Payback 2016: WWE World Heavyweight Champion Roman Reigns vs AJ Styles

The fate of Monday Night RAW and Shane and Stephanie McMahon were determined at Payback 2016.
Shane and Stephanie McMahon in 2009. Ethan Miller/Getty Images

The main event of Payback 2016 featured Roman Reigns defend the WWE World Heavyweight Championship against AJ Styles.  It was also the night where Mr.McMahon decided whether his son or his daughter would be running Monday Night RAW.  The show took place on May 1, 2016 at the Allstate Arena in Chicago, Illinois. 

Kickoff Show Match: Dolph Ziggler vs. Baron Corbin

This match took place during the Kickoff Show which was streamed on the WWE Network prior to the start of the pay-per-view.

 Ziggler hurt his left shoulder and neck area early in the match which Corbin took advantage of and focused on during the match.  The action went outside of the ring where Corbin tossed Ziggler face-first into the ring post.  Corbin's lack of experience came into play as he could have easily won the match but showboated too much and then let his guard down which allowed Ziggler the opening to roll up his much larger opponent to get the win.  Winner: Dolph Ziggler

Kickoff Show Match: United States Champion Kalisto vs. Ryback 

The pendulum of momentum swung several times during this match between the high-flying moves of the champion and the power of Ryback.  Things went bad for Ryback when he tried to do some high-flying of his own.  After Ryback missed a splash off the top rope, Kalisto connected with the Salida del Sol to get the win.  Winner: Kalisto 

WWE Tag Team Championship #1 Contender's Tournament Final: The Vaudevillains (Simon Gotch and Aiden English) vs. Enzo Amore & Colin Cassady

Tag Team Champions The New Day (Big E, Kofi Kingston & Xavier Woods) were at ringside for this match.

 This marked the first pay-per-view appearance for both teams which have recently been promoted from the NXT roster.  Enzo suffered a legitimate injury when he was tossed out of the ring.  He went face-first into the middle rope and his head bounced hard off the mat before he went to the floor.  The referee called for the bell as the medical staff came out.

 It was later announced that he was taken to the hospital where he was able to talk and move both of his arms and legs.  He was diagnosed with a concussion.  Winner: No Contest

Sami Zayn vs. Kevin Owens

Both men hit each other with a variety of high-impact moves that led to multiple two counts.  Owens went for the Pop Up Power Bomb on two occasions but was unable to connect each time.  When the two men were fighting on the ring apron, Owens went for a Power Bomb which was reversed into a back drop on the hardest part of the ring.  With both men outside the ring, Zayn hit the Flying DDT.  When the action went back into the ring, Owens hit Zayn with a Super Kick and then the Pop Up Power Bomb to get the win.  This was a great match well worth checking out on the WWE Network.  Following the match, Owens tossed Zayn out of the ring and demanded that commentator Byron Saxton enter the ring with a microphone to interview him.  He stated that with this feud over, he can refocus on the Intercontinental Championship Match and then stated that he will be the commentator for that match which was coming up next.  Winner: Kevin Owens

Intercontinental Champion The Miz vs. Cesaro

The champion was escorted to the ring by his wife, Maryse.

 Cesaro entered the match with tape on his left shoulder due to the injury that recently kept him out of action for several months.  Maryse made her presence felt early in the match when she grabbed her husband's leg which prevented Cesaro from suplexing him.  Later in the match, Cesaro's shoulder hit the ring post and Miz followed with a Skull Crushing Finale.  Cesaro kicked out at two.  At this point, Sami Zayn came out and attacked Owens.  Inside the ring, Cesaro swung Miz 20 times and then put Miz in a Cross Face.  Because the fight between Owens and Zayn went to the ring apron, the referee tried to break it up.  This caused the referee to miss Miz tap out.  Cesaro broke the hold to get the referee's attention.  Miz then rolled Ceasro up with a handful of tights to get the win.  An infuriated Cesaro gave Miz a Neutralizer after the match.

 All four men wound up inside the ring after the match and the melee ended with Owens standing tall with the title belt.  Winner: The Miz

Dean Ambrose vs. 

Jericho was able to apply the Walls of Jericho which was broken when Ambrose grabbed the ropes.  The German announcers table came into play when Jericho's neck went into it after Ambrose delivered a Suicide Dive.  The two fought on top of the table when Jericho catapulted him into the timekeeper's area.  Ambrose barely got back into the ring at the nine count.  Jericho was able to apply the Walls again after he countered the Dirty Deeds.  Ambrose was able to escape the move again.  After a few two counts, Jericho started to show signs of frustration that he couldn't put his opponent away.  After putting his knees up to block the Lionsault, Ambrose was able to hit the Dirty Deeds to get the win.  Winner: Dean Ambrose 

WWE Women's Champion Charlotte vs. Natalya

Ric Flair was in the corner of his daughter Charlotte while Bret Hart was in the corner of his niece Natalya.  This marks Bret's first appearance since beating prostate cancer earlier this year.  Charlotte dominated most of the match and even applied the Figure 8 but was unable to put her opponent away.  She added insult to injury when she applied the Sharpshooter.  In yet another recreation of The Montreal Screwjob, the referee immediately called for the bell and awarded the match to Charlotte despite Natalya not tapping out.  Following the match, Bret and Natalya applied Sharpshooters to Ric and Charlotte, respectively.

 Winner: Charlotte    

Mr. McMahon Announced Which of His Children Will Control RAW

Vince said that the person to lead the new era of RAW needs to have great ethics. Vince then called his daughter Stephanie McMahon to the ring.  Shane McMahon interrupted his sister's last minute politicking for the job to do some of his own.  Vince decided to let them both have equal power on Monday Night RAW.  

WWE World Heavyweight Champion Roman Reigns vs. AJ Styles

AJ Styles was able to deliver the Phenomenal Forearm to Roman Reigns who was outside of the ring and caused them both to crash through the announcers table.  AJ tried to drag Roman back into the ring but when he realized he couldn't drag him back into the ring, he rolled back in by himself at nine to get the victory via count out.  Shane McMahon came out and restarted the match as a No Count Out Match.  AJ went for a move off the ropes and Roman accidentally hit AJ with a low blow on the way down.  After it was announced AJ won via disqualification, Stephanie McMahon ordered the match be restarted with No Disqualification stipulations.  After Roman Reigns delivered two Superman punches and set AJ up for the Spear, AJ's friends Anderson and Gallows pulled him out of the ring and then decimated the champion.  AJ delivered the Phenomenal Forearm again but only got a two count when Roman Reign's foot touched the ropes.  The Usos came out to defend their cousin from Gallows and Anderson.  During the huge melee outside the ring, AJ hit the forearm again.

 He put Roman back in the ring and hit a Springboard Splash but once again only got a two count.  AJ went for the Forearm again but Roman ducked it and hit the Spear to get the win.  Following the match, Vince was shown in the back with Shane and Stephanie where it was decided that AJ would get a rematch in three weeks at Extreme Rules in an Extreme Rules Match.  Winner: Roman Reigns

What does this event mean for the future?

This event was dubbed the first pay-per-view of a New Era.  Part of the reason for that is because of all the injures to the established stars on the roster which has produced an opening for the next or pardon the pun, NXT generation of WWE Superstars.  Unfortunately, the injury bug that has bit the veterans reared its ugly head in a scary way during the tag team match.  It's moments like that which remind you just how dangerous this business is and what gifted athletes professional wrestlers are to make what they do look so easy.

The huge story line arc that will play out for quite sometime and will dominate everything else is Vince McMahon's decision.  As previously mentioned, Roman Reigns will defend the WWE World Heavyweight Championship against AJ Styles in an Extreme Rules Match.   The Intercontinental Championship scene has really picked up and I wouldn't be surprised to see a Fatal 4-Way Match for that title in three weeks.

Final Thoughts

The crowd was very hot tonight and they had good reason to be. This was a great show, and one that got the new era off to an exciting start. If you haven't seen it, I highly recommend that you check out the segments with Kevin Owens as well as the main event. 

Match Results

  • Final Round of the Tournament to Name the #1 Contenders for the WWE Tag Team Championship: The Vaudevillains and Enzo Amore & Colin Cassady fought to a no contest when Enzo suffered a legitimate injury. 
  • Kevin Owens beat Sami Zayn
  • Intercontinental Championship: Champion The Miz beat Cesaro
  • Dean Ambrose beat Chris Jericho
  • WWE Women's Championship: Champion Charlotte beat Natalya
  • Vince McMahon decided that both Shane McMahon and Stephanie McMahon would have equal power controlling Monday Night RAW
  • No DQ and No Count Out Match for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship: Champion Roman Reigns beat AJ Styles
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Your Citation
Cohen, Eric. "Payback 2016: WWE World Heavyweight Champion Roman Reigns vs AJ Styles." ThoughtCo, Feb. 7, 2017, Cohen, Eric. (2017, February 7). Payback 2016: WWE World Heavyweight Champion Roman Reigns vs AJ Styles. Retrieved from Cohen, Eric. "Payback 2016: WWE World Heavyweight Champion Roman Reigns vs AJ Styles." ThoughtCo. (accessed December 11, 2017).