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Payback 2017 Kickoff Recap & Review

April 30, 2017
(aired live)

City: San Jose, CA
Venue: SAP Center

Panel: Renee Young, Jerry Lawler, Sam Roberts
Social Media Lounge: Carly Caruso
Commentary: Michael Cole, Corey Graves, Booker T
Ring Announcer: Jojo

Brand: RAW
Theme Song: “Born for Greatness” by Papa Roach


Renee Young welcomes everyone to the show and introduces the panel. She immediately wonders what the “House of Horrors” match is, then introduces Charly Caruso in the Social Media Lounge.

The panel also briefly discusses the possibility of losing Jericho to RAW if he beats Kevin Owens for the US Title tonight. Lawler thinks Jericho will find a way to get his revenge tonight. Roberts picks Owens, Lawler picks Jericho.

Sasha Banks joins the panel to talk about Bayley versus Alexa Bliss. Sasha questions Alexa’s credibility since she “runs away from matches.” Roberts asks Banks if she is putting her name next to Bayley to benefit herself. Banks says of course not. Banks and Roberts pick Bayley, Lawler picks Bliss.

Highlights from the rivalry between Seth Rollins and Samoa Joe.

The panel wonders if Rollins can survive against Joe. Young asks where it leaves Joe if he loses tonight. Roberts, Lawler, and Young all pick Rollins to win.

Ring Area
Enzo Amore & Big Cass head to the ring and talk about Chinese food (and poop).


Match 1
Enzo Amore & Big Cass vs Luke Gallows & Karl Anderson
(referee: Rod Zapata)

Show/Hide Results

Result: Enzo Amore pins Luke Gallows with a small package
Time: 5:32 (1 break)

Match Thoughts
I like the match. It was a good warmup for the show, though it wasn’t too far removed from a typical Enzo and Cass match. Gallows and Anderson destroyed Enzo for most of the match, working mainly on his arm. Seeing a game plan emerge from the expected beating was nice. They seemed to tease Cass’s entrance into the match a little more than usual, but of course he made it into the ring and started cleaning house. The last segment of the match was a little different though, and I liked it.


Matt Hardy tells Jeff that their game plan tonight will be the same as usual: win. Golden Truth walks up and reminisces with the Hardys about old times. They tell the Hardys that their return is inspiring. They also tell the Hardys that they’ve gone to Angle and have gotten a match with the winner of tonight’s tag title match. Matt Hardy thinks that’s “tremendous.”

Social Media Lounge
Sheamus and Cesaro join Charly Caruso. Sheamus and Cesaro talk about their strategy: winning. They don’t actually seem to be on the same page when it comes to strategy, or any of the questions they’re asked really. Still, they don’t seem worried about tonight.

Lawler wonders if Sheasaro is taking this match a little too lightly. Lawler and Roberts pick the Hardys, Young picks Sheamus and Cesaro.

Highlights from the Wyatt/Orton feud.

Renee Young explains that the match between Wyatt and Orton will be no holds barred, it will begin in the “house of horrors,” and it will end in the ring by pinfall, submission, or forfeiture. She then skips the predictions because we still don’t even know what the match really is.

Ring Area
The Miz and Maryse head to the ring for Miz TV. Miz introduces Finn Balor who heads to the ring. Miz immediately complains about Finn’s “five minute” entrance. Miz wonders if he and Maryse could get into the Balor Club. The crowd says “nope.”

Miz begins to talk about the promise that Finn Balor used to have when he first came to WWE. He asks if Balor feels like a failure after the year he had. Balor points out that he won the Universal Title after being injured in the match. Miz says that the injury makes him a failure. He then asks Balor “what’s next?” Balor says he’s going to get his title back.

Miz points out that Brock Lesnar currently has the title, but Finn has faced bigger men his entire career. Balor then offers for Miz to join the “Finn Balor just kicked my ass” club. Miz puts Maryse between himself and Balor. Balor says every Miz TV ends the same way, with Miz getting beat up. Finn won’t do that though. Miz isn’t worth it. Miz basically says he is worth it, so Balor obliges and beats him up.

The panel briefly discusses Reigns versus Strowman. They all seem convinced that Strowman can’t be stopped.


Show Impressions
This was a pretty average kickoff show. We got about exactly what we could expect. I’m glad if they’re going to do Miz TV it’s on the pre-show and not the actual show.

Match of the Show
Enzo & Cass vs Gallows & Anderson
Default, but it’s a fine match.

>> View the Recap & Review for the Kickoff PPV



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