Backlash Preview

WWE’s first pay-per-view since WrestleMania will be the first B-PPV to be co-branded under the most recent roster extension.

AJ Styles faces Shinsuke Nakamura for the third time within a month, this time in a no disqualification match, for the WWE Championship.

Also, Daniel Bryan participates in his first singles PPV match since losing to Roman Reigns at Fastlane in 2015, as he takes on the returning Big Cass.

Seth Rollins vs. The Miz

 

Rollins IC Title
Rollins won the Intercontinental Championship for the first time at WrestleMania 34 (Source: WWE)

Despite now being on separate brands, The Miz has a final opportunity to get the Intercontinental Championship onto Smackdown.

 

Rollins won the title at WrestleMania in a brilliant triple threat and retained the belt last week in Saudi Arabia.

It seems as though his feud with Finn Balor will continue after Backlash with The Miz at the top of the card on Smackdown.

Jeff Hardy vs. Randy Orton

 

img_1123
Jeff Hardy has already defended the United States Championship once since winning it on Raw last month. (Source: Forbes.com)

 

It has been over 10 years since Hardy and Orton last fought one on one, at Royal Rumble 2008 where The Viper defeated Hardy for the WWE Championship.

This time around, it’s for the United States Championship that Hardy won from Jinder Mahal on Raw last month.

Orton only lost the belt at WrestleMania and didn’t get much of a run with the belt, therefore, this one could go either way.

I would have Orton win this one matchup, as every PPV needs a title change somewhere and I think this could be one of the real opportunities to do so.

Nia Jax vs. Alexa Bliss

Nia
Nia Jax won her first title in WWE at WrestleMania 34 (Source: WWE.com)

This feud has not had the most coverage since the inclusion of Natalya and Ronda Rousey on Raw, but there still is fuel in the fire.

Bliss’ vignettes on Raw have been thoroughly entertaining and it makes fans loathe her even more.

However, since Jax won the title at WrestleMania, we haven’t seen her in singles action or even defend her title.

She is the woman to put at the top of the division for now and I think she will retain in Newark.

Carmella vs. Charlotte Flair

 

Carmella SD Champion
Carmella has only held the Smackdown Women’s Championship for 4 weeks. (Source: WWE)

After a successful cash-in of her Money In The Bank briefcase, Carmella has been the perfect heel with the belt.

 

Consistently mocking Flair, Carmella has been aligning herself with The IIconics and getting the better of Flair and friends in recent weeks.

Flair was brilliant in the six-woman tag match that closed Smackdown Live this week but usually, that correlates into losing the title match at the pay-per-view.

The Princess of Staten Island should retain through a distraction in this one, as I still believe my booking of the women’s division is still the correct way to go! (See below tweet)

Roman Reigns vs. Samoa Joe

 

Reigns
Roman Reigns has failed to win the Universal Championship in his last two title matches. (Source: WWE)

Despite being on the main roster a little more than a year, Samoa Joe and a Samoan who is actually called Joe have already met five times in singles competition.

 

With nothing on the line for this one, it is a bit of a throwaway match but Joe has been on a tear recently with the promos.

Roman Reigns is coming off the back of two losses to Brock Lesnar and will look to avenge them here, but Joe is one of the best wrestlers currently in action.

If Vince really views Reigns as the top guy after this match will be a question on everyone’s lips as a loss here could crush The Big Dog.

I would like to see WWE give Samoa Joe the win, but I feel as though he will come up short against Reigns.

Daniel Bryan vs. Big Cass

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This is Daniel Bryan’s first singles match since returning to in-ring action. (Source: YouTube.com)

Big Cass makes his return to competition in a good but rushed feud.

The mocking of Bryan’s height has been quite annoying, but ultimately that makes it good heel work from Cass.

Cass has also been working on his promos during his time away from the ring, proving that he doesn’t need Enzo Amore as a spokesperson and can actually have a legitimate promo with someone.

I can see this one going to a no contest somehow, as to halt either of their momenta would be foolish at this stage.

Braun Strowman & Bobby Lashley vs. Sami Zayn & Kevin Owens

 

Bobby Lashley
Bobby Lashley returned to WWE in April after 10 years away. (Source: WWE)

Thrown together this week on Raw, Zayn and Owens have a tough task on their hands to get past The Dominator and The Monster Amongst Men.

 

As part of the six-man tag match this week, the two babyfaces were joined by Roman Reigns to easily defeat KO, Zayn and Jinder Mahal.

Apparently, it seems as though this could begin a storyline feud between Braun Strowman and Bobby Lashley, with the latter turning heel in the process.

Therefore, it would make sense for Lashley to cost his teammate this weekend, giving the win to Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens.

AJ Styles vs Shinsuke Nakamura

Since Nakamura has turned heel, his fetish for AJ Styles’ groin has become overbearing.

The big question is: Will Styles wear a protective cup?

However, this is a very hard match to call as Nakamura could be a gem with the belt in his grasp – AJ has held the WWE Championship since November.

This is the third WWE instalment between Shinsuke and Styles, their Wrestle Kingdom 10 match in 2016 received 4 3/4 stars from Wrestling Observer’s Dave Meltzer.

Their WrestleMania match fell slightly flat but the new face/heel dynamic meant their rematch in Saudi Arabia was slightly better although it finished in a double count-out.

It is easily the most anticipated match on this card, but can it reach the levels we saw inside the Tokyo Dome two years ago?

 

Shinsuke Low Blow
Shinsuke Nakamura has been targetting a particular ‘area’ of AJ Styles since WrestleMania. (Source: Cageside Seats)

 

 

 

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