*****UPDATE**** SPOILERS AHEAD
JINDER MAHAL HAS WON THE WWE CHAMPION!
People are, understandably, shocked.
— WWE (@WWE) May 22, 2017
I actually didn't think #wwe would do something unpredictable. I was thinking same old, same old with Orton winning. I like being surprised.
— melissa (@Jinxedjo15) May 22, 2017
— SiriusXM Busted Open (@BustedOpenRadio) May 22, 2017
JINDER IS NO LONGER HINDERED. You know what, good for him.
— Phil Strum (@UnderTheRing) May 22, 2017
— Frank The Clown (@FrankWWEClown) May 22, 2017
Tonight’s Smackdown Live PPV, Backlash, promises to be one of the more unique non-major/non-gimmick PPVs in recent memory.
Unique match-ups and implications abound tonight. Backlash is sponsored by outrageously popular car/soccer hybrid game Rocket League, so here are a few gifs to go along with our productions for tonight’s event.
Luke Harper vs Erick Rowan
With Bray at Raw, the other original Wyatt family members are in creative limbo. A lot of people were certain big things were gonna happen for Harper, based on the lead up to Wrestlemania. But he’s stagnated on the mid card. Rowan continues to be weird, and his new masks and creepy gimmick seems to be a callback to his previous face turn when he was a genius who enjoyed fine wine and books.
Prediction: Rowan wears a weird mask.
Baron Corbin vs Sami Zayn
Two other guys who seem to be waiting in the wings for something else. Corbin is being groomed for a title shot and Zayn is always chasing after his mortal enemy Kevin Owens. This will be a good chance for both guys to step up and do something big.
Prediction: Corbin murders poor lil Sami but the underdog still pulls out a win.
Shinsuke Nakamura vs Dolph Ziggler
Any doubts about how Nakamura will be handled on the main roster should be erased by now. The promotional videos and graphics have all featured him prominently. He’s also received prime speaking opportunities and has been headlining dark matches against Ziggler after Smackdown tapings. His charisma is infectious and his entrances tonight will be a sight to behold with the entire crowd singing along. Ziggler is the perfect foil for this. It should be a good match.
Prediction: Nakamura wins and begins a run that will eventually lead him to the WWE Championship.
Naomi, Charlotte, and Becky Lynch vs Nattie, Carmella, Tamina (and James Ellsworth)
We aren’t sure why Naomi isn’t defending her title tonight. This is a feud built around women feeling their spots being taken by new talent, which is an IRL theme wrestlers struggle with. Nattie is the perpetual bridesmaid of the Women’s Division and has felt left out of the Women’s Revolution. Perhaps it is her time to hold the belt again? Charlotte’s time as a face has also run its course. Like her dad, she’s at her best when she’s belittling and attacking her opponents.
Prediction: Charlotte turns on Naomi and Becky.
Kevin Owens vs AJ Styles for the U.S. Title
AJ seems due for another title. His run as WWE Champ proved that Vince and the company saw that they could make money with him. This also seems like the perfect time to turn him back into the full-fledged babyface that made him “Mr. TNA.” KO’s run as the “Face of America” has been great and he’s getting real heat from fans over it.
Prediction: AJ wins and does something crazy like this.
The Usos vs. Brezango for the Tag Titles
The Usos as bad guys have been great. Breezango is shining in their new role. In short, both teams have taken a stale division and revived it with a great feud and killer promos. All four guys can go in the ring, too. Here’s hoping we can get a good match out of them tonight, uce.
Prediction: Usos cheat and win, We get more Fashion Files.
Randy Orton vs. Jinder Mahal for the WWE Title
In a title match straight out of someone’s video game career mode, Jinder Mahal is challenging for the WWE title against Randy Orton. What’s crazier, is that he actually stands a big chance of winning. Mahal has taken a big opportunity and run with it. WWE is looking to capitalize on Mahal as their new face for the growing Indian market. Mahal winning could signal that WWE is making a big play for the subcontinent.
Prediction: Jinder wins, the Internet melts and (WWE hopes) India rejoices. There’s a good chance this match fails hard, though.
What are you looking forward to tonight on Backlash? Share your thoughts.