WWE Backlash is upon us and is emanating from The Prudential Center Newark, Ne Jersey!
Pre-Show Match: Ruby Riott p. Bayley with a Riott Kick
OK match, but nothing special. Liv Morgan distracted Bayley and got speared for her efforts. This enabled Ruby to land a Riott kick for the pin.
WWE Champion AJ Styles p. Shinsuke Nakamura
Maybe WWE is listening to Carmella and introducing all the champions last.
Intercontinental Champion Seth Rollins p. Miz with a Curb Stomp to retain the title
Miz got a huge reaction when he came out. Now watch WWE turn him babyface while still keeping Rusev heel. Anyway Miz looked like he stole Shinsuke Nakamura’s entrance gear. Rollins came out to a bigger reaction. Rollins had the shine out of the gate until Miz countered a springboard. Miz got the heat and worked over Rollins. Rollins mounted a comeback and hit a Slingblade followed by a Clothesline to the outside. Rollins hit a DIVE on Miz. Miz blocked another springboard attempt and went for the Skullcrushing Finale, but Seth reversed it into a rollup for a near fall. Rollins finally hit the Springboard Clothesline. Miz cut off Seth by tripping him on the ring apron. Miz hit a bodypress, only for Rollins to roll through and hit a slam for a two count. Seth scored another near fall with a Frog Splash. Rollins tried another DIVE, but Miz countered with a forearm to the face. Seth blocked a DDT on the ring apron. Miz dodged a knee strike on the apron, and Rollins’ knee went into the ring post. Miz immediately locked in a Figure Four. Seth gutted through and reversed the hold. Miz reversed again, and this time Rollins made it to the ropes. Miz went for the Figure Four again, only this time Seth escaped. The two went back and forth until Miz finally hit a Skullcrushing Finale. Rollins still kicked out at two. Miz went to the top rope, still selling his leg from the Figure Four. Seth met him at the top, and landed a Superplex. Miz hit a second Skullcrushing Finale for another near fall. Rollins escaped a middle rope Skullcrushing Finale. The two traded several rollup near falls until Seth finally countered with a Curb Stomp to land the pin and retain the title.
Raw Womens Champion Nia Jax p. Alexa Bliss with a Samoan Drop to retain the title
The Champion was introduced last (ASI IT SHOULD BE). Bliss dominated the opening minutes. She went for a crossbody, but Jax caught her. Nia tried for a middle rope Samoan drop a la WrestleMania. Alexa dodged that and tried a front facelock. Jax countered with a slam. Nia mounted her comeback and tossed Bliss around. Alexa escaped a middle rope splash by knocking Nia to the outside. I’m glad this isn’t Raw because they would have immediately cut to commercial. The problem Bliss faced next was trying to get Jax into the ring because Nia is so much heavier. She finally got Jax into the ring, but failed to get the pin. Nia again went got the middle rope Samoan Drop, only for Alexa to escape and score another near fall. Soon after, Jax finished off Bliss with a Samoan Drop.
I’m 2-0 in my predictions so far. You can hear our prediction by listening to last week’s Wrestling Brethren Podcast! (Shameless Plug)
After the match, Renee Young did an in ring interview with Nia, who said this victory was for people who are different.
Backstage an interview girl talked to Samoa who cut a classic Joe promo stating that he will beat Roman Reigns and “turn The Big Dog into a whimpering puppy”.
United States Champion p. Randy Orton with a Swanton Bomb to retain the title
Champion was again introduced last. WWE is on a role with proper championship match introductions. Both men are babyfaces, but Orton used a more heelish brawling style. Randy countered a Hardy springboard with a dropkick to the outside. Orton worked over Hardy on the outside and dropped him on the ring barrier. Randy got the heat with chinlocks. A spontaneous “Rusev Day” chant from the crowd. Jeff tried a comeback but Orton cut him off. Elevated DDT by Randy, who soaked in the negative crowd reaction in true heel fashion. Hardy countered an RKO with a rollup for a two count. Hardy then hit a Twist Of Fate, and hit a Swanton Bomb for the pin and another successful title retention.
This puts my predictions at 2-1
Commercials for the new line of action figures and the new season of Total Bellas aired.
Elias was in the ring for another concert. Am I alone in wanting to see Elias and Aiden English perform together? Elias claimed to be friends with Bruce Springsteen, which actually got some boos. He then stated if the crowd didn’t quiet down, he wouldn’t perform tonight. This of course only got the crowd to cheer louder. Elias milked the cheers and boos by teasing leaving the ring and sitting back down. The New Day. Kofi had cymbals and Big E had a bass drum strapped around his shoulders. New Day did some comedic music in what is turning out to be like a Raw segment, which has no business being on a PPV segment. Then, as if WWE read my mind, Aiden English walked out and introduced Rusev. Elias got more frustrated and demanded to be re-introduced. Before he could start his song again, No Way Jose’s music hit, and Jose came to the ring with his Jose-buds. This has been a LONG ten minutes. Jojo once again introduced Elias, but Bobby Roode’s music hit, and Roode laid out Elias with a Glorious DDT. Everybody on the outside celebrated by doing a conga line dance to the back. Complete waste of time
Daniel Bryan s. Big Cass with the Yes Lock
Cass dominated early until Bryan countered by dropping Cass to the outside. Daniel hit a Missile Dropkick and landed several Yes Kicks. Cass countered the final Yes Kick with a slam. Cass continued to get the heat on Bryan. Daniel tried another comeback with corner Dropkicks, but Cass cut him off again. Cass hit several Short Arm Clotheslines ala Jake The Snake. Bryan dodged a running clothesline and put Cass in the Yes Lock for a tapout. So Cass dominated the match, but slipped on a banana peel. Still at least it was a submission and not a rollup.
I predicted Bryan would win by DQ, so that makes this 2-2 for my predictions
After the match, Cass got his heat back by attacking Bryan from behind. The crowd chanted “You tapped out”. Cass laid out Bryan with a Big Boot.
Smackdown Womens Champion Carmella p. Charlotte Flair with a rollup to retain the title
Woo-hoo! Champion introduced last again! When the bell rang, Carmella tried to get her belt and leave to forfeit the match. Charlotte caught up to Carmella and threw here into the ring. Charlotte missed a plancha to the outside, allowing Charlotte to turn the tide and work over Charlotte with chinlocks and submissions. Charlotte made her comeback with several chops. Carmella cut her off and locked in the Code Of Silence. Flair escaped and hit a big boot for a two count. Charlotte missed a moonsault, and seemingly hurt her knee. Carmella capitalized with the most dangerous move in all of Sports Entertainment, The Rollup, and scored the pinfall victory.
I’m now at 3-2 in my predictions
AJ Styles d. Shinsuke Nakamura in a Ten Count to retain the title.
WWE must have been listening to Carmella, since they introduced all the champions last in their respective matches. The action spilled to the outside early, with AJ getting the upper hand until he missed a corner splash on Nakamura. Nakamura then ran AJ into the steel steps. Shinsuke worked over Styles and used the Good Vibrations stomps, which Graves called Bad Vibrations. Nakamura tried several pin attempts to no avail. AJ kept trying to mount a comeback, only to continually get cut off. Shinsuke he a middle rope Kinshasa and a Falcon Arrow for another near fall. Eventually, Nakamura got frustrated and grabbed a chair from the outside. Styles escaped the chair, only to get hit with a Reverse Exploder Suplex onto it. Nakamura went for another Kinshasa, but Styles blocked it with the chair. AJ put Nakamura in the Calf Crusher. Somehow Styles got cut open, presumably from the chair. Nakamura countered with a Triangle Choke, which AJ tried countering into a Styles Clash. Shisuke kicked out of an Ushigoroshi. In a hilarious spot, both men kicked each other in the nads at the same time for a double down. However, this lead a disappointing finish, as neither man made it to his feet and the referee made a Ten Count.
I predicted Nakamura to win the title, so this makes my predictions 3-3. While I applaud WWE for introducing all the champions last, I’m a little dismayed at the World Title Match not being the Main Event. That said, if they did a double down finish, it wouldn’t sit right with the crowd for a MainEvent.
Braun Strowman & Bobby Lashley b. Kevin Owens & Sami Zayn
Babyfaces got the sine in the opening minutes. Zayn knocked Lashley to the outside, and the heels took over. Coach tried to claim that Owens and Zayn might win if they turned the match into a fight. I am skeptical of this since Bobby Lashley is an accomplished MMA fight. As soon as I started typing this, Corey Graves pointed that out. Braun got the hot tag and ran wild on both heels. Owens dodged corner spear and Strowman hit the post. Sami tagged in, and tried a Helluva Kick. Braun Dodged and lifted Sami for a powerslam. Zayn escaped and tried to run to the back. Owens tried to reason with his partner, but Sami tossed Owens into the ring. As Kevin was protesting, Braun landed w powerslam, followed by a Brainbusterr from Lashley for the pin. This may play into storyline, as Sami Zayn was actually the legal man.
This raises my predictions to 4-3
Roman Reigns p Samoa Joe with a Spear
Joe attacked Roman before the bell and the brawl instantly spilled to the outside. Joe smashed Reigns through an announce table with a Uranage. Joe tossed Roman over two more tables. Somehow there was not DQ. I guess since the bell hasn’t rang yet, the match can’t be stopped. The crowd chanted “Joe’s Gonna Kill You”. The bell rang at last, and Joe continued to get the heat on Reigns. The crowd broke into a dueling “Let’s Got Roman/Roman Sucks” chant. Joe kept going for headlocks to the point the crowd started chanting “Boring”. Joe then hit a DIVE on Roman to the outside, but soon after went back to a submission hold. The crowd is really turning on this match. The two trade forearms until Roman knocked Joe out of the ring with a Big Boot, and followed it up with a Drive By. Joe blocked a Superman Punch with an Inverted Atomic Drop. Joe hit a running boot for a near fall. Reigns hit a Spinebuster for his own near fall. Joe kicked out of a Superman Punch, and also got his foot on the ropes to escape a pinfall from a Spear. Crowd started “Rusev Day” and “DELETE!” chants. Joe locked in the Kokina Clutch, and almost got the pass out victory. Roman made it to the ropes to break the hold, much to the chagrin of the crowd. Joe tried a Muscle Buster, but Reigns broke free and hit another Spear. This time he got the win. For what it’s worth, the camera did show several people applauding Roman Reigns’ win.
Overall, not a bad show. The only truly bad thing was the Elias segment. That said, there were no title changes, which effectively makes this a skippable show.