It’s that time of the month again, another WWE main roster PPV. The Superstar Shakeup has added a twist to the first Smackdown event in its wake. This month’s event is highlighted by the repsective debuts of Shinsuke Nakamura and Tye Dillinger, as well as the improbably meteoric rise of Jinder Mahal. Whether or not the PPV is well received, there’s sure to be some……. Backlash! Let’s dive in!
Kickoff Match: Tye Dillinger vs. Aiden English
Tye Dillinger is another name who made his pay per view debut. The Perfect 10 squared off against The Drama King, Aiden English, formerly one half of the tag team, The Vaudevillians. After the requisite back and forth verbal and physical repartee throughout the match, Tye wins his debut pay per view outing with a Tye Breaker.
Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Dolph Ziggler
This match was arguably the most anticipated of the night and was the first official match of the card. Dolph entered the ring first and made fun of Nakamura as he made his entrance. The entrance was somewhat surprising as no violinist made played him to the ring. The match was a drama filled affair. Dolph played heel well, by angering Shinsuke with his repeated taunting and spitting on him. Shinsuke won his debut but it’s unlikely that this feud is over.
Smackdown Tag Team Title Match: The Usos (c) vs. Breezango
This match began with a parody of Law and Order which mocked The Usos and their ring attire. Tyler Breeze disguised himself as a janitor and arrived to the ring with a mop, which he attempted for a time to wrestle the Usos with. Breeze later disguised himself as an elderly woman. Breezango certainly provided the comedy tonight but they ultimately were defeated by the Usos via a superkick.
Charlotte Flair, Naomi (c), and Becky Lynch vs. Natalya, Carmella (with James Ellsworth), and Tamina
The three champs faced off against The Welcoming Committee. This match marked Charlotte’s pay per view debut as part of the Smackdown Roster, as well as a return of sorts for Tamina. Tamina has been out of action due to injury. Becky Lynch sported a mohawk for Backlash, continuing her trend for shocking hairstyles for pay-per-views. It was to be expected that the Committee wouldn’t play nice and they didn’t disappoint. The Welcoming Committee ultimately prevailed when Natalya made Becky submit to the sharpshooter after Becky stopped Tamina after she took out Charlotte and Naomi.
United States Championship: Kevin Owens (c) vs. AJ Styles
This match was billed as a dream match by Smackdown’s announcing team and it lived up to that claim for the most part. Despite having an injured right leg, AJ started out hot after Kevin did his typical attempts at mental warfare after the bell rings. Kevin did put a halt to AJ’s rhythm given his size and power advantage. AJ didn’t go away and got back into the match. AJ’s injury ultimately cost him the match via count out. AJ attempted to give him a Styles Clash on the announcer’s table but his injured leg fell through a hole and his foot was entangled in cables. Kevin got back in the ring before the 10 count and retained the US Title. The New Face of America then superkicked AJ in the back of the head after the match as he was getting helped out of the cables. Hopefully, this feud continues for quite some time given the respective talent of those involved and with how the match ended.
Luke Harper vs. Erick Rowan
The former Wyatt Family members faced off in this match, which was a brutal brawl. Rowan dominated in the early going after rushing Luke. Only after missing a splash, did Luke begin to mount an offense. Erick was able to halt Luke’s momentum since Luke was still somewhat rocked after Erick’s initial attack. Luke won the match thanks to two superkicks and a discus clothesline in succession. Hopefully, both guys get a chance to be used properly as both have good potential to go somewhere outside of the Wyatt Family.
WWE Championship: Randy Orton (c) vs. Jinder Mahal
The main event started off with bang. Randy attacked Jinder before the bell rang and dominated him. Randy intimidated the Singh Brothers so they couldn’t intervene. After a time, the referee is able to get to Jinder ask him if he wanted to continue the match. Jinder said he did and the match was able to officially begin. Jinder then took a page from Kevin Owens playbook and ran out of the ring to stall. He then was able to bait Orton into rushing after him so he slam into the apron. He then targeted Randy’s shoulder. Randy was able to cut short Jinder’s momentum and again looked to dominate him. Jinder was able to get back into the match but was nailed with a RKO. Orton was unable to pin him due to the beating his shoulder took. The Singh Brothers were able to intervene this time around and sacrificed themselves to allow Jinder to recover and capitalize on their distraction by dispatching him with the Khallas cobra clutch slam. In a twist that was as shocking as something out of M. Night Shyamalan’s prime, the Age of the Modern Maharaja has begun with Jinder Mahal winning the WWE Championship in the Land of Opportunity.
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