The latest “Paul Heyman Guy” is the “Big Dog” Roman Reigns. Can he claim championship gold, a week after his return?
The WWE Thunderdome, brings us this year’s Payback PPV, live from the Amway Arena in Orlando, FL on 8/30/20. Would they build new stars and give us a quality show a week after a solid Summerslam broadcast? We shall find out.
The Riott Squad defeat The Iiconics via pin fall after a Riott Kick from Riott on Kay.
The pre-show gave us something we’ve wanted for weeks. After the reformation of the Riott Squad, Liv Morgan and Ruby Riott couldn’t quite get on the same page against Peyton Royce and Billie Kay.
We’d see a singles win here and there, but tonight, the demons were purged and after clearing Royce from the ring, Liv Morgan hit a double knee strike on Billie Kay and Ruby Riott hit her signature kick for the three kick.
The two friends turned enemies turned friends are successful and they could have their eyes on the Women’s tag team titles following the championship match later this evening.
Bobby Lashley defeats Apollo Crews via submission to become the new United States Champion.
We had to come to this eventful conclusion. The Hurt Business is one of the most entertaining staples on Raw, but successive losses by MVP and the gam of hot potato with the 24/7 title wasn’t doing these three men any favors.
Shleton Benjamin and MVP were suit clad at ringside, cheering on the “All Mighty” and Lashley and Crews went after it.
Crews was the aggressor and we was able to hold his own against Lashley, and to be fair, Crews has been booked pretty well as the champ, despite the COVID scare a number of weeks back which kept him out of action for several weeks.
Lashley is destined for main event status and elevating a man as dominating as he is just going to be good business for the Hurt Business.
There were no distractions of false finishes here. The end came after Crews missed an opportunity to hit his Toss Powerbomb and Lashley was able to lock in the “Full Lashley”, a name that I love by the way, and Crews had no choice but to tap.
The Hurt Business would celebrate the new champion and we begin the reign of Bobby Lashley, but Crews wasn’t done. He’d attack and claim after retreating that he wasn’t done with the title.
Happy to see Lashley holding a major singles title and hopefully we’ll continue to see the Hurt Business prominently featured on Raw going forward.
Big E defeats Sheamus via pin fall with the Big Ending.
This match was very entertaining and quite frankly, it might have been match of the night.
You’ve got two great veterans in there and they were able to match power for power. The story was the obvious, can Big E continue his singles run in a similar fashion to Kofi Kingston or would he be thwarted on his path to the top.
Sheamus hit many of his signature spots, including a very nice white noise slam at one point. Big E would hit his overhead suplexes, and he would capitalize on a mistake from Sheamus, who missed a Brogue Kick, to score with his finish before securing the three count.
I assume that Big E and the Miz will have a singles bout at some point, but the title picture is crowded right now, it’s going to be very intriguing to see what happens. Depending on when the draft is, it would be great to see Big E drafted to Raw and immediately involved with the Hurt Business and Bobby Lashley.
That would be great TV and some fine matches involving two powerhouses.
Matt Riddle defeats King Corbin via pin fall with the Floating Bro.
This was over rather quickly. Corbin has been a thorn in the side of the Original bro since he debuted on Friday Night Smackdown.
He put a bounty of Riddle, which nobody successfully cashed in and just resulted in Shorty G and Drew Gulak taking hard losses.
Corbin made it personal, referencing Riddle’s affairs outside the ring and after some early back and forth and a near end early when Riddle locked in a sleeper, Riddle really put the car into cruise control.
He would hit the Bro 2 Sleep and then he took to the top rope hitting the Floating Bro for the three count.
Riddle would celebrate backstage, but King Corbin would attack him once again, signaling that this story seems far from over. That’s some sad news for us, because I’d like to see Riddle get into the mix with an AJ Styles or a top talent that can give us some quality matches. Riddle is more than capable.
Shayna Baszler/Nia Jax defeat Bayley/Sasha Banks via submission to become the new Women’s tag team champions.
If ever you wanted to elevate a new star, this is exactly how you do it.
Baszler got a raw deal during her debut as the brass allegedly soured on her quickly after her feud with “The Man” Becky Lynch.
Nia Jax has had her own issues, injuring talent, and failing to get over because of the heat on her from the fans.
These two had been teasing a feud, but unlikely bedfellows made for an interesting pairing.
After a great backstage segment, the match got underway and we’d find out whether or not Sasha Banks would leave as “no belt Banks” as they continue to tease dissension between she and Bayley.
Jax held her own and got in some power offense, but Baszler was the star of the show. Bayley and Banks were great as always, but the end came after one of the coolest visuals in a long time.
Baszler caught Bayley in the Kirafuda Clutch and then managed to simultaneously trap Banks in a leglock submission. Banks couldn’t free herself and she watched helplessly as Bayley had no choice but to submit.
The new champs had a great celebration and Jax was especially wonderful on the mic and to be frank, I’m very much looking forward to watching this team and I’ve been especially hard on Jax over the last few months.
Everyone deserves a fresh start and hopefully this turns into something great before the eventual split.
Bayley was disappointed, sitting on the ramp after the match and Banks was dejected, all the while staring a hole through Bayley. Give us that title match, we’ve wanted it forever.
Keith Lee defeats Randy Orton via pin fall with a Spirit Bomb.
I did not see this one coming. I certainly did not see this coming the way it was executed.
I can almost see the long term booking here. Lee is back to his NXT trunks, thank goodness, but the music remains an issue because of a legal situation, according to rumor and innuendo as the phrase goes.
Orton and Lee got into it immediately. Orton demanded respect, and they began to exchange some hard hitting chops to the point you’d think they were giving each other receipts.
Lee had a fantastic backstage interaction with JBL earlier in the evening and you almost doubted how this one would end. Orton has shelved the champ, Drew McIntyre, with a jaw fracture, and Lee took this opportunity to intercede for his friend, all the while looking to establish himself on the red brand.
He went after the biggest heel and they went after it hard.
The exchange would continue and Lee would make a costly mistake which saw him planted with the draping DDT that the “Viper” has caught many a talent with over the years.
Orton would coil up in the center of the ring, probably about five minutes into the match and he would look to strike with the feared RKO. Lee would counter immediately with a Spirit Bomb that Orton sold to perfection.
We had a three count. There was no interference. There was no tomfoolery. We had a clean victory but a debuting superstar over the strongest heel on the red brand roster.
Not only does that establish Lee immediately, but we either setup a future title match between Lee and McIntyre or Lee and Orton when those two settle their business.
A job well done and Samoa Joe himself sold this as an “upset”. I wouldn’t say this, but this was a shocking as the Kevin Owens debut where he beat John Cena. Fantastically executed and let’s hope this leads to big things for Keith Lee.
Rey/Dominik Mysterio defeat Seth Rollins/Murphy via pin fall after a frog splash from Dominik on Murphy.
This had to happen. We are incredibly critical of the writing and booking teams, because they have been dreadful more often than not, but they were on point tonight.
I fully expected Murphy to take the loss here. You protect Rollins to let him and Rey blow off their feud, and you establish Dominik at the same time.
Rey looked incredible as always, eye patch and all. Rollins controlled much of the match blow, being a tremendous heel as always and they nearly came away with this on several occasions.
The end came when Rollins had Mysterio dead to rights, but he wanted the disciple Murphy to end things. He tagged in Murphy and called out for a kick, but Rey sent Rollins into a hard inzaguri shot. Murphy was dragged into the ring and set in position for the 619.
Dominik sent his father out of the ring and Rey caught Rollins with a sliding sunset bomb on the floor before he scored with the 619 and thn he went up high, channeling his “Uncle Eddie” with a frog splash for the three count and the victory.
I’d love to see Rey and Dominik challenging the Street Profits for the tag titles sooner, rather than later, but they’ll have to settle the score with the “Monday Night Messiah” first.
Roman Reigns defeats “The Fiend” Bray Wyatt and Braun Strowman via pin fall to become the new Universal Champion.
This was a heel out-heeling the heels. Well done.
The no holds barred match began with Strowman and Wyatt beating the holy hell out of one another. “The Fiend” would bring out the mallet that he would strike Strowman with and it was hard hitting and brutal early on.
The two former Wyatt family members would work their way up the ramp where Strowman would spear Wyatt off and through a table.
Alexa Bliss, sporting her Harley Quinn look, was watching via a monitor in the back, seemingly dripping with concern for Wyatt. I truly hope this plays out to where she is revealed as “Sister Abigail” alongside the “Fiend”.
Wyatt and Strowman would work their way back to the ring and Strowman went up top, looking for a high risk maneuver. Wyatt would catch him and hit a superplex that would break the ring.
That’s always a great visual, but that well has run dry. The first time they did it with Brock Lesnar and the Big Show can never be recreated, that’s just the truth.
As the two men lay their prone, the referee having been tossed from the ring, “The Big Dog” made his way out to the ring with the “Advocate” Paul Heyman. Reigns would sign the contract, picking his spot and he hit the ring.
He went for pin falls on both men, and both kicked out.
He left the ring, grabbing a steel chair, and he clobbered Strowman. He would then look to attack “The Fiend”, but he found himself in the dreaded Mandible Claw. Reigns would strike with a timely low blow and “The Fiend” was sent through the ropes and out of the ring.
Reign would recover and Strowman would climb to his feet where he ate a spear. Reigns covered and we have a new Universal Champion.
This was not surprising. They strapped a rocket to one of their top stars, a newly minted heel, with one of the best mouthpieces in the business and they did what they were afraid to do with John Cena for years, a little heel turn.
Reigns would hoist the title high to the delightful of a gleeful Heyman.
“The Fiend” was protected by not taking the pin fall and you have a story there. This is going to open up some great main event matches and you still have Otis with the briefcase in hand.
Payback, for having a one week build, was a solid outing.
You have so many fresh stories at your disposal, so we’ll see where they go from here.
- Lightning Smack Down Upstart Hurricanes February 24, 2021
- Drought ends as Lightning outlast Canes in Raleigh February 23, 2021
- Lethargic Lightning shutout again by Hurricanes February 20, 2021
- Second period burst pushes Panthers past Bolts at Amalie February 15, 2021
- Tremendous effort and explosive second period propels Bolts past Florida February 13, 2021
- Point’s two goals not enough as Bolts’ winning streak halted in Sunrise February 11, 2021
- Bolts dominate Predators for 6th straight win February 9, 2021
- Nashville push not enough as Bolts top Preds in Music City February 8, 2021
- Make it two, as Tampa Bay wins Super Bowl LV February 7, 2021
- Goodrow shines in Lightning victory over Red Wings February 5, 2021