Backlash 2017: So That Happened

Backlash 2017
Date: May 21, 2017
Location: Allstate Arena, Chicago, Illinois
Commentators: Byron Saxton, Tom Phillips, John Bradshaw Layfield

It’s time for another Smackdown exclusive, which could mean things are hit or miss tonight. The card isn’t exactly the best with Jinder Mahal challenging Smackdown World Champion Randy Orton and AJ Styles challenging Kevin Owens for the US Title. Other than that though, this is kind of a stretch for a pay per view. Let’s get to it.

Kickoff Show: Tye Dillinger vs. Aiden English

This is their third match and this time English sings himself to the ring. Dillinger starts with the ten but English says this is his town (which it actually is). English starts cheating to send Dillinger into the corner though and the posing takes us to an early break. Back with Dillinger working on a chinlock until the comeback starts up. Tye knocks him down and drops a knee before hitting the ten left hands in the corner. Aiden gets in an elbow but misses a Swanton, allowing the Tyebreaker to finish him off at 8:18.

Rating: C-. This was all you would have expected it to be and there’s nothing wrong with that. I don’t think anyone is taking Dillinger seriously as a major star right now but there’s a lot of value in having a cheer/signature deal that’s going to wake the fans up every single time. The TEN thing is going to work so just stick with the classics.

The opening video doesn’t have much of a theme but it does touch on almost all of tonight’s matches.

Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Dolph Ziggler

Makes sense for the opener and DEAR GOODNESS do the fans love Nakamura. Feeling out process to start with Ziggler not being able to do much, other than be told to bring it. Nakamura takes him into the corner and starts picking up Good Vibrations. Dolph grabs the neckbreaker over the ropes and slaps on a chinlock as the fans are actually split.

Ziggler’s dropkick and the Shot to the Heart get two but Nakamura kicks him in the head to take over again. The running knee in the ribs connects as they’re not exactly going crazy out there. A triangle doesn’t last very long with Ziggler making the ropes. It’s way too early for Kinshasa so Ziggler hits the Fameasser for two.

Ziggler tunes up the band but has to settle for the Zig Zag for another near fall. A powerbomb of all things is broken up and Nakamura kicks him in the head again, only to get superkicked in the back of the head. That’s not enough either so Ziggler tries a single leg, earning himself some knees to the head. The middle rope Kinshasa misses but the regular version is good for the pin on Ziggler at 15:48.

Rating: B. Certainly not a classic but it was a fine way for Nakamura to show that he was there. I don’t think anyone was expecting a masterpiece here but Nakamura just doing the greatest hits is getting a bit old. He’s pretty much lived off his reputation from the Zayn match and hasn’t gotten back to that point since. I’m not saying he can’t but I’d like to see it again. Then again, maybe it’s because this was the dark match at the last two house shows I’ve been to so there’s not much of a fresh factor here.

Here’s the full Fashion Files segment from Tuesday to fill time.

Tag Team Titles: Usos vs. Breezango

Breezango is challenging and Breeze is still in the janitor costume, complete with mustache and mop. Jimmy comes at him and gets stopped with a mop to the fact. That earns Tyler a superkick and the mop is broken, much to the fans’ annoyance. Fandango comes in for some hip gyrating….and Breeze is now dressed as an old woman, complete with blue hair, a dress and a cane. Fans: “LET’S GO GRANDMA!”

We get the standard set of spots: flashing and the Bronco Buster, only to have Jimmy kick him down as well. JBL goes along with the whole gag and gets a dress thrown at his head. Jimmy goes shoulder first into the post and the hot tag brings in Fandango. Everything breaks down and Jey is sent outside, leaving Jimmy to take an Unprettier for two. Breeze is sent over the barricade but comes right back with a dive to take them down. JBL says these guys are about to win the titles and it’s a superkick to Fandango to retain the titles at 9:12.

Rating: C. This is going to vary quite a bit depending on your taste. I’m a big Breezango fan so I liked some of the jokes, but, as usual, JBL really hurt things here with all of his talking about how funny things were. It’s the beating you over the head with the COMEDY that gets old and JBL is horrible about it. I’m fine with Breezango not winning here but hopefully they stick around.

We recap Sami Zayn vs. Baron Corbin, which is your standard bully vs. underdog story. Corbin has jumped Zayn multiple times now and Sami is fighting back.

Sami Zayn vs. Baron Corbin

Zayn starts fast and sends Corbin to the floor for the flip dive, only to have Corbin bail away. Sami isn’t willing to wait and dives onto Corbin to send him into the barricade as it’s one sided early on. Back in and Corbin starts the power game with some forearms and a bearhug to slow things down. A spinebuster drops Zayn again and his high crossbody is good for two.

Another shot to the back slows him down though and a chokebreaker gives Corbin two more. He takes Sami up top, only to get taken down with a sunset bomb for a nice near fall. Sami’s tornado DDT is broken up and Corbin makes things even worse by blocking the exploder in the corner.

Instead he grabs two more off a crucifix, only to walk into Deep Six for another two. They’re trading near falls here and it’s not half bad. Sami gets sent outside but comes back in with a boot to the face, followed by the Helluva Kick for the clean pin at 14:19. JBL is rather stunned by the upset and I can’t say I blame him.

Rating: B-. Cool. They told a good story here with Sami hanging in there as long as he could until he caught Corbin with his one big move. Corbin can win the rematch but at some point they had to give Sami a big win to keep his credibility. I’m very surprised here and that’s not a bad thing. Good match and a win that Sami probably needed more.

Xavier Woods, Ember Moon, Zack Ryder and someone else play Rocket League on Up Up Down Down.

Jinder Mahal and the Singh Brothers arrive an hour and twelve minutes into the show. Tonight he’s going to turn this city into a beautiful thing despite everything thinking he’s evil and horrible. We hear some Punjabi with Mahal promising to become champion.

Welcoming Committee vs. Charlotte/Becky Lynch/Naomi

Lynch has a long red mohawk tonight and gets thrown into the corner for her efforts. It’s off to Charlotte to take over on Natalya but the strutting gets her in trouble as she’s knocked into the Welcoming Committee corner. That doesn’t last long either though as it’s off to Naomi, who takes the beating for her team as well.

Becky gets pulled off the apron to prevent another tag though and Tamina gets two off a Samoan drop. The second attempt at the hot tag works a bit better and Becky comes in with the Bexploder for two on Natalya. Carmella has to break up the Disarm-Her and Tamina adds a shot of her own, setting up the Sharpshooter to make Becky tap at 10:07.

Rating: D+. This was as uninteresting as you would have expected it to be and that’s fine. The Welcoming Committee needed this win and as stupid of an idea as they are, they should have gone over here. Becky taking the fall is fine and the best option, especially if it leads to her joining the team (not logical but the best choice).

We recap the US Title. It’s another simple story: the Face of America vs. the Face That Runs the Place. Owens is extra smug lately but has shown how violent he can get against Chris Jericho.

US Title: AJ Styles vs. Kevin Owens

Owens is defending. AJ is all fired up to start so Owens bails, only to have them switch places with AJ smirking a bit. Back in and AJ scores with a dropkick but Owens just blasts him with a clothesline to take over. We hit the chinlock with Owens demanding to ASK HIM, followed by a DDT and two backsplashes for two. Owens spends a bit too much time talking trash though and gets caught in belly to back faceplant.

The fireman’s carry flip into a backbreaker gives AJ two and he smiles a bit. Styles takes too long going up top though and gets caught with a superkick, followed by a big double underhook into a neckbreaker for a cool looking move. Owens isn’t done as he sends AJ outside with Styles’ knees going into the steps. A Cannonball against the barricade sets up a Cannonball against the leg in the corner as Owens certainly has a target.

We hit a half crab and an ankle lock of all things but AJ has fought Kurt Angle before and dives over to the ropes. Owens takes him up for a superplex but gets pulled down with a sunset bomb for two, only to have the Phenomenal Forearm broken up. A double underhook implant DDT gives Owens two but frustration starts to set in, allowing AJ to score with the Pele.

Now it’s Styles taking him to the top for a superplex, meaning Owens can use the swinging superplex for two more. They head to the apron with AJ getting in a suplex on the apron but both guys are done. Owens throws him into the timekeeper’s area but eats a Phenomenal Forearm. AJ isn’t done though and loads up the Styles Clash on the top with JBL freaking out. His foot actually goes through a hole in the table though and Owens beats the count back in at 21:09.

Rating: B+. Oh yeah that worked. These two beat the heck out of each other and traded bombs until Styles literally slipped and fell for the loss. You know there’s going to be a great rematch and that’s going to be awesome as well. I had a blast with this match and it’s easily the second best match of the weekend (nothing was touching that UK Title match though).

We look at the Kickoff Show match.

Erick Rowan vs. Luke Harper

This would be the cool down match. They take turns driving each other into the corner to start before taking a quick trip outside. Back in and Rowan starts throwing Harper around as the announcers recap the history between these two. Rowan misses a top rope splash though and bails to the floor, allowing Harper to hit one heck of a suicide dive. Back in and Harper’s slingshot hilo gets two, followed by Rowan powerbombing him for the same. A slugout doesn’t get anyone anywhere so Rowan clotheslines him down. That means it’s time to go talk to the mask, allowing Harper to get in a discus lariat for the pin at 8:26.

Rating: D+. This was fine for what it was supposed to be as the fans get a much needed breather after the outstanding US Title match. These two aren’t the most interesting pairing in the world but they’re fine for two people hitting each other with big power moves for a few minutes. I’m sure we’ll get a rematch here too.

We recap the Smackdown World Title match. Jinder Mahal won a Six Pack Challenge and has attacked Randy Orton a few times, including stealing the title belt for a week or so.

Smackdown World Title: Randy Orton vs. Jinder Mahal

Orton is defending and attacks Mahal before the bell. The beating goes on for a bit until things are separated Jinder is ready to go. Orton is right back on top of him and hammers Mahal all over the ring, including taking him outside for a beating on the floor. Mahal gets in a shot to the arm and takes over though, setting up a variety of armbars back inside.

With the offense that limited, Orton sends him shoulder first into the post to get a breather and grabs the superplex to put both guys down. Orton throws him with a fall away slam for two, followed by a neckbreaker from Mahal for the same. They head outside with Orton beating up the Singh Brothers, allowing Mahal to post the bad arm.

Not that it matters as Orton throws him back inside for the RKO, only to have the Singh Brothers pull Mahal outside. The Brothers are thrown onto the announcers’ tables, followed by a double hanging DDT back inside. Mahal sneaks in though and grabs the Khallas for the pin and the title at 16:47.

Rating: D. So yeah that happened. I have no idea what to think about it but yeah that happened. I’m sure this is going to end next month in St. Louis at Money in the Bank but hey, at least Bray Wyatt lost the title to Orton for a good reason right? The match was what you would expect from these two of course but…..dang yeah that just happened.

We get a long celebration and a ton of fan reaction shots to end the show.

Overall Rating: C-. It wasn’t bad and the ending was a big surprise but that doesn’t mean it’s something that should have happened. This show really didn’t need to exist but that’s what you have to get to keep those subscribers coming in. The main event is the definition of throwing the title around like a prop, which is annoying and something we just kind of have to live with. Not a horrible show by any means but nothing you need to go out of your way to see, save for the US Title match.


Shinsuke Nakamura b. Dolph Ziggler – Kinshasa

Usos b. Breezango – Superkick to Fandango

Sami Zayn b. Baron Corbin – Helluva Kick

Welcoming Committee b. Naomi/Charlotte/Becky Lynch – Sharpshooter to Lynch

Kevin Owens b. AJ Styles via countout

Luke Harper b. Erick Rowan – Discus lariat

Jinder Mahal b. Randy Orton – Khallas


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  1. Your Eternal Reward says:

    They gave a guy who was literally jobbing a month ago the WWE Championship. At the start of the year we had AJ Styles as champion, John Cena becoming a 16 time champion in a damn good match. Bray Wyatt with the surprise and awesome moment at the Elimination Chamber. Then Bray and Randy got 10 min stinker at Wrestlemania and had to fit in shitty worm projections into it. Now a guy that was literally jobbing to everyone a month ago has won the WWE Championship with no build what so ever.

    Man fuck the WWE Championship meaning anything.

    Dorian Reply:

    I think it tells a good story, no?

    Jinder has been built as an underdog, as someone who can’t hang with Orton. And that has been the fire stoking border-line rascist spewing promos from Mahal all throughout. And in a fair 1:1 match, there is no way Jinder could have won. But with the aide of Singh brothers he’s done it.

    I think it is a damn fine spin on a character – with a real arc starting from WM.

    I don’t understand why people are pissed. And I definitely don’t agree with the D rating by KB. Come on, he’s much, much more exciting to watch/hear than someone like Bray Wyatt (who has been fucked by the WWE), he’s got more charisma than Khali (who won this title purely cause of size) – so why, the f#ck not!

    Game on!

    Greg Reply:

    Arc? HE LOST TO A FOOTBALL PLAYER! Khali has no charisma so having more charisma than him means nothing. At least Khali was a damn giant. Wyatt is way more interesting.

    He beat a multi-time champ after winning about 1 time since he came back. He hung with Orton instead of being destroyed. Awful.

    Dorian Reply:

    Oh please. Enough with the football player loss garbage. Wasn’t the Rock a football player too? So what does that matter.

    Give me Jinder over Wyatt any day.

  2. M.R. says:

    I’m not sure if you’re being sarcastic or not, but I’m just curious do you really think we need this many PPVs to increase subscribers?

  3. Dorian says:

    Anyone get the feeling Orton vs Cena with a vacant title on the line – winner beats Ric Flair’s record?

  4. Jay H (the real one) says:

    Certainly shocking to say the least with Jindar Mahal as WWE Champion but they are breaking into India so mission accomplished. I don’t see Mahal holding it for very long and he either drops it back at MITB or Battleground i think. KO and AJ Styles was MOTN and I was far more entertained by Tyler Breeze antics during the Tag Title Match, he was gold.

    Greg Reply:

    Mission accomplished by destroying the title. Great freaking job.

    Dorian Reply:

    Yeah hyperbole much. Destroying the title. You are what is wrong with the fans of wwe. And you are the reason why we can’t get different things.

    Now go to the corner and cry about missing the attitude era.

    Jay H (the real one) Reply:

    How did they destroy it? I just laugh at dopes like you who just get so worked up over who’s got the Title sometimes. You act as if it’s the end of the story and they’ll hold it the rest of their lives. I got news for you it’s going to continue.

    Greg Reply:

    New things aren’t always good. They could try building people up. Why can’t they try that instead?

    This is unrealistic. It is stupid. Dumb. Bullshit. Why should I care who gets the title now?

    Jay H (the real one) Reply:

    New things aren’t always good, yeah true but how about giving it a chance before condemning it.

    Greg Reply:

    Cocaine. Never tried it however I can condem it as a bad thing.

  5. Mike M. says:

    I can see Mahal holding the belt until Cena returns over the summer. The American hero defeats the evil foreigner to break Flair’s record. I don’t think McMahon can pass up that display of “patriotism.”

  6. Prophet says:

    For the second time the power of the Indian market has given someone the world title, Guess we shouldn’t be shocked really, The exact same thing happened ten years ago.

  7. WWETitlePrestige says:

    A huge taint on the last remaining championship wwe has with significant prestige. Jinder Mahal is perhaps the first superstar ever to win the championship and not be over or talented. The Great Khali and Jack Swagger also fit that bill, but they won the World Heavyweight Championship and not the WWE Championship.


    Prophet Reply:

    It’s a fake belt, mate.

    Not like it’s a Noble Prize in terms of worth.

    Prophet Reply:

    * Nobel Prize

    Alamo Reply:

    What an immature response.

    Anyway, it’s not a fake belt – it exists.

    Dorian Reply:

    @WWTTitlePrestige = Greg = Alamo

    Erm, Jinder has been getting legit heat pop over the past couple of weeks. In fact I’d go as far as saying he is getting more of a reaction than Wyatt. Wyatt seems to be drawing indifference which is so much more worse.

    Is Jinder a long term prospect – f#ck no – but for the swerve that this was, and the story arc – it is a good story.

    Greg Reply:

    Why would I post under different names? Why would that help me? What point would there be in doing that?

    Jinder lost to a football player who isn’t a wrestler then beat freaking Randy Orton.

  8. #BNB says:

    Dorian – it makes you look very petty to assume WWETitlePrestige, Greg and Alamo are the same person, and certainly doesn’t strengthen your argument. Multipke people are allowed to have a different opinion to yours.

    Your response is a tangent in any case – they made no comment on the strength of the storyline, merely pointing out that Mahals name in the title lineage hurts the championship’s presitge, which it certainly does. Now, if Mahal is able to improve dramatically and become a compelling character and convincing main eventer in short time (a la JBL), well, that’s another storyline.

    And, just out of curiosity, did you begin watching wrestling in 2011/12? Only people that make comments like ‘cry because you miss the attitude era’ tend to be quite young and silly.

    M.R. Reply:

    Changing your post name doesn’t change your IP address, in case you wanted to continue posting under multiple pseudonyms.

    Dorian Reply:

    Checking up on people and IP addresses. This is all getting a bit desperate and weird.

  9. Dragon says:

    Jinder has been getting more of a response than most heels on the roster….its something different and new and is reminisent of tje Golden Era….give the guy a chance, he might suprise a lot of people….Orton was boring the life out of me as champion.

  10. mark madden says:

    Yeah I don’t see what’s so bad about jinder being champ.

    Lol @ the WWE Championship being ruined tho lmao

  11. Dmxfury says:

    Ruined? Of course not, this isn’t arquette or Russo. But a poor choice with so many better candidates. Orton was a clown choice as well. Company makes money in spite of itself. The world of a monopoly

  12. wrestling101 says:

    It’s obviously the cool thing for the internet dweebs to defend Mahal ’til the cows come home.

    For fuck sake, it is ridiculous. He doesn’t deserve to hold that title. Not yet, not by a long shot.

    And about the whole India thing… why should I look at it from a business perspective? I’m a fan, not an investor, so why should I give a hoot about whether or not it makes sense from a business perspective?