Sunday, May 1, 2016

LIVE Payback thoughts - May 1, 2016

10:56 - Really great match and, I have to admit, Reigns really brought it and carried his end of the match.  Good for him.  Booking remained odd, however, with Reigns looking "bad" in both match restarts.  But really great action, some great false finishes, and some run ins that made sense within the context of the story.

The cut to the McMahons was really bad, though.  It killed the momentum and heat that was built from the great match and it got across an unnecessary message.  Why not make the announcement on or on Raw?  And all three seemed to stumble over their words.  Just awkward.

And now, I will admit, I'm going to go watch Camp WWE.

10:24 - I hate the way they film AJ's entrance.  They always cut away from his entrance video right before "Phenomenal" appears and you barely see the full "I Am Phenomenal" on screen before it cuts to the action shots.  They do this every single time.

10:13 - I have to admit that this was probably the most frustrating decision they could have made.  I DON'T think a brand extension is the way to go, so this is probably better than that.  But do we really need to see squabbling co-owners?  From an entertainment standpoint, didn't we see that the show can "work" with a mostly off-screen benevolent owner?  With the focus being on the wrestlers?

9:59 - When did the Authority officially kick off?  Because a lot of these ideas and debuts seem to pre-date them.  Like, Kofi and Big E have been with WWE forever.

9:55 - Network issues continue.  So I may be running back and forth between my living room and bedroom to see which TV works.

9:51 - Network feed went out for a few minutes so I didn't see the end of the Nattie/Charlotte match.  Assume Charlotte won and Bret ended up hitting Ric.  Anybody else having issues?

9:42 - Oh yeah, I'm guessing Charlotte wins this one.

9:32 - Happy to see Ambrose get a nice PPV victory.  Ended up missing a lot of the match, though.

I wonder if Jim Neidhart is sad that all of his daughter's "family pride" storylines go to Bret Hart, who always looks like this is the last place he wants to be.

And I say this all the time and it still runs true:  I'm sad that JoJo wasn't really around when AJ Lee was.  These two would have been adorable together.

9:09 - I really wish Jericho would go back to his long tights.  The trunks make him look so stumpy.  I'm guessing (and very so hoping) that Ambrose wins here.  Also hoping for a really great match, as Ambrose as  singles competitor really needs a really strong, no gimmick singles match.  He's had a few, but he really needs a standout one.

8:59 - I know Cesaro had the visual victory but I would've gone with the DQ victory instead of the roll up loss.  For one, you already had a roll up finish tonight.  Secondly, no need to have Cesaro getting pinned this early in his push.

8:55 - A desperate sounding Kevin Owens telling Byron Saxton:  "Byron, your mom or something.  Nobody wants to hear what you have to say" is quite possibly the best thing we'll see on this strong PPV.

8:43 - I love the little things Owens does as a heel, like forcing Byron to sit on the steel chair as he took the more comfortable one.  I'm guessing Cesaro (rightfully) wins the title here.

8:38 - We see people dive through two ropes all the time, but there's something so visually amazing about seeing Zayn leap through the first and second turnbuckles from the arena floor and hitting a spinning DDT.  Great match, although saying they stole the show when the first match ended in injury is a bit curious.

8:25 - I'm also going with Owens winning here, perhaps through chicanery.

8:24 - I like when guys look like they got a fresh haircut for a PPV.  Sorta like a job interview or wedding or something.  Treat it like a big occasion.

8:18 - Fun stuff with the New Day but unusual ending.  Not sure if Enzo legitimately injured himself but if he did, hopefully it wasn't anything too bad.  If it was booked that way to avoid having either team lose, the timing was a bit off.  The fans really didn't have a chance to get into the match or either guy.  Hope Enzo is okay if this is real, but if not an odd way to kick off the show.

8:09 - Another confession - I kinda really love Vaudevillains too.  They're fun and different and as long as people react to them and THEY aren't treated as jokes, they're fine.  But I do fear that the second one of their opponents start poking fun at them, they're done.  Don't Ascension these guys.

I'm guessing Vaudevillains win so that two face teams are not put against each other (unless they plan on turning New Day again).  However, I haven't been doing too great with my predictions so far.

8:02 - It bothers me that LayCool was allowed to have two Divas Championships and a split-in-half Women's Championship, but the far more over New Day still has to share two Tag Team titles.

7:58 - Fun ending sequence and nice to see Kalisto get a clean win.....but can he actually successfully win matches throughout the month?  He desperately needs a big money feud right now.

7:56 - I'll say it:  I kinda like Ryback.  He comes across as a funny guy with an actual personality.  And his "Pre-Show Stealer" weight belt makes me laugh.

7:49 - Is the Ryback hate from this crowd residual from the backstage Punk feud?

7:46 - It's sad that the United States title reign was supposed to be a singles push for Kalisto, and what has it done?  He was on the kickoff show at WrestleMania (and his title-less partner was on the actual show) and he's on the kickoff show again tonight.  I'm guessing Ryback wins the title tonight.  Sad that the great work Cena's done with the U.S. title over the past year was pretty much undone once he lost the title to Del Rio.

7:36 - Pretty surprised by that victory, not that I'm one to argue with a Ziggler victory.  However, Dolph did do that thing that I detest:  When a babyface gets a "fluke" victory and immediately rolls out of the ring.  Is there anything less babyface than getting a cheap win and then running away?  At least own it and stand in the damn ring.

7:28 - New gear for both guys here.  I'm guessing Corbin wins here.  Is Ziggler the only two time World Champion who has never successfully defended the championship?

7:26 - Believe it or not, I'm actually looking more forward to Payback than I was WrestleMania.  Looks like Corbin vs. Ziggler was moved to the kickoff show, which I'm not too surprised about.

I rarely watch Smackdown so I don't really get a chance to hear Mauro Ranallo as the play-by-play guy.  His voice has a certain level of legitimacy to it.  I like him.

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