WWE SMACKDOWN LIVE Backlash Review
by Kellen Bergeron
How’s it going everyone! The iNoob crew is back again with yet another WWE PPV review. This weekend we had the first SMACKDOWN LIVE only PPV titled Backlash. WWE splitting the brands to have their own PPVs. is a real double edged sword. The split allows for more in depth matches and not just rushed jumbles of garbage but on the downside of things, (for me at least), is two PPVs. a month. I as a die-hard wrestling fan am not prepared to sacrifice every other Sunday. Now they’ve already kind of hinted that not every month will be a double PPV month and my complaint is very small in comparison to the level of matches we will be getting if they continue on this track that Backlash set. Without further rambling, let’s get into it.
Pre Show match: Apollo Crewz vs. Baron Corbin – 4/5
This match came to be the same way Cesaro and Sheamus had their rivalry start. Both Crewz and Corbin believe they should be in the title hunt, ANY title hunt. Now combine that with the displeasure they have at their draft pick numbers and you potentially have an incredible match on your hands. Now I haven’t went and read the old reviews but I’m pretty sure this is the first time I rated a pre-show match 4/5. These two guys complement each other so well and combine with that the fact they are both poised to be big names, the match was just great. Both have power but that’s where it stops. Corbin is just resilient and can one shot you at any point in time. Crewz is a monster athlete and can pull off moves men of his build shouldn’t be doing. This match went from “yay pre-show match” to “Oh dang! What a pre-show match!” almost instantly. These two showcased every move they had and it made for an incredible way to kick off the show. Here’s hoping one of them makes it to a title shot here soon.
Main Show Match 1: Alexa Bliss vs. Becky Lynch vs. Carmella vs. Naomi vs. Nikki Bella vs. Natalya (Six Pack Elimination match for the SMACKDOWN LIVE Women’s title) – 4/5
This match had its ups and downs along with the slight issue of certain women not knowing how the match worked apparently. Multiple times Alexa Bliss or Natalya broke up submissions or pins in an ELIMINATION MATCH. In all honesty though, that possibly made the match more suspenseful in a way. I know I thought the match was going to be six finishers followed shortly by five eliminations but that’s not what I got. I got a match full of women who took an opportunity to showcase why they need to be in that match and be the first woman to hold that title. The only real slow part in the match was a botched move By Naomi on Natalya but they got the crowd back pretty quick. Alexa Bliss was doing WORK in all of her Polly Pocket Harley Quinn glory. Unfortunately she was the first one eliminated followed shortly after by Naomi and Natalya. This leaves us with Becky Lynch, Nikki Bella, and Carmella. With the current heat between Carmella and Nikki things got a little “personal” when Carmella got the elimination on Nikki. As a farewell, Nikki slapped the taste out of Carmella’s mouth which led into a beat down on poor Becky. After getting beat down, Becky lit up some “Straight Fire” and locked Carmella in the Disarmer for the victory and became the first every SMACKDOWN LIVE Women’s Champion. Congrats to the deserving Lass Kicker.
Main Show Match 2: The Usos vs. The Hype Bros (Second Chance qualifier match) – 3/5
This match was decent and shown us the New Usos look but I can’t figure out why they got a second chance after jumping American Alpha post match and putting Chad Gable out for who knows how long. I understand building heat but come on. With all of the legit injuries floating around it’s almost to the point where we can’t tell what’s work and what’s legit till it’s too late. Either way the Hype Bros surprised the heck out of me. Mojo pretty much dominated that match solo for a good chunk of the match. The Usos would gain some type of momentum when Ryder was in the ring but then Mojo would come to save the day. I’m not saying the team isn’t decent, I’m saying Mojo carries it. After a lot of the same thing over and over again the Usos finally realize if Mojo can’t get in the ring they can destroy Ryder. Almost at the same time they realize Mojo attacks by running full speed into you. That being said Mojo ran full speed to attack one of the Usos, said Uso avoids the attack sending Mojo into the barricade and out of the match. At this point they get in the ring and destroy Zack Ryders leg the exact same way they destroyed Chad Gables and the Usos win by submission to advance to the title match later on in the night.
Main Show Match 3: Dolph Ziggler vs. The Miz (Intercontinental Championship) – 5/5
Yup…You don’t need to check twice. A match with Dolph Ziggler and the Miz gets a perfect 5. I would argue that it was the match of the night. I went into this event expecting two things. First, I expected it to be one hundred percent trash and second, I expected to be upset with the outcome. I was wrong on both counts. Miz didn’t do his typical roll out of the ring and try to run the entire match; this was The Miz from his feud with John Cena. This Miz was aggressive and ruthless, then for the cherry on top he started using Daniel Bryan’s moves to destroy Ziggler. Now as far as Ziggler is concerned I didn’t want him to win in any way shape or fashion. I’m tired of seeing people lose a title match and get another one almost immediately. I went into the match talking trash about how Ziggler has no gimmick and he’s only as good as his ability lets him pull off whatever gimmick he might be mimicking that night. Before I got about half way through the match my mind was changed. Ziggler may not have his own thing but that guy has talent out the wahzoo. I could go on for DAYS about the parts of this match that just had me on the edge of my seat but I don’t have days to focus on just that one match. Just know that I gained a whole new level of respect for both of these two and I seriously hope can continue this title run to knock off the record set by Honky Tonk Man.
Main Show Match 4: Bray Wyatt vs. Randy Orton/ Bray Wyatt vs. Kane – 1/5
First let’s get the confusion out of the way. Bray jumped Randy earlier in the night and as such Randy couldn’t compete. Bray “won” by forfeit… So in retaliation I assume someone in the back decided to send Kane at Bray Wyatt in a no holds barred match…. Kane won that one because Randy Orton got in an RKO… The only reason I gave this match a 1 is because they had a sick spot where Bray mocked Randy and did a senton on Kane through a table…. Just know I could write an entire Article on how much it upsets me that Bray Wyatt can’t catch a break… As a matter of fact I might… We shall see…
Main Show Match 5: The Usos vs. Rhino and Heath Slater (SMACKDOWN LIVE Tag team Championship Match) – 4/5
Honestly I thought after their display earlier on in the night, the Usos were going to be trash. I also thought that Rhino and Slater would get destroyed because of one leaving the other high and dry. Yet again SMACKDOWN pulls the wool over my eyes and gives me an incredible Tag match. All four men pulled their weight and much like in the Women’s match earlier, they fought to make those new titles mean something. Maro kept calling the Usos the Kings of Double Teams and they sold that gimmick well. Slater tasted that gimmick and was a lifeless corpse because of it. Rhino manages to get a tag and it starts to go down. Just like against the Hype Bros, a Uso moved out of the way of Rhinos Gore and sent him into a post. Where I thought Slater made a terrible decision to tag himself in, it turned out to be great. Punch Drunk Heath Slater dodged both Usos attempt to punish him and gave them twin neck breakers, (See what I did there, cause the Usos are twins…never mind), then tossed one out of the ring. Just when Heath turned back to the other Uso he caught a Superkick in the face from one of the Usos. This is when the Man Beast Rhino came through and gored the Uso in half allowing Slater to roll over and get this pin. Heath Slater and Rhino become the new SMACKDOWN LIVE Tag team champions. (I swear next time I’ll have a way to tell the difference between the Usos and be clearer… Please accept my apologies for now though.)
Main Event: AJ Style vs. Dean Ambrose (WWE World Title match) – 4/5
AJ Styles vs. Dean Ambrose for the title… Not too long ago most people would have said you were crazy for even entertaining that idea because those guys don’t belong in WWE. Well times have changed and they do belong, one of which is calling himself the face that runs the place, but we’ll get to that in a bit. So you have the WWE World Champion Dean Ambrose fresh out of a Summer Slam Victory over Dolph Ziggler. Then you have AJ Styles fresh of a crushing defeat of John Cena, so big of a defeat that Cena hasn’t been seen since, (insert you can’t see him joke here), and AJ has been wearing the “Never give up” armband as a trophy. They attempted to give it some story but honestly it was just that these are the top two guys on SMACKDOWN LIVE, so why not have them fight for the top prize? This match started like every other AJ match in WWE, pure technical superiority over his opponent. Then the match gets to the outside and Dean starts to pick up some steam. One of the things that put this match over for me was the ref not only being lax on the outside 10 count, but also the attention to the count that AJ and Dean both gave in order to break the count and keep it outside where both men could shine. After Dean sprinted across two tables and dove onto AJ in the crowd the match was in high gear. Multiple high impact moves, some Dirty Deeds reversals, and even a spring board 450 splash that almost snagged the victory. When it came down to the last few seconds of the match, bad positioning by the ref caused AJ to bump him while backing out of a Dirty Deeds attempt. AJ realized the ref was dazed and delivered a swift low blow kick to Dean who was promptly put down with a Styles Clash. AJ Styles is the WWE World Champion! It feels so good to say that. No disrespect to Dean, I’ve just followed a lot of the other indie guys coming up more. That being said I hope their rematch isn’t used on SMACKDOWN LIVE and I hope it might have some stipulation to it just for some extra goods.
All in all this PPV was pretty awesome and I hope RAW’s Clash of Champions raises to the occasion. Not to mention if they can do great single brand PPVs. what are they going to do with combined brand PPVs. like I assume Survivor Series will be? Either way I’m very pleased with the way everything went minus the Bray Wyatt bit… Man I need him to get a good solid win. Anyways!
As always I appreciate everyone who reads my reviews. I keep doing them because you read them. Feel free to sign up for LakeCharles.com and let me and the rest of the iNoob crew know what you think. Until Clash of Champions, ya’ll be good.