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    Monday, August 31, 2020

    The Smark Henry Pay-Per-Review: Payback 2020

    Big WWE fans already know by now that the world's largest wrestling company loves to shoehorn as much content as possible in just one week. Despite this, though, they haven't really been doing much of that since the pandemic struck, so it came as a shock to hear we were getting Payback exactly one week after SummerSlam.

    That's never really been done before, to the best of our recollection. The shortest turnaround time between two WWE PPVs was always two weeks—even when the current brand split took us back to single-brand events that weren't connected to each other.

    Naturally, the questions came—how were they going to build it up? Is one week enough to drive intrigue for an entire PPV card? It was safe to say that expectations for this one were pretty low, and those meager expectations were met. Not that that's saying something, of course.

    What we got was just... a show. An extra three-hour night featuring RAW and SmackDown, if you will. A pay-per-view event that was mostly midcard, with only one world title match topping the bill. It was the roundup of most of the stories that never really made it to the SummerSlam card, feuds that would've been better served to end on their own TV shows, instead of the second Sunday night in a row.

    If anything, Payback being the side B of SummerSlam proves the depth of the RAW and SmackDown roster, even after all these layoffs—a depth that absolutely needs single-brand PPVs again. Or at least, better writing and more committed programming on TV. If you're going to put out more events to accommodate your huge talent pool, you might as well make the brands more distinct.

    Is Payback necessary viewing, then? Only if you're a real hardcore fan, maybe, or if you want to keep up with all the stories being told. Otherwise, it's exactly as we expected.

    Payback 2020 Rating: B

    Match of the Night

    By virtue of having the most time and the best in-ring chemistry, Seth Rollins and Buddy Murphy vs. the Mysterios take the Match of the Night honors once again. The Thunderdome didn't seem to be as loud as it was for SummerSlam, which also affected how the show felt.

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    Item Reviewed: The Smark Henry Pay-Per-Review: Payback 2020 Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Romeo Moran
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