Bang for Your Buck PPV Review: Payback

A day late, but NO DOLLARS SHORT, as we bring the Bang, the Buck and the PPV review of Sunday night's excellent Payback.

It’s time for another “monthly show of significance”, and while it was less significant than what happened the next night, Payback ended up being the type of show that the WWE Network lives for: important without being revolutionary and worth the 10 dollars a month we spent for everything we get on the Network just by itself.

And while “getting your money’s worth” is important, our reviews focus on “how much does having access to something like this make me want to renew my subscription” or, more succinctly, “how ‘special’ was this event/match, really?”. Which means that instead of just taking into account things like: major character shifts, definitive conclusions (which are different from clean finishes) and moves that don’t make their way to Raw, it’ll focus more on “how many times would I rewatch this”, “would I show this to non-fans as a reason why wrestling is worth watching” and “how different was this historically?” 

Each match is rated plus or minus on a sliding scale between 1 and -1, with matches worth multiple rewatches being +1, a match you may watch or skip 0,  and things that make me reevaluate being a fan earning up to a -1 score. Drilling a little deeper, something in the +.4-.6 range says “wouldn’t skip if I rewatched the show” and higher than that would be graduate from “sometimes go out of my way to watch a show because this match is on it” to “have seen this match more times than this guy (and me) watched (separately) the ‘17 People’ episode of the West Wing”. The scale is arbitrary, of course, but it’s based around the idea that a match should be fundamentally watchable, and repeatedly so.

For those who are still confused, check out our Extreme Rules review to get a better idea of what the basic format was and will be going forward. To be clear, the difference is in the criteria, not the final result. Oh, we’ll also be including the Kickoff match. Because we can. And we’ll also be changing the graphic below sooner rather than later. 

As for the scale, it’s not particularly complicated but here are the basic levels (on a per-match basis):

Review Guide

Instead of using what I said during a “What’s the Worst That Could Happen”, we’ll be using what I said as part of Cageside Seats’ prediction pool to see how close I was to “predicting” what unfolded,  how that stacked up to my beliefs of what they were “trying” to do and whether or not I got what I wanted out of the show.