This week on SmackDown Live we look towards Backlash, the blue brand’s first Pay-Per-View since before WrestleMania 33. There are two big matches in AJ Styles vs. Jinder Mahal and Randy Orton vs. Baron Corbin. Also, Kevin Owens hosts his own version of the Highlight Reel and there is a contract signing for the big six-woman tag team match this Sunday.
Kevin Owens’ Highlight Reel
We kick off the show with Kevin Owens’ Highlight Reel. Chris Jericho’s “talk show” was the Highlight Reel, but Owens injured him a couple weeks ago. Although the United States Champion is defending his title against AJ Styles this Sunday, he is still making a point to stick it to Y2J.
Owens starts introducing his guest in French because he can, but instead, he is interrupted by Styles. Styles wants to fight Owens tonight instead of waiting a few days. Before anything can happen, Jinder Mahal, the real guest for the Highlight Reel (and Styles’ opponent later tonight), shows up to say why he is going to capture the WWE Championship from Randy Orton at Backlash.
AJ Styles vs. Jinder Mahal (w/The Singh Brothers)
At Backlash, both Jinder Mahal and AJ Styles will be challenging for titles. AJ Styles is the #1 Contender for Kevin Owens’ United States Championship, while Jinder Mahal is in the main event to challenge Randy Orton for the WWE Championship. Surprisingly, Mahal has built more momentum over the past month than Styles has, meaning that Styles needs this win more.
Styles has Mahal set up perfectly for the Phenomenal Forearm when the Singh Brothers distract the referee. Kevin Owens, who was on commentary during the match, uses this opportunity to hit Styles’ leg with his US title, giving Mahal the chance to take over. Mahal flattens Styles with the Full Nelson Slam and picks up perhaps his most shocking win this month. Winner: Jinder Mahal
Breezango vs. The Colons
Before Tyler Breeze and Fandango try to build momentum for their SmackDown Tag Team Championship match against the Usos at Backlash, they put on one last edition of the Fashion Files. They need to gain some traction by taking out the Colons, who since switching to SmackDown Live, have defeated American Alpha twice.
Fandango hits the Falcon Arrow on Epico, then he gets the pinfall while Primo is being held at ringside by Tyler Breeze. After the match, The Usos cut another intense and odd promo. While their message really isn’t clear, at least they have passion. Winners: Breezango
Since the Superstar Shake-up, The Welcoming Committee (Natalya, Tamina, & Carmella) has been attacking Charlotte, Naomi, and Becky Lynch. A challenge was issued for a six-woman tag team match at Backlash, so Shane McMahon is here to host an official contract signing. The Welcoming Committee has emerged victorious in singles and tag team action over the past couple weeks, so they have the momentum going into this Sunday.
Each team says their piece until James Ellsworth decides to insult the entire enemy team. After he insults Naomi, the current SmackDown Women’s Champion starts grabbing Ellsworth until Carmella tries to attack her. Shane McMahon and Tamina hold Naomi and Carmella back, respectively, and McMahon decides to turn this into a sanctioned match.
Naomi (w/Becky Lynch & Charlotte) vs. Carmella (w/Natalya, Tamina, & James Ellsworth)
This is the last chance for Naomi and her team to get a win over The Welcoming Committee in some capacity before the six-woman tag match. In recent memory, Naomi is the most successful woman on the SmackDown roster, so this is probably her team’s best bet to pick up a win.
During the match, James Ellsworth helps Carmella escape to ringside, which leads the referee to banish him from the match. The referee then ejects Tamina and Natalya from ringside, but instead, they decide to attack Charlotte and Becky Lynch. Naomi hits Tamina with a wrecking ball dropkick and Carmella takes advantage to win the match with a roll-up. Winner: Carmella
Baron Corbin vs. Randy Orton
Before Orton defends the WWE Championship against Jinder Mahal, he gets a warm-up match against Baron Corbin. Orton got pinned by Mahal last week, so The Viper needs this win to build momentum for Sunday.
Corbin gets a good amount of offense in, but it can’t stop him from getting hit by an RKO. Winner: Randy Orton
After the match, Jinder Mahal appears and tells Orton to savor his victory, and while Orton is focused on Mahal, the Singh Brothers attack Orton from behind. The three-on-one assault comes to an end after Mahal hits his Full Nelson Slam and poses with the WWE Championship.
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- WWE Weekly Preview, 4.16.18-4.22.18 - April 15, 2018
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