time has finally arrived as the WWE present Payback. This is a PPV exclusive to Raw and their first one after WrestleMania. Despite being a Raw PPV, we have some SmackDown Live superstars featured thanks to the Superstar Shakeup. We have Kevin Owens and Randy Orton defending their championships despite being SmackDown Live stars. We also have the Hardy Boyz defending their Raw tag team championships against Cesaro and Sheamus. Bayley defends her Raw Women’s title against Alexa Bliss, who just arrived from SmackDown Live. We also have Roman Reigns returning to the WWE as he’s been out with various “injuries” to battle Braun Strowman. As we all know, Strowman is responsible for Reigns being in the condition he’s in. Let’s see if Payback turned out the way I predicted on my sports website.
The opening match featured Kevin Owens defending the U.S. title against former champ, Chris Jericho. As we all know, these two were best friends until Owens turned his back on Jericho leading to their match at WrestleMania. Kevin Owens defeated Jericho at WrestleMania to become the new United States champion and this is a rematch. As far as the match went, this was a good match between these two. I’ll good as far to say that this match was better than their WrestleMania match. This match was full of counters and good wrestling from these two and Jericho shows why he’ll be remembered as one of the best ever. Kevin Owens is just a perfect heel and one hell of a wrestler. In the end, Jericho picked up the win to become the new champ and moves to SmackDown Live. Winner and New United States Champ: Chris Jericho
Match Rating: 3.75/5- Fantastic way to open the PPV and I was surprised to see Jericho pick up the win.
We have another rematch from WrestleMania as Neville defends his Cruiserweight title against Austin Aries. As you know, these two have been feuding for almost two months and it’s been good. Neville used mine games to get T.J. Perkins to turn on Aries. Austin Aries had to earn his rematch against Neville at the PPV. Like the Owens/Jericho match, this match was better than their one from WrestleMania. These guys beat the hell out of each other and I thoroughly enjoyed this match. I’m a huge fan of both guys as Neville has been gold ever since his heel turn and Aries is just great. In the end, Neville got himself disqualified by grabbing the referee when Aries had him in a submission move. Winner by DQ: Austin Aries, Neville Is Still the Cruiserweight Champ
Match Rating: 3.5/5
This is for the Raw tag team championships as the Hardy Boyz face Cesaro & Sheamus. The Hardyz returned to the WWE at WrestleMania to take part in the ladder match and went on to win the championships. Cesaro & Sheamus won the right to face the Hardyz as they beat Luke Gallows & Karl Anderson to become the new #1 contenders. This match was good and hard hitting as Jeff Hardy lost a tooth during the match Isaiah Thomas style. Both teams had chances to win and I thought Cesaro & Sheamus was going to become new champs. In the end, Jeff rolled up Sheamus after hitting a Swanton Bomb to pick up the win. Winners and Still Raw Tag Team Champs: Hardy Boyz
Match Rating: 4/5- After the match, Cesaro & Sheamus congratulated the Hardyz and seem to leave the ring. As the Hardyz celebrated, Cesaro & Sheamus returned to beat down Matt & Jeff and left them laying as they left.
We have the Raw Women’s championship as Bayley defended her title against Alexa Bliss in her hometown. Bliss is a former 2-time SmackDown Live Women’s champion and she won the right to face Bayley for the title. I’ve made it clear several times that I’m a huge fan of Alexa Bliss and her potential. The match was good as these ladies brought it with this physical encounter. In the end, Bliss tries to sunset flip Bayley in the corner. Bayley sits out into a pin. Bliss kicks out and sends Bayley head first into the turnbuckle. Bliss yells at Bayley to give up. Bayley traps Bliss in a small package. Bliss kicks out. Bliss grabs Bayley and lands a sick DDT for the win. Winner and New Raw Women’s Champ: Alexa Bliss
Match Rating: 3/5
This was the House of Horrors match between WWE Champion Randy Orton and Bray Wyatt. I’m not going into detail on all what happened because I really didn’t like this match. Honestly, it felt like a suspense movie and I think the WWE is slowly ruining Bray Wyatt. In the end, the Singh Brothers and Jinder Mahal interfered allowing Bray to hit Sister Abigail for the win. Winner: Bray Wyatt
Match Rating: 2/5
This was another match I was looking forward to as Seth Rollins faced Samoa Joe. As we all know, Samoa Joe attacked Seth Rollins when he debuted on the main roster when Rollins was feuding with Triple H. The match itself was physical as Samoa Joe focused on the injured knee of Rollins. Both guys got in a good bit of offense throughout the match and we saw a few nearfalls. In the end, Rollins hits the ropes and runs right into the coquina clutch. Rollins walks the turnbuckle and rolls into a pin. Joe releases the hold to break the pin. Joe turns Rollins inside out with a lariat. Joe locks in the coquina clutch again. Rollins rolls Joe over into a modified cradle for the win. Winner: Seth Rollins
Match Rating: 3.75/5
We have the main event as Roman Reigns battled Braun Strowman. Reigns is coming back from his multiple injuries he suffered from Strowman in that horrific attack on Raw a few weeks ago. Roman Reigns entered the match with bandages all over his shoulders. Strowman basically beat the hell out of him throughout the match much to the delight of the crowd. Throughout the match, Reigns tried fighting back, but Strowman continue his onslaught. In the end, Strowman hit a pair of running powerslams on Reigns to finally pick up the win. Winner: Braun Strowman
Match Rating: 3.25/5- After the match, Strowman continued to the beatdown of Reigns as he slammed him ribs-first into the steel steps. If that wasn’t enough, Strowman picked up the steps and slammed the steps into the ribs of Reigns making him bleed. People can say whatever they want about Reigns, but he’s putting Strowman over in a major way.
Overall Rating: 7/10- This PPV was much better than expected. My only gripe throughout the event had to be the House of Horrors match between Orton and Wyatt. Below are my top 4 match of the Payback PPV!!
- Hardy Boyz© vs. Cesaro & Sheamus
- Seth Rollins vs. Samoa Joe
- Kevin Owens© vs. Chris Jericho
- Neville© vs. Austin Aries
What did you think about the Payback PPV? What was your favorite match of the night? What was your least favorite match of the night? Head to the comments section and give me some feedback.