WWE Raw: The Payback Go-Home
April 26, 2017 8:15 AM - Season 25, Episode 33 - Subscribe

After a WrestleMania that rose above low expectations and an unexplained Superstar Shakeup, we slide into two of the most holding-pattern PPVs WWE Network events that ever held a pattern: PayBackLash. The Raw version will feature two crossover matches and two undefended belts.

Brock Lesnar (champion) vs. no one at all for the Universal Championship: Wait, there's still a Universal Championship? Okay, I guess we don't need Lesnar or the main title on every card, after all. We can pump up the importance of the Intercontinental Championship instead.

Dean Ambrose (champion) vs. no one at all for the Intercontinental Championship: Son of a bitch. Well, maybe they'll put the women last?

Bayley (champion) vs. Alexa Bliss for the Raw Women's Championship: A face contender finally climbs the mountain to win the title and enjoy a WrestleMania Moment (TM), only to see the blonde heel immediate former champion of the other brand jump ship and immediately challenge for the title. That sounds familiar.

Hardy Boyz (champions) vs. Sheasaro for the Raw Tag Team Championship: Two face teams means we'll spend the whole match watching the entranceway for The Club. The real question is when Vince is going to let Matt pull the trigger on the new Broken Universe.

Neville (champion) vs. Austin Aries for the Cruiserweight Championship: Almost definitely the best match of the night, but are they ready to take the crown off the king?

Kevin Owens (champion) vs. Chris Jericho for the United States Championship (titleholder goes to Smackdown): Owens has been proving the old maxim that "The champion makes the title", and Jericho will be doing something else as of May, so this one will probably just set up the next Owens title feud and put a capper on what may be the greatest comeback tour in wrestling history.

Randy Orton vs. Bray Wyatt in a House of Horrors match (non-title): This might be a sort of Final Deletion-esque crapfest, or it might be a sort of Asylum Match-esque crapfest. Hell, it might even be an amazing feat of hardcore magic. But it'll still end with Bray being wasted and Randy being a boring champion who has to face Jinder Mahal next because WWE is pushing into India again.

Braun Strowman vs. Roman Reigns: Strowman is one of the biggest success stories of the post-split WWE, but will they derail him to feed Roman a big win?

Samoa Joe vs. Seth Rollins: The Destroyer and the Architect could set up for an extended feud here, which will keep Rollins busy enough.

Plus The Club vs. the New Jersey Calvin & Hobbes on the pre-show. See you at Backlash.
posted by Etrigan (6 comments total)
I think Raw has been markedly better since WM, but this PPV isn't calling my name in the slightest. With that said, despite the complete lack of meaningful stakes, I think a few of the matches might actually be decent. I would love for Orton/Wyatt, whatever the hell it is, to be the main-event quality match they failed to deliver at WM, but I'm not holding my breath.
posted by SpiffyRob at 1:05 PM on April 28, 2017

I'm just here to ask about Great Balls of Fire.

posted by uncleozzy at 12:29 PM on April 29, 2017

Uh... that was pretty good? Best Raw-only PPV since the draft, I'm pretty sure.

Swerves for days!
posted by SpiffyRob at 6:31 AM on May 1, 2017

That was 2/3 of a great PPV, which was unfortunately all in the front. By the time they got to the House of Horrors, I was actually pretty stoked for it, but pbbbt.
posted by Etrigan at 7:12 AM on May 1, 2017

Randy's face after he threw the second Singh up and onto an announcer's table was amazing.
posted by jermsplan at 2:06 PM on May 22, 2017

I forgave Randy for like 10 percent of the shit he's done after seeing that face. "Oh, huh, he does have a human heart."
posted by Etrigan at 3:54 PM on May 22, 2017

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