Payback was a professional wrestling pay-per-view and WWE Network event produced by WWE for their Raw and SmackDown brand divisions. It took place on August 30, 2020 at the Amway Center in Orlando, Florida. It was the sixth event in the Payback chronology and the first to be held since the 2017 event. It also featured the virtual fan viewing experience called ThunderDome.
Payback is a pay-per-view event that was established by WWE in 2013. The event ran annually from 2013–2017, with the 2017 event being the final event until it was brought back in 2020. The 2020 event will be the sixth event in the Payback chronology and feature wrestlers from the Raw and SmackDown brands.
Impact of the COVID-19 pandemic
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, WWE had presented the majority of its programming from the WWE Performance Center in Orlando, Florida since mid-March 2020 with no fans in attendance, although in late May, the promotion began using Performance Center trainees to serve as the live audience, which was further expanded to friends and family members of the wrestlers in mid-June. On August 17, WWE announced that all future shows and pay-per-views would be held at the Amway Center, a larger venue also located in Orlando, for the "foreseeable future," beginning with the August 21 episode of SmackDown. Furthermore, the shows now feature a new fan viewing experience called "ThunderDome", which utilizes drones, lasers, pyro, smoke, and projections. Approximately one thousand LED boards were installed in the Amway Center to allow fans to virtually attend the events for free and be seen on the rows and rows of LED boards. Arena audio is also mixed with that of the virtual fans so that chants from the fans can be heard.
The show included matches that resulted from scripted storylines, where wrestlers portray heroes, villains, or less distinguishable characters in scripted events that build tension and culminate in a wrestling match or series of matches. Results are predetermined by WWE's writers on the Raw and SmackDown brands, while storylines are produced on WWE's weekly television shows, Monday Night Raw and Friday Night SmackDown.
On the August 14 episode of SmackDown, it was revealed that Bayley and Sasha Banks would defend the WWE Women's Tag Team Championship at Payback. Their opponents were revealed on the August 24 episode of Raw; the team of Nia Jax and Shayna Baszler.
At SummerSlam, "The Fiend" Bray Wyatt defeated Braun Strowman to win the Universal Championship for the second time. Following the match, Roman Reigns made his return after a five-month hiatus and viciously attacked The Fiend and Strowman. On the August 24 episode of Raw, it was announced that The Fiend would defend the title against Strowman and Reigns in a Triple Threat No Holds Barred match at Payback. On the August 28 episode of SmackDown, Reigns aligned himself with Paul Heyman.
On the August 24 episode of Raw, after attacking WWE Champion Drew McIntyre with two Punts, Randy Orton, who lost to McIntyre at SummerSlam, wanted another rematch for the title, but he was interrupted by Keith Lee, who made his Raw debut. On behalf of McIntyre, Lee challenged Orton to a match only for Orton to decline. However, the two fought each other later on, with Orton winning via disqualification after McIntyre attacked him. Orton later attacked McIntyre backstage with a third Punt, taking McIntyre out. A rematch between Lee and Orton was subsequently confirmed for Payback.
At SummerSlam, Seth Rollins (who was accompanied by his disciple Murphy) defeated Dominik Mysterio (who was accompanied by his father Rey Mysterio) in a Street Fight. The following night on Raw, Rey Mysterio and Dominik defeated Rollins and Murphy by disqualification when Retribution attacked the Mysterios. A rematch between the two teams was scheduled for Payback.
- Numbers in parentheses indicate the length of the match.
- (c) refers to the champion(s) heading into the match.
- Pre-Show: The Riott Squad (Liv Morgan & Ruby Riott) defeated The IIconics (Billie Kay & Peyton Royce) (9:02)
- Bobby Lashley (w/ MVP & Shelton Benjamin) defeated Apollo Crews (c) to win the WWE United States Championship (9:23)
- Big E defeated Sheamus (12:17)
- Matt Riddle defeated King Corbin (10:57)
- Shayna Baszler & Nia Jax defeated Bayley and Sasha Banks (c) to win the WWE Women's Tag Team Championship (10:17)
- Keith Lee defeated Randy Orton (6:40)
- Dominik Mysterio & Rey Mysterio defeated Seth Rollins & Murphy (15:58)
- Roman Reigns (w/ Paul Heyman) defeated "The Fiend" Bray Wyatt (c) and Braun Strowman in a No Holds Barred Triple Threat match to win the WWE Universal Championship (12:41)
Other on-screen talent
- Official Website
- [ Payback 2020 on WWE Network]
- [ Payback 2020 Kickoff Show on WWE Network]
- Payback 2020 Kickoff Show at CAGEMATCH.net
- Payback 2020 at CAGEMATCH.net
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|2020 World Wrestling Entertainment pay-per-views|
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