Payback was the perfect snapshot of the WWE’s “new era”. Great wrestling marred by McMahons stickin’ their noses in the way. It says a lot that Payback ended on a shot of three McMahons fighting over how to book their next show. Heading into Sunday night’s Pay Per View, I was looking forward to it as a fun show that would wrap up some of the loose ends from Wrestlemania and pave the way to Summerslam. Did it achieve that? Lets look through the matches and my predictions and see!


Baron Corbin vs. Dolph Ziggler

I predicted that Baron would easily and obviously defeat Ziggler, but I was proven wrong when Ziggler won with a roll up. Baron Corbin could build his career off of losing to roll ups. I think Ziggler’s win looked like it involved more luck than being legitimately better than Corbin, so ultimately the victory felt underwhelming to me.

Kalisto vs. Ryback for the US Championship.

I predicted that Kalisto would win and I was right! I died when I saw Ryback’s “Pre Show Stopper” weight belt! It’s nice to know that if the Big Guy is going to be dropped off the main show he at least has a sense of humor about it.

Enzo Amore and Colin Cassady vs. the Vaudevillains

I predicted the Vaudevillains would win, but the match didn’t even have an ending due to Enzo getting concussed early on. It was brutal seeing Enzo get hurt at the tag team’s biggest match to date. Hopefully he gets well soon and the Vaudevillains make the most out of this opportunity.

Sami Zayn vs. Kevin Owens

I predicted that Kevin Owens would win and I was right! It’s no surprise that this match was great and totally lived up to the hype. It felt more brutal and punishing than some of the WWE’s hardcore matches, and showed that these two deserve more than floundering in the midcard. While I was glad to see Owens win clean, it really made Sami look like a sore loser when he attacked Kevin during the next match.

The Miz with Maryse vs. Cesaro for the Intercontinental Championship

I predicted that Miz would win and I was right! Cesaro put on a wrestling clinic at Payback, essentially making Miz look like a training dummy that just occasionally kicked out or used a headlock. The whole match really felt like a display for Cesaro’s talents. I wasn’t in love with the finish, which involved Miz rolling up Cesaro while everyone was distracted by Sami and Owens brawling outside, but I’m sure the resulting four way match at Extreme Rules will be good.

Dean Ambrose vs. Chris Jericho

I predicted that Ambrose would win and I was right! Jericho was in his peak heel form during the match, even shuffling over to the referee on his knees and holding onto him for help at one point. Maybe it was a little cartoonish, but I was entertained. I was also glad to see Ambrose finally pick up a win.

Charlotte vs. Natalya

I predicted Charlotte would win and I was right! While I didn’t enjoy this match as much as their match at Takeover, Nattie and Charlotte still had a great showing here, except for the ending. I really don’t know why anyone would think it’s a good idea to relive the Montreal Screwjob, but apparently someone at WWE does, because the match ended with the ref giving Charlotte the win despite Nattie never tapping out. Why? Why relive the whole Screwjob when most of today’s fans probably didn’t even see it?! Just a terrible finish that served absolutely no purpose other than getting Bret’s goat a little bit.

Roman vs. AJ Styles

I predicted Roman would win and I was right! Everyone was so jazzed to see what would happen at the end of this match. Would Styles turn heel? Would Roman turn heel? Would Anderson and Gallows attack Styles at the behest of Finn Balor? Nope, it just turned into a pissing match for the McMahon family. I was still impressed with what Styles and Roman were able to do in between the McMahon segments, and it was easily one of Roman’s best showings to date.

While I enjoyed the matches at Payback overall, I’m still waiting for WWE to cash checks that were written before Wrestlemania. We’ve been waiting so long for them to pull the trigger on the Bullet Club with Finn Balor and the brand split that I’m starting to question not only if those things are in their plans, but if the WWE even knows what their plans are to begin with. The co-management of Raw reeks of Vince just wanting to stretch out the storyline, giving us more long winded segments to look forward to. While Payback was definitely worth watching, I don’t think anything memorable enough happened to where people will talk about it for years (or months) to come. As far as predictions go, I correctly predicted six out of seven matches (not including the tag match). That is to say, I correctly predicted that Payback would stay the course with no titles changing hands and most all the feuds booked to keep on going. It’s a New Era, folks!