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WWE Payback 2023 Review

Tonight’s Premium Live Event takes place at the PPG Paints Arena in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania.

We open the PLE with a video package showing all the matches that will be featured tonight.

Match 1: Steel Cage Match - Becky Lynch vs Trish Stratus

The women cautiously approach one another before Trish makes a break for the door. Becky pulls Trish back and goes for a Manhandle Slam, but Trish elbows her away and goes to climb the walls. Becky pulls her down, so Trish slaps her. Becky is irate and bounces Trish’s head off all four corners of the ring. Trish goes for a kick, but Becky blocks it and hits a Bexploder. Becky grabs Trish and hits a second Bexploder. Becky pulls Trish up and hits a third Bexploder. After blocking a throw into the cage wall, Becky goes for a Manhandle Slam. Trish counters it and pulls Becky down by the hair. Trish starts to climb the cage, but Becky meets her on the top rope. Becky knocks Trish down to the canvas, but Trish pulls Becky down and onto the turnbuckle. Trish then sends Becky headfirst into the wall of the cage.

Trish sends Becky headfirst into the cage again and stretches her on the ropes, pulling back on the hair to inflict more pain. Trish mashes Becky’s face into the fencing and tells the camera to get a closeup. Becky fights back and hits the ropes, but Trish counters with a spinebuster for a two-count. Trish runs for the door, but Becky pulls Trish back and rolls her up for a two-count. Trish quickly throws Becky down and takes a moment before covering for a two-count. Trish grabs Becky and sends her into the cage headfirst. Trish then stretches Becky against the ropes and fishhooks her mouth. Trish then rubs Becky’s forehead on the cage. Trish throws Becky’s face onto the canvas. Becky pulls herself up, so Trish grabs her, but Becky sends Trish into the cage wall. Becky throws Trish into the wall a second time before lifting her and ramrodding Trish into the wall three times for a near fall. Becky goes for a Dis-Arm-Her, but Trish fights it. Trish sends Becky into the cage once again. Trish does her Matrix bend under a clothesline, but Becky pauses and drops a leg on her as Trish is stretched.

Both women are down, but they slowly get to their feet and start exchanging punches. Becky kicks Trish in the midsection and sends Trish headfirst into the cage wall. Becky goes between the ropes, and they are both closed in against the cage wall. They go back and forth bouncing each other off the wall before Becky goes wild and bounces Trish off the wall at least a dozen times. Becky kicks Trish before laying her out over the top rope. Becky comes off the top rope with a diving leg drop for a near fall.

Becky attacks Trish with kicks and starts to climb the cage, but Trish pulls her feet out from under her. Trish goes for the Stratusphere, but Becky holds the ropes. Trish sits up, and they start exchanging blows. Trish climbs over Becky and to the top of the cage. Trish knocks Becky down to the canvas, but Becky pops up and pulls Trish down. Trish fights Becky, but Becky pulls her down and hits a powerbomb for a near fall.

Becky goes for a Manhandle Slam, but Trish elbows out and sends Becky into the cage. Trish kicks Becky in the midsection and hits the Widow’s Peak and picks up a near fall. Trish furiously bounces Becky’s face off the mat and sets up for Stratusfaction, but Becky fights out and hits Lita’s Twist of Fate for a near fall! Becky sets Trish up and goes to the top rope. Becky jumps, but Trish moves. Trish then hits Stratusfaction for a near fall.

Trish kicks away at Becky. Trish starts to climb the cage, but Becky pops up and grabs Trish’s ankle. Trish nearly goes over the top, but Becky pulls her down to the top rope. Becky stands on the top rope and sets up for a Manhandle Slam, but Trish elbows out. Trish then hits Stratusfaction off the top rope for a near fall.

Trish begins to climb the cage wall, but Becky quickly scales the cage. They are both sitting on the top rope. They exchange blows on top of the cage before Trish knocks Becky over to the canvas. Trish is completely over the cage, but Becky just barely makes it up the cage and pulls Trish back. Trish’s legs are trapped in the top of the cage. Becky knocks Trish back, and Trish is hanging upside down above the ringside area. Becky manages to pull Trish back and turns her around on top of the cage. Standing on the top rope, Becky hits Trish with a superplex back into the ring. Becky takes a moment to recover before putting an arm over Trish for a near fall.

Becky pulls herself up and starts to climb the cage. Becky puts a leg over the top. Trish begins crawling to the door, so Becky climbs down and grabs Trish’s ankles when she realises Trish will beat her out of the cage. Zoey Stark appears from out of nowhere and grabs Trish to try to pull her out of the cage. Becky rips Trish away from Zoey, so Zoey slams the cage door into Becky’s face. Trish rolls Becky up for a near fall. Becky ducks a Chick Kick and hits a Manhandle Slam, but Zoey breaks up the pin. Becky closes the door and traps Zoey in the cage. Zoey knocks Becky down and tells Trish to climb. Becky hits Zoey with a Manhandle Slam and climbs the cage to grab Trish down. Becky hits a Manhandle Slam on Trish off the top rope and covers her. Becky Lynch picks up the win.

A brilliant opening match. The crowd chants of “this is awesome” were definitely deserved. Some nice nods to the original women who had the first ever women’s steel cage match, Victoria & Lita. This match has definitely set the bar for the rest of the card. Let’s hope that the rest of the night can live up to this. Grade B+

After the match, Becky makes her way up the ramp, hugging fans and signing autographs. Zoey Stark helps Trish up. Trish pulls herself away. Trish does not seem happy with Zoey. Zoey tries to grab Trish to talk to her, but Trish slaps at Zoey (I don’t think she actually connected). Trish tells Zoey to get out of the ring, Zoey walks towards the cage door, but rather than exiting the ring, Zoey closes the cage door. Zoey then hits Trish with a Z-360. Zoey takes off her “Thank you Trish” shirt and throws it onto Trish. Zoey leaves the ring.

Video Package:

We get a video package of Shinsuke Nakamura speaking about Seth Rollins ahead of tonight’s title match.

In Ring Segment:

John Cena - the Host of Payback - makes his way to the ring. Cena welcomes the crowd to Payback and he is very complimentary of the opening match. Cena says that in 20 years, he has done a lot of things. He has been the first match, the last match, the champ, the challenger, a guest, a fan, a doctor and a prototype but he has never been a host. Cena said that he wasn’t going to pass up the opportunity to be here tonight. He says that his job tonight as host is to make the night special. He says there is no better way to make the night special, than to be special guest referee for a match that he has had his eye on for a while: The Miz vs LA Knight.

The Miz makes his way down to the ring, clearly not happy. The Miz says that he would expect this from LA Knight, but not from Cena. Miz says that Cena is just pandering to the audience. Miz says that people may say that Cena is the greatest of all time, but he sucks as a host. Cena says that this is his first time as a host but Miz has a lot of experience. Cena asks if the Miz has any advice for him. Miz tells Cena to not make himself a special guest referee in his match. Cena says that was his one idea, and asks if there is anything else. Miz says if Cena’s asked to be a merman in the Barbie movie he should say no. Cena says he doesn’t like Miz, but he respects him. Miz says he’s the greatest WrestleMania host of all time. Miz says that he got involved and had two matches. Miz said that he wore a $10,000 suit to WrestleMania. Miz says that Cena is nearly 50 and still dresses like a Telletubby. Cena says he needs to take control, like being the special guest referee for Miz’s match.

The crowd makes a lot of noise and Miz throws his hand in the air to signal “when my hand goes up, your mouth goes shut!” Miz tells Cena that he doesn’t even have a referee shirt, but Cena is instantly handed a referee shirt. Cena makes himself the special guest referee for Miz’s match. Miz says “no” and Cena says “yeah!”

LA Knight makes his way to the ring.

Match 2: LA Knight vs Miz - Special Guest Referee John Cena

Miz immediately rolls out of the ring. Knight opens the ropes to let Miz back in. Miz waves off the match and starts to head to the back. Knight chases him and punches Miz back into the ring. Knight takes Miz down and punches away at him. Miz quickly elbows Knight back, and they begin to exchange punches. Knight comes out on top and sends Miz into the ropes for a back elbow. Knight hits a suplex and puts Miz on the top rope. Miz fights a superplex and gives Knight a front suplex off the middle rope. Miz then comes off the top rope with a diving axe handle. Miz puts Knight against the ropes and chops his chest. Knight reverses a whip and hits a scoop powerslam. Knight mounts Miz and punches away at him. Miz gets out of a suplex attempt and goes for a Skull Crushing Finale. Knight fights out and goes for the BFT, but Miz gets out of the ring. Knight quickly takes Miz out with a baseball slide. Knight bounces Miz off the steps before bouncing him off the commentary table. Knight gets in the ring to break Cena’s count and goes back outside. Miz then pulls Knight face-first into the commentary table.

Miz mocks the “YEAH” of Knight and bounces Knight off the barricade. Miz gets in the ring and taunts John Cena. Miz goes outside and charges at Knight, but Knight hits a back body drop into the timekeeper’s area. Knight sends Miz over the barricade and leaps off the barricade with a diving clothesline. Knight gets Miz in the ring, and Miz attacks him, kicking Knight down in the corner. Miz chokes Knight with his boot until Cena pulls him away. Cena does not want this match to end via DQ. Knight pops out of the corner and clotheslines Miz down. Knight stomps away at Miz and chokes him with his boot. Cena pulls Knight away, but Knight side steps him. Knight chokes Miz again, so Cena pulls him away. Knight and Cena get in each other's faces. Knight says he’ll put Cena down any day. Miz attacks Knight from behind and stomps him.

Miz chokes Knight on the middle rope until Cena stops him. Knight goes to the second rope, but Miz sweeps his feet and hits a lung-blower for a two-count. Miz applies a chin lock to Knight. Knight fights out, but Miz quickly drops him on the apron. Miz then pulls Knight down on the apron and mocks Knight. Miz gets Knight back into the ring and starts up the IT Kicks. Knight fights back and hits a back suplex bomb. Knight slowly gets to his feet and punches away at Miz before knocking him down. Knight sends Miz to the corner and hits a neckbreaker. Knight goes to the middle rope and hits a diving bulldog. Knight hits the ropes and hits a running kick to the side of the head for a near fall. Knight stomps away at Miz in the corner and connects with a running knee to the face.

Knight lifts Miz up, but Miz slides off and goes for a Skull Crushing Finale. Knight fights out and goes for a sunset flip, but Miz gets out. Miz hits a DDT into a kneeling DDT for a near fall. Miz taunts the crowd and signals for the end. Knight slides out of a Skull Crushing Finale and rolls Miz up, but Miz is able to kick out. Knight avoids Miz’s corner clothesline and hits a twisting DDT for a near fall. Miz kicks Knight away and hits a jawbreaker. Knight lifts Miz up, but Miz rolls Knight up and grabs the rope. Cena notices and kicks Miz’s hand away from the ropes. Miz gets in Cena’s face. Cena tells Miz to never take the low road. Knight goes for the BFT, but Miz gets out of it. Miz ducks and Knight nearly hits Cena. Miz hits Knight with a Skull Crushing Finale for a near fall.

Miz sets up for a 5 Knuckle Shuffle to mock Cena. Knight kips up and hits a powerslam. Knight hits an elbow drop followed by Blunt Force Trauma for the win!

Not the greatest match, adding Cena helped it a little bit. It was good to see Knight getting the victory, but this one definitely could have been better. Grade C-

After the match, LA Knight meets Cena on the entrance ramp. Cena and Knight are face to face. Cena extends his hand to Knight, saying that it is a show of respect. Knight shakes Cena’s hand. Cena then raises the hand of Knight.

Video Package:

We see a video package of the United States Championship leading up to the match tonight.

Match 3: United States Championship Match - Rey Mysterio vs Austin Theory

Austin quickly powers Rey to the corner and shoulders him. Austin sends Rey into the ropes, but Rey drops and kicks Austin in the head. Austin sends Rey to the corner, but Rey turns Austin around and starts the 10 punches. Rey goes to slingshot over Austin, but Austin catches him. Austin pulls Rey into the ropes and hits a clothesline. Austin takes Rey down near the corner and hits a slingshot stomp. Austin follows up with a fisherman’s suplex for a two-count. Austin hits another fisherman’s suplex and mocks Eddie Guerrero. Austin takes it to Rey and puts him in a headlock before whipping him around and slamming him down for a two-count. Austin applies a rear chin lock on Rey. Rey fights up and elbows Austin. Austin shoves Rey into the middle rope and chokes him on it. Austin punches Rey back and whips him hard sternum-first into the turnbuckles. Austin puts Rey on the top rope and punches him. Austin tries to rip the luchador mask off Rey, but Rey fights Austin off with some elbows. Rey then takes Austin out with a moonsault block.

Rey takes it to Austin and hits a head-scissors takeover out of the ring. Rey then slides under the bottom rope and hits a tornado DDT on the floor. Rey puts Austin in the ring and hits a seated senton off the top rope for a two-count. Austin tries to fight back, but Rey twists him into position for a 619. Rey goes for a 619, but Austin avoids it. Rey tries to springboard off the middle turnbuckle, but Austin catches him in a torture rack and spins him into a bomb for a two-count.

Austin signals for the end. Rey avoids A-Town Down and hits a step-up enzuigiri. Austin knocks Rey back and hits a rolling thunder dropkick. Rey pops up and hits a dropkick as well. They both slowly get up and exchange blows. Rey soon hits a head-scissor into position and hits a 619. Rey goes for a slingshot splash, but Austin gets the knees up. Austin sets up for A-Town Down, but Rey counters into a victory roll for the win.

A half decent match. There were some good moments and some not so good moments. I’m not a fan of Theory’s in ring work, he seems a little stale. Grade C-

After the match, Rey Mysterio celebrates with the rest of the LWO.

Backstage Interview:

Cathy Kelley is backstage with Becky Lynch. Cathy asks what is next for Becky Lynch now she has finished with Trish Stratus. They are immediately interrupted by NXT Women’s Champion Tiffany Stratton. Tiffany says that she and Becky got off on the wrong foot. Tiffany says that when she said she would be a better NXT Women’s Champion than anyone in history, she incorrectly named Becky Lynch as a former NXT Women’s Champion when she was never NXT Women’s Champion. Becky tells Tiffany to worry about her title defence on Tuesday.

Video Package:

We get a video package to introduce the Steel City Street Fight.

Match 4: Undisputed WWE Tag Team Championship Match - Steel City Street Fight - Kevin Owens & Sami Zayn vs The Judgement Day (Finn Balor & Damian Priest)

A brawl breaks out between the two teams. Kevin Owens and Damian Priest fight to ringside and then up the ramp. Sami Zayn focuses on Finn Balor at ringside. Kevin knocks Damian back and bounces him off the metal barricade. Sami bounces Finn and puts him in the ring. Sami then throws three steel chairs into the ring. Finn exited the ring during this and cracked Sami in the head with a kendo stick. Finn gets a few kendo sticks out from under the ring. Finn pulls out a bucket with a Terrible Towel in it. Finn swings it around before stomping it. Kevin clotheslines Finn at ringside. Kevin takes it to Finn until Damian joins in to help. Finn and Damian double-team Kevin until Sami takes them out with a somersault senton.

The champs each grab a garbage can. They hit Damian with it. Kevin gets in the ring with Finn and rips his shirt off to reveal a picture of the late, great wrestling legend Terry Funk. They put a garbage can over Finn’s head and hit it with kendo sticks. Kevin and Sami then pull a table out from under the ring to a huge pop from the crowd and set it up at ringside. They go after Damian, but Damian fights the champs off. Damian destroys the garbage can on Sami’s back and throws it at Kevin. Kevin fights back, but Damian cuts him off. Finn comes around the corner and hits Sami in the midsection with a steel chair.

Finn and Damian get Kevin in the ring and hit him in the midsection a few times with steel chairs. Damian holds Kevin up, and Finn hits him in the head with a garbage can. Sami runs in to help, but Finn and Damian easily take him down. Finn stomps Sami out of the ring. Finn elbows Sami in the head. Damian throws a lot of chairs into the ring and makes an island of chairs in the ring. Finn attacks Sami against the commentary table. In the ring, Kevin attacks Damian and beats him down. Finn runs in and hits Kevin with the chair. Sami hits Finn with the chair and smashes it on his back to knock him out of the ring.

Damian and Finn climb over the barricade and walk into the crowd. Kevin and Sami go after them and bounce them off some crates. Suddenly, NXT North American Champion Dominik Mysterio blindsides Kevin and Sami. Finn and Damian discuss strategy before turning and seeing Sami and Kevin wearing Pittsburgh Penguins jerseys. Kevin is bleeding from his forehead. Kevin and Sami take out Finn and Damian with hockey sticks and beat Dominik to the back.

Referees quickly grab Kevin and start to clean him up. Sami goes to slam Finn on the chair island in the ring, but Damian runs in. Kevin re-emerges and pulls Damian down before sending him into the steel steps. Sami then hits Finn with a Blue Thunder Bomb onto the chairs for a near fall.

Kevin and Sami set up four chairs. Damian attacks them and gives Sami a Broken Arrow onto the chairs. Kevin absorbs some attacks and challenges them to give him more. They send Kevin over the commentary table and smash his face with a garbage can. They then clothesline Kevin into the crowd. They beat Kevin through the crowd. Kevin starts to fight back, but he’s overwhelmed. Sami appears and helps out Kevin. They fight over to the Kickoff Show set. Finn knees Kevin in the midsection, but Sami soon bounces Finn off the desk. Sami stands on the desk and hits a somersault senton onto Damian and Finn on the concrete.

Dominik Mysterio returns and attacks the Tag Champs. Kevin attacks Dominik and sends him headfirst into a crate. Kevin clears off a production table and sends Dominik into a metal divider. Kevin lays Dominik on the production table and climbs up to the top of a stairwell. Looking over the entrance, Kevin hits Dominik with a Swanton Bomb through the table on the concrete.

Back in the ring are Sami and Finn. Sami hits an exploder into the turnbuckles. Sami sets up for a Helluva Kick, but Damian throws a garbage can into his face. Finn covers Sami for a near fall. Finn and Damian talk strategy. Damian pulls his straps down and sets up for a Crucifix Bomb. Sami slides off and knocks Finn off the top rope. Sami knocks Damian back and hits an exploder into the corner. Sami knocks Finn off the apron through the table at ringside. Sami gets fired up and charges, but Damian grabs him by the throat. Damian lets go as Kevin gets in the ring. Kevin hits Damian with a Stunner. Sami follows up with a Helluva Kick and covers, but JD McDonagh pulls Sami out of the ring.

Kevin furiously turns McDonagh inside out with a clothesline and hits a spinebuster onto the commentary table. Kevin hobbles around ringside, when suddenly, Rhea Ripley spears Kevin through the barricade.

Sami and Finn slowly crawl back into the ring. Finn hits Sami with a Sling Blade and follows up with a Woo Dropkick into the corner. Finn heads to the top rope for a Coup de Grâce, but Sami moves out of the way. Sami hits an exploder into the corner and rips his t-shirt off. Sami hits Finn with a Helluva Kick and covers, but Dominik hits Sami in the head with the Money in the Bank briefcase. Sami falls over, and Finn puts an arm on Sami to pick up the win! The Judgement Day are the new Undisputed WWE Tag Team Champions.

A brilliant match! A completely chaotic match but in the best way possible. A nice touch to have a tribute to Terry Funk in this one with Owens wearing the shirt and wearing the proverbial “crimson mask”. I was very surprised to see a title change here, but I’m excited to see where this will lead. Grade B+

After the match, the Judgement Day celebrates their victory. They now hold the Undisputed WWE Tag Team Championship, the Women’s World Championship, the NXT North American Championship and the Money in the Bank briefcase. We get a flurry of fireworks for the new champions. Damian Priest shouts “The Judgement Day runs the WWE” and Dominik shouts “and don’t you forget it”.

In Ring Segment: “The Grayson Waller Effect” with Special Guest Cody Rhodes

Grayson Waller is in the ring, he insults the crowd whilst introducing Cody Rhodes. Cody comes to the ring. He is about to ask the crowd what they want to talk about, but Grayson cuts him off. Grayson says that nobody cares what Pittsburgh wants to talk about, all that matters is what Grayson wants to talk about. Grayson says that he wants to ask Cody what his big announcement is. Grayson says that Cody’s year has had so many ups and downs and Grayson appreciates Cody begging to come on his show to get the “Grayson Waller Rub”.

Cody says that Grayson is a recent graduate from Hip Toss Class. He says that Grayson has probably studied some of the greatest WWE talk shows. Cody says that they could brawl, knock over furniture and Cody could hit Grayson with a Cross Rhodes, but asks if that's what the crowd wants. The crowd cheered loudly for that. Cody says that he wanted to be on this show and he will give Grayson a huge scoop. Cody asks Grayson if he watches Raw & NXT. Grayson says that he does. Cody then asks if Grayson watches SmackDown, he says that he watches his own stuff. Cody says that SmackDown is intriguing, and there has been a wrong that needs to be put right. Cody says that he has cashed in every political chip that he had to make this happen. Cody then introduces the newest member of the Raw roster, Jey Uso!

Jey Uso makes his way to the ring with a tremendous ovation from the crowd. Grayson “welcomes” Jey back, saying he has only been gone for 2 weeks. Grayson asks Jey how he feels about being on Raw, before Jey can answer, Grayson says that Jey has been a twin his entire life and has been surrounded by the Bloodline but as an individual, Jey has achieved absolutely nothing. Grayson says that Cody saying nice things about Jey won’t make him a big deal and that if anyone needs the “Grayson Waller Rub”, but before he can finish his sentence, Jey superkicks Grayson.

Cody looks on from the entrance ramp as Jey stands on the turnbuckle waving his arms while the entire crowd joins in with him.

Video Package:

We see a video package to introduce the Women’s World Championship match.

Match 5: Women’s World Championship Match - Rhea Ripley vs Raquel Rodriguez

The women tussle around the ring, and Rhea turns Raquel in the corner. Rhea shoves Raquel, Raquel shoves her back. Rhea hooks a side headlock. Raquel tries to whip her off, but Rhea holds on. Raquel lifts Rhea, but Rhea fights it. Raquel absorbs a shoulder tackle and brushes Rhea off. Raquel hits the ropes and hits a shoulder tackle, but Rhea absorbs and shakes it off. The women get in each other’s faces. Rhea pulls on the hair, so Raquel lifts her. Rhea slides off, but Raquel soon shoulder tackles her. Rhea immediately rolls out of the ring to recover and stop the momentum.

Raquel reaches over and grabs Rhea by the hair. Rhea knocks her back and charges the ring, but Raquel shoulder tackles Rhea again. Raquel attacks Rhea in the corner. Rhea fights back and tries for a whip, but Raquel puts the brakes on. Rhea clubs Raquel with some clotheslines, but Raquel doesn’t go down. Raquel takes Rhea down and hits a scoop slam. Rhea soon gets to her feet and grabs a handful of hair while tripping Raquel. Rhea hits a dropkick to the face before mounting Raquel and punching her.

Rhea chokes Raquel on the turnbuckles and talks trash about Liv Morgan. Rhea kicks Raquel and clubs the back. Rhea jumps on the back of Raquel and slaps the back of her head. Raquel tries to fight back, but Rhea grounds her for a one-count. Rhea hits a snapmare and kicks Raquel in the spine. Rhea applies a grounded abdominal stretch. Rhea stretches Raquel until Raquel fights up. Rhea quickly knees Raquel in the face a few times before applying a front face lock. Raquel powers out and throws Rhea across the ring.

Raquel goes after Rhea, but Rhea kicks the rope into Raquel’s neck. Raquel fights back, but Rhea floors her with a dropkick. Rhea attacks Raquel on the mat. Rhea continues to talk trash until Raquel grabs her by the throat and hits a pair of clotheslines. Rhea ducks a few strikes, but Raquel soon hits her with a club to the back of the head. Raquel hits a fallaway slam and avalanches Rhea in the corner. Raquel climbs the ropes, but Rhea sweeps the feet. Rhea ties the legs on the turnbuckles and climbs the ropes, but Raquel kicks Rhea’s feet out. Rhea is hanging over the top rope. Raquel powers her in with a delayed vertical suplex. Raquel hits a slingshot spinning corkscrew elbow drop for a two-count.

Raquel sets up for a Tejana Bomb, but Rhea gets out of it. Rhea takes Raquel down and hits a running knee for a two-count. Rhea sets up for a Riptide, but Raquel gets out and slams Rhea on her face. Raquel goes for an alley-oop into the ropes that doesn’t seem to fully connect. Raquel clotheslines Rhea down for a near fall. Raquel powers Rhea to the corner and shoulders her. Raquel puts Rhea on the top rope, but Rhea head-butts Raquel down. Rhea chop blocks Raquel’s bad knee. Rhea then applies a Prism Lock. Raquel twists out and rolls Rhea up for a two-count. Rhea charges, but she hits the ring post shoulder-first instead. Raquel powerslams Rhea down, but she can’t capitalise because her knee is too hurt.

Both women are down. They slowly get up and exchange blows. Raquel gets the better of Rhea and knocks her out of the ring. Raquel heads to ringside, but Rhea chop blocks the knee. Raquel fights back and gets Rhea in a powerbomb position. Raquel smashes Rhea’s spine into the ring post before whipping her into the barricade. Raquel gets in the ring to break the ref's 10 count. Raquel then lawn-darts Rhea’s shoulder into the ring post.

Dominik Mysterio comes to ringside and gets in the ring. Raquel grabs Dominik and hits him with a running powerslam. Rhea quickly kicks Raquel in her bad knee and then kicks her in the head. Rhea hits the Riptide for the win.

A decent, hard hitting match. Not their best work, but I suppose putting two powerful women together, they haven’t got a smaller opponent to have contrasting styles with, but it was still a good match. Grade C

Backstage Interview:

John Cena is backstage and he has put on a blazer and a bowtie. He says that as he is the host, he is giving himself jobs that he has never had so he is now an interviewer. He says that he is Lance Catamaran from Southpaw Championship Wrestling. Cena then introduces us to the new Undisputed WWE Tag Team Champions Finn Balor and Damian Priest. Finn says “The champs are here!” - clearly mocking Cena. Cena says that Finn and Damian haven’t been on the same page recently, but now they are champions. Damian says that brothers fight, but they are the Judgement Day and they are ruling the world.

Cena says that interviewing is tougher than it looks and sends the cameras back to the commentary team.

Video Package:

We see a video package introducing the World Heavyweight Championship match.

Main Event: World Heavyweight Championship Match - Seth Rollins vs Shinsuke Nakamura

The men circle the ring and cautiously approach each other. They soon lock up, and Seth goes for a waistlock. Shinsuke turns it, but Seth twists out and applies a hammerlock. Shinsuke fights it and twists out with a cartwheel. Shinsuke hits a headlock takeover, but Seth quickly pops out.

The men circle the ring again and go for a test of strength. Seth goes for a drop-toe-hold, but Shinsuke falls back rather than forward. Seth applies a side headlock. Shinsuke fights up and backs Seth into the ropes. Shinsuke psychotically rubs the injured back of Seth and smacks it. Shinsuke backs up and says, “Come On!” Seth charges, so Shinsuke goes for a German Suplex. Seth gets away, but Shinsuke kicks him in the back. Shinsuke sends Seth to the ropes, but Seth forearms him. Seth punches and kicks Shinsuke to the corner. Shinsuke reverses a whip to the corner, but Seth slingshots over him. Seth hits the ropes and takes Shinsuke down. Shinsuke rolls out of the ring to recover, so Seth wipes him out with a suicide dive. Seth gets Shinsuke in the ring and goes for a Pedigree, but Shinsuke hits a back body drop. Shinsuke kicks Seth in the back a few times. Shinsuke puts his foot on Seth and hits the Good Vibrations. Shinsuke lays Seth on the top rope and goes for a running knee strike, but Seth moves. Seth grabs Shinsuke and jumps over the top rope to whiplash him on the ropes. Seth hits a springboard senton splash. Seth then goes for a springboard moonsault, but he lands on his feet when Shinsuke moves. Shinsuke gets out of the ring, but Seth quickly takes him out with a suicide dive.

Seth talks trash to Shinsuke at ringside and bounces him off the commentary table. Seth climbs the barricade for a Stomp, but Shinsuke gets up and flips Seth onto the commentary table. Shinsuke turns Seth inside out with a whip into the barricade. Shinsuke gets Seth in the ring for a one-count. Shinsuke stretches Seth on the ropes before laying him on the top rope. Shinsuke hits a running knee strike. Seth turns over, and Shinsuke hits a running knee strike to the spine for a two-count. Shinsuke kicks Seth in the midsection and jumps on his back. Shinsuke then applies a modified camel clutch. Seth fights out, so Shinsuke kicks him in the spine. Shinsuke peppers Seth with kicks to the head before pulling him down for a nasty backbreaker for a two-count. Shinsuke pulls Seth over the apron and hits a running knee strike to the head. Shinsuke then jumps off the apron with a knee to the spine. Shinsuke puts Seth in the ring for another near fall. Shinsuke continues to attack Seth and applies a single-leg crab. Seth fights back, but Shinsuke cuts him off. Shinsuke goes to the top rope, but Seth chops the chest. Seth sets up for a superplex but then hesitates and instead hits a Frankensteiner.

Seth and Shinsuke exchange stiff forearms in the middle of the ring. Seth clotheslines Shinsuke and kicks him a few times. Seth connects with a Sling Blade before grabbing his lower back. Seth heads to the top rope and hits a frog splash for a near fall. Seth takes a few moments to recover and attacks Shinsuke’s spine. Shinsuke gets out of a powerbomb when Seth’s back gives out, but Seth fights back with a short-arm clothesline for a near fall.

Seth slaps Shinsuke in the head a few times. Shinsuke avoids a Stomp and goes for a Sleeper. Seth elbows out of it, but Shinsuke boots him back. Shinsuke comes off the second rope with a flying knee to the chest for a near fall. Shinsuke connects with a scoop slam. Shinsuke then connects with a snap suplex. Seth gets out of another suplex attempt, but Shinsuke gets him on the ropes and kicks Seth in the spine before hitting a sliding German Suplex for a near fall. Shinsuke connects with an inverted exploder suplex. Shinsuke goes for a Kinshasa, but Seth counters with a superkick for a near fall.

Seth pulls Shinsuke up and lays in a forearm. Seth goes for a discus forearm, but Shinsuke hits a takedown and puts Seth in a triangle choke. Seth tries to power Shinsuke up, but his back is too hurt. Seth is fading. Seth gets one more breath and powers Shinsuke up for a sit-out powerbomb for a near fall. After taking a few moments to recover, both men get to their feet and exchange blows. Seth rocks Shinsuke with a discus forearm and goes for a clothesline to the back of the neck, but Shinsuke avoids it and hits a snap kick to the head. Seth then wipes Shinsuke out with a step-up enzuigiri.

Both men are down once again. Seth slowly pulls himself up in the corner and drags himself to the top rope. Shinsuke quickly sweeps the feet of Seth. Shinsuke climbs to the middle rope and hits a Landslide off the ropes for a near fall. Shinsuke hits Seth with a Kinshasa to the back of the neck. Shinsuke sets up for one more, but Seth is barely moving. Shinsuke checks on him, so Seth slaps him in the face twice. Shinsuke lays in some kicks and knees. Shinsuke knocks Seth to the apron. Shinsuke goes for a suplex into the ring, but Seth gets out of it. Seth then drops Shinsuke with a Pedigree. Seth isn’t able to capitalise. Seth gets to his feet and tries for a Stomp. Shinsuke kicks Seth in the face. Seth gets out of a roll-up and hits Shinsuke with a Stomp, covers him and gets the win.

Some absolutely beautiful selling from Seth with his back. It really added to the storytelling of the match. Shinsuke looked like a proper heel as well because of it. The rapid pace of the finish really threw me off, but it didn’t take away from the match. It wasn’t the best match of the night, but it was definitely a good one. Grace C+

Overall, an enjoyable PLE from WWE. It’s not that often that I enjoy a full show that is put out, but this was one of the better ones this year. Hopefully it continues. I can see some storylines building from this event.


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