WWE Payback: Three Stages of Hell Requires Enough Time to Hurt the Undercard
With WWE's Payback pay-per-view coming up in only a few days, the card is shaping up more and more to be a one-match event.
Although it most certainly will not be that in a literal sense, it's easy to see what the focal point of the show is going to be: the Three Stages of Hell match between Ryback and John Cena.
It's true that this should in fact be given the most amount of time, seeing as how it is the main event for the WWE Championship, but is WWE making the rest of the matches suffer in the process?
At the moment, the only two other matches announced are Chris Jericho vs. CM Punk and a Triple Threat match for the Intercontinental Championship between Wade Barrett, The Miz and Fandango.
Other feuds going on that appear to be somewhat locked, yet still unofficial, are The Shield vs. Team Hell No, Dolph Ziggler defending his World Heavyweight Championship against Alberto Del Rio, Sheamus facing off against Damien Sandow, AJ Lee vs. Kaitlyn for the Divas Championship and perhaps a United States Championship defense for Dean Ambrose.
But how many of those matches are really going to be given the proper time to shine on the event? With the Three Stages of Hell match, it seems like few will.
Outside of the rare instance, gimmick matches typically take longer than normal ones. Your average singles match might run about 10 to 15 minutes, but gimmick matches eat up more time.
This match obviously doesn't have just one of those—it has three.
Three times the gimmick may not mean the match will go for a full hour, but it could be assumed that it would take up a large portion of it.
On top of this, Vince McMahon is supposedly trying to do something special with Cena, according to F4WOnline via WrestlingInc. If that is indeed the plan, it's safe to assume that the match will be given ample time to allow for this to happen.
Cena vs. Ryback is not going to be rushed, so that means by default, some other matches will need to be rushed instead.
While Punk vs. Jericho is the only other big match so far that is official, the addition of the World Heavyweight Championship title defense along with a potential Curtis Axel vs. Triple H match would make the card quite top-heavy.
None of those matches will have a significant amount of time taken away from them to counteract the long Three Stages of Hell bout.
Rather, it will be the rest of the card that will suffer.
Don't expect a Divas Championship match to last more than a couple minutes you can count on one hand. A Tag Team Championship defense will probably be under 10, despite how hot Daniel Bryan is at the moment. The same could very well apply to nearly all of the other matches discussed above.
From what we've seen on Raw and SmackDown, the true focal point is the Three Stages of Hell match. WWE's priority going into the event will be that match above all else, and because of that, the rest of the card will be given minimal attention.
If WWE is unable to sit back and plan things out in a more rigid fashion than we've seen lately—where matches seem to be constructed in the week preceding the pay-per-view rather than a month ahead of time—Payback may turn out to be filled with a lot of quick matches that end before the wrestlers can start picking up steam.
In the grand scheme of things, however, as long as the Three Stages of Hell match works out, WWE will be happy with it and will tell the audience that they all were as well. Here's hoping we will come to that conclusion ourselves, rather than be force-fed into believing it.
Would you be okay with the WWE Championship taking up a majority of the show, or will that annoy you?
Share your thoughts in the comments below.
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