I almost can’t be arsed writing this. WWE obviously couldn’t be arsed putting much effort into Backlash so why should I bother? This PPV (are they still PPVs? What do we call them now?) was a massive waste of time, and while the crowning of Jinder Mahal will help people to forget that, it’s still true. However, I’m nothing if not a pro with a lot of time on their hands so here is eight things I observed at Backlash.
The Jinder Goes Unhindered
Jinder Mahal is WWE Champion. If anything WWE did meant anything, this would feel like a monumental occasion. Instead, it’s just a blip on the radar. Something for us all to chuckle about in ten years when he’s slipped back into obscurity. Look, Jinder has worked hard. Whether he’s had chemical help in that or not, we may never know, but he’ll still have put the hours in. Do I think he’s a good wrestler? No. Do I think he’s a good promo? No. But WWE wants to hit that Indian market, and he most definitely is Indian. Fair play to the guy, now let’s see if he can stand up and prove himself worthy of the role he’s been handed. P.S. Orton has no right to complain about sloppy work again after that table spot. Nearly killed the poor bastard.
I don’t know how I felt about the Tag Title match. On the one hand, Breezango using their first title shot to piss around feels silly, but on the other, their distraction techniques almost worked. With two other guys in the shoes of Breeze and Fandango this would have been a disaster, but they are two talented wrestlers, and The Usos proved a great foil for them to work off. I’m not sure if this is what I want going forward from a division that has American Alpha in it, but for a one off this was entertaining enough.
The Other Guy Nakamura
The Artist is an atrocious nickname. What’s even more atrocious is how normal Nakamura felt on this show. Why would you take the arrogant King of Strong Style and have him spend 15 minutes selling for Dolph Ziggler? Nakamura’s strengths are in his offence and Ziggler’s in his defence, and you switched the bastards around! Nakamura is good enough to get past this, but as time goes on, I worry more and more that WWE are going to extinguish the flames of one of the best wrestlers on the planet.
From Family To Obscurity
Why aren’t Rowan and Harper a bad ass tag-team? They were good at it, and yet WWE seems obsessed with breaking them up at every chance they get so they can plug them into a disappointing feud. In fact, while I write this they’ve probably been put back together and broke up again at least two times. Both men have a shitload of upside but they mean fuck all and as a consequence so did this match.
Get Them All On The Show
SmackDown’s women’s division is infuriating. Every time I think they take a step forward they dive back into the slurry pit of multi-women matches that help no one. What did the match on this show achieve? Did the heels benefit from it? Did the faces? Was a story continued? We all know it’s none of the above. Throw in the fact that the match was about as interesting as James Ellsworth and I really have to wonder what the point was. Sort this shit out SmackDown.
The Most Brand Split Of Brand Split Shows
This was a half-arsed PPV full of half-arsed matches. It will be remembered for Styles vs. Owens (and they will top that in the future) and Jinder winning the title. No one will remember The Welcoming Committee or Zayn beating Corbin at the end of the year. It was thrown together to fill a spot on the calendar and in that we see the biggest problem with the brand split. This show made me feel tired and fed up, and I don’t like it when wrestling does that.
Zayn Continues To Meander
Sami Zayn beat Baron Corbin in a flukey manner. It left Zayn looking like a chump for getting beat up for most of the match and Corbin like an idiot for not putting him away. It also continued both men’s recent record of achieving precisely nothing. WWE showed in NXT that at least someone knows how to book Sami Zayn and yet they’ve brought him up to the main roster and apparently decided not to bother. I love the man, but the longer this goes on, the more I can see his career slipping away into obscurity.
Owens And Styles Shine, But Something Is Missing
I really enjoyed Owens vs. Styles but I didn’t love it, and I don’t know why. They built a great story around Styles’ injured leg, and the finish was inventive, but something was missing. I can only hope that the two of them were holding back a little bit for a future encounter and when I see that I will fully satisfied. I still thought this match was great, but I think I was expecting incredible and I hope that somewhere down the line we get the five-star classic they are perfectly capable of providing.