Monday, September 12, 2016

WWE Backlash 2016 Thoughts

Smackdown's "first" PPV ever... because all those other Smackdown PPVs from ten years ago never happened. Anyway, some brief thoughts and results on the show. No banner for this one, folks. I'm just posting it quick like that.

Shane-O-Mac and Daniel Bryan Danielson open up the show, thanking the crowd for making Smackdown a success. They then proceed to hype up the night's matches before we begin with the six pack challenge.

Becky Lynch won the Women's Six Pack challenge to win the Smackdown Women's Title... which is basically the same as the other Women's title, except with blue backs instead of red. Since this is elimination rules, here's how it went down. Naomi pinned Alexa Bliss, then tapped to Natalya's sharpshooter. Nikki Bella then pinned Nattie, only to get rolled up by Carmella for the pin. And then Becky "disarmed" Carmella for the submission victory and the title. And you know what? This was fine. It was long without feeling drawn out - if anything, it felt a bit rushed towards the end with all those eliminations one after the other - all the ladies got to do their thing, and it went by rather quickly. Fine for an opener, I say.

Bray Wyatt attacks Randy Orton backstage... because sure, why not? Apparently, word has it that Orton has yet to be cleared due to his being hurt last month in his snorefest main event with Brock Lesnar. To be fair, however, that match wasn't Randy's fault; it's the same boring Steroid City bullshit Brock does these days.

The Usos beat the Hype Bros to advance to the tag-team tournament finals to crown new Smackdown tag-team nickel champions or something. The other team that's there already? Heath Slater and Rhyno. This was something to fill the time and it felt like a time filler.

Intercontinental champion Miz defeated Dolph Ziggler to retain the title in a so-so match. Try as they might, it's hard for me to care about either superstar at this point. Probably because I've seen it all before, probably because they'd rather stick with their usual schticks instead of doing something remotely interesting, or probably because it's just Miz vs. Dolph, two of the most trusted hands on the roster yet also the most bland or uninteresting. I don't know... it was an okay match, but that's about it, really. Both guys need something better to do, I guess.

So because Randy got hurt, Bray Wyatt win their scheduled match by forfeit, however he still has to wrestle someone else... and that someone else is... Kane... because sure, why not?

So with an assist from RKO, Kane defeats Bray Wyatt... lame. Quite honestly, I'm getting sick and tired of seeing this guy that's supposed to be one of their next big things eat canvas week after week. You're basically turning him into another Dolph Ziggler at this point.

Heath Slater & Rhino defeated The Usos to win the Smackdown Tag-Team titles... which is like the other WWE Tag-Team titles, except with blue leather and nickel plates. I don't care for the belt design in either case, but this looks a little better than the other ones at least. And you know what? I'm happy that they went with Heath & Rhino as tag champs instead of the Usos. It gives Heath closure on that whole "free agent" thing and it gives Rhino some much needed boost for his campaign to be state representative of Michigan.

AJ Styles defeated WWE World Champion Dean Ambrose to win the title in an honest-to-god wrestling match... how about that? Sure, AJ went below the belt before that final Styles Clash while the ref was done, but that's fine because he's the goddamn villain of this story; he has to do something dastardly. Great main event, great little wrestling match with both guys giving their all and not having to resort to too many false finishes or outside gimmicks to get the job done. AJ was great before, but he's really nailing it in his WWE stint. And Ambrose was no slouch, either. I liked this match.

So that was Backlash... meh. Nothing outlandishly bad or anything (except for that Kane/Bray match... lame), but like many of these WWE PPVs, it's a matter of only caring about one or two matches with the rest sort of fading away. And that was definitely the case here. AJ winning the title was the only thing worth looking forward to here while the rest of it was... not so much. Can't say they didn't try, but there's only so much you could do. So... meh.

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