A British Point of View: A New Direction

Martyn Nolan

WWE PaybackThis past Sunday was WWE Payback where in all honesty I believed it was going to be a good show but it also managed to throw in a few surprises and make the event memorable, which is always a good thing. Many things have taken place over this past Sunday and Monday which has now given WWE some clearer direction for this Summer and hopefully it’s a ride we will enjoy going in to the fall.

CM Punk returned, and defeated Chris Jericho which I fully expected to go the other way with a Heyman turn (which ultimately played out on RAW instead.) The match was fine but I didn’t get in to it the same way I have done in their previous encounters. A few early spots looked a little messy but I’m really splitting hairs on what was a great match.

Curtis Axel had one of the more brilliant finishes to a match in recent memory when he captured the Intercontinental Championship for the first time in a moment that felt special and smart. I must give credit to WWE for putting over the fact that Axel had won the title that his Father had previously held and helped to make so special and prestigious. Something that is obviously lacking these days and hopefully something that Curtis Axel will help to resolve in the future.

Dolph Ziggler losing the World Heavyweight Championship in a double turn situation was totally unexpected and the kicks that Del Rio delivered looked perfectly sinister in every sense. Del Rio’s facial expressions were spot on and his promo later in the show solidified his turn. At first I was a little disappointed with Ziggler dropping the title. However, in the long run I think this was the right thing to do. Del Rio has been treading water as a face and Ziggler’s face reactions eventually had to come to fruition.

Money in the Bank is next and I can see Ziggler winning the briefcase and possibly cashing in again on the same evening. One thing is for certain. WWE will not have two briefcase holders walking around for months. One always cashes in fairly soon or straight away and this could be a good possibility. Maybe WWE will think further long term and give Ziggler a chase situation up until SummerSlam where he will regain the Championship as a face. Only time will tell but I’m looking forward to seeing how this will play out with AJ Lee and Big E. Langston in future.

John Cena and Ryback had the match we all expected and all accepted. Nothing was particularly wrong with it but nothing was particularly great either. One thing that did grate me was the amount of times Cena seemingly shouted “THE CHAMP IS HERE!” on RAW, but more on that later. One comical moment I must mention is during the first fall when Cena did his big splash to the outside, did anyone noticed Sin Cara’s movements? If you get chance to watch it back you will notice that when all the lumberjacks fall over from Cena’s splash to the outside, the last man standing is Sin Cara who didn’t react to the move at all. Quickly he realises he should be on the floor and decides to collapse in a way that only Luis Suarez would be proud of!

AJ Lee and Kaitlyn had a fairly decent match that had a good build and story going in to it. AJ is one of the more talented Divas WWE have had in a long time and it seems a shame that all the classic matches she could have with the roster of the past is no longer existent as the current roster is extremely weak.

RVD’s announcement for Money in the Bank was extremely smart and if RVD takes time to get in a good shape and work a light schedule then he could be used wisely to help elevate some of the younger talent. The match and location setting couldn’t be better and a few good spots should see a very successful return for Mr. Monday Night.

On to RAW and we got the segment with Cena saying that he is completely prepared and ready for his next opponent, that was until Mark Henry suckered him in for the World’s Strongest Slam! I loved how Mark Henry managed to stay in the ring long enough and produced just enough tears to actually give people some doubt whether this was a work or not. I would love to see Henry get his hands on the Championship that has eluded his career but sadly I don’t see it happening just yet. Here is hoping I’m wrong and we get a decent feud out of the two.

Christian finally made his most welcome in-ring return this past Monday and looks the same as ever. Another good face addition to the roster and someone who can instantly be inserted in to the Money in the Bank programme should they decide too.

Daniel Bryan and Randy Orton seems to be continuing for the time being and it now seems that the way the match ended on RAW between the two was completely done on the fly as WrestleZone reported due to Bryan’s injury being legitimate. Bryan is currently riding a giant wave and if they managed to turn Orton heel in this rivalry then I think we could be on to a programme which could go through the summer. Orton needs a character change but there is no denying that both men complement each other in the ring.

I have no idea what WWE are doing with the Triple H, Vince and Stephanie McMahon storyline. The constant back and forth between the trio just doesn’t seem to have an end game or purpose. Then again not many things have to make sense to appear on television these days but let’s just hope that WWE have some sort of long term plans for this storyline.

Brock Lesnar returned and delivered the F5 to CM Punk. Reality tells us that we really shouldn’t believe in this story as Brock Lesnar looks like he will tear Punk apart at any point but I am very interested in seeing one of the few original matchup’s in WWE that hasn’t yet taken place. Paul Heyman will be gold probably playing off the ‘You left me and embarrassed me in the ring’ angle and Brock Lesnar is basically the hired hitman for Punk disrespecting Paul.

This rivalry is a great way to bring Punk slowly back in to the fold as the face and hopefully we will see Punk take a rivalling spot to Cena within the top face spot.

Did you enjoy the two shows? Do you think the roster is starting to balance nicely with regards to face and heels now? Let me know your thoughts on Twitter @BeansOnToastUK or email me at beansontoastuk@msn.com.

WWE Money in the Bank

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