Was Payback 2020 a brand new starting for WWE?
On this evening, it definitely felt prefer it.
One other WWE PPV per week after SummerSlam felt wholly pointless. However Payback hit all the suitable notes and set the tone for what might be a major change throughout the firm.
SN Q&A: Keith Lee talks TakeOver, actual purpose he gave up NA belt
Sure, you’ve heard all of it earlier than, solely to be let down by what passed off shortly after. For a minute, nevertheless, take pleasure in what passed off at Payback, and you’ll see that seeds have been planted for what might be a brand new starting for a promotion that has been spinning its wheels amid the COVID pandemic.
For starters, the long-awaited singles push for Massive E seems to have commenced. After years of followers virtually begging for the New Day’s muscle-bound member to indicate what he has as a singles wrestler, coupled with passionate promos and a a lot talked-about “Speaking Smack” phase, it seems WWE is lastly able to decide to him.
A strong match with Sheamus that ended with Massive E going over clear signaled that followers can anticipate to see much more from one of the vital charismatic abilities in all of professional wrestling. Will it maintain? Who is aware of? On this evening at the very least, it was a step in the suitable course.
Shayna Baszler additionally has seen her push stalled over the previous few months. After beating Bayley and Becky Lynch at Survivor Sequence in November after which operating roughshod over the ladies in Elimination Chamber in February, all indicators pointed towards the previous MMA fighter getting her style of gold.
As an alternative, she misplaced her WrestleMania match to Lynch and was shuttered into the midcard. She just lately re-emerged on “Uncooked” and was seemingly embroiled in a feud with Nia Jax. However the two buried the hatchet, albeit briefly, to tackle Sasha Banks and Bayley for the ladies’s tag staff titles. One more above-average match ended with Baszler getting the highlight as she locked Banks and Bayley in a submission maintain concurrently to get the tapout and develop into a tag staff champion.
It made Baszler seem like the badass she was all the time meant to be, and now it seems her run has caught a second wind.
Maybe essentially the most gorgeous second got here when former NXT and North American champion Keith Lee defeated Randy Orton clear in 5 minutes. Orton is in a bitter feud with WWE champion Drew McIntyre and Lee was assumed to be a steppingstone to launch Orton again into the feud as a white-hot heel. As an alternative, Lee got here up large with a Spirit Bomb to get a clear victory over the Legend Killer.
This comes only a week shy of Lee dropping the NXT title to Karrion Kross at NXT TakeOver and making his “Uncooked” debut to blended reactions. It wasn’t essentially the expertise; it was the brand new music and ring apparel that had many involved. However Lee going over on Orton alerts that the corporate believes within the athletic monster of a person.
Lastly, Roman Reigns’ heel flip of Roman Reigns was lastly accomplished as The Massive Canine had his first match in over six months in opposition to Braun Strowman and The Fiend for the WWE common championship. After making his shock return at SummerSlam, Reigns shocked followers by aligning himself with Paul Heyman on “Friday Evening SmackDown.”
By the point Payback rolled round, no person knew what to anticipate within the triple menace match. Reigns and Heyman refused to signal the contract for the match till the final minute, after Strowman and The Fiend had crushed one another mindless. Reigns made his technique to the ring and clobbered each with metal chairs in quest of a pin to regain the title.
Strowman and The Fiend managed to flee pin makes an attempt, however after tossing The Fiend out of the ring, Reigns nailed Strowman with a spear to get the pinfall and lift the title with the dastardly Heyman by his facet.
It’s a far cry from the place WWE was only a few months in the past as scores took a dip and there was concern over the course of the corporate. These issues are usually not fully silenced because it nonetheless has to comply with by way of over the subsequent few weeks. However this was definitely a step in the suitable course with a present that had no enterprise being as satisfying and well-booked because it was.