By Dave Meltzer, WrestlingObserver.com
Welcome to our live coverage of WWE Payback from Baltimore’s Royal Farms Arena. We’re looking for your thoughts on this show as well as Friday night’s ROH show so you can leave a thumbs up, thumbs down or thumbs in the middle along with a best and worst match to email@example.com
They’ve added the Bella Twins vs. Naomi & Tamina Snuka to the PPV.
STARDUST VS. R-TRUTH
This came across like a warmup match, which it was. Nothing much to it. R-Truth won clean with the lie detector in a short match.
MACHO MANDOW & AXELMANIA VS. THE ASCENSION
Nothing to this either. Axel was wearing a Hogan outfit with bleached blond and fu manchu. But The Ascension pinned Mandow after the Fall of Man quickly. The way Michael Cole called the finish, you got the impression it was the blow-off for the Mega Powers.
They outright said that Kane will be fired if Seth Rollins doesn’t retain the title tonight.
DOLPH ZIGGLER VS. SHEAMUS
Sheamus won with a Brogue kick after Ziggler busted himself up with a head-butt. Ziggler was covered in hardway blood and it looked like they went right to the finish as Ziggler wasn’t even on his feet for the kick. Earlier in the match Ziggler hiked up his trunks and rubbed his ass in Sheamus’ face so heTgot revenge for the kiss my ass stipulation. The cameras were staying away from showing Ziggler bloody.
Seth Rollins and Kane are backstage running down their gripes with each other. Kane said if you lose the title, I get what I want. Losing may teach you how to be a real champion and a real man. Kane said I love this job and I don’t need this job so I may stand idly by while the title slips from your fingers. So they’re telling everyone the whole story of the main event if if Kane helps Rollins or not. Rollins said if you do anything to keep me from retaining the title, losing your job will be the least of your problems. Noble & Mercury tried to get tough and Kane laughed in their face.
NEW DAY VS. TYSON KIDD & CESARO 2/3 FALLS FOR TAG TITLE
The New Day retained when Xavier Woods, who was the non-particpant snuck into the ring and schoolboyed Cesaro for the pin. The match was cool and the crowd was into it, but it was way too short for three falls. They rushed through the falls and there were several missed spots, but lots of cool stuff as well. First fall was the giant swing dropkick spot on Kingston. The New Day won the second fall with their regular on finish on Kidd, which was mistimed. Kidd, Cesaro and E did some very impressive stuff here. Not quite as good as their match last month.
RYBACK VS. BRAY WYATT
Wyatt won with a tackle sending Ryback into the exposed metal after removing the padding off the turnbuckle and hit Sister Abigail for the pin. Not as good as the previous matches but decent enough. Highlights were Wyatt doing a senton off the apron on him and Ryback doing a splash off the top rope.
JOHN CENA VS. RUSEV I QUIT MATCH FOR U.S. TITLE
A nearly 30 minute match with the obvious finish, as Cena had Rusev in the STF while also using the top rope to put added pressure on and Lana said “I Quit.” This was more a stunt show than a match, with both beating on each other and each refusing to quit. They didn’t do much in the way of submissions only a Rusev Accolade that Cena got out of. Cena gave Rusev an Attitude Adjustment into the pyro which they teased as being the finish Lana came out but she didn’t say I Quit for several more minutes. It was good but the moves to set up he ref asking if each guy would quit were really not convncing most of the way.
The New Day were just told they were defending the titles in a Chamber match in two weeks. They were freaking out. I guess they don’t pay attention to their business. I’ve seen sillier things done like this.
BELLA TWINS VS. NAOMI & TAMINA SNUKA
Naomi pinned Nikki after slamming her off the top rope. They had a hard time following he previous match. Match also bordered on falling apart toward the end. At one time Snuka was supposed to trip Nikki to set up the rear view, she was out of position and Nikki had to wait for her.
Rusev is furious about losing. Lana is sitting there. He’s talking a foreign language and told her to “Get out.” I guess tomorrow on Raw may be the split.
NEVILLE VS. KING BARRETT
They were in a tough spot to get heat. Match was going along fine when Barrett rolled out of the ring as Neville went to the top rope Barrett refused to get back in the ring and was counted out. So after the match, Barrett hit the Bull hammer and beat him down, but Neville made a comeback and used a German suplex and hit the red arrow. If he was going to hit the red arrow, why didn’t he just win. Talk about overthinking something simple.
SETH ROLLINS VS. RANDY ORTON VS. ROMAN REIGNS VS. DEAN AMBROSE FOR WWE TITLE
Very good match but a flat finish. Orton used the RKO on Noble, Mercury, hit the draping DDT on Rollins, then hit the RKO on Kane but Rollins then hit Orton with the pedigree for the pin. A lot of very good spots including a period where The Shield triple power bombed Orton through a table. Then they turned on Rollins and laid him out. Then they put Kane through a table on top of Rollins. That took two tries because the table didn’t break the first time. Ambrose and Reigns were the last two standing and worked spots with each other but Rollins saved after Reigns hit the spear.