WWE Payback kicked off at the ThunderDome inside the Amway Center in Orlando Florida with a reminder of the backlash at SummerSlam which occurred only one week ago. Highlights included The Fiend versus Braun Stowman, who had their feud interrupted by none other than the big dog, Roman Reigns in his first WWE appearance since March. Other matches to look forward to on the card are Sasha and Bayley versus Nia Jax and Shayna Baszler, Randy Orton versus Keith Lee, father and son duo Rey and Dominik Mysterio versus Seth Rollins and Murphy, King Corbin versus Matt Riddle, and Big E versus Sheamus.
Again the WWE filled its audience with its fans remotely, and ignited with the tenacity of Bobby Lashley, accompanied by MVP and Shelton Benjamin as the Hurt Business. Challenging for the United States Championship, Lashley's cohorts called out the current reigning Apollo Crews in the preshow, specifically commenting on his previous neck injury at the hands of Lashley. Although this trio may hope to capitalize on Crews' bulging disc issues, Apollo did not seem to be bothered by the lingering words offered from the trio and entered the arena staring each of his adversaries down.
Lashley started the match off strong, moving Apollo into the corner before bringing him down for back to back dominating slams. Crews did utilize his superior agility, answering Lashley with dropkicks and a well-timed moonsault on the outside of the ring. Seeing as how the Hurt Business attempted to prevent any dominating run from Crews, however, the current reigning was forced to endure Lashley's beating from inside the ropes or the taunting and interference from his cohorts on the outside.
Lashley attempted the first pin, knowing full well this match would only conclude by pin or pitfall. Finally, after two pin attempts from Lashley, Crews finally rallied and was able to get enough moves on Lashley before he could answer to any of them. Delivering the closest near three-count of the match so far, Apollo did not allow the kick out to stop his momentum. Crews delivered German suplex after another and landed a devastating frog splash on Lashley who somehow managed to successfully kick-out at the last moment.
Lashley got the better of Apollo Crews in the end, waiting for the perfect moment to land a full nelson on Crews who tapped out and let the United States Championship title slip through his fingers. The frustration that should have been utilized during the match exploded from Crews, who landed a few after-the-bell blows on Lashley but ultimately left the arena with empty hands and a heavy heart.