WWE PPVs KYGHT'S PPV EVALUATION - WWE Payback 2014: Best/Worst Match, Biggest Surprise/Move, Updated 2014 PPV Rankings
Jun 8, 2014 - 5:39:07 PM
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PPV Evaluation - WWE Payback 6/1
By Nathan Kyght, PWTorch PPV specialist
BEST MATCH – JOHN CENA VS. BRAY WYATT
Finally, after a lackluster match at WrestleMania and a dreadfully slow match at Extreme Rules, I thought these two found their rhythm (and a stipulation which supported it) and delivered one of the best matches of the year so far. The match was helped by the involvement of the Usos and Harper/Rowan who delivered some memorable spots (particularly the top rope suplex by Harper through a table at ringside) that gave Cena and Wyatt a chance to rest without stopping the action. The finish with Cena burying Wyatt under production equipment so that he couldn't stand was a god choice, as Cena got a needed win and Wyatt has an out. Bell to bell, a great match on another solid WWE pay-per-view in 2014.
WORST MATCH – PAIGE VS. ALICIA FOX
Just okay. Alicia Fox was seemingly put into the number one contender position based solely on an unexpected reaction to her "freak out after a loss" gimmick a week or so before, but the crowd wasn't much into this in Chicago. It also doesn't help that WWE hasn't given us much to care about in Paige, in terms of who her character is. With some better booking, though, I think she'll do very well on the main roster.
BIGGEST SURPRISE – CLEAN SWEEP
With the main event becoming The Shield vs. Evolution in an elimination match after Daniel Bryan suffered an injury, I figured the match would come down to all of Evolution vs. Roman Reigns, and then have him win for his team (or come close) in a big superstar-making performance. Instead, WWE opted for the opposite. After a very good match, The Shield eliminated all three members of Evolution in fairly quick succession for the clean sweep. Interesting booking, and a definite glimpse at the current WWE mindest: The Shield are without a doubt in for the long haul at the main event level.
BEST MOVE – INSANE STEP THROW
It sounds simple enough, but did it ever look brutal. Cena, stood in-ring, hoists the "steel stairs" up (and nobody does a better job than John Cena of making those things look like they weight about 500 lbs.), and then hurls them at poor Bray Wyatt who is in the entrance way. The stairs hit him flush (although for whatever it helped, he did get his hands up). Again, simple enough sounding, but it looked devastating, particularly in replays, and could have been the finish. A crazy spot.
BEST MATCH FINISH – LAST MAN STANDING
Wyatt being physically restrained from being able to stand was creative, didn't really hurt Bray, and gave Cena a win to end a feud that has gone on a tad too long. This was an excellent match, and the finish was really well done.
- El Torito and Hornswoggle had a hair vs. mask match on the preview show, and while it wasn't nearly as much fun as WWELC, it was still an entertaining warm-up match. I could do without all of the silliness involving El Torito selling the fact that his tail is somehow actually a part of his body, but for what it was, this was fine.
- Sheamus and Caesaro had a really good, physical opener to the PPV portion of the show. The two work well together, and I hope there is a re-match (or perhaps they're both involved in the ladder match) at Money in The Bank.
- Cody Rhodes & Goldust had a decent match with Rybaxel, and I'm interested to see where we go with the Rhodes's brothers split after Cody said he feels he isn't good enough. I suspect that he'll watch Goldust lose with the partners Cody selects before determining that it was Goldust who was the weak link all along, but we'll see.
- Rusev looked really good against Big E. in a short but good match, and I'm interested to see who they pick for the first real feud of Rusev's main roster run.
- Kane destroying Kofi Kingston, I assume, was just to remind us that he's waiting for Daniel Bryan when the champ makes it back.
- The Daniel Bryan segment was much better than I expected, particularly due to Stephanie McMahon who is just awesome in her heel role. Brie quitting and slapping Steph popped the Chicago crowd huge, and they kept the segment short and to the point. Well done all around.
- Evolution vs. The Shield was very good, although I preferred the match at Extreme Rules more. Still, a totally worthy main event match with a lot of fun spots. Side note - You know how when most guys realize that they're balding, they shave their heads? Batista has decided to grow in his receding hair, and somehow looks cool doing it. This is unheard of.
WHAT IT'LL BE REMEMBERED FOR
With the benefit of hindsight, the last match of The Shield (for now), and an exceptional Last Man Standing match that will be on the ballot at year's end when we vote for Match of the Year. A very good show.
UPDATED 2014 PPV EVALUATION RANKINGS
1 - WWE WRESTLEMANIA XXX (2014-04-06)
2 - WWE PAYBACK (06-01-2014)
3 - WWE EXTREME RULES 2014 (2014-05-04)
4 - WWE ELIMINATION CHAMBER (2014-02-23)
5 - WWE ROYAL RUMBLE (2014-01-26)
6 - TNA LOCKDOWN (2014-03-09)
7 - TNA SACRIFICE (2014-04-27)
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