WWE Payback 2014 Results: Biggest Highlights and Low Points
The results of WWE's Payback 2014 pay-per-view are in, so it's time for us to look back on the evening and break down the highlights and low points that made the event what it was.
This is the first event in quite some time that did not have a WWE World Heavyweight Championship defense in it.
Is that such a burden that it hurt everything else, or did it allow for other segments to shine more and pick up the slack?
Did The Shield vs. Evolution handle the weight of being the main event and surpass the match from Extreme Rules?
Which matches ended up being more of a chore to sit through, rather than the quality entertainment promised to the fans?
Let's break down the positives and negatives of Sunday night, presented to you in order of their appearance on the event's timeline.
Low Point: El Torito vs. Hornswoggle
Putting the hair and the mask on the line was an interesting concept, but it didn't save this match.
While the WeeLC match seemed like it could have been a total train wreck, there was enough going on to distract from the flaws that Hornswoggle and El Torito bring to the table.
Most of the moves that they tried to perform ended up being sloppy and botched, sadly for nothing.
This match accomplished nothing more than what their previous encounter did.
The fans weren't even treated to seeing a full shot of the bald Hornswoggle as a payoff.
Sitting through the match was not as entertaining as Extreme Rules, and the lack of seeing the end result and having to wait until Raw just puts the final poor touches on this low point.
Highlight: Cody Rhodes Doesn't Turn Heel...Yet?
With the way things have been going lately for The Brotherhood losing all of their matches, typical wrestling fans could see the writing on the wall.
In this situation, it almost always results in one of the members turning heel on the other.
Rather than going with the obvious, though, a new twist has happened in this storyline.
Cody Rhodes apologized for losing and told Goldust that he deserves a better tag team partner.
This means that there is less of a chance that this feud—if it happens—will be a retread of what we've seen a million times before.
If you weren't interested in this before, perhaps this intriguing twist will make you think twice.
Low Point: Rusev vs. Big E
Rusev is in dire need of something else other than squash matches and feuds that revolve around putting little to no effort into it.
He doesn't have all that much going for him, and eventually, it will become old news and he will fail.
If Rusev's method of waving the flag were meant to be intimidating or anything but hilarious and awkward, then this was as poorly planned as the rest of the feud has been.
It's highly unlikely that anyone in the audience will have left Payback thinking that this was one of their favorite segments of the night.
Likewise, if anyone can name something impressive that happened throughout it except for Big E's dive through the ropes, it would be a shock.
Highlight: Daniel Bryan Does Not Forfeit the WWE World Heavyweight Championship
The WWE Universe clearly did not want to see Daniel Bryan drop the title, and that wish was fulfilled.
While it is a shame that Brie Bella is supposed to be gone as she had quit, those things rarely ever stick, so it is an empty threat of a storyline.
On the other hand, if Bryan had forfeited the championship, it would have spelled out possible disaster.
That would be a sign that Bryan's injury may be significant enough that he would be out of the ring for a long time.
However, keeping the title around him gives his fans hope that he will return to action sooner than later—possibly even at Money in the Bank.
The likelihood that he will be dropping the title now has diminished considerably, and considering how popular he is, that should be nothing but a positive.
Highlight: John Cena vs. Bray Wyatt
In a rather unimpressive card, a couple of spots can make all the difference to separate a match from a highlight or a low point.
While the majority of this match was slow and boring, there were a few spots with The Usos and The Wyatt Family that helped it out quite a bit.
This is less of a positive for this match and more of a statement about how bland this pay-per-view was overall.
On a better card, this match could have easily been considered a disappointment.
However, when there isn't all that much happening throughout the night, watching a vertical suplex through a table can give you something to cheer about.
The ending of this match was also interesting enough to make sure John Cena was victorious, but Bray Wyatt did not look too weak in his loss.
Highlight: The Shield vs. Evolution
The Shield and Evolution have good chemistry with each other when given the proper tools to work with.
Opening this up as a No Holds Barred match certainly helped prevent it from being lackluster in comparison to their Extreme Rules match.
The action throughout it felt like a true main event that people would be interested in watching, unlike many other matches that might have filled this spot.
The members of the WWE Universe that are fond of The Shield have reason to celebrate, as they were made to look very strong in this bout.
What were your favorite and least favorite parts of this pay-per-view?
Is there anything missing from this list, whether it was good or bad?
Leave your thoughts in the comments below!
Anthony Mango is the owner-operator of the wrestling website Smark Out Moment as well as the host of its podcast show Smack Talk on YouTube, iTunes and Stitcher. You can follow him on Facebook and elsewhere for more.