With WWE Backlash slated for Sunday, a look at a few reasons to watch the show.
WWE Backlash will be SmackDown’s first exclusive pay-per-view since the Brand Extension officially returned in July. This will be a chance for the blue brand to shine on a solo stage, featuring some of WWE’s best in action.
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The main event will see Dean Ambrose defend the WWE World Championship against AJ Styles. This will be the first time these two have met in WWE.
Ambrose has successfully retained his title at any chance he’s had since winning it in June. This includes defeating the likes of Seth Rollins, Roman Reigns, and Dolph Ziggler along the way. Styles could be his biggest test, though, especially after defeating John Cena at SummerSlam.
The first SmackDown Women’s Champion will be crowned at Backlash. Alexa Bliss, Becky Lynch, Carmella, Naomi, Natalya, and Nikki Bella are competing for this new title. Which one will walk out as the inaugural champion?
Randy Orton vs. Bray Wyatt will be the only match at Backlash without title implications. These two haven’t faced each other before, but is it one of the reasons to watch the show on Sunday?
Heath Slater had been an afterthought in WWE for years. From his brief legend gimmick, to 3MB, and The Social Outcasts, Slater had been stuck at the bottom of the company.
Then came his “free agent” status, which seemed disastrous at first, but turned into something bigger.
Slater didn’t get picked in the WWE Draft, so he clamored for a job on Raw and SmackDown for a few weeks. Shane McMahon and Daniel Bryan would tell The One Man Band that if he finds a partner for the SmackDown Tag Team Title Tournament, and wins it, he’ll get a contract on the show.
Well, at Backlash, Slater is just one win away from being a tag team champion and full-time member of SmackDown. If he and Rhyno defeat The Usos or The Hype Bros, Slater will get a contract. Fans have gotten behind him with his work these past six weeks, and supported him when he went against the likes of Brock Lesnar and Randy Orton. If Slater wins on Sunday, the Richmond Coliseum may erupt in cheers.
Oh, and so might the former Nexus member’s kids.
Slater winning wouldn’t be his first run with a belt in WWE, however. He’s a former three-time WWE Tag Team Champion (all with Justin Gabriel). This victory would be the most special of them all, though.
Backlash will see the two new belts handed out in the SmackDown Tag Team Championship and SmackDown Women’s Championship. This got introduced after WWE SummerSlam.
Heath Slater and Rhyno are set for the finals of the tournament to determine the first SD Live Tag Team Champions. However, their opponents have yet to be determined. The Usos and The Hype Bros will battle for the spot that had been for American Alpha, but Chad Gable’s injury took them out.
If Slater and Rhyno win, the tag titles will be off to a hot start. However, if The Usos win (turning them heel may make them the favorites), then everyone will look to chase them. That may begin at Backlash if Jason Jordan can contribute to a potential interference. Might he take out Jimmy and Jey after their potential finals match, if they win? If Jordan does appear, he should get a good pop from the crowd.
As for the SmackDown Women’s Championship, Alexa Bliss, Becky Lynch, Carmella, Naomi, Natalya, and Nikki Bella are competing for it. The focal point has been Nikki and Carmella developing tensions, which may play out into this match at Backlash. It wouldn’t be surprising to see the match come down to these two, either. Especially if they are the plan for future weeks.
This would mean Bella walks out of Backlash with the new title. It would culminate her journey back to WWE that didn’t seem possible. She could have lost her career due to a severe neck injury, but made it back within one year. This is a remarkable achievement that may make her center stage once this match ends.
AJ Styles has been on a ride during his first eight months in WWE. From debuting at the Royal Rumble, to competing at WrestleMania 32, and defeating John Cena twice, The Phenomenal One one has dominated the spotlight. However, he has yet to win a title in WWE, which could change at Backlash.
Styles had two opportunities in 2016 to win the WWE World Heavyweight Championship. It resuled with two losses to then champion Roman Reigns, at Payback and Extreme Rules. Beating Cena at SummerSlam reentered the former NJPW star into the title mix, though. A No. 1 Contender’s match had to be successfully won too, which happened, and now sets up Styles to face Ambrose for the WWE World Championship at Backlash.
With the work Styles has done for WWE in 2016, it seems inevitable that he’ll win a title. It’s difficult to turn away from this, even though Ambrose is a fan-favorite that got his crowning achievement just two months ago. Both wrestlers have a case for being the champion after Backlash closes, but it feels like Styles’ time. He’s 0-2 in title matches, but after his whirlwind of a year to get the main event scene, it may be set for him to hold a world title.