Squared Circle Thoughts | WWE Payback 2017

The first post-Wrestlemania PPV of 2017 is now in the books. It was a Raw-exclusive show. In all honesty, I wasn’t looking forward to this one at all. In fact I kept forgetting about it throughout the week, especially with the stuff that I have going on in my personal life right now. The whole ”Superstar Shakeup” thing really threw everything off and knocked the life out of things storyline-wise. In my opinion, it was way too early for a draft or talent trade and things were fine the way they were for the time being. It was a dumb decision to do it right after ‘Mania, but they did it and the cards will fall where they may.

Anyway, this was the first PPV since the trade and honestly, it was a pretty dull show overall. Nothing too exiting other than a heel turn and a title change, which i’ll get into. Like I said, I wasn’t looking forward to it anyway, so I didn’t have any expectations going in, so I’m not really surprised, but either way, let’s just get into it and get this over with. On to the matches.

Kevin Owens (c) vs Chris Jericho (United States Title)

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Starting things off, we got a match that everybody thought was going to go one way, but i’m sure were as surprised as I was with where it did go. Owens & Jericho put on a decent at best opener. Nothing special or too exiting. Jericho is getting stale again and he’s boring as a face, so I didn’t care for him here and Owens did what he could. Overall a meh match. In a shocking turn of events, Jericho wins with the Walls of Jericho after hindering Owens’ arm and becomes the new US champ. Can’t say it’ll be a long reign as he’ll soon be going on tour with Fozzy and making a new album and thus will be away for a while. We’ll see what comes of it.

Neville (c) vs Austin Aries (Cruiserweight Title)

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Next, we have the second bout between the two top Cruiserweights in the company right now and probably the best match of the night. These two put on a really good match and perhaps surpassed their Wrestlemania match. My prediction was Aries winning it, but that wasn’t the case, as we got a DQ finish via Neville shoving the referee down causing him to call for the bell, but oh well. I now predict we’ll get at least one more match at the next PPV, which I believe is Extreme Rules… ladder match, maybe? Hmm.

Hardy Boyz (c) vs Sheamus & Cesaro (Raw Tag Team Titles)

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Next we have the second best match of the night. The Hardys defending the Raw tag titles in a very good match against Sheamus and Cesaro, who have really come into their own as a tag team and have been pretty damn good lately. Overall, they put on a really good and pretty brutal match in which Jeff Hardy lost a tooth and Matt lost some blood. Sheamus is known for being a stiff motherfucker, so he was probably to blame for it, but whatever. Either way, this was a good match and the second of the two that kept this show from being a total stinker. The Hardys win and retain the titles and Sheamus and Cesaro promptly turn heel and attack them right after. Interesting.

Bayley (c) vs Alexa Bliss (Raw Womens Title)


Next, we had the ladies portion of the evening. This was a decent match put on by Alexa Bliss (who looked ridiculously good) and Bayley who has been mehhh since coming to the main roster. Again, a decent at best match overall. They at least tried. Alexa wins it and becomes the first woman to become both Raw and SmackDown Womens Champion. Awesome. She’s great and is getting better so she deserves it. Hopefully she keeps it for a good while.

On to the ”what the fuck” portion of the night.

Randy Orton vs Bray Wyatt (House of Horrors Match)

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This was the big House of Horrors match that we’ve been hearing about leading up to this show… and ohh boy, was it a Horror indeed. This was one of the cheesiest, lamest and most uneventful things WWE has ever done, which is saying something.

The first part of this took place in a house in a seemingly desolate area. It reminded me of the house in that banned episode of The X-Files (god, I miss that show). The idea was for this to be like a Horror movie within a wrestling match… I guess, possibly inspired by the Final Deletion, but the whole thing just imploded and fell flat on it’s face. It was basically just a brawl in a creepy looking house between these two guys that have been embroiled in a boring ass feud for months now. The whole thing was just so convoluted and nonsensical. This portion of this train wreck ended with Wyatt pushing a refrigerator down on Orton after hitting him with a low blow. Then Bray hobbled out of the house, got into the limo that brought Randy there and they drove back to the arena. I’m not making this up. Then that was that for now.

The second portion of this took place after the next match. Bray arrives at the arena, hobbles to the ring, full entrance and all, then as the lights come back on, there’s Randy Orton as well, then they finished this thing in a short and meh match. Decent back and forth action for a few minutes until the Singh brothers (former Bollywood Boyz) show up and attack Orton who fights them off, and then Jinder Mahal shows up and ultimately screws Randy over and Wyatt picks up the win.

Overall, this whole thing sucked and was a dumpster fire from the start. I’m done talking about it.

Seth Rollins vs Samoa Joe

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While all this House of Horrors fuckery was going on, we got this match in between.

This match was intriguing when it was first going to happen at Fastlane back in March until Seth got injured, but now the allure of it has gone cold. This could have been a good match regardless, but it just wasn’t. The whole thing with the injured knee of Rollins and Joe working on it through he whole match kinda hindered it for me. This was nothing special at all and did nothing for me. I still love these two guys, but tonight was just off when it comes to them. Bleh.

Roman Reigns vs Braun Strowman

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In the main event, we get an incapacitated version of the man that everyone loves to hate, Roman Reigns vs the guy who everybody loves to love for repeatedly beating the piss out of the guy they love to hate Braun Strowman. This one could have gone either way, but it went the right way. Kind of a weak match, honestly, but with the right outcome. Braun wins and looks strong and then proceeds to beat the shit out of Reigns again, leaving him a fake bloody mess in the ring… and of course, refusing to lay on a stretcher. Gotta make ol’ Roman look strong too.

Again, nothing special, but it accomplished what it needed to. Not too many complaints for that. I predict a Last Man Standing match for Extreme Rules next month.

Other Points:

– Quite an amount of bloodshed on this show, though some of it was fake.

– … Just watch.


That was it. Overall (I know I say that a lot), a decent at best show. Nothing special aside from Braun picking up a win and Alexa winning the belt. Everything else was pretty uneventful, but again, I wasn’t really looking forward to this one because of how things have been since the ”Shakeup”, but whatever. Hopefully the brands can go back to being separate now and everything falls back into place and they actually wait next time until it’s actually time for a draft. We shall see.

Until next time.



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