Welcome to our live coverage of today's WWE Payback PPV from the All-State Arena in Chicago. We're looking for your thoughts on the three major weekend shows, this PPV show, last night's UFC 161, and tonight's TripleMania from Arena Mexico, so you can leave a thumbs up, thumbs down or thumbs in the middle along with a best and worst match to
SHEAMUS VS. DAMIEN SANDOW
They gave them more than 10:00, and the two had a good match, easily the best pre-show match in a long time. It was what you would expect, with a lot of near falls and the crowd is hot as well. Sheamus won clean with the Brogue kick in a match highlighted by Michael Cole bringing up this city was the site of the first supermatch in wrestling history, with Gotch vs. Hackenschmidt, which led to some age jokes about Lawler being at the match and helping Farmer Burns coach Gotch.
WADE BARRETT VS. THE MIZ VS. CURTIS AXEL FOR THE IC TITLE
Axel won the title with a clever finish. Miz backdropped Axel over the top rope. Miz then put Barrett in the figure four leglock. Barrett struggled to get to the ropes. Axel ran in, and instead of breaking up the move, he covered Barrett for the three count before Barrett tapped. The crowd was totally behind Axel, reacting big when he used the old Perfect plex on Barrett. Lots of near falls and saves. Another good match. They pushed the idea that Axel won the IC title on Father's Day as a tribute to his father who was IC champion 23 yhears ago.
Axel and HHH were face-to-face about togo at it when Vince showed up and congratulated Axel and shook Paul Heyman's hand. Vince said he wanted HHH vs. Axel on Raw tomorrow but HHH said he wasn't feeling that match one bit.
KAITLYN VS. A.J. LEE FOR DIVAS TITLE
A.J. won the title using the black widow, or the Antonio Inoki octopus submission. This was good as well. The big spot in the match was Kaitlyn using the spear but instead of going for the pin, she paused, blew A.J. a kiss (which A.J. did to her at the start of the match), but that gave A.J. the time to kick out. The crowd was totally behind A.J. and Kaitlyn was crying hysterically when it was over and people were booing her and chanted "You tapped out" at her. They were selling it like Kaitlyn was having a breakdown. Layla came out to console Kaitlyn and people booed her as well. Not as good as Gail Kim vs. Taryn Terrell, but better than any WWE PPV women's match of late.
Layla and Kaitlyn. Alicia Fox and Natalya were consoling Kaitlyn backstage.
DEAN AMBROSE VS. KANE FOR THE U.S. TITLE
Ambrose retained the title via count out after a DDT on the floor. They were on the floor and Kane cleared off the Spanish table, but when he turned around, Ambrose hit the DDT. The crowd seemed more for Ambrose than Kane, or at least the Ambrose fans were more vocal. The match was fine, nothing special, and the crowd booed the count out aspect of the finish.
Rob Van Dam is coming back at the next PPV. The crowd popped huge for that.
DOLPH ZIGGLER VS. ALBERTO DEL RIO FOR THE WORLD TITLE
Del Rio won the title in a match that came off like a double turn. Not sure where A.J. fits in. Crowd was for Ziggler anyway. The story was Del Rio kept kicking Ziggler in the head and Ziggler selling like he was woozy. The trainer came out and was examining Ziggler. A.J. wanted the match stoppe but Ziggler refused to stop. Ziggler did babyface selling and comebacks and Del Rio was playing to the crowd as the heel. For the most part, the crowd turned on Del Rio although when he got the pin after a superkick, the crowd did pop for the title change. Ziggler was selling how he gave it his all and the crowd was chanting his name when it was over. A.J. was crying when it was over. It's intersting where they will go with this, but it appears they've given up on the Del Rio as face experiment.
Del Rio talked about how everything he's done he's done for the fans every single night. He asked the fans for their support while they booed him. He taled about how he always gives 100% and he asked the fans to cheer for him. It was 80% boos.
C.M. PUNK VS. CHRIS JERICHO
This was close to a match of the year. Punk won with two Go to sleep's after tons of punches to the back of the head in breaking up a full Boston crab and then a half crab. They pulled out all the stops and the crowd was as hot as any match anywhere this year with the possible exception of the Undertaker match at Mania. Punk was the face of course, and Jericho did worked as a subtle heel but not as overtly as Del Rio. Paul Heyman was with Punk all the way through. Tons of near falls, with Jericho kicking out of the first GTS and Punk kicking out of the codebreaker.
They've ditched video packages on this show to give more wrestling time. It's made for a much better show. Not one match feels shortchanged on time, like usually happens with a loaded WWE show.
SETH ROLLINS & ROMAN REIGNS VS. DANIEL BRYAN & RANDY ORTON
This was the match where they did get a little shortchanged on times. Still a very good match but not as good as a lot of their TV matches. The finish saw Reigns spearing Bryan, then Orton gave Reigns an RKO and Rollins gave Bryan a curb stomp and pinned him. Orton walked out on Bryan after the match. The only split spots was Bryan doing a tope where he nailed Orton when Reigns shoved Rollins out of the way.
JOHN CENA VS. RYBACK FOR THE WWE TITLE IN BEST OF THREE MATCHES
Cena retained with the final move being both on the roof of the ambulance and Cena gave Ryback the Attitude Adjustment through the roof and the roof broke, Ryback fell into the ambulance and the match was over. It was a pretty wild match, but didn't have heat compared to a lot of the matches on the show. The lumberjack match saw Ryback win clean with the Shellshock. The highlight was Cena doing a plancha onto Ryback and all the lumberjacks who fell like dominos. The second match, the tables match, saw them do the same finish they've been doing at all the house shows where Ryback went to use another shellshock, but Cena escaped and gave him the Attitude Adjustment through the table. The ambulance match saw Ryback power bomb Cena through the American announcers table. They ended up brawling by the ambulance taking bumps on the ambulance including Cena throwing Ryback into the open front door and it tore the door off. Ryback also pulled the fender off the ambulance and used it. It worked for what it was, good overall.
The show is highly recommended if you missed it, largely for Punk vs. Jericho, but most of the matches were good. Nothing else was great, but one of the better PPV shows.