On what is, arguably, the most aptly-named pay-per-view on the WWE calendar, the second annual WWE Payback came to you, live on pay-per-view and the WWE Network, from the Allstate Arena in Chicago, IL. At an event where revenge is the name of the game, one Superstar will have to make the most difficult decision of his career as, just over two weeks removed from successful neck surgery, WWE World Heavyweight Champion Daniel Bryan will appear at Payback per the orders of WWE Principal Owner Stephanie McMahon. After refusing to surrender the WWE World Heavyweight Championship to Stephanie on RAW, the Principal Owner reminded Daniel Bryan that she is the boss before giving Daniel Bryan the ultimatum that Bryan must either surrender the WWE World Heavyweight Championship or Stephanie McMahon will fire Daniel Bryan’s wife, Brie Bella! Will Daniel Bryan choose the biggest accomplishment in his career or will he choose the love of his life?
For the last couple of months, one of the most intense wars in WWE history has ravaged the company as the young, hungry hounds known as The Shield have sought to fight off their own destruction at the hands of the veteran trio known as Evolution. After Dean Ambrose, Seth Rollins, & Roman Reigns defeated Triple H, Batista, & Randy Orton at Extreme Rules, Triple H flexed his powers as the WWE COO to book Dean Ambrose in a 20-Man Battle Royal for Dean Ambrose’s United States Championship and Ambrose would come within an eyelash of surviving the bout before a Brogue Kick from Sheamus ended Ambrose’s nearly year-long reign as champion. However, that would only be the beginning of Evolution’s mission to destroy The Shield as the former World Champions would repeatedly assault and beat-down The Shield, but every time that The Shield got beat down, they got right back up and fought back, getting the best of Evolution on a number of occasions. In their most recent brawl on RAW, the contract signing between the two dominant factions broke down into an all-out brawl that ended with Triple H getting his hands on his trusty sledgehammer. The COO’s signature weapon would provide a huge assist for Evolution as Triple H, Batista, & Randy Orton would lay waste to The Shield. Now, at Payback, these two trios would face off again, but, this time, the rules will be thrown out of the window as The Shield will face Evolution in a No Holds Barred Elimination Match where the only way to win is to eliminate all three members of the opposing team by either pinfall or submission with no disqualifications and no count-outs! With no rules to hold either team back, which trio will emerge as the dominant group in WWE? Will this be the last gasp for either Evolution or The Shield?
For the past four months, Bray Wyatt and The Wyatt Family have set out to tarnish the legacy of John Cena as Bray tries to expose Cena as a “monster”, stooping to any level to strike fear into John Cena and wrench the Cenation away from John Cena. As The Wyatt Family continues to pick up more and more followers via the WWE fans, John Cena has become more and more determined to destroy Bray Wyatt and prove that Bray is only in it for himself and that what he preaches is wrong. After instructing Luke Harper & Erick Rowan to assault commentator John “Bradshaw” Layfield and bring Hall of Famer Jerry “The King” Lawler into the ring with the intent of sending a message to Cena through Lawler, Bray Wyatt has raised the ire of John Cena and, come Payback, Bray may get exactly what he wants as Cena will have to unleash his inner monster when Cena goes one-on-one with Bray Wyatt in a Last Man Standing Match, where the only way to win is to beat your opponent so badly that they cannot get to their feet by the referee’s count of ten.
After winning the Beat The Clock Challenge a couple of weeks ago on RAW, six-time former Intercontinental Champion Rob Van Dam has earned the opportunity to win his seventh Intercontinental Title as “Mr. Pay-Per-View” Rob Van Dam challenges Bad News Barrett for the Intercontinental Championship!
In a feud that has quickly intensified in recent weeks, “The King of Swing” Cesaro has used every tactic in the book to get under the skin of United States Champion Sheamus, even using his advocate, Paul Heyman, to distract Sheamus to pick up a non-title victory, but at Payback, Sheamus will get the opportunity to shut Paul Heyman and his client up when Sheamus defends the United States Title against Cesaro.
Since making his debut, Rusev has laid waste to R-Truth, Xavier Woods, Kofi Kingston, and Zack Ryder, among others, but “The Bulgarian Brute” may have found his match in the form of Big E as Big E has proven himself as the only Superstar to be able to rival Rusev in strength and, at Payback, these two powerhouses would collide when Big E tries to topple “The Super Athlete” Rusev. Also at Payback, the Divas Championship would be up for grabs as Paige defends the butterfly title against the unhinged and unpredictable Alicia Fox.
- United States Championship: Sheamus (c) def. Cesaro (with Paul Heyman) by small package roll-up to retain.
- RybAxel def. Goldust & Cody Rhodes by Ryback pinning Cody Rhodes following Shell Shocked.
- Rusev (with Lana) def. Big E by submission to the Accolade.
- Bo Dallas and Kofi Kingston fight to a No Contest after Kane comes out.
- Intercontinental Championship: Bad News Barrett (c) def. Rob Van Dam by pin following the Bull Hammer Elbow to retain.
- Last Man Standing Match: John Cena (with The Usos) def. Bray Wyatt (with Luke Harper & Erick Rowan).
- Divas Championship: Paige (c) def. Alicia Fox by submission to the PTO to retain.
- No Holds Barred Elimination Match: First Fall: Seth Rollins elim. Batista by pin following the Spear by Roman Reigns.
- No Holds Barred Elimination Match: Second Fall: Dean Ambrose elim. Randy Orton by pin following the Dirty Deeds on a steel chair.
- No Holds Barred Elimination Match: Third Fall: Roman Reigns elim. Triple H by pin following the Spear.
Payback kicks off with gold on the line as “The Celtic Warrior” Sheamus would defend the United States Title against “The King of Swing” Cesaro, with Paul Heyman in his corner. In a hard-hitting classic, both Sheamus and Cesaro would put everything they had into the match, but after Cesaro utilized the Cesaro Swing on Sheamus, Sheamus would surprise Cesaro with a small package, quickly scoring the three to pick up the win and successfully retain the United States Title.
As Goldust & Cody Rhodes continue to struggle to pick up tag team victories as of late, the brothers would look to get back on track as Goldust & Cody Rhodes would face RybAxel in tag team action. Despite their best efforts, Goldust & Cody Rhodes would end up falling to RybAxel as Cody Rhodes tries to hit the Disaster Kick on Ryback, but Ryback catches Cody and hits the Shell Shocked, pinning Cody to pick up the win for RybAxel. After the match, Goldust tries to console his brother, but Cody Rhodes refuses his older brother’s help, getting to his feet and grabbing a microphone. Cody then tells his brother that Goldust deserves a better tag team partner than him before a disappointed Cody Rhodes walks off, leaving his brother in the ring.
In a match born from each competitor’s pride for their country, “The Bulgarian Brute” Rusev, with Lana in his corner, would collide with Big E at Payback. During the match, Rusev would try to collect himself on the ring apron, but Big E would charge at Rusev, putting his body on the line by delivering a Spear to Rusev to the arena floor! However, one big kick to the face of Big E would turn the tides of the match and Rusev would lock Big E in the Accolade and Big E would try his best to hang on, but would have no choice but to tap out to the Accolade.
In his first one-on-one match on pay-per-view, the self-proclaimed “inspirational” Bo Dallas would go one-on-one with Kofi Kingston at Payback. However, that plan would quickly change with the unexpected arrival of “The Devil’s Favorite Demon” Kane. While Bo Dallas would make a timely retreat, Kofi Kingston would stay and fight, but Kane would overwhelm the high-flyer as Kane tosses Kofi around ringside before rolling Kofi into the ring and drilling Kofi with a chokeslam! Kane would then pick Kofi back up, spiking Kingston with the Tombstone Piledriver as Bo Dallas looks on in horror from ringside. Kane then exits the ring as Bo Dallas comes back into the ring, telling Kofi that he will be back on his feet in no time and he will be better than ever and all he has to do is “bo-lieve”.
The Intercontinental Championship was up for grabs at Payback as Bad News Barrett would defend the Intercontinental Title against the six-time former Intercontinental Champion Rob Van Dam. During the match, Bad News Barrett would go for the Bull Hammer Elbow on the outside, but RVD would move out of the way and Barrett would smash his forearm into the steel ring post. Despite the pain shooting through his arm, Barrett would still manage to hit the Bull Hammer Elbow, pinning RVD to successfully retain the Intercontinental Title.
Then it was decision time for Daniel Bryan as, per the orders of WWE Principal Owner Stephanie McMahon, Daniel Bryan would either surrender the WWE World Heavyweight Championship or Stephanie would fire Bryan’s wife, Brie Bella. WWE Principal Owner Stephanie McMahon comes out first, saying that tonight is a “historic night”, reminding everyone of the choice that Daniel Bryan would have to make. Stephanie then brings out WWE World Heavyweight Champion Daniel Bryan, who brings Brie Bella along with him to the ring. Stephanie tells the champion that, if the two of them have “weird, bearded babies” one day, will he tell them if he did the right thing or if he would be “selfish”. The champion tells Stephanie that he is going to give her the opportunity to prove to the fans that she can do the “right thing” and he hopes that Stephanie’s children are watching so that they can see their mom for what she truly is, with Brie Bella doing the honors of calling Stephanie a “bitch”! Stephanie says that the only mistake that Brie made was making a “poor choice” in a husband before Brie tells Daniel Bryan that he knows what he has to do. Daniel Bryan starts to hand over the title, but Brie Bella gets in Stephanie’s face, saying that she refuses to be a “victim”. Brie then takes the joy of getting to fire her away from Stephanie as Brie screams in Stephanie’s face that she quits! Brie then slaps Stephanie across the face, leaving the Principal Owner in a state of shock before running to the back, humiliated by Daniel Bryan and Brie Bella.
In the culmination of a rivalry that has been on-going through most of 2014, John Cena would be looking to put a stop to Bray Wyatt and The Wyatt Family as Payback would see Cena and Bray, with Luke Harper & Erick Rowan in his corner, square off in a Last Man Standing Match, where the only way to win is to beat your opponent to the point where they cannot answer the referee’s ten-count. Before the match begins, The Wyatt Family would get on the ring apron with their sights set on beating John Cena down before the match could even begin, but, luckily for John Cena, his backup was prepared for such a situation as WWE Tag Team Champions The Usos rush out to stand guard against Luke Harper & Erick Rowan in Cena’s corner. Throughout the early stages of the match, Bray Wyatt would dominate John Cena in the ring, but Cena would fight back and would go for the Attitude Adjustment on Bray Wyatt. However, Bray would counter, slamming Cena down hard, but Cena would make it back to his feet and Cena would go for the Sister Abigail. Cena would manage to fight out of the Sister Abigail, but Bray Wyatt would knock Cena down again and the fight would find its way to the ring apron, where Bray slams Cena face-first into the ring apron. Cena would use the ropes to get to his feet at the count of eight and Bray Wyatt would get right back on the attack, perching Cena up on the top rope, but this is when Cena would get his first big move of the match as Cena shoves Bray off of the top rope before hitting his signature leg drop on Bray.
Both men would barely make it to their feet and Bray would catch Cena out of nowhere with the Sister Abigail and Cena would just barely beat the count, getting to his feet and quickly hitting the Attitude Adjustment on Bray Wyatt! Bray would manage to beat the count and an attempt at interference from Erick Rowan would spark a brawl between The Usos and Luke Harper & Erick Rowan that ends with one of The Usos taking out both Harper & Rowan. The action on the outside would take Cena’s attention away from Bray Wyatt, allowing Bray to grab a steel chair from the outside of the ring. Bray would jab Cena in the mid-section with the steel chair, following it up with two stiff shots to the back. Cena then falls to the outside of the ring, using the ring post to get to his feet before getting his hands on the chair, blasting Bray with a shot to the back that sends Bray back into the ring. Cena follows Bray into the ring, delivering a second chair shot to the back of Bray Wyatt. Realizing that a couple of chair shots would not keep Bray Wyatt down for the count, John Cena would bring a table into the ring, setting the table up as Bray gets to his feet. Cena then attempts to put Bray through the table with the Attitude Adjustment, but Bray Wyatt fights out, lifting Cena above his head and putting him through the table!
Again making it to his feet just shy of the ten-count, John Cena stays in the match, but Bray Wyatt brings the steel steps into the ring, using the heavy steps to blast Cena in the face! Cena struggles to get to his feet at the count of seven and Bray stomps Cena’s head into the steel steps. Bray then tries to compress Cena’s head with a steel chair, but Cena moves out of the way, grabbing a steel chair, using it to jab Bray in the mid-section before blasting Bray in the face with the steps. Bray then rolls to the outside and Cena lifts the steps up, hurling the heavy steel steps at Bray Wyatt as the steel smashes into Bray’s skull! Somehow, Bray would beat the count and Cena would try to launch himself at Bray, but Bray would catch Cena with the Sister Abigail on the outside. Bray then follows this up with a backdrop on the steel steps and a senton onto the prone body of John Cena. Cena still makes it back to his feet and Bray Wyatt would continue the assault, but Cena would pop up out of nowhere, hitting the Attitude Adjustment on the arena floor. With Bray Wyatt down on the outside and John Cena up in the ring, Luke Harper & Erick Rowan would return to the scene, knocking Cena down before helping Bray Wyatt to his feet. Harper & Rowan then set up a table on the outside, but The Usos would run back out and, while one of The Usos manages to take out Erick Rowan, the other Uso would catch a face full of table courtesy of Luke Harper. With two tables set up on the outside, Erick Rowan would try to set up a third, but one of The Usos would fight back, sending himself and Rowan through a table! Meanwhile, Luke Harper perches the other Uso on the top rope as Harper delivers a superplex to the outside through two tables, taking out the remaining Uso at the sacrifice of his own body!
With the match back down to one-on-one between John Cena and Bray Wyatt, Bray Wyatt would launch himself at John Cena on the outside, sending both men through the ringside barricade! Somehow, both men managed to get back to their feet as Cena and Bray would fight through the crowd before Bray tosses Cena into the technical area, igniting the stage pyro. Cena then grabs Bray Wyatt, delivering the Attitude Adjustment through an anvil case near the stage, tipping another, bigger anvil case on top of the broken case, preventing Bray Wyatt from being able to stand up before the count of ten as, with some help from The Usos, would survive The Wyatt Family as the last man standing.
The Divas Title was also on the line at Payback as Paige would defend the Divas Title against the unpredictable Alicia Fox. In the end, it was Paige locking in the PTO, forcing Alicia Fox to tap out to pick up the win and successfully retain the Divas Title. After the match, Alicia Fox would run from the ring, crying hysterically.
Then it was time for an explosive main event that would be sure to establish just who is the dominant faction in WWE as The Shield, Dean Ambrose, Seth Rollins, & Roman Reigns, would collide with Evolution, Triple H, Batista, & Randy Orton, in a No Holds Barred Elimination Match where there would be no disqualifications and no count-outs with the match ending only after all three members of the opposing team being eliminated. The lawless match would quickly get out of control as The Shield and Evolution would single one of their adversaries out as both teams brawl throughout the arena before the match returns to the ring and some semblance of order is restored for the time being. Later on in the match, the match would break down again after Randy Orton breaks up a pinfall attempt by Roman Reigns as Triple H would single out Seth Rollins and Randy Orton would single out Dean Ambrose on the outside. As their respective teammates fight through the crowd, Batista and Roman Reigns would battle on the outside and Reigns would expose the Spanish announce table before Triple H & Randy Orton come to Batista’s aid, isolating Roman Reigns before Evolution uses The Shield’s three-man powerbomb to put Roman Reigns through the Spanish announce table! Evolution would then stand over the broken body of Roman Reigns before Dean Ambrose & Seth Rollins get back into the fight, taking Evolution out on the outside. With Roman Reigns still out of commission, Evolution had the advantage over Dean Ambrose & Seth Rollins and on the staging area, Triple H would hit the back of Seth Rollins with a steel chair before dropping Dean Ambrose on another chair. Triple H then hits the Pedigree on Seth Rollins on a steel chair before Evolution spots Roman Reigns coming back into the ring.
Triple H, Batista, & Randy Orton would then methodically pick Roman Reigns apart, ripping off the vest of Roman Reigns before setting up the steel steps in the center of the ring. Triple H then puts Roman Reigns on the steel steps as all three members of Evolution take turns ravaging Reigns with kendo stick shots. Randy Orton then grabs a steel chair, but Roman Reigns manages to launch himself at Orton, taking Orton down with the Superman Punch. However, Triple H would quickly stop the comeback with a kendo stick shot. Back on the outside, Triple H would repeatedly strike the back of Reigns with the steel chair as Reigns tries to climb towards his teammates on the stage. Dean Ambrose then tries his hand at combatting Evolution, but the numbers would quickly overwhelm Ambrose as Evolution sets Ambrose up on a set piece before Randy Orton plants Ambrose with a DDT on the concrete floor! In a risky and desperate move, Seth Rollins would dive off the top of the Payback set, taking out all three members of Evolution! Rollins would then crawl his way back to the ring, followed closely by Evolution. Batista and Seth Rollins would make it back to the ring first and, just when it looked like Batista was going to eliminate Seth Rollins, Roman Reigns comes out of nowhere with the Spear to Batista, allowing Rollins to eliminate Batista from the match!
The Shield would then isolate Randy Orton as Dean Ambrose hits the Dirty Deeds on Orton on a steel chair, pinning Orton to eliminate Orton from the match, leaving only Triple H left for Evolution! Triple H would use a low blow to set Dean Ambrose up for the Pedigree, but Roman Reigns would strike with the Superman Punch. However, the eliminated Batista would blast Reigns with the Spear before heading to the back. Randy Orton then slides a sledgehammer in to Triple H before he is escorted from ringside and the COO would blast Dean Ambrose in the face with the sledgehammer, but when Triple H sizes Roman Reigns up for a sledgehammer shot, Seth Rollins catches Triple H with a knee to the face, which Reigns follows up with the Spear as Reigns pins Triple H to win the match for The Shield in a clean sweep of Evolution!
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