Date: 16th June, 2013
Venue: Allstate Arena
City: Rosemont, IL
Commentators: Michael Cole,
Jerry “The King” Lawler, & John “Bradshaw” Layfield
Theme Song: “Another Way Out” by Hollywood Undead
After their Last Man Standing match at Extreme Rules in May, which ended in a no-contest, Ryback drove an ambulance into the arena on the May 20 episode of Raw, challenging John Cena in an Ambulance match for his WWE Championship. A week later on Raw, Cena responded by turning the challenge into Three Stages of Hell, with the first fall being a lumberjack match, the second fall a tables match, and the originally-decided Ambulance match as the third fall. Ryback accepted the new stipulation, making the match official.
On the May 27 episode of Raw, Chris Jericho hosted “The Highlight Reel” segment with Paul Heyman as his guest, where he inquired the latter about one of his clients, CM Punk’s absence from the WWE since April and May, and much like in their feud early the previous year, disputed with Heyman on who between the two of them was the “best in the world”. To put that argument to rest, Jericho issued a challenge to Punk at Payback, which Heyman subsequently accepted on Punk’s behalf. On June 3, 2013, during an episode of Raw, the contract for the match was signed between Jericho and Heyman, again on Punk’s behalf. On the June 7 episode of SmackDown, Curtis Axel defeated Jericho after Heyman, Axel’s manager, distracted him by playing Punk’s theme tune. After the match, Jericho hit Axel with his finishing maneuver, the CodeBreaker.
On the April 8 episode of Raw, Alberto Del Rio defeated Jack Swagger and his manager, Zeb Colter in a two-on-one handicap match, and was subjected to a post-match beatdown from the duo, allowing Dolph Ziggler a chance to cash-in his Money in the Bank contract for the World Heavyweight Championship that was held by Del Rio; after a short match, Ziggler pinned Del Rio to win the title for the second time. This started a triangular feud amongst Ziggler, Del Rio (who wanted a rematch for the title as per his championship rematch clause) and Swagger (who claimed to be the number one contender to the title), which was to culminate in a Triple Threat Ladder match for the World Heavyweight Championship at the Extreme Rules pay-per-view on May 19. However, heading into that event, Ziggler suffered a legitimate concussion in a non-title match against Swagger at the May 7 tapings of SmackDown (aired on May 10), thereby preventing him from competing at Extreme Rules. Instead, Del Rio and Swagger faced off each other in an “I Quit” match to decide the number one contender to Ziggler’s title, which Del Rio won. Ziggler returned on the June 10 episode of Raw, and announced he would defend his championship against Del Rio at Payback.
On the May 20 episode of SmackDown, Fandango attacked The Miz during an Intercontinental Championship match against the champion Wade Barrett. During a match between Barrett and Fandango, the WWE universe voted for Miz to be the special guest referee for the match. Barrett shoved Miz, which caused Miz to intentionally attack Barrett to allow Fandango to pin him, but then Miz proceeded to attack Fandango. As Miz still had his rematch clause from the Raw after WrestleMania 29, he invoked it for Payback, thus setting up a Triple Threat Match between himself, Barrett, and Fandango. On the June 7 episode of SmackDown, Fandango suffered a concussion, therefore he was removed from the triple threat match. It was revealed on the June 10 episode of Raw by Paul Heyman that Fandango would be replaced with his client, Curtis Axel.
Also, on the June 7 episode of SmackDown, Kane had a falling out with Daniel Bryan, leading to the apparent breakup of Team Hell No. Bryan was teamed with Randy Orton to face The Shield’s Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns, winning the match by disqualification after Dean Ambrose attacked the two. Meanwhile, Kane faced Ryback, winning by disqualification after Ryback put Kane through a table, sending a message to John Cena. On the June 10 episode of Raw, it was announced byRaw Managing Supervisor Vickie Guerrero that Bryan and Orton would face Rollins and Reigns for the WWE Tag Team Championship, and Kane will face Ambrose for the WWE United States Championship.
On the April 22 episode of Raw, AJ Lee won a divas battle royal to become the number one contender for the Divas Championship. On the April 29 episode of Raw, after a confrontation with AJ, Dolph Ziggler, and Big E Langston backstage, Kaitlyn started receiving gifts from a secret admirer, and a bouquet of roses on the May 3 episode of SmackDown. On the June 10 episode of Raw, Kaitlyn’s secret admirer was revealed to be Langston, although it turned out to be a mind game planned by AJ who just wanted to get inside Kaitlyn’s head prior to their match for the Divas Championship.
Payback 2013 Kick-off
Sheamus defeated Damien Sandow (10:25)
Triple Threat Match
Curtis Axel (with Paul Heyman) defeated Wade Barrett (c) and The Miz (10:36)
AJ Lee (with Big E Langston) defeated Kaitlyn (c) by submission (09:54)
United States Championship
Dean Ambrose (c) defeated Kane by countout (09:33)
World Heavyweight Championship
Alberto Del Rio (with Ricardo Rodriguez) defeated Dolph Ziggler (c) (with AJ Lee and Big E Langston) (13:46)
CM Punk (with Paul Heyman) defeated Chris Jericho (21:19)
WWE Tag Team Championship
The Shield (Roman Reigns and Seth Rollins) (c) defeated Daniel Bryan and Randy Orton (12:07)
Three Stages of Hell: Lumberjack Match*, Tables Match, Ambulance Match
John Cena (c) defeated Ryback 2 falls to 1 (24:40)
(c) – refers to the champion(s) heading into the match
Lumberjacks for 3 Stages of Hell Match Round 1 – Kane, The Miz, R-Truth, Heath Slater, Jinder Mahal, Drew McIntyre, Darren Young, Titus O’Neil, Jey Uso, Jimmy Uso, The Great Khali, Sin Cara, Alex Riley, Zack Ryder, Justin Gabriel, Tensai, Big E Langston, Yoshi Tatsu, Antonio Cesaro, Primo, Epico, JTG, Curt Hawkins, Damien Sandow, Brodus Clay, Curtis Axel, Wade Barrett, Ted DiBiase, Cody Rhodes and Sheamus
The next night on Raw, John Cena would challenge anybody to step forward for a shot at the WWE Championship. Mark Henry returned to seemingly announce his retirement before hitting Cena with a World’s Strongest Slam. Later, Mr. McMahon announced that Cena would defend his title against Henry at Money in the Bank.
CM Punk along with Paul Heyman would come out to challenge Alberto Del Rio to a match on the next night of Raw. Afterwards, Punk would tell Heyman that while he is still a Paul Heyman guy, he does not want Heyman to be at ringside for any more of his matches. Later that night, Punk would defeat Del Rio in that match via countout, in which Del Rio backed away from the match and Dolph Ziggler would attack him from behind. After that, Brock Lesnar came out to speak to Punk face to face, but would hit Punk with an F-5 instead.
On the June 21 episode of SmackDown, Alberto Del Rio would defeat Chris Jericho via disqualification as Dolph Ziggler assaulted him. Upset that Ziggler interfered, Jericho would give Ziggler a Codebreaker and Del Rio would kick him in the head. It was announced on the June 24 episode of Raw that Del Rio will face Ziggler for the World Heavyweight Championship at Money in the Bank.
Kane was given another shot at the United States Championship against Dean Ambrose, but he would win via disqualification when Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns interfered.
Daniel Bryan and Randy Orton would face each other in a no disqualification match, but Bryan would suffer an apparent nerve damage, giving Orton the victory by match stoppage. Afterwards Bryan got into an argument with Triple H backstage because of Triple H stopping the match. Four days later on Smackdown, both men would face each other again with Bryan getting the countout victory over Orton, but Bryan was dissatisfied with the result. Three days later on Raw, Bryan and Orton would face each other again in a match, but it resulted in a double disqualification, so Vickie Guerrero, with the advice of Triple H, granted the rematch with the WWE Universe voting on the stipulation. Later in the night, both men would face each other in a street fight, with Bryan defeating Orton by submission.
On the next night on Raw, Sheamus would face Damien Sandow and Cody Rhodes of Team Rhodes Scholars in a two-on-one handicap match, but would take the loss as a result on Sandow covering him up. 4 days later on SmackDown, Cody Rhodes faced Sheamus, in a losing effort, but after the match, Sandow beat Sheamus down. Three days later on Raw, Sheamus would team with Christian to defeat Team Rhodes Scholars. On Smackdown, Sheamus would defeat Sandow in a Dublin Street Fight.
Christian returned on the June 17 episode of Raw. Four days later on Smackdown, after beating Drew McIntyre, The Shield attacked him, setting up a match on Main Event between Christian and Dean Ambrose. Christian won after Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns attacked him, until The Usos saved him. On the June 24th episode of Raw, The Usos won a triple threat tag team match to determine the #1 contenders to the WWE Tag Team Championship. Christian and The Usos faced The Shield on the June 28th episode of Smackdown, and won.
On the June 24 episode of Raw, Chris Jericho and Ryback were fighting over being left off the card for Money in the Bank, so Vickie Guerrero put them in a match against each other at the PPV.
The feud between AJ Lee and Kaitlyn continued on at Money In The Bank, where AJ (with Big E Langston) defeated Kaitlyn (with Layla) to retain the WWE Divas Championship. After defeating AJ on the July 29 edition of Raw, Kaitlyn received another title opportunity on the August 2 edition of SmackDown, with Layla once again in her corner. During the match, however, Layla turned against Kaitlyn and protected AJ from harm, which allowed AJ to once again defeat Kaitlyn to retain her title.