Sunday 21st May 2017
The world of WWE post Superstar Shake-Up is a bit of a messy one. Fastlane (the Raw exclusive PPV) came and went with the build-up to that feeling like it was in the way of so many things. The weeks before Backlash haven’t felt as much of a slog as Fastlane but once the event has finished it’s possible that the road ahead will be much clearer in terms of feuds and story-lines. Saying that though there is an NXT Takeover this weekend so there could be a chance of them calling up superstars from NXT in the next few weeks. We are here now though to preview each match of the Backlash 2017 PPV, so here goes…
Luke Harper vs Erik Rowan
With the history these two have being former members of the Wyatt family you can expect a match filled with both trying to get in the head of the other. On the other hand though both Harper and Rowan are big guys so it could just be a heavy hitting brawl. It is a bit of a shame this is a filler match of sorts because Luke Harper is an extremely talented worker and deserves to be higher up the card. If this match does open up Backlash (it’s the first match listed on wwe.com) it will set a great pace for the rest of the show and as we have come to expect from Smackdown Live exclusive PPVs since the draft it will come close to or even surpass the quality of the Raw ones. Hopefully to get pushed a little higher up the card Luke to win.
Winner: Luke Harper
Tye Dillinger vs Aiden English
If Tye Dillinger loses this match it will be one of the most baffling results. He has the potential to be one of the biggest main event players in WWE. He is already so over with the fans, oozes talent and charisma in ring and on the mic. Whereas the character of Aiden English has been a bit lackluster since the split of The Vaudevillians. Aiden needed that gimmick and partner to shine because now with the whiny opera singer thing he has going on he’ll be stuck in the lower mid-card/jobber role for the rest of his time in WWE.
Winner: Tye Dillinger
Sami Zayn vs Baron Corbin
Any match that involves Sami Zayn can go either way, because one second it feels like he’s getting pushed to the moon and back (he was The Bean Entertainment’s favourite to win the Royal Rumble), and then all that momentum falls flat. Due to this fluctuating momentum most of the time it doesn’t matter if he loses which is why he will probably lose on Sunday. Whilst Baron isn’t quite ready for the main event scene he has come a long way since winning the Andre The Giant memorial battle royale. A win at Backlash will provide him with the steam he needs to push for a title shot maybe at the U.S title before moving to the big one.
Winner: Baron Corbin
Shinsuke Nakamura vs Dolph Ziggler
Probably the most predictable match on the card. Nakamura makes his official main roster match debut and with a star like him losing his first match it would ruin him forever. Ziggler is way past saving and will probably never return to the top of the card. He will however put on one hell of match as will Shinsuke. Simple result here.
Winner: Shinsuke Nakamura
I’ll be honest this is not a feud or match that I’ve followed at all in the build-up to Backlash. However Team Naomi will likely win with Charlotte getting the victory then attacking the champ after to set up a feud there. Also Carmella could get the victory as she would make a great heel champ but its unlikely they will pull the trigger on that just yet.
Winners: Naomi, Charlotte Flair & Becky Lynch
United States Champion Kevin Owens vs AJ Styles
This feels like a bit of a filler feud for AJ Styles. AJ still hasn’t recieved his one on one re-match for the WWE Championship, which probably come after Orton is done with Jinder Mahal (but we’ll get to that later). As for Kevin Owens he makes a great heel champion whether it is the US, Universal or WWE title he’s carrying he plays his on-screen character so well and makes it so believeable that it doesn’t really matter who he is facing. Sunday however he will be facing the Phenomenal AJ Styles who is one of the best performers in the world today and brings the best out of his opponents. No doubt these two will put on a match of the night contender but the winner is fairly easy to call on this occasion.
Winner: Kevin Owens
Smackdown Tag Champions The Usos vs Breezeango
The state of the Tag Team division is a bit of a joke and a mess right now. Especially when you compare it to Raw’s and teams like The Hardyz and Ceasaro & Seamus. American Alpha’s title reign and them in general have been treated so poorly for such a talented team. However on to the match at Backlash. Breezango have been quite entertaining as of late and there is definately a place for comedy in “sports entertainment” but this shouldn’t be the tag champs. The Usos are both talented in the ring and great heels in general which makes them very entertaining to watch. Long may their reign continue (untill The New Day return!).
Winners: The Usos
WWE Champion Randy Orton vs Jinder Mahal
The sudden push of Jinder Mahal is completely understandable from a business point of view from WWE. They are expanding in the Asian market especially in China and India and want to push someone who will help them grow there. It’s just a shame that they still have to rely on the anti-american character to be able to use Jinder. He obviously works very hard but just needs something different to win people over. This was mentioned earlier but AJ Styles is probably next for Randy Orton and that will more than likely involve the WWE title.
Winner: Randy Orton
Overall this should be a fairly decent Smackdown Live exclusive event with hopefully some great matches and storyline progression. Let’s just hope the crowd in Chicago doesn’t ruin it with CM Punk chants again which we all know they probably will.