|Date: September 11, 2016
|Venue: Richmond Coliseum |City: Richmond, Virginia
|tweet me: @BastionBlogger
A video package kicks us off, first a tribute to 9/11 and then a classic video package that covers most of the matches tonight. I really like the graphics on this VT.
The commentary team for tonight is Mauro Ranallo, John “Bradshaw” Layfield and David Otunga.
Shane McMahon’s music hits the General Manager of Smackdown makes his way to the ring. He’s then follows by the commissioner, Daniel Bryan! They hype up the show and then announce that we’re kicking off with the six pack challenge match for the vacant WWE Smackdown’s Women’s Championship.
Becky Lynch vs. Nikki Bella vs. Naomi vs. Alexa Bliss vs. Natalya vs. Carmella – Six pack elimination match for the vacant WWE Smackdown Women’s Championship
Background: With Charlotte being drafted to Raw it was announced that there would be a Smackdown women’s championship for the women of Smackdown to compete for. All six of the females on Smackdown were announced to be in the match. Since then Carmella has turned heel, attacking Nikki Bella before a match and then again on Talking Smack.
Previous PPV matches: This is a first time six pack match between these six Smackdown superstars.
Backlash Record: Natalya is 1-0 at Backlash events but the other five girls make their Backlash debut tonight.
Match: All six women go at it as the bell rings and the ring slowly clears then, leaving Becky Lynch and Naomi who go at it. Carmella gets an early near fall on Becky following a hurricanrana in the style of Trish Stratus. Carmella and Nikki Bella nearly go at it but Alexa Bliss and Natalya attack both. This match generally has two girls in the ring at once. Nikki and Carmella do eventually go at it and Nikki counters the code of silence with an Alabama Slam for a near fall. Alexa Bliss has looked impressive in this match. Nikki Bella looks for a suicide dive but Carmella intercepts. Naomi hits a springboard plancha and takes out all five opponents! Naomi and Natalya team up temporarily to hit a double powerbomb/blockbuster on Alexa Bliss which is enough to eliminate Alexa. Nikki hits Naomi with a big forearm and Natalya locks the sharpshooter on Naomi to eliminate her. Nikki hits a TKO on Natalya which is enough to eliminate her and Carmella then rolls up Nikki to eliminate her! We’re down to Becky Lynch and Carmella. Becky slaps Carmella around a bit and then locks on the disarm-her, causing Carmella to tap out!
Naomi eliminates Alexa Bliss by pinfall
Natalya eliminates Naomi by submission
Naomi eliminates Natalya by pinfall
Carmella eliminates Nikki Bella by pinfall
Becky Lynch beats Carmella by submission to win the Smackdown Women’s Championship
Review: This was a really fun match. Especially when there were six competitors in it. The eliminations were pretty standard, they all got their finishers in. But it was a good match and there was plenty of action. I’m not always a fan of the “two in the ring at a time” narrative that they tend to go with but this was good. Alexa Bliss looked really good and there was a couple of great spots from Naomi. Becky Lynch takes the title though and I think that’s a great choice. She’s deserved a title and gets her run now.
There’s an ad for Clash Of Champions which is the next pay per view and it’s exclusive to Raw.
Backstage Bray Wyatt is attacking Randy Orton! They’re due to fight later.
The Hype Bros (Zack Ryder & Mojo Rawley) vs. The Usos (Jimmy & Jey) – Second chance match with the winner battling Heath Slater and Rhyno for the Smackdown Tag Team Championships
Background: A tournament was set up to crown Smackdown Tag Team Championships after the Tag Team Championships were drafted to Raw. In one semi final Heath Slater and Rhyno defeated The Hype Bros. In the other semi-final American Alpha defeated The Usos in 30 seconds. After the match The Usos attacked American Alpha, putting Chad Gable on the shelf. This has led to a match between the two semi-finalists, with the winner going on to fight Heath Slater and Rhyno for the titles later tonight.
Previous PPV matches: This is a first time PPV match between these two tag teams.
Backlash Record: All four men make their Backlash debut. This is also a PPV debut for Mojo Rawley.
Match: The Usos debut a new look. There’s no face paint and they’re dressed in black. It’ll be harder to tell them apart without the face paint. The Hype Bros start the match well, they keep up a fast pace, especially Mojo who looks like h’s drunk a lot of coffee before this match. The Usos soon take the advantage though. Jimmy and Jey do well to double team Zack Ryder, they’re an experienced tag team and one of the best teams in the company. Zack eventually gets back into the match with a neckbreaker. Mojo Rawley gets the hot tag and all four men go at it. Ryder hits a frankensteiner on Jey Uso. Ryder is the legal man and goes at it with Jey Uso. Jimmy sends Mojo into the barricade. Jey hits a chop block on Ryder and then stomps down on Ryders knee. Jimmy locks on a single leg crab and Zack Ryder taps out! The Usos go on to face Heath Slater and Rhyno for the Smackdown Tag Team Championships later.
Result: The Usos win by submission.
Review: This was a decent match. I’m having issues with the WWE Network at the moment which is affecting my enjoyment. A good tag team match though and a deserved win for The Usos. They’re looking like a great heel team at the moment. Zack Ryder is the man who took most of the beating so maybe they see something in Mojo? It makes sense to have a strong heel team go up against Rhyno and Heath Slater later, I like the story.
Heath Slater and Rhyno are backstage being interviewed. Slater then goes on about his bowel problems not realising they’re still live.
There’s a video package next for Dolph Ziggler and The Miz.
The Miz gets in the face of Daniel Bryan prior to the match, demanding a higher paid contract.
The Miz (c) vs. Dolph Ziggler – Intercontinental Championship match
Background: The Miz claims to be the greatest Intercontinental Champion of all time and got in the face of Daniel Bryan saying that he is the star of the show. Daniel Bryan responded by saying that if Miz is the star then he needs to defend his Intercontinental Championship at Backlash against Dolph Ziggler.
Previous PPV matches: This is the third PPV match between these two men, they’ve been won one match each prior to this.
Backlash Record: Both men make their Backlash debut tonight.
Match: The Miz is joined by his wife Maryse for this match. And it’s The Miz that takes the advantage in the early going. He locks on a few wrestling holds which you don’t always see from The Miz. You get the impression he’s answering his critics with these holds. The crowd are really quite into this match. I think a lot of that is down to Miz stepping it up. Dolph Ziggler is in full Shawn Michael mode in this match. Fully expecting a superkick and then fall down into the pinfall much like Michaels used to. Bothe men exchange DDTs. Miz locks on the figure four but Ziggler reaches the bottom rope to break the hold. Maryse soon gets involved, distracting Ziggler and then spraying what looks like hair spray in his face! Miz then hits skull-crushing finale and pins Dolph for the win! The Miz retains his Intercontinental Championship tonight.
Result: The Miz beats Dolph Ziggler by pinfall.
Review: This was a really good match. The Miz was really impressive and this was one of his better matches of his career. Dolph sold like he was Shawn Michaels for much of the match. The Miz retains his Intercontinental Championship but this feud is far from over.
Over to the Backlash kick-off panel made up for Renee Young, Lita, Jerry Lawler and Booker T. We’re shown some footage from the kick-off match with Baron Corbin defeating Apollo Crews.
Bray Wyatt is out next but will his match go ahead?
We’re told that due to injury Randy Orton can’t wrestle tonight. Wyatt asks for a ten count to confirm the forfeit. He gets the ten count and is announced as the winner. Greg Hamilton then announces that instead, Bray Wyatt will compete in a no holds barred match against……Kane!
Kane vs. Bray Wyatt – No Holds Barred Match
Background: There is no background! Bray Wyatt took out Randy Orton earlier in the night but Wyatt doesn’t get the night off, he must take on Kane.
Previous PPV matches: This is a second PPV match between these two men, Bray Wyatt beat Kane at Summerslam 2013.
Backlash Record: Kane is 4-2-1 at Backlash, Kane makes his Backlash debut tonight.
Match: This fight goes straight to the outside where Kane starts to take apart the Spanish announce desk. It doesn’t come into play yet though as Bray Wyatt takes the advantage. Wyatt hits Kane with the chair multiple times. Kane manages to hit Wyatt with a DDT on the chair. Kane looks for a chokeslam but Bray fights him off. Kane looks to chokeslam Wyatt through the announce desk but Wyatt breaks free and knocks the big red machine down with a clothesline. Wyatt lays Kane down on the announce desk and then poses like Randy Orton before hitting a senton through the table! Back in the ring and Wyatt looks for Sister Abigail but Kane counters with a chokeslam for a near fall. Wyatt hits a urunage on the chair for a near fall. Randy Orton then walks out from the back! He gets in the ring and hits an RKO on Wyatt and then leaves! Kane chokeslams Wyatt and that’s enough for the three!
Result: Kane wins by pinfall (with some assistance from Randy Orton).
Review: This match was ok, it was better than I thought it would be. It was pretty random but it looks like they’re building up Kane again. I don’t like this result really, I would have preferred to see Bray Wyatt win and Randy attack Bray after the match. Kane is a part timer these days so didn’t need the win. The Bray Wyatt and Randy Orton rivalry continues.
AJ Styles is backstage and runs into a couple of jobbers. Styles lectures them about indy wrestling and tells them both they are destined for failure.
There’s an ad for the WWE Network.
We’re shown the footage from earlier with The Usos beating The Hype Bros. In case you’d forgotten.
Heath Slater & Rhyno vs. The Usos (Jimmy & Jey) – Tournament finals to determine the first ever Smackdown Tag Team Champions
Background: Heath Slater and Rhyno beat The Headbangers and The Hype Bros to get to the finals of this tournament. The Usos beat The Ascension, lost to American Alpha but beat The Hype Bros to get into the finals. If Heath Slater and Rhyno win then Heath Slater will get a Smackdown contract too.
Previous PPV matches: This is a first time PPV match between these two teams.
Backlash Record: The Usos are 1-0 at Backlash, Rhyno is 1-0 and Heath Slater makes his Backlash debut tonight.
Match: As you’d expect, The Usos take the advantage in the early going. They actually hit a double suplex on Slater into the ringpost. Heath Slater is the man on the receiving end of a lot of the offence. The Usos make quick tags, keeping Slater away form Rhyno. Slater and Rhyno is such a random combination. The Usos look particularly tired, mostly because they’ve already wrestled once tonight. Heath finally makes the hot tag to Rhyno! Slater was in the match for a long time. Rhyno gets the better of both Usos. Jimmy sidesteps a gore and Heath Skater tags back in! Slater hits both Usos with neckbreakers and then a DDT on Jimmy but Jey drags Slater out of the ring. Slater has a second wind now. Jimmy knocks Slater down with a superkick but Rhyno hits Jimmy Uso with a gore! Slater pins Jimmy and gets the three! Slater and Rhyno become the first ever Smackdown Tag Team Champions!
Result: Heath Slater and Rhyno win by pinfall.
Review: The psychology in this match was great. Slater took a beating for a lot of this match but Rhyno basically won the match for his team. Everyone wanted to see Heath Slater win tonight and get his Smackdown contract. Rhyno being involved in random as hell but it’s an odd couple and it sort of works!
There’s a KFC advert featuring Dolph Ziggler and The Miz.
Next up is a video package for the WWE Championship match.
Dean Ambrose (c) vs. AJ Styles – WWE Championship match
Background: AJ Styles was announced as the number one contender to Dean Ambrose as the WWE Championship. He beat Dolph Ziggler to confirm this match would be a singles match and not a triple threat.
Previous PPV matches: This is a first time PPV match between these two men.
Backlash Record: This match marks a Backlash debut for both men.
Match: It’s a back and forth start to the match with the fans cheering on both men. AJ gets a steady advantage and mixes his offence up between high pace and slow. Styles has a lot of good offence and even makes a kneedrop look better than most. Ambrose hits a massive belly to back superplex at one point which looked pretty brutal. Ambrose hits his vertical elbow drop to the outside which is a pretty fun move. AJ locks on the calf crusher but Ambrose manages to break free. Dean Ambrose is the only superstar on the roster to have wrestled on every PPV so far in 2016. Dean fights off every attempt of the Styles Clash. Styles hits a springboard 450 splash for a near fall. Mauro Ranallo is great at selling the drama. There’s a lot of boo’s when Ambrose takes the advantage. He hits a big baseball slide on AJ sending him to the outside. Ambrose sends Styles over the barricade and then dives out at him! Back in the ring and Styles hits a Pele kick but Ambrose bounces off the ropes and hits the lunatic lariat. Ambrose sets up for dirty deeds but Styles pushes him into the referee. AJ hits a low blow and then the Styles Clash and that’s enough for the three!
Result: AJ Styles wins the WWE Championship by pinfall!
Review: This was a really solid main event. I like AJ Styles winning the WWE Championship, he’s been so impressive since his debut in WWE. This match lived up to expectations. I could definitely watch another match between these two. They have a lot of chemistry. AJ hitting the low blow suggests that they may be more legs in this rivalry. A solid main event to a good show!
And that was Backlash 2016. It felt like a real kickoff for the Smackdown brand, a bit of a reset, getting all the titles on champions they want to take the brand forward. Becky Lynch is a really solid first Smackdown’s Women’s Champion. She’s deserved of a reign and will be a good first champion. Heath Slater and Rhyno win the Smackdown Tag Team Championships which means that Slater gets his Smackdown contract. A fitting end to that story. And AJ Styles wins the WWE Championship. I like that a lot, AJ Styles is so good. He’s going to be a fantastic WWE Champion. I’m sure there’s more legs in the Styles/Ambrose rivalry, it’s a good main event scene for the Smackdown brand. Overall a decent first Smackdown brand pay per view. Not as good as a lot of the PPV’s as of late but it was decent.
Overall Rating: 65.83/100 (ranked joint 47th out of 332)
Match Of The Night: Dean Ambrose vs. AJ Styles
Worst Match Of The Night: Kane vs. Bray Wyatt
Surprise Of The Night: Randy Orton is replaced by Kane
Worst Booking Of The Night: N/A
Superstar Of The Night: AJ Styles
Backlash 2016 Will Be Remembered For: AJ Styles winning the WWE Championship