Jerry Lawler/ King Barrett
This segment was cringe-worthy. I agree, making Barrett King of the Ring was a good idea. It’s a far superior gimmick to Bad News Barrett. However, making “bloody” every second word that Barrett says and having him verbally attack Jerry Lawler and Elves Presley, paired up with a toilet joke, is a terrible, terrible idea. Barrett can do much better than this.
Dolph Ziggler vs. King Barrett
Ziggler came to the rescue and got himself a match but that didn’t last long. The two men hadn’t had the time to warm up when Sheamus barged in, swiftly followed by Neville, who saved The Show-Off.
The commentary, centered on Barrett’s nose, was even more cringe-worthy than the preceding segment.
Ziggler & Neville def. Barrett & Sheamus
This now was more of a match. There’s some awesome chemistry between Sheamus and Neville. They need to have a feud and I’d have it sooner, rather than later. The Celtic Warrior simply breaks Neville in half every time he gets his hands on him. Then again, they call Neville the Man that Gravity Forgot for a reason.
The crowd was eager to see Dolph in and he received a huge pop when he tagged in to face Barrett. The original two ended the tag team match. The interferences by Sheamus and Neville just made it better. Ziggler hit the Zig Zag and pinned the King.
Ambrose’s backstage interview was just begging for the authority to organize a hit on him. He practically said that he was very likely to win the title and that the Authority wouldn’t like what he’d do with it. If that’s not an invitation for a hit and run, I don’t know what one is.
Luke Harper def. Fandango
This combination baffled me at first. Then Luke Harper started Fandangoing. I didn’t know what I was watching. However, the new baby face Fandango didn’t stand a chance and was soon defeated with a massive clothesline.
After the match was over Erick Rowan’s music hit and he ran to the ring. I guess it was supposed to be a surprise but I and all the people watching with me knew what he was about to do as soon he showed up. Rowan “unexpectedly” turned heel and attacked Fandango, leaving Harper very pleased.
Rowan’s face turn was a disaster. The WWE was trying to achieve a genius gimmick but ended up with a mentally retarded dude with a massive beard and a onsie, who barely speaks. On the bright side, a heel Harper/Rowan duo would be a dangerous addition to the Tag Team Division and is bound to get the title.
The Lana/Rusev saga continues. It’s sad that the Cena vs. Rusev feud is non-existent and the focus is fully on Rusev being jealous of Lana’s popularity. First he was just a foreign heel. Now he’s adopting a wife-beater gimmick as well, how smart!
Reigns examined his opponents at Payback. Basically he likes Ambrose only but that won’t stop him from fighting him. I’ll admit Roman’s joke about punching people in the mouth “and this time not just for fun” was a good one.
The New Day def. Tyson Kidd, Cesaro & Ryback
Every match Ryback goes into immediately gets boring. I’m convinced that Kidd and Cesaro on their own against the New Day would have pulled off a far more entertaining match.
Yet, Ryback was there and it was obvious that it would spoil the outcome too. It was supposed to be fun in a way to see the face-off between Ryback and Big E, but Big E vs. Tyson Kidd was a much more impressive sight.
In the end, Wyatt’s music hit, Ryback got distracted. It started a moment of chaos, which Kofi used to pin Tyson by holding his tights.
From the Undertaker to Ryback. I feel sorry for Bray Wyatt.
Randy is somehow the fan favourite for Payback. For once not being involved in the deep-seated drama of the Shield is a bonus. It makes him stand out.
Naomi def. Emma
It was an interesting match. Both women turned heel recently so the aggressiveness of the fight was tangible.
Naomi, with her new predator look, came on top. It was to be expected. She’s earning momentum on her way to Payback.
Tamina got involved after the match and attacked Emma. That solidified Naomi as a heel, since Tamina is only an extension to Naomi. It was Naomi’s music that played in the end.
Seth, boasting about being smart, while insulting Kane, who actually controls the faith of his title run, is simply ironic.
Lucha Dragons def. Los Matadores
Los Matadores are a bigger bore than Ryback. They have the magical ability to kill off the vibe of any match they are in. I had completely forgotten about their existence and I wouldn’t have complained if I hadn’t been reminded of it.
The commentators were desperately trying to convince us that the match is fast-pasted and unbelievably thrilling. They should watch Lucha Underground if they want lucha action that’s so quick it’s hard to follow. The only saving grace of this fight was Kalisto. He set the ring on fire in the last minutes of the match,
And here Seth Rollins, for the first time in a while, used his smarts. All three of his opponents seemed to be on the same page – they wanted to get his hands on him. However, Seth turned it all around when with just a few sentences he set them on each other. Rollins played them well.
A fight unfolded. Reigns almost speared Ambrose because Rollins side-stepped him. Roman managed to stop but it only got both him and Dean at the receiving end of an attack by Seth, so the Lunatic Fringe was upset with his friend and started a quarrel. I can imagine that the WWE will find a way to break the bond between the two of them in the shows before Payback.
In the end of the night, Seth Rollins was standing in the middle of the ring with his title in hands. I won’t be surprised if that’s the scene we see at Payback as well.
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