Preview by Joseph Currier
WWE's first post-WrestleMania 33 pay-per-view takes place on Sunday night as the SAP Center in San Jose, California hosts Payback.
The show is a Raw PPV, though there will be representation from SmackDown with the rosters still in flux after the Superstar Shakeup. Randy Orton will face Bray Wyatt in a non-title House of Horrors match, and Kevin Owens will defend the United States Championship against Chris Jericho.
We're looking for your thoughts on tonight's show as well as for Friday's New Japan show so you can leave a thumbs up, thumbs down or thumbs in the middle along with a best and worst match to email@example.com
In the match that has received the highest billing heading into the night, Roman Reigns is set to take on Braun Strowman. Reigns hasn't appeared on television since the beatdown he received from Strowman nearly three weeks ago.
There are three other title matches advertised for the show in addition to Owens vs. Jericho. Bayley will defend her Women's Championship against Alexa Bliss, Austin Aries will challenge for Neville's Cruiserweight title, and The Hardys will put their tag titles on the line against Cesaro & Sheamus.
Our live coverage begins at 7 p.m. ET.
By Dave Meltzer
LUKE GALLOWS & KARL ANDERSON VS. BIG CASS & ENZO AMORE
Quick match. About what you'd expect, Enzo mostly selling. Enzo was set up for the Magic killer but Cass broke it up and in the confusion, Enzo cradled Gallows for the three count.
The Hardys had a backstage segment with Golden Truth. Golden Truth challenged the winner of today's tag team tilte match. The Hardys accepted. Matt was doing the Broken gimmick more and more in his accent..
MIZ TV WITH FINN BALOR
The crowd was hot for Balor. Miz asked if he and Maryse can be in the Balor Club. He asked the fans who were negative on the idea until Maryse started showing off her curves and the fans cheered her. Balor said the crowd made the decision not to have them in. Miz put over how big a star Balor was in Europe, Japan, Mexico and NXT and said he was the longset reigning NXT champion in history. Miz asked him after all that and this last year, do you consider yourself a failure? Miz said he sees failures in the crowd which is why they love him. Miz said Balor was too small and while Balor was was rehabbing his shoulder Miz was IC champion. Balor said he's going to get the Universal title back. Miz told him the champion is Brock Lesnar, that Brock would break him in half and Miz said he'd break him in half as well. Balor challenged him and he put Maryse in front. Balor said Miz wasn't worth fighting but Miz yelled at him about being a coward. Miz gave him a sling blade and dropkick and the segment ended.
KEVIN OWENS VS. CHRIS JERICHO FOR U.S. TITLE
Jericho won the title and is moving to Smackdown, at least for now. The story of the match is that Owens first got a rope break from the Walls with one finger, like with WrestleMania. Jericho then put Owens hands behind the ring steps and kicked the steps into the hand, injuring the hand. Owens tried the power bomb but the hand gave out and Jericho used the Walls, Owens couldn't make the roipes and tapped out.
NEVILLE VS. AUSTIN ARIES FOR THE CRUISERWEIGHT TITLE
They were having a good match but it was a lame finish. Aries had Neville in the Last chancery after a sunset flip power bomb out of the corner. Neville grabbed the ref by the shirt and threw him for the DQ. Aside from a DQ before the match fully peaked, it was a very weak DQ. It enables them to keep the program going without changing the title.
MATT & JEFF HARDY VS. SHEAMUS & CESARO FOR THE TAG TITLES
A solid match with some stiff stuff. The finish saw Sheamus powerslam Matt, but Matt had tagged to Jeff and while Sheamus covered Matt, Jeff came off the top rope with a swanton for the pin. All four shook hands after the match and raised each others' hands. After leaving the ring, Sheamus & Cesaro came back and attacked the Hardys. Sheamus rammed Matt into the post several times and Sheamus gave Jeff a Brogue kick into the post. Sheamus laid out Matt with a Brogue kick as Cesaro held Matt. During the match, Sheamus kicked Jeff in the chest but his shin nailed him in he face and knocked Jeff's tooth out. Later in the match Matt got busted open under the right eye.
BAYLEY VS. ALEXA BLISS FOR THE WOMEN'S TITLE
Bliss won the title and they are pushing that she's the first woman to win both the Raw and Smackdown titles. They had a good match, most heat of anything on the show so far. Bayley got the expected monster ring entrance. The finish saw Bayley have Bliss pinned, but when Bliss kicked out, Bayley's head went into the post and Bliss pinned her clean with a DDT. The one thing is that with the exception of the Jericho match, every finish has been cold and not built up.
RANDY ORTON VS. BRAY WYATT IN A HOUSE OF HORRORS MATCH
This is a two-parter. They showed up in the pitch black even though live it's bright sunny. They brawled in this house fighting in a bunch of rooms, including one with dolls, and in the kitchen. They were throwing stiff shots but the crowd hated this something fierce. Part one ended with Orton about to hit him with a pan, but Wyatt gave him a low blow and turned a refrigerator over on him and Orton was supposedly stuck. Wyatt left the house and got in Orton's limo in the pitch dark and told him to take him to the arena. The in-ring portion of the match itself will happen later in the show.
SETH ROLLINS VS. SAMOA JOE
Joe dominated the match working on the knee. They had a very good match, never got into the great category. Both did dives early. Joe continued on offense and when Rollins would come back his knee would give out. The finish saw Joe get the choke on in the the middle of he ring and Rollins cradled him for a clean pin. It'll be interesting to see if they continue the program with a stip match or they move them into different diections.
BRAY WYATT VS. RANDY ORTON PART TWO
This was nothing at all Orton showed up in the ring and they had a short brawl. The Singh Brothers attacked Orton but he laid them out. Orton hit Wyatt with the RKO but Jinder Mahal laid out Orton with two belt shots, which are always cool for the announcers since they can't say belt. The second belt shot was to the shoulder. Well, Randy does have a history of shoulder problems. Wyatt hit Sister Abigail for the pin. Many shades of awful.
ROMAN REIGNS VS. BRAUN STROWMAN
The match had a lot of heat with loud chants both pro and negative to Reigns. Reigns hit two Superman punches, but Strowman grabbed him in a head-and-arm choke, then powerslammed Reigns which Reigns kicked out of. Strowman gave him a second powerslam for he pin. Shorter than most main events but they went at it fast and hard. After the match Strowman threw in the ring steps. Fans were chanting "Thank you Strowman" and he then dropped Reigns onto the ring steps. Strowman then drive the ring steps into Reigns' ribs. Reigns was bleeding from the mouth. Super loud "Thank you Strowman." They brought back blood for a main event angle. Reigns refused to go out on a stretcher.
After all this, they brawled again backstage. Reigns was supposed to be taken out in an ambulance bleeding from the mouth and selling huge. Strowman went to attack Reigns but Reigns moved and Strowman ran through an open back door of the ambulcance into some boxes. Reigns slammed the ambulance door on Strowman a few times to end the brawl.