Finally we got the first WWE Pay-Per-View after Wrestlemania, it was the turn of Backlash and so, we start a new era of PPVs having both brands competing at the same time, instead of what we’ve been getting of brand-exclusive events. Let’s see what happened here.
For the kickoff show we only had one match, surrounded by all the predictions from the team of Renee Young, David Otunga, Rosenberg and Booker T, who even got interrupted by The IIconics (Peyton Royce & Billie Kay) to say something rather interesting: they defeated Asuka in her first match on the blue brand. We also got a peek at the feud that has been in the works for a long time now between Bayley and Sasha Banks.
We have a match between Ruby Riott and Bayley, where we do get definitely more than what we would’ve expected out of a kickoff show match, with Bayley hitting some nice moves on Ruby and even on Sarah Logan, but which ended up with Ruby Riott defeating her. Sasha Banks was backstage “watching” the match from an impossible angle, of course.
We get the first match of the main show when The Miz challenges Seth Rollins for the Intercontinental Championship. Even without the match having started, we can believe Seth will retain his title because if he doesn’t, the belt would go to SmackDown Live…or The Miz back to RAW, which would simply render the Superstar Shake-up useless.
The match was quite dynamic, with both superstars having some great spots and with both of them kicking out at 2 and a half in multiple times. Miz almost made Seth tap, Seth countered it and almost got Miz to tap. Miz even hit his finisher twice, and Seth was able to kick out of them; however, Seth was able to hit his Curb Stomp once, and pin Miz to retain his belt.
The second match of the night sees the RAW Women’s Champion, Nia Jax, defending the title against former champion, Alexa Bliss. I can’t really see Alexa reclaiming her championship, mostly, if they want to keep a dominating champion right now.
The entirety of the match, Alexa Bliss dominated. I hadn’t seen this warrior Alexa has inside coming out before, not even when she had her match against Asuka a few months ago. Alexa was really close to defeat Nia after throwing her out of the ring above the third rope and hitting a DDT on the steel stairs; however, Nia survived everything and defeated her.
The third match of the night is for the United States Championship between Jeff Hardy and Randy Orton. Based on previous experiences, this is certainly going to be an amazing match, and we are not disappointed. The entire match is going from one place to the other, both hitting their strongest moves, and counter-attacking as well. In the end, we got to see Jeff reversing an RKO just to hit the Twist of Fate + Swanton Bomb to retain.
We get the usual Elias segment now. He plays the guitar, plays his heel role to perfection. Crowd boos him. He interacts with the crowd in a magnificent way, playing as if he will leave unless they stop booing, and they cheer every time he is about to leave, so he stays in the ring until he gets interrupted by the entrance of The New Day. I don’t remember there being a match for Elias, or The New Day, at Backlash.
New Day want to play with Elias, but Elias doesn’t like the idea, and when he is about to sing, Aiden English appears to sing and introduce Rusev Day to the audience. What the hell is happening here? I have absolutely no idea. Rusev shuts up, and it is the time for No Way Jose to appear. I’m serious…what is happening?
For some reason I don’t understand, Elias is about to sing, and Bobby Roode appears to hit a Glorious DDT on Elias, to then let No Way Jose keep going with his Conga Line. This was an unexpectedly funny segment that took way longer than it should have.
The next match of the night has Daniel Bryan facing Big Cass, a match where we have a jealous giant versus the crowd’s favorite. Daniel Bryan gave a huge fight, with Cass attacking quite aggressively at every point. In the end, Daniel Bryan won by submission, but Cass attacked Bryan during his celebration.
Interestingly enough, Cass’ angry face reminds me of Edge, I don’t know why.
The next match of the night has Charlotte Flair challenging Carmella for the SmackDown Women’s Championship. Carmella is certainly having fun with the title. At first, she starts mocking Charlotte, but receives a boot to the face (although, it was completely botched), to then try to run away with her belt. Charlotte was able to get her back into the ring, looking to pin her with some really nice moves. Carmella was being handled quite easily.
Carmella finally brings the fight to Charlotte and seems to be taking control by having Charlotte in the middle of the ring, on the edge of tapping out. Carmella has an awful style, going from “I don’t know what the hell I’m doing here” to “I’m going to tear your limbs apart to win”. I want to like the way the champion fights, but it is just awful, like if I was watching an amateur fighting against…well, Charlotte.
In the end, due to what seems to be an injury, Carmella was able to pin Charlotte to retain her SmackDown Women’s Championship, in Charlotte’s only mandatory title rematch.
The next match of the night is for the WWE Championship in a No Disqualification Match, between AJ Styles and Shinsuke Nakamura. This promises to steal the show for sure. I have to say it, as interesting as it was to listen to Nakamura’s theme-song with lyrics the first time, I hate it now. It is way better without lyrics.
From the beginning we see that AJ is determined to win, he comes in aggressive and all in against Nakamura; however, nothing other than usual moves are being used. I want blood.
Nakamura becomes aggressive himself and starts attacking with a lot of power. Those legs are certainly fast and powerful, and AJ is getting destroyed. I have to repeat myself here, I love heel Nakamura, he is in his element now, and he is the perfect heel to face AJ Styles. Nakamura even got to a point where he hit a super Kinshasa, but AJ was able to kick out at 2 and a half. After that we got to see an amazing exchange of hits, with both of them hitting their signature combinations but with the other avoiding getting hit with one of them to go into some chain combinations.
Right after that, Nakamura was about to hit a second Kinshasa, but AJ used a chair to hit his knee; sadly, the chair bounced and hit him in the face cutting his cheek. The match becomes super intense, and Nakamura hits a low punch again on AJ, but AJ did the same to him. This is, as promised, a huge huge match. At one point, both kicked each other in the crotch at the same time. This is amazing!!! Sadly, the referee counted to 10 for both of them and ended the match. This feud isn’t over, and I loved this match but, what’s next in this feud?
The next match of the night sees Braun Strowman and Bobby Lashley versus Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn. Why is the Greatest Royal Rumble trophy here, but Braun comes in without his belt is a complete mystery, though. I was waiting to see that belt being worn by Braun, but, of course, I was mistaken. What was the point of having this belt, by the way?
I can’t see any ending in this match other than Braun and Lashley winning. There’s really no point to this match, really. I was not mistaken, but what I didn’t know was going to happen was a break of the Owens/Zayn team -again- as they both betrayed each other, costing them to lose the match (easier).
The last match of the night is Roman Reigns versus Samoa Joe, this might not steal the show, but it will certainly be aggressive, and I was not mistaken. Before the referee was able to even ring the bell, Joe attacked Roman and took him out of the ring, throwing him through one of the announcement tables, and pretty much destroying him before the match even started.
As expected, the match is super physical, both men are leaving everything in the ring, with Roman hitting his signature moves, and Joe locking the Coquina Clutch, but Reigns was able to reach the ropes. In the end, “against all odds” Roman Reigns hits the mother of all Spears and wins the match.
In the end, this was an entertaining show; however, there were no title changes, the only tag match didn’t really mean much besides yet another separation of the Kevin Owens/Sami Zayn team, and what was an interesting yet senseless ending to the best match of the night, AJ Styles vs Nakamura.