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411’s Instant Access 06.16.13: WWE Payback 2013

June 16, 2013 | Posted by Michael Benjamin

What’s up, guys? I’m Michael Benjamin and this is 411’s Instant Access: WWE Payback 2013. Instant Access is the companion piece to 411 Live Pay-Per-View Coverage and features immediate reaction to wrestling pay-per-views. The focus in Instant Access is on first thoughts and initial reactions instead of play-by-play with the goal of providing you with instant access to one writer’s thoughts on the show. Here’s the team for Payback:

Michael Benjamin, author of 411’s WWE Main Event Report and 411’s WWE Smackdown Report.

Alright, enough with the explanations. Let’s get to the wrestling.

Triple Threat Match for the Intercontinental Championship
Wade Barrett (Champion) vs. The Miz vs. Curtis Axel
Wade Barrett vs. The Miz vs. Curtis Axel photo Wade_Barrett_vs_The_Miz_vs_Curtis_Axel_Cropped_zpsf955a66d.jpg

Match Result: Curtis Axel via pinfall
Match Length: 8:40
Match Analysis: The match itself was fun enough and probably the best choice for an opener. The crowd was HOT for Axel and Miz. Nobody seemed to give a shit about Barrett. The whole outing was jam packed with near falls and false finishes. The biggest problem I had with the match is that I struggle to take Miz seriously. It’s really hard for me to get lost in the action when he’s beating two people up at once. I can’t get into him as a face and I consider myself extremely optimistic when it comes to this type of stuff. The whole match seemed a little too choreographed for my liking as well. Besides those quibbles, it was nonstop action and the right man went over. As I expected, Axel got the pin in the cheapest way possible which just furthers his cheap heel character even more. Miz had Barrett in the Figure four and Axel pinned Barrett while he was in the hold. Not every heel needs to be a world beater.
Match Rating: **3/4

Divas Championship Match
Kaitlyn (Champion) vs. AJ Lee
Kaitlyn vs. AJ Lee photo Kaitlyn_vs_AJ_Lee_Cropped_zps69c0c26f.jpg

Match Result: AJ Lee via submission
Match Length: 9:58
Match Analysis: Has anybody else noticed that the synth in Kaitlyn and Big E’s intro are almost identical? The crowd is firmly behind AJ here. All of Kaitlyn’s punches were pulled too early and looked extremely fake. Luckily AJ can bump and sell like crazy. AJ managed to make Kaitlyn’s rather weak offense look respectable. I don’t want to keep putting AJ over and seem biased but her offense is extremely crisp. I’d argue that she’s one of the best female wrestlers in the United States. From where I’m sitting, AJ carried Kaitlyn to an awesome match. This was one of the best Divas matches in recent WWE history.
Match Rating: ***

United States Championship Match
Dean Ambrose (Champion) vs. KaneDean Ambrose vs. Kane photo Dean_Ambrose_vs_Kane_Cropped_zpsf517c8b1.jpg

Match Result: Dean Ambrose via count out
Match Length: 8:00
Match Analysis: I found this match to be quite boring and plodding. It was no fault of Ambrose’s. Kane is better suited for tag team competition at this stage of his career. I’d like to see Ambrose go over Kane clean in the following weeks.
Match Rating: **1/4

World Heavyweight Championship Match
Dolph Ziggler (Champion) vs. Alberto Del Rio w/ Ricardo RodriguezDolph Ziggler vs. Alberto Del Rio photo Dolph_Ziggler_vs_Alberto_Del_Rio_Cropped_zps8281d73d.jpg

Match Result: Alberto Del Rio via pinfall
Match Length: 12:00
Match Analysis: The crowd was CRAZY for Ziggler and booed the fuck out of ADR. Even better was the announcers actually siding with the crowd instead of ignoring them like usual. These guys gave it everything they had in an amazing back and forth match. King calls ADR’s tactics uncalled for while sympathizing with Dolph? This was interesting to say the least. Sitting on my couch, this looked like a double turn. ADR worked over Ziggler’s head injury while Dolph tried to fight back like a valiant baby face. ADR won the title in what seems to be a heel turn. He’s SO unpopular and not over that this may have been the way to go with it. I’m pretty surprised they’d put the belt on him. Bad booking in my opinion.
Match Rating: ***1/2

Chris Jericho vs. CM PunkChris Jericho vs. CM Punk photo Chris_Jericho_vs_CM_Punk_Cropped_zps000030c6.jpg

Match Result: CM Punk via pinfall
Match Length: 19:00
Match Analysis: CM Punk won this great match. I’d place it right in the middle of their Mania and Extreme Rules matches. They built it up perfectly and delivered plenty of false finishes to keep the crowd into it. Punk’s new look with the the chops is a little ridiculous though, not that it has anything to do with the match of course. I don’t want to give too much away because I want you guys to check it out. It was a great wrestling match. This was a perfect way for Punk to return and Jericho looked like more of a threat than he has in a long time. They got plenty of time and really delivered the goods. CM Punk needed to use the GTS twice to put Jericho away was a great way to put over Jericho and the match as a whole.
Match Rating: ***3/4

WWE Tag Team Championship Match
The Shield (Champions) vs. Randy Orton & Daniel BryanThe Shield vs. Orton & Bryan photo The_Shield_vs_Orton_and_Bryan_Cropped_zpsa0302f4d.jpg

Match Result: Rollins and Reigns d. Bryan and Orton
Match Length: 13:00
Match Analysis: This was another great match in what seemed to be a theme for the night. It’s nothing that we haven’t seen before on TV but I’m willing to pay for it. Great performances from all involved and another solid title defense from The Shield. Bryan continued his streak of delivering the goods when called upon for a hot tag and Orton more than held his own in there. I honestly wouldn’t mind seeing them team up for awhile longer. This match had all of the near falls and excitement that you’d expect going into it. Will this lead to Orton vs. D-Bry next month? I definitely wouldn’t be opposed to seeing that.
Match Rating: ***1/4

Three Stages of Hell Match for the WWE Championship
John Cena (Champion) vs. RybackJohn Cena vs. Ryback photo John_Cena_vs_Ryback_Cropped_zps6616d1f4.jpg

Match Result: John Cena via FU through the roof of the ambulance.
Match Length: 22:00
Match Analysis: They switched up the first two falls to make us question our predicitions but at the end of the night Cena won like we had all assumed. It was a well booked match that didn’t exactly showcase either man’s in ring talent. The road agent who worked on the match did a great job though. John Cena ended up winning the third fall with an AA through the roof of the ambulance. I was expecting more shenanigans for the victory to keep Ryback looking stronger but this was a pretty definitive win. Moving forward, you have to wonder where Ryback is going to go from here,
Match Rating: ***

Final Thoughts

Match of the Night: CM Punk vs. Chris Jericho

Trash of the Night: Nothing. Payback delivered everywhere that I expected it to. Ambrose/Kane was the least appealing match as far as work rate goes but it was still a solid contest.

Final Analysis: Every match delivered in its own way. This is exactly what you want to see when you spend your hard earned money on a B show.
Verdict: ***1/4

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Michael Benjamin