One week removed from an explosive SummerSlam, WWE brings us another pay-per-view inside the Thunderdome. There are several fantastic matches on the card including former NXT Champion Keith Lee’s debut against Randy Orton, and the massive No Holds Barred Triple Threat Match where ‘The Fiend’ Best Wyatt will defend his Universal Championship against Braun Strowman and the recently returned Roman Reigns.
Here are my takeaways and thoughts from WWE Payback!
The Hurt Business Has The Gold
For months Bobby Lashley has finally begun to get back in the winning column. Aligning himself with MVP and Shelton Benjamin may be the best decision WWE has made since returning to WWE in 2018. Lashley has looked like a beast and now with the United States title the Hurt Business is definitely boomin!
Big E Gets A Big Singles Win
After six years of The New Day, Big E is flying solo while Kofi Kingston and Xavier Woods are out due to injury. E has been looking to pick up steam while keeping his faith in the trio. While I respect E’s values,
I truly believe he needs to branch off by himself. He must lose the peppy New Day music and attire and go back to a stoic silent badass heel. With all of that being said, E went to war with Sheamus and walked away with a huge victory!
King Corbin Is So Good To Hate
King Corbin in my opinion, is an excellent heel. He’s the bad guy everyone loves to hate with his brash trash-talking and vicious physicality. Several years ago, Corbin was mixing it up with AJ Styles and looking great. His character has grown so much as a performer and he deserves the credit.
At Payback, Corbin made Matt Riddle look like a resilient underdog. The menacing heel through everything under the sun to knock off ‘The Original Bro’ but to no avail. Riddle beat his foe but King Corbin shines even in defeat. Corbin should win the Intercontinental Championship sometime this year.
The Feud We’ve Been Waiting For
For a long time now, we’ve seen cracks in the friendship between The Golden Role Models Sasha Banks and Bayley. We’ve watched as Banks has displayed emotions of sadness, betrayal, jealousy, and downright disdain for her so-called best friend. At Payback, we may have witnessed the last straw for their imploding partnership.
Banks needs to turn on Bayley and reignite the rivalry that helped transform NXT into the brand it is today. Those two women tore the house down in the first-ever women’s main event match at NXT TakeOver: Respect.
Perhaps, WWE will finally make this a reality. I would also like to mention that Shayna Baszler is a freaking wrecking ball. It’s incredible how she locked in two submissions at the same damn time on both Bayley and Banks to win the WWE Women’s Tag Team Championships! Freaking unreal.
NXT Can Live On The Main Roster
For so many years, anytime an NXT superstar has arrived on the main roster it’s been a plague. Look at numerous fantastic prospects that have suffered the unforgivable fate. Many believed and feared the same would be said for the former NXT Champion Keith Lee.
Lee made his main roster debut this past Monday and faced off against ‘The Legend Killer’ Randy Orton at Payback. Not only did the big man win his first pay-per-view match against the thirteen-time WWE champion, but Lee also did it in the most convincing fashion. Hats off to the former NXT champ.
The Good Guys Finally Win
‘The Monday Night Messiah’ Seth Rollins and his disciple Buddy Murphy have attempted to do the work of the greater good for months. They’ve taken out Aleister Black, Rey Mysterio, and his son Dominik. After his in-ring debut, just a week prior, father and son team up to battle their rivals again.
The Mysterio’s finally achieved their comeuppance at Payback after a terrific tag team match. Rey Mysterio will get Rollins on Raw and I expect him to pull out another victory. After months of vicious attacks, Rey and Dominik can move on to fresh opponents.
Hell Has Frozen Over!
‘The Big Dog’ Roman Reigns took the WWE Universe by storm when he shockingly returned at SummerSlam. The surprises kept coming as he aligned with his longtime adversary revealing himself to be a Paul Heyman guy. Reigns promised to “Wreck Everyone and Leave” and that’s exactly what he did.
Both ‘The Fiend’ Best Wyatt and Braun Strowman started the fight while Reigns picked his moment to strike. A clever storytelling move by creative to have him not give a damn about the rules. Now that Friday Night SmackDown is under the reign of Heyman/Reigns with the Universal Championship, the date of the brand is in dangerous hands. The WWE Universe myself included has been clamoring for a heel turn for Reigns for years, and now that it’s come into fruition what’s next?