We get two PPVs in 8 days as this is 2020 and anything can happen this year. PAYBACK had a decent card..not great as there were only three titles on the line but that was also justified as this PPV had a very little build up of a single week. Here is my short and sweet review and grading of PAYBACK 2020 :
Apollo Crews Vs Bobby Lashley for United States Championship
Nothing to take away from Apollo Crews as he is a world class athlete but this title reign was not something I was a fan of. Also this Hurt Business Vs Apollo rivalry was at its peak now as Apollo already defeated MVP and Benjamin and now it was time for him to face the CEO of Hurt Business. The match was an above average bout with some good moves and kickouts. A frog splash from from Apollo was worth mentioning but that was not enough to keep down the Almighty for 1–2–3. MVP and Benjamin were at ringside instructing Lashley and making sure things go there way and luckily they went. Lashley made Apollo tapped out to Nelson Slam and became 2-time United States Champion. MVP at his best, grabbed a cameraman and instructed him to capture this moment as the Hurt Business stood tall in the ring. Apollo attacked Lashley from behind after the match and then escaped Hurt Business, hinting at a heel turn or frustration that time will tell. 3 ♥ for this fun starter.
Big E Vs Sheamus
With Kofi and Woods out of action, it was reported that Big E was up for big push as a singles contender and that was evident from the outcome this match. It was a hard hitting battle which could have gone a bit longer since these two are great athletes but still it was a good match. Sheamus going after Big E’s leg during the whole match using Heel Hook or Sharpshooter was interesting to watch as it kept audience on the edge of their seats. As Big E is moving towards the big league, maybe he should add some new moves to his skill set other than just belly to belly slams. Big E’s signature apron spear was as usual a treat to watch but Sheamus’s big knee was just as brutal as well. The outcome was obvious but still it was a nice bout to watch. 3 ♥ for the in-ring chemistry among the two very best in the business.
Matt Riddle Vs Baron Corbin
I feel like Baron Corbin always tries a little too much to come out as the bad guy and still that doesn’t work his way. He attacked Matt Riddle as soon as he entered the ring and still lost the match to “Bro To Sleep” followed with “Floating Bro”. It was a pretty average match which we get on SmackDown and there was nothing which would be remembered after this match. Corbin attacked Riddle again while he was backstage interviewing which indicated that this rivalry was far from getting over. Both Corbin and Riddle could produce great matches if they are allowed to do what they do best, but a thumbs down for this encounter. 2 ♥ for whatever it was..!
Sasha Banks & Bayley Vs Shayna Baszler & Nia Jax
WWE have a habit of putting together two completely different individuals or bitter enemies into a tag team and then making them the tag champs and this was one such scenario. Finally we are getting closer and closer to Sasha-Bayley rivalry as Sasha went from Two-Belt-Banks to No-Belt-Banks in 8 days time and this time it was Bayley’s fault as she tapped out to Baszler. The whole match was interesting and entertaining to watch as Nia Jax and Baszler were working as a tag team and that could be interesting going forward. The ending moments of the match were incredible as Baszler first tangled Sasha’s knees, applied sleeper hold to Bayley at the same time and then used Sasha’s arm to make Bayley tap. The looks which Sasha and Bayley shared after the match was a clear indication of things going wrong. 3.5 ♥ for great story telling and new tag champs.
Keith Lee Vs Randy Orton
The first thing to discuss regarding this match would be to discuss the outfit of Keith Lee as it was definitely an improvement from his debut on RAW. This match had Keith Lee’s fast paced hard hitting moves as well as Orton’s slow slithering attacks which was a great combination all together. Randy’s three merciless echoing chops were difficult to watch but Keith Lee’s comeback with double chops were just insane. Keith Lee with a side slam drop on the table which is Orton’s signature move was also worth mentioning. I honestly had a feeling that they won’t let Randy lose on two consecutive PPV’s as they were portraying him as the Legend Killer but still it was best for business (according to Vince). A debuting Keith Lee definitely needed this win to portray himself as the big guy since he is a former NXT champion. Keith Lee reversed RKO and performed a picture-perfect spirit bomb for a PPV debut victory. I was hoping for a interference from Drew that could cost Randy the match as they could have protected everyone that way. Drew would have interfered as he was attacked, Randy would not have lost clean to a debutant on a PPV and Keith would have won to make a mark..still Vince had other plans in mind. 3 ♥ for debutant’s efforts and as usual our legend RANDY.
Rey & Dominic Mysterio Vs Seth Rollins & Murphy
Simply amazing…! This was by far the best match of the night as it had everything what you could ask for. The match started at high pace with Dominic attacking Seth and Murphy which showed he was angry and frustrated. Dominic’s top rope arm drag and Seth sweeping Rey to the floor on Murphy’s knee were just perfect and amazing. Rey and Dominic worked great as a tag team as they had innovative moves, great chemistry and they got each other’s back whenever required. During the closing moments of the match, the match turned into a tornado tag with all the members involved which I always loved. As Seth instructed Murphy to kick Rey in the head and finish the battle, Rey reversed the move and Murphy kicked Rollins in the head. Rey tagged Dominic and then jumped on Seth outside as Dominic delivered 619 and frog splash for a victory. A great match with a superb build up comes up to a satisfying end. WWE could now go with Seth-Murphy rivalry after tomorrow’s Seth Vs Rey match or they could take Seth off the TV which was reported earlier. 4.5 ♥ for the wonderful match..!
Braun Strowman Vs Roman Reigns Vs The Fiend in a No Holds Barred match for Universal Championship
Even though I am upset with Fiend losing the title, they way they made him lose and the way they made Reigns the badass SOB…it was just WOW..! So Reigns has not yet signed the contract and we have Fiend in the ring just when he was attacked by Braun and the match was officially started. It started at very same gear where they left the SummerSlam. There were many spots worth mentioning throughout the match like Uranagi to Strowman on announcer’s table, Mallet blow to the heart of Strowman, Strowman spearing Fiend through the table at entrance and the best of all was Alexa Bliss in her new hairstyle watching the Fiend closely. WWE did another ring-breaker-suplex but it was worth it as they had two monsters brawling in a No Holds Barred match. As soon as the ring imploded and both men were down, here comes the Big Dog and for those who were still wondering if he turned heel, I hope you would have got your answers. Reigns signed the contract and rushed to the ring to pick a cheap victory over Fiend but was failed to do so. Reigns gave multiple chair shots to Strowman but still the “Monster among Men” kicked out. As soon as Reigns went after Fiend, Fiend tried Mandible Claw and Reigns went LOW. Fiend moved out of the ring which was the perfect moment for Reigns as he speared Strowman and won the Universal Championship. Since Strowman was the one to get pinned, we may get Bray Vs Reigns further down the line. Overall a great match with full entertainment..4.5 ♥ for this main event. Also, I was happy to see backstage interviews and scenes which are always fun and provide something fresh. Last but definitely not the least, PAYBACK was actually better than the biggest party of the summer, SummerSlam dot.
Based on my above grading, overall I will give 3.5 ♥ for this PPV, extra ♥ for the backstage segments included in this PPV. Thank you for reading, if you liked the article please click on the clap button and show your support. You can clap more than once, just keep pressing the icon!!!