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Rift's WWE Payback 2017 results/commentary
Submitted by Aaron Rift on 04/30/2017 at 05:55 PM


- Enzo and Cass vs. Anderson and Gallows in the Kickoff match. Enzo and Cass made Chinese food jokes in the pre-match promo. Booker T called Cass a star in the making. Cass saved Enzo from a magic killer and Enzo scored the victory with a roll-up on Gallows. There was nothing noteworthy about this match as it was your typical pre-show match.

- The crowd booed the Randy Orton vs. Bray Wyatt graphic. Renee Young explained that Wyatt vs. Orton is a no holds barred match that will start in Wyatt's house and end in the ring with a pinfall or submission.

- The Miz TV segment with Finn Balor took place. Miz complained about Balor's entrance being too long. Balor said he is going to get his Universal Title back and Miz said Brock Lesnar would break Balor in half. Balor said Miz isn't worth beating up. After Miz kept ranting, Balor took out Miz.

- Kevin Owens vs. Chris Jericho for the US Title. Jericho worked on Owens' fingers. Owens poked Jericho in the eyes when the referee wasn't looking and got a nearfall. Jericho put Owens in the Walls of Jericho and Owens couldn't reach the ropes because of the injured fingers. Owens tapped out and Jericho is the new U.S. champion and member of Smackdown Live. Good match and I loved the finish. This was an interesting turn of events for Jericho to win the title with his expected hiatus from the company.

- Neville vs. Austin Aries for the cruiserweight title. Neville was DQ'd after grabbing the referee while in Aries' submission. Good match but I'm not a fan of DQ finishes on PPV, especially when it feels like WWE is just trying to drag out the storyline even longer.

- The Hardys vs. Shesaro for the RAW tag team titles. The crowd was very much into the "Broken" Hardys, doing "Brother Nero" and "Obsolete" chants. It appeared that Sheamus knocked out one of Jeff's teeth during the match. Sheamus wasn't aware that a tag was made and Jeff hit the swanton bomb to pick up the victory. After the match, the Hardys shook hands with Shesaro. While the Hardys were celebrating, Shesaro attacked the Hardys from behind. This was an entertaining match with good crowd heat. With Cesaro's babyface momentum dwindling, I think the heel turn for Shesaro was the right move.

- Bayley vs. Alexa Bliss for the Women's Title. Bayley's hometown crowd in San Jose was very much behind her. Bayley hit the Macho Man elbow but Alexa kicked out. Bayley's head ended up getting knocked into the steel post. Alexa took advantage and won the title with the DDT. I thought this was a really strong match. I'm not surprised that Bayley lost in her hometown, but at the same time, Bayley is better off chasing the title.

- The House of Horrors match took place. Randy Orton arrived in a limo. The segment was shot like a movie with scary music and lots of different camera angles/cuts. Orton entered the house and was attacked from behind by Wyatt as scary music continued to play. Wyatt took off and Orton followed Wyatt into another room. There were dolls all over the walls and Wyatt attacked Orton from behind again. The fight spilled into the kitchen and they used various kitchen items on each other. Wyatt tipped the fridge onto Orton. Wyatt went outside and said, "follow the buzzards!" Wyatt got in the limo and told the driver to take him to the arena. The live crowd was chanting boring during the segment. This was so ridiculous and I was laughing the entire time. I guess I was entertained by it because of how absurd it was.

- Seth Rollins vs. Samoa Joe. Joe worked over Rollins' bad knee for most of the match. Rollins made his comeback but kept selling his bad knee. After being destroyed for most of the match, Rollins did a fireman's carry into a pinfall to score the win out of nowhere. This was a fine match but it felt like the HOH match cooled the crowd off. The finish was basically non-decisive since Joe dominated the match and it was played up that Rollins got a "lucky" break at the end. It also appeared that one of Joe's shoulders was not down during the pinfall.

- Bray Wyatt came to the ring and when the lights were turned back on, Randy Orton was behind Wyatt and attacked Wyatt with a steel chair. The Singh brothers attacked Randy Orton. Orton recovered but was then attacked by Jinder Mahal with the WWE Title belt. The conclusion to the lengthy Orton/Wyatt feud was essentially an advertisement for the next PPV match.

- Roman Reigns vs. Braun Strowman. Reigns was bandaged up from the attack by Strowman. Strowman chokeslammed Reigns onto the announce table early in the match. Reigns was able to recover and was able to hit a Samoan drop onto Strowman for a nearfall. Reigns hit a spear but Strowman kicked out. Strowman hit the running powerslam but Reigns kicked out. Strowman hit a 2nd running powerslam and picked up the victory. After the match, Strowman dropped Reigns onto the steel steps as the crowd chanted "thank you Strowman!" This was a good match but felt short for a PPV main event. Strowman winning was the right move if Strowman is facing Lesnar. The question is, what happens at the June PPV before Lesnar returns?




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