Following the promo, the announcers pushed the latest incarnation of WWE relentlessly and segments unfolded that looked to move things forward instantly.
It came somewhat out of the blue but was an idea well received by an audience growing increasingly frustrated with the product put before them each week.
There will certainly be a mixed reaction to how things unfolded at the entrance door to this new direction, but a large proportion of fans will be pleased with what they saw.
SO WHAT’S NEW?
It’s quite hard to sum up the ‘new’ in WWE’s latest derivative, despite there being steps made in the right direction.
A large reason for that, and a negative with many fans, is that the manner in which this has been ushered in is not new in the slightest.
Once again we have two conflicting McMahon siblings vying for power under the guidance of their old man, Vince.
This has been done time and time again in the WWE and harks back to the Attitude Era that delivered the company its greatest run in history as Stone Cold Steve Austin took on the family in various guises.
Not only that, the Montreal Screwjob was once again referred to, a sign of real desperation by the WWE and something of great annoyance to fans who have seen the infamous moment of 1997.
With that said, the push for the superb Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens, combined with longer women’s matches on PPVs and the performance of AJ Styles and his former Bullet Club cohorts are all huge positives to take.
Payback’s greatest legacy is probably the development of some exciting feuds that were otherwise unlikely to have ever developed or garnered such momentum.
The Cesaro vs Owens vs Zayn triad for Miz’s Intercontinental title is a particularly pleasing prospect that spilled over onto Monday Night RAW with a natural authenticity that aided the dynamic between Shane and Stephanie’s own storyline.
There were other notable moments across Payback and RAW.
Dean Ambrose vs Chris Jericho continues apace and once again the women featured in a long segment that gave them good airtime.
The most significant development, however, is the battle between AJ Styles and Roman Reigns that drafted in the Usos and Karl Anderson and Luke Gallows.
Reigns and his cousins put Styles through a table in a move that, if it means a heel turn for the heavyweight champion, may well finally see him accepted by a WWE Universe that refuses to latch on to him as a face, no matter how much the WWE attempts to force him upon them.
Usos vs Bullet Club is another intriguing prospect, while there is also still potential for Styles’ former allies to turn on him.
There is real potential among the six Superstars to lead this New Era in the absence of the likes of Randy Orton, John Cena and Seth Rollins – whose eventual returns will no doubt shake things up.
All in all, it is refreshing to see the WWE look to inject something new into the company, the biggest concern is that shiny new direction is actually a regurgitation of a path already travelled over and over again.
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The WWE rolled into Dubai with its first ever LIVE Dune Bash event as UAE fans were treated to a rollicking show by an array of Superstars.
The likes of The Big Show, Dean Ambrose, Kevin Owens, Sami Zayn and R-Truth all featured across both nights.
For those in attendance it was a feast of wrestling action with a diverse crowd made up of men, women, boys and girls from all ages and various nationalities.
Were you there? Tweet us your thoughts using #360fans.
WWE this week sent a mobile text alert announcing that John Cena will make his return to WWE TV on the Memorial Day edition of WWE Raw, taking place on May 30th.
WWE.com added the following:
“The WWE Universe has not seen Cena compete in a match since January when he injured his shoulder. As he mentioned in the tweet, original projections had him being out of action for upwards of nine months, but following intensive rehab and his surprise appearance at WrestleMania 32, The Leader of The Cenation will defy all expectations and make his official return to WWE next month.
“What impact will Cena’s re-emergence have on WWE? Find out when The 15-time World Champion returns to the longest running episodic program in television history on May 30!”
Cena confirmed the news with a tweet this week that will certainly have captured the imagination of the WWE Universe.