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Written By: Mark Armstrong
Running Time: 186 Minutes
Number Of Discs: 1
Studio: Fremantle Home Entertainment
Released: August 18 2014
Payback 2014 compensates for the lack of a World Title match, due to the injuries suffered by WWE Champion Daniel Bryan, with a memorable double main event and some gems further down the card.
The opener, between Sheamus and Cesaro, is a hard-hitting battle, with the highlight perhaps coming pre-match from Paul Heyman as he shuts down the “CM Punk!” chants within the Chicago crowd. RybAxel vs. Cody Rhodes and Goldust at least serves a purpose, although most expected that to be a Cody heel turn as opposed to his eventual transformation into Stardust. Rusev vs. Big E is better than expected with the two big men putting on a very good, if brief, brawl; conversely, Kofi Kingston is demolished by Kane before his impromptu match with Bo Dallas ever gets started.
Bad News Barrett vs. Rob Van Dam is watchable but nothing spectacular; however, the Last Man Standing battle between John Cena and Bray Wyatt is packed with big spots, some involving interfering parties The Usos and other Wyatt Family members Luke Harper and Erick Rowan, making this one of the better matches of the year in WWE. In between those two matches comes a segment involving Stephanie McMahon, Daniel Bryan and Brie Bella, which ultimately ends in McMahon getting slapped by Brie (sorry to spoil it, but it’s better than wasting nearly 15 minutes watching it again). Paige vs. Alicia Fox is a step-up from Paige’s previous PPV clash with Tamina Snuka, and the show ends with a strong, at times violent, No Holds Barred war between The Shield and Evolution (check out Batista’s blue gear, which led to #Bluetista trending on Twitter), which puts the Hound Of Justice over in great fashion. Who could have expected the faction to disintegrate just 24 hours later?
Considering that this event had the potential to be insignificant, it ends up being a pretty good show, and makes for a fun wrestling DVD (which includes the Hair vs. Mask pre-showe bout between Hornswoggle and El Torito, and also includes the new WWE logo on the box art). If nothing else, you can check out The Shield’s swansong, as well as a memorable brawl between Cena and Wyatt.
Overall Rating: 7/10 – Respectable