Photos courtesy: WWE, Fetch Publicity, Fremantle Media

    With a very good WrestleMania followed by a somewhat indifferent Extreme Rules, the question was whether the WWE could somewhat get “back on track” with 2015’s Payback. With some rematches (and in some cases rematches of rematches) and some new matches the card had an eclectic look, but could it deliver?

    It certainly did in the main event as Seth Rollins defended his WWE World Title against his former Shield bedfellows Roman Reigns and Dean Ambrose as well as Randy Orton in a Fatal Four Way match, with an added stipulation that if Rollins lost, Kane would be fired. I can only assume that was intended to build some suspense and/or hear to the situation, but in reality it just focused the match too much on someone not participating in it and who really shouldn’t be part of main event storylines these days. That said the match itself was action packed, and gave us some nice moments from the Shield trio, who teased a reunion and then shot it right down. Rollins retaining was no surprise but on the whole this was an action packed main event that lived up to expectations.


    The big match on the undercard was the 132nd consecutive PPV match between John Cena and Rusev. This time around it was an I Quit match, which did indeed add some intrigue as to how it might go with all the possibilities that entailed. There was the problem going in that a match that revolved around selling enough to make the possibility of someone saying “I Quit” is not the best of situations to put “Super” John Cena in but other than his seemingly nonchalant “no’s” when asked if he wanted to quit it wasn’t too bad. Rusev was awesome in this respect , at least attempting to bring some believability into proceedings, but the match just went too long and other than a screw job ending there was no chance of Cena uttering the match ending words. Rusev didn’t either, of course, as the finish seemed more designed to further the Rusev/Lana storyline than have anything to do with Cena. At nearly thirty minutes long, they could easily have shaved ten minutes or more off things and had a much better match. It was ok, nothing more.

    The rest of the undercard was a mixed bag.

    Sheamus and Dolph Ziggler opened things up, clashing in a rematch from their “Kiss Me Arse” match at Extreme Rules. That this match had no stipulation was a blessing as it allowed the two to concentrate on delivering a good match, which they did. The surprising sight of blood certainly helped things along and if there were a few jarring moments around Ziggler dipping in and out of selling his “injured” knee it was still a very good opener. The New Day and Cesaro & Tyson Kidd followed that up with a good 2 out of 3 Falls match for the Tag Team Titles. It was a little short, and having the champions lose the first fall in about three minutes didn’t help anyone, but the New Day are a riot as heels and the finish was creatively fun too.


    Bray Wyatt and Ryback, in the battle of the forgotten pushes, couldn’t quite equal the two matches that had preceded them but they had a decent bout that told a good, believable story. The women were merely on the card to give fans a break after Cena/Rusev so whilst their match was average at best they did what they could given the restraints. Barrett and Neville was fine, but the count-out finish seemed strange for a PPV match (especially considering that this wasn’t the first match in their feud) and overall it has to be seen as a bit of a disappointment.

    As a show something seemed to be missing that would have elevated it into something a bit more special. That said, there was a cracking main event and some solid action on the undercard which made for a very decent B-Show.


    The DVD adds a couple of promo vids and the pointless Kickoff match between the “Mega Powers” and The Ascension. This took the Sandow/Axel joke a step too far for me, and burying the Ascension on commentary (again) meant that it did nothing for them either. The Blu-Ray adds more promos and three matches. Ambrose vs Rollins and Cena vs Neville are both well worth a watch. Especially the latter.

    Format reviewed: Blu-Ray

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    Thank you to our partners, and Fetch for providing our review copy of WWE Payback 2015 which is available on DVD & Blu-Ray from Monday, July 13th 2015. You can pre-order your copy from now by clicking here.


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