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LaBar: 'WWE Payback' made the future official

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Sunday, June 1, 2014, 11:51 p.m.

The “WWE Payback” event should eliminate any doubt about who the next marquee performer is in WWE's eyes.

Roman Reigns and The Shield headlined the night in an epic elimination battle against Triple H, Randy Orton and Batista. The Shield won with a clean sweep, eliminating all three Evolution members and not losing any of their own.

The star in the booking was Reigns, who took the most physical abuse from the heels. He also got the clinching victory over Triple H. Not only did Reigns and The Shield get empowered booking treatment, but it was done directly from the boss — Triple H — himself.

Reigns has been clearly designated as “the future” by WWE brass for some time. The WWE is clearly all in.

While Reigns' future is firmly established, Bray Wyatt get another huge bump in his credibility. John Cena beat him in a Last Man Standing match. However, in professional wrestling, it's not about how many wins or losses you have, it's about how you win or lose.

Wyatt has gone toe-to-toe the past three months with the poster boy of the company. He has brought a new side out of Cena with the nature of this feud. Wyatt will go down in the loss column for the record books at “WWE Payback,” but he's on the same first-class train as Reigns.

The Divas division confuses me. Paige is meant to be working against the lesser names in the division, getting easy wins to help get familiarize the audience with her as she wins some title matches.

Alicia Fox outshines her. Paige is still champ, but every week I'm caring more about Fox and less about Paige. Fox is doing a great parody of AJ Lee's crazy “character.”

Bad News Barrett has been the best news for his career. His momentum picks up every week.

I like Rusev, but I really BO-lieve in Lana. Let's trade Sheamus for a few more Lanas.

Bo Dallas has had a decent beginning to his heel character on the main roster. I always said Tim Tebow would do well in WWE because he's so polarizing.

Daniel Bryan is still champion. If he's going to be out of action this summer, they have to take the title from him. Unless the WWE is going to make him the RAW general manager, I don't know how else they keep him on television each week.

The only thing accomplished in that storyline was Brie Bella “quit” so she wouldn't be fired by Stephanie McMahon. Please ignore Brie during Total Divas.

Justin Labar is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-320-7949 or

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