WWE continued their recent run of crowd pleasing pay per views with last nights Payback. In fact since Wrestlemania the company has managed to put out decent bookings. Let’s look at three observations from the show.
1. The WWE need to be more respectful of their legacy
Even though it was on the warm-up show, the first tag match between The ascension and the spoof Mega-Powers is hard to defend. The crowd can just about put up with the boring Legion Of Doom rip off Ascension, but putting them in a match with Axelmania and Macho Mizdow, was taking the joke too far. Randy Savage and Hulk Hogan were too icons of the business and in popular culture. They are two of the building blocks to the foundations of the whole WWE and should not be mocked in this way. By all means use some of their moves as CM Punk did with the elbow drop, but don’t come out as some sort of weird homage to them. Sandow is a talented performer, like many on the mid-card and he needs a gimmick of his own. Axel and the horrible Axelmania should have been buried at Wrestlemania. The Ascension are just as bad. At least make them different colours from red and black. The legion of Doom were one of a golden era of tag teams along with the Harts, Nasty Boys, Money Inc. and more. Why we need the Ascension, with zero charisma and mike skills in their current guise is beyond me. What thy need to do is rethink their angle and have them feud with someone important. The fragile tag team division is only just recovering due to the excellent work of Cesaro and Kidd and the New Day. They don’t need the Ascension ruining it, with their dull power moves.
2. John Cena should turn heel.
With the heat Cena generates in the arena he should turn full heel. The match with Rusev was brutal , imaginative and well carried by both. Despite thinking this would be the worst on the card, the crowd hit the awesome chants as both superstars came up with more and more ways to injure the other. Cena showed a particular mean streak, that shows the potential in a heel run. The money men and merchandise sales would suffer, but Cena is at a difficult point in his career. Being the figurehead of the PG era, his unpopularity among the older fans is zero. The young still adore him, as you could hear in the arena. For a moment I could see Cena taking a swerve, battering Rusev repeatedly with a laptop, the brutality was enough. If he took a turn, Cena could be one of the best heels around. It would put him back in the main event picture, where his performance level is at and cement his legacy. The rest have all done heel turns, so it may be time for Cena to follow suit. I wouldn’t see him as part of the authority, more a wrecking ball in the mould of a Lesnar. He would be around more often and they could even team up. The time for Cena in his current guise is over and a heel turn might save point three.
3. There aren’t enough heels in the Main Event picture.
You have the brilliant Seth Rollins. That’s it. In the fatal 4-way last night, Rollins had to rely on Kane and J+J security to even the odds. While it is fine to have the heel backed up by outside forces, the lack of another proper heel of his quality means they have to do it every time. When Lesnar returns, he will be a force of nature, neither heel or face. Rollins needs some help, last night was a chance for Reigns or Ambrose to switch sides, as both get good heat. As it stands though we are going into elimination chamber in two weeks with Rollins again isolated. Sheamus, isn’t there right now, neither is Barrett or Bray Wyatt. The only decent heel will be a defection from the face side. Cena would be perfect, but I think it should be Reigns. He already gets unfairly booed by large sections of the arena, so why not use it perfectly. Reigns could be a heel champion, or Intercontinental champ, with Rollins as the heavyweight. It would be a throwback to the Austin HHH, two man power trip and a possible Shield reunion. When there was a moment in last night’s match, when the Shield took out Orton, the crowd went ballistic. Lesnar, is universally liked, whether he does heel actions or not. Ever since he decimated Cena at Summerslam last year , the crowd have loved him, Rollins might need Shield 2.0 to take him down.
If only we were on WWE creative team. It will be an interesting two weeks before Elimination chamber. It may be even more violent than Payback was.