The overall consensus most people get from Payback is that it was a better PPV overall that WrestleMania. It's honestly hard to argue with that. The wrestling was on point and while the story lines may not have advanced that much, they certainly did more for us than those at WrestleMania. RAW was a pretty mixed bag this week. There were some really good points, unsurprisingly Kevin Owens match was one of them, and there were some low points. So what are the biggest observations from this week? [next]
Roman Reigns vs. AJ Styles need a heel to continue their rivalry
As good as Roman Reigns and AJ Styles feud has been recently and it has been very good, it needs a Heel to really move that next level. It seems like WWE are unwilling to turn either man at this juncture. Roman Reigns is the companies chosen one, they've invested so much in him at this point they don't care how many people call for him to turn heel, even if it is the right decision. Styles on the other hand is the hardcore wrestling fans epitome of what they want. Styles has been arguably receiving the loudest positive reactions of anyone on the roster right now. Louder than Ambrose, Reigns, Owens, Zayn and Cesaro. That speaks volumes about how much people love him. The strange thing is that on RAW both men looked like heels. AJ attacked The Usos with a chair after refusing to hit Roman. Reigns on the other hand proceeded to aggressively put Styles through a table.
Right now this feud is two babyfaces (In the eyes of WWE anyway) going up against each other which is fine. Right now these two are doing excellent work but if they want to story to progress one of them needs to turn to the dark side. Otherwise this story will lack that bad guy that every story needs, although the fans are making sure Roman fills that role on an interim basis right now. [next]
McMahon family drama yet again
It's just too much for me to bear. WWE have been making out how we are at the start of a new era. So what do they put in centre stage of this new era? family drama between the McMahon's that has been going on since the beginning of time. People were excited when Shane McMahon came back. It looked like things might get interesting. Now WWE have simply turned it into a sibling rivalry over who gets control of the TV remote. All this does is make the superstars on the roster look like pawns in a chess game being played by the McMahon's. An incredibly dull and repetitive chess game we've all seen before.
If you search around on the Internet I doubt you'll find many people who are particularly interested in the McMahon's squabbling on TV yet again. If WWE really wanted to start a new era then the on screen characters would be completely written off. Stick them in a boardroom somewhere and make them do some real work. [next]
WWE Creative are very uncreative
Honestly I put this one in here as a dig at WWE Creative. The problems facing WWE right now have nothing to do with the quality of talent on their roster. Right now, their roster is as strong as it's ever been in terms of in ring ability. When people like Rollins, Orton and Cena all return you could even argue that it's better than roster in the early 2000's in terms of ability. The problems WWE have are solely down to their creative writers and their inability to be, well, creative.
No story illustrates this point more than Charlotte vs Natalya. Two incredibly talented in-ring performers who come from families with incredible wrestling backgrounds. Despite this, WWE writers have failed to make this an intriguing feud. Nobody believes Natalya will win, rather that Charlotte is simply keeping the belt warm for Sasha Banks, one of the best wrestlers in the company. So what did they try and do? Recreate the Montreal screwjob. Let's all stand up and clap that genius.
For a new era, WWE decided to revisit one of the darkest periods in their history, all for a cheap pop? This really is as bad as it gets. Although knowing WWE they will make this worse somehow. [next]
Rusev gets another chance
Yes! Finally! A year after Rusev was taken down a peg by Big Match John (John Cena for all of you who don't know) Rusev is back where he belongs, in the title hunt. In all seriousness though, Rusev is extremely talented, has a good gimmick and he's only thirty years old, meaning he has time on his side. A year ago Rusev was on the verge of being a main event heel. People hated him but they knew and respected how good he was. With the company lacking top heels, Rollins being the only obvious one, it was baffling to see him fall from grace in the way he did. Thankfully facing a little guy like Kalisto, Rusev could go back to his dominant self alongside Lana. [next]
Dean Ambrose deserves better
Dean Ambrose has only won five PPV matches as a singles competitor after beating Chris Jericho at Payback. Despite this, he remains one of the most popular people on the roster. That shows how much potential he has. Despite this, WWE seem to be determined to avoid it. He's been reduced to the role of feuding with Chris Jericho over a potted planet and a chat show when he should be near the upper echelons of the main event scenes. Compare him with his former Shield brothers. Rollins had a very successful run as WWE Champion after WrestleMania 32 despite how badly the creative team booked him. Reigns is technically in his third title reign. The closest Ambrose has come is when he beat Seth Rollins via DQ and when he almost beat Triple H but his foot was under the ropes. Simply put, the fact that Dean Ambrose is still as over as he is with the crowd speaks volumes. [next]
- People really don't like The Usos. Probably because they are boredom personified.
- Kevin Owens can do absolutely no wrong. If WWE want ratings to increase they should just have him face Shinsuke Nakamura on every PPV for the next two years.
- Tyler Breeze won a match. In other news, pigs have been spotted flying over southern America.
- Emma beat Becky Lynch with a Michinoku Driver. Women's wrestling is awesome.
- I don't think there is a soul on earth that cares about Primo and Epico's new gimmick.
- RIP Mitch the plant. It was good while it lasted.