WWE PPVs CALDWELL'S WWE PAYBACK PPV REPORT 5/17 (pre-show): R-Truth vs. Stardust, Ascension vs. nostalgia pairing, more
May 17, 2015 - 9:53:00 PM
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WWE Payback PPV Report
May 17, 2015
Report by James Caldwell, PWTorch assistant editor
PPV Pre-Show on WWE Network
The pre-show panel inside the arena was Renee Young with Booker T, Byron Saxton, and Corey Graves.
Backstage, Dolph Ziggler talked to Eden Stiles about getting payback on Sheamus. Ziggler vowed to end their feud tonight. Well, he's still a slight underdog against Sheamus according to the latest betting odds, but there has not been much movement, so the late money has yet to hit.
Off to the social media lounge for Tom Phillips advertising a Q&A with Sheamus later in the pre-show.
Back to the panel to discuss the U.S. Title feud between John Cena and Rusev heading into their "Game 7" I Quit match, as described by Saxton. Saxton also told a story of Rusev yelling at fans after Raw when they tried to get a photo with Lana. Fine work from Saxton on both points.
Next was a video review of Daniel Bryan relinquishing the Intercontinental Title last week on Raw. Renee hyped the Elimination Chamber match in two weeks to determine the next IC champion.
Backstage, Eden Stiles brought in the Bella Twins. Brie sold being emotional when asked about Bryan's health. She said Bryan will do everything in his power to come back to the ring. Nikki uncharacteristically acted like a supportive sister as Brie fought through tears talking about Brie. Eden asked if Bryan's situation will affect them in the ring tonight against Naomi and Tamina. Nikki said that will not be the case because they are family. And, she will prove why Naomi will never be Divas champion.
At ringside, Michael Cole, JBL, and Jerry Lawler introduced the in-ring portion of the pre-show. R-Truth was introduced first for a "bonus match." Truth rapped down to the ring, then asked Baltimore what's up. Three times. Stardust was introduced next as his opponent.
A -- R-TRUTH vs. STARDUST
The crowd taunted Stardust with "Cody, Cody" chants after the opening bell. Basic house show action early on as the announcers talked up Lawler's new DVD coming out. Truth made a comeback with a faceplant to interrupt the announcers talking amongst themselves. Stardust responded with a swift kick to the face that nearly drew a three count. Another very close two count for Cody, which prompted him to yell at the referee. Meanwhile, the announcers went back to talking about Lawler's DVD. Cody decided to remove his gloves and slap around Truth, which drew an axe kick. Truth followed with a slap to the face, then hit What's Up? for the pin and the win.
WINNER: Truth at 6:50. A tired match formula that the announcers treated like a tired match-up. Just didn't feel like anything was at stake.
Next was a video package on Bray Wyatt vs. Ryback set to an ... interesting soundtrack.
Back to Phillips at the social media lounge, where Sheamus was standing by looking grumpy. He demanded good questions. The first question was about Sheamus's hair. Sheamus heeled on the Twitter user, saying this is part of his transformation. He represents fear now. Next was who Sheamus would form a team with past or present. Sheamus thought about it, then said he wouldn't pick anyone because he's a lone wolf who gets held back by others. Next, what would Sheamus's occupation be if not a wrestler. Sheamus heeled on the question for being garbage. Finally, Sheamus was asked if he's afraid of Ziggler beating him again. Sheamus roughed up Tom Phillips a little for asking the question, then said Ziggler should be happy if he lasts more than 18 seconds.
In-ring: The Ascension's Konnor and Viktor were introduced to the ring for the next pre-show match. After a video review of how this match was set up on Raw, Randy Savage's music played to bring out Damien Sandow dressed as Savage. Hulk Hogan's music then played to bring out Curtis Axel dressed in all red & yellow with the bandana, fake mustache, sunglasses, boa, and red & yellow trunks and shirt. JBL said this pairing is more like the Nacho Man and Huckster.
B -- DAMIEN SANDOW & CURTIS AXEL vs. THE ASCENSION (KONNOR & VIKTOR)
Axel started things off ripping the t-shirt like Hogan, no-selling, and going for the big boot. But, Ascension cut him off and they isolated Axel in the corner. Sandow finally got a tag and landed offense before Axel low-bridged Konnor out of the ring. Sandow then climbed to the top rope looking for an elbow on Viktor, but Konnor cut him off from the outside. Back in the ring, Ascension double-teamed Sandow with the Fall of Man for the pin and the win.
WINNERS: Ascension at 2:50. So, now what for the faux nostalgia duo after they went all-out for this match? It felt like a throw-away match outcome tucked at the end of the pre-show. But, perhaps just a way to give Ascension a "credibility win," whether for the Chamber Tag Title match in two weeks or general purposes.
Back to Renee, who introduced a video package on the WWE Title four-way match on the main PPV. Renee then got final predictions on the title match from Booker, Graves, and Saxton to wrap up the pre-show.
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