Everytime WWE and NXT have a special the same week, NXT blows them out of the water. WWE’s TLC back in December was completely blown away by an awesome NXT show, and WWE Fastlane was mediocre at best while NXT put on another great show. Now we do it again, but WWE Payback was a surprisingly good show. Will NXT be able to match up?
Yes. Yes it will. Obviously. But let’s take a closer look at the two shows.
Sheamus vs. Dolph Ziggler: I enjoyed this match quite a bit. They had a good match that kicked it up a notch at the end. Ziggler busted himself open with a headbutt at the end, and I wish the camera had actually gotten close to show it off. Gratuitous blood annoys me, but a shot like that, in a real feud, always is awesome. ***
Tyson Kidd & Cesaro vs. New Day: There were high hopes for this match, and I think it lived up to them pretty well. While I was hoping the New Day would do the rotating roster, ala the Freebirds, I liked that they at least tried. There were some sloppy bits, but it was still a damn good match. ***1/2
Bray Wyatt vs. Ryback: At this time, I realized I could watch Payback on my phone while watching Game of Thrones, so this match didn’t have my full attention. Regardless, both men are brawlers, I like a good brawl, and they had a pretty good one going with a couple cool spots. ***
US Title, I Quit Match, John Cena vs. Rusev: This match did not have my attention. They threw each other around, they did the dumb fireworks spot that I hate. I can’t properly rate it, as Game of Thrones was way more interesting. N/R
Diva’s Tag Match: There was a diva’s match. I didn’t watch it. C’mon, Game of Thrones was on, give me a break. N/R
King Barrett vs. Neville: This was a probably the weakest match the two of them have had. Why this one is on PPV and not the others I don’t know. **
WWE Title, Rollins vs. Orton vs. Ambrose vs. Reigns: Look, it’s the Shield triple threat match that we all wanted. And Randy Orton! Well, it was almost what we all wanted. Relatively pedestrian until the last ten minutes or so. The Shield reunion was everything I hoped it would be. Ambrose, Reigns, and Rollins should be fighting each other in various combinations until they retire. I liked Rollins, using the Pedigree, I liked Orton eating the pin. Only a weak start to the match keeps this from being great. ***1/2
So, Payback was a pretty good show. 4 matches that I liked with nothing offensive, at least that I was watching. At the same time, there was nothing remarkable. How will NXT Takeover: Unstoppable measure up? Let’s check out each match.
Baron Corbin vs. Rhyno: I said earlier I like a good brawl, but I don’t think Corbin and Rhyno are going to measure up. This is probably the weakest match on the card. Winner: Corbin.
Diva’s Tag Match: I didn’t watch the Payback match, but I’ll watch this one. Anyone want to take bets that this one blows the Payback match away? Even with the newcomer Dana Brooks, there are three really good wrestlers in here. Winner: Emma & Dana Brooks.
NXT Tag Titles, Blake & Murphy vs. Enzio & Big Cass: It’s unlikely this match will be better then the tag match at Payback. I don’t care about Blake and Murphy, but I love Enzio and Big Cass. They are highly entertaining on the mic, and that counts for a lot. But the match will probably suck. Winner: Enzio & Big Cass.
NXT Woman’s Title Match, Becky Lynch vs. Sasha Banks: Here we go, this is where the card starts looking like a world beater. This match main evented on the NXT tour, and apparently was awesome. It will probably be the best women’s match since, well, since the last time the NXT women got together. Winner: Becky Lynch.
No. 1 Contender’s match: Finn Balor vs. Tyler Breeze: Hideo Itami was pulled from this match due to injury, which sucks. Balor and Breeze are both excellent though, and I’m a big fan of both. I kinda hope Breeze wins, but my gut tells me Balor wins and unleashes the monster against the champ. Winner: Finn Balor.
NXT Title Match, Kevin Owens vs. Sami Zayn: With Zayn hurting himself a few weeks ago, I wasn’t sure this match was going to happen. But apparently he’s been cleared to wrestle, so this match will happen. It should be awesome, even before the drama with Owens and John Cena on Raw, but that’s a subject for another post. Winner: Kevin Owens.
The final three matches of this show are going to be excellent. While the rest of the card might not measure up to Payback, I fully expect Takeover to be the better show on the back of these three matches.