Real American Wrestleblog

This blog predates Jack Swagger's gimmick shift by a year. I named it after Hulk Hogan's entrance theme.

Payback Live Reactions – Sheamus vs. Dolph Ziggler, Tag Team Championship and Ryback vs. Bray Wyatt

with one comment

Sheamus vs. Dolph Ziggler is the first match of the Main card and I was not expecting much out of this match.  These two wrestled several times for the World Heavyweight Championship during Sheamus’ reign back in 2012, but I wasn’t impressed by their work together.  Their match at Extreme Rules certainly wasn’t impressive.  However, tonight was in my opinion the best match the two of them have worked together.  Both guys put in a max effort whereas it seemed to me like they kind of coasted at Extreme Rules.  I didn’t catch the moves that caused the wounds, but Dolph was busted open and Sheamus had a big welt forming on his right shoulder / chest area.  I feel like Ziggler put on his best performance since losing the Intercontinental Championship back in January tonight, even in defeat as Sheamus wins with a Brogue Kick.

Backstage, Kane and Seth Rollins have a standoff where they rehash what they’ve had to say on Raw and Smackdown every week since Extreme Rules and the bottom line is of course that Kane isn’t sure what he’s going to do tonight.  The storyline has itself been great, but this segment was just a rehash that WWE apparently felt they needed for the people that don’t watch Raw and Smackdown.  If Rollins does not win, Kane loses his job.

Next up is the 2-out-of-3 Falls Match for the Tag Team Championship and this match had a lot of great spots in it.  Tyson Kidd and Kofi were all over the place in this one and it was a rare quality match on Big E’s part.  Kidd and Cesaro win the first fall and Woods starts calling for the Freebird Rule and wants to replace Kofi for the second fall, but is blocked by Natalya and Kidd takes him out with a dive to the floor.  Kidd ends up hurt somehow, and a blind tag finish leads to the Big Ending as a double team and New Day takes the second fall.  Cesaro throws a ton of upper cuts.  The match ends with Xavier Woods sneaking in twin magic style to replace Kingston and covering Kidd for the win and New Day retains in a steal.  I was expecting New Day to retain in some way because I’m pretty sure that WWE wants the title to change hands in two weeks when the titles are on the line in the Elimination Chamber for the first time in history.  So, putting the titles back on Cesaro and Kidd only to take them away again in two weeks didn’t seem very productive to me when you could have New Day steal another win and get the comeuppance at the Elimination Chamber.  New Day is not leaving the Elimination Chamber as the tag team champions though.

Bray Wyatt takes on Ryback next and I’m sorry to say that I wasn’t paying much attention to this one as it was taking place in the final moments of the People’s Champion challenge on WWE Supercard.  I intend to go back and rewatch this match after the end of the show.  In the meantime, Bray beats Ryback after Ryback hits an exposed turnbuckle and Wyatt finishes him off with Sister Abigail.


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  1. After going back and watching the Bray Wyatt vs. Ryback match now that I can give it my full attention, I have to say that spot where Wyatt dove off the apron with a Back Splash on Ryback on the floor was outstanding. It was reminiscent of Cactus Jack. I am a big fan of both guys and thought they did okay together, but lack of quality writing for their program I think hurt them a bit. I think this was one instance where Bray Wyatt being less cryptic would have been beneficial. While the fans love his cryptic promos, they can make it hard to build a good program between him and his opponents at times. We got no insight into what Wyatt stood to gain from beating Ryback or what he wanted to accomplish in the match. The best I can guess is that he just tries to mow through all of the big heroes on his way to the top, but I think Wyatt would be well served to declare a finite goal where we can measures the success or failure of his agenda. Like with his program with John Cena last year, his goal was to tear down Cena’s legacy, to prove to everyone that Cena’s beliefs were wrong and the way he was going to do it was by turning Cena into a monster and when that failed by turning the children against him. I thought that was a great and well written program. Then he gets this push to set up for a match against Undertaker and he loses, which is fine. He comes out of it with a new moniker for himself – the new face of fear. But what has he done with that moniker since. He’s done one sneak attack on Ryback and a lot of TitanTron promos without even coming out to the ring more than a handful of times since Wrestlemania. He hasn’t played any kind of mind games. He hasn’t laid out a goal for himself. They just randomly paired him up with Ryback for tonight because they didn’t have anything else for them to do, it felt like. I’m glad that they made the most of it and put together what turned out to be a pretty good match. However, if they continue their program, we need a lot more than Feed Me More vs. Fear Me More. With the Wyatt character, we need something other than wins or losses to track his progress and measure his achievements. He needs to be taking other characters and fundamentally changing them as a result of their interaction with him or else he needs to be taking something away from them in order to live up to his character. Or without any of that, he has to at least do more scary things and play more mind games. Like when the Undertaker because a cult leader, he abducted people. He took a decent sized chunk of the roster and turned them into his minions. Phineas Godwinn became Mideon. Mabel became Viscera. Farooq and Bradshaw became The Acolytes. He completely reshaped the landscape of the company while being legitimately scary. Creative for Bray Wyatt needs to step up their game.

    Arron Hustead

    May 18, 2015 at 6:43 am

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