Payback (2015) was a professional wrestling pay-per-view (PPV) event and WWE Network event produced by WWE. It took place on May 17, 2015, at the Royal Farms Arena in Baltimore, Maryland. It was the third event under the Payback chronology, and the first Payback held outside of the Chicago suburb of Rosemont, Illinois. Payback was available free to new subscribers on WWE's monthly subscription service, the WWE Network in over 140 countries.
Promotional poster featuring Randy Orton
|Date||May 17, 2015|
|Venue||Royal Farms Arena|
|WWE Network event chronology|
Nine matches took place at the event, with two matches on the pre-show. In the main event, Seth Rollins defeated Roman Reigns, Dean Ambrose and Randy Orton in a Fatal 4-Way match to retain the WWE World Heavyweight Championship. The event has sold 54,000 buys (excluding WWE Network views), down from the previous year's 67,000 buys.
The card consisted of nine matches, including two on the preshow, that resulted from scripted storylines, where wrestlers portrayed villains, heroes, or less distinguishable characters in scripted events that built tension and culminated in a wrestling match or series of matches, with results predetermined by WWE's writers. Storylines between the characters played out on WWE's primary television programs, Raw and SmackDown.
At Extreme Rules, Cena retained the United States Championship by defeating Rusev in a Russian Chain match. Later in the event, after consulting with The Authority, Lana stated that Cena would defend the title against Rusev in an "I Quit" match at the event.
At Extreme Rules, Seth Rollins defeated Randy Orton in a steel cage match to retain the WWE World Heavyweight Championship after interference from Kane, Jamie Noble, and Joey Mercury. On the April 27 episode of Raw, it was announced that, as a result of a vote on the WWE App, Rollins was scheduled to defend the title against Orton and Roman Reigns in a triple threat match at the event. On the May 4 episode of Raw, Dean Ambrose defeated Rollins in a non-title match, and per the pre-match stipulation, he was added to the match, thus making the match a fatal-four way. On the May 11 episode of Raw, Triple H decided that if Rollins lost the title, Kane would no longer be the WWE Director of Operations.
On the Extreme Rules pre-show, Neville defeated Bad News Barrett. On April 28, Barrett defeated Neville to win the King of the Ring tournament, changing his ring name to King Barrett. On the May 7 episode of SmackDown, Neville and Dolph Ziggler defeated Barrett and Sheamus in a tag team match. On the May 11 episode of Raw, a match between Barrett and Neville was scheduled for the event.
At Extreme Rules, Ziggler defeated Sheamus in a Kiss Me Arse match. On the May 7 episode of SmackDown, Ziggler and Neville defeated Sheamus and Barrett in a tag team match. On the May 11 episode of Raw, Ziggler was scheduled to face Sheamus at the event.
At Extreme Rules, The New Day defeated Tyson Kidd and Cesaro to win the Tag Team Championship. On the April 30 episode of SmackDown, Kidd and Cesaro defeated The New Day by disqualification in a rematch for the titles. On the May 11 episode of Raw, The New Day were scheduled to defend the titles against Kidd and Cesaro in a 2-out-of-3 falls tag team match at the event.
On the May 11 episode of Raw, The Ascension interrupted a match between Curtis Axel and Damien Sandow, in the guise of Macho Mandow, and attacked both wrestlers, resulting in Axel and Mandow teaming together to attack The Ascension. A match between the two pairs was scheduled for the Payback pre-show.
Bray Wyatt began sending messages to Ryback in April. On the April 27 and April 30 episodes of Raw, Wyatt attacked Ryback following the latter's victories over Bo Dallas and Luke Harper, respectively. On the May 11 episode of Raw, Ryback attacked Wyatt. On May 13, a match between the two was scheduled for the event.
Naomi was defeated by Divas Champion, Nikki Bella, at Extreme Rules, and by Nikki's twin sister, Brie, on the April 27 episode of Raw. A week later, a returning Tamina Snuka joined Naomi in an attack on both Bella Twins. On the May 11 episode of Raw, Tamina defeated Brie. On the May 14 episode of SmackDown, a match between the two teams was scheduled for Payback.
|English commentators||Michael Cole|
|John "Bradshaw" Layfield|
|Spanish commentators||Carlos Cabrera|
|Backstage interviewers||Tom Phillips|
|Ring announcers||Eden Stiles|
|Pre-show panel||Renee Young|
During the pre-show, R-Truth defeated Stardust after a "Lie Detector". Later, "The Mega Powers" (Macho Mandow and Curtis Axel) faced The Ascension (Konnor and Viktor), which The Ascension won after a "Fall of Man" to Mandow.
Next, The New Day (Big E and Kofi Kingston) defended the WWE Tag Team Championship against Tyson Kidd and Cesaro. Kidd and Cesaro won the first fall after Kidd performed a dropkick following a "Cesaro Swing" on Kingston. The New Day won the second fall after performing the "Midnight Hour" on Kidd. The New Day won the third fall after Xavier Woods sneaked in and pinned Cesaro with an inside cradle, meaning The New Day retained the title.
The fourth match saw John Cena defend the WWE United States Championship against Rusev in an "I Quit" match At one point during the match, the fight spilled into the crowd, as well as the production area. Rusev eventually applied the "Accolade" on Cena. Cena did not quit, but passed out. Referee Mike Chioda informed Rusev that the match can only end when someone quits, so unlike a submission match, this one continued. Steel steps, a steel barricade, Cena tackling Rusev through the barricade, Cena using a laptop as a weapon and Rusev using the pyro table for an explosion all came into play during the match. In the end, Cena ended up using the ring ropes for extra torque on the STF he applied on Rusev. Lana then claimed that Rusev was saying "I Quit" in Bulgarian. As Lana was Rusev's manager, the referee obliged and Cena retained the title.
In the penultimate match, Neville faced King Barrett. In the end, Barrett was intentionally counted out. Following the match, Barrett attacked Neville, including putting on his royal attire, but Neville gave Barrett a German suplex and performed the "Red Arrow" on him.
In the main event, Seth Rollins defended the WWE World Heavyweight Championship against Roman Reigns, Dean Ambrose, and Randy Orton in a fatal four-way match. During the match, there was a mini-Shield reunion when Rollins, Reigns, and Ambrose performed their signature triple powerbomb on Orton through a broadcast table. Rollins then wanted the group to reunite, however Reigns and Ambrose attacked him. Kane interfered to aid Rollins. Reigns and Ambrose executed a powerbomb on Kane on top of Rollins, who was on another broadcast table. Reigns and Ambrose performed another powerbomb on Kane sending both Kane and Rollins through the broadcast table. Ambrose and Reigns then started to wrestle each other. Reigns missed two Superman punches, but finally connected the third one on Ambrose. Reigns performed a spear on Ambrose and made a cover, but Rollins broke up the cover. Ambrose performed "Dirty Deeds" on Rollins and made a cover but Kane pulled Ambrose out of the ring, voiding the pinfall at a two count. Kane attacked Ambrose with the steel steps and performed a chokeslam on Reigns onto the steel steps. Orton executed "RKOs" to both Jamie Noble and Joey Mercury, and performed a spike DDT on Rollins. Orton then prepared for an "RKO", but Kane would try to interfere, only to receive an "RKO". Rollins capitalized and executed a "Pedigree" on Orton to retain the title.
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