Written by: Immortal KB
SmackDown took place at the O2 Arena in London, United Kingdom approximately twenty thousand were in attendance. WWE Backlash is May 21st.
A major thing in the SmackDown opening theme John Cena could literally not be seen. This has to be the first time he wasn’t on an opening theme since maybe about 2003 maybe even 2004.
The show began with WWE Champion Randy “The Viper“ Orton talking about his loss to Bray to Wyatt at Payback because of Jinder ”Hardbody” Mahal. Mahal comes in a fitted dark olive suit with the Singh Brothers and vowed to win the championship at Backlash. The amount of heat he was receiving was about the hottest of the night by far. United States Champion came out as well looking like a Walmart Customer service manager once again. He claimed that he was the “Face of America”, that he would end AJ Styles career like he ended Chris Jericho’s, and after he’s done with that he will defeat Randy Orton to become the “Face of the WWE”. AJ Styles came out to the second loudest babyface reaction. AJ is too major of this terrible of a feud. He called SmackDown the “Place AJ Styles Built” and stated he would win the championship at Backlash. This brought out The Lone Wolf Baron Corbin as he came out he was sneak attacked by Sami Zayn. A giant brawl between the eight broke out but ended with The Singh Brothers pulling Mahal to safety. A Six-Man tag was set up for this evening’s main event. So at Backlash in addition to Orton vs Mahal for the WWE Championship and Owens vs Styles for the United States Championship there will maybe be a Zayn vs Corbin match at Backlash.
The first match of the night is Becky Lynch vs Natalya. Before the first match of the night James “Big Hog” Ellsworth roasted the crowd. It’s amazing how two years ago this man probably didn’t make more than eighty bucks in a night to getting serious promo time in the WWE in London. The crowd was eating out his hand. Carmella with Tamina introduced Natalya. SmackDown Women’s champion Naomi did the same introducing Becky Lynch. Charlotte Flair came out and introduced herself. After a match that was nothing special and did not advance the Women’s Championship forward. Natalya won via pinfall via a roll-up. I don’t get how SmackDown’s Women’s division went from almost boiling hot to water in a glass you left overnight. A post match backstage promo set up a Six woman’s tag at Backlash between The Welcoming Committee (Tamina,Natalya,and Carmella) and SmackDown Women’s Champion Naomi, Charlotte Flair, and Becky Lynch. Charlotte Flair and Naomi are too talented for this. I would much rather them go against each other again. In my opinion they have very good chemistry with so few matches together.
A video came about The New Day came on about their impending return and to take shots at the tag teams on SmackDown most notably the SmackDown Tag Team Champions The Usos.
The next match of the night was boiled tofu with how tasteless with terrible consistency it was. Former brothers in Wyatt, Luke Harper and Erick Rowan. The match was randomly put together. They have no reason to fight, no reason to be on the same brand, and no reason or purpose to be on TV at all. After about four minutes Erick Rowan cheated to defeat Harper by attempting to use his sheep mask as a weapon. The referee grabbed it out of his hands, allowing Rowan to poke Luke Harper’s eye. A basic slam followed with Harper down in the near-middle for a three count pinfall victory.
Mojo had a backstage segment with some random kids showing off the ATGMBR trophy.
Up next was Dolph Ziggler who made his way to the ring to denounce the fans for not caring about him. Shinsuke Nakamura came out to genuine love. Worldwide they love the King of Strong Style. The London crowd sang his theme song which doesn’t even have lyrics. You can’t describe Nakamura to anyone with due respect so you got to implore people to watch this man that has IT. Shinsuke challenged him to a fight right there and Ziggler said “on my time” and tried to sneak attack. Naka fought him off. It’s very likely the two will face off at Backlash and if it was almost anyone else opposing Shinsuke for his first PPV match I would be more excited. Hopefully their match is a fifteen second squash match with Nakamura winning to move on to the WWE Championship.
The Fashion Police had another hilarious episode. Fandango was dressed like Sherlock Holmes while Tyler Breeze was dressed like a old-timey London Cop. They were still on the case the “Ugos” until they came to a door with loud sounds.
THEY TRY TO OPEN THE DOOR.
THEY TRY AGAIN TO OPEN THAT DOOR.
THEY OPEN THE DOOR.
WHO IS BEHIND THE DOOR .
ITS THE ASCENSION.
The two teams have a match with Breezango winning in two minutes. After the match the Usos did the same promo they did about four months ago towards American Alpha.
Rusev had another video asking for a title shot at the Money In The Bank PPV and announced he will show up at SmackDown next week.
Before the main event match, Sami Zayn did his talk too much about strategy promo from six months ago once again.
The main event match was solid. Everyone got time to shine. That scoop slam that Randy Orton does is smooth like drinking Henny while completely relaxed. AJ Styles makes Baron Corbin look like a major player. I would love to see them as a tag team. Mahal and Orton have excellent chemistry. Kevin Owens has fallen off in regards to star power. Sami Zayn is had the crowd doing the ole chant. Towards the end it was a spam fest of greatness ending with Orton flattening Owens with the RKO, only to turn right into the Cobra Clutch Slam by Hardbody Mahal who got the clean pinfall.
From the last Backlash to this upcoming Backlash it feels like SmackDown is missing something that I just can’t put my finger on. Some have went on to Raw, stayed in the same spot, but most of them feel lesser than how they felt then. Since then Ellsworth and Styles have become major. By Summerslam I think Raw will have more matches on the card based on how things are now.
Hopefully for the crossbrand match is Roman Reigns vs John Cena.