WWE Backlash Review: A.J. Styles vs. Shinsuke Nakamura for the WWE Championship
Below is my review and star ratings for WWE Backlash which took place from the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey.
WWE Backlash PPV (8 P.M. on WWE Network)
WWE Intercontinental Championship Match: Seth Rollins def. The Miz to retain the WWE Intercontinental Title.
- Rating: ****1/4
This was the best match of the show as highlights included Rollins attempted a springboard but Miz delivered a big boot. Miz delivered a running kick for a near fall. Miz countered a super kick and delivered a Snap DDT for a near fall. Rollins delivered a sling blade, clotheslined Miz to the floor and followed up with a tope. Rollins delivered a middle rope blockbuster for a near fall. Miz jumped off the turnbuckle but Rollins caught him and delivered a reverse side walk slam for a near fall. Rollins delivered a great looking frog splash for a near fall. Rollins went for the Rainmaker Knee but Miz moved as Rollins knee hit the ring post. Miz applied the Figure-4-Leg lock but Rollins reversed the hold and applied a reverse Indian Death Lock. Miz delivered a Skull Crushing Finale but Rollins kicked out for a great near fall. Rollins delivered a superplex, went for a Falcon Arrow but Miz countered by delivering another Skull Crushing Finale for a great near fall. Miz attempted a super Skull Crushing Finale but Rollins blocked it. Finish came when Rollins rolled through The Miz and delivered The Stomp for the win.
- This was easily the best match and highlight of the show. Seth Rollins was awesome in this match and worked really hard. Miz also did a good job
RAW Women’s Championship Match: Nia Jax def. Alexa Bliss to retain the RAW Women’s Title
- Rating: *1/4
Bliss kicked Nia in the knee but Jax delivered a big splash in the corner. There was a part in the match where Jax carelessly threw Bliss multiple times across the ring where Bliss suffered a shoulder injury. Jax missed a rolling senton. Jax attempted a bonsai drop but Bliss shoved her to the floor. Bliss delivered a DDT on the steel steeps. Bliss delivered a sliding dropkick, attempted a Twisted Bliss but Jax caught her and delivered a Samoan drop for the win.
- This match dragged and sucked. Nia is stronger and bigger than Bliss, but WWE is playing up the story that Bliss was bullying Jax.
In-Ring: Renee Young interviewed Nia Jax
Young interviewed Jax after the match who cut an anti-bullying promo which sounded forced. After the interview, Michael Cole promoted the WWE “Be a Star” campaign.
WWE United States Championship Match: Jeff Hardy def. Randy Orton to the retain the United States Title
- Rating: **1/4
Hardy delivered a dropkick and a flying clothesline from the ring apron. Orton delivered a standing dropkick for a near fall. Jeff was placed in tree-of-woe as Orton delivered stomps. Jeff delivered a flying body attack and strikes to Orton on the floor. Jeff attempted a springboard but Orton delivered a standing dropkick. Orton then back dropped Jeff three straight times on the barricade. Jeff made a comeback by delivering a atomic drop, a leg drop and a basement dropkick for a near fall. Jeff delivered a Whisper in the Wind for a near fall. Jeff avoided an RKO but Orton delivered a power slam for a near fall. Jeff with an inverted mule kick but missed a slingshot dropkick. Orton delivered a draping DDT. Orton went for a RKO but Jeff countered by delivering a Twist if Fate and got the win after delivering the Swanton Bomb.
- This was a perfectly fine totally boring technical wrestling match which never got going. Orton looked good but Jeff looked warn down.
There was long comedy segment as Elias was about to do his usual concert but The New Day came out with musical instruments. The New Day were interrupted by Aiden English who sang for Rusev. They were interrupted by No Way Jose and his conga line which now includes Titus Worldwide. Bobby Roode’s music played as he appeared in the ring and gave Elias a Glorious DDT. (This was funny but went way to long)
Daniel Bryan def. Big Cass via Submission
- Rating: *2/4
Bryan delivered kicks, a baseball slide and flying knee from the ring apron. Bryan delivered a missile dropkick. Bryan delivered “Yes” kicks went for a roundhouse kick but Cass planted him with a spine buster. Cass delivered the Empire Elbow for a near fall. Cass delivered a modified back breaker. Bryan delivered running dropkicks into the corner. Cass delivered a face buster and a big lariat for a near fall. Cass missed a big boot as Bryan delivered a round kick. Bryan then applied the YES lock as Cass tapped out.
- This was disappointing. Bryan was great but Cass dragged this match as he worked at a really slow pace. Cass attacked Bryan after the match as the crowd loudly chanted “You Tapped Out” Cass then delivered a big boot to Bryan
SmackDown Women’s Championship Match: Carmella def. Charlotte Flair to retain the SmackDown Women’s Title
- Rating: *1/4
Carmella avoided a plancha and delivered a super kick for a near fall. Carmella delivered another super kick for a near fall. Charlotte attempted a big boot but Carmella yanked her by the hair and planted her on the apron. Charlotte delivered a big spear. Carmella recovered as she applied the Code of Silence but Charlotte broke free and delivered a big boot for a near fall. Charlotte attempted a moonsault but tweaked her ankle. Carmella kicked Charlotte in the back of her knee and rolled her up for the win.
- This match sucked. It wasn’t Charlotte’s fault as she’s one of the best in-ring wrestlers in the WWE. It’s clear by watching this that Carmella is great on the mic but is terrible in the ring.
WWE Championship Match: A.J. Styles vs. Shinsuke Nakamura ended in a Double Count-Out
- Rating: ***2/4
Styles sent Nakamura into the barricade and into the announcers table. Styles delivered a snap suplex for a near fall. Styles with a back breaker and a standing dropkick. Styles with a running splash to Nakamura into the barricade. Styles went for a second but missed as Nakamura delivered strikes and send Styles into the steel steps. Nakamura with a running and jumping knee for a near fall. Nakamura delivered more strikes and then sent out some “Bad Vibrations” to Styles. Nakamura with a jumping knee for a near fall. Nakamura delivered a flying kick and then sent Styles into the barricade. Styles attempted a Phenomenal Forearm but Nakamura countered and delivered a running knee strike and a flying kick from the middle rope for a near fall. Nakamura delivered a Tiger Driver for a near fall. Nakamura delivered a reverse exploder onto a chair for a near fall. Nakamura went for the Kinshasa but Styles threw a chair at his knee. Styles was bleeding from the cheek as the chair bounced back in Styles face. Styles applied a Calf Crusher but Nakamura countered with a triangle. Styles delivered a running forearm and followed up with an ushigorishi for a near fall. Both Nakamura and Styles delivered a low blow to each other as the crowd chanted “Yes” Nakamura and Styles had a good back-and-forth strike exchange. Styles and Nakamura both kicked each other below the belt line at the same time and couldn’t make it up for the referee’s count of 10.
- Nakamura and Styles were having a good match before the finish. The finish of this match was really lame and could be setting up either a Last Man Standing or a Ladder Match at Money in the Bank. Nakamura and Styles have been having good matches but it still hasn’t reached that next level.
Bobby Lashley & Braun Strowman def. Kevin Owens & Sami Zayn
- Rating: *2/4
Lashley delivered a shoulder tackles to Zayn and a neck breaker to Owens. Owens distracted Lashley as Zayn hung him on top rope. Owens delivered a back senton to Lashley on the floor. Lashley delivered a face buster to Zayn an then tagged in Strowman. Strowman ran over Owens on the floor. Zayn tried to leave but Owens stopped him. Zayn accidentally slapped Owens as Lashley gave him a spine buster and got the win after delivering a delayed vertical suplex.
- This match was a complete mess. After the match, Strowman delivered running power slams to both Owens and Zayn which got no reaction.
Roman Reigns def. Samoa Joe
- Rating: *3/4
Joe attacked Reigns before the match started and gave him a uranage through the announcers table. Joe delivered an elbow suicida to Reigns for a near fall. Joe slowed the pace down by applying endless neck twist and chin lock as the crowd booed loudly and chanted “CM Punk” Reigns delivered a big boot and followed up with a Drive By. Joe made a comeback by delivering atomic drop, a running boot and a back senton for a near fall. Reigns delivered a spine buster for a near fall. Reigns went for a drive by but Joe caught him and applied the Coquina Clutch. Reigns escaped and rolled up Joe for a near fall. Reigns delivered a Superman Punch for a near fall. Reigns was setting up for the spear as the crowd chanted “Rusev Day” Reigns delivered a spear but Joe got his foot on the bottom rope. The crowd chanted “Delete” as a Reigns went for another Spear but Joe applied the Coquina clutch. Reigns got his foot on the bottom rope to break the hold. Reigns avoided the Muscle Buster and delivered a Spear for the win.
- Joe and Reigns worked a fine match but this was really disappointing compared to their match they had on RAW this year.
WWE Backlash was a big thumbs down show and is leading the way for the worst PPV of the year. The opening match was great and I also liked the Nakamura and Styles match. Everything was else was skippable and a show worth skipping out on.
Image Credit – WWE