Complete WWE Backlash Kickoff Coverage

WWE Backlash 2016

WWE Backlash Kickoff Results
Sunday, September 11, 2016
From the Richmond Coliseum in Richmond, Virginia
Report by Brooks Oglesby of

Renee Young welcomes us to the first Smackdown-exclusive pay-per-view since the recent brand split. Lita, Booker T, and Jerry Lawler join her on the panel. They talk about the potential for tonight to be a historic night, as multiple inaugural champions will be crowned tonight. Tom Phillips is in the Social Media Lounge, where he announces that Heath Slater & Rhyno will be joining him for a live Q&A later in the Kickoff. Use #SignHeathSlater to send in questions.

Back at the panel, the conversation moves to the Intercontinental Championship Match between The Miz and Dolph Ziggler. Renee asks if this is Dolph's "final stand" to prove himself. Booker agrees, and says his stock has plummeted in the last year. And say what you will about The Miz, but he's been performing at a very high level. Lawler says The Miz tells it like it is. He says tomorrow is the anniversary of his on-air heart attack on Raw, and he faced Ziggler an hour before it. Lita picks Miz to win, and the rest of the panel agrees.

Backstage, Daniel Bryan tells Apollo Crews to have a little fun out there. Apollo says "I can get loose, Mr. Bryan!" Bryan tells him to just call him Daniel. Baron Corbin interrupts and says this is a waste of time. Two weeks ago, he beat Dean Ambrose on Smackdown, but Bryan didn't even book him on last week's Smackdown or on this pay-per-view. He says Bryan is spending too much time with nobodies like Apollo Crews. Apollo says he's free to face Baron tonight, and Bryan books a match between Apollo and Baron later on the Kickoff.

At the panel, Lawler says Baron might wipe the smile off Apollo's face tonight. Renee asks who the bigger star of the two will be. Booker T says Baron Corbin is the picture of what you want in a Superstar, but Apollo also has a great amount of talent.

The conversation moves to Randy Orton vs. Bray Wyatt. Lita says Bray is, as always, playing mind games, but you can't get into Orton's head. Lawler disagrees, and says that buzzards circle wounded animals. That's exactly what Bray is doing to Orton. Booker says Orton has an extraordinary sense of getting out there and winning, and tonight, Bray might have bitten off a little more than he can chew. Booker picks Orton to win, and Lita agrees. Lawler picks Bray.

A recap of The Usos' attack on American Alpha, removing them from the Tag Team Tournament. Renee asks how the panel feels about the Second Chance Challenge taking place tonight. Lita says she wouldn't want to win the titles after being given a second chance, but Booker says he'd go out there and make his money however he could. Jerry agrees.

Rhyno and Heath Slater join Tom Phillips at the Social Media Lounge. Heath thanks Tom for having them, and notes how focused Rhyno looks. The first question asks what happens if they lose. Heath says he can't lose. He has everything riding on this one match. He doesn't get a contract, he doesn't make history, and he doesn't feed his kids. Rhyno says they've trained to win. The second question asks how Heath's kids have helped him prepare for tonight's match. He says they haven't helped him at all, but Rhyno mentions he had to chase down one of his kids that stole his car, which helped with cardio. The next question asks how they plan to celebrate if they win. Heath says he'll jump for joy. Rhyno says he'll make a list of opponents to beat up on. Tom asks if they've come up with a tag name yet. Rhyno puts forward "Beauty and the Man-Beast," but Heath isn't so sure.

Back at the panel, Lita says Heath Slater can handle adversity. Look at his whole career. Booker points out how focused Rhyno looked. Jerry says Rhyno looked like he wanted to be anywhere other than next to Slater.

The conversation moves to the new Smackdown Women's Championship Match between Natalya, Becky Lynch, Nikki Bella, Naomi, Carmella, and Alexa Bliss. Alexa joins them on the panel, and says she's feeling like a champion. Booker asks about her relative lack of experience, and how she plans to pull off a win. Alexa says experience has nothing to do with it. She is what the new era was designed to be. Jerry apologizes for her colleagues, and thinks she'll do great tonight. Lita says experience does have something to do to it. Alexa says she has a plan tonight, but she's not going to fill them in on it. Booker calls that his Shucky Ducky Quack Quack Moment of the Night. Booker picks Nikki to win. Jerry picks Alexa. Lita picks Becky Lynch.

At ringside, Mauro Ranallo, JBL, and David Otunga welcome us to the Kickoff. Apollo Crews makes his way to the ring, followed by Baron Corbin.

Baron Corbin vs. Apollo Crews

They lock up, and Baron tosses Apollo into the corner. Apollo catches himself and walks back out. They lock up again, and Baron tosses him away. A third lockup ends in a side headlock from Apollo. He runs the ropes and walks into a shoulder block from Corbin. Apollo ducks a boot, gets to his feet, and lands a dropkick. Apollo charges at Baron in the corner, but gets flipped to the apron. Apollo goes for a springboard move, but Baron lands a forearm, sending Apollo out to the floor.


Baron drops Apollo with a back elbow strike. Apollo rolls out to the apron and pulls Baron's head against the top rope. Apollo lands a kick, sending Baron to the center of the ring and follows with a kick to the gut and a running knee lift. A jumping lariat takes Baron to the ground. He reels in the corner as Apollo charges and lands a splash. Baron takes control with a whip to the other corner. Baron charges and Apollo dodges, sending Baron sliding to the outside. He hurries back into the ring and lands a punch to the back of the head before Apollo realizes. Baron lands some mounted punches as the crowd boos. Baron gets Apollo up, but Apollo fights out. Apollo walks right into a big lariat for a two-count. Baron lands a right hand and tries to whip Apollo to the opposite corner. Apollo reverses and sends him sliding to the outside again. Baron charges back in and this time walks into a running knee from Apollo. Both men slowly get to their feet and Apollo lands an enzuigiri before hitting a standing moonsault for a near-fall. Baron gets to his feet and hits an STO for a near-fall of his own. Apollo reels in the corner and ducks a splash from Baron. Apollo hits an Olympic Slam for a near-fall. Baron hangs onto the ropes as Apollo goes for a back suplex. Baron hits Deep Six for yet another near-fall. Apollo rolls out of the ring and Baron follows. Baron charges and Apollo dodges, sending Baron crashing into the steel steps. Apollo lands a Samoan drop onto the floor before sending Baron back into the ring. Apollo climbs to the top rope, but Baron rolls out of range. Apollo works Baron over in the corner, but Baron knocks him from the second rope and lands a knee to the face. Baron hits End of Days for the win.

Winner: Baron Corbin

Back at the panel, Booker T says he said it before: Baron Corbin has all the tools. Lita puts over both competitors, while Lawler puts himself over for calling it.

In an interview conducted earlier today, Renee Young welcomes Jagger Eaton, whose show is sponsoring Backlash. She asks about his show, and he says he travels to amazing places, meets talented people, and tries to emulate them at their level. He's gone diving in the Bahamas and played basketball with Chris Bosh. He's also competed in the X Games. He says this will be his first WWE event, and he talked to Miz backstage to hopefully get him on a future episode. Jagger's show will be on Nickelodeon Fridays at 7:30.

Bak at the panel, the conversation moves to Dean Ambrose vs. AJ Styles for the WWE World Championship. Booker says AJ Styles has done everything right so far in WWE. Jerry says he doesn't often compliment Ambrose, but he's responsible for the WWE World Championship being on Smackdown, and that weighs the scales in Ambrose's favor. Lita says AJ's is technically an underdog story, but she loves Dean Ambrose as the face of Smackdown. Booker picks AJ Styles to win. Jerry picks Dean to retain, as does Lita. A promo package detailing the feud between Dean Ambrose and AJ Styles closes the Kickoff.

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