It’s been seven years since the last Backlash, and this is the first time the PPV has ever occurred in September. While the card isn’t very large, I feel we’ll get some more meaningful matches. The smaller card focuses the WWE to focus on quality over quantity.
The Miz vs Dolph Ziggler (IC Title)
I can’t be the only one that’s conflicted about the outcome for this match. On one hand, the Miz has been on fire lately, and is arguably the hottest character in the company, but on the other hand, Dolph can’t afford another clean loss. The Smackdown writers deserve a ton of credit for making this as unpredictable as it currently is, because both competitors are too compelling to lose right now. Had this feud been given more time, I’d lean towards the Miz dropping his title, however since it only had a two week build I don’t think he will. For this match, I predict the Miz to cheat his way out, which will only allow the feud to continue until No Mercy.
Winner: The Miz
Randy Orton vs Bray Wyatt
Similar to Miz vs Ziggler, I’m slightly conflicted on who will emerge as the victor. Bray hasn’t been involved in a feud since earlier 2016, and Randy needs to recover from his loss to Brock Lesnar. This truly comes down to who needs the win more, and that could be Orton. Since Bray hasn’t been heavily showcased this year, having him eat a loss might not be the worst thing. Just like several other feuds on this show, I don’t believe this will be the last match these two will compete in. It’ll make more sense if Bray goes on to win the rematch(es), because he’ll look much better heading into Survivor Series. It’s also worth noting that these two have great in ring chemistry. During a house show circuit back in early 2015 I had the chance to watch them compete, and I was impressed with fast pace they were able to work.
Winner: Randy Orton
Tag Team Title Tournament:
The Usos vs The Hype Bros
Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy the Hype Bros, but there no chance in hell they’re advancing to the final round. The Usos have just picked up a ton of steam with their heel turn, and the story should be centred around them.
The Usos vs Heath Slater & Rhyno
There’s no denying that Heath Slater has been one of the greatest comedy acts we’ve seen within the past few years. At this point, I’m starting to see him as one of the most well rounded characters in the company. Along with that, I’ve absolutely loved watching him team with Rhyno. With all that being said, this is where the clock strikes 12 for their Cinderella story. Story wise, there just isn’t that much available for them if they win. I believe Slater and Rhyno (the more over tag team) are better off adding to the Usos heel turn.Jimmy and Jey can leave the building as hated characters, while the crowd sympathizes with Slater and Rhyno.
Winner: The Usos
Women’s Six Pack Challenge
As of now, I think it’s too early for any of the newer women to claim the title, so we can assume that neither Bliss or Carmella will be crowned as the champ. Since the whole theme of Smackdown has been creating new stars, I have a feeling it won’t be Nikki or Becky either. At this point, Nikki doesn’t need the title, as she’s already well established, if not the most established out of the six. Also, expect her feud with Carmella to cost her the match. With Becky, I’d love to see her win, as she deserves it, but I think the company likes the idea of her chasing the belt. That leaves us with two competitors, Naomi and Natalya. Realistically, I can’t picture Naomi leaving victorious, and that’s only because she’s coming into this match somewhat cold. Yes, she has an awesome new entrance and look, but we still need time to become acquainted with her character.
For this six pack challenge, I’m predicting that Natalya captures the title. She’s definitely paid her dues, and has recently shown her worth as a legitimate top heel in the division. This also works because her and Becky have history, which can translate into a meaningful feud for No Mercy/Survivor Series.
AJ Styles vs Dean Ambrose
I’ve been an AJ Styles mark for quite sometime, so the possibility of him winning the championship makes me happy. This feels much more believable than his feud with Roman, because he’s coming off a big win from Summerslam. At the same time, the WWE made a big statement with Ambrose by having him pin Seth Rollins clean on Smackdown (draft day) and pin Roman Reigns clean at Battleground. Both Styles and Ambrose have only been feuding for two weeks, so a title change might be insulting the Dean’s reign as champ.
I’m predicting there’ll be a DQ/no finish to this match. They have a lot left to explore in this feud, so expect Dean to keep his title.
Winner: No finish