WWE Payback was advertised as the first Pay Per View of the “New Era” of WWE, a concept we’re unclear about since we’re not sure what happened in the last few weeks to actually make this era significantly different from the one the was apparently in effect right up until WrestleMania 32. Sure, Roman Reigns is WWE Champion, but he was that in the previous era as well (twice, actually). And Shane McMahon has been running Raw since WrestleMania, but in a capacity that was supposed to be entirely temporary and was actually being addressed at Payback. However, it’s hard to argue that WWE, since WrestleMania, has featured decent TV shows and a bevy of new Superstars that are actually getting time to shine, and if they want to call that a “New Era”, then we’re willing to go with it, for a little while at least. With that in mind, here’s an analysis of the major moments from the first PPV of WWE’s “New Era”, for which we will need to find a cooler name at some point.
10. Who Is Baron Corbin?
We’ve covered the separate rises of Baron Corbin and Apollo Crews ever since they made the jump from NXT. While Crews seemed to be in a good place beating up the Social Outcasts, we did question Corbin being treated as both an imposing monster of a man, while also going 50/50 in a feud with Dolph Ziggler. However, we were reasonably certain that Payback was going to be the place where Corbin got a definitive victory over Ziggler and moved on to someone slightly more important. It turns out, we were wrong, because Dolph Ziggler has this incredible ability to win matches that it really seems like he shouldn’t be winning. We’re not saying Corbin should be in the World title picture, we’re a little concerned that he’s already lost his first feud and first singles PPV match, to a guy whose job description is “make opponent look impressive then lose”. It’s not that we don’t want better things for Dolph, but we can’t help but feel like his window closed a year or so ago. Meanwhile, we’re left with a slightly less intimidating Corbin, whose chief character trait seems to be “loses matches through stupidity”, which we’re not sure is the thing to really get him over the top.