WWE BACKLASH! (5/21/17)
–Kickoff Match: Tye Dillinger VS Aiden English; Dillinger wins.
-Shinsuke Nakamura VS Dolph Ziggler; Nakamura wins.
-WWE SmackDown Tag Team Championship Match: The Usos VS Breezango; The Usos win and retain the SmackDown Tag Team Championships.
-Sami Zayn VS Baron Corbin; Zayn wins.
-Six Woman Tag Match: Naomi, Becky Lynch & Charlotte Flair VS The Welcoming Committee; The Welcoming Committee wins.
-WWE United States Championship Match: Kevin Owens VS AJ Styles; Owens wins and retains the US Championship.
-Luke Harper VS Erick Rowan; Harper wins.
-WWE World Championship Match: Randy Orton VS Jinder Mahal w/ the Singh Brothers; Mahal wins and becomes the new WWE World Champion.
PLAY BY PLAY
Renee Young has an exclusive interview with Tye Dillinger, who responds to hearing that his Backlash Kickoff opponent is Aiden English. The Perfect Ten gets to be in Chi-Town, but then he’s interrupted by Aiden English. Tye has interrupted his symphonic voice, but English vows he will debut a masterpiece: The Perfect Downfall. Tye interrupts English again, saying it’ll just be another Perfect Loss for English. Just don’t cry this time.
Erick Rowan makes a surprise appearance at the Kickoff table, but doesn’t say a word. What dark, eerie, and dangerous things does he have planned tonight for his former brother in Luke Harper?
Fans get to #AskSami questions, so Sami Zayn answers them in the social media lounge. Does Sami think he can beat Baron Corbin? Sami feels this is a bit biased, the “Underdog from the Underground” isn’t that crazy of a bet. Sami can beat anybody on any given night and that includes Corbin. Then does he feel he’s gotten his due now that he’s on SmackDown? Yes, the Land of Opportunity gives a better “spirit of competition” feeling than Raw, Sami’s wanted to face Corbin along with guys he hasn’t faced while being on Raw. Lastly, what’s his secret to always being positive? Well he isn’t always positive, but being able to remain positive is about realizing you can’t “live and die by the moment”. There are always second chances or other opportunities down the line, so just keep your chin up. Sami is feeling positive and confident, how will he fare against the Lone Wolf?
Tye Dillinger VS Aiden English!
Losing to the Perfect Ten on SmackDown deeply frustrated the Drama King, and now he seeks vengeance tonight to rectify what he feels is an injustice. The Maestro of Mayhem, sporting Starry Night tights, doesn’t do himself any favors with his own hometown audience, saying he’s already the “best thing this trash town will ever see.” He even wishes to give an encore, but once again he gets interrupted. Chicago loves The Perfect Ten much more, though that’s not really hard at this point. The fans chant “TEN TEN TEN” but English mockingly bows. Tye just gives him a “TEN”. They tie up, English gets the headlock and holds the ponytail to keep it. Tye powers out and uses English’s hair as payback. Snapmare, cartwheel, “TEN TEN TEN!” It frustrates English to no end, so he gives a big elbow out of the waistlock. English declares Chicago is his town, but Tye turns things around on him in the corner. English avoids the corner punches and gets to the ropes. The referee orders Tye to back down, but English grabs Tye’s arm to yank him into ropes! English hits the running neckbreaker, Tye rolls to ropes. English stomps away on Tye in a corner, then backs down to line up a shot. English conducts music then hits a big back elbow in the corner as we go to break.
English keeps up the stomping as we return, and pulls Tye up by his ears. Snapmare to chinlock but Tye scrambles to his feet to resist. English keeps it on, Tye fades to a knee, English sings against the “TEN TEN TEN” chants. Tye powers to his feet but English gives him knees to the spine. English continues to taunt the fans with his operatic singing, but Tye fires up again with the rallying applause. Tye breaks the hold and powers his way to a victory roll. TWO, so an Atomic Drop and a couple LOUD chops stagger English. Tye starts rallying with forearms, lariats and a stomp. English gets to a corner, Tye hits those Perfect Ten punches. Knee pad down, English rolls out of the ring. Tye pursues, puts English back in the ring but English gets to an apron. He misses a punch but gives a hotshot, Tye is down. English climbs up top, Tye throws him down! Tye decides to go up, frog splash flops! English pounces, Full Nelson Facebuster, TWO! English is immediately frustrated, and tells Tye this is HIS spotlight. English slams Tye, goes up top, swanton misses but English rolls through. He gets caught into the Tye Breaker! The Perfect Ten wins!
Erick Rowan returns to the panel, with a different mask. He presents what he has in his burlap bag: another mask, that he rips and throws away. Is this some kind of metaphor for what he’ll do to Harper tonight?
Shinsuke Nakamura VS Dolph Ziggler!
The King of Strong Style finally makes his main roster in-ring debut, and the Show-Off vows to ruin it with a loss, a loss that exposes “The Artist” as a fraud. The fans are thunderous already for Nakamura, but only Dolph is unimpressed. The two stand off at the bell, Nakamura smirking as he and Ziggler circle each other. Nakamura is wary of the holds, Ziggler of the kicks, but it is Ziggler with his amateur wrestling that gets a hold of a leg. Waistlock but Nakamura pops out and guards from the floor. He sweeps Ziggler and narrowly misses the kick. Ziggler stays back as he rethinks his strategy. They tie up now, Ziggler uses Nakamura’s long hair to pull him to a corner. The break is less than clean with the slap to the face from Ziggler. Nakamura brushes it off and unloads knees to the gut. Nakamura wrenches Ziggler’s arm, Ziggler reverses into a roll up, TWO. Ziggler gets on Nakamura’s arm with a wrenching armbar, Nakamura endures as Ziggler bends those fingers. Nakamura gets up and out with great agility, and drags Ziggler down. Ziggler gets to ropes, Nakamura does his ab rest on Ziggler’s back, then gives that pie face back! Nakamura tells Ziggler to bring it, Ziggler rushes in and gets a knee to the gut, then a knee drop to the head. Ziggler gets to a corner, Good Vibrations!
Nakamura lets Ziggler go, Ziggler gets out of the ring. Nakamura pursues and clubs Ziggler in the back. Nakamura puts Ziggler in the ring, Ziggler pounces on reentry to hit a neckbreaker. Ziggler stalks Nakamura, dragging him up to his feet by his hair to give a headbutt and then rake the eyes. Chinlock applied now, Ziggler uses his body weight to put Nakamura to the mat. Ziggler even grinds forehead to forehead to make it more of a grind on Nakamura. The fans duel on whether “Ziggler Sucks!” or not. Nakamura gets to his feet and throws Ziggler off, but Ziggler hits a LOUD dropkick, TWO. Ziggler stalks Nakamura before throwing a punch and swiveling the hips. Elbow drop, TWO. Ziggler grins as he toys with Nakamura. Ziggler drags Nakamura up by his hair and presses him against the ropes as he trash talks. He gives a headbutt, the fans cheer for Nakamura. Nakamura gives a knee, misses one kick but hits with the other! He and Ziggler are both slow to getting up, but Ziggler fires up. Nakamura fires off strikes on the Show-Off, roundhouses knock Ziggler down. Corner to corner whip, corner splash from Nakamura. He sets Ziggler up top rope, knee to the gut! TWO! Nakamura picks Ziggler up, Ziggler fights back and rolls up, holds tights, TWO, into the Triangle Hold! Ziggler gets a ropebreak, Nakamura lets him go. Nakamura drags Ziggler to the center of the ring, tries to suplex but Ziggler lands on his feet. Ziggler kicks out a knee, then hits his satellite DDT!
Ziggler covers, TWO! Ziggler is frustrated from being that close, but he gets up and rushes at Nakamura. Nakamura knees his gut again, then takes aim, but Ziggler side steps and rolls up him up, TWO, FAMOUSER!
Ziggler covers again, TWO! Ziggler hit two signature moves but that wasn’t enough to put the King of Strong Style down. Nakamura does clutch his shoulders so damage has been done. Ziggler gets up in a corner and tunes up the band a la HBK. Ziggler goes for but misses his kick. Nakamura misses a boot, ZIG ZAG!
Another cover, TWO!! Ziggler is in shock that even his finisher failed. The fans are thunderous for Nakamura again as Ziggler drags him up. Ziggler wants to finish with a powerbomb a la JBL, taunt and all, but Nakamura denies it. Another strike fest and then an ax kick, Nakamura has knocked Ziggler down, but he drags him up for the Inverted Exploder, Ziggler lands on his feet! SUPERKICK to the back of the head! Ziggler crawls to the cover, TWO! Ziggler keeps on Nakamura with clubbing blows to the back of the head and kicks to the ribs. Nakamura catches the foot, and Ziggler spits in his face. Nakamura unleashes strikes on Ziggler and counters the takedown with knees to Ziggler’s head and body. They go to the ropes, Nakamura keeps going. The ref gets Nakamura away only a moment before Nakamura goes to the apron and gives a sliding knee strike!
Ziggler is down but Nakamura is not through with him yet. Nakamura fires up, goes to the second rope, but misses the flying knee. Ziggler tries but misses his Superkick, Nakamura gives a super forearm to the back fo Ziggler’s head. Then, Inverted Exploder! Still not done there, Nakamura goes to a corner and…KINSHASA!!
Nakamura wins his debut and dispels all the doubt!
WWE SmackDown Tag Team Championship Match
The Usos VS Breezango!
Jimmy and Jey Uso have been telling the Fashion Police that “it ain’t paranoia, it’s the UCE-O!” Can Fandango and Breeze bust the Usos tonight to take those belts for their own? Fandango starts against Jimmy and gets a headlock, but is powered to a corner. He comes back to give a headscissor and a hip swivel, tag to the “janitor” to clean up the ring.
“Mop! Mop! Mop!” then he side steps Jimmy and lets him hit the buckles! The mop then keeps Jimmy at bay, and cleans Jimmy’s face! Tag to Jey, who knocks Breeze down with a back elbow then breaks the mop! He then goes top rope, Breeze rolls to avoid any diving attack. So Jey goes to the other corner, Breeze rolls the other way. Jey keeps going to corners, Breeze keeps rolling. Jey finally just drags Breeze up, enziguri! TWO, so Breeze tags Fandango. They focus on Jey’s arm, Jey punches back and even knocks Breeze down. Tag to Jimmy, jab to Fandango then a few chops. Jimmy whips but is reversed, sunset flip is close, close, hip swivel! Leg drop! TWO, so Fandango puts Jimmy in an armbar. Now Tyler is Grandma Breezy! Jimmy gets away, Fandango tags in Grandma!
“Let’s go, Grandma!” cheers the crowd. Grandma Breezy dares Jimmy to fight, Jimmy kicks the cane away. Grandma dropkicks Jimmy! Tag to Jey, skirt flash! Another dropkick, Grandma gives Jey a Bronco Buster! Jey dropkicks Breeze out of his wig! Then a baseball slide dropkick, tag to Jimmy, running hip attack! Jimmy drags Breeze out of the corner and throws the dress and it hits JBL in the head! Jimmy drags Breeze to a corner, runs in and misses the corner splash. Tags to Fandango and Jey, Fandango rallies on both Usos. Jey gives an uppercut, Fandango gives a heel kick, TWO! Fandango backs Jey down with chops, then whips corner to corner but is reversed. Jey misses the splash now, tornado DDT! TWO! Fandango tags Breeze, double back suplex but jey slips out. Breeze punches on Jey, Jimmy tags in, backbreaker ax handle! TWO! Jimmy sits Breeze on the top rope, Jey tags in, Breeze baits Jey into giving Jimmy the SUPERKICK!
Breeze gives Jey the Unprettier, TWO! Breeze can’t believe how close he was to that. The Usos regroup on the outside, tag to Fandango. Breeze somersaults but is caught and then thrown to the barrier! So Fandango decides to FLY!
Fandango takes out both Usos, gets Jey(?) in but Jimmy(?) anchors him. SUPERKICK knocks him down, The Usos win! Even with back-up from the Janitor and Grandma, the Fashion Police didn’t catch their titles.
Sami Zayn VS Baron Corbin!
The Lone Wolf enjoys bullying and blindsiding other superstars, and that included the Underdog from the Underground now that he’s on SmackDown after the Shakeup. Now Sami gets to confront Corbin in the ring, can he get one up on Corbin where it counts? Corbin and Sami circle each other a moment before tying up, Corbin powers Sami to a corner. Corbin backs off to let Sami out, teh two tie up again but Sami gets the arm wrench. Corbin still powers Sami to a corner, Sami ducks a punch and puts the arm wrench back on. Corbin powers Sami to ropes, then gives him a straight shot. Sami jumps up and over, headscissors throws Corbin out of the ring. Sami builds speed, Corbin gets out of the way, Sami springboards back to show his agility. Corbin applauds mockingly before getting back in the ring, bumping Sami off a buckle. Corbin repeats then throws Sami to the apron, Sami shoulders and slingshots in, flapjack dropkick sends Corbin out again. Sami’s back is bothering him, Corbin drags him out of the ring. Forearm and then he whips Sami to the barrier, Sami still hits the barrier asai moonsault despite that bad back!
Corbin is down, Sami holds his lower back, the ring count begins. Corbin gets in the ring, Sami gets in and keeps up the attack with strikes. Sami is slowed down by that bad back, however, and Corbin makes it worse by ramming Sami into the opposite corner. Corbin stomps that bad back, then drags Sami up to give him a backbreaker. Corbin trash talks Sami, whips him hard to a corner, and tells the Sami fans to “Shut up!” Corbin keeps on Sami with a forearm, Sami gives forearms back. Sami rebounds off ropes but runs into a bearhug. Corbin squeezes and thrashes Sami, Sami endures the pain but fights out. Sami gets running again, but ends up right back in the bearhug. The fans rally for Sami, Sami fights out again, but his whip is reversed. Sami kicks Corbin away, then dumps Corbin out to the floor. Sami, bad back and all, gets to the top rope and takes aim. Sami sees Corbin enter the ring so he jumps over him and rolls. Sami runs at Corbin again, takes a SPINEBUSTER from Corbin, TWO! Corbin is frustrated he hasn’t put Sami away yet, he trash talks Sami as he stands over him. The fans sing “Ole~ Ole~” for Sami but Corbin just gives him a running right hand. Corbin tells Sami to stay down, Sami refuses. Corbin gives Sami another running right hand, then embraces the heat as he stands over the Underdog. Sami gets back up, Corbin goes running again, Sami gives him a lariat! Sami fires himself up, he starts rallying on Corbin, flying crossbody from the top rope, TWO. Sami picks Corbin up, Corbin gives another right hand. Sami side steps, Corbin slides out then in and clobbers Sami with a clothesline! Corbin covers, TWO, and Corbin is frustrated again. Corbin stalks Sami, gives him stiff forearms to the back, and goes for the back suplex but Sami slips out. Corbin grabs Sami in a choke grip, Choke Breaker!
TWO despite all the damage to his lower back! Corbin is even angrier now, but he continues to stalk his prey. Corbin puts Sami on the top rope and climbs up to join him. Corbin prepares the superplex, Sami fights back to prevent it with clubbing forearms. Sami uses all he has for the Sunset Powerbomb, TWO! The fans chant for Sami, Sami drags Corbin up, Corbin powers him to a corner. Sami fights out, wants the tornado DDT but Corbin changes that with power. Corbin goes to slam Sami but Sami slips out. Sami wants the Exploder but Corbin denies it by holding ropes. Corbin fights out, whips Sami but Sami crucifix pin, TWO. DEEP SIX!
TWO, and Corbin is enraged. Corbin kicks and stomps away, the ref backs him down for only a moment before he starts throwing forearms and even more stomps. Yet Sami gets up. Sami dodges and sends Corbin out again, Corbin comes in but takes a boot. HELLUVA KICK!!
Sami wins outta nowhere! Sami proves that underdogs and Chicago go hand in hand!
Jinder Mahal arrives in style!
He is then interviewed by Dasha Fuentes, but tells us Chicago and America are “full of haters”. Those who hate Mahal for who we think he is, for how he looks, and for how he speaks. He will use that hatred tonight and turn it into “goodness”, something positive and spiritual. He will show that, despite being a peaceful man, he can also become an animal! He will make believers out of Americans and show what his people of India already know: that he is the modern day Maharaja. He speaks to his people in Punjabi to explain how he will dethrone Randy Orton as WWE Champion. Can the proclamations of a peaceful man come true?
Six Woman Tag Match
Naomi, Becky Lynch & Charlotte Flair VS The Welcoming Committee!
Pretty Jimmy Dream, the “epitome of masculinity”, gives his team the introductions as the Princess of Staten Island, the Daughter of Superfly and the Queen of Harts prepare to do battle with Team Royal Glow Fire. We start off with Tamina and the Lass Kicker, waistlock to sleeper hold from Becky but Tamina powers her to a corner. Becky slips out and gets a sunset flip but Tamina picks her up and headbutts her to the Committee’s corner. Tag to Natty, she goes to suplex but gets a small package, TWO. Becky armdrags Natty and tags in The Queen of Pay Per Views. Charlotte and Natty exchange holds, Charlotte cartwheels but is thrown down by her hair. Natty taunts the champ, gets a roll up, TWO. Charlotte gives those Flair chops and knocks Natty down, WOO then knee drop before strutting like her daddy before moonwalking to mock Carmella. Natty whips Charlotte, Charlotte rolls to the apron and knocks Natty down. Charlotte scares Carmella off but then Natty clobbers her with a clothesline. Natty brings Charlotte over, tag to Tamina. Tamina stomps, tags Carmella, Carmella stomps and tags Natty. Natty tags, and this is starting to look like something a certain other trio would do… Carmella is in, she snapmares and elbows Charlotte before wrenching on a chinlock and mocking the WOO~! The fans rally for Charlotte, she fights out but Carmella slips around to pull Charlotte down, TWO. Boot bump in the corner, then a buckle bump, but then Carmella gets bumped herself. Charlotte knocks Carmella away, tags in the champ! Naomi turns it up and kicks away at Carmella, enziguri! Naomi starts feeling the glow as she gives Carmella a basement dropkick. Tamina denies the split leg moonsault but gets a roundhouse for it. Carmella uses ropes to tweak Naomi, then pulls that long ponytail to hold her up for kicks of her own. Carmella moonwalks now, WOO, Bronco Buster, TWO. Carmella tags to Tamina, they put Naomi in a chinlock. Naomi fights out, only to get clobbered by a clothesline. Tag to Carmella, then to Natty, Naomi is isolated by the Welcoming Committee. Naomi dodges the second bronco buster, then reverses Natty’s whip. Natty gets rid of Charlotte, Naomi whips Natty to the corner, Tamina tags in. Tamina anchors Naomi but is pushed away. Naomi jumps to tag Becky, but Carmella trips Becky from the apron! Naomi is alone as Tamina picks her up. Samoan Drop to the champ, but Charlotte breaks the pin. Tamina pulls Naomi up, drags her to the Committee’s corner and tags Natty. Naomi starts kicking back but gets sat down. Natty walks over her, Naomi counters with a headscissor. Naomi tags in Becky! Becky rallies on the Committee, gives Natty the Becksploder and then Straight Fire-Arm! TWO but just barely. Becky drags Natty into position and goes top rope, Tamina tries to get her but Becky jumps down to dropkick her away. Natty trips Becky, Sharpshooter countered into Disarm-Her!
Carmella saves Natty, Charlotte throws Carmella out. Tamina SUPERKICKS Charlotte!
Tamina goes after Naomi now with a vicious headbutt, and only stops because the ref tells her so. Becky and Natty continue, Becky denies a German Suple and rolls Natty, TWO. Tamina is thwarted, but now Natty gets the Sharpshooter!
Becky endures, reaches for ropes, but has to tap out! The Welcoming Committee wins, proving they are the superior team.
WWE United States Championship Match
Kevin Owens VS AJ Styles!
The Prizefighter has declared himself the Face of America, but the American Phenomenal One looks to take that belt back to truly show what it means to be a Face of America. Styles and Kevin tie up furiously, then separate, and Styles is all fired up. He and Kevin go again, Kevin powers Styles to a corner but Styles turns it around. Styles lets Kevin out, Kevin goes after the leg he hit with the belt on SmackDown last week, but Styles gets away. Styles and Kevin go again, Styles gets a headlock, the fans duel and Kevin powers out of the hold. Styles reverses the hip toss into a victory roll, TWO, back to the headlock. Kevin trips Styles, Styles pushes him away and we return to the headlock again. Kevin fights out of the hold, puts on his own headlock, the fans still duel, Styles powers out of the hold and things speed up. Kevin holds ropes and gets out of the ring, Styles goes after him but Kevin gets back in the ring. Styles makes a move to enter, Kevin makes a move to leave. Finally the two stay together in the ring, the fans call Kevin a “Stupid Idiot” despite Kevin stomping and chopping Styles. Styles reverses the whip but Kevin fakes Styles out so that his dropkick hits nothing. Kevin stomps, gets running, now Styles gets that dropkick. Styles stands Kevin up for chops and right hands, Kevin gives some back but Styles still whips him corner to corner. Styles is reversed but goes up and over, waistlock but Styles is tripped. Styles pops up to give Kevin a headscissor, Kevin ends up in a corner. Kevin fights out with a stiff right hand, Styles gives one back. Corner to corner whip reversed again, back elbow but Kevin trips Styles to bounce him off buckle, then a big clothesline! TWO, Kevin rains down right hands now. Kevin backs off to tell us “that’s why I’m the champ!” Kevin keeps Styles grounded, drives knees into the spine and wraps on a chinlock that brings Styles to the mat. Styles endures, Kevin keeps that hold on tight, Styles gets to his feet and fights out. Kevin kicks and DDTs Styles, TWO. Kevin back senton flattens Styles, then another and another!
Kevin covers, TWO, and Kevin is frustrated. He puts Styles back in that chinlock to grind and squeeze Styles’ head. Styles makes his way to his feet again, pries the elbow out but Kevin throws him down by his hair. Kevin picks Styles up, Styles slips out of the scoop slam and dropkicks Kevin. Kevin is stunned as he goes to the ropes, Kevin comes back and picks Styles up, Styles gives Kevin the Phenomenal Blitz! Low running forearm, TWO. Styles gets up and throws a haymaker. Corner clothesline and a fireman carry but Kevin drops down, wheelbarrow facebuster!
Styles rolls Kevin over for the cover, TWO! Styles is a bit shocked but he doesn’t get frustrated. The fans rally with their applause, Styles picks Kevin up for the Clash but Kevin slips out. Kevin rushes back in, Fireman Carry, Ushigoroshi!
Styles covers, TWO! Styles just grins at Kevin kicking out of that. Styles gets up and walks to check that bad leg. He goes for the Clash but Kevin body drops out of it. Styles crawls to ropes, Kevin runs but gets a back elbow. Styles goes for a springboard moonsault, misses, Kevin hits the SUPERKICK then Pump Handle Neckbreaker!
Kevin covers, TWO, and Kevin is shocked and frustrated again. Kevin drags Styles up, throws him to ropes, Styles boots to deny the powerbomb, and now the two brawl. Styles is put on the apron, hotshot with the top rope sits him on the apron. Styles slowly drops to the floor, Kevin glares at him as he goes to the top rope. Styles gets up to stop him, Kevin is upside-down and Styles takes him into Clash position! Kevin slips out and swings that bad leg into the post. Kevin then throws Styles so that the bad leg hits steel steps! Kevin gets Styles in the ring, Styles is in a corner, Cannonball! Styles is flattened and dazed, Kevin sets his bad leg up on the bottom rope. Cannonball to that bad leg!
Kevin drags Styles into the middle of the ring, half crab to go after that bad leg. Styles endures, Kevin drags him from ropes and then puts on an Ankle Lock. Styles endures the deep twisting and bending from Kevin, but still gets that ropebreak! Kevin lets Styles go, but he’s done plenty of damage to that leg. Styles gets to the bottom rope for safety, Kevin goes over and drags Styles up to the top. Kevin lifts Styles in a fireman’s carry, Styles slips down for the Sunset Powerbomb! Both men down, the crowd is loving it. Styles forces himself to get up on the apron. Styles’ bad knee slows him down but he springboards, only to fall down. Double Underhook Impaler DDT from Kevin, TWO! Kevin can’t believe it, but Styles is still in this match. Kevin drags Styles up to his feet to give him a slap. Kevin says it’s his title, that he’s the Face of America, PELE from Styles! Styles hobbles over to Kevin in a corner and throws hands. The ref has him back down, but Styles still puts Kevin up top. Styles climbs up, wants a superplex, but it’s Kevin that gets the Super Fisherman!
Kevin crawls to the cover, TWO!! Somehow Styles survived! Kevin drags Styles over, goes to the top rope on his own, but Styles makes it to the outside. Kevin climbs down to join Styles on the apron, Styles denies the suplex with his good leg, then gives Kevin the suplex to the apron!
Both men are down on the outside, the fans are losing their minds and Kevin begs for the ref to check on him. Styles breaks the ring count, but Kevin throws Styles into the timekeeper’s area! The ref comes out to check on Styles, Kevin uses the announce table to climb to his feet. The fans want tables to get involved, instead it’s a Phenomenal Forearm outta nowhere!
The ring count begins again, Styles drags Kevin up onto the table. Styles wants the Clash, but Kevin trips him up! Styles’ leg goes into a gap of the announce table! The count continues, Kevin gets in the ring, Styles is tangled in wires and is counted out! Kevin wins and keeps his belt by the luckiest way possible.
And to add insult to injury, Kevin attacks Styles with one last SUPERKICK to the back. Kevin hugs his US Title as he leaves Styles beaten and hurt on the floor, proud to still be our Face of America. Can the Phenomenal One even walk right after this?
Luke Harper VS Erick Rowan!
Formerly family under the lead of Bray Wyatt, the Swamp Thing broke free when he was tossed aside, and the Big Red Lamb has found a new way by following the guidance of the masks he wears. They do battle again as former brothers, but give Rowan’s behavior during the Kickoff show, perhaps something wicked this way comes. Right from the bell, Rowan rushes “Lucas” and powers him to a corner. Rowan throws right hands and stomps away, then whips Luke to give a big back elbow. Rowan does not let up on Harper, giving him more stomps, chops and right hands before putting on a headlock. Harper powers out and fires back, but his whip is reversed. Harper goes to the apron, then goes up top, Rowan knocks him down and Harper hits steps! Harper writhes on the ground as Rowan catches his breath. Rowan sees Harper get up, he dropkicks him to the barrier. Rowan goes out to follow Harper and throws him to another barrier. Rowan throws more heavy hands before putting Harper in the ring, he walks over Harper before hitting a splash, TWO. Rowan wraps Harper in a chinlock, hooking the nose, then turns it into a fist vice on Harper’s head. Harper gets up, Rowan puts him in a corner and gives more strikes. The ref tells Rowan to back down, Rowan does it on his own time. Harper fires back with chops, corner to corner but is reversed, Rowan splashes and dropkicks. TWO, Rowan drags Harper up by his beard. Another chinlock, Harper fights out but Rowan slams him. Then another slam, and a pumphandle backbreaker. Rowan grabs the bear to pick Harper up and give him a clothesline, TWO. Rowan goes to the top rope, taking aim at Harper. Frog splash, FLOPS. Rowan crawls to his masks for help, but Harper gets in his way. Rowan slides out to the side, Harper comes blazing in outta nowhere!
Harper drags Rowan up, bounces him off all the announce tables, then gets in the ring to DIVE!
Rowan is blasted between tables, Harper pulls him out to put him in the ring. Slingshot senton, boot, TWO. Harper gets up and goes to a corner to take aim at Rowan. Discus misses, but Harper slips out of the fireman carry, Scrapbuster slam, TWO! Harper gets up again, wants a powerbomb, but Rowan slips out. Rowan back elbows from a corner, spinning heel kick, then Rowan hits the Powerbomb! TWO! Rowan is beside himself, so he just rains more rights down on Harper. Rowan drags Harper up to his feet, but Harper won’t stay up. Rowan tries again, Harper revives for the jackknife cover, TWO, so now it’s a brawl. Harper keeps chopping and punching, Rowan kicks and powerbomb, huricanrana counter. SUPERKICK, Rowan sees the mask and revives. SUPERKICK, the mask’s magic does it again. Rowan rushes at Harper, misses, Harper hits his Discus Clothesline! Harper wins, denying Rowan the retribution he sought.
WWE World Championship Match
Randy Orton VS Jinder Mahal w/ the Singh Brothers!
The Viper took the Hard Body Maharaja rather lightly when he won the Six Pack Challenge to become #1 Contender, for the Eater of Worlds and the House of Horrors posed a more immediate threat. However, Mahal and his Bollywood Boyz made sure Orton paid attention to the #1 Contender, and now Mahal seeks validation and respect from those he deems as “haters”. The problem is that Mahal overdid it with the blindsiding, theft of the belt and screwing Orton out of House of Horrors, because now the Viper strikes when Mahal isn’t ready!
Orton swings punches and whips Mahal, then stomps and swings punches again. He throws Mahal out of the ring and goes out to join him, fired up enough to scare off the Singh Brothers. Mahal is then thrown over the American announce table. Orton gently moves JBL’s hat before punching away on Mahal on the table and giving him a sharp kick to the gut. The fans are fired up for Orton as he puts Mahal back in the ring. Mahal crawls to a corner and Orton lets him regain composure enough for this match to officially start. Mahal wants this as badly as Orton does, so he rushes Orton at the bell. Orton backs him down and continues his onslaught, Mahal barely gets away from the RKO. Orton pursues Mahal on the outside and blasts him with a clothesline. Orton eyes the Singh Brothers, letting them know he knows they’re there. Orton puts Mahal back in the ring but Mahal rolls right back out. Orton follows again, Mahal yanks him into the LED board. Mahal finally gets some offense on Orton, then puts him in the ring for the half nelson chinlock, that transitions into a hammerlock. Orton powers his way to his feet, but Mahal yanks the arm and dropkicks Orton down, TWO. Back to the hammerlock, the fans duel over whether “Jinder Sucks!” or not. Jinder gives Orton knees and whips him, Orton throws Mahal down by his head. Orton circles Mahal before circling him with his usual stomps. The Singh Brothers mouth off at Orton, Orton just scrapes his boot on Mahal’s face. European Uppercuts stagger Mahal, Mahal tries a backslide pin but Orton denies it. Armbar DDT for Orton, Mahal smirks as he gives a running knee drop. TWO, Mahal puts Orton in another armlock. Orton gets to his feet, the fans keep dueling, Mahal whips but is reversed. Orton throws Mahal out to the floor and pursues again to back suplex him onto the announce table!
Orton leaves Mahal wrecked on the ground for a moment as he rests his bad arm. The ring count begins, he puts Mahal back in the ring, Mahal pounces on reentry. He stomps and stomps then gives those springboard knee drops. The ref backs Mahal down, Mahal puts that half nelson chinlock on again. Orton endures, Mahal gives him an elbow to the head to put on the hammerlock. Orton reaches for ropes but Mahal pulls him away. Orton endures more, that wrenching on his shoulder enough to keep him on his knees. Orton powers Mahal to a corner for the ropebreak, then gives a headbutt. Corner to corner whip but Orton is reversed, he side steps so that Mahal hits post! Orton uses his good arm to pull Mahal up and bounce him off a buckle. Orton climbs up and drags Mahal to the top rope. Mahal resists the superplex and clubs Orton off the ropes. Mahal tries to reposition himself but Orton just trips him up. Orton climbs back up and goes for it again, he hits the SUPERPLEX!
Orton is slow to the cover from the impact of his own move, TWO. Orton and Mahal now brawl, Mahal yanks the bad arm, but Orton hits back with the good arm. Powerslam! Mahal goes to a corner, back elbows out, but Orton stops the boot. Orton with the overhead suplex, TWO. Mahal throat chops Orton, cross-arm neckbreaker, TWO. Mahal is getting frustrated now, he glares at The Viper as he stalks him at the ropes. Mahal whips but Orton reverses into the back2backbreaker. Mahal has gone to the apron, Orton grabs him and drapes him on that second rope, the hanging DDT hits! The Chicago fans know it, Orton is hearing those voices. Mahal knows it and gets out of the ring to regroup with the Singh Brothers. Orton pursues once more, but the Singh Brothers get in his face. Orton just throws Sumire and Sumile around, but Mahal puts Orton into the post! And again! And then into the ring, RKO outta nowhere!!
However, the cover is denied by the bad shoulder, and then the Singh Brothers rescue Mahal by getting him out of the ring again. Orton once again goes to the outside, and throws each brother over tables with wild back suplexes! Orton then gets both brothers to the apron, double hanging DDT!
But that means Mahal can capitalize with the Karas!!
Mahal wins!! We have a NEW WWE World Champion!! The Maharaja’s prophecy has come true!! And whether they love it or hate it, no one in Chicago can BELIEVE it.
While SmackDown was on a roll compared to Raw, I wasn’t sure if Backlash could live up to NXT TakeOver: Chicago blew the roof off the arena. After seeing it all play out, it actually did a damn good job matching expectations. The King of Strong Style getting a PPV debut was fitting of his status in WWE and NXT, even though fans worried day and night about how that and this new nickname of “The Artist” would affect his standings. However, a hard fought win against a tested opponent like Ziggler was exactly how the Nakamura should have debuted, he did, and it (should) satisfy all the worrywarts that Nakamura will be just fine in the Land of Opportunity. Breezango did excellent with the entertainment, Breeze seamlessly pulled off costume changes to battle as both the Janitor and Grandma Breezy, but it was also logical that they would fall short of the more experienced and aggressive Usos.
The match of Sami and Corbin had them both do what they do best: Corbin beats someone down, Sami takes a beating to turn it into a win. The US title match was incredible, probably best match of the night. Kevin and Styles go the distance, brilliantly incorporating what Kevin did to Styles on SmackDown. And because of the count out victory, Styles doesn’t look weak so that he can have a valid reason and motivation for going after Kevin and the US title again. Rowan and Harper had a grueling match, nothing too spectacular but it was all worked within this story of them being the “Wyatt Family remnants”.
The one disappointment of the night was the Six Woman Tag. The wildest thing about that match was Becky’s hair. I may have gotten my hopes up expecting Asuka to show up and do something, anything, but honestly that would’ve made that segment actually mean something because it felt no different than anything those six have done on SmackDown. But that’s okay because it balances out with the one truly AMAZING moment of the night! Jinder Mahal, formerly of the Three Man Band, has reinvented himself and been rewarded for what he endured, he is the NEW World Champion! Orton was genius in attacking before the bell as payback for all the things Mahal did, and though Orton dominated for the majority of it, and even hit the RKO, Mahal endured that as he did 3MB. The Bollywood Boyz were a bit of a factor, but that does not matter when the fact WWE/SmackDown pulled the trigger is shocking all by itself. All Hail the Maharaja!
My Score: 9/10