Last night WWE rolled into San Jose, California for its latest instalment in Raw PPV’s, albeit this show included two inter brand matches as a result of the recent Superstar Shake-up. The show featured a total of eight matches including the pre-show with four Title’s on the line and was headlined by a grudge match between Roman Reigns and Braun Strowman.
I have to be honest going into the show I wasn’t really captured, however, the show really delivered and I must admit it has to be one of the best shows I have seen from start to finish in a while. Here are my highs and lows;
It was always going to be a tough ask to overcome the greatness that Neville and Austin Aries put on at Mania, but its fair to say that the Cruiserweight pair stepped up last night and eclipsed their previous outings. It’s very rare that you get two men who just work so perfectly together but I genuinely could watch these two “fight forever.” I was personally expecting Aries to capture the crown but I really liked the DQ finish and it carries on this fantastic feud which is the best thing that has happened to the Cruiserweight division.
Alexa Bliss made history in the show by becoming the first woman to have held both Raw and SmackDown Titles. Her match with Bayley was excellent and in Bliss, the promotion have a genuine star on their hands who has breathed a breath of fresh air on a women’s division that was running stale. For Bayley it would of been tough dropping the Title in her hometown but hopefully it will ignite some fire in her to rebrand herself and come out fighting in her next outing. For me Bliss 100% deserves the Title and hopefully she will keep hold of it for a while.
Braun Strowman’s monster push was not squashed and a clean win over Roman Reigns is testament to the faith that the promotion have in him. It would of killed his run had he lost to Reigns and whilst Vince clearly sees something huge in Reigns, was able to let Strowman have his time to shine in the main event. The pair actually put on a very good match which went just over ten minutes and resulted in Strowman throwing Reigns all around the SAP Center. Post match Strowman continued the assault on Reigns which was another great segment.
House of Horrors! I mean c’mon what was that all about? Clearly someone in the creative team has been following Matt Hardy during his Impact time as it pretty much started as a direct rip on Total Nonstop Deletion. It was painful enough to watch from the comfort of my arm chair but for all those who had paid good money to be in the arena only to have to watch it on a big screen must of found it agonising. Also I thought Bray was the super natural one out of the two so how did Orton show up behind him in the ring? There was so much that was not good with it that I can’t even begin to write it all down. Definitely a match to skip past and I think the only saving grace was the interference from Jinder Mahal at the end which led to Wyatt getting the win. Hopefully we never ever get to see this kind of match happen again.
Seeing Gallows & Anderson jerk the curtain pains me wildly and its sad to see the former New Japan IWGP Tag Champions struggling to gain any traction in the WWE. As soon as this match was announced for the pre-show it was clear that they were not going to be getting their hands raised over fan favourites Cass & Enzo. I wouldn’t mind if they had some direction for the duo but they clearly haven’t and they have gone from being Tag Champions to just making up the numbers really fast. The comedy heel stuff killed them in my opinion and barring a super tough heel, destroy the world run I really am no longer interested in a team who a few years back were the number one team in the World.
Here are the full results from WWE Payback;
Big Cass & Enzo defeated The Club (Luke Gallows & Karl Anderson)
Chris Jericho defeated Kevin Owens to become the WWE United States Champion
Austin Aires defeated Neville by DQ
The Hardy Boyz defeated Cesaro & Sheamus to retain the WWE Raw Tag Team Championship
Alexa Bliss defeated Bayley to become the WWE Raw Women’s Champion
Bray Wyatt defeated Randy Orton in a House of Horrors match
Seth Rollins defeated Samoa Joe
Braun Strowman defeated Roman Reigns