Backlash 2017 Review

By Jim Kennedy
May. 22, 2017

Coming off the heels of an incredible NXT TakeOver: Chicago, Backlash had an opportunity to continue Smackdown’s dominance in WWE pay-per-views against their team red counterparts. The card itself looked good, with Shinsuke Nakamura making his Smackdown debut, AJ Styles and Kevin Owens going at it for the U.S. title, and Randy Orton taking on Jinder Mahal for the WWE Championship. With a weekend of great wrestling complete, let’s take a look at the best, the worst, and everything in between at Backlash.

Best Match: Shinsuke Nakamura def Dolph Ziggler

It was the main roster debut for the King of Strong Style, and boy what a debut it was! I have to give WWE credit on pitting Nakamura against a talented guy like Dolph Ziggler. As soon as the bell rang, the two superstars went at it. Pulling out every move from their respective playbooks, both Ziggler and Nakamura wanted to show the world that they would walk out of the Allstate Arena as the winner. After kicking out of a Zig Zag and a Super Kick, Nakamura quickly and effectively took over, offering Ziggler to the Kinshasa, and pinning him for the victory. The fact that the match was back and forth, full of incredible moves from both competitors, and fueled with passion, makes this match the match of the Look out Smackdown Live, Nakamura has come to play!

Worst Match: Jinder Mahal def Randy Orton for the WWE Championship

I’m sure I’m not the only one who went into Backlash thinking Randy Orton would lose to Jinder Mahal. I told my friend Josh that there was no way you could sell me on the Orton/Mahal rivalry. Well, WWE decided to say “Screw it!” and gave Mahal the title, defeating Orton after he took out both Singh Brothers. I’ve never seen fans in the Allstate Arena look completely shocked at what they saw. The match itself was ok, wasn’t really anything to be proud of if you’re a WWE fan. But the way that it ended and the shock that came with it made it the worst match. You need to give me the best pitch possible for me to see Jinder Mahal as WWE Champion, because I just don’t see it. I don’t know what WWE is smoking, but I would surely like some.

Moment of the Night: Tyler Breeze’s Disguises

I will admit this, I was expecting the tag team title match to be a bit of a drool between Breezango and the Usos. Yes, the Usos won, but what got me were the disguises that Tyler Breeze wore. First as a janitor with a mop, which was later used to clean the face of one Uso. Then he turned into a grandmother, who then proceeded to flash the other Uso. When you got the fans at the Allstate Arena screaming “Let’s Go Grandma!”, that means you did something right. Although they did not win the match, Breezango was entertaining to see in and out of the ring, all capped off with Breeze throwing his dress at JBL. Well done, Prince Pretty!

Overall Grade: C

I will give it some credit, for the event from pre-show to the second to last match was good. I’m intrigued to see what’s going to happen to Owens/Styles seeing that it ended in a countout. The six women tag team match had a chance to be great, but it didn’t sell to me. Sami Zayn and Baron Corbin was a good buffer match, but now you need to put both superstars into better storylines. The reason that this pay-per-view got a C is because of the ending to Mahal/Orton. You cannot sell me with Mahal as champion. I don’t know what WWE is thinking, but unlike fans that are going to “boycott Smackdown” and all because of it, I’m willing to begrudgingly let this play out and see what happens now. Just be happy that Smackdown has a champion that will show up every week, unlike the Universal Champion Brock Lesnar.

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