Editor’s note: Info from WWE.com was used in this report.
The Big Dog reclaimed his yard after “The Fiend” Braun Strowman and “The Monster” Braun Strowman decimated each other, Rey & Dominik Mysterio outwitted Seth Rollins & Murphy in an emotional victory, Keith Lee wowed the WWE Universe with a huge win over Randy Orton, Bayley & Sasha Banks were stunned by Shayna Baszler & Nia Jax for the WWE Women’s Tag Team Titles, and much more.
Roman Reigns def. “The Fiend” Bray Wyatt and “The Monster” Braun Strowman to become the new Universal Champion
The yard once again belongs to The Big Dog.
Roman Reigns swooped in to pick up the pieces after “The Fiend” Bray Wyatt and “The Monster” Braun Strowman laid waste to each other, achieving victory in cunning fashion to reclaim the Universal Title he never lost.
For much of the bout, though, Reigns was nowhere to be found, having not even signed the contract to be part of the No Holds Barred Triple Threat Match. Strowman blindsided Wyatt with the lights still off during “The Fiend’s” entrance and kicked out of a Sister Abigail by his diabolical rival moments later.
As is often the case, the ring could not contain the two behemoths. Wyatt slammed Strowman through the announce table with a Uranage before being floored by a flying broadcast chair hurled by “The Monster.” The all-out melee progressed to the stage area, where Strowman sent Wyatt flying off the stage in a massive collision.
With the action finally returning to the squared circle, Wyatt delivered a Herculean superplex to send the official soaring out of the ring, which collapsed and was left in shambles.
Finally, Reigns arrived with Heyman. Finally signing on the dotted line, Reigns headed to the ring and began a steel chair assault on Strowman, much like he had at SummerSlam a week earlier. Wyatt caught The Big Dog with the Mandible Claw before Reigns kicked “The Fiend” below the belt to break free before too much damage could be done.
After returning to the ring, Reigns uncorked a massive Spear on Strowman to win the Universal Championship.
Reigns celebrated with Heyman and crystallized their unholy alliance — the sight of which proved to be among the most surreal visuals in WWE history.
Rey & Dominik Mysterio def. Seth Rollins & Murphy
The father-son combination of Rey & Dominik Mysterio was a force to be reckoned with at WWE Payback, as they took advantage of a late miscommunication between Seth Rollins & Murphy to pull off a win.
The Mysterios demonstrated a strong game plan from the start, beginning the bout with Dominik as the legal man in a bit of misdirection and frustrating Rollins & Murphy.
But The Monday Night Messiah and his disciple soon began a systematic beatdown of Rey behind well-timed, double-team offense.
The bout devolved into all-out chaos with all four men exchanging blows before Rey took down Murphy with a tope suicida. The Master of the 619’s crossbody attempt on Rollins was met in mid-air by knees to the midsection, though an ensuing superkick only netted a two-count for Rollins.
Rollins unleashed vitriolic and highly personal trash talk to Rey before tagging in Murphy, who inadvertently blasted Rollins with a kick intended for Rey.
Rey tagged his son, and Dominik delivered a picture-perfect 619 to Murphy before following with a frogsplash to put a stamp on his first career victory.
Keith Lee def. Randy Orton
Randy Orton became the first Superstar to bask in Keith Lee’s glory since The Limitless One arrived on Raw, as Lee shocked Orton with the biggest win of his career at WWE Payback.
The Viper was bewildered and beguiled from the opening bell, taken down quickly by a crossbody from Lee and quickly becoming aware that he was in the ring with an adversary unlike any he has ever seen. That didn’t keep Orton from demanding Lee’s respect before delivering thunderous chops, until Lee took him down with chops of his own.
The Legend Killer wrestled control away, though, dropping Lee on the announce desk with a back suplex after Lee collided with the ring post shoulder-first. But Lee gave him a dose of his own medicine, executing a similar suplex on the announce table after sending him careening to the outside with a gigantic shoulder block.
Lee claimed the monumental victory moments later, pinning Orton after planting him with the Spirit Bomb for what could be a career-altering win.
If the expression on The Limitless One’s face afterward was any indication, Lee fully understood the magnitude of what he had just accomplished.
Shayna Baszler & Nia Jax def. Bayley & Sasha Banks to become the new WWE Women’s Tag Team Champions
In the span of a week, Sasha Banks went from being a double champion to having no titles at all.
Strange bedfellows created a potent opposition, as Shayna Baszler & Nia Jax defeated Banks and Bayley to capture the WWE Women’s Tag Team Championship.
The Baszler-Jax odd couple suffered a major setback early, as Nia was knocked off the apron, potentially injuring her left knee. “The Golden Role Models” seized upon Baszler in their corner, picking her apart.
But Baszler & Jax turned the match in their favor when The Irresistible Force caught Banks in a possible Meteora attempt on the outside, slamming her into the barricade repeatedly.
Later, Banks & Bayley couldn’t complete a double back suplex on the imposing Jax while Baszler made a blind tag. The Queen of Spades locked a Kirifuda Clutch on Bayley and a half-Muta Lock on Banks simultaneously, innovatively using Banks’ arm to force Bayley to tap out.
Much like at SummerSlam after she lost the Raw Women’s Championship to Asuka, Banks was left with little to do but look at her partner in distraught disbelief.
Matt Riddle def. King Corbin
Matt Riddle made good on his vow to humble King Corbin at WWE Payback, picking up perhaps his biggest victory since joining the blue brand.
Corbin resorted to underhanded tactics immediately, blasting Riddle with a clothesline during his ring entrance for a quick edge. SmackDown’s royal highness wore Riddle down methodically, but he cost himself when he got carried away with gloating.
The Original Bro appeared to be in big trouble after being dropped with Deep Six, but he kicked out at two and rallied to hit the Bro to Sleep and Floating Bro to earn a signature win.
Elated afterward and proclaiming he was ready to move on from his issue with Corbin, Riddle soon found out that Corbin had other ideas. Corbin ambushed Riddle backstage during a post-match interview, pummeling his adversary before finally being restrained by officials.
Big E. def Sheamus
Big E’s fledgling singles run remains off to a strong start after a huge victory over The Celtic Warrior, as he defeated Sheamus in a gutsy win at WWE Payback.
Big E’s outlook looked less than favorable for much of the bout, as Sheamus turned the tide early when he avoided a splash on the apron and began to dominate behind a deliberate pace, targeting Big E’s left leg with punishing submission holds.
However, Big E dug deep to unleash a spear through the ropes off the apron. Sheamus retaliated by slipping out of an attempt at the Big Ending and locking on a heel hook, further damaging Big E’s leg. But Big E found a way to kick out at two after a huge Brogue Kick and countered Sheamus’ second Brogue Kick attempt with a powerbomb before connecting with the Big Ending.
Bobby Lashley def. Apollo Crews to become the new United States Champion
Business is better than ever for The Hurt Business.
The dominant faction acquired championship gold at WWE Payback as Bobby Lashley defeated Apollo Crews for the United States Title, winning the coveted prize for the second time and first time in more than 14 years.
The outlook wasn’t as rosy at the beginning for Lashley, who was seemingly overwhelmed at times with Crews’ uncanny athleticism, including a spectacular moonsault off the apron to the outside. But the presence of The Hurt Business at ringside was quickly felt, as they provided a distraction that let Lashley take advantage.
The All Mighty scored a pivotal blow when he put the champion down with a massive spinebuster that seemed to make Crews kiss the rafters of the WWE Thunderdome. Locked in the Full Nelson afterward, Crews had no option but to tap out to the feared hold.
After the bout, Crews attacked Lashley before being pulled off of the new titleholder by MVP and Benjamin. As Crews made his exit, he vowed to reclaim the United States Championship.
The Riott Squad def. The IIconics (Kickoff Match)
The recently reunited Riott Squad passed a test of their newly regained trust, knocking off The IIconics on the WWE Payback Kickoff.
Billie Kay and Peyton Royce, who have tagged together far more often in recent history than the recently reformed Riott Squad, gained the early edge. They manipulated the tenuous relationship between Ruby Riott & Liv Morgan, who had some early hiccups, as Riott tagged herself in and later declined to tag Morgan back into the bout.
The IIconics isolated Riott and nearly fooled Liv into thinking Ruby blindsided her with a blow from behind. But Morgan and Riott rediscovered their chemistry of old, with Morgan countering Deja-Vu before working with Riott for a double knee-Riott Kick combination to pick up the win.