WWE Payback 2013: Biggest Surprises from Anticipated PPV Event

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistJune 17, 2013

DURBAN, SOUTH AFRICA - JULY 08:  Alberto Del Rio is introduced during the WWE Smackdown Live Tour at Westridge Park Tennis Stadium on July 08, 2011 in Durban, South Africa.  (Photo by Steve Haag/Gallo Images/Getty Images)
Gallo Images/Getty Images

In many ways, the first edition Payback was predictable. John Cena retained the WWE Championship by defeating Ryback. The Shield furthered its reign of dominance. Curtis Axel continued his rise by winning the Intercontinental Championship.

That said, predictable isn't always a negative when it comes to the WWE. These mid-tier events are supposed to help create and develop storylines, and that's exactly what the show did. There were still a couple surprises, as well.

Let's take a closer look at those unexpected moments and project how they will impact the WWE moving forward. Money in the Bank is the next pay-per-view and it's followed by SummerSlam, which makes for a key summer stretch.

Alberto Del Rio Wins World Heavyweight Championship

Dolph Ziggler had his big moment the night after WrestleMania. He cashed in his Money in the Bank contract and the arena, filled with diehard wrestling fans, erupted. At that moment, it appeared a long title reign was in the cards.

When he returned from an extended absence due to a concussion last week on Raw, however, the spark was gone. Ziggler was shaky on the mic and the crowd was not involved, making it seem like the casual fans in attendance had already forgotten who he was.

Still, Ziggler was expected to defeat Del Rio to retain the World Heavyweight title. After all, Del Rio has received plenty of chances and it was Ziggler's first major opportunity. Instead, he dropped the belt and now faces an uncertain summer.

Divas Finally Shine on PPV

For the first time in what seems like forever, there are Divas involved in a feud fans may actually care about. The division is normally relegated to three-minute matches and little or no mic time, leaving it with a very small chance to succeed.

After a tremendous week from AJ and Kaitlyn, perhaps things are starting to change. AJ delivered a great promo on Raw, once again showing why she's the most talented Diva on the roster, and it actually gave the Divas title match some PPV momentum.

On Sunday night, they were given a chance to wrestle for longer than the blink of an eye. And they held their own on a strong card. The WWE must continue the feud to see if AJ and Kaitlyn can continue to build off the impressive showing.

Rob Van Dam Returning at Money in the Bank

Rob Van Dam is returning to the WWE. The high-flying veteran is set to make his comeback at Money in the Bank next month, which makes sense given his reputation for extreme matches. It's been six years since he was full time with the company.

Originally there was speculation that he would return as the newest "Paul Heyman Guy." Axel took that spot, of course, but fans didn't have to wait long for RVD. Most recently, he had spent time with TNA Wrestling after a stint on the independent circuit.

Even though little is known about the type of schedule Van Dam will work or what role he'll play at Money in the Bank, he immediately becomes one of the favorites to win a briefcase. If he does take part in one of the ladder matches, it will give him a perfect opportunity to star in his return.


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