To Hell and Back.
The inaugural edition of WWE Payback came to you, live on pay-per-view, from the Allstate Arena in Chicago, IL. In his hometown of Chicago, the self-proclaimed “Best in the World” would return to in-ring action as, for the first time since his loss to The Undertaker at WrestleMania, CM Punk would step into the ring to go one-on-one with a longtime rival in “Y2J” Chris Jericho.
The WWE Championship match would take WWE Champion John Cena and “The Sin City Cyborg” Ryback to a new level of hell as Cena would defend WWE’s most prestigious title against the remorseless monster in a Three Stages of Hell Match, with the first fall being a 30-Man Lumberjack Match, the second being a Tables Match and the third fall, if necessary, will be an Ambulance Match.
After being out of action for the last month with a concussion, World Heavyweight Champion Dolph Ziggler would pick up where he left off as Ziggler would defend the World Heavyweight Championship against the eager #1 Contender for the title, Alberto Del Rio.
Fandango’s loss is certainly Curtis Axel’s gain as, after Fandango was sidelined with a concussion a couple of weeks ago, the undefeated Curtis Axel would fill the open spot in the Triple Threat Match for the Intercontinental Championship as “The New Perfect” Curtis Axel and “The Awesome One” The Miz would challenge Wade Barrett for the gold.
Amongst the self-destruction of Team Hell No, “The Big Red Monster” would get his shot at singles gold as, for the first time in his legendary career, Kane would challenge for the United States Title, facing The Shield’s Dean Ambrose for the title.
While Kane will get the chance to win the United States Title for the first time, the unlikely team of Daniel Bryan & “The Viper” Randy Orton would challenge The Shield’s Seth Rollins & Roman Reigns for the WWE Tag Team Championship.
Also, after absolutely humiliating Kaitlyn by creating this whole façade of making Kaitlyn truly believe she had a “secret admirer”, the #1 Contender for the Divas Title would be forced to face the former friend she wronged as AJ Lee would challenge Kaitlyn for the Divas Championship.
- Intercontinental Championship: Triple Threat Match: Curtis Axel def. Wade Barrett (c) & The Miz by pinning Wade Barrett (c) while The Miz has the Figure-Four Leg Lock locked in to win the Intercontinental Title.
- Divas Championship: AJ Lee def. Kaitlyn (c) by submission to the Black Widow to win the Divas Title.
- United States Championship: Dean Ambrose (c) def. Kane by count-out to retain.
- World Heavyweight Championship: Alberto Del Rio def. Dolph Ziggler (c) (with Big E. Langston) by pin following a super kick to win the World Heavyweight Title.
- CM Punk (with Paul Heyman) def. Chris Jericho by pin following the GTS.
- WWE Tag Team Championship: Seth Rollins & Roman Reigns (c) def. Randy Orton & Daniel Bryan by Seth Rollins (c) pinning Daniel Bryan following the Curb Stomp to retain.
- WWE Championship: Three Stages of Hell Match: 30-Man Lumberjack Match (First Fall): Ryback def. John Cena (c) by pin following Shell Shocked to win the first fall.
- WWE Championship: Three Stages of Hell Match: Tables Match (Second Fall): John Cena (c) def. Ryback to even the match up at one fall a piece.
- WWE Championship: Three Stages of Hell Match: Ambulance Match (Third & Final Fall): John Cena (c) def. Ryback following the Attitude Adjustment through the roof of the ambulance to successfully retain the WWE Title.
The first ever Payback event kicks off with gold on the line as Wade Barrrett would defend the Intercontinental Championship against “The Awesome One” The Miz and the undefeated Curtis Axel, with Paul Heyman in his corner, in a Triple Threat Match, where the first man to score a pinfall or submission will emerge as the Intercontinental Champion. During the match, every man would scramble to try and get the pin over the other as Curtis Axel hits the Perfect Plex on Wade Barrett, but The Miz would break it up. Shortly after this, The Miz hits the Skull Crushing Finale on Curtis Axel, but Wade Barrett tosses The Miz to the outside. However, The Miz still manages to break up the pin and the match continues. Then, in one of the most unique and ingenious finishes to a Triple Threat Match, The Miz would lock Wade Barrett in the Figure-Four Leg Lock, but with Barrett on the verge of tapping out, Curtis Axel would slide into the ring, hopping on top of Barrett and getting the pinfall to become the brand new Intercontinental Champion!
Moments after becoming the new Intercontinental Champion, Curtis Axel, with Paul Heyman, is heading to their locker room to celebrate when they are confronted by Triple H. WWE Chairman Mr. McMahon then breaks the confrontation up, congratulating Curtis Axel on his title win and shooing him away. The Chairman then proposes a match between Triple H and the new Intercontinental Champion, but the COO refuses to bend to his father-in-law’s whim, saying that he’s not “feeling it”.
Following her humiliation at the hands of the unstable AJ Lee this past Monday on RAW, the emotionally distraught Kaitlyn would defend the Divas Title against AJ Lee, with Big E. Langston in her corner, at Payback. Kaitlyn would take it to AJ Lee early on, tossing AJ over the Spanish announce table, but later on in the match, AJ Lee would use her belt behind the back of the referee, blasting Kaitlyn in the face with it. Despite this, Kaitlyn would continue to fight back, even breaking out of AJ’s Black Widow submission, but the key moment of the match would come after Kaitlyn blasts AJ with the Spear as, instead of pinning her challenger, the emotionally driven Kaitlyn decides to blow a kiss to AJ. Tjs time Kaitlyn took to do so would allow AJ the time needed to kick out of the pin. In the end, it was Kaitlyn’s head colliding with the second turnbuckle, followed up by the Black Widow being locked into Kaitlyn for a second time that would force Kaitlyn to tap out as AJ Lee is crowned the new Divas Champion! After the match, Kaitlyn would break down in tears, completely breaking down on the entranceway before Layla comes out to help Kaitlyn to the back.
Kane would certainly be looking to be the third person in a row to win a title at Payback as “The Big Red Monster” would challenge The Shield’s Dean Ambrose for the United States Championship. Throughout the match, Dean Ambrose would go out of his way to try and frustrate “The Big Red Monster”, attempting the patented Old School maneuver made famous by Kane’s brother, The Undertaker. Shortly after this, both men would find themselves on the outside of the ring and Dean Ambrose would slap Kane across the face! This sends Kane into a rage as Kane rips apart the Spanish announce table, but the distraction would allow Ambrose to catch Kane with a DDT on the arena floor, making it back into the ring. However, Kane was unable to make it back into the ring before the referee’s ten-count as Ambrose defeats Kane via count-out to retain the United States Title.
The huge announcement was made during Payback that, for the first time in more than four years, a former WWE, ECW, Intercontinental, & WWE Tag Team Champion would make his much-anticipated return to the WWE as none other than “The Whole Damn Show” himself, Rob Van Dam, will return at next month’s Money-in-the-Bank event in Philadelphia!
In his first title defense, Payback would see “The Show-Off” Dolph Ziggler, with Big E. Langston and new Divas Champion AJ Lee in his corner, defend the World Heavyweight Championship against “The Mexican Aristocrat” Alberto Del Rio, with Ricardo Rodriguez in his corner. During the match, Alberto Del Rio would repeatedly focus on the previously concussed head of Dolph Ziggler, but after a couple of shots to the head on the outside, Big E. Langston would try to come to the aid of Ziggler, confronting Del Rio and shoving “The Mexican Aristocrat”, who shoves back. However, this would result in the referee ejecting Big E. Langston from ringside! Throughout the match, Alberto Del Rio would show no mercy towards the barely conscious Dolph Ziggler, repeatedly kicking Ziggler in the skull. Following a particularly nasty kick to the head on the outside of the ring, WWE’s ringside physician rushes to Dolph’s side to check on Ziggler’s status, but Dolph would refuse to let the doctor stop the match, repeatedly telling the doctor that he was good to go, despite the pleas from Dolph’s girlfriend, AJ Lee. Del Rio would then show his true colors, again kicking Dolph in the skull before shooing the doctor away and even kicking AJ’s Divas Title belt, all while Ricardo Rodriguez tells Del Rio to get Dolph back into the ring, repeatedly saying that Ziggler is “fine”. Back in the ring, Del Rio would strike with an enziguiri to the skull, but Dolph would refuse to stay down for the count. Then, out of nowhere, Ziggler is able to strike with the Zig Zag on Del Rio, but the champion is unable to take advantage of the situation and Del Rio gets to his feet before Ziggler. With Dolph on his knees in a barely conscious state, Del Rio would deliver a straight superkick to the side of Ziggler’s skull, finally pinning Dolph Ziggler to become the new World Heavyweight Champion! After the match, the referee and ringside physician immediately tend to Dolph Ziggler, who is in tears over the pain in his skull, not to mention the pain over losing the World Heavyweight Title. As the crowd shows their respect by chanting “Ziggler”, Ziggler tries to walk to the back, but only makes it near the ramp before sitting down and grasping his skull.
Moments after winning the World Heavyweight Championship, Alberto Del Rio comes back out to comment on his title win, saying that all of his accomplishments have been for the fans and he has given his “life” for the fans. Del Rio then says that he feels like he “deserves” to be their World Heavyweight Champion.
Then, in his hometown of Chicago, it was time for the self-proclaimed “Best in the World” to return to the ring as, for the first time since WrestleMania, the longest reigning WWE Champion of the last 25 years, CM Punk, with Paul Heyman in his corner, would go one-on-one with his longtime rival, “Y2J” Chris Jericho! In another five-star classic between the two former World Champions, both CM Punk and Chris Jericho would throw absolutely everything they had at each other from the GTS to the Anaconda Vice to the Codebreaker to the Walls of Jericho, but in the end, it was Punk hitting the GTS on Jericho and, after Jericho stumbles out of the corner, Punk hits a second GTS on Y2J, pinning Jericho to pick up the win in his hometown!
The WWE Tag Team Titles were also on the line at Payback as the unlikely and questionable team of Randy Orton & Daniel Bryan would challenge two-thirds of The Shield, Seth Rollins & Roman Reigns, for the WWE Tag Team Titles. During the match, Daniel Bryan would go for a dive to the outside on Seth Rollins & Roman Reigns, but Rollins & Reigns would move out of the way and Bryan would inadvertently take Randy Orton out! Shortly after this, Randy Orton would make his way back into the ring and would try for the RKO on Roman Reigns, but Reigns would shove Orton into Daniel Bryan before Reigns would charge at both men and Orton would sacrifice Daniel Bryan as Reigns would blast Bryan with the Spear. This would allow Orton to strike with the RKO on Roman Reigns, but before Orton could capitalize, Seth Rollins shoves Orton out of the ring, hitting the Curb Stomp on Daniel Bryan en route to picking up the win as Seth Rollins & Roman Reigns retain the WWE Tag Team Titles.
Then it was time for the main event as the WWE Championship would be on the line in the rarely seen Three Stages of Hell Match as John Cena would defend the WWE Title against “The Sin City Cyborg” Ryback with the first ‘stage’ of the match being a 30-Man Lumberjack Match, the second ‘stage’ being a Tables Match, and the third ‘stage’, if necessary, will be an Ambulance Match.
The first fall of the Three Stages of Hell Match would be a 30-Man Lumberjack Match where thirty Superstars surround the ring with the sole job of keeping the action in the ring and the first man to pin their opponent or make them submit will win the first fall of the match. Before champion and challenger make their way to the ring, the likes of Sheamus, Kane, Wade Barrett, The Miz, The Great Khali, Big E. Langston, Curtis Axel, R-Truth, 3MB, and several other Superstars surround the ring for the Lumberjack Match. During the match, Ryback would repeatedly throw John Cena to the outside, knowing that the lumberjacks would attack Cena. However, the WWE Champion would toss Ryback to the outside and, while the lumberjacks were initially content to let Ryback go back into the ring unscathed, Ryback would shove Antonio Cesaro and this would turn the lumberjacks again “The Sin City Cyborg”, sparking a massive brawl between all 30 men, but Cena would take to the air, diving to the outside, taking out all 31 men! Shortly after this, champion and challenger would roll back into the ring, where Ryback would surprise Cena with Shell Shocked, pinning the champion to win the first fall of the match!
With Ryback up one fall to John Cena’s zero, the lumberjacks would leave the ringside area as the second fall would be a Tables Match, where the only way to win is by putting your opponent through a table. During the match, Ryback would set Cena up on a table propped up in the corner, but when Ryback hurls the steel steps at Cena, Cena moves out of the way and the steps snap the table in half. A little later on, Ryback sets up another table and again tries to use the steps to drive Cena through the table, but Cena moves again as Ryback again smashes the table to pieces with the steel steps. After clobbering Cena with the Meat Hook Clothesline, Ryback would set up his third table, but Cena would pop up out of nowhere, driving Ryback through the table with the Attitude Adjustment to even the match up at one fall a piece!
Then it was time for the third and final fall of the match as the Ambulance Match would determine who leaves as the WWE Champion with the only way to win is by putting your opponent into a waiting ambulance and shutting both doors. Ryback would waste no time in incapacitating the WWE Champion, taking Cena to the outside and driving him through the announce table with a powerbomb! After allowing Cena to get back to his feet in the ring to officially get the third fall underway, Ryback would carry Cena to the ambulance that is waiting near the entrance. However, Cena would battle back, tossing Ryback into the ambulance doors and, shortly after this, Cena dodges a right hand from Ryback and Ryback drives his hand and forearm through the passenger’s window of the ambulance! Ryback would battle back, but after opening the driver’s door of the ambulance, Cena counters the challenger, sending Ryback into the driver’s door as the door flies off its hinges! Cena then picks up the detached door, using it to take Ryback down. Champion and challenger continue to go to war as Ryback tosses Cena into the front end of the ambulance, ripping off the front right fender of the ambulance and using it as a weapon against Cena, but Cena would fight back again, this time delivering a backdrop to Ryback that nearly shatters toe ambulance’s windshield! Cena then climbs to the roof of the ambulance, ripping off the lights and using them to knock Ryback back down to the floor. Ryback does not stay down for long as the freakish monster grabs a crutch and climbs atop the ambulance with Cena, but Cena catches Ryback coming up, bending the crutch over the back of Ryback. Then, in one of the most impressive feats of strength in WWE history, Cena would hoist Ryback up on his shoulders, slamming Ryback all the way through the roof of the ambulance with the Attitude Adjustment, technically putting Ryback into the ambulance with the doors closed to win the third fall, the match, and successfully retain the WWE Championship!
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