With a card that only had two weeks of build and only six matches, I was still excited to see how this PPV turned out. There will still a lot of high stakes involved.
After a great video package that opened the show, was it necessary to have McMahon and Bryan run through the card? They didn’t make any major announcements, so it just felt pointless.
Women’s Six Pack Elimination Challenge
Alexa Bliss’ Harley Quinn get up looked absolutely amazing, and that’s because it suited her. In match full of six women, she found a way to stick out.
After the main event, this was probably the match I was the most excited for, and that’s an indication of how strong the entire division has been booked since the brand split. I loved everything about how this match was presented. From start to finish, each competitor got a chance to shine and nobody felt like an afterthought. With this being such a crowded match, it would’ve been easy for at least one of these women to be forgotten, but that wasn’t the case.
The final four situation was done brilliantly, because there were several moments that genuinely shocked me. I can’t say I anticipated Nikki pinning Natty, and I also didn’t envision Carmella being part of the final two. Also, did anybody else think they’d use that moment to pull the trigger on Carmella?
Hearing that arena pop for as loud as they did when Becky finally won felt extremely cathartic. There’s nobody that deserves that title more than her. I’ll admit it, I teared up a bit during her victory speech, because it was genuine.
The Usos vs The Hype Bros
Like I mentioned in my predictions, there was no chance in hell that the Hype Bros would win, but that didn’t mean they couldn’t put on a good match. Their energy during this match was a great contrast to the Usos new attitude. I was shocked about how well these two teams meshed, because I was expecting them to wrestle at a much slower pace. Along with that, towards the end of the contest, we were given a reason to believe the Usos wouldn’t win. Overall, this turned out to be a hidden gem in this show.
The Miz vs Dolph Ziggler
I thought the promo between Miz and Bryan was a great way to start off this match. What made that moment even better was how we could hear Miz’s music queuing him to make his entrance. The first half of the match moved quite slow. There were moments of excitement, but I found myself losing interest at times. It’s also worth noting that they were probably doing their absolute best to stretch this match out.
Once the two entered the second half of the match, they put on a great show. They had everything figured out, from selling all the way to psychology. The pace didn’t need to be sped up, they just had to find a way to make it interesting. The finish was quite strong, and it left me satisfied.
Bray Wyatt vs Kane
For those of you that know, Kane and Bray have history. Bray’s first feud on the main roster was against Kane, and it culminated at Summerslam 2013. Fans give JBL a ton of flack, but I applaud him for bringing this up when Kane was announced as the surprise opponent for Wyatt.
They had no choice but to make this a no holds barred match, because there wasn’t any context behind it. For a contest that came out of nowhere, these two did a masterful job at getting this crowd excited. I thought they did a good job, but I absolutely hated the ending. Wyatt could have beaten Kane, and Orton could have appeared afterwards to deliver an RKO. That way, both have a chance to look good on this show.
The Usos vs Rhyno & Heath Slater
It was great to see how over Heath was with this crowd. While the actual match wasn’t anything special, the arena loud all throughout it. The fans truly connected with Heath and it was evident. I assumed the Usos were going to win, because I honestly believed that they were the better long term. However, who cares? Slater and Rhyno winning was simply a feel good moment, and we should enjoy them for what they are.
AJ Styles vs Dean Ambrose
This was AJ’s third official match for the WWE World Championship, so one might have to wonder whether the third time was finally the charm.
Honestly, I found most of this match to be quite boring. I know they’d find a way to make the last few minutes exciting, but in that case what reason do I have to care about rest? The back and forth wasn’t very strong, as a majority of this was dominated by Styles. Their work rate was still smooth, but they just didn’t do anything compelling that had me hooked. In my opinion, this match only picked up once AJ locked in the calf crusher.
Their decision to take the match over the barricades was smart. That spot alone showed exactly how intense their hatred was for one another. Once they got into “brawl” mode, they did a great job at hooking this crowd. I didn’t predict a title change, although I was pumped up when Styles won the title. Even though he cheated to win, it was a huge moment. With all the momentum he’s built up since he win over Cena, it was only about time that he claimed the main title.
Can anybody believe that this show was shorter than a normal episode of Raw. I’m glad they didn’t do their best to over stretch the show, as it did have a natural flow. For the first ever brand split promo, I thought the WWE did a good job. The low point of the show was the opening promo from McMahon and Bryan, while the high point was the women’s six pack challenge. Overall, I give Backlash a 7.5/10.