G5: Payback, Kevin Owens, NJPW BOSJ, more

WWE Payback began a busy week for wrestling fans last Monday. How did it stack up compared to the other four WWE pay-per-view events held this year?

Kevin Owens surprised everyone when he confronted John Cena on Raw, but the NXT Champion was given a taste of his own medicine when Samoa Joe made his debut at NXT TakeOver: Unstoppable. Will Owens find success away from NXT, and what was the best part of Thursday’s live special?

NJPW began its Best of the Super Junior tournament on Friday. Who will finish in first place?

We give you our thoughts on these, and more, talking points in this week’s Gimme Five.

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1. WWE Payback is behind us for another year. What are your thoughts on last Monday’s pay-per-view? Where does it rank among WWE’s other live specials of 2015?

Peter:
Payback was a pretty average show. The tag match and the main event were great but rest of the matches fell pretty flat. It was probably on the same level as Fastlane and Extreme Rules for me. Decent shows but I’m glad I didn’t have to pay $30 each.

Blake:
The event was definitely one of WWE’s B pay-per-views of the year, but it had some really great moments. The main event alone was worth the price of admission, and the tag team match was incredible (although with what could best be described as a little bit of a racist ending). Again, this was a B pay-per-view, so it can’t really be compared to the Royal Rumbles or the WrestleManias, but I would place it as better than the other two events so far this year holding it in third place overall.

Corey:
I have only watched the main event of Payback but I was thoroughly impressed so I will be watching the whole show in the coming days.

Clint:
I haven’t had a chance to sit down and watch the show yet, but from the reviews I’ve read it seems like a solid show.

Grady:
It was a great pay-per-view. I wouldn’t say it was the best one, but that is only due to the calibre of show WWE have put on this year.

Richard:
Payback was a solid event, following the standards that have been set this year. I think WWE has stepped up its PPV game since WrestleMania, and I look forward to it continuing.

 

2. Kevin Owens made an impact by powerbombing John Cena in his Raw debut, and now has a match against the United States Champion at Elimination Chamber. How will Owens fare away from the NXT roster?

Peter:
Kevin Owens’ promo with Cena on Raw was fantastic, he’ll definitely be able to hang with the main roster. Coming out of the NXT special it seems that Kevin Owens has five different feuds going on right now: Sami Zayn, John Cena, Samoa Joe, Hideo Itami and William Regal. I’m very interested to see what happens from here.

Blake:
I don’t see Owens winning his main roster debut at Elimination Chamber, but I do see him holding his own against the United States Champion. I think that John Cena is going to learn once again not to take the NXT guys lightly.

Corey:
Being that Owens has been my favorite wrestler for a few years now, naturally I was as excited as a 13-year-old girl at a Justin Bieber concert when his music hit. Owens has thrived in every environment he has been put into so it will be no different on the main roster.

Clint:
Owens will do just fine against Cena. He’s no rookie and will handle the pressure of being on a main show in his stride. This is the start of big things for Kevin.

Grady:
Owens will have no trouble (as he said to John Cena, “I ain’t no rookie”) and I think Owens has a chance to defeat the United States Champion at Elimination Chamber. If John Cena was paying attention to what happened at NXT TakeOver: Unstoppable, then he knows he has a fight on his hands.

Richard:
Owens has been wrestling a long time and will have no issues away from NXT. I’m looking forward to see him and Cena go at it, hopefully we will see Owens on the main roster full time soon.

 

3. Samoa Joe shocked the WWE Universe with his appearance at NXT TakeOver. What was your favourite part of the live special?

Peter:
Sasha Banks vs. Becky Lynch was the best part of TakeOver and probably the best women’s match I’ve seen in WWE. Definitely a match of the year contender. Seeing Samoa Joe in a WWE ring was an awesome scene too.

Blake:
Becky Lynch vs. Sasha Banks was the match of the night. I know that Samoa Joe debuting was a huge moment, but my favourite moments for NXT events usually tend to involve Banks or Charlotte, and this night was no different.

Corey:
Joe’s gonna kill you. I was chanting along with the crowd when he came out (much to the bewilderment of my family). Definite moment of the night for me.

Clint:
As a huge fan of Joe’s work in ROH and his early run in TNA, seeing him show up at the end of Unstoppable was the definite moment of the night for me. Heck, it might even be moment of the year when all is said and done.

Grady:
NXT specials are great and rival even main roster pay-per-views in my mind. The Samoa Joe reveal would rank at the top for me, even if it just adds another person that hates Kevin Owens, how many are there now? Alex Riley, Sami Zayn, Hideo Itami, Finn Balor, Samoa Joe, John Cena…

Richard:
Finally seeing Joe in WWE was awesome, I loved it. It definitely opens up some interesting match ups for the future. Not sure if it was the best moment of the night for me though; I loved the Banks-Lynch match. That, for me, stole the show.

 

4. NJPW’s Best of the Super Juniors tournament kicked off Friday night, pitting 16 junior heavyweight wrestlers against one another in a pool-based tournament. Will you be watching the tournament unfold on NJPW World? And, if so, who’s your early pick to take it out?

Peter:
My early pick for Best of the Super Juniors is Barbaro Cavernario. I first saw this guy at the NJPW/CMLL Fantasticamania shows earlier on this year and he absolutely blew me away. He’s only 21 and he’s already amazing. NJPW must have been just as impressed as I was to bring him back for BOSJ this year so my money’s on him.

Blake:
I won’t be watching unfortunately, but I hope they manage to put on a great event. However, seeing the brackets, I would have to say that my favourite there would be either Baretta or Nick Jackson. If either of them win, I will be happy.

Corey:
I have been counting down the days until the start of the BOSJ tournament, and was watching live Friday evening. My early picks for standouts are Kyle O’Reilly and Mascara Dorada.

Clint:
I love puro and I love the juniors, so I’ll be trying to catch as much of the BOSJ tournament as I can. This year is all about the Time Splitters, because either Alex Shelley or Kushida will win the whole shebang. I’m also looking forward to watching Bobby Fish and Kyle O’Reilly in singles action.

Grady:
I don’t keep up with NJPW as much as I should, but I am sure that videos from the tournament which reach my eyes somehow. Looking at the participants list I would have to go with Alex Shelley or Kyle O’Reilly to win the tournament.

Richard:
Looking forward to the Super Junior tournament, not sure when I will get a chance to watch it but I’m picking Kushida to take it out this year.

 

5. AAA’s Lucha Libre World Cup goes down today, May 25, pitting several three-man teams from around the world against each other. Trios matches, as they’re often called, are big in Mexico but don’t seem to have caught on in the same way in the rest of the world. What are your feelings on the six-man tag?

Peter:
Trios matches can be a lot of fun. Having the extra members on each team can add a lot of craziness that you wouldn’t get in a tag match. The Trios Tournament in Lucha Underground was fantastic and AAA frequently put on great trios matches. I love when companies work together so this card looks really fun. It’s a shame CMLL and NJPW turned the offer down though. My favourite team going into this show has to be Team ROH/Lucha Underground (Moose, ACH and Brian Cage). Out of all the wrestling shows that have been on in the past few weeks I think this is the show I’m most excited for.

Blake:
I’m still not entirely sold on the trios format, but I do love watching Angelico, Ivelisse, and Son of Havoc on Lucha Underground. Maybe it just works better with the lucha product, and I just really don’t see it expanding out of that area anytime soon.

Corey:
I like the trios match but in small doses. In saying that I do like the Chikara King of Trios events but that’s about it. I may check out the AAA show because of the huge amount of international talent.

Clint:
I’m a big fan of lucha and love trios matches. Elsewhere they’re used as a way to get more guys into a match, but in Mexico they have a certain flow and style. Not every trios match is great, but in general they’re fun to watch.

Grady:
I like the match, anything that allows the showcasing of more talent in unique and interesting ways, although it’s not properly utilised in America (generally). I would like to see other promotions take a page out of Mexico’s book and start to use this match type better.

Richard:
Since I started watching Lucha Underground I have a new-found appreciation for the Trios match. Constant fast-paced action. These matches seem to work better when the team of three is established and not just thrown together though. I think that’s where the rest of the world is missing the concept of the Trios match.