Sunday night lessons: What I learned from Curtis Axel, AJ Lee vs Kaitlyn, and a few key moments from Payback.

I’m going to start this post with a little honesty. Payback was a one match show for me. Nothing else had me as pumped as Kaitlyn vs AJ. But there were a few moments from the show and it’s aftermath that made me want to write about them.

Due to those feelings, I will only be ”learning” from the moments during and after Payback that got my attention. If you’re looking for a standard PPV rundown, this isn’t it.

Here we go.

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1. I like it when wrestlers treat a title win like an accomplishment.

We all know that as silly as wrestling can be, the women and men who wrestle have a tough, all consuming job. The ascension to the main roster is not an overnight thing. It takes years of sweat and sacrifice just to get to the top, if you even get there at all.

So, when someone wins a title, I would think that’s a very important moment in their career. And if that title win is important, take a moment to show me that the title you just won means something to you.

The internet fan in me wants to feel just as emotional as the wrestler when they win a title for the first time, or the hundredth. I want to know that the belt you just won is important to you, and that every title win after that will be just as meaningful.

As such, when AJ and Curtis Axel had those obviously emotional title wins last night, I couldn’t help but tear up a bit. Showing honesty about wanting something and finally achieving it can only make me like you that much more.

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2. Story telling should still mean something.

There’s nothing better than sitting down with a cold drink and watching a wrestling match. The hour long wrestle fests are particularly great. But nothing gets me more into a match than putting a story behind it. It could be about anything. Respect, you stole my girlfriend, that’s my title, you suck and I’ll kick your ass and prove it. All that and more is good. Because anybody can wrestle a match with no meaning.

Tell me a story with something (or someone) to get behind, and you’ve got me on your side forever.

3. A great false finish is better than a flat clean finish.

The false finish is seriously overused. So, make your false finish count. Make it suspenseful and make it add that little something extra to your match.

When Kaitlyn speared AJ to death last night, then followed up with a kiss to get limp body, I really thought that the match was over, and I physically reacted when it wasn’t. Reactions are important and I forgot that this show was predetermined for a few seconds.

Mission accomplished.

4. Rob Van Dam coming back doesn’t mean anything until he makes it meaningful.

The end.

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5. Del Rio won. It is what it is.

I like Dolph Ziggler. Him, AJ, and Big E Langston make a strange little crew, but together they are dynamic. Dolph is also one of the best wrestlers on the roster right now, and he deserves to be champion.

That being said, I think the internet forgets that Dolph is a bad guy. That’s what he is. Therefore, what happens to him on TV usually goes with what he is on TV. A bad guy.

There could be a million reasons why Dolph lost the title, but do they matter? No. He lost. At this point, he will either turn good and do a title chase, or he’ll go the money in the bank route. Or however else the WWE decides he should regain the title, if he does at all.

The bottom line is that Dolph didn’t choose to lose the title. Someone decided that he should. Not Alberto or Ricardo.

Being pissed that your favorite wrestler lost a title is one thing, but acting like Del Rio isn’t deserving of his win is just as bad. Dolph and Del Rio put on a great match last night, and Dolph losing doesn’t detract from that.

And those are your Sunday lessons.

Until next time.

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