This week, I was going to talk about a show that had really diverse casting but the SJW community didn’t lift a finger to protest its cancellation. But then WWE’s latest pay-per-view event Backlash happened over the weekend. So, my rant against the SJW’s indifference towards the show will have to wait for next week. Besides, the Smackdown only Backlash show deserves to get a shoutout because it was a fantastic show! Let’s go look at what happened, shall we?
Match #1: Six Pack Challenge: Becky Lynch vs Naomi vs Nikki Bella vs Alexa Bliss vs Natalya vs Carmella for the NEW WWE Smackdown Women’s Championship
This Six Pack Challenge isn’t your one of the mill “get the first pinfall victory and you win everything.” This match was an elimination style match, so this was going to be a rather long drawn out bout. Thankfully, things did go smoothly for the most part.
The heavy favorite definitely was Becky Lynch because, well, she is the best Women’s wrestler on Smackdown right now. Even so, every one of the women in the match was given their time to shine. I didn’t like that, for some strange reason, the ladies kept on throwing out their opponent’s out of the ring! Go for the pinfall, people! And, while I’m usually a big Nikki Bella hater, I will give her props for standing down and doing the right thing by letting a relative newcomer like Carmela pin her. The big Bella Twin did slap Carmella across the face afterwards… but that’s fine.
The finish came shortly after that slap. Carmella tried to deliver a couple of slaps to Becky Lynch but the Irish Lass Kicker grabbed the Princess of Staten Island’s arm and locked in the Disarm-Her for the submission victory! Ladies and Gentlemen, you first and NEW Smackdown Women’s Champion, Becky Lynch!
It was a very good match overall. It had a few highlights, like that blockbuster-powerbomb combination on Alexa Bliss, but they were few and far between. I also didn’t like all the “get out of my ring” tactics employed to keep the ring clear for one-on-one segments. Still, it was exciting and entertaining.
Rating: 7.5 of 10 “you deserve this” chants for Becky Lynch winning the new Smackdown Women’s title
Match #2: Second Chance for the NEW Smackdown Tag Team Titles: The Hype Bros (Mojo Rawley and Zack Ryder) vs. The Usos
Was I the only one who was shocked when the Usos turned heel during last week’s Smackdown? Still, it’s great that they fully embraced their new roles as bad guys. They even got a new look to match the new attitude. I like it!
I honestly didn’t think I was going to enjoy this match a whole lot because… Mojo Rawley. I get the gimmick but I just don’t like the all “hype” attitude. It’s just not my thing and it seems so forced when he does it. I’m sure he’s super happy to be in the main roster and all but… come on! It’s not a gimmick that going to last all that long! However, I was pleasantly surprised by how entertaining the match was overall. It was generally your standard “bad guys beat up the good guys until the hot tag” setup, but it did work well because the pacing was on point.
The match ended with The Usos doing practically what they did to Chad Gable of the American Alphas. They targeted Zack Ryder’s leg with a disturbing looking double team attack before one of the Usos locked in a submission hold for the submission victory.
This was a decent match. Definitely not the match of the night but it was good. It firmly cemented The Usos as heels and are more dangerous than ever. The Hype Bros played the babyface role incredibly well.
Rating: 6.5 of 10 The Usos are heels now?
Match #3: Dolph Ziggler vs The Miz (with Maryse) for the Intercontinental Championship
If you told me a year ago that I would be impressed with a match that had The Miz in it, I would’ve probably sprayed you with a little spit from laughing so hard. But, here it is! A match with The Miz that was incredibly entertaining! I mean, The Miz has been pulling off his A-Lister persona really well as of late! And it feels really good!
Besides fully getting into his heel persona, The Miz has actually been putting his all into his matches as of late. Of course, The Miz (and Maryse) was only part of the equation that made this Intercontinental bout a highlight of the night. You gotta hand it to Dolph Ziggler for giving it his all as well. The two had really great chemistry in the ring and it led to an amazing match between the two.
The finish was a classic in the way a bad guy wins a match: managerial outside interference! The Miz got the referee distracted, which allowed Maryse to spray something into the eyes of Ziggler. The Miz capitalized and connected with a Skull Crushing Finale on Ziggler for the pinfall victor to retain the Intercontinental title.
This was the match of the night for me. While it’s never going to be a classic, it had enough energy and drama to draw attention. Also, making Maryse interfere gives her a purpose which is great! And Ziggler losing due to her cheating leaves the door open for a rematch later along the time. Great match.
Rating: 8.0 of 10 The Miz promos
Match #4: No Holds Barred Match:
Randy Orton vs Bray Wyatt… vs Kane?
Early in Backlash, Bray Wyatt attacked Randy Orton, injuring the Apex Predator badly enough that he couldn’t compete. So, after Bray Wyatt won by “forefeit,” I guess Shane McMahon and Daniel Bryan decided to give the Eater of Worlds another match… against the Demon Kane.
Now, I have no real problems with the match. It was very engrossing for an impromptu bout. Both Kane and Wyatt managed to pull off some impressive stuff and they did use the entire No Holds Barred (can’t they just call it a No Disqualification match?) gimmick during the match at time by throwing in chair shots and even demolishing an announcer table at one point. My main issue is how the match ended.
The closing moments of the match had Randy Orton limping out and then delivering an RKO on The New Face of Fear. This gave Kane enough time to nail a chokeslam for the pinfall victory.
The match itself was good but the ending left a sour taste in my mouth. The WWE really needs to give Bray Wyatt a victory if they want him to be the “New Face of Fear.” If he keeps on losing, it just makes him look like a chump. It would’ve been great if they had Wyatt actually beat Kane and then give a promo saying how be beat both Randy Orton and Kane on the same night!
Rating: 5.5 of 10 wins by “forefeit”
Match #5: Heath Slater and Rhyno vs. The Usos for the Smackdown Tag Team Championship
Let’s go, Heath! Do it for your lovely wife, Beulah and… 17 kids? I lost count.
I think it was meant to be a throwaway joke. But, leave it up to the WWE Universe to get drawn in by the joke because, right now, Heath Slater is one of the biggest reasons why Smackdown is so entertaining! While Heath Slater could be considered a joke character, making him the underdog and making him fight for his “family” just makes you want to root for him.
The match itself was pretty fun and, oddly enough, not a comedy match. They followed the tried and true tag team match formula with the heels (The Usos) beating up on one of the good guys for the majority of the match (Heath) until the eventual hot tag to the other good guy (Rhyno).And Heath did get some really good licks in on The Usos. He nearly won it all by covering up Rhyno’s missed Gore attempt and nearly getting the victory after a leaping DDT if he wasn’t dragged to the outside!
The finish came when, after taking out one of the Usos at the outside, Heath got nailed by a superkick by the Uso in the ring. But, before the Samoans could cover Heath, Rhyno slid in the ring and nailed the Gore, allowing The One Man Brand to get the pinfall victory and become the NEW Smackdown Tag Team Champions!
After the match, Heath then gave a promo saying how it was the best night of his life… besides the birth of a couple of his kids and how they’re getting a double wide for his family. Gold! Pure entertainment gold!
This was your basic tag team match but that doesn’t mean it was just an ordinary match. Making Heath Slater the underdog gave the finish a nice feel good ending. Hope Rhyno and he can keep the momentum.
Rating: 7.0 of 10 “We’re getting a double wide, Bay-Bee!”
Match #6: Dean Ambrose vs AJ Styles for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship
This match has so much potential to be one of the greatest matches of the year. While it didn’t reach that Match of the Year Contender level, this World Championship bout to decide the new champ was still… phenomenal!
Both AJ Styles and Dean Ambrose are great performers in the ring as well on the mic. The build up to this match was actually fantastic and the match itself didn’t disappoint. Both of them did some really great moves; there was a weird back suplex from the top turnbuckle that looked really dangerous and sloppy but that was the only “bad” looking sequence in the match. The match started off slow but built up to a great pace, getting more and more hectic as the minutes passed.
The finish was another throwback from the heydey of old school wrestling. Dean Ambrose was about to hit AJ Styles with Dirty Deeds but The Face That Runs The Place shoves The Lunatic Fringe off and into the referee. Styles takes advantage of the distracted ref and strikes Ambrose with a low blow! This gave Styles enough time to set Ambrose up for the Styles Clash for the pinfall victory and to become the NEW WWE World Heavyweight Champion!
I normally hate screwjob victories but I’ll make an exception here. Styles having to resort to a low blow makes sense in the context of the buildup towards Backlash. I mean, Styles already did kick Ambrose in the nether regions before so it’s only logical that he wouldn’t be above doing it again for the title. Also, because of how grueling the entire match was, it felt like this was the only way Styles could beat Ambrose! I do hope to see a rematch between the two… and please don’t add John Cena into the mix. Not yet, anyway.
Rating: 8.0 of 10 low blows for the win!
So, why was WWE’s Backlash fantastic?
Because everything was just right. Lately, the WWE have been putting out pay-per-views that are focused more on quantity than quality. Summerslam may have given us a lot of matches but there was just too many and a good number of them were just really boring. Backlash only had six matches and most of them were really fun to watch. The matches themselves were all at the right length as they never overstayed their welcome. They kept things simple and limiting Backlash’s runtime left me wanting more!
Maybe this is just the result of the brand split. Keeping Raw and Smackdown separate makes things a little more intimate and not cluttered with a lot of junk matches. It made me want to watch this week’s Smackdown to see the fallout of Backlash. This is how a pay-per-view should be.
Rating: 7.5 of 10 short and sweet pay-per-views
Well, hopefully, nothing comes up because I really want to rant against the SJW not saving a show they should’ve saved!
What did you think of Smackdown’s first pay-per-view, Backlash? Let me know in the comments section below!