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Cakes Takes on WWE Payback 2020 (PPV Review)

Updated on September 1, 2020
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Caila has been a wrestling/WWE/WWF fan for as long as she can remember, growing up during the infamous Attitude Era and watching ever since

WWE Payback 2020

My initial thoughts on the PPV immediately were absolute shock that it was happening only a week after the last one. The fact that they were so close together took away some of the impact of the event to me and felt like it was what was leftover from Summerslam last week that they couldn't fit onto the show. Payback lately has been taking place in Chicago, Illinois, where I live, for a few of the past few years, and I've gone a couple of times, so it gives me an affinity for the show each year to see it, if not just for the Chicago crowd alone. Chicago always turns up the heat in the crowd, so I always look forward to this show, but this year with the pandemic makes it different. The ThunderDome is back in effect again and in full throttle during the matches, even after everything that's happened the past few times over TV and PPV's, but I was still happy to watch the show. As per usual, I always miss the pre-show lately, but I don't think it was much that I would have wanted to see anyway. I think it's pitiful of WWE to start a feud with the Riott Squad members only to have them be best friends again later. It's like they don't know what they're doing with the characters at all, but that should shock no one. On to the PPV review...

Apollo Crews vs Lashley for the United States Championship

I was a little bit bummed that Crews was going against someone like Lashley so soon into his reign of his championship. Lashley is a bigger star than Crews is to the WWE so I figured he would lose the match as soon as I saw that it was on the card. The match was not bad, but it was nothing to catch my eye really. Apollo Crews has a lot of potential but needs something that pushes his personality forward to emit to the WWE Universe, whether that be a gimmick, a heel turn or something else, he desperately needs it. He has the physical talent to do so, but he needs the mic skills and personality to back it up. Lashley has that same exact problem, but at least he has MVP to back him up on it and speak for him. That makes all the difference when your manager can talk for you and you make up for it in the ring. I was not shocked that Apollo lost his United States Championship, but I liked the big explosion of anger after the match was over when he attacked Lashley afterwards. This might lead to a heel turn and a switch in his status in the WWE and his character hopefully. Lashley now has the championship but their feud is clearly not over, according to Crews, after the match.

After the match, we got clips of Paul Heyman being hassled by an interviewer about Roman Reigns, if he was there already, and if he had signed the contract or not. Paul, of course, had runaround answers. When I first heard of it, I did not know what to make of Roman now being a Paul Heyman Guy, but now I think I love it for the same reasons that I like Lashley having MVP as his mouth. Roman needs it, as well. It makes me more excited to see of Roman, because Paul will help him build his character.

Paul discussing the contract signing with Roman in the locker room.
Paul discussing the contract signing with Roman in the locker room.
Sheamus vs Big E
Sheamus vs Big E

Sheamus vs Big E in a Singles Match

This was a good match if you're into two really big guys going at it and being made to look strong and both intimidating. I knew this was a match to put Big E over, for his long awaited and long needed singles push, but it was still see him have a moment for himself. The match however seemed like it was over pretty quick and it wasn't exactly memorable at all. By the end of the match, I noticed that Big E probably get a new finisher because The Big Ending does not look like it hurts at all. It looks like Big E himself takes most of the brunt of the force of the move. Also, Sheamus worked on Big E's legs a lot during this match and Big E sold it the whole match until it was time for The Big Ending. You would think that he would not have been able to hit it, as it takes his leg power to lift the person and slam them down while carrying them, but I digress. Just did not make in ring sense as much to me. Big E should have BEEN had this push! He is so charismatic and fun, he has spirit and he's interesting to listen to on the mic all the time. He deserves a big push, so I'm glad that now is his time!

After this match, Matt Riddle was being interviewed about his upcoming match against King Corbin. During this interview I couldn't help but laugh out loud honestly, because Matt's eyes hardly ever open. It's like he's permanently high. (Someone drug test this man!) You could tell during the interview though that Corbin was a soft spot from King Corbin getting underneath his skin through the weeks. The next segment before their match was Nia Jax and Shayna Baszler both in their locker room preparing for their match to start and for me it was very random that they were the next contenders for the Women's Tag Team Championships, as they clearly don't get along, but they make a very weird team. It almost makes me wish I watched RAW and SmackDown every week again. Almost.

Matt Riddle for the win
Matt Riddle for the win

King Corbin vs Matt Riddle in a Singles Match

My first thought into the entrances of this match was, "When is the next King of the Ring Tournament?" I'm ready for Baron Corbin to get a new gimmick because this one is not doing anything for him. He isn't bringing anything to the role of the king to me like other kings have like King Booker (Booker T), Triple H, or Jerry "The King" Lawler. It does not seem like he takes it seriously whatsoever, so why have the role then? I think I liked his role of being a no nonsense brawler better. In this match, the wideshots of the crowd in this match was a bit distracting for me probably because it's a midcard match, with no stakes, or stipulations and the storyline seems to mean nothing. These two, however, did have more in ring chemistry than I thought they would. Both, Matt and Corbin, shined in their own ways in the match. The Deep Six has always been a cool move to me, and Matt Riddle took it beautifully last night from Baron! The Floating Bro looks so cool and lackadaisical at the same time. I had a feeling by the clean finish ending that the Original Bro won that this feud was not over, and Baron Corbin only confirmed it when he attacked him in the locker room area after the match was over. I don't find this feud anything that would really catch my attention every week if I was watching the show, so it did not do much for me during the PPV either.

Shayna Baszler and Nia Jax vs Bayley and Sasha Banks for the WWE Women's Tag Team Championships

I know it has been said that Bayley and Sasha Banks have been the best thing about RAW, SmackDown and WWE as a whole lately, but I don't like either of them, so I was hoping going into this match that they would lose the championships so it could hopefully kickstart their feud. I didn't think they would actually lose for a second, but WWE always surprises us. I noticed at the very beginning of the match that Sasha will no sell somebody in a heartbeat. Shayna kicked her in the head about 4 times during the match while she had her stuck on the top rope, and afterwards, Sasha acted like nothing happened. She walked it off and started fighting Shayna back. These kinds of moments pull me out of the reality of the match or out of the storytelling of it at least, because it makes me feel like Sasha is going into business for herself during the match because she wants to look good. The match was a bit chaotic, but overall I thought it went better than I could've imagined it first. The ending of the match made a mark out of me. It was such a dope finish for Shayna! She locks in 3 submissions in on Sasha and Bayley at the same time! A leg lock to Sasha, A Kirifuda Clutch to Bayley and then she wraps Bayley's struggling, thrashing arm that's desperately trying to claw at her around Sasha's face for Bayley to finally tap out for the win! It was really one of the cooler finishes I have seen in a match in a while. Shayna really outshined Nia in this match to me and it only highlighted why they probably should not be a team, because everything about Shayna at this point is better that Nia when it comes to their in ring skills and their gimmicks. Shayna came into the match, killed it for their team, and they snagged the WWE Women's Tag Team Championships for them! I was genuinely surprised that WWE had Sasha and Bayley have two major losses in a row, with Sasha losing her championship and now Bayley being the one to tap to Shayna for her and Nia's win. The seeds have definitely been sewn for a Bayley/Sasha Banks feud and I cannot wait for when it comes to fruition!

Randy Orton vs Keith Lee in a Singles Match

This was such a random matchup to me, even though I understood the reasoning behind it. This was just a match to tell us, as viewers, that Keith Lee is STRONG! Randy Orton is a staple in the WWE system. If you want to make it to the top, he's one of the veterans in the WWE still that you will have to go through as a competitor. This is great for Randy's place in the company, as it places him at the top with other legends, but it also provides nothing to his character or his gimmick as "The Legend Killer", as he was recently punting Shawn Michaels in the head and RKO'd him! Putting Randy against people who have a huge weight difference over him usually is a bad match for him in my opinion. Randy is smooth, quick and snakelike in the ring. He is a great and sound technical wrestler! So he usually needs to be in the ring with someone around the same size or lesser than he is and with as good of in ring abilities as he has to make the match amazing! So with that being said, this match did not stand out for me, as it was a bit slow, except for the ending. Keith Lee hit a GREAT Powerbomb for his win! He literally made Randy look like a kid, throwing him up on his shoulders and into the air like he did for his finisher!

When the match was over, Kayla, again, was pestering Paul Heyman about Roman Reigns signing the contract for their Triple Threat match tonight was funny to me. Every time she came up to Paul, he just looked less than happy to see her. However, this should have gave us a clue as to what Roman would end up doing later on in the night at the main event!

Rey Mysterio and Dominik vs Seth Rollins and Murphy in a Tag Team Match

First of all... before I get into what I thought about the match as a whole, I had the question of, 'How can Rey even see?' The customary promo montage footage before the match that explained the entire feud only reminded me of that dumb Eye for an Eye match, where the loser had his eye removed. Rey lost, and if I'm not mistaken, he had done the same to Rey's other eye before that Eye for an Eye match, so how can Rey see now that Seth took both of his eyes?! WWE logic, I guess. This feud should have been over when Dominik lost his one on one match against Seth Rollins last week at the SummerSlam PPV, or even better at that Eye for an Eye match. I wasn't invested in this match at all really because it felt like it should not be a match or a feud still anymore. There were some high points of the match though. Seth Rollins can be a legitimately threatening heel when he wants to be as his "Kick him in the head!" line to Murphy as he set Rey Mysterio up for Murphy to kick him came off as actually scary! The win at the end of the match had a great counter by Rey, where Murphy ended up kicking Seth in the head instead of Rey! This led to Dominik getting to hit a 619 and a Frog Splash for the win! Seth looked mad at Murphy at the top of the ramp, coming off as if there is now friction between the two. My only question now is, Can this feud be over with now please, because this match just was not enough to keep me entertained at all anymore and the feud is so stale now.

Main Event: Braun Strowman vs "The Fiend" Bray Wyatt vs Roman Reigns in a No Holds Barred Triple Threat Match for the WWE Universal Championship

This match started off with a BANG, as The Fiend couldn't even get into the ring good before Braun Strowman attacked him and technically started the match! This was not shocking, but it was in terms that their third competitor had not gotten to the ring yet. You would think that Braun would have saved the aggression for Roman who attacked him last week, but nope! He was focused on getting the championship back, rather than his second opponent. Most of the match was fought between Bray and Braun, as the last match had been before at SummerSlam. They even ended up breaking the ring down like when most giants fight in the ring and give Superplexes off the top rope. The ref tried to dramatize it even more and launched himself out of the ring for no reason when it collapsed in on itself and that was funny, but fake looking. By the end, Roman came out when everyone else's situations looked dire already. Seeing him come down the ramp with Paul Heyman legitimized him a bit for me. Heyman looks good by his side, and once you're a Paul Heyman Guy, it's hard for you to go wrong... mostly. But this definitely fed me something that I didn't get with Roman before Heyman. This new Roman Reigns is an opportunist! He waited until the last second to sign the contract, come to the ring, get in the match and win! Having him win felt forced even if he is a Paul Heyman Guy now. It feels like they're forcing him down our throats again without asking if we want any and I don't like how everyone who has held the belt recently just feels like a placeholder instead of a champion, because WWE does not give them enough time to before they're back trying to force Roman on us.

Should You Watch WWE Payback 2020?

Worth the One Week Wait?

Overall, I'm so glad there were not any cinematic match for this PPV or the last one, as not a single one of the matches felt big enough for that caliber of a match! This pay per view also did not feel like what the title of it is: Payback! All of these matches felt like what was leftover from last PPV, some of them seemed thrown together for the sake of the superstars to be on the show at all. Only one match was technically Payback for anything and it was one of the drabbest matches on the card for the night, in my opinion. The show only excited me in bits and pieces in every other match and as a whole I would not say it is a PPV that would go in the books or history because it was not THAT great. Should you watch it? If you're a WWE fan and want to keep up, as a whole, yes, as there were championship changes and good parts in the PPV. If you are a big fan of wrestling and WWE, then Payback 2020 would just seem like another day in the wrestling park for you. A few of the matches pushed the stories along, but some of them made it hard to even want to see what happens next for the character because you want them out of that particular feud or you just don't care at all.

WWE Payback 2020 - Winners and Losers

Bobby Lashley vs
Apollo Crews (c)
Singles Match for the United States Championship
Big E vs
Singles Match
Matt Riddle vs
King Corbin
Singles Match
Shayna Baszler and Nia Jax vs
Bayley (c)(c) and Sasha Banks (c)
Tag Team Match for the WWE Women's Tag Team Championships
Keith Lee vs
Randy Orton
Singles Match
Rey and Dominik Mysterio vs
Seth Rollins and Murphy
Tag Team Match
Roman Reigns vs
Braun Strowman vs "The Fiend" Bray Wyatt (c)
No Holds Barred Triple Threat Match for the WWE Universal Championship

(c)= champion

The match card for WWE Payback 2020

WWE Payback 2020 Poll! VOTE NOW!!!

Do you think that WWE should have waited longer than a week to have this PPV?

See results

This PPV is a... GEM!

3 stars for WWE Payback 2020


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