Best match Punk v Jericho
Missed the first two matches so here goes from US title match on :
Kane vs Ambrose : This was OK. Not alot to mention. Kane eventually took it outside and was going for the Spainish announce table bit but was cutoff by a ambrose DDT to the floor. Ambrose got back in before the 10 count. *1/2
Dolph vs ADR : this turned into a concussion match and was done very well. Del Rio gets alot of crap but he always has had above average PPV matches. They told a great story that last half of the match . I dont take this as a double turn, at least not at this moment I think both guys have a few more short steps to take.I hope this wasnt a case of Dolph coming back for one more match before a longer injury hiatus to do the title justice. *** 1/2
Punk vs Jericho : Punks big return. It looked like Punk had a just a tad bit more flab on his belly than Vince would like and the solo camera shots on the top rope they seemed to only focuse on his face ala Brock at Extreme Rules 2012. Started slow and got to a consistant pace that deserves credit for a match that was over nothing. Jericho looked strong too considering how the crowd and where Punk is on the peckin order. ****
DAVE : Who was the last person to be so over in a major city like Chicago like Punk is ? Bruno in NY ?
Orton Bryan vs The Shield The card didnt get rushed untill here. WWEs time managment on PPVs has stunk this year.: Bad thing about this was it was like the similar matches with the guys involved weve seen on tv the last couple of weeks. The good thing is that its those same guys. Thought Rollins got dropped the wrong way but he seemed fine. They seemed to be affected by lack of time. Shield wins. **3/4
Cena vs The Ryback : Ryback wins the lumberjack match , which was done well as far as the lumberjack spots go. There are 15 minutes left as I type this , Goldberg chants start. When Ryback is in the ring holding a set of stairs and hits Cena and yells Ryback Rules hes awesome, tobad his promos arent as good. Hope Ryback doesnt tear a lat throwing the stairs. Cena reversed a Ryback drop into a FU to put Ryback through a table. 1.1 now. Where have the Flair v Steambost 2 out of 3 matches gone ?
Ryback takes our a window ala Goldberg. And a gimmicked door FWIW. Now a gimicked fender to Cenas back. Ryback went through the roof of the ambulance via a FU.
Regardless of whatever draw or position in the company or however many good PR things Cena does, its time to stop having him go on last. ***
Good PPV overall.
This was the best WWE show I can remember, top to bottom, since Extreme Rules 2012.
Good finishes, storylines begun or advanced, and all of it done with good matches. Not a stinker among them.
Best match: Punk/Jericho
Worst match: Kane/Ambrose (just for the finish and the time constraints, it was fine for what it had to be)
The finish in the IC title match was the best finish to a WWE 3-way I've ever seen. It kept all 3 men strong: Curtis got the belt, Wade can say it took 2 men to beat him, and Miz can say he had Wade beat and got screwed. Whoever came up with that finish deserves a bonus.
Kaitlyn and AJ really surprised me. I have always thought AJ got knocked too much, I've liked her ring work since her time on the indies. But she and Kaitlyn really jelled here to put on the best storytelling match they could in the time they had. Kaitlyn needs to ease up on her spears against someone AJ's size; other than that, both women worked well together. Kaitlyn's postmatch acting was typically horrid, but there's no way around that. Glad to see AJ get her finishing hold over. It'll be interesting to see if it's over in other cities.
Ambrose/Kane was a match that didn't need to be booked, and to be honest I don't know if it did either guy any favors. But for where they had to go, they booked their way out of it just fine.
The semi-double-turn in the WHC title match was a thing of beauty. Cole and JBL were just awesome on commentary giving the situation gravity and meaning. Ziggler is going to be a top face this year. I wonder how they will get Ricardo heel again, and what they will do about AJ or Big E. It seems like the best main event heels they have are going face very rapidly - Ziggler and Punk, I mean. Surely RVD will be a face coming in. They need to finish this Orton turn SOON. I was initially dejected about Dolph dropping the belt, but really, Del Rio as a heel needs it more, and Ziggler will be a money babyface chaser for a title once they finish turning him. The work in the WHC match was also a lot stiffer than I expected given the concerns about head injuries, and normally I'd say I trust the athlete to know his own condition, but with some of these guys (Ziggler and Rollins come to mind) I'm not so sure they'd take the precautions others would.
Punk vs Jericho was ironic - it was a match that deserved to be at a Wrestlemania, but it also needed this crowd on this night to be as good as it was. I don't know if Y2J is going heel for a main event role, but they could use him. The one or two spots where Punk was unhappy with Heyman were a nice touch for the non-live crowd watching the story unfold on PPV. The standing vice spot and a few other new sequences made this feel like a really innovative match, even though from a technical perspective it was simply a well-worked match mixing all sorts of styles. Punk looked in great shape and I can't wait for the Lesnar program. I'd go four and three-quarters stars.
Tag title match was a good TV match. Obviously with AJ meant to be distraught after the Ziggler angle, they had to put this here and have the Divas title match early in the show, but it would have been nice to see this get more time. Glad to see Rollins not try to concuss himself by going headfirst into a barricade on PPV for once.
Main event was a perfect story. Reminded me of the Cena-JBL and Cena-Batista I Quit matches, and the Undertaker-Kennedy Last Ride match. Ryback was a little careless, but mostly on the ball. To my relief, they used the time they had effectively and managed to surprise the crowd a couple of times without doing stupid stuff or blowing up. Only nitpicks were the careless offense of Ryback and his short selljob for the siren-bar attack. But maybe they were bumping up on time. Either way, this was a fine match, and it's time for both men to move on to something new.
Two giant thumbs up. I went in expecting okay-to-good matches, and got good-to-great matches, Can't beat that.
Best Match: CM Punk vs Chris Jericho
Worst Match: Kaitlyn vs AJ Lee
Hey Dave, Overall I got say payback was really good show not great. I enjoyed it for the most part. The Triple Threat opener was solid and was a lot of fun. I loved the finish. I think Axel is on the road to big things personally. The womens match was absolutely horrible imo. Then We had Kane vs Ambrose which was really short. Felt like a TV match. The World heavyweight title match told an awesome story and was a overall good match. Probably rate it at about *** 1/2. Punk vs Jericho was great. Felt like it could have went a little longer. I would put it on the level of or even above their mania match. I thought it was great. Rated it at **** 1/4. The Tag match was too short. Rollins and Orton where slow to start off. Once Dragon came in things really picked up. It was a solid tog match with a good finish. I thought the main event was ok. Pretty average for a main event title match. I expected better honestly. The finish was really cool. Lumberjack fall I didnt really care about and the tables fall was good. Finish was good. Rate it at about *** 1/4
Overall really good show from WWE. They always put on a good show for the Chicago crowd. Hopefully The Ziggler vs Del Rio stuff gets even better, Cena starts a fresh new feud, and Punk and Jericho maybe have another match. We will see from here
Destin Davis from Arkansas
Hey Dave. Just got home from the show. Here's my impressions/grades
Worst: Kane-Ambrose by default (it wasn't bad though)
I sat in a total smark section. Even the little kids were anti-Cena.
We loved Axel, especially the perfect-plex. Barrett was over, and Miz just isn't working. Popped big for Axel winning as a tribute to his dad. He seemed legit choked up in what must have been a bittersweet moment for the guy.
This isn't saying much, but that was the best WWE Women's match in years. Good storytelling and the crowd was into it.
Ambrose-Kane was fine for what it was. Keeps the feud alive. Kane is starting to slow down a bit, which is more than expected for a guy his age, but he still knows how to work a match. Crowd crapped on the finish til we all popped huge for the RVD video.
Ziggler was over huge. Good attempt at a double-turn. Ziggler looked valiant in defeat and Del Rio was a total heel at the end. When Del Rio came out and did his "I did it for you" speech, they kept cutting to people booing him on the big screen, so that's the story they want to tell.
Only time I ever heard a pop louder for a guy in that building was Punk winning at the Money in the Bank 2011. Crowd lost its mind several times during this match for Punk. Excellent match, with Jericho playing the heel. It is so good to have Punk back. Best match I've seen in WWE this year - marginally better than Taker-Punk for my money.
Tag match was ok. Looking forward to a Bryan-Orton feud. Both faces were over, and so was Rollins. Reigns has gotten a lot better in the ring. Those guys had no chance after that Punk-Jericho match
Main event was better than I expected. Gimmicked as all hell, but with those two you have to book the match that way. Cena got a huge pop for his plancha and he got pretty good air on it as well. Finish was pretty much what everyone expected. Super Cena stands victorious and everyone over the age of 8 in the crowd was pissed. Such is modern WWE.
Best Match: Jericho vs Punk
Worst Match: Kane vs Ambrose
What is it about Chicago that brings out the best in WWE PPVs?
It's not very often that Dean Ambrose is going to be in the worst match on a PPV, but blame that more on the consistent in-ring quality of the Payback performers and the fact that Kane is not over as a single as he is with Daniel Bryan.
With the apparent double-turn of Ziggler and Del Rio, the next natural program seems to be Del Rio vs Bryan more than Ziggler vs Del Rio ad nauseum. Orton matches off more evenly with Cena if they don't do Hell in a Cell with Cena vs Ryback next month.
I can see AJ and Big E. turning on Ziggler and a program of Langston vs Ziggler to build back Dolph for matches against perhaps Orton, if Randy takes that title from Cena at SummerSlam.
And where does CM Punk go? While they teased a moment of dissension with Heyman, they seemed to leave on the same page. Lesnar vs Punk would be a tremendous battle, both Lesnar needs a victory leading to WM and Punk is just turning.
Podcast @ mrjeff2000.podbean.com * twitter.com/#!/MrJeff2000
Overall : Thumbs up
Best match : Punk vs Jericho
Worst match : Kane vs Ambrose
Thumbs up as I wasn't expecting much for this show, except for the tag match and Punk vs Jericho. That match was great, the undercard was solid but the main-event was the Usual Stuff. I wasn't a fan of the hokey finish with the ambulance made out of tinfoil.
Great job on the 3-hour radio show.Eric Bonin
Best Match: Punk vs. Jericho. Really good match but not MOTY candidate. I gave it ****1/4
Worst Match: Divas match, but just because of how good the rest were.
Leonardo II Mendez
San Sebastian, PR
Best match: Dolph Ziggler vs Alberto Del Rio
Worst match: John Cena vs Ryback
After the last two PPV's in Chicago, this show had a lot to live up to and it delivered in spades. Based on shows like this, you could argue WWE is a seriously hot product that is bordering on cool. It was, by far, the best show they've done this year and by the end could be the best.
Sheamus vs Damien Sandow: Not a bad kick off, made even better by the hot crowd and the infectious fun being had at the commentary desk. Sandow really impressed. If this was given a few more minutes, it could of been a very good match.
Wade Barrett vs The Miz vs Curtis Axel: An absolutely awesome opener. All three worked hard and the finish was excellent.
AJ vs Kaitlyn: If events later in the night hadn't transpired this would of been the shock of the night. Firstly, due to the length of the match, and secondly, it was pretty good. A little rough around the edges, but it was hard hitting with some sublime spots. It's up there with some of the classic Divas matches of all time and rivals Gail Kim and Taryn Terrell's match at Slammiversary.
Dean Ambrose vs Kane: A good little match. Masterful work from both guys, starting slow letting the crowd get their breath back and quickening the pace to draw them in. Ambrose's selling with his facial expressions was extraordinarily exquisite . A well worked finish that could of felt contrived.
The RVD video package got me excited. Hopefully, this will be the start of something special.
Dolph Ziggler vs Alberto Del Rio: This was excellent. After the innocuous kick that put Ziggler out, watching the relentless assault by Del Rio was at times hard to watch. However, it made this match great. A superb swerve, a well executed double turn and an unexpected title change. Del Rio's post match promo was reminiscent of Johnny Gargano's victory speech following his match with Shingo, but, who cares, it was brilliant stuff and a good move. Del Rio is a much better heel and it's hard not to feel sympathetic towards Ziggler.
In between the match and Del Rio's promo, Cody Rhode's said the line of the night. "Intelligence is the execution of knowledge".
CM Punk vs Chris Jericho: Once again, Punk delivered some Chicago magic. The reaction was amazing. However, after previous encounters, I was half expecting a five star match. It fell short of that due to the lack of emotional involvement that was there with Cena at Money in the Bank and Undertaker at Mania. Because, ultimately there was nothing on the line. Other than that, another classic for both guy's highlight reels.
The Shield vs Daniel Bryan and Randy Orton: Another good match. It's nice to see Rollins picking up the win with the Blackout, although he's going to cripple himself if he keeps doing those nasty looking head drops. Saying that, the double underhook off the top rope was incredible.
John Cena vs Ryback: This match wasn't particularly bad, but it was just the worst out of an outstanding card. That being said, all three falls felt rushed. The highlight was Cena's spectacular high spot onto the lumberjacks. The use of the ambulance was quite creative. But, the finish, which should of been a great moment, felt anti-climatic due to the poor camera shot. Still, it certainly didn't detract from a great show.