The 2014 edition of Payback is upon us and the WWE have promised us a good one. 2014 has seen a new surge of Superstars who are climbing the ladder of success. Unfortunately, the ratings aren’t really moving on up and World Wrestling Entertainment will have lost over 50 million dollars, by the years end, due to the shortage of subscribers to the WWE Network. When the ballpark figure of 667,000 subscribers were announced, it didn’t seem too bad considering the network had gone live two months previous. For those of you who are reading this, you will know that there are millions of diehard fans all over the world who would love nothing more than to be able to gain access to some of the most important moments in wrestling history.
Now back to the Pay-Per-View. The pre-show will feature a warm up match between the biggest little men in the WWE. Yes, Rey Mysterio has lost that moniker thanks to the entertaining feud between El Torito and Hornswoggle. At the Extreme Rules pre-show, Torito defeated the rockin’ Leprechaun in the first ever ‘WeeLC Match’ and what a classic it was. Just when we thought the stakes couldn’t get any higher, a Hair vs Mask Match has been signed. What will become of these two after tonight’s match?
The Payback event has three Championship matches advertised. First off, let’s look at what led up to the Intercontinental title match. In the run up to Extreme Rules, a tournament to crown a number one contender to face Big E for the Championship would be determined. In the final of the tournament, Wade Barrett defeated Rob Van Dam and would eventually go on and win. However, this time when a number one contender was to be determined, Rob Van Dam made sure he would be the one to get the shot. ‘Mr Monday Night’ successfully beat the clock when he defeated Alberto Del Rio in four minutes and fifteen seconds, faster than any competitor, challenging for the number one spot. Remember when challengers were challengers due to the feuds they were involved in?
Another match scheduled for tonight’s event will be Rusev’s toughest challenge to date when he meets former Intercontinental Champion Big E. For months now, Rusev has been coming into the arenas and speaking in Bulgarian. His ambassador, the ‘Ravishing Russian’ Lana has recently announced that the ‘Bulgarian Brute’ has pledged his allegiance to the Russian Federation and its leader Vladimir Putin. In response to this, we have seen the stars and stripes been waved in Rusev’s face and we are set to see a classic international incident, which stories have entertained fans for more than fifty years.
Since joining the side of Paul Heyman, Cesaro did not complete his face turn as many of us thought he would. The ‘King of Swing’ certainly has made waves however and is gunning for the new United States Champion, Sheamus. For the last few weeks, Cesaro has been a thorn in the ‘Celtic Warrior’s’ side. This feud is somewhat rushed, but maybe it’s just the beginning. What is for sure, is that Sheamus has brought a little bit more credibility to the US division and both Superstars really need the win for bragging rights.
The Divas Champion, Paige had been undefeated until her return home to the United Kingdom. After making a big splash in her first match on the main WWE roster, she hasn’t met another Diva in the ring more times than Alicia Fox. Just recently, Alicia has fought her way back into title contention and has developed a very aggressive, bordering psychotic attitude. Just ask JBL’s hat. Although Alicia isn’t the largest Diva Paige has been in the ring with, she might just be the most dangerous.
After last month’s Extreme Rules Match with Kane, Daniel Bryan’s condition has gone from bad to worse. Following the leader of the ‘YES Movement’s’ victory, Kane has been gunning for the WWE World Heavyweight Champion. The demon has even resorted to going after Daniel’s wife Brie. Three weeks ago, Bryan announced that he would have to have neck surgery, but assured the ‘Yes Movement’ that he would come back stronger than ever. However, this still didn’t take him out of the danger zone as Kane once again attacked him. It concluded with Daniel being taken to the hospital in an ambulance. Stephanie McMahon tried to comfort Brie, but Bryan’s wife shoved her away and told her to leave them both alone. at RAW in London, Stephanie announced that she wouldn’t be stripping Bryan of the title and would be surrendering it instead, because that’s whats for business right? Last Monday the ‘YES’ man refused to give up the titles, so Stephanie McMahon gave him until tonight to decide whether he will forfeit his WWE World Heavyweight Championship, or allow his wife to get fired. What will he do?
Since January, Bray Wyatt has been sending messages to John Cena. He has made it clear that he wants to end John’s reign as the leader of the WWE and make ‘CeNation’ realise that he is a fraud. Wyatt has intimidated Cena and brought him fear. John used that to his advantage and beat the weirdo Wyatt at WrestleMania. Bray turned it round at Extreme Rules and defeated a more confident John Cena in a cage match. Tonight, the two will meet in a Last Man Standing Match and Wyatt has promised to put an end to Cena and his fraudulent ways. Bray has declared that he was born to be a leader and has even got the WWE Universe singing along to ‘Whole World in his Hands’. Watch out for this one folks, this feud has been gripping.
In what has been an example of the emergence of the new generation (sorry to resurrect that 20 year old slogan), the Shield have been battling the wily and successful veteransEvolution. If you rewind ten years and think back to when Randy Orton was chosen to be the future of the WWE, you probably wouldn’t have imagined him being one of the men who were been called “has-been”. The Shield have been on the main WWE roster for around eighteen months and have become an example of what climbing the ladder of success is all about. Reigns, Ambrose and Rollins have it all. They look the part; they cut a great promo and back it up in the ring. Since Extreme Rules, Evolution have been giving the Shield a taste of their own medicine, especially when Roman Reigns was the recipient of the Shield’s signature move, the triple powerbomb. Evolution are looking for revenge after their loss at Extreme Rules, will they find it?