As we look back on the week that was in WWE and try to determine just what was the best match, we have the benefit of the fact that there was a pay-per-view event during that time.
Generally speaking, a pay-per-view event offers a better in-ring product because the Superstars are given much more time to go at it inside the squared circle.
Superstars who thrive on putting on a top-notch performance always show up on pay-per-view, and at WWE Payback, there was no shortage of that. In fact, the top two matches of the week came out of this event.
Honorable Mention: The Shield vs. Evolution at WWE Payback
At just about every event on the WWE calendar, a match this good would easily be the best of the night.
The young, hungry trio of The Shield would be taking on three of the biggest names in WWE history for the second straight pay-per-view event. Only this time, the six-man tag team match would be an Elimination match contested under No Holds Barred rules.
Between them, Triple H, Randy Orton and Batista have a combined 47 title reigns (counting every championship they've held).
After defeating Evolution at Extreme Rules, The Shield would certainly go down this time, right?
For over 30 minutes, these two teams brutalized each other. One of the most surprising facts is that neither team suffered an elimination of any kind for most of the match.
We've all seen Elimination matches before, and it comes down to a one-on-one confrontation in the end just about every time.
But then came the most surprising fact of all—The Shield pulled off a clean sweep.
Twenty-seven minutes into the match, Batista became the first casualty, pinned by Seth Rollins after a spear from Roman Reigns. Just over one minute later, Dean Ambrose was able to take out Orton.
Not even the mighty Triple H could overcome the three-on-one odds that faced him, succumbing to The Hounds of Justice.
This was an excellent match, and a great way to close out the show and the feud between these two teams. While the events that transpired the following night on Monday Night Raw took things in a new direction, this match solidified all three members of The Shield as top stars for years to come.
Best Match of the Week: John Cena vs. Bray Wyatt at WWE Payback
Though some fans may have been disappointed that John Cena came out on top in this feud, they shouldn't allow that to affect their judgment of this match.
These two men put it all on the line in a Last Man Standing match at Payback.
Though Last Man Standing matches have become somewhat repetitive with WWE over the years as far as how they are laid out, these two men still managed to come up with some impressive stuff.
How about Cena launching the steel ring steps to the outside of the ring like a missile and taking out Wyatt? That was one of the best spots in WWE in years.
Though it is clear that there are to things Cena will never do in his WWE career—stay down for a 10-count or scream the words "I quit"—Wyatt still managed to put quite the beating on him.
Just when fans may have felt that this rivalry had ran its course, this match had to keep them thoroughly entertained.
The inclusion of Erick Rowan and Luke Harper as well as The Usos only made the match that much better. The two tag teams engaged in a wild table spot that had the crowd cheering.
The end of the match was clever as well. Cena used his Attitude Adjustment to put Wyatt through a piece of production equipment. He then tipped another piece of equipment on top of that, effectively trapping Wyatt inside to win the match.
This showed what it would take to keep Wyatt down, and while some may argue that he didn't gain anything out of feuding with Cena, it did bring him up closer to the main event scene, where he'll remain for some time to come.
Cena wasn't going to lose this match; it's just the way WWE does things. But putting all of that aside and just watching the match for what it was, fans were given an excellent contest.
This match wasn't just the best of the week—it may be the best of the year thus far in 2014.