Supervisor Elham AbolFateh
Editor in Chief Mohamed Wadie

In Depth: WWE Payback

Sun 03 Sep 2023 | 10:35 AM
Rana Atef

WWE organized its anticipated-returning Premium Live Event Payback early Sunday. The show featured six matches and a Grayson Waller effect segment. Moreover, it had the appearances of top stars like Seth Rollins, the Judgement Day, Samy Zain, Kevin Owens, Rey Mysterio, Cody Rhodes, and Austin Theory, alongside naming John Cena as the host of the show.

However, all those efforts seemingly failed as the production and the performance of the matches still B-Grade show without any effective momentum.

The show opened with the Steel Cage match between Becky Lynch and Trish Stratus. Although the majority of people made their expectations very low for this match, it was finely produced.

Stratus did really nice job during the match, and Becky managed to deliver solid spots. It was really surprising to see Stratus so open to receiving bombs like that.

After that came the host John Cena to energize the mood with his iconic "You Can't See Me." He was shortly cut by The Miz who was getting ready for his contest against LA Knight.

There is no doubt that the promo game between The Miz and Cena is among the top promo work in the last 15 years, so watching their battle was impressive, especially the Miz-Knight feud was truly based on promo work.

However, the match was not as everyone wished. It was slow, poor, and with 0 excitement.

The presence of Cena was one of the few positive points about the match, including the teasing of a rivalry between Cena and Knight.

The United States Championship match came up next between the Champ Rey Mysterio.

The match was short and presented nothing new more than their previous matches. 

Pittsburgh Steel City Street Fight for the Undisputed WWE Tag Team Championship came after the US Championship match.

It was one of the most entertaining contests through the night, and was full of spots like Owens' "Swanton Bomb" over Dominik Mysterio, the tribute to the beginning of the NFL games, especially Pittersburg team, the over-involvement of The Judgement members, and the tribute to the late Terry Funk. 

After that was the time for Grayson Waller Effect and the guest was Cody Rhodes who announced a 1-1 pick draft as he will move to SmackDown, to give Jey Uso, who returned last night, a space to Raw.

The statements of Rhodes mean that he will start his feud against Roman Reigns to finish his story.

After that came the Women's World Heavyweight title between Rhea Ripley and Raquel Rodriguez. The match was less than everyone expected. Disappointment. 

Finally, Seth Rollins and Shinsuke Nakamura for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship. 

There was a nice animated video in Japanese about the conflict between both stars. There was a special guest who watched the match, and he was WWE Hall of Famer The Great Muta whose final opponent with this gimmick was Nakamura in the NOAH promotion. 

The match was opened in a very impressive way before it turned to more "Strong Style" influenced. Sometimes, people can feel that there were calls for the old Nakamura to emerge in the ring, and many others didn't work.

The match took more than 25 minutes, but the audience didn't buy the style of the match, even the ending of the match was so weak. 

In general, the show was deeply criticized and the majority of fans didn't expect much from the event, and they were right.

The tag team contest and the Steel Cage one were the top of the night.

Regarding the card of the event, it is as follows:

Women's Steel Cage Match: Becky Lynch defeated Trish Stratus


LA Knight defeated The Miz


Women's World Championship: Rhea Ripley (c) defeated Raquel Rodriguez


US Title: Rey Mysterio (c) defeated Austin Theory


Steel City Street Fight for the Undisputed WWE Tag Team Match: Kevin Owens & Sami Zayn (c) defeated by The Judgment Day's Finn Bálor & Damian Priest


World Heavyweight Championship: Seth "Freakin" Rollins (c) defeated Shinsuke Nakamura