Hey guys! This is the first individual PPV for WWE and Smackdown and boy did they hit it out of the park. I wasn't all too hyped for this event in all honesty but they killed it! Let's break it down!
Becky Lynch b. Alexa Bliss vs. Nikki Bella vs. Naomi vs. Carmella vs. Natalya for the Smackdown Women's Championship
The finish: The match came down to Becky Lynch and Carmella, Becky was able to lock in the Disarmer for the tap out victory.
Why?: I enjoy that this match became an elimination match, I'm not sure if it was always that way or if it was a last minute decision but either way it was a good move. Considering how sloppy and poorly executed the 6 woman tag team match was at SummerSlam I was expecting a similar match tonight but I was wrong. These ladies delivered. The pace of the match was smooth and everyone looked good throughout. Alexa Bliss stood out to me tonight as she took the fight to whoever she could whenever she could. Crowning Becky the champion was absolutely the right move, she's long since earned it and can now rightfully take her place as the face of the Smackdown Women's Division.
The Usos b. The Hype Bros semi-finals in the Tag Team Championship Tournament
The finish: The Usos attacked the leg of Zack Ryder and locked in a Half Boston Crab causing Ryder to tap out.
Why?: The Usos fit really well into their new heel roles and did a great job in the match. Ryder and Rawley also looked good. Ryder is underrated and if he dropped some of his gimmick I think it would give him more freedom as a wrestler. Mojo is still new and young but it didn't show tonight. In fact, I think he toned down the "stay hyped" thing just enough to make it entertaining without being obnoxious. I was impressed with all 4 guys and wasn't bored at all during this match which is sometimes hard to do during a tag match. A great job all around and it was the smart choice to have the heels go over here.
The Miz w/Maryse vs. Dolph Ziggler for the Intercontinental Championship
The finish: Maryse sprayed the eyes of Ziggler with something and it allowed Miz to hit the Skull Crushing Finale.
Why?: No disrespect to AJ and Ambrose because they had a helluva match tonight, but Miz and Ziggler had the match of the night. The next time a Miz hater says Miz doesn't have good matches, show them this match. These two guys were given an opportunity with this match and they killed it! It goes to show that if given enough time a lot of "good" wrestlers can quickly become great wrestlers. I can't say enough good things about this match, it's certainly one that if you didn't watch, you should go back and make sure you see it. The finish of the match was a dirty finish, but it didn't bother me. The dirty finish didn't take away from the amazing match and if anything it made it work. Miz went over which was the right call but Ziggler didn't come off looking any worse because of the dirty win. It was a fantastic match and I was blown away by both men.
Bray Wyatt vs. Kane No Holds Barred
The finish: Randy Orton came out and hit an RKO and then Kane hit a chokeslam on Wyatt for the win.
Pass/Fail: Pass match with fail ending
Why?: This match was surprisingly good considering it was obviously thrown together at the last second. Both Bray and Kane put as much into the match as they could and they No Holds Barred was taken advantage of with weapons. More weapons were used in this throw away No Holds Barred match than the Ambrose/Lesnar WrestleMania match. A couple of good spots and a fantastic spot with Wyatt doing his running senton across an announce table made it worth our time considering we didn't get the match we were supposed to. The ending, however, was a fail. It was likely Wyatt was going to go under to Orton, which is a pity that Bray can't win a feud to save his life, so since he wasn't facing Orton he should have picked up the win. At this point ANY momentum for Bray is necessary. Yes, it makes sense for Orton to cost him the victory, but was it really needed? No. Someone also made a point that if Orton can't wrestle a match he shouldn't be taking the RKO bump either. If he can't wrestle he can't wrestle.
Heath Slater and Rhyno vs. The Usos for the Smackdown Tag Team Championships
The finish: Rhyno hit the Gore allowing he and Slater to pick up the pinfall victory.
Why?: This match was done fantastically. Once again the Usos looked great as heels, a transition I had doubts they could make so smoothly. Slater played the underdog perfectly as well. The dynamic between Slater and Rhyno is fantastic. Slater is the loudmouth/comedy guy while Rhyno is the rigid but tough guy. It was the right call to strap these guys because Slater is over like rover as Richard would say. The match let everyone play their roles perfectly, it was great storytelling. The Usos played their heel roles, Slater took the beating of a lifetime but kept fighting and Rhyno made the save being the muscle. It will be interesting to see where they go from here with Slater with his Free Agent gimmick being over, but if they just let Slater do his thing it won't be an issue at all.
AJ Styles vs. Dean Ambrose for the WWE Championship
The finish: With the ref distracted AJ hit a low blow into a Styles Clash for the win.
Why?: This match was absolutely tremendous and was a must watch for any wrestling fan. They gave these guys as much time as they wanted to tell their story and they took full advantage of it. It was a slowly built story, but not one that got boring along the way. In all honestly, I've felt that Ambrose suffered from starting slow and not building all the way up to a big finish in the past, but tonight was a major difference. The pacing was perfect on this match and these guys both came out looking fantastic. AJ winning the title wasn't surprising, but it was still a great moment nonetheless. This was a tough call because Ambrose deserved the title for longer, but AJ was on an incredible roll right now and they couldn't have AJ beat John Cena clean and then lose to Ambrose, it just wasn't going to happen. The low blow at the end keeps the rivalry alive beyond tonight. I can't say enough positive things about this match and I'm excited to see what happens with these two in the near future.
Backlash Overall: Pass
All in all Backlash gets a major pass. I didn't have very high expectations going in but they blew me away. Especially with a somewhat smaller card, I wasn't thinking we would get great stuff but I was very wrong. Each match was given a good amount of time and every wrestler tonight took full advantage of the time they were given and made the most of it. Miz and Ziggler both deserve a standing ovation as do Ambrose and Styles. I'm extremely happy for both Becky Lynch, Heath Slater, and AJ Styles, all of whom certainly earned and deserve their new championships. Great, great PPV tonight and it will be interesting to see how well Raw does in 2 weeks! Goodnight everyone!