WWE PAYBACK RESULTS: The Personification Of What The New Era Looks Like (April, 30th 2017)

Last Night I Went into Payback with barely any expectations, but lets be honest, there were times we were actually blown away. While the Universal Title was non shockingly left off the card, the Payback Pay Per View, the first since WrestleMania, delivered to us the second round of Neville vs Aries, the first PPV Singles clash between Samoa Joe and Seth Rollins, the next installment of the intense Roman vs Braun feud and Alexa Bliss’s first PPV Match since arriving on Monday Night RAW against the RAW Womens Champ Bayley, which may i add, is in Bayleys hometown.

The Pre Show had its fair share of physicality as well, but beforehand we had the verbal share of opinions as Sasha Banks joined Renee, Lawler and Sam Roberts to give her thoughts on Bayleys Championship defense. Donning Pro Bayley merch, Sasha made it clear she would be backing her girl, even despite accusations that a win for Bayley would benefit her as a future challenger. The Pre Show also salvaged a spot for RAWs recent additions of the Miz and Maryse as they hosted their first ever MizTV with Finn Balor. The Irish Phenomenon from NXT recently returned from injury (the post Mania RAW) and Miz wastes no time into laying into Balor, labeling him a loser for very quickly losing his Universal Championship last year due to injury, though he was courageous enough to fix himself up and continue his match on the night of the crowning of the first Universal Champion. Despite the verbal jabs, Balor doesn’t see any worth in fighting Miz, especially when he makes Maryse his defense. Miz vents at Balor’s words and snaps, but is eventually attacked by Balor, who is left standing tall to end this Kickoff Show Segment.

To The Main Show and The Said Match between Bayley and Bliss follows up a wicked tag team match between RAW Tag Team Champions the Hardys and Sheamus and Cesaro, which concluded with a not too shocking win with the Hardys, complete with the end of showmanship as the men tired and frustrated with losing, Sheamus and Cesaro, proceeded to brutalize the Hardys post match (and its going to take a while for me to get used to Cesaro as a heel again). Bliss enters first for her first RAW Women’s Championship match, one she earned by pinning Sasha Banks in a four way match also featuring the dominant Nia Jax and additional RAW performer Mickie James. Entering second, also with a pop but huger from the hometown, is the RAW Women’s Champion Bayley. Its noted as Bayley steps out in San Jose that she has gone from being waved at by the Hardys at a RAW Live event when younger to performing in the same arena on the RAW roster (with the Hardys now her co workers). Once Bayley steps into the ring, receiving elation from the San Jose audience, JoJo undergoes introductions for challenger and champion and this awaited match finally gets underway.

An Aggressive lock up ensues between Bliss and Bayley to open this match, though Alexa frees herself early, using the corner to avoid scrapping with Bayley further. Alexa does eventually escape the corner only to get caught in a hammerlock from the defending champ, though she again uses the ropes to break away. Bayley locks up with Alexa again, this time powering her into an opposite corner, and after a quick shoving match, Alexa avoids a forearm from Bayley and scores a kick to the midsection. After brief taunting, Alexa whips Bayley to the opposite corner, though Bayley floats, takes herself to the mat and scoops Alexa, slamming her to the mat to quickly reverse the momentum. Bayley nails a singular knee drop to Alexa and goes for the first pin attempt of the match, resulting in a near fall.

Alexa clambers to the outside to regroup, but as she tries crawling back to the ring, Bayley leaps to the apron, dropkicking Alexa from under the ropes. Alexa ends up tumbling to the floor, but is soon brought back into the ring by Bayley, who tries to pin her right after, again getting a near fall. Bayley continues her momentum as she smacks the face of Alexa against a corner turnbuckle, though Alexa recovers just as Bayley begins to hit the ropes to deliver a massive forearm. Alexa snaps on Bayley in the corner, beating her down with elbows before duplicating Bayleys earlier offense by planting her head against the turnbuckle. She continues to assault Bayley in an opposite corner, then proceeding with her first pin attempt, sadly ending in just a one count for her.

Alexa reverts to a side headlock, though she takes elbows from Bayley along the way. It does little however as Alexa ends up shoving Bayley to the second rope, then trying to capitalize on Bayleys hard tumble to try and pin again, though it leads once more to a one count result. Alexa doesn’t deal with this result, again attempting to pin though it only ends the same way. This unleashes Alexa’s known fury, as she chokes the yet to rebound Bayley against the middle rope, followed with a hard knee to the back. Its another pinfall attempt there for Alexa, this time resulting in a near fall. Alexa tries once more after applying her painful stretch, but Bayley remains resilient and in the match. A Forearm exchange after ends in Alexa’s favor as she ends up knocking Bayley to the mat. Alexa continues the momentum for a fair while, even managing to bring Bayley back to the mat with a clothesline. Alexa proceeds with the stomps to the back of the neck of Bayley while near the bottom rope, then sending her out of the ring.

The Contender doesn’t wait for Bayley to make it back to the ring, taking her by her hair and dragging her around the outside. She Smacks Bayleys face against the apron before taking the physicality back to the ring. However, before Alexa can even unleash physicality, Bayley takes control as she surprises Alexa with a stunner. Bayley takes over with axe handles, then scooping Alexa upward, and dropping her face first on the top turnbuckle. Bayley suplexes Alexa and connects with a spinning elbow to the back, complete with a low clothesline and shoulder blocks to Alexa into the corner before flapjacking Alexa to get a near fall. Bayley heads up the turnbuckles then connects with a diving spinning elbow before setting up for Belly to Belly. Alexa slips free, running Bayley face first into the second turnbuckle. Alexa heads up the turnbuckles next but is attacked by Bayley along the way. Bayley teases the Belly to Belly suplex from the turnbuckles but Alexa battles back, managing to knock Bayley down before proceeding with the Sunset Flip Powerbomb into an instant pin attempt. Alexa gets a near fall.

An Angry Alexa goes for Insult to Injury but Bayley moves in time. Bayley runs the ropes and knees Alexa in the face to soon reverse momentum. Bayley is first up and is back on the turnbuckles, this time in an opposite corner. Bayley connects with the Macho Man Elbow Drop that finished Charlotte at Mania, but is stunned when the contender kicks out of the follow up pin attempt at two. When Bayley rises to her feet, so does Alexa, delivering a slap to the face of the champ. An Angry Bayley charges straight at Alexa, who dashes to the ropes. Bayley pounds on her, taking her into the nearest corner, but cooling off before an eventual disqualification. Alexa shoves away Bayley just as she starts to resume the earlier shoulder blocks, attempting the sunset flip powerbomb again only for Bayley to seat herself on Alexa for a pin attempt, ending in a near fall result again. As Alexa breaks free, Bayley ends up being taken head first into the ring post. Alexa and Bayley meet in the middle of the ring, and as Alexa unleashes smack talk, Bayley yanks her into a schoolgirl package pin, but its another near fall. Before Bayley can make it fully to her feet, Alexa connects suddenly with a DDT and pins the champ. Alexa wins and becomes the new RAW Women’s Champion, as well as becoming the first woman in current WWE History to hold both the Smackdown and RAW Women’s Titles.

(Sasha Banks on the WWE Payback Kickoff Show 12.18 – 15.13)

(Finn Balor, The Miz and Maryse Segment)

(Alexa Bliss vs Bayley; RAW Womens Championship Match)

Thoughts On This Match:
What Can I Say Besides Right Result? To Be Fair I Haven’t been digging Bayleys reign for the reason that she hasn’t been booked like NXT days, she didn’t suffer loss after loss to head to the top eventually like back then so she wasn’t a defined underdog at times on the main roster like commentary would state. However, things can be different now as Bayley taking pinfalls can build her up as an underdog, and for a time we can handle having a non horsewoman positioned at the top of the roster. We’ve been in need of a fresh champion and as good a worker Bayley is, Alexa hasn’t really had the support system in NXT Charlotte, Bayley and Sasha have had. She never got an NXT Women’s Title run despite having shots at the title and others were put over her at times, take Bayley defeating her, Mella and Nia to head towards contention for example. The Main Roster has been Alexa’s opening, and while its agreeable her move-set needs a dire expansion, Alexa displays mic skills, charisma amongst other things that have many label her as the Trish of this era (and i can see why). As Someone who has been behind Alexa since NXT, having to watch her never be NXT Women’s Champion, i cant help but be proud for her, and its also shocking to see Alexa achieve the feat she has before Charlotte to be fair. Heres to hope shes not a placeholder/transitional champion for Bayley and/or Sasha as any victors between now and Summerslam may suffer eventually as the Bayley/Sasha feud takes center stage, and if the treatment of Jade and Sienna during the Gail/Maria run says anything, it may be a while before creative give anything to the possible transitional champions again. I Wish Alexa all the best and hope her reign works out, because there’s so much they can do with Bayley as well as Dana and Mickie with a heel atop the division now.

– Catherine


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