WWE Payback 2016 Review and Fallout from the week

I kept holding off on putting this up because I had a feeling that something was on the horizon. Boy, was I ever right. WWE wrapped up the week with it’s annual future endeavored list, and there’s also a big Ryback story. So let me run through Payback quickly and then touch on RAW and then these 2 stories. Since there is so much ground to cover, my analysis will be shorter than normal.

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Payback’s kick off show featured 2 matches. It started with Dolph vs Baron Corbin. And to nobody’s surprise, Dolph won because WWE hates logic. Here’s a guy who won teh Andre the Giant Battle Royal at Wrestlemania, yet here he is jobbing to Dolph. In a shitty roll up nonetheless. That is such an overused tactic. I’d rather Dolph had hit all of his big moves and legit worked Baron over so the outcome felt right. So yeah, fuck this match, and I hate Baron’s new pants. The other match featured Kalisto beating Ryback in an incredibly boring match. These 2 are just not a good pairing. Kalisto is better off with guys who want to do athletic moves, and no offense to Ryback, he’s not that guy. More on Ryback later. Kalisto needs better opponents because he could be in the top 5 for popularity if done right.

The PPV started off with the finals of the tag team tournament for the #1 contenders spot in a match between the Vaudevillains and Enzo & Cass.  We had a good crowd who were totally into Enzo and Cass. Unfortunately, the match ended abruptly when Gotch threw Enzo. He didn’t have enough space, and he threw him way too hard, so Enzo had no time to react, and his head connected with the second ring rope, and then the mat, and he was knocked out before he even hit the arena floor. To make Matters worse, Gotch came outside and grabbed Enzo by the head. I guarantee that Gotch got quite the tongue lashing backstage. I can easily understand why it happened, it was his first WWE PPV, he was probably pumped, and not thinking straight, but damn. It was a scary sight. The match ended and the Vaudevillains won it, and Enzo is out for a month or 2 with a concussion most likely. I think they should have Cass get somebody like Apollo to tag with to take on the VV or The Dudleys and not rush Enzo back. Concussions are not a cool thing.

Kevin Owens fought Sami Zayn next, and to be honest, this match very clearly stole the show and it was obvious. These guys have great chemistry, and Owens won. He then stayed out to do commentary for the next match, which was for the IC Title because Owens wants his belt back. So we have a good Cesaro vs Miz match, in which the Miz won it, but it was a clusterfuck by the end with Owens and Sami getting involved. This was not only good in ring work but also great story telling. This is one of, if not the best story that WWE has going right now. I liked everything about these 2 segments and legit wanted to see more for once.

Dean took on Jericho next, and while it was a very good match, after everything that had just happened, it couldn’t get me overly excited. Dean went over, because you can’t have Jericho win at PPV 2 times in a row, no matter what. Then later on Jericho said his goodbyes indicating that his run was over again in typical Jericho fashion. Of course he would be back the next night on RAW. Good shit.

Next up was the Women’s title match, and stop me if you have heard me say this before, but I don’t give a fuck about Charlotte, and Nattie may be the most over rated female since Lita. This match tried hard, but it just sucked the wind out of the arena, despite having Ric and Bret out there. The match ended with a screwjob…..sigh. Charles Robinson was the ref and if you watched WCW in the last year or two of it’s existence, then this made a modicum of sense, no matter how bad it was. I fucking hated it. I want this feud done with. Give me Becky, Sasha, Paige, and Emma.

We got a long boring McMahon segment afterwards. Shane and Steph are like co-general managers. Fuck my life for wasting time on this shit when you could have had the Social Outcasts vs. 3 random black dudes. I’m trying to help out Apollo.

Finally, we get a pretty intriguing main event in theory. If nothing else, we had a clear cut face and heel dynamic. AJ was the face with heel friends, and Roman was the heel with face cousins. In the end, all 6 guys were involved, and Roman got the win. You know what? Roman wrestled a decent match here, mainly because he had somebody who he could work with. Roman even hit his big running dive from out the ring which is a great move for a big match. I liked it. I also enjoyed being right about Finn Balor and mocking Russ about it, because I’m a dickhead and he wanted to believe that something big was going to happen. Not for another month or 3.

All in all, I would say that Payback was about a 6. I have to say that the pre show match were trash, the tag match ended on a terrible note, same for the women’s match, and the McMahon jerk off session was too fucking long. Everything else was good to great. 6 Seems fair.

On RAW, still no Finn Balor. Jericho returned, reminding the fans that he loves to fuck with us. Cass got to be in an 8 man tag with New Day against Dudleys and VV’s. Cass did a great job and it was probably the best segment of the show, that or the stuff with Owens about the IC title. This is stuff that really pumps me up. We had a 20 man battle royal to decide the new #1 contender to Kalisto’s US Title, and The League of Nations split up, then proceeded to dominate, especially once Baron got eliminated. In the end, it Was Rusev, Sheamus, Alberto, and Zach Ryder. Rusev won, and this is a match that I can get behind. Rusev is athletic and can move and provide Kalisto a different type of match. This may be the time for them to get Rusev back on track and make Kalisto one of the most beloved characters in the process. The last segment was a 6 man tag match, and Gallows and Anderson tried getting AJ to use a chair on Roman, but AJ is still too much of a face, until he gets hit by a chair by the Uso’s, so then he uses it and Roman flips his shit. This story is very well done. Keep Finn out for now. He’s not needed, trust me. This needs to play out organically in order for AJ to keep momentum. Oh, and Charlotte and Natalya may still be feuding, and Emma beat Becky in a decent match.

The WWE released a bunch of dead weight in the sense of guys being hurt or never going to wrestle again in Hornswoggle, Santino, El Torito, and Zeb Coulter. Then we lost Wade Barrett, which has been a known thing for awhile, so no surprise. Cameron got released, and to be honest, she never really was any good at anything aside from looking hot. Then to wrap it up, Alex Riley got chopped, despite looking very good in NXT and definitely deserving of more opportunities, but he may have wanted out. Oh, and Damien Sandow. You know, a guy who a year and a half ago was getting better pops than 92% of the locker room. You know, a guy who once held Money in the Bank and was legit on teh verge of being a star. The guy who should have won the Andre the Giant Battle Royal last year or even the Royal Rumble. Yeah, WWE is a bunch of dumb fucks some time. The dude was money, and he could have been huge, but they held him down worse than Zach Ryder I have to say. At least Wade got some IC Title runs, Damien just got shit on. Wade should have been put over by Cena, but per Edge and Jericho, Cena refused to put over Wade and he never recovered. Wade and Nexus should have held all the belts and gone NWO on shit, and they could have made some bonafide stars. They should  have never canned Daniel Bryan. Imagine, a stable with Wade, Daniel, Ryback, Heath Slater, Justin Gabriel, Darren Young, and Otunga? Tarver was never going to be shit, so screw him. That group could have had Wade as world champ, Daniel with IC, Ryback (Skip Sheffield) as US, and Heath & Gabriel as tag champs. That should have happened. Or maybe have Otunga as US and Skip as the muscle. Huge, huge fuck up.

This all leads to the big Ryback story. Here is the link to Ryback’s blog about pay issues in the WWE. First of all, it was a very well articulated commentary, and I appreciate the fact that he spoke his mind. I know a lot of people may have been swayed into his line of thinking, and if you did, well you’re a damn fool. I like Ryback, I respect him, and I felt that he was screwed over by his heel turn a few years back against Cena. Still, if we are just talking about the topic at hand, which is pay, and how big the gap should be from star to mid carder to jobber, then I will simply focus on that.

Some wrestlers have the ability to put people’s asses in seats. Some guys get over with talent like Cesaro or Luke Harper, and there is now a Cesaro section at every show. Some guys are so good on the mic that they get a following like Enzo or Bray. Some guys have the best of both worlds, your Dean, Seth, Cena, Austin, Owens, Punk, and Daniel Bryan. And then of course, you got your freakish guys who are so damn awesome to see in real life like Brock, Taker, Kane, Braun, Big Show and so on. They all bring in certain demographics of fans that pay specifically to see these talents. Hell, let’s not forget the beautiful women that bring all kinds of perverts, I mean fans….yeah, fans. Ryback has his place in the pecking order, and most shows, you will see a Feed Me More sign, and good for him, he deserves it. Here’s the thing, if he leaves tomorrow, does anybody stop watching? Does anybody stop going to shows? Maybe a few, but it’s nothing in the grand scheme. If any of the social outcasts leave, the next crop of jobbers are ready. The thing is, they ham it up and are entertaining and comfortable in their roles, like Tyler Breeze is. It’s a job that he can stay with for 10-15 years if he plays it smart and stays safe and spends smart. If the pay is appropriate for both sides, then they will continue doing business happily. When Punk left, a chunk of fans were turned off or maybe stopped watching. Same with Daniel Bryan, or Austin or Rock. You can’t expect Steve Buscemi to get paid the same as John Travolta in Pulp Fiction, no matter how much you love Steve Buscemi. That’s what Ryback wants. Ryback, don’t even deserve Ving Rhames money if we continue to use the Pulp Fiction parallel. He maybe gets Christopher Walken percentage. And that’s fair. Yes, the jobbers are important, as are side characters, but the people who draw deserve to get paid. If you lose a lot, but are still beloved, like Mysterio was, or Jericho, you still get paid, and that’s where Ryback lost all credibility in his argument.

Do you think Father Gabriel or Rosita ask to be paid like Daryl Dixon or Rick Grimes? Doubt it. Ryback, you keep acting like a moron, and maybe Vince pulls a Negan and gets out his Lucille and unleashes it on your career. As a fan, I appreciate the progress that you have shown on the mic and in ring, even if most fans over look that because they care more about flippy shit and Roman’s wet hair, but I have noticed it. You have added moves to your in ring arsenal. Still, you are a mid carder, so just keep your mouth shut, rake in as much big money as you can and save it while you are able bodied. Your argument is invalid and inept.

All pictures used in this blog are for review purposes. They are property of WWE and wwe.com.

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