On The Mat – WWE Backlash 2017 Preview
May 21, 2017 (No Comments) by Evan Coughlan

In years gone by, Backlash was the main Pay Per View coming out of Wrestlemania and, on an occasion or two, even managed to upstage the granddaddy of them all. Iconic rematches, like Backlash 2000, when The Rock beat Triple H for the WWE title with help of Stone Cold Steve Austin comes to mind. Sadly, the Attitude Era’s long gone and the Backlash of old is too. Saying that, this Smackdown exclusive Pay Per View, which takes place in Chicago, does have many intriguing matches, and were going to take a look at everything on offer.

Tye Dillinger vs. Aiden English

dillinger_english

The Perfect 10’s debut on the main roster hasn’t really got going yet. Luckily for Tye, he’s still a crowd favourite, with the WWE Universe regularly shouting 10 even when he is not in the ring. Tye has suffered from being put in with guys who traditionally reside lower on the card and pairing Tye with Aiden English in his first WWE Pay Per View match is a big factor in why Tye is not a bigger deal right now.

Also, this is a dark match which means it’s one that only has enough pull for the pre-show when fans are off eating hot dogs or trying to get a Randy Orton autograph. Obviously this doesn’t help, however with Tye’s charisma and ‘10 chants’ you can expect him to get some of the Chicago crowd going. I expect Tye to pick up the victory here and hopefully go onto bigger and better things.

Prediction: Tye Dillinger

Luke Harper vs. Erick Rowan

harperrowan

On the post-Wrestlemania SmackDown, The Wyatt Family (Bray Wyatt and Erick Rowan) were defeated by WWE Champion Randy Orton and former Wyatt Family member Luke Harper. The following week, Wyatt was moved to the Raw brand as a result of the Superstar Shake-up, effectively disbanding The Wyatt Family. Rowan and Harper then both competed in the WWE Championship Number One Contender’s Six-Pack Challenge, but were unsuccessful. On the May 9th episode of SmackDown, Rowan defeated Harper in a singles match. The following week on the WWE Network show Talking Smack, Rowan said that he disliked the fact that Harper had left The Wyatt Family.

He said that although he defeated Harper the previous week, he felt that Harper deserved more punishment and requested a match against him at Backlash, which Commissioner Shane McMahon then granted. With Rowan having the upper hand in this feud so far, expect to see Harper finally put his former family member to bed once and for all and move onto a new rivalry.

Prediction: Luke Harper

Baron Corbin vs. Sami Zayn

zayncorbin

This feud began when Corbin attacked Zayn on the set of Talking Smack a few weeks ago and then did the same thing a week later backstage at Smackdown throwing the ‘Underdog from the Underground’ around like a rag doll. Truth be told, this feud just seems to be servicing the career of Baron Corbin.

The fact that Zayn has got no real momentum since moving to Smackdown, highlights how the WWE have been slowly burying him since his move from NXT, over a year ago. With that being said, we just can’t see Zayn winning this Sunday as WWE look to build Baron Corbin into Vince McMahon’s favourite character – a big bad heel.

Prediction: Baron Corbin

The Usos vs. Breezango for the WWE SmackDown Tag Team Championship

theusosbreezango

Breezango are somehow in with a chance of winning the tag titles after being mistreated by the WWE for the guts of two years now. Breezango became number one contenders after winning a Beat the Clock challenge on Smackdown a few weeks ago and in an interesting twist to the story, neither team has got physical with one another resulting in the match on Sunday being much less predictable, which is nice for a change.

With Breezango still gathering momentum, it might be a smart move to hold off on them winning the tag titles for a few months and allowing them to continue doing there ridiculous Fashion Police sketches.  So for that reason, expect The Usos to resort to cheating to get a victory, therefore building credibility for a big Breezango win in time.

Prediction: The Usos

Naomi, Charlotte Flair, and Becky Lynch vs. The Welcoming Committee (Natalya, Carmella, and Tamina)

sixwomentagmatch

The Smackdown women’s division has got pretty stale lately, even with the addition of Charlotte and I expect something big to happen in this match to set the division up for the summer. With that in mind I expect The Welcoming Committee to get the win on Sunday.

The way things are playing out, it looks like Becky Lynch could betray her teammates and turn heel, I should state I want this to happen because it would be something different. But this is WWE, so let’s be honest, it was probably a potential story line that got canned harder than the Big Show’s jocks after a spicy burrito.

Prediction: The Welcoming Committee

Kevin Owens vs. AJ Styles for the WWE United States Championship

owensajstyles

When Owens won back his United States title after defeating his former best friend Chris Jericho and making Jericho disappear permanently, he moved on to a new feud with ‘The face that runs the place’ AJ Styles. AJ has been the best thing about Smackdown for nearly a year now and it seems that this run is only going to continue as he goes from strength to strength. KO has been working hard too, creating a gimmick for himself as the ‘New Face of America’, becoming more ruthless than ever in his attacks.

The calibre of the two men involved in this match alone has resulted in the US titles prestige skyrocketing. This one could have easily main-evented the show as there is little doubt that it will be a barnstormer of a match. With Owens only retaining the title a few weeks ago, it would be silly for him to lose it so soon and AJ can afford to suffer a defeat if this story is going to develop into the summer months.

Prediction: Kevin Owens

Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Dolph Ziggler

nakamuraziggler

The Smackdown which immediately followed ‘Mania saw the gumshield wearing King of Strong Style, Shinsuke Nakamura, make his long awaited main roster debut. Many fans expected that The Mix would be Shinsuke’s first feud on the main roster, but Miz was traded to Raw a week later. Shinsuke quickly moved on and interrupted a Dolph Ziggler promo a few weeks later. Ziggler tried to attack Shinsuke but was countered and he managed to escape. Let’s not forget, Shinsuke hasn’t actually had a match on the main roster since debuting. WWE have played this one out well though, building up hype for Shinsuke’s first match and making him feel like a much bigger deal than he already is.

Ziggler has really carried the talking portion of this feud by playing up to the fact that Shinsuke has never achieved anything on the main roster. This was another wise move by WWE as Shinsuke just oozes charisma and he is still learning the craft of cutting promos. I think everybody knows that if WWE decide to go any other way than a decisive Nakamura win, the Chicago crowd will crap on the rest of the show, so with that in mind Shinsuke for the win!

Prediction: Shinsuke Nakamura

Randy Orton vs. Jinder Mahal for the WWE Championship

ortonjinder

Yes Jinder Mahal is in with a chance of actually winning the WWE Championship, that makes very little sense when I write it down seeing as Jinder has had literally no momentum for his entire WWE career. I mean it would have made more sense to give this title opportunity to Sami Zayn as someone who the fans genuinely love and want to see succeed.

These are the cards WWE have dealt and so far they have portrayed Jinder as a stereotypical foreign heel, a modern day Sergeant Slaughter. The fact that the fans have revolted against his involvement in a WWE title feud might actually be the worst thing the WWE fans have done, as Vince McMahon may actually think that fans want to see Jinder in the main event slot. Now onto Randy Orton, who has gone back to being just plain boring.

His storyline with the Wyatt Family was unquestionably his best work since the days of Evolution, but now Randy has slipped back into the mundane, which has seen Orton have the same match week in, week out. So who’s going to win, well with Jinder getting the better of Randy on the past few Smackdowns, I expect Jinder and his buddies, The Singh Brothers, to finally get their comeuppance and get a couple of RKO’s for their troubles. I also predict, Randy will go onto another feud, this time hopefully with someone who will make him a little less boring.

Prediction: Randy Orton

So there you have it, we hope that we’ve left no stone un-turned for another WWE Pay Per View. Be sure to watch this space for our preview of WWE Extreme Rules, which takes place on June 4th. Until next time, keep it On The Mat!

Evan Coughlan
Writes about sport and stuff. When Evan thinks of a witty comment it will appear here.

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On The Mat – WWE Backlash 2017 Preview
May 21, 2017 (No Comments) by Evan Coughlan

In years gone by, Backlash was the main Pay Per View coming out of Wrestlemania and, on an occasion or two, even managed to upstage the granddaddy of them all. Iconic rematches, like Backlash 2000, when The Rock beat Triple H for the WWE title with help of Stone Cold Steve Austin comes to mind. Sadly, the Attitude Era’s long gone and the Backlash of old is too. Saying that, this Smackdown exclusive Pay Per View, which takes place in Chicago, does have many intriguing matches, and were going to take a look at everything on offer.

Tye Dillinger vs. Aiden English

dillinger_english

The Perfect 10’s debut on the main roster hasn’t really got going yet. Luckily for Tye, he’s still a crowd favourite, with the WWE Universe regularly shouting 10 even when he is not in the ring. Tye has suffered from being put in with guys who traditionally reside lower on the card and pairing Tye with Aiden English in his first WWE Pay Per View match is a big factor in why Tye is not a bigger deal right now.

Also, this is a dark match which means it’s one that only has enough pull for the pre-show when fans are off eating hot dogs or trying to get a Randy Orton autograph. Obviously this doesn’t help, however with Tye’s charisma and ‘10 chants’ you can expect him to get some of the Chicago crowd going. I expect Tye to pick up the victory here and hopefully go onto bigger and better things.

Prediction: Tye Dillinger

Luke Harper vs. Erick Rowan

harperrowan

On the post-Wrestlemania SmackDown, The Wyatt Family (Bray Wyatt and Erick Rowan) were defeated by WWE Champion Randy Orton and former Wyatt Family member Luke Harper. The following week, Wyatt was moved to the Raw brand as a result of the Superstar Shake-up, effectively disbanding The Wyatt Family. Rowan and Harper then both competed in the WWE Championship Number One Contender’s Six-Pack Challenge, but were unsuccessful. On the May 9th episode of SmackDown, Rowan defeated Harper in a singles match. The following week on the WWE Network show Talking Smack, Rowan said that he disliked the fact that Harper had left The Wyatt Family.

He said that although he defeated Harper the previous week, he felt that Harper deserved more punishment and requested a match against him at Backlash, which Commissioner Shane McMahon then granted. With Rowan having the upper hand in this feud so far, expect to see Harper finally put his former family member to bed once and for all and move onto a new rivalry.

Prediction: Luke Harper

Baron Corbin vs. Sami Zayn

zayncorbin

This feud began when Corbin attacked Zayn on the set of Talking Smack a few weeks ago and then did the same thing a week later backstage at Smackdown throwing the ‘Underdog from the Underground’ around like a rag doll. Truth be told, this feud just seems to be servicing the career of Baron Corbin.

The fact that Zayn has got no real momentum since moving to Smackdown, highlights how the WWE have been slowly burying him since his move from NXT, over a year ago. With that being said, we just can’t see Zayn winning this Sunday as WWE look to build Baron Corbin into Vince McMahon’s favourite character – a big bad heel.

Prediction: Baron Corbin

The Usos vs. Breezango for the WWE SmackDown Tag Team Championship

theusosbreezango

Breezango are somehow in with a chance of winning the tag titles after being mistreated by the WWE for the guts of two years now. Breezango became number one contenders after winning a Beat the Clock challenge on Smackdown a few weeks ago and in an interesting twist to the story, neither team has got physical with one another resulting in the match on Sunday being much less predictable, which is nice for a change.

With Breezango still gathering momentum, it might be a smart move to hold off on them winning the tag titles for a few months and allowing them to continue doing there ridiculous Fashion Police sketches.  So for that reason, expect The Usos to resort to cheating to get a victory, therefore building credibility for a big Breezango win in time.

Prediction: The Usos

Naomi, Charlotte Flair, and Becky Lynch vs. The Welcoming Committee (Natalya, Carmella, and Tamina)

sixwomentagmatch

The Smackdown women’s division has got pretty stale lately, even with the addition of Charlotte and I expect something big to happen in this match to set the division up for the summer. With that in mind I expect The Welcoming Committee to get the win on Sunday.

The way things are playing out, it looks like Becky Lynch could betray her teammates and turn heel, I should state I want this to happen because it would be something different. But this is WWE, so let’s be honest, it was probably a potential story line that got canned harder than the Big Show’s jocks after a spicy burrito.

Prediction: The Welcoming Committee

Kevin Owens vs. AJ Styles for the WWE United States Championship

owensajstyles

When Owens won back his United States title after defeating his former best friend Chris Jericho and making Jericho disappear permanently, he moved on to a new feud with ‘The face that runs the place’ AJ Styles. AJ has been the best thing about Smackdown for nearly a year now and it seems that this run is only going to continue as he goes from strength to strength. KO has been working hard too, creating a gimmick for himself as the ‘New Face of America’, becoming more ruthless than ever in his attacks.

The calibre of the two men involved in this match alone has resulted in the US titles prestige skyrocketing. This one could have easily main-evented the show as there is little doubt that it will be a barnstormer of a match. With Owens only retaining the title a few weeks ago, it would be silly for him to lose it so soon and AJ can afford to suffer a defeat if this story is going to develop into the summer months.

Prediction: Kevin Owens

Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Dolph Ziggler

nakamuraziggler

The Smackdown which immediately followed ‘Mania saw the gumshield wearing King of Strong Style, Shinsuke Nakamura, make his long awaited main roster debut. Many fans expected that The Mix would be Shinsuke’s first feud on the main roster, but Miz was traded to Raw a week later. Shinsuke quickly moved on and interrupted a Dolph Ziggler promo a few weeks later. Ziggler tried to attack Shinsuke but was countered and he managed to escape. Let’s not forget, Shinsuke hasn’t actually had a match on the main roster since debuting. WWE have played this one out well though, building up hype for Shinsuke’s first match and making him feel like a much bigger deal than he already is.

Ziggler has really carried the talking portion of this feud by playing up to the fact that Shinsuke has never achieved anything on the main roster. This was another wise move by WWE as Shinsuke just oozes charisma and he is still learning the craft of cutting promos. I think everybody knows that if WWE decide to go any other way than a decisive Nakamura win, the Chicago crowd will crap on the rest of the show, so with that in mind Shinsuke for the win!

Prediction: Shinsuke Nakamura

Randy Orton vs. Jinder Mahal for the WWE Championship

ortonjinder

Yes Jinder Mahal is in with a chance of actually winning the WWE Championship, that makes very little sense when I write it down seeing as Jinder has had literally no momentum for his entire WWE career. I mean it would have made more sense to give this title opportunity to Sami Zayn as someone who the fans genuinely love and want to see succeed.

These are the cards WWE have dealt and so far they have portrayed Jinder as a stereotypical foreign heel, a modern day Sergeant Slaughter. The fact that the fans have revolted against his involvement in a WWE title feud might actually be the worst thing the WWE fans have done, as Vince McMahon may actually think that fans want to see Jinder in the main event slot. Now onto Randy Orton, who has gone back to being just plain boring.

His storyline with the Wyatt Family was unquestionably his best work since the days of Evolution, but now Randy has slipped back into the mundane, which has seen Orton have the same match week in, week out. So who’s going to win, well with Jinder getting the better of Randy on the past few Smackdowns, I expect Jinder and his buddies, The Singh Brothers, to finally get their comeuppance and get a couple of RKO’s for their troubles. I also predict, Randy will go onto another feud, this time hopefully with someone who will make him a little less boring.

Prediction: Randy Orton

So there you have it, we hope that we’ve left no stone un-turned for another WWE Pay Per View. Be sure to watch this space for our preview of WWE Extreme Rules, which takes place on June 4th. Until next time, keep it On The Mat!

Evan Coughlan
Writes about sport and stuff. When Evan thinks of a witty comment it will appear here.

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