Hello everyone. I hope you’re doing well. For the last few months, I’ve been doing pay-per-view report cards for the WWE pay-per-view events. Given that the amount of events over the next month with Elimination Chamber, the NXT Takeover special, Money in the Bank, Slammiversary and ROH Best in the World in a short period I’m going to revise what I’ve been doing a little bit. I want to get these out on a consistent basis and quite frankly since I’m the only one doing opinion pieces anymore I figure no one will mind.

This past week we had two big events ROH Global Wars: Night One on Internet pay-per-view and WWE Payback. Both these events had their merits of the fans. I thought I would give my grade for these events in a more abbreviated fashion. Let’s begin with ROH: Global Wars.

Fun : A +

I’m not one to say that mainstream wrestling isn’t fun because it is. But if you’re looking for fun on a wrestling card. Global Wars Night One was probably the most fun I’ve had with a show from top to bottom. It’s amazing how the recognition of New Japan has really changed for the American audience with the show on AXS and New Japan World the streaming service. And it doesn’t seem to hurt that New Japan is working with two American companies right now in ROH and Global Force as well as CMLL in Mexico. This was much more of a fun event between the two companies and less of were going to teach you about Japanese wrestling.

Kevin Kelly and Corino are also amazing as a commentary team. It seems every week they get better and better. In my eyes they’re the best commentary team in the last five years bar none. They really made the show which was over three hours feel really fun fresh and vibrant. They do what announcers are supposed to do. They accentuate the action made on take away from it. It just goes to show when commentary is good how much it enhances the overall experience of a great match.

Spectacle B- : When I talk about spectacle I want to clarify something. I see spectacle as creating moments, the pomp and circumstance of it all. I think this where Ring of Honor lacks a ton from its competition. I know there’s no comparing to WWE’s production because the Stamford Connecticut juggernaut excels with their presentation. I just feel like the roster works hard. But you need something to make those moments and matches feel special. When you see match after match after match and there’s nothing really making them stand out to the audience. I understand this is a supershow so I may be overanalyzing a little bit. But with great performances from the likes of ACH, Adam Page , Kyle O’Reilly and more. I just think this will be this remembered for the main event and nothing else. There is great work on this pay-per-view but I think after the passage of time nobody will remember anything but the main event. I’m not saying that’s a bad thing but it seems like a waste.

In Ring Work A+: There’s no doubt that ROH has some the best work on the planet. From top to bottom, the performers brought it against New Japan’s best from technical classics to all out insanity everything is featured. I thought ACH had one of his best showings against Nakamura. And the main event was an old-school nightmare because no one was selling but I found it fun and energetic. The only thing I found weird is we had a tag team three-way with nothing but heels. Honestly, I think that was a mistake from a booking standpoint it was a solid match but the energy was off.

Grade: A-. Great fucking show for you twenty bucks.

WWE had their Payback event and here’s what I thought:

Fun: C+ I thought WWE did a solid job making this past Sunday’s show flow well in the first few hours. But this sure did lag a little bit in our number three right before the main event. A lot of that really bad booking. As it took away from really great work from everyone involved.

Spectacle: B+ WWE is always great at giving you a little bit more than you expect. Of course when you go into a show with low expectations that helps quite a bit but I felt WWE did a lot to make great moments. The Tag Team Title, The US Title and World Heavyweight Title matches stand out in my mind as really great moments for all talents involved. I thought so the matches could’ve used better booking because it took away from hard work as I said before. I think the announcement of the Elimination Chamber took away from the show in a lot of ways because WWE is saving the undercard moments for May 31. Not to say that other matches were great but they definitely felt like been there done that feeling like filler to hold airtime. There wasn’t as much put into this matches on the undercard.

In Ring Work B +: There was a ton of great work on the show. Sheamus and Dolph kicked off the show with a great match. These two seem to be finding the chemistry. Judging by what happened on Monday Night Raw it seems like they may be veering away from that a little bit giving the Show Off multiple enemies at the same time. Cesaro, Tyson Kidd and The New Day continue to show that tag team wrestling in the decade is not dead. I love the finish of the match continuing to make the positive antagonist more dastardly then just running away. The surprise of the night for me was without a doubt Ryback versus Bray Wyatt which honestly started off a little shaky but picked up near the end. Gotta give credit to the Big Guy for finishing the match and especially doing the splash with a broken rib. Say what you want to about the guy, you may not of won the competition when he was on it but he’s definitely Tough Enough. Adding to all this the main event was pure craziness but I loved it. The mini Shield reunion was great just for Seth Rollins reaction alone. Really fun stuff great sequences and great booking.

Grade B-

Extra credit: I thought the follow-up on Monday Night Raw was solid and it sets up a lot of fun stuff for the May 31 Elimination Chamber. I’m intrigued to see where the Lana storyline goes. The company seems high on her. But we’ve seen this song and dance with Dolph before (i.e. Vickie Guerrero, AJ, etc.) but I am intrigued to see what they do going forward. I’m not sure if they’re using Dolph to get over Lana or using Ravishing Russian to to give Dolph a boost but it’s an intriguing combination.

I’m really intrigued to hear that there will be six teams in the Elimination Chamber for the tag team titles it should be interesting to see the logistics of putting eight men in four pods.

Dean Ambrose is booked against Seth Rollins in the most flimsy premise I’ve seen in a while with the authority quickly acquiescing to the demands of the Lunatic Fringe.

The most puzzling thing that WWE has booked for the show in Corpus Christi is Kevin Owens versus John Cena the NXT champion versus the US champion pretty much out of nowhere. I would imagine Cena will be on the show this Wednesday to continue the angle but I’m curious about the booking of that and if the power struggle between Triple H and Vince McMahon will come in the play on who will go over because it’s not for The US Title so Owens could win. But what does that do to him after laying out John Cena if he loses. This should be interesting to watch two weeks from now because it’s really pivotal how they book this because this will show how important the next crop of stars will be seen. Because remember this isn’t just some guy on the roster this is a guy that’s been dominant since he arrived this past December. This match means more to the future of WWE than anything else.

I hope you enjoyed this rambling of a madman. Hope to see you soon.

About The Author

Dan is host of Shooting from the Hip which you can hear every Sunday at 8pm EST, 7pm CST right here on PWpop.com.