Was Anything Accomplished By Having SummerSlam and Payback One Week Apart?
A week before SummerSlam, I was really excited about the concept of WWE having Payback the week after. I thought that WWE Creative would make the stories bigger, more intense. SummerSlam is the second biggest weekend for WWE. It is the point of the year where the stories from WrestleMania are supposed to get wrapped up. You get ready for some interim stories until Survivor Series, or a long-term story on the way to WrestleMania 37.
So I thought SummerSlam was going to be huge, especially being in the ThunderDome in front of the LED wall of fans. I thought there would be some wrestlers returning, or some shocking shenanigans in matches that would necessitate some final encounters and resolution at Payback.
Well, I don’t think we really got that, which is ultimately what caused my disappointment in Payback. I really wanted to see some of the stories from SummerSlam carry over to Payback, but also wanted things to happen that would have possibly had repercussions on for the latter show.
Should WWE Creative Have Used Retribution at SummerSlam?
What could WWE Creative have differently?
Well, for instance, Retribution, who was not at either pay-per-view, could have done a small invasion at SummerSlam. Not to ruin a match. Just to cause issues or problems that we have to see someone solve.
What if, towards the beginning of the show, they would have wrecked the training room? Then you have someone during SummerSlam get hurt, but cannot go to the training room. Maybe they even hurt a trainer and WWE cannot find a replacement at short notice.
So: a wrestler, say Apollo Crews, is jumped by the Hurt Business, but he can’t be checked out. He has to go to the hospital and no-one knows if he can get back in time. Then you can bring back a wrestler who has been out, such as Daniel Bryan, or a wrestler everyone wants to come back such as Rusev. Apollo could always make it back also.
How about Retribution comes and wrecks the announcers’ table, breaks monitors and cuts cords to create chaos at SummerSlam? WWE has to scramble to set up a new table while wrestlers are having issues backstage. That way they are creating suspense for what is going to happen next. Retribution isn’t helping any one wrestler or hurting a match but is keeping everyone, including the audience, on their toes.
The Week Between…
The week in between SummerSlam and Payback, you could have had Retribution try to do something again, but one of them gets caught on SmackDown. Maybe, Dominik Dijakovic, who has been rumored to be a member of Retribution from the get go. Vince goes crazy and wants something done. So someone has to step up and take him on as payback.
WWE has been pushing Big E as the leader of the locker room against Retribution, so why not have Big E take on Dominik Dijakovic at Payback? It’s a better story than what we got, and continues neatly the story of Retribution. It gives Big E that hero moment that WWE loves. This introduces WWE audiences to Dominik Dijakovic and it’s a better story than Big E vs Sheamus.
Can WWE Creative Deliver Anymore?
That is the kind of story that I was wanting for SummerSlam and Payback from WWE Creative: stories that continue through the week and draw me in. If someone lost at SummerSlam, then we should have seen what they would do to turn it around, or how they plan to take advantage of something that will help them to win – even a plan to cheat. Obviously, you can’t do it with every single match, but something exciting could be wrung from the SummerSlam results in the following week.
I felt like WWE had a great opportunity to really tell a story within that week. Maybe an idea that WWE Creative had been working on, but tell it in a different way. I didn’t feel like they even came close with either pay-per-view of hitting anything out of the park. Not anything. A missed opportunity, then.
Agree or disagree? Let me know at ProWrestlingOT@gmail.com
This was originally published in Sports Obsessive on September 7, 2020. Republished by my site.