May 16th Smackdown Live Preview: Back To Backlash

Smackdown Live has their brand-exclusive PPV, Backlash this weekend at the Allstate Arena outside of Chicago.

Tonight will be the “go home” show for the event, with storylines getting amped and set in stone.

Here’s what we’re looking forward to tonight

Hindering Jinder?

In what is surely one of the more bizarre WWE Title match feuds in recent history, perennial jobber, and comedy wrestler Jinder Mahal is challenging Randy Orton for the WWE title at Backlash. The rise of Mahal is tied to his drive in improving his body, in-ring and mic skills as well as WWE’s desire to make serious inroads into India.

Mahal faces off against US Title Number 1 contender AJ Styles tonight. Expect the Singh Brothers to interfere.


The build and promotion for this PPV is built around the debut match of NXT and New Japan star Shinsuke Nakamura. He’s been teased and prodded by Dolph Ziggler for weeks, and the two will finally square off on Sunday. Fans worried that Nakamura would be misused by Vince on the main roster. But he is prominently featured in advertising for the event both in graphics and on television. He was the biggest draw in NXT and will no-doubt be the same. He already has the most popular entrance on the entire roster.

Rusev Returns To Smackdown

The Bulgarian Brut has promised to return to Smackdown Live tonight and demand a title shot from Shane McMahon. He wants his title match at July’s Money in the Bank. It is unclear what plans for Rusev are. I suspect Shane will make him earn his number 1 contender spot in a match either tonight or at Backlash. It is also possible Rusev announces himself as the first participant in the MITB match.

Fashion Files

The Usos are facing off against Breezango Sunday for the SDLive Tag Titles. Before that we’re getting one more Fashion Files!

Breezango has their own “New Day” moment right now. They’ve been given a chance to move beyond their low-tier status and have gone into a full sprint with the opportunity.
Here is last week’s episode:

And All The Rest!

  • Orton takes on Baron Corbin
  • Kevin Owens hosts an episode of the Highlight Reel
  • Ladies face off before their six-woman tag at Backlash

What are you looking forward to tonight?