Wade Barrett collides with The Miz and Fandango.
By Graham "GSM" Matthews
Solid segment to kick off the show with Intercontinental Champion Wade Barrett and Fandango appearing on Miz TV. Everyone involved played their respective roles well and provided good mic work. It was effective in leading into the subsequent Intercontinental Championship match and giving it some significance. All in all, this was probably the best edition of Miz TV we've seen in quite some time that was successful on all fronts.
Decent match between Intercontinental Champion Wade Barrett and The Miz. Although it was rather brief, they made the most out of the time they were allotted. That being said, the match should have gone much longer than it did given the fact they have had some great matches together in the past. Fandango's interference was logical and helped insert him into the Intercontinental title picture while also making the belt feel somewhat relevant for the first time in ages.
Great match between Daniel Bryan and Jack Swagger. These two had excellent chemistry with one another and put together a nice matchup while it lasted. I'm throughly enjoying Bryan's aggressive antics as of late, as it makes his matches much more engaging in my opinion. I was surprised to see Swagger take the loss here merely due to the fact that he lost at WWE Extreme Rules and on Raw the next night.
Throwaway segment involving Damien Sandow and Sheamus. While I'm usually entertained by Sandow's promos, this was a rare exception. He wasn't given anything good to work with, and adding Sheamus into the mix didn't exactly save the segment. To make matters even worse, The Celtic Warrior once again displayed heel antics by randomly attacking both Sandow and Matt Striker. What was this segment supposed to accomplish anyway?
TNA Champion Bully Ray chugs a beer with AJ Styles.
By Graham "GSM" Matthews
Convoluted opening segment featuring Hulk Hogan, Sting, Brooke Hogan and TNA World Heavyweight Champion Bully Ray. Everyone was involved for a different purpose, so some aspects of the segment were confusing. This didn't do much to get me exciting for the TNA World title match between Bully Ray and Sting at Slammiversary.
Lackluster match with the returning Suicide defeating Petey Williams and Joey Ryan in a Triple Threat to earn a shot at the X-Division Championship. Despite not being around for 2011, the crowd couldn't have cared less for Suicide, which is a shame. The action itself was rather forgettable and not as fast-paced as we're accustomed to seeing from the X-Division. To make matters worse, Kenny King felt like an afterthought on commentary.
Fine match with Magnus defeating Wes Brisco. The set-up was logical and Magnus was above average on the mic here. The match was nothing to write home about, but Magnus picking up the victory was nice to see. Samoa Joe's return didn't feel all that special, but I love the idea of him reuniting with Magnus.
Good match with Mr. Anderson defeating Kurt Angle. We've seen these two face each other countless times before, but they always seem to work well together. Anderson winning was a pleasant surprise, and it was also effective in setting up the segment involving Aces and Eights and AJ Styles later in the night.
By CJ Blaze
This week’s show starts with some singles competition...
Curt Hawkins vs. Sami Zayn
This was Zayn’s debut match on television. It was a decent bout, and Hawkins shockingly had a lot of offense.
Winner: Sami Zayn - by pinfall
Antonio Cesaro vs. Yoshi Tatsu
If you wanted to watch a basic Yoshi squash match, this is what you got. Cesaro won in a minute or less.
Winner: Antonio Cesaro - by pinfall
By CJ Blaze
Part 5 - Holding Gold on the Road to WrestleMania
Daniel Bryan did the unexpected, and cashed in his MITB contract on Big Show at TLC. Show finally beat Mark Henry, but 45 seconds later, his reign was toast. This point in Daniel’s career had success written all over it.
Since Bryan was still a babyface at the time, many wondered what would happen between the Daniel and Big Show. Since none of their matches ended in clean fashion, Teddy Long was forcing Daniel to defend his title against Big Show and Mark Henry in a steel cage triple threat match at the Royal Rumble event. David vs. Goliath vs. Goliath ended in about nine minutes with Daniel Bryan retaining his title. Bryan had officially turned into a heel at this point, and he was getting over quickly with his “YES!” chants.
At Elimination Chamber, Daniel Bryan outlasted Santino Marella, Cody Rhodes, Great Khali, Wade Barrett, and Big Show to retain his title once more. After the match, the 2012 Royal Rumble winner, Sheamus, came out and attacked Bryan, giving us a clear direction for ‘Mania.
By Carson Koschik
After what was a pretty damn good Extreme Rules PPV, WWE is going to have to try once again to avoid the WrestleMania hangover. While the Chicago crowd will definitely be loud and ravenous and usual, it is up to WWE to provide quality matches and story-lines. Although we can certainly get an idea on what the card may look like, it's usually pretty to hard to predict what a PPV card will look like (especially since nothing in WWE is set in stone). Well, I'm going to try to take a crack at it and construct the Payback card using logical thinking and hopeful dreams. Here we go!
Kofi Kingston vs. Cody Rhodes (Pre-Show)
The WWE pre-show is basically 25 minutes of video packages and 5 minutes of a meaningless match. The tradition will continue at Payback, where former United States Champion Kofi Kingston will face Cody Rhodes. Is there any logic behind this match? Nope. Has there been any logic in any other pre-show match? Not really.
The Miz vs. Jack Swagger
Jack Swagger is most definitely out of the World Heavyweight Championship picture for a while, and he is most certainly not facing Alberto Del Rio again. The Miz just came back from filming what I'm sure will be an Oscar-quality film for ABC, and recently cut a promo at Extreme Rules about how he's sick of being in the pre-show. Well, why not pair the two together? Colter and Swagger can target Miz for being a superficial hollywood type ("not a real American"), and the Miz can, you know, defend himself. I wouldn't expect the most intense feud, but it'll give these two guys something to do.
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