WWE Backlash 2017 Match Card and Predictions
Jinder Mahal gets his WWE Championship match and other slightly less ridiculous things make up the WWE Backlash 2017 card.
It’s that time once again for everybody to get aboard the HOO-Prediction train!
Coming live from Chicago, Backlash will be Smackdown Live’s first post-Wrestlemania 33, post-Superstar Shake-Up PPV, where all but one title (the Women’s Championship) will be defended.
WWE Backlash 2017 Kick-Off Card
Tye Dillinger vs. Aiden English
‘The Perfect 10’ was one of NXT’s most beloved characters (along with looking suspiciously like Paul Rudd) and is riding a wave of momentum to his first main roster PPV.
I don’t see this match going more than 10 minutes against The Drama King, and I expect a perfect win for the Perfect 10.
Prediction: Tye Dillinger
Luke Harper vs. Erick Rowan
Elsewhere on the Kick-Off show, we have former Wyatt family brethren Luke Harper taking on Erick Rowan, who is now a strange clown/sheep children’s entertaining hybrid of creepy.
Harper is one of the most underrated big men in the company, and often carried Rowan during their tag team days.
This is a way to hopefully round off the Wyatt fallout, with Harper moving on to becoming a big player in the mid/upper midcard.
Prediction: Luke Harper
WWE Backlash 2017 Main Card
Sami Zayn vs. Baron Corbin
Sami Zayn gets his first Smackdown Live PPV match against ‘The Lone Wolf’ Baron Corbin, who has been targeting the former El Generico since his arrival, attacking him on both Smackdown and Talking Smack.
Officials are high on Corbin, (rumour suggests he is an early favourite to claim the Money in the Bank briefcase this year) and Sami Zayn is in a rare position of not being too affected by losses – he’s a great sympathetic babyface and makes his opponents look like monsters. The lad sells a beating like a champ.
I have to go with a Corbin victory on this one. No matter the outcome, the fans will still be behind Sami Zayn.
Prediction: Baron Corbin
Shinsuke Nakamura vs Dolph Ziggler
‘The King of Strong Style’ Shinsuke Nakamura (who is now being introduced at live events as ‘The Artist known as…’) finally makes his in-ring debut for Smackdown, weeks after he debuted, when he randomly wiggled in on The Miz.
Since then, he’s been put with Dolph Ziggler as his first main feud, and there is no reason (and frankly, no way) that Nakamura is losing here. In fact, I got to see this match at a WWE Live event in Birmingham last week. It was a solid affair to open the show, and Nakamura, who won by the way, got a great reaction.
This feud is, more than anything, a means to introduce Shinsuke to the main audience, and I’m sure he’ll move on to bigger and better things after this PPV. I think most people have lost faith in Ziggler this point, and as harsh as this may sound, why he’s still letting himself languish in the WWE mid-card is anyone’s guess.
Prediction: Shinsuke Nakamura
Naomi, Becky Lynch and Charlotte Flair vs Natalya, Carmella and Tamina
This match has only been announced recently, but it’s no surprise that we’ve come to this six-woman tag match as all the women on Smackdown ever seem to do is attack each other.
After Charlotte was drafted to Smackdown, she demanded a title shot. The championship match was subsequently broken up by Natalya, Carmella and Tamina (aka The Welcoming Committee) who didn’t like that, and more attacking each other later – here we are.
Right now, WWE is unsure on what they are wanting to do with Charlotte, whether she’s a face or heel, but I’m under no impression that her ‘face’ run on SD Live will last much longer.
While this result could go either way, I see the faces standing tall, as WWE will likely have Charlotte back in the title picture sooner than later.
Also, this isn’t relevant, but Naomi has the best entrance in wrestling right now and I will fight anyone who disagrees.
Prediction: Naomi, Charlotte and Becky Lynch
WWE Smackdown Tag Team Championship Match
The Usos (c) vs Breezango
Breezango, somewhat surprisingly, won a Beat-the-Clock challenge recently, earning themselves a tag team title opportunity.
Breezango have been really funny in backstage fashion crime skits and are a genuinely entertaining team, and as nice as it is to see two talented guys get a shot, there’s not much chance they beat The Usos at Backlash.
I suspect they are saving the next big Smackdown tag feud for The Usos and The New Day. Whenever it is they actually show up.
Prediction: The Usos
United States Championship Match
Kevin Owens (c) vs AJ Styles
Last year at Backlash, AJ Styles won his first-ever WWE Championship, which made him the first wrestler to hold world titles in WWE, TNA and NJPW, so this is definitely a special PPV for ‘The Phenomenal One’.
The prospect of this match on paper alone makes the fanboy in me utterly giddy, and I hasten to add that this match has potential MOTY quality written all over it. Two top superstars fighting for this belt instantly hands a huge amount of prestige and value to it.
Kevin Owens’ months long rivalry with Chris Jericho ended with him not only a two-time United States Champion, but taking Jericho out of action as well. Styles earned a US title opportunity when he beat Baron Corbin and Sami Zayn in a Triple Threat.
Since coming to the blue brand, Owens has labelled himself as ‘The New Face of America’, and I don’t see Owens dropping the belt just yet. To be honest, this is more likely a rivalry to keep Styles away from the WWE Championship for the time being.
Prediction: Kevin Owens
WWE Championship match
Randy Orton (c) vs Jinder Mahal
Well, who would have thought we’d ever see this day coming?
Jinder Mahal won a six-pack challenge, shocking literally everyone, to become the number one contender to Orton’s WWE Championship.
Jinder has since aligned himself with The Singh Brothers, Gurv and Harv Sihra (formerly known as The Bollywood Boyz on NXT) to help establish himself as a thorn in Orton’s side and add credibility to a match that quite literally came outta nowhere. Yeah, I know what I did.
Jinder cost Randy his ‘House of Horrors’ match against Bray Wyatt at Payback, and ‘The Maharajah’ already holds a pinfall victory over The Viper, so following the rules of wrestling momentum/opposite momentum, Orton will get his win back at Backlash.
Also, having seen Mahal in person – dude is RIPPED.
Prediction: Randy Orton
Finally, Fuck Mojo Rawley. No screen time for you. Stop it. Stop it right now.