Payback was actually very good I thought - with the odd disappointment here and there. But generally it was good. And I don't usually "mark out" but the Shield triple power-bombing Orton through the announce table got me.
Forget the pre-show. Two matches that meant nothing and delivered nothing.
Sheamus v Ziggler was a belter. Sheamus may be the best "big man" athlete the company has now. Always delivers in the ring and we all know how good Ziggler is. They work well together to which obviously helps. Ziggler's face looked nasty at the end after that headbutt, they should play on that on tonight's RAW. Have him wear some big f**k off bandage or plaster. I must admit I don't get the new catchphrase for Sheamus "are you not entertained". I'm expecting both of them to be in the Intercontinental Title Elimination Chamber match and at least one of them will be in the Money in the Bank match. Overall, a good opening bout.
New Day v Cesaro & Kidd was as almost as good as the Uso v Harper & Rowan two out of three falls match from last year. They have a solid tag-team division on their hands if they can get it right. Harper & Rowan reuniting is a good thing, the Uso's will be back shortly. That's at least four quality tag teams. They've also got the Lucha Dragons who are very entertaining. The Ascension, Mega Powers, Los Matordoes and Primetime Players can all do a job. So they've got the basis of a good tag team division as long as they don't cock it up. Kidd and Cesaro's chemistry is top notch. New Day are playing the heel role so well. Xavier Woods is really shining. And the cheating to get the win was perfect. Can't wait for the Tag Team Elimination Chamber match.
Ryback v Wyatt was a lot better than I expected it to be. I know both can put on great matches but they put something extra into a match that few cared about on a pay-per-view that few care about. Payback isn't a big show, it's not even on the second level. So to see Wyatt swanton off the apron in a way I'd expect Tyson Kidd to do and to see Ryback hit a frog splash off the top rope was a very nice change. And Wyatt actually winning was a pleasant view. Too often he gets into these feuds and loses.
Cena v Rusev was the first real low point of the night. The ending makes it look like Rusev wouldn't quit either and it keeps him looking somewhat strong but it's yet another young star who can't go over against Cena. I'm not sure who's gonna come to Lana's rescue in her battle with Rusev. Or where Rusev goes on from here. Probably be in the Money in the Bank match next month but won't win that either. Really sh*t match.
They followed that up with a very rushed divas tag team match. Naomi is taking on Nikki for the title at some point in the future and this match was really just setting this up. In the next two pay-per-views (Elimination Chamber and Money in the Bank) they have the opportunity to showcase the divas in a way they've never done before. Possibly a divas Elimination Chamber match or some sort of ladder match at Money in the Bank (not necessarily a Money in the Bank ladder match itself though). I expect neither to happen.
Neville against Barrett was ok but not as good as they have done in the past. And a countout victory doesn't help anybody really. Fair enough it gives Neville a victory but it doesn't make him look strong. And it doesn't do much for the King of the Ring either. Sh*t finish to an average match.
Main event was boss. Some may complain it was overbooked with J&J Security and Kane being involved as much as they were but I didn't feel that stopped Rollins, Ambrose, Reigns or Orton from delivering in the ring. They all looked good. As I said at the top of this post, the Shield reforming for all of two minutes was the best moment of the night. I really thought they were gonna join forces and this was how Rollins would retain. But it wasn't to be and I'm just as pleased for it to be that way as I would of been had they reunited. I'm also happy it weren't Ambrose who took the fall. Using the Pedigree was a quality little touch to.
Started great, dipped slightly in the middle, ended on a high. Overall, very good.