The Miz defeated Cody Rhodes to hype Miz's chances at WWE Payback. The match was Rhodes was dumbed down for both guys. A few back and forth moves for each guy. I would not have minded an upset here, placing Rhodes into the Intercontinental Championship match in place of Fandango. Instead, Miz floats over a mistake from Rhodes and makes him tap to the figure four. After, Paul Heyman comes out and tells everyone that Curtis Axel is now in the Triple Threat Match. I am not sure I like this move. If he grabs the championship, then the title will be used as what? It has little relevance now and many people think Axel could bring importance to it. He is not going to defend the title against guys that he NEEDS to face. I do not think it will be a good fit for him as champion because he has been in the main event for weeks without it. He has nowhere else to go besides down. This could lower his overall appeal.
Chris Jericho defeated Big E Langston in a solid match from both guys. You can see the improvement each week from Langston. Nobody puts on a bad match with Jericho. Chris Jericho is on the offensive as we head into a break, but Langston grounds him and pounds away at Jericho with ease. I love the three backbreakers that Langston executes. It is a logical way for him to showcase his strength over his opponents. Each successful superstar has his own set of moves and I do not see anyone utilizing this move like he does. Alberto Del Rio comes out and hits Dolph Ziggler from behind, causing Langston to be distracted and Jericho hitting a Codebreaker for the win.
Antonio Cesaro defeated Sin Cara in a very entertaining match. I am never a big fan of seeing Cara wrestle, but this was a perfect opponent for him. Cesaro came out walking differently, more of a grappler ready to attack. He and Cara hit some wonderful spots that are hard to explain, but executed without flaw. Cesaro brawled and used his power to get Cara up and finish him with the Neutralizer. Zeb Colter was on commentary praising Cesaro. If Cesaro needs anything, it is a mouthpiece. This would be an ironic, yet intriguing idea if they give Cesaro to Colter. I like the opportunities this could lead to for Antonio. He is the most wasted talent in the WWE right now. This guy is MONEY.
Damien Sandow defeated R-Truth in a basic squash match. I was alright with this because it gave Sandow a match on Raw. He is facing Sheamus in the Payback "Kickoff" which is a clever way to not say pre-show. Sandow has a new finisher that looks like a sideways slam. I prefer the swining neckbreaker that he uses, but this is okay. Truth is used to get a star over. My biggest issue is Sandow will not win on the Kickoff match because he is a heel and it is getting little attention. Sheamus will win in a 6 minute match with a Brogue Kick.
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