5 things learned: Payback edition
Styles took it to Reigns. Photo- Twitter

5 things learned: Payback edition

After the first ppv of the 'New Era' what are the five main aspects to take away from the event?

Matthew95
Matthew Wilkinson

It was a blockbuster event at WWE Payback that was full of action and memorable moments right from the get go, but here are the five main points...

5. One step forward two steps back

The Harts left on top. Photo- What Culture
The Harts left on top. Photo- What Culture

Ever since the Divas Revolution the WWE has been pushing the division to bring it back its best and attempt to get fan interest increased in their talents. When the WWE decided to bring back the Women's Championship and fully re-brand the division it seemed like they were making steps in the right direction and by giving Natalya the first title shot (arguably one of the most talented wrestlers on the whole roster) it appeared things were moving in the right direction. 

Yet at Payback it felt like the company took two steps backwards in their attempts to salvage the women's division. After a good match (not amazing) the WWE decided to have it end as the Chicago Screwjob, with Charlotte applying the Sharpshooter, Charles Robinson rang for the bell without Natalya tapping out. Whilst this led to a cool spot with Nattie and Bret Hart applying a Sharpshooter onto the Flair's at the same time, the way the match ended felt like a slap in the face to both women who had worked hard in the ring. 

Whilst it wasn't the best match fans have seen between the two ladies, having the match end in that way for no reason, seemingly other than the fact that the Hitman was at ringside and Nattie is a member of the Hart family meant that their hard work was wasted and the whole thing rendered pointless. 

4. Focusing on the Intercontinental Championship 

Kevin Owens stole the show. Photo- Twitter.com
Kevin Owens stole the show. Photo- Twitter.com

After WrestleMania 31 the company's plan was to have an increased focus on both the United States Championship and the Intercontinental Championship, and whilst at first it as the US title that got all the glory, the tide has shifted and now it is the Intercontinental Championship that is being used in the correct way as the WWE have once again made the belt valued and wanted. 

With The Miz retaining his title at Payback it was the way the match ended that really showed how much the company is focusing on it, with Kevin Owens staking his claim to regain his lost championship and Sami Zayn and Cesaro involved it was a real message of intent about how important it is. Having four of the WWE's most talented stars in the upper mid-card position all fighting over the belt makes its importance rise 

3.The story is still the McMahon's 

Vince McMahon wants to see blood. Photo- WWE.com
Vince McMahon wants to see blood. Photo- WWE.com

When WrestleMania 32 drew to a close the start of a 'New Era' was supposedly upon us, yet there are some distinct similarities that became even clearer again at Payback with the main issue being the main story and focus in still on the McMahon family. Whether it's Shane, Steph or Vince they are constantly in the limelight and it was apparent at Payback. 

After having a whole segment dedicated to who would be in control of Raw, only to find out it would be both Stephanie and Shane McMahon which was already under whelming, not to mention the fact the segment ran far too long, but then they had to get involved in the main event too. With the main event ending twice, once due to a count out and the other due to a DQ Stephanie and Shane would appear to restart the match and add a stipulation, with Stephanie McMahon managing to one up her brother.

Whilst this furthered the storyline between them, it took away from the main event and it was clear that they weren't able to get the momentum they wanted until the final potion of the match when there was no more stoppages just to further a different angle. It seems like despite being in a New Era, we will still be having our screens dominated by the McMahon family. 

2. The main event delivers 

Styles locks in the Calf Crusher. Photo- YouTube.
Styles locks in the Calf Crusher. Photo- YouTube.

After a solid show, everything culminated in the main event and Roman Reigns' first title defense against AJ Styles and with all the hype surrounding this match, both men pulled out all the stops and delivered an entertaining match for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship

With outside interference, crazy high sports, physical altercations and some amazing wrestling both men performed to their very best and provided fans with a match worthy of the main event which not only entertained but did two very important things. 

The match established Styles as a main event level star in the WWE, someone who can be a future champion, who the fans are behind and who can draw the interest to be in that spot, and secondly that Reigns can wrestle. Yes internet smarks, you read that correct, Reigns can wrestle. He's done it before, and he will do it again, the Big Dog put on an excellent match as he does when given the chance and so far his title run has been impressive. 

1. Enzo Amore injury updates 

The medical team were quick to act. Photo- WWE
The medical team were quick to act. Photo- WWE

Payback certainly started with a bang but not the type that fans like to see, with the #1 contenders tag team match being brought to an abrupt end due to an injury to Enzo Amore that stunned the crowd into silence, proving that anything can happen in wrestling, a harsh reminder to fans that these people are putting their lives on the line.

After being thrown from the ring, Amore was attempting to slide under the bottom rope and instead got caught up in them, smacking the second and bottom rope and slamming his head onto the mat before falling roughly to the floor as his body went limp. It was clear that the situation was bad as Amore failed to move and had to be put on a stretcher and be taken immediately to hospital, leaving fans scared and worried about his safety, the face of Big Cass said it all. 

Thankfully we got the news later on in the night that Amore had suffered a concussion and was released from hospital. Whilst this is not 'good news' as concussions are a very serious matter (just ask Daniel Bryan), but the situation could easily have been much worse and thankfully Amore lived to tell the tale. Whilst it is not a major wrestling or storyline moment, it is certainly the main talking point from Payback for several reasons.

It once again highlighted what a fantastic medical team the WWE has, they acted quickly and efficiently and it's encouraging to see that, it also showed the communication the company has with its fans and Michael Cole did a wonderful job in keeping fans updated on Amore's condition. But most importantly was that fans were reminded of the dangers of professional wrestling, whether you love or hate certain performers you can never take away the fact they are putting their bodies on the line for your entertainment. 

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