Over the Limit is no more, and in less than two weeks, we’ll witness the first-ever WWE Payback pay-per-view.
The addition of Payback to the PPV schedule is just the latest change in a string of plenty for the WWE, including dropping Vengeance and getting rid of No Way Out.
As we’ve seen in recent years, some PPVs are essentially just given the names of the gimmick matches that they’re associated with, such as TLC, Money in the Bank, Hell in a Cell, etc.
WWE Payback, however, is a step in the opposite direction. The name doesn’t clearly define what the pay-per-view will be about the way that Royal Rumble or Elimination Chamber does.
So, will the Payback name change ultimately mean anything?
Well, if you look at the way that the pay-per-view card is shaping up, it actually might.
The following matches have been announced for the show so far:
- Three Stages of Hell Match for the WWE Championship: John Cena (c) vs. Ryback
- Chris Jericho vs. CM Punk
- Triple Threat Match for the Intercontinental Championship: Wade Barrett (c) vs. The Miz vs. Fandango
Notice any similarities among all three of these matches? It’s that all of these men have a lot of history with each of their opponents.
Ryback, of course, first crossed paths with Cena last October, when he replaced Cena in the WWE Championship match against Punk at Hell in a Cell and then faced both Cena and Punk in a Triple Threat match at Survivor Series. Ryback’s beef with Cena then caused him to turn heel the night after WrestleMania 29, and these two beasts are fresh off a no contest finish at Extreme Rules.
As for Punk and Jericho, these two were involved in one of the biggest and best feuds of 2012. They were embroiled in an intense rivalry in the first half of that year, which led to them competing in two fantastic matches at WrestleMania 28 and Extreme Rules 2012, respectively.
Barrett and The Miz have had plenty of beef with each other as well. Though Fandango is a new addition to the mix, they’ve been battling it out with each other since before WrestleMania 29, where they faced each other for the Intercontinental Championship on the PPV pre-show.
Is it merely a coincidence that the three matches announced so far just so happen to be battles of guys who have crossed paths a number of times in the past?
Perhaps, but a very logical possibility is that “Payback” will live up to its definition. The word “payback” is defined as “something done in retaliation,” and it looks like the Payback PPV could serve as a means for superstars to retaliate against bitter rivals from their past.
Cena has been the victim of multiple attacks by Ryback on Raw and was destroyed by him at Extreme Rules. Meanwhile, Ryback puts the blame for all his failures over the course of the last eight months on the shoulders of Cena.
Needless to say, both men are looking for payback.
Jericho lost two WWE Championship matches against Punk on PPV in 2012.
Y2J is looking for payback.
Barrett beat the Miz for the Intercontinental Championship only one night after The Miz had won it, and of course, Barrett just planted The Miz with a huge Bull Hammer elbow on this week’s Raw.
The Miz is looking for Payback.
In any bitter and intense wrestling rivalry, odds are that at least one of the superstars involved is looking for payback on someone who has wronged him on many different occasions in the past.
That certainly appears to be the case here.
Cena wants payback on Ryback. Ryback wants payback on Cena. The Miz wants payback on Barrett. Punk wants payback on Jericho.
This is a PPV that’s shaping up to be a platform for fighting babyfaces to attempt to get their “payback” on heels who have haunted them for extended periods of time.
This isn’t TLC, Money in the Bank or Hell in a Cell, where the name of the PPV has an obvious meaning. But if you look a little deeper, the name “Payback” does actually mean something.
Just as its definition states, it’s a chance for several superstars to retaliate against their most bitter rivals.
That’s a good enough reason to call it Payback, right?
Drake Oz is a WWE Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report. Follow him on Twitter!