WWE Payback 2013
Live from the Allstate Arena in Chicago, Illinois on Sunday 16th June 2013 Payback's card was lined with dependable talent and not its standard relied upon characters along with the impending return of hometown hero CM Punk. Could WWE survive without these universal forces and would it be able to deliver a great PPV as a result?
The Miz Vs Curtis Axel w/ Paul Heyman Vs Wade Barrett (c)
Beginning the show would be Wade Barrett's defence of the Intercontinental championship under triple threat rules. Barrett instantly gained offence on The Miz as late addition Curtis Axel stayed outside waiting after taking one bump to slide outside.
Miz collects Axel from outside only to be pummeled by Barrett in ring. Barrett was allowed some moves to maintain his profile before the inevitable. He soon charged a running boot at Axel who avoided as Barrett was caught up in the ropes. Axel knocks him down only for Miz to work over Axel.
Miz displays sturdy action in his exchanges with Axel. Axel soon gets the netter and halts a Barrett return by keeping him outside. Axel begins further ground work on Miz. Barrett later returns and both Miz and Wade have their finishers revoked. After interactions with Axel and Barrett, Miz was allowed to return with strong booking, slamming Axel with a Skull Crushing Finale which was vital and necessary. Miz made it look capable with fluidity. Wade threw Miz outside to take the pin which scored two only. Miz soon returned with a clothesline takedown and figure four leg lock try where Axel was knocked off by Barrett to the outside as Miz the locked the figure four on. There was no doubt, Barrett was going to fall here. However, the sneaky Axel slipped in as Miz held the submission on Wade. Unable to escape and Miz unaware applying pressure in the hold, Curtis Axel held Wade's shoulders down to score a three fall victory and lift the Intercontinental Championship before a submission to The Miz could be made.
|The Mizzer Four Leg Lock|
|Curtis Axel steals Mizes opportunity|
Undefeated Axel remains after six countout or technicality victories counted by WWE though not at all as a performer. This was Axel's only true win and once again it was a fluke win which did not help overall, which is something WWE need to acknowledge and deal with. Miz also needs his green tights back.
Michael Cole explained it was fathers day and Axel, a mirror to his late great father, Mr. Perfect, won the title after replacing a concussed Fandango, favourite to win instead. The Miz would have been the best choice to win to maintain his profile, give him a fresh take and new prospects. He was ready at this time of feeling and it wouldn't have been the same standard boredom. It would have refreshed him. WWE did not think this and hastily added the strap to its new favourite, desperate to impress their star selection as meaningful.
Hot off his victory, Axel bumped into Triple H who would not allow Curti to pass. Vince McMahon quickly caught up and congratulated the "kid" Curtis and agent Heyman. He then spoke with Triple H, who rejected a match with Axel under McMahon's proposals.
Hot off his victory, Axel bumped into Triple H who would not allow Curti to pass. Vince McMahon quickly caught up and congratulated the "kid" Curtis and agent Heyman. He then spoke with Triple H, who rejected a match with Axel under McMahon's proposals.
Unified Womens Championship
Kailtyn (c) Vs AJ
Kaitlyn entered slow walking and holds up her title as usual. Looks familiar, right? Playing off the secret admirer the angle of Big E. Langston slamming her down continued as a building mechanism. AJ came out and got slapped last week on Raw where Kaitlyn no sold being vulnerable.
Furthermore on the pre-Payback Smackdown Kaitlyn slapped official Rod Zapata whilst squaring off against a mocking Aksana.
Finally getting started both began with a stare down. AJ blows a kiss as aggressor Kaitlyn attacks with clubs following with a hurl over the Spanish announce (SAP) table. AJ was flung back in breaking a four count. A yelp from AJ. Kaitlyn delivers lame clubs, huge boos continue. AJ smashes into the face of K’lyn. Two fall by AJ. Headlock by AJ. At this point questions were poised. Will Kaitlyn go bad? Will Big E fall for Kaitlyn after originally dismissing her? Will he screw AJ as AJ screwed him before in a previous match costing? Minimal ground work and clubs continued. AJ maintained traditional diva talking/screams. BOO’s were resounding afterward.
Sleeper placed on Kaitlyn. AJ showing her ass crawling around. Kaitlyn dropkick retaliation. Major cleavage shown. Two fall on AJ.
Toe kick caught into roll for one on a leg scissors cradle. Kaitlyn hoists AJ on her shoulders dropping hard with a knee rib-breaker. Kailtyn disrobes her belt. Referee stops her. AJ pulls apron as the champ drags AJ back in ring from escaping. This was enough leverage for AJ to slap Kailtyn with the belt buckle as referee was doing a sterling job with the apron clear up. AJ rolls around as possum. Covers for two fall as Kailtlyn shoves AJs head down off in an awkward kickout. AJ screams as females often do now. AJ climbs. Flips hair, launches, caught but AJ catches Kailtyn in body round submission black widow. Entangled and screaming, Kaitlyn reverses backbreaker and spear before seductively leering over AJ blowing her a kiss with her hand and vengefully slams her head down. A chance to retain failed as a two fall attained only. Foolish. Both went to corners, spear into as AJ lifted up and avoided the champ’s attack as AJ was hammocked above whilst Kaitlyn smashed her head on the turnbuckle pad upon spearing. AJ locks on the submission again. “Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!” screams the Kelly Kelly/Eve clones.
Kaitlyn aims to prise AJ’s legs off her shoulder. Kaitlyn was trapped. No one cared for Kaitlyn but many weren’t really caring about AJ neither. For their standard match portrayal and minimal skills this, however was a decent submission on the night for AJ. It was passable. Kaitlyn had no choice but to tap out and cried at her loss. AJ submitted her former friend and claimed the Unified Women’s championship. “You tapped out” the audience mercily chanted. Not one cared. Layla came to comfort the unstable, emotional former champion who helped cuddle down the ramp.
Natalya and Alicia Fox consoled Kaitlyn with Layla backstage. “You did a great job as Divas champ” said Natalya in the comment of the night. This was Kaitlyn’s first major PPV defence since winning in mid-January this year.
United States Championship
Kane Vs Dean Ambrose (c)
People knew the match outcome but were highly interested to SEE the match which is a rare occurrence and highlights wrestling in a positive light once again.
Lock up and jabs from Ambrose. Kane turns around with Irish whip control. Knee drop toe slide kick to Kane who was soon down. Jabs in corner from Ambrose with some credible dragon screw leg takedowns and kicks to head containing aggressive stance. Ropes tangle work down. Flip over once more. Left leg wear down. Headlock twist on Kane. Top climb by Kane, knocked by Ambrose.
Action became interesting when Ambrose chose to mimic The Undertaker, a previous fight Ambrose had, with the top rope walk arm club. Kane managed to halt this attempt with a clothesline. Not enough, Kane threw another one on for good measure. Following with a sideslam Big Red claimed a two fall on Ambrose. Ambrose retaliated, punching Kane off a top climb attempt with a right hand, falling down.
Kane tried one more chokeslam as Ambrose rolled away to the apron. Kane flung a big boot instead. Ambrose regained momentum and laughed in the monster’s face and slapped him for being unable to keep him down. Infuriated, Kane slaps his opponent down and begins dismantling the SAP table outside. Going for a chokeslam with authority, Kane was nailed to the ground by Dean Ambrose, who re-entered the ring and simply allowed time to be on his side. Kane was so knocked, he was counted out. Usually these decisions would irk many, however, once again, people knew the outcome but wanted to see the story. Though they hadn’t anticipated a countout end, either. It was still a decent tale.
World Heavyweight Championship
Dolph Ziggler (c) w/ Big E. Langston and AJ Vs Alberto Del Rio w/ Ricardo Rodriguez
Alberto Del Rio began kicking viciously on defending champion Dolph Ziggler's head. Tentatively back from a concussion and unable to be fully medically cleared as concern debated, as per storyline, it made logical sense for Rio to attack the concussion. What perplexed the audience however was an honourable man being so dirtily tactful.
Rio worked on the head outside hard. He soon shoved Big E. Langston outside to stopped possible interference and was shoved down in response. Big E. was made to regret these actions. Dolph’s heavy was ejected from ringside. Rio delivered a cunning smile. Tonight Bertie was oozing cunning charisma.
The Mexican aristocrat placed a headlock on Ziggs as newly crowned female champ AJ taps the canvas to rally support for her babe Ziggy.
Ziggler was allowed some momentum with swift whip around and clubs followed as Dolph flipped around the back adding a sleeper hold on his challenging foe. Ziggler was then shoved head first in the turnbuckle. Running kick to the head on the floor followed for the champ. Role reversal in booking tonight, vulnerable Dolph was booked as weak, just as his title reign amounted to from his minor talent on offer. Clubbing blows felt to the back of Dolph, who was tangled in the ropes, legs and arms dropped like a dazed monkey but still managed an infeasible two kick out after back attacks from Rio. Random counter by Ziggler followed with a two fall to remain in the battle.
The concern before and to this point was that the scene needs some enthusiasm with its performers in terms of fresh, new outlook instead of same old hat performers in the milked series’ over and over. The WWE Universe didn’t want either man, however in a complete turnaround they lapped up this one as an exception because it delivered style, new opportunities and interest. The series beforehand was dry and lacking gumption.
Ziggler counter. Ziggler got a two fall then holding head. AJ and referee displayed concern. Dolph was stopped by referee stoppage. Not very dirty for Dolph. Beyond his control should have seen naughty Ziggles accept this way out, however valiantly and stupidly chose to continue on. Del Rio attacked picking up a two fall. He gave a huge kick to Ziggler’s head.
Outside once more Rio plows down Ziggler with claps from the respectful audience in both camps, as wrestling should be. Two fall for Alberto Del Rio again. Frustrated clubs hit on Ziggler. Clutching the leg as was soon Zig Zagged was dropped randomly as the champion seen holding his head again. Ziggler began screaming in pain, the feeling of near tears severity. This, of course wasn’t legitimate but WWE felt to play on it a little. Be careful it doesn’t pay you back in future. From this sheer level of pain, Ziggler was subjected to an opportunistic Alberto Del Rio as Dolph Ziggler had no option but to feasibly lose and shift the World Heavyweight Championship. They were roars of delight to a bewildered backstage WWE assuming fans were only true Ziggler fans.
No, the fans were interested to watch, respect and witness Rio’s style with Ziggler’s behaviour also. Being over in both camps, this was a score for WWE and Del Rio’s new transition. Vince made one very good decision tonight. Joined with the storyline, the change was feasible and believable. Realising the hot crowd were interested, WWE told Rio to get back out there and ask Chicago for their support as their new World Champion. Knowing a debatable reaction, neutral Rio got what he sought. “I ask for your support” he asked before vocally hurled with disagreeable boo’s. “I feel I deserve to be your champion, so let’s hear it for you new champion” he continued as Chicago rained down on him, disagreeing further. Some cheered but Chicago played their part well. WWE handled this saga of Del Rio perfectly all night.
CM Punk w/ Paul Heyman Vs Chris Jericho
This was the seemingly final battle between the two in order to find out who truly is the best in the world. Punk/Jericho is going to be a long one toward 40 mins it would seem. It was as predicted and was a worthy donation to both. With former reservations from previous encounters however, scepticism was rife. Would their Payback challenge be a scorcher, or massive burn out?
Paul Heyman told Jericho when signing the contract prior on Raw, “You’re going to be booed, you’re going to be vilified” for taking on hometown hero Punk in Chicago. Y2J entered to a quiet crowd. CM Punk received cheers but Jericho was not booed. Were WWE worried at this point? If they were, they shouldn’t have been.
After bowing on entry Punk, with his sweet cropped hair sported some bushy sideburns on his face causing comparisons to X-Men superhero Wolverine, played by former actor and future Hall of Famer Hugh Jackman.
We soon began the intense action. Lock up. Roll through by Punk, crossing Jeri’s legs over the back way. Flipped by Y2J submission. Punk’s open legs were pleasingly apparent. Snapmare by CM. Circling one another. Dropkick. Flip over headlock take down by Punk. Arm wrench and shoulder jab followed. Lever shoulder drop, and chop to corner. Shoulder jabs in the gut. Y2J returns with a slap fest where both traded chops. Jeri mudhole stomping. Jeri misses corner jump. Slightly slow starting to interest. Jericho fling clotheslines over Punk. Mr. Rock 'n' Rolla gears his ear to the crowd in an attempt to be vilified. This crowd were not so easily manipulated and ignored making negative sound on command. After being dropped onto the rope in a classy exchange claps rang from the crowd in a respectful audience. Punk jumped down onto Jericho for a two fall. Arm lock behind CJ. Some “Lets go Jericho” chants took off. Punk locked Jericho up again. Punk charged a run to the corner, with leg up afterwards gathering himself whilst breathless. Delightful.
Y2J scouted a comeback into fast work around the ring floors with a Punk from top drop. Running bulldog afterward as Chris yelled enthusiastically “Come on baby!!!!!!!!!!!” surging the Lionsault which failed to connect when Punk avoided just as Jericho landed on feet in realisation. Punk ducked underneath to swiftly use a neckbreaker for a valiant two fall. The rapid flow through brought valued momentum.
Punk atop turnbuckle smiled to the crowd allowing Jericho to counter his rival into a Lionsault for two. Caught shoulder by Punk was then reversed to the troublesome Walls of (Chris) Jericho, which locked in. Heyman was aghast. After some tender time Punk strived through the pain to reverse through face to face before a beautiful change saw Punk sitting on Y2J with his legs around him with a sleeper. Fans in attendance found this humourous, interesting and respected the intuitive display. It was wonderful.
Punk capitalised with the Anaconda Vice which followed with a quick one fall when on shoulders tipped down. Heyman repeatedly yelled “tap!” to encourage Mr. Jericho to submit to ‘the best’ allegedly. Y2J wriggles to ropes.
Jericho clasped on a leg lock submission effectively. Heyman watched on as CM rolled up his adversary for a two fall and escape. Jericho quickly changed pace once more taking both down with a double suplex. He then chose to club Punk down as the chants for Chicago’s own Made Punk rallied. The “wooo(h)oooooohhh” sounds returned as Punk fought back and launched a running knee. Punk then went atop and landed a perfect elbow drop. CM pufferfish was seen after. Punk then hoisted Jericho onto shoulders to drop the GTS. A near two fall continued this match on as fans supported dignifiedly. They asked for “One more time” as Jericho kicked out. Y2J missed a Codebreaker and clotheslined outside by Punk, who launched a torpedo dive to loud adulation.
Punk then dived at Y2J but was caught into a mid-air codebreaker in a perfect exchange once again. Heyman was on tenderhooks with worry as “This is awesome” sang both men’s praises from onlookers.
Elbow jabs to Punk’s chest from behind were different and pleasing for wrestling values. The leg of Punk was then slowly grabbed which was turned and missed as a small package from Punk took a two count alone. Jabs were traded to Yes/No favouritism for both. The crowd was truly electric at this point to say the least.
Y2J locks the Walls on Punk once again for the final time as CM was visibly in pain in the centre of the ring. He needed to find a way out as Heyman prayed for a miracle. With no rope break in sight, cleverly isolated by Jericho, Punk battled on and managed to get up. He clubbed his way free before smashing the GTS once more on Chris Jericho. For good measure Punk lifted Jericho up again for a second GTS in succession. Back to back devastation landed CM Punk the three fall and official title of WWE’s “Best In The World.” The action was fast paced, vivid, technical and full of heart.
WWE Tag Team Championship
Randy Orton and Daniel Bryan Vs Roman Reigns and Seth Rollins (c)
Roman Reigns began smashing hard clubs on Daniel Bryan. Bryan returned with kicks followed by an athletic somersault over Reigns from a whip to corner counter, only to be caught for a two fall by Reigns, attacks in the corner came as Rollins sneak clubs behind while Randy Orton stirs on his tag partner. Rollins and Reigns quick tag back in and out. Two fall from double team aggression. Wrist headlock by Reigns. “Let’s go Bryan.” Bellows from the crowd.
Reigns worn down. Bryan up. Elbows to gut. Run takedown on Reigns. Orton hand extended. Bryan makes the tag as does Rollins. Orton cleaned house with a hard scoop slam. Outside for second rope drape DDT. Reigns saves and gets planted instead. Rollins misses a roundhouse kick lading soon into a hard scoop slam once more from Orton, who seductively slithered towards. Tries the second rope again. Rollins pounded. Orton cheered by crowd. Rollins out, Reigns up from outside punching as referee and Daniel Bryan dealing with one another.
Orton worked down. Crowd slightly bored so resort to “RVD” chants after earlier revelation of the returning star next month. “Let’s go Rollins!” was also heard in a pleasant attitude changer. Orton returned fire again, missed and flung into turnbuckle by Seth hard. Flung back by Reigns, clutched wrist on Randy as the crowd willing Orton on. Orton slammed down shoulder drop as tag in made for Seth Rollins.
Work down. Tag Reigns back in for double run on Rand. Orton grabbed Rollins hurling another scoop slam over into his partner Reigns only just hurled to the ring post in corner. Reaches to Daniel Bryan who climbs atop from the tag quickly. Double dropkick from Bryan. Running dropkick on Reigns. Two fall. Kicks. “Whooo” anticipation as missed and lands the swing back retaliation instead after Reigns thought he avoided the first wave. Two fall. Roman kick up face, Rollins behind hurled over top rope as Orton was outside with them. Flying launch pad from Bryan over quickly saw The Shield pairing shove each other away leaving Orton to get smashed by Bryan. Reigns followed a two fall up. Isolated Bryan returned to send Reigns out. Top turnbuckle saw a Rollins superplex with Bryan in another sterling scene.
Two fall. Into NO! lock as breaks to stop Reigns, Rollins roll up only gains a two count. Counter into submission. Reigns saves before roaring loudly. Shoved by Orton Daniel Bryan spears as an RKO delivered to Roman Reigns. Seth quickly shoved Orton out as Bryan, unaware in the swift battling was clubbed to the back of the head by Seth Rollins, who covered him for the 1-2-3 fall to win and successfully grasp the tag titles again. Orton was mildly peeved and disheartened walking back in frustration as his paring with Bryan was regretful on the night.
Three Stages of Hell - Lumberjack, Tables, Ambulance
John Cena (c) Vs Ryback
After last month’s shabby no contest result, how could WWE deliver its main event with real interest ladenned with Cena and Ryback after an excellent PPV outlined before them by the entire roster? Otherwise known as the supporting cast.
Lumberjacks came out as Alex Riley took prime position in front of camera for some bootyful appearances. This would get us through the tedious match ahead.
|A -Ri got the curves goin' on for 10 mins at least :D|
Cena entered with further disrespect to the town and wrestling fans mentioning “I love this town” after a raucous amount of boo’s. This disagreement did not encourage cheers for Ryback, neither.
Running sideslam by Ryback. Caught and fall away slam. Cena outside. Two fall back inside. Lock up to Cena chants of the usual suckery. Ryback then dropped a cheap turn around, sit drop crush down akin to a stunner. Never go there. Hurled to the lumbers Cena was. Thrown back in after minor assault. Suplex by Ryberg followed before tossing Cena out again. The lumbers charge and put him back in. Ryback was quickly then hurled out. It was his turn. The lumberjacks kept order and allowed him back in. Jeers were all around especially when comic hero Cena staged his comeback. Henry Cavill you aint!
|Woooo! SuperCena took out everyone. Hmm...|
Thrown onto the lumbers by Ryback outside again proved Cena can sell to someone when he wants to because he feels unthreatened by a useless star that won’t surpass him, as mentioned in the previous PPV round up – Extreme Rules 2013 . After an assault and Ryback out again the lumbers all go at it. This was a perfect time to create some rivalries. Instead WWE simply chose an all in mash up. Cena suddenly climbed to the top turnbuckle as stupidity would have it and saw him pointlessly jumping onto ALL the lumberjacks. Further the infeasibility, SuperCena took them ALL out in his superdive. Pitiful and comical. Ryback soon returned and caught Cena by surprise in the Shell Shock as the first fall was quickly decided and awarded to Ryback. Damn, it’s time for Riley to leave. Still two falls to go. Hard slog to get through huh?
The second fall now stood under table rules and in Ryback’s favour. Cena needed to win or it’s all over. Can anyone defeat the WWE hero?
Standing jump shoulder barge by Ryback before table get. Caveman do powerbomb, miss, counter by Cena, caught by Ryback with a rather comical “arghhh.” Goldberg surfaces.
Launch up swift catch by Cena, miss as Ryback grabs table. Fan loudly heard giving his opinon as a lingering “bulllllllllllllshit!”
|Neanderthal huffin and puffin|
Ryback soon flung Cena into the steel steps. Already dragging on the stairs were lifted up into the ring. After taking a jab in the head, Cena had a hand on the table as Ryback readies himself. The liability carelessly throws steps in at a previously broken table as Cena narrowly avoids. Cena soon nudges into Ryback’s skull in a quick change around as often a Cena match does. Ryback still hasn’t won a PPV yet. He is still placed in title matches unconvincingly and undeservingly on a roster brimming with contenders.
Cena is back on the table as Ryback plunders steps through yet another table unconvincingly and has done nothing to exert his authority as dominant. It was a comedy farce. Ryback then riduclously hurls the steps outside down the ramp narrowly missing the audience on bounce. Attitude Adjustment was countered with a spinebuster by Ryback. Cena had yet to do a single move in all the stages matches. Ryback lifted for a Shell Shock just like that and was reversed quickly and randomly as John Cena put Ryback through the table to level the scoreboard 1-1 to finish the fall with an Ambulance ending. Cena caught an easy drop down and dropped opponent through said table accessory.
Ryback quickly charged back up with no splinter sell.
The “Goldberg” chants began as the announce table had no seller number two Ryback placing Cena through it after losing the tables fall just to prove he could be as strong as Cena yet WWE has to protect Cena from seeming weak by winning the fall making a lunatic farce of both as stars. Pointless as usual.
“It only gets worse from this” Ryback says. “How can it get any worse than this?” Michael Cole asks Jerry Lawler.
Both now travel towards the Ambulance. Lifted up over shoulder. Drop down and shove into Ambulance. Side door open, Cena pulls out crutches. Hits Ryback. Gut nudge on charge to Ryb. Stupidity continues as Ryback gets the door open. Is he going for a drive? As Cena runs at Ryback with the door flung open Cena charges through Ryback and the door! Wow! He is so strong. The door was ripped away from the centrepiece vehicle. Oh, so that’s what makes this exciting. Cena picks up the now defunct door as a floating object and hits Ryback, not before lifting it all the way over Cena’s head like King Kong on a rampage of glorious prowess.
Cena is then trying to push Ryback into the passenger as Ryback sets off the siren beeps a couple of times like a fart noise. Ooh! Ryback soon recovers of sorts to then rip a piece of the vehicle off the side panel. Hmmm. So cheap and so tacky, but Ryback is unstoppable! He is so strong. Armed with a piece of plastic the powerful beast that is Ryback was flung over backwards to the windscreen bonnet as his foot cracked the glass to signify the Payback shattered logo sign. Novel. Cena climbs and removes sirens on top only to smash at a chasing Ryback in a weak mistiming and bearings angle. Was he lost up there?
Cena, atop the roof, clearly signalled a drop down into the ambulance was coming surely? Someone is going to go through it, don’t you think? Michael Cole gave a ludicrous statement stating it was like “something out of a Bond movie.” How very dare you! Nowhere near a James Bond on a budget match. Now get me my martini!
Seconds later, John Cena slams Ryback through the roof of the Ambulance. Oh My God! What a shocker. Never saw it coming. Unseen and falling onto invincible padding inside the comfy cab, Ryback was whisked off to obscurity. The result was obvious, clear and pathetic. Sure was a perfect way to ruin the PPV. These two are the centre of all WWE’s problems and their booking won’t create new opportunities instead. Seeing as every new prospect has to go through Cena, and the options Cena has all worn out with everyone on the roster, WWE must consider dealing with these issues.
Despite the distaste of wrestling values Cena neglects, Ryback was nowhere near sustainable as a champion contender. With a whole year of being unable to work, grow and form a solid charter despite favouritism for being tall and muscly and not much else in the charisma department, Ryback could not feasibly be a champion. He still hasn’t won a PPV, neither and yet props up in main events carried by Cena. You do the math in flawed terms.
Nevertheless, this PPV without its main event delivered emotion, entertainment and pure wrestling with deep, light or meaningful stories that every match following was not harmed and continued to step up their game. Who would have thought a cheap name PPV would deliver so much promise? Payback paid off, but the run up will no doubt be a bleep! Can WWE resist the urge to rely on the boring stars and actually give the ball to the new batch of qualified and talented stars that drive new options? Probably not, but the WWE Universe is pinning its hopes on such prospect from the success of Payback itself.
PPV Rating - 9/10
Men/Women of their matches - The Miz, AJ, Kane, Alberto Del Rio, CM Punk, Daniel Bryan, Ryback
Man/Women of the PPV - CM Punk
The audience in Chicago, filled with respectful audience members, cheering in both camps for Rio/Ziggler, Punk/Jericho and Orton, Bryan/Shield was a perfect choice to host. Clapping out of respect witnessing first rate wrestling, interesting angles and full on style every match bar the man event was welcomed. If WWE really worked on its main event call ups, it really could reevaluate what outlook wrestling can have in the future for the industry, it's fans and as a business.
Rio's shock victory was the right decision in terms of storyline progression. How can one with severe concussions win a match overall? Working a heel in the evening has benefited Rio who is now clear to turn and necessary for his and Smackdown's way forward. It is a shame however that WWE revert to changing the same people, but then, they have no one else to rely on, hence the importance of creating characters. We did tell you Ziggler's reign would be a short one. He isn't the future and won't cut the proverbial mustard, so move on and hope he props up the tag team division in the future at best. It seems the Ziggler character has run its course.
Leading on to the ever mundane Wade Borrett. Barrett's time is well and truly up. He is uninteresting, has no skills available and is meek. Nothing can be done to change him. The Miz was our candidate to win. We knew he wouldn't but he had most chance to gain from this match and retain relevance as a star. WWE could have worked a program for the title after with Axel. WWE could not resist the urge to book Axel, modelled on his late father, on Father's Day to give him a chance. Usually this is probably the correct thing to do, but it ruined Miz, and did not sell Axel who has won all his six matches undefeated as a fluke on count-outs and DQ's alone. They are not valid wins and have ruined the star, along with his name being a lucky sperm club entry only.
|Vanilla Axel has no real essence|
Daniel Bryan was the dependable pocket rocket WWE desire. WWE have finally realised they are on to a gold mine and booked with The Shield tonight, all four were exceptional.
Jericho Punk III, given time and a stage of respect that both commanded was a booking with reservations. Boring and laboured previously due to other influences both were given the opportunity to finally have their moment. Jericho was cheered as well as Punk, which made it ever more appealing to witness real wrestling style and be fully engrossed to the action. Even Heyman played his part convincingly.
|Rileylicious. Best in the business, so far.|
As usual, Cena and Ryback let the side down. A tedious and wasteful match, WWE must realise both are the cause of all its problems and neither is a solution to a long term future.
Plus we got to see Alex Riley's booty in prime position as a lumberjack. Wonderful.
A blessing in disguise that Sheamus was finally bumped off the card. Shamefully and predictably he ploughed through Damien Sandow on the pre-show.
Kane once again became a solid worker for talent and helped Ambrose along. Ambrose is good, but is taking the slow route and this is fine to preserve longevity but Kane worked the match best overall. Ambrose should minimally add in ground work over time, sparingly, when expanding repertoire to grow as a champion in defences. Certain prospects should not be rushed.
For all its flaws and audience claiming this would be the best match for divas in time was an oversight. It was decent but never outstanding. However, going on for too long and favoured babes of WWE, AJ's win and her submission on this occasion was a credible one. Kaitlyn however needs huge levels of work. She has not shown any qualities nor had any defences since her January title win, which has made her the worst champ of all time behind Kelly Kelly, of which Kailtyn has also been modelled on. These are the problems with WWE's flavours of the month in favoured diva battles. They have wrestling females. They need to be booked as well as hire talent, not bikini models. This will benefit every diva in the locker room for valid and fresh competition in a handful of females that are useless.
Off the back of a glorious PPV and WWEs best of the year so far, the company should now realise that their priority is developing new stars and giving them fresh options to star in. Payback has lined the way, now WWE need to drive that force home and not revert to terrible booking. Without Mark Henry, Big Show, Sheamus and other brick muscle on the card just like Cena last year WWE has learnt it can survive on PPV without those names clogging up the card in pointless situations that don't further drive product home for future business.
It's time to make decisions that are good for business and not to please its staff. Only then may WWE truly excel once more.
© Max Waltham 19th June 2013