WWE Payback 2014 Review
I’ve gotta say, I wasn’t expecting WWE Payback 2014 to be anywhere near as exciting and well-produced as it ended up being. At a glance, half of the matches on the card bored me — I would never have ordered this event if I didn’t have the WWE Network — but practically every match on the card ended up surprising me greatly. In short, WWE Payback 2014 was an incredibly strong pay per view.
Cesaro Vs Sheamus – US Title
Before Cesaro came out to battle Sheamus, Paul Heyman came out to fire up the Chicago crowd, making mention of Brock Lesnar, the Blackhawks and of course CM Punk (who would also be mentioned again later by Stephanie McMahon). This was a fast-paced, brutal fight that Cesaro had in the bag, before Sheamus surprised everyone with a small package roll-up for the win. My only grudge with this match is that Sheamus essentially no-selled Cesaro’s swing before rolling him up.
The Brotherhood Vs Rybaxel
I wasn’t even aware that Goldust and Cody Rhodes were being referred to as “The Brotherhood” until this PPV, but admittedly I haven’t had much time to pay attention to RAW and SmackDown these past few weeks. This match was fine enough, but didn’t really hold my attention as much as the others did. Maybe because we’ve seen this match-up countless times before. Cody grabbed the mic after he was pinned for the loss, and told Goldust that he deserved a better tag team partner than him.
Rusev Vs Big E
Man, WWE loves changing things for no real reason. Do they really think fans couldn’t remember Big E Langston or Alexander Rusev? Now we have the oversimplified Rusev Vs Big E. Beyond that, Rusev debuted not very long ago as the Bulgarian Brute, before they gave him Lana as a manager and now he “resides in Moscow”, waving a Russian flag. The Russia Vs USA angle is lame, though I certainly don’t mind watching Lana talk. The match was largely forgettable, as most big man matches are, aside from an awesome spear off the apron from Big E to Rusev.
Bo Dallas Vs Kofi Kingston
This was a complete non-match, as Bo Dallas’ debut was cut short before it even began. The Demon Kane came out before the bell could even ring and chokeslammed and tombstoned Kofi into oblivion. No reasoning at all was given for this, making me question what the purpose of this taking up time on the card was. Bo Dallas gives a motivational speech to a completely unconscious Kofi, which was admittedly funny.
Rob Van Dam Vs Bad News Barrett – Intercontinental Title
Not a bad match at all, there was a bit of drama after Barrett hit his elbow on the ringpost making me think that he’d lose this one. He sebsequently ate a DDT through the ropes and RVD got the near-fall, but Barrett kicked out and eventually nailed the Bad News Bullhammer elbow for the win.
Daniel Bryan’s Decision
Daniel Bryan has been recovering from neck surgery, and Stephanie McMahon had given him an ultimatum – if he didn’t surrender the WWE World Heavyweight Championship so that the WWE Universe could have a fighting champion, she would fire his new wife Brie Bella. Brie told Stephanie that she quits, and then slapped Stephanie with the fury of 1000 woodland creatures.
Bray Wyatt Vs John Cena – Last Man Standing Match
WHOA. This match blew me away, which was completely unexpected. Both of this match’s participants normally put me to sleep, but somehow they captured lightning in a bottle here, with some impressive spots to create a truly memorable, awesome match — possibly the greatest Last Man Standing match of all time. Cena THREW THE DAMN STEEL STEPS at Bray outside the ring at full force, and Bray threw Cena through a table while the Wyatt family mixed it up with the Usos outside the ring. Cena eventually threw Bray through some sort of case near the entrance ramp, then essentially buried him with another giant case so that he couldn’t escape the ten count. Great, great match.
Alicia Fox Vs Paige – Divas Championship
This was a pretty okay match, nothing really special but a decent showing for both participants. It was especially rough for a Divas match — in fact now that I think about it, this entire pay pre view was very rough. I’m sure everyone has plenty of bruises and scrapes from WWE Payback 2014.
Evolution Vs The Shield – No Holds Barred Elimination Match
Next to the John Cena Vs Bray Wyatt Last Man Standing match, this was the best match of the night. In an incredible near-30 minute war, The Shield beat every single member of Evolution without losing a single pinfall. Just as epic as their previous match-up at Extreme Rules, this was a strong showing for both teams and a great send-off for the current line-up of The Shield. In case you missed Raw, Seth Rollins shockingly betrayed The Shield, beating both Reigns and Ambrose with a chair and siding with Triple H and Randy Orton after Batista quit, seemingly on hiatus to promote Guardians of the Galaxy.
Overall, WWE Payback 2014 was a hell of a show — memorable, surprising and completely brutal. It was easily one of the best PPVs that the company has put on in some time.