Hey ho, James T. Kaiser here trying something new. As you all know I'm a huge fan of wrestling and have been since an early age. Now this article isn't going to be a life story so I'll skip to the part where I talk about the new monthly (or bi-monthly depending on the month) column about me reviewing wrestling pay per views that I spent my hard earned money on. Instead of using my typical methods of reviewing products I will be talking about each match with detail which you will see by clicking "Read More". But for now I'm just going to blabber on a little bit about useless knowledge so if you don't want to read that I suggest you skip ahead to the review right now.
Anyway this whole idea of reviewing pay per views started when I simply decided to order at least one pay per view a month and figured I might get a bit more out of my money if I sat down and reviewed them. Now the reason why it'll be mainly one a month is because the wrestling company I mainly watch, WWE (World Wrestling Entertainment) always has a monthly pay per view but on some occasions you may see two a month as TNA (Total Non-stop Action) has a pay per view every three months and some months you might not see a review at all for some reason or another. One last thing I want to say in this boring part of the article is that for the first time in ages I busted out my VCR. Nope you aren't going blind as you did indeed see the magical letters of "V", "C", and "R" all together to form VCR. Now why on Earth did I need to do that when I could just simply record this with a DVR or DVD Recorder? Well for some odd reason those things get blocked out by the channels copy protection and oddly enough the VCR can get past it with ease. Am I promoting piracy? Nope... At least I hope what I'm doing isn't considered piracy? It'll sure as all hell make it more difficult to review if I didn't tape it that's for sure. What if I had to run to the shops and miss a match or two? That's when taping it comes in handy as I can just re-watch those parts I missed. A good thing I did tape this as there was a point during the pay per view where I was busy for a few matches so thank goodness for old technology. Anyway I have rambled enough so let's get into what went on during WWE Payback 2013.
|Life is peachy when you have Sandow on your shoulders.|
Match: Sheamus Vs. Damien Sandow
Title Defense: N/A
Predicted Winner: Damien Sandow (because I don't like Shemaus)
Let's start off with a match that no one saw due to it not being on Television. However this match is freely available online so I thought to myself "might as well review the full card". Now for a pre-show match I am surprised as this match had some hype to it with the storyline simply being "brains vs. brawn". This match wasn't a very long one but it was decent for what it was. Sandow was doing the beating for the first half and Sheamus taking control over the second half. I did like how it wasn't just a simple "hero comes back and finishes with one move" kind of deal but instead we have Sheamus getting some powerful moves in and then some more in a "taking opponent seriously so it doesn't bite me in the ass" kind of way. Although I would've rather seen this as an main event to a show like Smackdown or Main Event. Decent for a pre-show match.
Winner: Shemaus via Pinfall (go fucking figure)
Pay-Per View Card
|The ending may have looked like a wild all-male threesome but it was still clever though.|
Match: Wade Barret Vs. Curtis Axel (with Paul Hayman) Vs. The Miz
Title Defense: Intercontinental Championship (Currently held by Wade Barret)
Predicted Winner: Curtis Axel
Originally this match was going to be "Wade Barret Vs. Fandango Vs. The Miz" but after an injury on the previous Monday Night Raw left Fandango out of the match they replaced him with none other than Curtis Axel. The match starts and we get nothing but Wade Barret beating up Miz for what seems like forever and then switching to Wade Barret beating up Curtis Axel for what also seems like forever. Finally in the last five minutes of the match we finally see something interesting happen when all three people are in the ring doing some very nice moves. We see a few near-falls between Barret and Axel but what ended the match was something very clever. We see Miz get a figure-four leg lock (WOO!) on Wade Barret and right then we see Curtis Axel jump on Barret getting the 1-2-3 while Barret was stuck in the figure-four leg lock (WOO!) making Curtis Axel the new WWE Intercontinental Champion.
I do give the WWE some praise for showing me something fresh with the matches ending. However with the way they are building Curtis Axel up made this match very predictable to pick the winner although I am also glad it was very predictable at the same time. Really nice to see the WWE give Curtis Axel a push like this but I also have a fear that the WWE will fuck this all up in some form or another. A good but far from great match.
Winner: Curtis Axel via pinfall to become the new Intercontinental Champion.
|I can't tell where one diva starts and the other begins.|
Match: Kaitlyn Vs. AJ Lee (with Big E. Langston)
Title Defense: Divas Championship
Predicted Winner: AJ Lee
Normally I would use this time to go take a toilet break but since I'm reviewing these PPVs it has left me no choice but to hold it in. While I was busting my gut hoping my IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome) doesn't play up on me (too much info I know but get over it) I saw a match that surprised the ghost of Hulk Hogan out of me. There is only one word that could sum up what I saw here and that is "brutal". Not brutal as in it was terrible but rather as it was very violent for a divas match. We saw a lot of slams, hits to the head, punches, kicks, and some really impressive submissions and reversals. In the end Kaitlyn delivered a terrifying spear knocking AJ Lee down but we didn't see Kaitlyn take advantage of this to take the victory to retain the belt but rather we see her showboating (motor-boating would of been better though). This cost her the match as by the time she was done she went for the pin only for AJ Lee to kick out and not too long after, AJ Lee gets Kaitlyn in an impressive octopus hold making her tap out. We then see AJ Lee celebrating her title win leaving Kaitlyn in tears with the crowd yelling "You tapped out, you tapped out!". She then leaves the ring with a bunch of other divas comforting her.
This match surprised me in numerous ways with it not only being a decent match but it also had a decent build up to it (a small build up, but a decent one nonetheless). The wrestling in this match was very good with stuff that I haven't seen in a divas match since the good old Trish Stratis days (2000 - 2006) and this makes me wonder why the WWE can't make every divas match as entertaining as this one was? I have nothing all that bad to say about this match other than it doesn't take much to explain it but that's getting far too picky. Overall this could not only be the divas match of the year but could also be the match of the night. If WWE doesn't put this in the nominations for the 2013 Slammy Awards I'll be very disappointed. A really good match.
Winner: AJ Lee via submission to become the new Divas Champion.
Match: Dean Ambrose Vs. Kane
Title Defense: United States Championship (Currently held by Dean Ambrose)
Predicted Winner: Dean Ambrose
Woof! Talk about a very disappointing match that nearly made me change the channel mid-event. What we saw here was nothing but arm holds, cuddles, and the occasional turnbuckle move followed by Kane being counted out after knocked to the ground while trying to set up the Spanish Announcer's table so he could slam Dean Ambrose through. I know this was supposed to be a filler match but this was just very painful to sit through like watching grass grow. C'mon WWE you could've done a lot better with these two fine superstars. Not even going to bother with a second paragraph with this one. Very abysmal match.
Winner: Dean Ambrose via countout
|Ziggler powers activate!|
Match: Dolph Ziggler Vs. Alberto Del Rio
Title Defense: World championship (Currently held by Dolph Ziggler)
Predicted Winner: Dolph Ziggler
Just like the divas match this one caught me by surprise. I was expecting a really awesome comeback match for Dolph Ziggler (he was out for six weeks due to injury) against the very baby face (term for good guy) Albertooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo Del Rioooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo (I'm sorry but I couldn't help but to say it in that way). Instead we get a very bizarre but yet very awesome extended squash match where Alberto Del Rio kicks the living shit out of Dolph Ziggler in a very brutal fashion. I'm normally not one for squash matches (when one wrestler dominates the other with no chance of the other wrestler getting a chance to do anything) but this one felt very refreshing to see them getting away with such painful looking moves that you won't see on Raw or Smackdown and defiantly not on Saturday Morning Slam. It was also a shock to see that they turned Alberto Del Rio into a heel (wresting term for bad guy) so suddenly. I wouldn't say that this was a great match (maybe it was for people who dislike Dolph Ziggler) but it was entertaining for what it was as squash matches are normally pretty shit.
Winner: Alberto Del Rio via pinfall to become the new World Champion.
|The Punker did indeed make his return.|
Match: Chris Jericho Vs. CM Punk (With Paul Heyman)
Title Defense: N/A
Predicted Winner: Chris Jericho
Man I wanted to get excited for this match a lot more than what I was but we saw this exact same feud last year with CM Punk beating Chris Jericho every single time. Although I didn't say that I was expecting a bad match from then and in fact I had quite high expectations for this match. Did this match disappoint? Well let's do a rundown of the match first. First of all it is really great to see CM Punk back but you could really tell that he hasn't been wrestling for awhile as he seemed very worn out around half-way during the match. There was quite a good mixure of moves in this match ranging from technical all the way down to luchadore. But in the end it was CM Punk that scored the win after pinning Chris Jericho by hitting his finisher three times in a row.
This was a pretty good match but seeing that this is a dumbed down rehash of last years feud from January to April made it a bit harder to take this seriously as we've seen this before. Punk beating Jericho adds more to the laziness as this feels just like watching the match from last years WrestleMania. Although while I can say that the storyline and buildup was lazy I can't seem to give this match a negative review. It was good for what it was but nothing special overall.
Winner: CM Punk via pinfall.
|Believe in The Shield!|
Match: The Shield (Roman Reigns & Seth Rollins) Vs. Daniel Bryan & Randy Orton
Title Defense: Tag Team Championship (Currently held by Roman Reigns & Seth Rollins)
Predicted Winners: Roman Reigns & Seth Rollins
The second title defense for The Shield this night with Roman Reigns and Seth Rollins defending the belts against the rag tag group of Daniel Bryan and Randy Orton. Can The Shield retain their titles much like how their fellow college Dean Ambrose did? Yes, yes they were. Another filler match involving The Shield but unlike Dean Ambrose Vs. Kane this one was actually a pretty decent match. There was a lot of fast paced high-flying action making it look like airplanes clashing into each other as if it were a World War Two dogfight. One complaint I have is that they overdid the "wrestler moves out of the way making the other wrestler crash into his tag-team partner" but other than that this was a decent match. There was some nasty looking botches that involved Seth Rollins landing on his head...funny to watch though.
Winners: Roman Reigns & Seth Rollins via pinfall.
|Stage 1 of Hell: The Orgy|
Match: John Cena Vs. Ryback
Stipulation: Three Stages of Hell
Title Defense: WWE Championship (Currently held by John Cena)
Predicted Winner: Ryback
So we have made it to the final match of the night and it is something I haven't seen in awhile and that's a "Three Stages of Hell" match where it works just like a two out-of three match but with some novelties thrown in to sweeten it. The first stage has John Cena and Ryback in a lumberjack match with thirty superstars outside of the ring wanting to tear them apart if any of them get thrown out. The first half of this round was very boring and slow with some grappling and punches that weren't very entertaining at all. This round did get interesting during the second half when they started to take advantage of the lumberjacks with Ryback throwing out John Cena only for John Cena to get pummeled by ten guys. Well technically (said with a capital nerd lisp) that was the second time John Cena got thrown out as the first time he was thrown out nothing happened but his fly falling down (gross). John Cena gets back into the ring and shortly after that we see Ryback fall out of the ring by missing a running attack on John Cena and tripping over the ropes. We then see all thirty lumberjacks gang up on Ryback in a very awesome sight but it got even more exciting when John Cena climbs onto the top rope and dives on all thirty-one people outside of the ring leaving a sea of bodies (no Drowning Pool jokes please, they fucking suck). Everybody gets up and start ganging up on Ryback and John Cena to the point where you couldn't see them past the thirty lumberjacks. John Cena and Ryback make it to the ring where Ryback hits his finishing move and gets the pinfall on John Cena making the score Ryback 1 - John Cena 0.
Stage 1 Winner: Ryback via pinfall
|Stage 2 of Hell: Ryback giving John Cena wood... followed by Ryback being slammed through a table.|
So with Ryback gaining the first point we then have the most predictable round of the match. What makes this part of the match predictable is that we all know that the WWE won't announce a match like this and not let it go to waste. This part of the match was also the most boring part with nothing happening but Ryback chasing John Cena around the ring and then when Ryback does catch John Cena, John Cena reverses the move and slams Ryback through the table to gain the point leaving the score at one to one. Not all of this stage was boring as we did see some very frightening parts where we see Ryback throwing steel stairs at cena while he was resting against the tables. Cena dodges them with the stairs smashing the table on impact. The stairs went through so many tables that I nicknamed them Kofi Kingston (A few Smackdowns before this event Ryback was slamming Kofi Kingston though several tables). But other than that this stage was a good chance to let loose one giant Goldberg (AKA taking a dump). Scores are Ryback 1 - John Cena 1.
Stage 2 Winner: John Cena via finisher through a table.
|Stage 3 of Hell: John Cena winning!|
The final stage was an ambulance match and the goal is to simply put your opponent into the ambulance that's outside the ring. Ryback and John Cena wasted no time in the ring and both just bolted to the ambulance white beating each other up. There was some very impactful uses of the ambulance with John Cena getting thrown onto the hood nearly breaking the window, Cena throwing Ryback through one of the ambulance doors, Ryback ripping off bits of the ambulance and hitting John Cena with them. What ended this match was John Cena doing his finishing move and smashing Ryback through the roof of the ambulance scoring the decisive point to win the three stages of hell. Nothing much happened this round but what happened was a lot of exciting stuff.
Stage 3 Winner: John Cena via finisher through the roof of the ambulance.
Winner (Overall): John Cena
Overall there was some good things happened in this pay per view but not enough to make this show all that good. This even was slightly above average so I wouldn't recommend picking this one up when it gets a DVD or Blu-Ray release. Very meh. Next months pay per view review we will be looking at two pay per views: TNA Hardcore Justice 2 and WWE Money In The Bank 2013.
Title: WWE Payback 2013
Studio: World Wrestling Entertainment
Genre: Sports Entertainment, Action
Running Time: 180 Minutes
PPV Provider: Main Event (http://www.mainevent.com.au/)
Rating: M15+ (Sporting violence)
PPV Price: $29.95 (In Australia)