Trav’s 2023 Payback Premium Live Event Review

Trav’s 2023 Payback Premium Live Event Review

There were plenty of news before the Payback Premium Live Event even took place. The news of CM Punk being fired from AEW after the incident with Jack Perry last weekend. There has already been speculation regarding the future of CM Punk afterwards. There was a total of four championship matches at Payback. Seth “Freakin” Rollins defended his World Heavyweight Championship against Shinsuke Nakamura. Rhea Ripley defended her Women’s Championship against Raquel Rodriguez. Kevin Owens & Sami Zayn put up their Unified Tag Titles against Finn Balor & Damian Priest of Judgement Day. Lastly, the Hall-of-Famer Rey Mysterio defended his United States Championship against former champion Austin Theory. We also had the final encounter between Becky Lynch and Trish Stratus, and it was inside a steel cage. The rising star L.A. Knight battled the Miz. Let’s see how the Payback Premium Live Event turned out.

Trav’s 2023 Payback Premium Live Event Review

Payback kicked off with the Steel Cage match between Trish Stratus and Becky Lynch. We all know this feud started months ago when Stratus attacked Lynch. As far as the match itself, this was an amazing one between these two. Trish looked like she turned back the clock to the mid-2000s. Stratus hit the Twist of Fate like Lita and the Widow’s Peak ala Victoria. Lynch is just amazing in the ring, but we got a distraction from Zoey Stark. They used the cage and even fought on top of the cage. Zoey Stark got involved and almost helped Trish win the match. Becky Lynch rebounded and laid out Stark with the Manhandle Slam. Lynch hit the Manhandle Slam on Trish from the top rope for the win. Winner: Becky Lynch

Match Rating: 4/5– After the match, Stark helped Stratus up and she was mad at Stark. Stratus slapped Stark and told her to leave the ring. Stark slammed the door and eventually hit the Z360 to lay out Trish.

Trav’s 2023 Payback Premium Live Event Review

We had L.A. Knight battling The Miz in this one. Before the match started, John Cena hit the ring and he was followed by The Miz. Miz & Cena went at each other, and Cena made himself as the special referee of the match. With Cena being the special guest referee, we knew it would take away from the match. The match had a lot of back-and-forth action but nothing too special. Cena got in the face of The Miz a couple times. Towards the end, Cena & Knight got into each other’s face, and it allowed Miz to hit the Skull Crushing Finale. Miz looks to copy Cena’s Five Knuckle Shuffle, but Knight turns it around with an elbow and then the BFT. Winner: L.A. Knight

Match Rating: 3/5- The match wasn’t anything special, but it was another win for L.A. Knight. Before going back, Cena raised his arm in respect.

We had Rey Mysterio defending his United States championship against former champion Austin Theory. Theory attacked Mysterio at the beginning of the match. Both hit their typical moves throughout the match. The two men then go back and forth with kicks, but Mysterio comes out on top with a 619, but as he tries to dive back in Theory gets the knees up. He tries to hit A-Town Down, but Mysterio reverses into a roll-up to retain his title. Winner and Still United States Champion: Rey Mysterio

Match Rating: 3/5

Trav’s 2023 Payback Premium Live Event Review

We had Kevin Owens & Sami Zayn defending their Unified Tag Titles against Finn Balor & Damian Priest of Judgement Day. Owens & Zayn have been beefing with Judgement Day for a couple of months now. They injured Kevin Owens about a month ago also. This was a Steel City Street Fight, and the match was crazy. They fought a lot outside and in the crowd. Owens hit a crazy Swanton Bomb onto Dominic Mysterio from the crowd through a table. JD McDonagh also got involved in the match. Rhea Ripley also showed up by spearing Owens through the barricade. Balor then hits a Slingblade, but he misses with the Coup De Grace and Zayn nails the Helluva Kick, but Mysterio breaks it up with the briefcase. He hits him on the head and Balor covers Zayn to claim the gold. Winners and New Unified Champs: Finn Balor & Damian Priest

Match Rating: 4.25/5- This was an amazing and crazy match. People will complain because we all love Owens & Zayn, but this is the right call. The Judgement Day is the most dominant faction and now they have all the gold.

Trav’s 2023 Payback Premium Live Event Review

We had the Greyson Waller Effect, and his guest was Cody Rhodes. After going back and forth, Rhodes said he came on the show because he had an announcement. The announcement turned out that he talked Adam Pearce into bringing Jey Uso to Monday Night Raw. This is interesting as it seems like this is the first step to Rhodes challenging Reigns at WrestleMania 40.

Trav’s 2023 Payback Premium Live Event Review

Rhea Ripley defended her Women’s Championship against Raquel Rodriguez. These two had some great battles in NXT a few years ago. Right now, Ripley is arguably the best and most dominant champion in the business. Raquel is coming after Ripley after Rhea injured her knee. The match was hard-hitting as expected between these two. Towards the end, Rodriguez was getting the better of Ripley. Dominik appeared but was met with a running powerslam from Raquel. It allowed Ripley to attack the bad knee of Raquel and hit the Riptide for the win. Winner and Still Women’s Champion: Rhea Ripley

Match Rating: 3.5/5- This match was good, but the fans were worn down from the tag title match. These two will face off next week for the title and Dominik is banned from ringside. Hopefully, they’ll get at least 15 minutes to showcase their skills.

Trav’s 2023 Payback Premium Live Event Review

We had the main event as Seth “Freakin” Rollins defended the World Heavyweight Championship against Shinsuke Nakamura. A few weeks back Nakamura attacked Rollins after their match on Raw. Nakamura has targeted the injured back of Seth Rollins. For this matchup, the Great Muta was there, and I thought he could get involved in the match. Nakamura targeted the back of Rollins throughout the match. Rollins showed resilience throughout the match. Nakamura then nails a Kinshasa to the back of the neck, and he sets up a second, but Rollins just collapses beforehand. Rollins then slaps Nakamura several times and he counters Nakamura into a Pedigree, but he can’t capitalize due to his back. He tries for a Stomp, but Nakamura blocks it. They then go for a couple of pinfall attempts each, and Rollins rolls Nakamura and quickly hits a Stomp! Winner and Still Champ: Seth “Freakin” Rollins

Match Rating: 3.5/5- Great storytelling in this match. At the end, I was expecting Nakamura to attack Rollins and Priest cashing in his briefcase. After the PPV went off the air, Nakamura did attack Rollins so I’m guessing they’ll face each other at the Fastlane Premium Live Event.


Overall Rating: 7/10- Payback was entertaining in my opinion. There were two really great matches, and the rest were good also. Below are my top 5 moments from the Payback Premium Live Event.


Trav’s Top 5 Moments from Payback

  1. Kevin Owens & Sami Zayn vs. Finn Balor & Damian Priest
  2. Becky Lynch vs. Trish Stratus
  3. Cody Rhodes Bringing Jey Uso to Monday Night Raw
  4. Judgment Day’s Continued Domination
  5. Rollins vs. Nakamura


What did you think about the Payback Premium Live Event? What were your favorite moments? Leave some feedback below.

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