Throughout WWE’s history, we’ve witnessed so many entertaining and historic matches. There have been moments where we laughed, celebrated to the point where the noise ordinance was broken, and shocked us to the point where we were left speechless. I want to honor these amazing moments and those who created them by creating a new blog segment called Flashback Friday.
In honor of Payback which recently took place this Sunday, I wanted to take a look back at the first match that ever took place at the very first Payback pay-per-view. This was a triple threat match for the Intercontinental Championship between former Intercontinental Champion The Miz, newcomer and Paul Heyman guy Curtis Axel and current Intercontinental Champion Wade Barrett.
Photo courtesy of fanart.tv
Although this was a Triple Threat match, it seemed as if The Miz and Wade Barrett were the ones duking it out the majority of the time. With Axel under Heyman’s expertise, Heyman knew the opportune times when and when not Axel should be in the ring. When Axel was in the ring, he hit his finishing moves on Barrett and Miz such as The Perfect Drop and The Perfect Plex. These maneuvers most likely would have secured a victory if neither of his opponents interfered and broke the hold. Towards the end of the match, The Miz was successfully able to lock in The Figure Four onto Wade Barrett his second attempt (he had attempted this maneuver previously but Barrett was able to break it). Barrett had tried to make it to the bottom rope so The Miz would have no choice but to break the hold, but The Miz pulled him right back to the center of the ring. While The Miz was focusing on Figure Four, Curtis Axel crawled his way back into the ring and pinned Barrett’s shoulders down. By the time The Miz realized what was going on, it was too late: Curtis Axel pinned Wade Barrett to become the Intercontinental Champion!
Photo courtesy of WWE.com
What a way to kick off the show! I had never seen a victory like Axel’s before in WWE so it was truly better than perfect (see what I did there?). It was a truly a special moment, not only because it was Axel’s first title win but because it was also Father’s Day the day this pay-per-view took place. There’s no doubt that his father, “Mr. Perfect” Curt Hennig, was looking down on his son incredibly proud and by the sound of the WWE Universe, we were incredibly proud of him as well.
You can watch this match and many more on the WWE Network for only $9.99!