Seth Rollins emerged from a chaotic WWE Payback with his WWE World Heavyweight Title still intact on a night where not a single championship belt exchanged hands.
Facing just a 25 per cent chance of retaining his title, Rollins went into the Fatal Four-Way match against his former Shield members Roman Reigns and Dean Ambrose plus Randy Orton keeping one eye on his Authority cohort Kane, but the Big Red Machine would prove pivotal in helping Rollins hold on to the gold.
Reigns was out for retribution after believing he was wronged by Rollins at WrestleMania, when he cashed in his Money in the Bank contract to attack both he and former champions Brock Lesnar to win in stunning circumstances.
And it would be Reigns and Ambrose who took the advantage, teaming up on more than one occasion to take the fight predominantly to Rollins as well as the Viper. But they did acknowledge they were going head-to-head, and came to blows when necessary.
However, the match will be remembered most for an incredible Shield reunion, when Ambrose and Rollins helped Reigns to triple-powerbomb Orton through the announcers’ table before celebrating like the days of old. The joy – mostly on Rollins’ face – soon turned to anguish though, as Ambrose and Reigns remembered their old colleague turning on them, and promptly attacked him before launching him through a table of his own.
With Kane continuously getting involved, he provided the end for Ambrose and Reigns, slamming the former into the steel steps before chokeslamming the latter on top of them. But inside the ring Orton was beginning to ‘go to that place’, as he delivered RKOs to both members of J&J Security, before delivering a DDT to the champion. Kane interfered again, but received an RKO for his efforts, yet his distraction gave Rollins the chance to use Triple H’s Pedigree on Orton and pick up the win.
Earlier in the night, John Cena put an end to the drawn-out feud between him and Rusev after defeating the Bulgarian Brute in an ‘I Quit’ match, despite never uttering the words that he was meant to.
A brutal affair saw the battle spill outside the ring frequently and even involve the pyrotechnics stand, and Cena was seen to pass out at one stage – Rusev realising that he needed a conscious Cena to say he gives up and utilised a nearby bottle of water to revive the Leader of the Cenation.
However, Cena would battle through, and when he used the rope that had been torn off the turnbuckle by Rusev to lock in the STF, Rusev’s manager Lana interfered to quit on his behalf.
The all-British battle between King Barrett and Neville ended in frustration for the Newcastle flyer as Barrett got himself counted out deliberately to avoid the match. Neville took exception to this and launched a secondary attack, with The Man That Gravity Forgot delivering the Red Arrow for good measure.
Bray Wyatt delivered his promise to beat down on Ryback as he picked up the win in their singles battle, while Sheamus defeated Dolph Ziggler in a bout that saw the Showoff busted open after a headbutt which resulted in blood gushing all over the ring.
In the only Divas action of the night, Naomi and Tamina defeated the Bella Twins, while the Tag Team Championship remained in the hands of The New Day as their two-out-of-three falls match with Cesaro and Tyson Kidd went down to the wire. With one win apiece, Xavier Woods managed to switch places with Kofi Kingston while the referee has his back turned and picked up the victory to retain the belts.
On the pre-show, The Ascension defeated The Mega Powers who were made up of “Macho Mandow” and “AxelMania” Curtis Axel, while R-Truth emerged victorious against Stardust.
R-Truth DEF Stardust
The Ascension DEF The Mega Powers
Sheamus DEF Dlph Ziggler
The New Day DEF Cesaro and Tyson Kidd
Bray Wyatt DEF Ryback
John Cena DEF Rusev
Naomi and Tamina DEF The Bella Twins
Neville DEF King Barrett
Seth Rollins DEF Randy Orton, Dean Ambrose and Roman ReignsReuse content