Sunday, May 1, 2016

WWE Payback 2016 Live Coverage

Kickoff has Renee describing the Ambrose vs. Jericho deal as a FEUD OF TALK SHOW HOSTS. Sure cuts whatever ball off Dean he has. Dolph vs. Baron is now a kickoff match, alongside Ryback vs. Kalisto for the US Title. Boy is Dolph's career trajectory not improving in this "new era". Roman vs. AJ hype video showcases the Roman title win - and almost found a way to make it seem like a big deal at WM. King says "it's fun to boo Roman Reigns!" so THAT'S WHY people do it now. Jesus.


We throw to Mauro and Byron for Dolph-Baron. Baron's trophy is still a thing. Byron says "This is the epitome of bad blood!" - 1. fucking stupid line. 2. IT'S FIRST THE FUCKING PRE-SHOW MATCH. He follows it up by saying that Dolph is one of the most successful superstars ever. Baron's pants remind me of Taker's in that Kurt Angle match at Survivor Series 2000 match - super-unflattering. Baron dominates with big guy moves. Eats a fameasser for 2. "Corbin collects skulls" is just a throwaway line by Mauro here. That's something they could actually use to build him up if they want to. Alley oop into the post by Baron. Baron stands on his head, giving Dolph an opening and a schoolboy wins it. JB Jr. interviews Sami next. Owens-Sami recap is great stuff still.


Kalisto comes out and then Ryback DOES IT'S CLOBBERING TIME AND HIS BELT SAYS HE'S THE PRE-SHOW STOPPER. Love it. Ryback catches Kalisto on a dangerous dive. Mauro bringing up all kinds of history just points out what a lowlight this is for the US Title. DDT off the top onto the apron hits Ryback flush. Springboard crossbody gets 1. Crazy spinebuster hits, but Kalisto kicks him up top and goes for a rana - but RYBACK HITS A SUPER GORILLA PRESS. Instead of just pinning him and providing a memorable finish, he misses a frog splash and the SDS wins it. This was so much better than their WM match.


New Day starts the PPV off. Brock Lesnar Guy boogies with some Booty Os. Woods says that Beyonce can heal herself from Jay-Z's cheating by DMing him - "it all goes down in the DMs!" Big E rules. Graphic says THE FIRST PPV OF A NEW ERA! So ridiculous. Enzo has moved more from the ramp to the front of the stage than Nash has in matches in a decade. Just tossing his mic has resulted in him running around like a crazy man for a bit. Now we're getting Hey Arnold and Stoop Kid references from Cass. Wow. I don't know exactly what 'Zo is saying, but I think he's talking shit and he's great at it. The Vaudevillains come dangerously close to almost getting a reaction.

 In-ring rocket launcher takes Gotch down. Gotch tosses 'Zo UNDER THE ROPE and his neck catches the ropes. Damn. The replay in slow-mo looked not that bad, but at regular speed it is bad. Well, this kind of reeks of an angle with JBL talking about WWE HAVING THE BEST MEDICAL TEAM IN THE WORLD - but it's legit, and they're just using it as a way to make themselves seem better as a company. Sami-Owens is up.
They start off quickly with another Frye-Takiyama exchange. Flip dive already from Sami! Cole says that Enzo has been taken to a "local medical facility" and he can move his extremities and talk. Excellent news. "Let's get a chinlock going!" by Owens leads to a chinlock! Senton gets 2 for Kevin. Sami is the best babyface in peril since Ricky Morton. Just his finger movements show how desperate he is to recover from a beating. Blue Thunder Bomb is avoided, but a Michinoku driver hits for 2! FROG SPLASH BY OWENS! TWO CANNONBALLS! Owens - "YOU'RE DEAD!" Cole - OWENS SAID YOU'RE DONE! LOL. Pop-up powerbomb is countered by a dropkick.  They each go for exhausted shots, and land a pair. Rollup gets 2 for Sami. Tornado DDT is countered into a backbreaker by Owens - nice! APRON FISTICUFFS! Apron powerbomb, as in a powerbomb by Owens WHILE BOTH ARE ON THE APRON, leads to Owens eating a backdrop on it. TORPEDO DDT! Outstanding match - definitely making the best of 2016 DVD set. Helluva kick is countered by a superkick and THE POP-UP POWERBOMB WINS IT. Incredible match.Loved the little touch of Owens falling onto him out of sheer exhaustion - so Sami can clearly stake a claim to taking everything out of Owens.
 Owens calls Byron into the ring after cheapshotting Sami.  "This is my good side - ASK ME ABOUT BEATING SAMI NOW!" He says that now he can re-focus and regain HIS IC Title, and Byron lets us know that match is next. I like this match order - very logical and sequential in a way that makes sense. Owens is going to join them on commentary. I love Owens stealing Byron's comfy chair and then giving him a steel chair. Red carpet gimmick for the Miz. FINALLY. Now have Maryse do Melina's splits. Owens has JBL's hat on and then says "well John, that's really not easy to wear with headsets".

Owens is great here burying Byron. He makes a logical point about Cesaro holding Miz up for a while - but not being able to hold him down for 3. Cesaro does Sabre's multiple kip-up bit. Miz attacks the arm a ton. Owens is glorious here. "You know that Sami could beat either of these men, and I BEAT HIM!" Owens can outwork 95% of their roster and is a better commentator than 100% of their regulars. "Michael, go call your mom or something!" Finale hits and...I can't tell what's happening due to the stuttering. Okay, Cesaro kicked out. Sami comes out and attacks Owens! More stuttering due to the Network. Miz taps to the crossface, but Sami and Owens brawl and Miz wins via distraction schoolboy. 2 out of the 4 matches so far have ended by that. Owens holds the gold high.

Jericho-Dean is up. More wacky commentators. "THIS IS FUNAKI! PAYBACK NUMBA VUN!" Ridiculous bit where Dean can't outrun the chunky, middle-aged Jericho to start. JBL buries Byron for rattling of WWE Facts about Jericho. Boy is this just doing nothing for me at all. They're doing moves and more moves - but nothing has much impact. They fight to the floor and Dean eats a backdrop into the timekeeper's area after going for Dirty Deeds on the announce table. Wacky line gets 2. Flying standing elbow gets 2. Second Walls leads to a cradle for 2. Jericho clearly calling spots with Dean yelling in his ear. Lionsault countered with some weird knees to the gut where Jericho wraps himself around Dean for no logical reason and then eats Dirty Deeds and that's it.

 Mauro has a brief, friendly chat with AJ. Shane chats with Sasha for some reason, and they plug McMahonamania later. Ric dancing to his daughter's theme is the best thing he's done in the past decade outside of that wacky promo in a women's shirt on TNA Reaction. Quite the belly on Bret there. Kinda surprised he isn't buttoning up the jacket. Thanks to the legends, this does feel like a big deal. HANDSTAND KIP UP BY NATTIE. Wow. Charlotte kicks the rope and JBL says that well, she learned it from Ric - but kicked the wrong rope because she should've crotched her. Bad head-bonks on the mat. Release German gets 2 for Nattie.

Run-up seated dropkick hits. Charlotte goes up for the moonsault and gets shoved off - but doesn't reach the barricades. They go for a triangle choke into an apron powerbomb, but Nattie gets a smooth rana that Charlotte takes very awkwardly. Natural Selection gets 2. Charlotte's moonsault gets 2. Figure 4 leads to Ric making AMAZING evil faces. Charlotte gets the sharpshooter, but LIL NAITCH CALLS FOR THE BELL. Ha! Bret and Nattie lock on stereo sharpshooters, and boy does Bret not look like he should be doing even that right now.

Vince comes out and gets a huge CM Punk chant. He talks about REINVENTING RAW ALL THE TIME. Ha! Loved him conducting the orchestra when the CM Punk chants wouldn't die down. Stephanie is in her business casual...leather pants and Vince calls her beautiful. "ISN'T SHE BEAUTIFUL!?" seems so very creepy. Astonishingly-high levels of boos here for Steph. Wow does the crowd just not like her at all. Stephanie talks about doing everything that was best for business, and Shane only things that he can run Raw because he's a man. "When the going got tough, HE ABANDONED EVERY SINGLE ONE OF YOU FOR SEVEN YEARS!" Great campaign video here from Steph, and NOW SHE POINTS OUT THAT HE LOST. Ha! Love her mentioning "integrity and intelligence". Shame it didn't bring an Angle chant.

Shane comes out and talks about all the headlines Raw has had since his run started. Shane talks about the 1.8 million subscribers, and Shane says that only the subscribers can brag about being subscribers. They show the advertorials.  "WWE's next on-screen boss" - so ON THE SHOW, they clearly let you know it's all fake. Shane says he left because the company was heading in a direction he didn't agree with. More yammering. They're only about 374 miles away from the fireworks factory. If they were 374 miles from Boyle Heights, Matanza would've eaten all of them by now. Vince is going to make them run the show together. I can't wait until they split the show down the middle with a giant piece of tape down half of each shot on the show - just like I Love Lucy.

All-star panel recap and a rundown of the pre-show matches. Camp WWE hype leads to Byron giving it a long disclaimer and that all other WWE programming will remain PG and suitable for all members of the family. Superman Punch vs. Phenomenal Forearm rundown. Enzo was diagnosed with a concussion - but every other test has come back negative.


Red and black gear for AJ - perfect, since it matches the WWE Title. Poor Cole. "AJ WON THE IGWP CHAMPIONSHIP IN JAPAN!" Not a lot going on here beyond them yammering on about how everyone LOVES TO BOO ROMAN. Roman is THE GUY. Like this guy.
Shoulder tackle sends AJ to the floor. Big lariat. Sin Cara-style deadlift powerbomb is followed up by a Ligerbomb for 2. Jumping diving lariat leads to a high kick by AJ. AJ sends him to the floor for a PHENOMENAL FOREARM OFF THE TOP TO THE FLOOR THROUGH THE ANNOUNCE TABLE. Holy shit that was absolutely perfect! Roman is out of it, and AJ wins via countout. BY 10:40!? Well, we do have a Bullet Club angle to run. Shane says that THE OLD ERA might have that end like that, but now it will restart with no countouts. AJ throws him in for a 450, but Roman crawls. Awful directing there - couldn't even see Roman on the screen crawling away from AJ. 450 leads to knees to the gut and 2! AJ jumps into a low blow, and we ge ta DQ. Cue Steph announcing no DQs. So Not the Bullet Club fucks AJ and Roman wins it. Clearly. Big lariat to Roman over the timekeeper's area leads to a big bump by Roman.

Forearm countered by the Superman Punch, as setup nicely by the pre-match Superman Punch vs. Forearm video package! Second Superman Punch! More boos. OO-WAH, BC is here/ Boot of Doom hits Roman. They can set up AJ here not wanting to win, and only being turned on by his friends because he wants to win it honestly - like Hayes and Kerry in '82. FOREARM HITS, BUT ROMAN GETS HIS FOOT ON THE ROPE. Perfect. Usos attack BC, but Roman tosses AJ off the top into the pile. "Roman buys himself some time!" = big doggie's a bit tired. Big Roman dive to the pile. Forearm off the barricade to Roman! Springboard 450 gets 2.5! Damn - they are absolutely making AJ look main event-level strong here. Great finish where Roman goes for the superman punch on the apron, gets necksnapped, but the Forearm is ducked and Roman wins with the spear. Overbooked match in many ways, but effective at making AJ look great here. Backstage Vince talks to Shane and Steph and says he wants a replay, but won't get it. Vince congratulates Shane and Steph for making AJ-ROMAN GREAT. They make AJ-Roman II - and it will be at Extreme Rules. LOLed so hard at Vince thanking Steph and Shane for making Roman vs. AJ a great match.

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