At some point during the first three main show matches they did a backstage angle where Bray Wyatt was found standing over an injured Randy Orton. Reportedly, Orton is not cleared to wrestle and that's how they are avoiding that match tonight.
- Dean Ambrose (c) v AJ Styles for the WWE World Title--I cannot connect to WWE Network along with some other odd network related things so it may be a while before I get to watch this and share any thoughts. Hang tight...
Finally got back on. Remember when I said that Nakamura beating Samoa Joe for the NXT Title was a great moment, but the match was good? That's kind of what I thought of tonight.
AJ Styles winning the WWE World Championship tonight was a great moment, but the match wasn't up there with all the other great matches (specifically the two Roman Reigns ones) that AJ Styles had this year.
Dean Ambrose worked hard and they picked it up by the end of the match, but I wasn't really into it too much early on.
This is not a complaint, mind you, as I am thrilled that AJ Styles is the New Face That Runs The Place. It was a decent match.
(Winner and new WWE World Champion: AJ Freaking Styles)
- SmackDown Tag Championship Finals--Heath Slater and Rhyno v The Usos with the SmackDown Tag Titles and a contract for Heath Slater on the line.
The Usos cut off the ring like they were The Minnesota Wrecking Crew. Rhyno got the hot tag, but gave way to a FIRED UP Heath Slater. The illegal man, Rhyno, hit a Gore on whichever Uso and Heath got the win. The crowd and Wrestling Twitter were all the way into this. Good work WWE.
(Winners and inaugural SmackDown Tag Champions: Rhyno and Heath Slater)
- Bray Wyatt v Kane--Bray Wyatt entered to get his official countout victory against Randy Orton who is unable to compete.
Once that is done with they announce that Bray Wyatt has to compete tonight in a No Holds Barred match against...Kane. The crowd actually popped for that surprisingly and it wasn't really a surprise because that rumor was floated earlier in the day.
This was about exactly what you'd expect until Orton made an appearance. I didn't expect to see him get physically involved, but he hit an RKO that gave Kane the victory. Crowd seemed into it so in terms of an audible I can't give them too hard a time on this one.
- Dolph Ziggler v The Miz (c) w/ Maryse for the IC Championship--The Miz is shown before the match arguing with GM Daniel Bryan about wanting to "renegotiate his contract" if he wins tonight.
These two put on a really solid match. My issue with Ziggler isn't that he's bad in the ring. My issue with Ziggler is he's one of those guys I just don't care about. It's not entirely his fault obviously, but it is what it is.
The finish saw Maryse spray something in Ziggler's eyes so The Miz could hit Skull Crushing Finale for the win.
Random observation, The Miz comes across to me as the kind of gimmick Cody Rhodes is trying to work on the indy scene. Now I like Cody Rhodes, but The Miz is doing it better.
(Winner and still IC Champion: The Miz)
- The Usos v The Hype Bros--The Usos' new heel look is sharp. I like that they dropped the crowd participation entrance as well.
This was a Second Chance Challenge to find out who will face Rhyno and Slater in the finals of the SmackDown Tag Team Championship Tournament.
I have to say that the Hype Bros just do not work for me at all. I've heard enough folks say that they have a little something with the crowd, but they are like nails on the chalkboard for me.
Anyhow, The Usos move on to the finals the same way they put out Chad Gable.
(Winners: The Usos)
- Six Pack Challenge for the SmackDown Women's Championship--Our six here were Carmella, Naomi, Natalya, Nikki Bella, Becky Lynch, and Alexa Bliss. This match clearly exceeded expectations. When it started I feared it was going to be a disaster, but everyone busted it out there and there were some really great moments.
Highlights were the Super Blockbuster Powerbomb, and Naomi's dive to the outside. Elimination order was Alexa Bliss, Naomi, Natalya, Nikki Bella, and then Becky Lynch taps out Carmella to become the first SmackDown Women's Champion.
(Winner and inaugural SmackDown Women's Champion: Becky Lynch)
- Baron Corbin defeated Apollo Crews in a Kickoff Show Match that I didn't bother watching. I finished up NFL RedZone for the day instead.
Backlash was a show that did not look great on paper, but delivered in a big way. I guess in a lot of ways it shouldn't be surprising as WWE often has some really solid shows when we expect the least. AJ Styles, Becky Lynch, and even Rhyno/Heath Slater winning titles were all really good moments. Looking forward to Raw's Clash of Champions in a couple of weeks now and then SmackDown's No Mercy. Their first SmackDown-only show was a huge success. I hope with AJ Styles as champion they can keep the momentum going.