Hello BWR readers and welcome to the 2nd review of the week after the Sacrifice Pro one on Monday which I would like you to all view if you would get a free moment! Today we switch it back to familiar surroundings with another WWE DVD/Blu-Ray review and we have this weeks release which is another of the Double Feature sets and this time it is the Payback and Backlash PPV’s on one DVD pitting of course RAW and SmackDown on separate ones so you get a taste of both for the same price as usually one! I do think this is a good move on WWE’s part as not everybody is going to be able to afford every PPV every month on DVD especially considering we now have the Network at our fingertips!
The main reason by the way why this wasn’t released on it’s release date is that I had to start watching it on Monday due to my hectic weekend with two shows so I apologise for that but you get 2 reviews in one so all good!
This review will be shorter than if it’s one DVD as I have to review two PPV’s but the rating system and recommendation will as always remain!
Now to start off with Payback :
We started off with a match that on paper could be a main event on a Pay-Per-View like this and considering the guy who was in this match was the cover star for this event you would think that would be the case but nope, Chris Jericho vs Kevin Owens for the US title started off the show which I do find weird but it could be to get the crowd excited if it’s that match as opposed to Reigns vs Strowman which was the main event! This match was a solid opener I wold say, both men especially Jericho are great characters and this reflected in the stupid idiot chants coming from the crowd! Jericho had to move to SmackDown and bring the US title with him as a result of picking up the surprising victory but if he is going on another hiatus again he will probably drop the title to elevate someone else on that brand so I would say that it would make sense but overall a good opener that got the crowd really going and it really helped that it was two of the best in the WWE that were involved!
Next up we got Cruiserweight action in the form of the Cruiserweight champion Neville and Austin Aries who has since been released. It was a welcome addition to the show to have the cruiserweight having a spot on the card as opposed to relegating them to the pre-show as usual! This was another good match, of course not the best I have seen by either men but they were really hard-hitting and really pushing themselves to the limit which is something I like to see and like the previous match it definately helped that it was two quality talents gracing the ring as I think since the Cruiserweight matches came back that they have been fairly average but this showed otherwise and I hope to see more of the Cruiserweights on future RAW PPV’s!
Next up we got tag team action between the Hardy Boys and Cesaro and Sheamus, this was another good match, well of course it was looking at the talent involved! I have said it time and time again that I am so happy to see Matt and Jeff back in the WWE after years of speculation as to their return and I think if we can finally get the Broken gimmick in the WWE that they will really hit new heights but that is for another day. As expected Matt and Jeff did retain with Jeff’s signature Swanton Bomb on Sheamus but we got an entertaining after match as well with the two teams shaking hands and then Cesaro and Sheamus attacking them which could lead to a good feud between the teams in the future with C&S likely to get the titles at some point in the future but being big fans of Cesaro and Sheamus I am glad that they have returned to their heel ways!
Next up we had the women’s action for the Pay-Per-View between the ‘hometown hero’ Bayley and Alexa Bliss for the RAW Women’s title and weirdly this was another very good match, reason it is weird is that WWE’s PPV’s usually have good and bad and it interchanges but so far the PPV has been all good which will probably change by the end but still this match was very good as well. I am a big fan of Alexa and am glad she won the RAW Women’s title and with seemingly a feud with Sasha on the way for Bayley it made sense for her to drop it at some point and I think Alexa will make good use of this run and hopefully shine with the belt. This match was very entertaining overall and one of the best so far of the show and like I always say after years of WWE booking women’s matches wrongly they have knocked it out of the park since the Revolution started!
Next up we had the House of Horrors match and I tell you what it was horrific and that isn’t a good thing, it was a match between Randy Orton and Bray Wyatt inside a haunted house kind of setting with items such as a fridge which was tipped onto Randy which prompted him to leave. Having not seen Payback before I was sitting there with my head in my hands just thinking after such a good start they had to ruin it!
We went back to normality for a time with Seth Rollins taking on Samoa Joe, this match was alright. The knee injury that Seth had kind of didn’t help proceedings and really drove the match and what it was about but despite this supposed injury Seth countered a coquina clutch into a pin for the win which just shows that despite his injury he can still beat him and this ends Joe’s undefeated streak in the WWE I believe and should really kick start the feud even further from here so I have no complaints about this one it just wasn’t amazing!
Next up we had the second half to the House of Horrors match which had Bray doing his usual entrance then when the lights came back on Orton was there. Bray had help from the Singh Brothers who apart from in CWC I have never seen before in a WWE ring but Orton fought them off showing he isn’t going to lose his title that easily. Orton got an RKO but ‘The Modern Day Maharaja’ Jinder Mahal snuck into the ring and hit him with the WWE belt and with this being a NO-DQ match it was legal and Bray then hit sister abigail to win the WWE title. Pretty poor match that has ruined a good event so far I would say!
Finally we got Braun Strowman vs Roman Reigns in the main event and despite me not being a huge Reigns fan this was a great end to the show! This was underlined by him chokeslamming Reigns into the Broadcast table and also there being near falls including one with Reigns’ finisher the Spear. Despite it not being too long even less than the Joe vs Rollins match it was a real brawl between two men who despite not getting the best reaction from the fans deliver whenever they are in the ring! Reigns got two superman punches but Strowman came back with a lifting arm triangle choke and 2 running powerslams for the win which shows his dominance and he underlined this with a post match beatdown and if this leads to a match with Lesnar fine by me as they are really doing well with Strowman and decimating Reigns especially at the end definately help his cause!
Now onto Backlash 2017 ……
First up was Nakamura vs Dolph Ziggler, this was a very good match which is no surprise as both men are brilliant and especially in the case of Dolph is very underrated. Like the previous PPV it was very weird that a match that could of main evented the card and as with a lot of Dolph’s matches recently there was a lot of nearfalls that could of easily of got him the win but he came up short in the end falling to the Kinshasa knee strike after Nakamura hit an exploder suplex and as expected he picked up the win following this via Pinfall to keep up the momentum and get the crowd really going with a great opener with the superb reaction to the Kinshasa showing this and like I say this match was one worth watching!
Next up we had Breezango vs The Usos, this on paper to me was a dud match and one that I thought if anything I would skip, it was nearly that but there was good comedy aspects as well as some good wrestling in this one so the best of both worlds really. This was in effect the last match before the Usos would embark on a feud with the New Day when they came over which would spawn the video that went viral of the rap battle including some choice words which you can find for yourself but enough about that, this was a decent match and like I say had a bit of both which I like and so I wouldn’t skip this one even though like I say on paper it would seem skip able.
Next up we had Baron Corbin vs Sami Zayn, on paper I would say this would be the match that would steal the show if you want to go down that route and it wasn’t that but it was very close and was still a very good match with Zayn coming out on top which is a surprise considering the fact that Corbin is booked a lot like Strowman in the way that he is the big guy that always comes out on top but this match embodied Sami Zayn as he came from looking like he was going to lose to winning the match which is a massive surprise considering the way he has been booked recently but hopefully this is seen as an upward curve for Zayn and the fans can hopefully get behind him ahead of maybe a future title opportunity, I know that might seem a bit far fetched at this point but I like Zayn so I would like it to happen while with Corbin he will probably go from here and win a big match like the Money in the Bank considering it is usually a winner who comes from nowhere and is not expected so this match was more to get Zayn back over I would say!
Next up we had Womens’ Tag Team action with Naomi, Charlotte & Becky Lynch taking on Natalya, Tamina and Carmella. This match was nothing special, to be honest womens’ matches in WWE aren’t as good when it is tag format that leads itself to only going about 5 minutes it is a stark contrast to the great match between Bayley and Alexa on the previous PPV/disc but it wasn’t terrible by any means and also it develops future title opportunities for the division such as with this match Natalya got the win with a Sharpshooter which led to Becky tapping for the win. This will probably lead to Natalya getting a future title shot so I was surprised that she made Becky tap as if this is what they are planning it would of made sense for Naomi to tap to make Natalya seem like a genuine threat but we will see what happens on that front. Overall like I say not amazing but not terrible, just quite average!
Next up was AJ Styles vs Kevin Owens with this match taking place after Kevin lost the title but in between time he beat Jericho to win it back so this was a bit weird but none the less this was the star of the show in many ways which is why Baron vs Sami wasn’t the best match on the card. It helped though to have 2 of the best performers in the ring in the WWE today wrestling each other and we know due to the finish which was when Styles was tied to the announce table with cables for a countout that there is going to be another match at least in the feud which is brilliant and eventually I think Styles will beat Owens for the title and add another WWE title to his ever growing resume!
Next up was the sub main event between Luke Harper and Erick Rowan, this was like a lot of matches on the card it was bang average and there was no real reason for the match to be there as such. I have never been a big fan of either man and don’t think they will be in the title picture anytime soon and they were better off being behind Bray Wyatt, not to say they are not talented but unless they are properly pushed or repackaged they are just going to have throwaway matches like this! Harper ended up winning with a discus clothesline in about 8 minutes so quite short as well!
Finally we get the main event between Randy Orton defending his WWE championship against ‘The Modern Day Maharaja’ Jinder Mahal who surprisingly despite being released only about a year ago is in the title picture. I used to be a big fan of Jinder and his gimmick but that was before he got lumbered with the whole 3MB stable which kind of killed both him and Drew McIntyre but I am glad that both are back in the WWE after a while on the Independent Circuit. This was surprisingly in my opinion a very good match between these two and it helped that the crowd were very much into it as well. If you didn’t know already Jinder ended up winning to claim the WWE title in a massive shock considering his status as being at most a midcarder to some but hopefully if he is given a longish reign Jinder might finally get permanent status in the main event picture and it is a win like this that could make him a star. He didn’t win the match on his own and had help from the Singh Brothers who distracted Orton which led to them being taken out by Jinder taking advantage hitting The Khallas for the win and afterwards the stunned fans in the crowd really painted a picture of how surprising this was!
Overall Rating –
Payback – 8/10 – This show was very good and most if not all the matches despite not being 5 stars were good watches and it really elevated the likes of Alexa Bliss and Braun Strowman so definitely worth a watch
Backlash 6/10 – Some good and some bad with this one in comparison. Styles vs Owens was brilliant and Jinder winning the title was surprising but also great for WWE to give the title to someone different for a change but everything else was bang average with some of it very much skipable but you have to take into account that for only £14.99 you get two PPV’s so I can’t give it a worse rating really as it is good value!
This DVD is out now from wwedvd.co.uk and participating retailers from the price of £14.99
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