WWE Backlash Recap: How Did The First Smackdown Solo PPV Go?

Backlash Is The First Brand Exclusive PPV Since The Draft. Looks Like Smackdown Is Off To A Rocky Start.

Honestly, what did you expect from Backlash?

After the WWE Draft, Smackdown was thrown into an interesting position. With the WWE Title and the Intercontinental Championship being the only titles on the show, they needed to fill out their roster. So weeks before this event, Commissioner Shane McMahon and General Manager Daniel Bryan debuted the Smackdown Tag Team and Women’s Championships.

Those inaugural champions would be crowned at WWE Backlash. Along with Randy Orton vs Bray Wyatt and the main event of AJ Styles vs Dean Ambrose, the first post-Draft Smackdown PPV had some chance of being special.

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So how did the Backlash turn out?

Check out my recap below!

WWE Backlash 9/11/16:

Shane and Daniel open the show. Amazing how over Daniel Bryan still is with the crowd. The men in charge run down the card and hype their first PPV. They also announce who will kick off the event!

Six Pack Elimination Challenge Match for the Women’s Championship is first. The favorites going in are Becky Lynch, Nikki Bella, and Natalya. Carmella is a dark horse. Loved seeing Alexa Bliss in her Harley Quinn-inspired gear. Alexa Bliss and Naomi are the first two eliminated in this match after the women have lengthy opening sequence. Then suddenly Nikki eliminates Natalya. Carmella quickly rolls up Nikki and pins her; seemingly continuing their brewing feud.

The final two are Becky and Carmella. Amazing to see two former NXT girls about to make history as the first Smackdown Women’s Champion. Becky uses her veteran knowledge to lure Carmella into a submission victory. Becky rightfully wins the match and the title. They all deserved the belt but she is a great face for their women’s division. Backlash was off to a good start.


Then sadly, the second biggest match of the evening was seemingly put on pause when Bray Wyatt attacked Randy Orton. Before the match, the internet was a buzz with rumors that Orton wasn’t cleared to wrestle yet. It seems like those rumors have some truth. Will anyone face Bray Wyatt this evening?

The second match of the evening is one of the final matches in the tournament to crown the Smackdown Tag Team Champions. The Usos face off against Mojo Rowley and Zack Ryder. The winners of this match will face Heath Slater & Rhyno for the belts later in the show. Originally, it was supposed to be American Alpha (Jason Jordan and Chad Gable) vs Slater and Rhyno but The Usos attacked Gable after their match, causing an injury. They took their place in a redemption match against fellow tournament losers The Hype Bros.

The match was a fairly standard tag team affair. Not surprisingly, The Usos win the match. Their heel turn had to be followed up with at least a win to advance to the finals. Can they win another match against Heath Slater & Rhyno?


Next up is the Intercontinental Championship match where The Miz faces off against Dolph Ziggler. After a now infamous promo from Miz and some good crowd work, he had some momentum going into his title defense. Ziggler stands in his way of proving to the world that he isn’t some joke.

After a quick backstage segment with The Miz and Daniel Bryan, Miz finally makes his way down to the ring for his match. Ziggler and Miz put on a good showing; Miz showing a more aggressive side and Ziggler putting on his usual fun performance. The action is back and forth until interference from Miz’s manager Maryse. Capitalizing on her sneak attack, Miz hits his finisher and retains the Intercontinental title. Does he now continue this feud with Daniel Bryan?

Out to speak on his actions earlier this evening, Bray Wyatt is next.

Many doubt that Orton will have a match now so where do we go? Wyatt forces the referee to ring the bell and count to 10 in order to signify Randy Orton forfeiting. Bray Wyatt thinks he has the night off but the ring announcer says Wyatt has a No Holds Barred match against…Kane! Womp womp womp.

These two men have a history with each other so it’s a cool callback. But that’s about all of note in the match. Wyatt and Kane had a time-killing brawl that didn’t add anything to show. Killed the crowd after the first few minutes. The only highlight was Bray Wyatt doing an insane running senton through the announce table! It even woke the crowd up enough to chant “Holy Shit”. Kane wins after an assist from Orton. Not how Bray Wyatt predicted this evening would go.


Next up is the final match to determine who will be the first ever Smackdown Tag Team Champions! The unlikely duo of Heath Slater & Rhyno face off against The Usos. Slater has been fighting for a space on a roster and this seems like his chance. Rhyno is a former ECW wrestler who has been roaming around WWE recently. Their odd mashup has actually been working.

Can they overcome the Usos, who have been teaming since their whole lives?

The answer is yes!

It was great to see the crowd behind Heath Slater. He has been shuffled around the WWE for years and has never been given the proper chance. He kept the crowd interested the entire time and helped The Usos garnish even more heel heat. The match was nothing to write home about but the outcome was good. Instead of going with the obvious choice, WWE went with something outside the box.


And finally, the main event is here. The “Phenomenal” AJ Styles tries to win his first title in WWE as he takes on WWE Champion Dean Ambrose. Styles has been cocky after beating “The Face That Runs Place” John Cena at SummerSlam. Ambrose wants to knock him down a few pegs and prove that he runs Smackdown.

AJ Styles ended up pulling out all the stops for the win! Styles has now held the NWA, TNA, IWGP, and WWE Championship. This match was a great fight between two talented wrestlers but it was odd to see the crowd turn on Dean Ambrose. Styles hits a low-blow and the Styles Clash to become “the face that runs the place”.


Final Thoughts:

We need to see some minor improvements from the Blue Brand. Smackdown has amazing talent but needed to find their place after the Draft. There is excitement to see where WWE will take Smackdown after Backlash.

Did you like the first solo PPV from Smackdown?

Let me know what you thought of Backlash in the comments below!

EJ Moreno
EJ Morenohttp://Vimeo.com/EJMoreno
Who is EJ Moreno? Is he a trained physician? No. Is he a former Miss Universe contestant? Possibly. With a bachelors degree in film and a love of pop culture, he brings an alternative view to the world of pop culture journalism. Follow him on Twitter @EJKhryst and check out his film work at Vimeo.com/ejmoreno