WWE PPVs KYGHT'S PPV EVALUATION - WWE Payback (06-16-13): Best/Worst Match, Biggest Surprise/Letdown, #1 PPV of the year thus far?, more evaluations
Jun 24, 2013 - 3:02:08 PM
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WWE Payback PPV 6/16 Evaluation
By Nathan Kyght, PWTorch PPV specialist
BEST MATCH – C.M. PUNK VS. CHRIS JERICHO
This was just awesome, a great effort from both men in front of a super-hot Chicago crowd. Punk predictably got a hero's welcome (although they didn't turn on Y2J, either) and after a methodical "feeling out process" to start the match, the ending was great with enough convincing nearfalls that it did seem like Jericho, against all odds, would prevail. This was the definite highlight of a very good show. And, despite some criticism that the match started too slowly before picking up at the end, as Chris Jericho helpfully pointed out on Twitter, so does "Stairway To Heaven." Bravo.
WORST MATCH – DEAN AMBROSE VS. KANE
I like Dean Ambrose a lot, but these wrestlers's styles didn't seem to gel at all in this match. They had also delivered a subpar match on Raw, making the booking of this all the more curious. I do like Ambrose as U.S champion, though, as the WWE's secondary titles are in desperate need of some credibility, so silver linings.
BIGGEST SURPRISE – ALBERTO DEL RIO WINS
Heading into the show, I thought that one of the few locks would be Ziggler retaining the World Title - he had just returned from injury and I assumed that the WWE had plans for a long heel run on top. Not so, as WWE presented the rare "double turn." And it was perfectly done. Del Rio attacking Ziggler's head to play off the concussion angle was just subtle enough to slowly begin to turn the crowd, and it was cemented when Ricardo dismissively told the ref not to check on Ziggler because "he's fine." Pulling off the double turn is very tricky, so kudos for this.
BIGGEST LETDOWN – NONE
This was the best WWE effort on pay-per-view since last year's Extreme Rules, in my opinon.
BEST QUOTE – CHICAGO FANS
Kaitlyn, the victim of a conspiracy to break her heart on Raw (the worst kind) goes into the show the champion, then loses the title via submission. Never ones to let a gal's feelings get in the way of a good chant, the crowd heckled her with "You tapped out" chants a la Los Angeles to Triple H at last year's Summerslam. Hilarious.
BEST MOVE – JOHN CENA
Granted, it looked like WWE intentionally shot the finish of the main event from a low angle to make sure it looked good before replaying it from above, but Cena delivering an AA to Ryback through the roof of the ambulance was clearly the image WWE had in mind when looking for a "Payback moment." Side note - ambulances in Chicago are structurally weak.
BEST MATCH FINISH – WADE BARRETT VS. THE MIZ VS. CURTIS AXEL
This was a really good three-way, and a match that surpassed my expectations. The finish was great as well, and I can't recall having seen it done before, which is particularly impressive. To break it down, Wade Barrett was in The Miz's figure-four, and Axel dove onto Barrett pinning him as Miz failed to get the hold off in time to intervene. Nicely done.
- A.J. and Kaitlyn had a good match - the best WWE Divas match in quite some time. Was this a response to the praise given to Gail Kim and Taryn Terrell for their TNA Slammiversary match? I'm going to speculate "yes."
- Sheamus and Damien Sandow had what I can only describe as the most-hyped free PPV pre-show match ever, and they were given enough time to make it good. I enjoyed this, and it was a nice hook for anyone still on the fence about ordering.
- RVD is coming back! In Philadelphia! I was watching this show with five other people, and all of them responded the same way: "He retired a few years ago, right?" C'mon, TNA.
- The Shield vs. Orton & Bryan was okay, but they have had better matches on television. It seemed that WWE was perhaps running a bit short on time by this point, so I'm guessing that hurt the bout a bit.
- John Cena diving onto Ryback and 30 lumberjacks was good, but made brilliant upon replay. Go back and watch it, paying close attention to Sin Cara, who was nowhere near being hit but thought "I'll be damned if I go off script!" and then inexplicably threw himself to the floor. Stay the course, Mr. Cara.
WHAT IT’LL BE REMEMBERED FOR
Totally exceeding expectations. I assumed the legacy of Payback was going to be "the show after Extreme Rules," but this was a great three hours from WWE. To me, it's pay-per-view of the year thus far.
(Side note - upon rewatching Slammiversary I'm going to admit that I was initially wr-.....wr-......er, I'm going to bump it ahead of the Royal Rumble. The Rumble was good, but upon reflection I think Slammiversary edged it out. We can only hope that The Rock's career can recover from me bumping a show he headlined down a notch on my list. If there's no Hercules 2, my sincere apologies.)
UPDATED 2013 PPV EVALUATION RANKINGS
1 - WWE PAYBACK (2013-06-16)
2 - WWE WRESTLEMANIA XXIX (2013-04-07)
3 – TNA SLAMMIVERSARY (2013-06-02)
4 - WWE ROYAL RUMBLE (2013-01-27)
5 - TNA LOCKDOWN (2013-03-10)
6 - WWE EXTREME RULES (2013-05-19)
7 - WWE ELIMINATION CHAMBER (2013-02-17)
8 – TNA GENESIS (2013-01-13)
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