WWE Payback 2020 featured a number of solid matches — including a number of notable occurrences.
Although Payback followed WWE’s Summerslam just a week after the one of the four biggest Pay-Per-View’s of the year, the show did not disappoint. Quality storyline advancements, a couple of title changes and the full Roman Reigns heel turn definitely made this show worth watching.
On a one-to-five star rating scale, here is how each match fared at Payback.
United States Title Match: Bobby Lashley (new champion) defeats Apollo Crews via submission (Full Lashley)
After a nice two-and-a-half month feud between Apollo Crews and MVP’s Hurt Business stable, Bobby Lashley finally finished off the job with a clean victory over his rival by winning his first United States championship for the first time in 14 years.
It’ll be interesting to see where the WWE goes moving forward with the Hurt Business stable — especially Lashley.
Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
Big E defeats Sheamus via pinfall (The Big Ending)
This was a solid encounter between both power wrestlers. The match went back-and-forth with the ending seeing Big E reverse Sheamus’ Brogue Kick with a powerbomb that led to a Big Ending for the three-count.
With Big E going off on The Miz during a recent episode of Talking Smack and Kofi Kingston having already received his main event push last year, one can expect the 300-pounder to continue his singles push moving forward as he works his way towards a possible Universal Title shot on Smackdown down the road.
Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
Matt Riddle defeats King Corbin via pinfall (The Floating Bro)
Matt Riddle knocked off King Corbin in his “debut” PPV match (not including the Royal Rumble and Survivor Series) and this feud doesn’t appear to be over anytime soon.
Riddle has been a nice addition to the Smackdown roster and this was his first major feud after being moved up from NXT. There was really nothing special about this match — it was a Corbin match after all — with Corbin dominating and controlling most of the match with Riddle making a comeback towards the end.
After Riddle defeated Corbin with the Floating Bro, Corbin proceeded to attack Riddle after the match during an interview backstage.
While the back-and-forth banter between the two has been solid, these two really don’t have good chemistry in the ring together.
Rating: 1 out of 5 stars
Women’s Tag Team Title Match: Shayna Bazler and Nia Jax (new champions) defeat Sasha Banks and Bayley via submission (Bazler with the Kirifuda Clutch / Muta Lock combination)
This was a good back-and-forth match that saw Shayna Bazler pull off a really sweet double submission move on both Sasha Banks and Bayley at the same time. With Bayley being the legal woman in the match, Bazler made her tap with the.
Not only did this match solidify the oddball tag team of Bazler and Jax, it also furthered the dissension between Banks and Bayley. It’s been a rough week for the two most dominant women in the company with Banks losing her Raw Women’s Title this past Monday night against Asuka.
It should be interesting to see how Bayley and Banks react to their most recent loss tomorrow night on Raw.
Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Keith Lee defeats Randy Orton via pinfall (Spirit Bomb)
The potential chemistry between these two is limitless. But the WWE is really teasing us so far with this Keith Lee versus Randy Orton feud.
This was Lee’s true PPV debut after previous Survivor Series and Royal Rumble appearances (similar to Riddle) following his call-up to the Raw roster this past Monday night. Both Lee and Orton previously fought to a disqualification finish after a five-minute encounter due to Drew McIntyre interfering.
Fast forward less than a week later at Payback and the match was very short, but sweet. After a lot of posturing early on in the match, with Orton challenging Lee’s manhood — including bringing up how Lee should respect him because he’s the “Legend Killer” — the action started to pick up a little bit outside with each guy pulling off backdrops on one another on the announce table.
However, in a sort of anticlimactic finish, Lee finished off Orton suddenly when the latter tried to go for a lame RKO attempt, only to be reversed into a Spirit Bomb for the easy 1-2-3 pinfall in a 6-minute, 40-second match.
It’s understandable what WWE is doing here with the surprise early finish and the clean win for the debuting Lee, but they could have gone a lot longer with this and created a true match to remember.
Instead, we’re left yearning for a lot more between these two. We’ll see what the WWE does moving forward with the two, but expect both Orton and Lee to be involved in the WWE Title picture with McIntyre heading into the next PPV at Clash of Champions on Sep. 27.
Rating: 2.5 of 5 stars
Dominik and Rey Mysterio defeat Seth Rollins and Buddy Murphy via pinfall (Dominik pins Murphy after Frog Splash)
This tag team bout was filled with non-stop action — as you’d expect from a typical Rey Mysterio match — as Dominik Mysterio grabbed his first official WWE victory.
The bout saw Seth Rollins and Buddy Murphy display excellent team chemistry throughout the match, often double-teaming both of the Mysterio’s before things started falling apart for the Monday Night Messiah and his disciple.
The ending saw Rollins call for a kick from Murphy on Rey on a double-team move in the corner, only for it to backfire as Murphy accidentally kicked Rollins. Rey and Rollins eventually found their way outside of the ring while Dominik nailed a 619 and a frog splash to finish off Murphy.
There was also good storyline advancement after the match as the WWE continues to display simmering tension between Murphy and Rollins due to the former’s miscue.
Rollins is set to face Rey in a one-on-one match on Monday’s Raw.
Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars
WWE Universal Title Match: Roman Reigns (new champion) defeats Bray Wyatt and Braun Strowman via pinfall (after Reigns’ spear on Strowman
This was more spectacle than actual match. Both Braun Strowman and Bray Wyatt began the match without Roman Reigns, brutalizing each other with some nice spots outside of the ring before taking it to the squared circle.
The eventual inclusion of Reigns in the match occurred after Wyatt suplexed Strowman off of the top turnbuckle, leading to the ring imploding. Reigns then made his entrance with his new manager Paul Heyman as he signed the contract on his way to the ring.
After a few close falls, Reigns cemented his heel turn by low-blowing Wyatt during an attempted mandible claw, which then led to a spear on Strowman — culminating in another Universal Title for Reigns.
Again, the match was nothing special. But this is definitely worth watching just for the mere sight of Reigns as a heel — something long awaited by the WWE universe.
Rating: 2.5 out of 5 stars