Welcome to the first SmackDown Live PPV post-WrestleMania, welcome to Backlash!

How about we start with the elephant in the room, which is not a vague reference to Ganesha. Jinder Mahal is challenging Randy Orton for the WWE Championship, which is not a sentence I imagined I would ever write. With that said, I think we’re all a little tired of hearing how insane it is that Mahal is number one contender. This is the direction WWE is headed, at least for the meantime, and so far it hasn’t been a total bust. Mahal and The Singh Brothers make a good team, even though their rise to the top was severely rushed, and I genuinely think there is a chance Mahal wins tonight. Do you think the Maharaja has a chance of actually winning the WWE Championship and becoming the biggest turnaround story in history? Let us know in the comments!

The painfully long wait for Shinsuke Nakamura’s debut is almost over. Nakamura debuted on April 4 and has yet to wrestle a match. The build to his debut tonight would be a negative thing if it was for any other wrestler, however Nakamura is very special and his style will be especially impressive against Ziggler. If these two get 15-20 minutes they will tear the house down and put a large stamp on Nakamura as the one to watch going forward. I see no scenario in which Ziggler wins this match, although perhaps a roll-up or something would allow him to steal a win and let them dance again at Money In The Bank.

The only other match tonight that has the chance of being as good as Nakamura/Ziggler, is the United State Championship match between Kevin Owens and AJ Styles. These two talents are incredibly over in their respective roles and the fans will be firmly behind AJ tonight. Styles and Owens have only faced each other three times in WWE, in singles matches, and KO has prevailed every single time. Obviously the past bodes well for the US Champion and, as much as I love AJ Styles, I think Owens is better suited to being US Champion right now. Styles should move back into the title picture as soon as possible because he feels too big a star for anything else.


Another Championship match taking place tonight, is the Tag Team Championship match between The Uso’s and Breezango. Similarly to Jinder Mahal, it seemed like Breezango were plucked from the depths of nowhere to become title challengers but, rather unlike Mahal, the fans have taken to Breezango like ducks to water. The duo are instantly likable, underrated in the ring, and their Fashion Files segments are the funniest thing on WWE TV today. Breeze and Fandango have grabbed the brass ring presented to them and ran a mile and I’m hoping they either win the titles tonight, or get screwed out of them, allowing this feud to continue for at least another month.

Elsewhere on tonight’s card, the SmackDown Women’s Champion, Naomi, teams with Becky Lynch and Charlotte to face Carmella, Natalya and Tamina, in a high-school drama match. Next we have Erick Rowan Vs. Luke Harper, in what is sure to be a really good match if it is given sufficient time. Sami Zayn battles Baron Corbin in what seems like another losing-battle for Sami. And finally, Aiden English Vs. Tye Dillinger, which will take place on the Backlash kick-off show, which starts at 7 PM ET. You can find all your coverage right here, as well as the Ringside News app. Get talking in the comments and enjoy the show!

Kick-Off Show

The Backlash kick-off show begins with the panel of Renee Young, Peter Rosenberg and Booker T. The five-time Champion throws his pinky up to the fans in the All-State Arena and they give a big cheer. We cut backstage to see Dasha Fuentes in the Social Media Lounge, and Sami Zayn will be joining her later tonight.

We see a great video hyping the debut of Shinsuke Nakamura and his opponent, Dolph Ziggler. Booker T says you know someone is really great when you know of them before you ever see them. He compares the mythos around Nakamura, to that of The Great Muta. Rosenberg agrees with Booker and says that Nakamura will fully arrive tonight. Booker contradicts and says that you cannot count Dolph out of the match. Peter Rosenberg questions the last time we had a debut this anticipated. Booker says that Nakamura captivates you when he is on screen and you can’t look away. Renee asks who needs the win more, to which Rosenberg and Booker agree that all the pressure is on Shinsuke to perform and win.

Will The ARTIST Known As @ShinsukeN bring ART to LIFE when he battles @HEELZiggler in his @WWE in-ring debut?#WWEBacklash pic.twitter.com/wTGPuVMJFz

— WWE (@WWE) May 21, 2017

We get a quick pitch for the WWE Network, as well as the Raw-exclusive PPV, Extreme Rules, in 2 weeks. James Ellsworth joins the panel to discuss the upcoming women’s tag match. Renee asks him how Carmella, Natalya and Tamina are feeling ahead of the match, to which James says they’re feeling great. Ellsworth says The Welcoming Committee has walked out of SmackDown Live at the top of the division. He says he is the “homeboy” of The Welcoming Committee. Renee asks what credibility he has, to which Ellsworth rightly says he pinned AJ Styles three times. As for his vision for the group, Ellsworth says they want Carmella to get a title match, seeing as she’s pinned Naomi twice. Rosenberg asks what the nature of his relationship with Carmella is, to which Ellsworth dances around the answer. Booker asks if it’s “real” and pounds his fist with his palm. Ellsworth says he just got a message from her and he leaves.

The panel quickly discuss Sami Zayn Vs. Baron Corbin. Booker says that Sami is always on the cusp of breaking through and he will do so eventually, whether it’s busting down the front door, or coming in the back. Rosenberg says we know Sami has a big heart but he doesn’t have big enough hands to tackle a wolf. Rosenberg says Sami is great but he can’t handle Corbin. Booker disagrees and says Sami will find a way to prevail and Renee says she hopes he is right.

Moving on, the Tag Team Championship match is next. Booker starts by saying he does not like Breezango but he does like both Tyler Breeze and Fandango. He doesn’t care for the police gimmick and the dancing around, so he thinks The Uso’s will do what they do and take care of business. Just then a figure stands in front of the camera and I figured it was a misplaced fan but it’s Erick Rowan.  Rowan wanders around the back of the panel, wearing his creepy clown goat mask. Rowan simply stares at them, strokes his beard, and moves right on through. Back to business, Rosenberg says he thinks The Uso’s are in the midst of transitioning from a great tag team, to an iconic tag team. Renee thinks The Uso’s are great but she loves Breezango.

Good to see you, @ERICKROWAN…. #WWEBacklash @rosenbergradio @BookerT5x pic.twitter.com/1s3CU659rW

— WWE Universe (@WWEUniverse) May 21, 2017

We get a backstage interview with Dolph Ziggler. He is asked if he is prepared, to which he says he is. Dolph says he has watched all of Nakamura’s matches and…oh wait, no he hasn’t. There is no footage because Nakamura hasn’t wrestled. Ziggler confirms that he and Nakamura will be the first match on the show. He promises to “beat the living hell” out of Nakamura. He says he feels bad for the fans who are here to chant for Shinsuke, but he feels even worse for Nakamura.

After a video package, the panel start to talk Kevin Owens and AJ Styles. Rosenberg starts by saying he believes AJ is the best Superstar in the entire world. He predicts that this US Championship duel will be the match of the night. Booker says a lot of guys in the back will disagree with Rosenberg and say AJ isn’t the best, one of whom is Kevin Owens. Booker reckons Owens is a modern hybrid who can do anything despite his size. Booker calls this a dream match. Renee asks if AJ winning the US title tonight would solidify him as the best in the world? Rosenberg says he already is solidified as the best and asks Booker who he thinks is better, to which the former Champ says Kevin Owens. Booker calls AJ “good”, before saying Owens will retain.

We see Sami Zayn in the Social Media Lounge with Dasha. She asks if he thinks he has a chance of beating Baron Corbin. Sami says he doesn’t think they would ask this question to anyone, like John Cena. He says he feels labelled as the underdog has led people to believing that he is always a million-to-one shot to beat everyone but on any given night he can beat an AJ Styles, a John Cena, or a Randy Orton. Zayn is then asked if he feels SmackDown Live has benefited him thus far, to which he says SmackDown is more about competition than politics.

No time for encores, @WWEDramaKing! The PERFECT 10 @WWEDillinger has ARRIVED to the #WWEBacklash #Kickoff! @WWENetwork pic.twitter.com/XYLdV1ECIE

— WWE Network (@WWENetwork) May 21, 2017

Tye Dillinger Vs. Aiden English

The match begins and Tye takes the upper hand right away. English manages to create some distance by going to the apron. While on the apron, English yanks Dillinger’s arm and pulls him hard into the ropes. English takes control of the match and grounds Tye with a rear chinlock.

Dillinger climbs to his feet with the will of the Chicago natives but English puts him back down. English sings as he has Dillinger in the chinlock. Again Tye climbs to his feet and this time he muscles-out of the move and rolls English for a near-fall. Atomic drop from Dillinger, then a huge chop to the pale chest of English.

Dillinger ducks a clothesline and hits multiple flying forearms. Dillinger hits ten punches in the corner and the fans love it. Tye, looking for his finisher, removes his knee pad but English rolls to the apron. English uses the ropes to his advantage again and stunners Tye neck-first onto the top rope. English goes to the top rope but Tye tosses him off. Dillinger looks for a frog splash but English moves.

English starts to get frustrated and pulls his hair. He bodyslams Dillinger and takes to the top rope. English leaps off but nobody is home. Dillinger catches him with the Tye Breaker for the win!

THAT’S IT! A PERFECT 10 #TyeBreaker seals the deal as @WWEDillinger defeats @WWEDramaKing in the #WWEBacklash #Kickoff! pic.twitter.com/TTeDvUFurG

— WWE (@WWE) May 21, 2017

Winner: Tye Dillinger

We return to the panel as the fans in the All-State Arena chant “10!” Renee and Rosenberg join in the chants and a reluctant Booker eventually joins.

Renee asks Rosenberg and Booker how they see the match between Rowan and Harper going. Erick Rowan returns to the panel, just as they start discussing them. Rowan throws a burlap sack onto the table, which has all of his masks. He is asked about the match but he ignores them, removes a blue mask from the bag and tears it. Booker tries talking to him but Rowan ignores him and takes the handkerchief from Peter’s blazer. Rowan ties the handkerchief to his mask and walks off. Rosenberg and Booker are too shaken to make predictions.

We move on to the main event: Jinder Mahal Vs. Randy Orton for the WWE World Championship. Booker says Jinder got lost over the years but here he is now, in the main event. Rosenberg says that Orton is so talented but he often doesn’t bring his everything to the table, so questions if Randy will take tonight too lightly. The kick-off show ends with a video package for the main event.

After a video package and a pyro display, we’re live at the All-State Arena in Chicago for Backlash! Dolph Ziggler is out first to a mixed reaction. His opponent, Shinsuke Nakamura, gets anything but a mixed reaction. The fans are absolutely in love with the King of Strong Style!

Ladies and gentleman…. The #KingOfStrongStyle has arrived to #WWEBacklash! @ShinsukeN pic.twitter.com/HkGR0woKqh

— WWE (@WWE) May 22, 2017

Shinsuke Nakamura Vs. Dolph Ziggler

The bell rings and both men circle each other before locking-up. Ziggler takes the back of Shinsuke but the King of Strong Style breaks out and swings a big kick that narrowly misses Dolph. A warning shot.

Again they lock-up and Ziggler forces Nakamura to the corner, then slaps him in the face. Nakamura responds with a knee to the gut that floors Dolph. Nakamura goes for a wrist-lock but Dolph ties him up and looks for a pin attempt but is unsuccessful.

Dolph grounds Shinsuke with a wristlock of his own but Nakamura spins around, kips-up, does a handstand, and gets Dolph in one of his own. Dolph moves to the ropes to break the hold and Nakamura rests his head against the back of Dolph, then shoves him in the face. Nakamura stands in the middle of the ring and taunts Dolph to bring it, then knee’s him hard in the guy as he runs at him.

Nakamura lands a knee drop to Ziggler before Good Vibrations in the corner. Ziggler rolls from the ring but Nakamura follows him and throws him back inside. Dolph kicks Shinsuke as he re-enters the ring, then lands a neckbreaker across the ropes. Ziggler slows things down and pulls Nakamura’s hair before raking the eyes and applying a sleeper. Nakamura eventually rolls Dolph off but the Showoff catches him with a picture-perfect dropkick.

“YOU SEE ME, BOY!” @HEELZiggler is feeling pretty cocky as he takes control early on! #WWEBacklash @ShinsukeN pic.twitter.com/1KnOC8aDBU

— WWE (@WWE) May 22, 2017

Ziggler keeps control of the match, landing headbutts and elbow drops. Nakamura catches Dolph with an enziguri to create some separation. Ziggler starts clobbering Ziggler with some hard kicks and a running knee in the corner. Nakamura places Dolph on the top rope before rolling backwards and kneeing him off. Ziggler elbows Nakamura as he looks for a reverse exploder. Ziggler looks for a roll-up but Nakamura reverses into a triangle but Dolph quickly gets to the ropes.

Ziggler catches Shinsuke with a big snap DDT for a near-fall. Nakamura takes Ziggler down with another knee, then looks for Kinshasha but Dolph dodges it and looks for another roll-up to no avail. Ziggler catches Nakamura with a Fameasser for another near-fall. Ziggler takes to the corner and starts up the band, looks for a superkick but Nakamura dodges. Ziggler catches Nakamura with a Zig-Zag but he kicks out!!

Dolph grabs Nakamura for a powerbomb but can’t get him up. Shinsuke gets out and hits Dolph with a hard knee to the gut, then a kick to the back of the head. He looks for the reverse exploder but Ziggler lands on his feet and superkicks the back of Nakamura’s head! Ziggler crawls to make the cover but Shinsuke kicks out. Ziggler gets frustrated and punches the back of Nakamura’s head repeatedly.

They stand face-to-face and Ziggler spits in his face! Ziggler shoots for a takedown but Nakamura sprawls and starts laying in knees to the head and shoulder. Nakamura elbows Ziggler across the bottom rope, then hits a running knee on the apron. Nakamura takes to the top rope and looks for Kinshasa but Ziggler moves. Shinsuke elbows Dolph on the back of the head, hard, hits the reverse exploder, then Kinshasha for the win!

KINSHASHA!!!! #TheArtistKnownAs @ShinsukeN has COME TO LIFE in this hard-fought battle! #WWEBacklash @HEELZiggler pic.twitter.com/mA5ExmJ8EP

— WWE (@WWE) May 22, 2017

Winner: Shinsuke Nakamura

Nakamura celebrates his huge debut win after a great match and gets a standing ovation from the Chicago crowd.

We see last week’s episode of the Fashion Files again, shame it wasn’t a new episode. Tyler Breeze comes out dressed as the janitor from the videos, along with the mop.

Will @mmmgorgeous and @WWEFandango‘s DAY ONE BE H? They challenge @WWEUsos for the #SDLive #TagTeamTitles RIGHT NOW! #WWEBacklash pic.twitter.com/TSmoUCGhuK

— WWE Network (@WWENetwork) May 22, 2017

WWE SmackDown Tag Team Championship Match

(C) The Uso’s Vs. Breezango

Breeze chooses to start the match, mop in hand, and the fans love it. Jimmy Uso runs at Breeze as he has his back turned, mopping in the corner. Breeze avoids Jimmy and he runs into the turnbuckles, then Breeze makes him fall by placing the mop behind his legs.

Jimmy Uso runs at Breeze but he throws the mop up in defence. Jimmy runs again and Breeze rubs the mop in his face, forcing Jimmy to tag Jey in as Breeze celebrates with the mop. Jey clobbers Breeze as he turns around, then snaps the mop over his knee and the fans go crazy.

The match just began and @mmmgorgeous is already CLEANING UP! #WWEBacklash @WWEFandango @WWEUsos pic.twitter.com/gkpnbZwJlc

— WWE Universe (@WWEUniverse) May 22, 2017

Jey takes to the top rope for a splash but Breeze rolls to the far side of the ring. Jey takes to the other turnbuckle but again Breeze rolls away. They repeat the spot two more times until Jey angrily grabs Breeze, who jumps up and hits a superkick for a two-count. Fandango tags in and hits an axe-handle to Jey.

The Uso’s regain composure by double-teaming Fandango in the corner. Jimmy Uso looks for a sunset flip on Fandango but he dances before landing a leg drop. Suddenly on the outside, Tyler Breeze reappears, dressed as an elderly woman. That was impressively fast. The fans chant “let’s go grandma” and JBL calls him Moolah. Jimmy slaps grandma, who responds with a superkick. Jey tags in and runs at grandma, who lifts her dress and flashes Jey to make him fall over. Grandma hits a dropkick, then a bronco buster in the corner.

Jey Uso responds with a big front dropkick, then another to Breeze in the corner. Uso then lands a corner splash before throwing grandma’s dress over the top rope, which lands hilariously (and unintentionally) on JBL’s head. Fandango tags in and starts laying waste to The Uso’s, hitting dropkicks and a spinning heel kick for a near-fall. Fandango catches Uso with a nice tornado DDT off of the ropes for a near-fall. Breeze tags in and Breezango look for their finisher but Jey Uso lands on his feet.

Jey takes out Fandango. Jimmy tags in and hits a flying forearm to Breeze draped over Jey’s knee. The Uso’s accidentally take-out each other, allowing Breeze to hit the Unprettier for another near-fall. Both Uso’s on the outside, Tyler leaps off of the apron onto them but gets caught and thrown over the barricade! The Uso’s admire their handiwork before turning around to see Fandango leap over the top rope onto them!

HE’S FLYING! @WWEFandango SOARS as he takes it to @WWEUsos at #WWEBacklash! @mmmgorgeous pic.twitter.com/w65XkkXISf

— WWE Universe (@WWEUniverse) May 22, 2017

Fandango takes to the top rope but Jey grabs his foot and holds him, allowing Jimmy to superkick Fandango off the top rope and get the 123!

Winners: The Uso’s

What a weird and fun match! In a normal arena that match wouldn’t have worked, but in Chicago it was great.

Sami Zayn Vs. Baron Corbin

As the match starts, Corbin gets in the first big shot, but Zayn sends him out of the ring with a flying headscissors. The Lone Wolf takes control with a hard kick to the body. He slams Sami’s head into two different turnbuckles, but Zayn comes back with a dropkick to send him out of the ring again.

Zayn hits a moonsault off of the barricade and seems to hurt his back. Corbin starts to dominate Zayn with attacks focused on an already injured back. A backbreaker from Corbin but Sami starts to make a comeback. A bear hug from Corbin stops his momentum. Sami breaks free, but Corbin grabs him back in the hold right away. He plants Zayn with a spinebuster for a close two count. Zayn looks like he is barely hanging on, but he manages to knock Corbin off his feet with a clothesline.

ONE-TWO-NOOOO!!! @iLikeSamiZayn is able to KICK OUT after BEAUTIFUL #Backbreaker from @BaronCorbinWWE! #WWEBacklash pic.twitter.com/MqSPRbsEP4

— WWE (@WWE) May 22, 2017

Corbin slides out of the ring, and then he slides right back in to nearly decapitate Zayn with a clothesline. Corbin hits a chokeslam into a backbreaker, but Zayn kicks out at two. The Lone Wolf is starting to look frustrated as he sits Sami on the top turnbuckle. Zayn turns it into a sunset flip powerbomb for a two count of his own. Baron counters a tornado DDT and an exploder suplex before he drops Zayn with Deep Six for a near fall.

Corbin gets frustrated and starts kicking away at Sami as he lays across the bottom rope. The referee considers stopping the match as Sami can’t defend himself. Sami climbs to his feet and yanks down the top rope to send Corbin flying to the outside. Corbin rushes back inside and Zayn kicks him in the face and Corbin stumbles to the corner. Zayn hits a quick Helluva Kick out of nowhere and gets the win!

Winner: Sami Zayn

After the match, we see a video from Xavier Woods’ Youtube channel, UpUpDownDown, of him, Zack Ryder, and Ember Moon playing Rocket League to promote the game and its partnership with WWE.

We see a limousine and an SUV pull-up backstage. The Singh Brothers step-out of the SUV with a carpet and lay it down outside of the limo and out steps Jinder Mahal. Dasha appears and interviews Jinder. He says that the Chicago fans and Americans hate him for how he looks. Tonight, however, he will turn the nation of discriminators into believers. He will make them see what the great people of India already know, that he is the modern day Maharaja. He then speaks in Punjabi and anoints himself the next WWE Champion.

“Chicago is FULL of HATERS! America is FULL of HATERS!” – @JinderMahal #WWEBacklash pic.twitter.com/AbfKPGpNv6

— WWE Universe (@WWEUniverse) May 22, 2017

James Ellsworth comes to the ring and introduces his homegirl, Carmella and The Welcoming Committee. Tamina’s outfit makes her look a lot like Nia Jax.

Carmella, Natalya & Tamina Vs. Charlotte Flair, Becky Lynch & Naomi

Tamina and Becky kick things off. They lock up and Tamina shoves Lynch to the mat to show off her power. Becky tries to take her down unsuccessfully. Tamina hits a big headbutt before bringing in Natalya. Becky tags in Charlotte to take over. She and Nattie trade holds and counters until Charlotte takes control. She taunts Carmella and Tamina, which leads to Natalya taking her down with a clothesline.

STRAIGHT FIRE!!!! The #IrishLassKicker @BeckyLynchWWE is FIRED UP at #WWEBacklash, LIVE NOW on @WWENetwork! @NatByNature pic.twitter.com/vtQ9Hl6L2n

— WWE (@WWE) May 22, 2017

Carmella is able to take control after receiving the tag. However Charlotte quickly  turns things around and brings in Naomi for a springboard crossbody. The champ hits a flurry of kicks, but Tamina prevents her from hitting the split legged moonsault. Naomi takes a lot of punishment while Carmella and Natalya dispose of Charlotte and Becky on the apron. Naomi hits a hurricanrana and tags in Becky, who comes on hot with strikes and suplexes.

Becky knocks Tamina off the apron before locking Natalya in the DisArmHer. Carmella breaks it up, so Charlotte throws her out of the ring. Tamina hits Charlotte with a superkick. We’re left with Nattie and Becky in the ring and Natalya is able to apply the Sharpshooter on Lynch, who is forced to tap out.

Winners: Carmella, Natalya & Tamina Snuka

A WELCOME victory for @CarmellaWWE, @NatByNature and @TaminaSnuka#WWEBacklash @realellsworth pic.twitter.com/EFZ9IYO63h

— WWE Universe (@WWEUniverse) May 22, 2017

After a video package highlighting the recent rivalry, AJ Styles makes his way to the ring to a massive pop from the Chicago natives. The New Face of America is out next to a mixed reaction.

United States Championship Match

(C) Kevin Owens Vs. AJ Styles

Both men lock-up to start the match but Owens quickly lets go and paces around. They lock again and this time it’s AJ who breaks away because Owens grabbed his leg. Styles is thrown to the ropes and he comes back with a wheelbarrow roll-up for a one count.

Once again they lock-up and Styles applies a headlock. AJ sends him to the ropes and performs a leapfrog but Owens slides from the ring. AJ goes after him but Owens slides back inside, wanting the higher ground. AJ finally comes back into the ring and KO takes control. Owens slams AJ to the mat and kicks him before hitting the ropes but AJ responds with a dropkick.

A hard slap from Owens, followed by a huge slap from AJ. Styles looks to springboard off of the corner but Owens pulls his feet from under him, then clothesline’s AJ out of his boots. Owens slows things down and beats AJ down. Owens lands three huge sentons in a row to AJ for a near-fall.

“AND THAT’S WHY I’M THE CHAMP!” A LITTLE mid-match taunting from @FightOwensFight can go LONG way… #WWEBacklash pic.twitter.com/joWjUQPiWj

— WWE (@WWE) May 22, 2017

Owens applies a headlock but AJ struggles to his feet. Seeing the resistance, Owens shuts it down by slamming AJ to the mat by his hair. AJ responds with an enziguri, then some hard forearms and a big clothesline to take Owens down. Styles hits a flying forearm to a seated Owens for a two count. Styles lands a wheelbarrow facebuster for another near-fall.

Styles lifts Owens onto his shoulders and hits Ushigoroshi. Owens knocks Styles to the mat, then a superkick as AJ looked for a moonsault. Owens quickly grabs Styles and hits a pumphandle neckbreaker but AJ kicks out. The two trade blows until Owens flips AJ over the top rope – Styles lands on his feet and grabs the Champion but Owens stunners him onto the top rope and to the floor.

Owens climbs to the top rope but AJ climbs up with him and punches. AJ pulls Owens headfirst over the corner and into a Styles Clash position but Owens manages to land on his feet and slam AJ’s right leg into the ring post. Owens tosses AJ into the steel steps, then drags him back into the ring and hits a cannonball. Owens then pushes Styles to the apron but wraps his right leg between the ropes and hits a cannonball to AJ’s leg. Owens drags AJ to the centre of the ring and applies a single leg Boston crab. Owens then transitions to an Angle Lock but AJ drags himself to the bottom rope.

THIS. IS. AWESOME! #WWEBacklash #USTitle @FightOwensFight @AJStylesOrg pic.twitter.com/aCntDWu7Ub

— WWE (@WWE) May 22, 2017

Owens takes to the top rope and looks to hit a White Noise on Styles but the Phenomenal One rolls down and powerbombs Owens. Styles takes to the apron and looks for the Phenomenal Forearm but falls due to his injured leg. Owens hits a facebuster for a near-fall on Styles. The two trade blows again and AJ hits a Pele Kick. AJ takes Owens to the top rope but the Champion grabs him and hits a package suplex. Owens looks for a frog splash but Styles rolls to the apron. They fight on the apron and Styles catches Owens with a suplex right onto the edge of the ring.

Owens throws Styles over the barricade and into the timekeepers area. Owens poses around ringside until Styles appears out of nowhere and hits a Phenomenal Forearm from the barricade. Styles grabs Owens and drags him onto the announce table. Styles looks for the Styles Clash through the table but Owens climbs down and pulls AJ’s foot down and into the monitor hole. Owens slides back into the ring and AJ gets counted out!

Winner Via Count-Out: Kevin Owens

A helpless @AJStylesOrg looks on as @FightOwensFight exits the @AllstateArena with the #USTitle#WWEBacklash pic.twitter.com/hyBq0tvmX9

— WWE Universe (@WWEUniverse) May 22, 2017

We see footage from Erick Rowan on Talking Smack, where he requested this match. Harper comes out first.

Erick Rowan Vs. Luke Harper

Rowan picks up Harper and plants him in the corner for a series of punches as soon as the bell rinsgs. He keeps Harper reeling with constant offense. Harper fires back with some chops, but Rowan knocks him off the top rope and he hits the steps on the way down. Rowan slams Harper into the barricade and unleashes some punches before sending him back into the ring.

Rowan squeezes Harper’s head between his fists until Harper fights out. Rowan hits a nice dropkick to get a two count. I think the crowd are exhausted from the last match. Rowan climbs to the top turnbuckle for a splash, but Harper moves out of the way. They take the fight outside the ring where Harper takes control and starts slamming Rowan’s head into the announce tables. Luke gets back in the ring so he can hit a suicide dive. A big boot gets him a near fall back in the ring.

NOBODY HOME! @ERICKROWAN crashes and burns as he attempts splash from the top rope! #WWEBacklash @LukeHarperWWE pic.twitter.com/pmR3tylq2Z

— WWE Universe (@WWEUniverse) May 22, 2017

Rowan avoids a powerbomb and hits a spin kick. He hits a powerbomb of his own to get another two count. Rowan beats Harper down to the mat and Luke can’t get up. Rowan looks for another powerbomb but Harper reverses with a hurricanrana. They trade strikes until Harper gets the upper hand and hits a pair of superkicks. Rowan tries to psych himself up, but a spinning elbow from Harper gets the win.

Winner: Luke Harper

Jinder Mahal comes to the ring first, flanked by The Singh Brothers. The Champion is out next to a great reception.

With the @SinghBrosWWE in tow, #TheMaharaja @JinderMahal looks to take FULL ADVANTAGE of his #WWETitle opportunity! #WWEBacklash pic.twitter.com/LRnl6krHIe

— WWE Network (@WWENetwork) May 22, 2017

WWE Championship Match

(C) Randy Orton Vs. Jinder Mahal

The announcer is giving the introductions when Orton runs across the ring and attacks Jinder! He throws Mahal out of the ring and chases off the Singhs. He throws Jinder over an announce table before carefully moving JBL’s hat out of the way. The fans chant for Orton. He brings Mahal back in and the ref finally calls for the bell after the challenger has some time to recover.

The Maharaja looks really mad. They meet in the middle of the ring and trade punches but Orton gets the better of them. Randy almost hits an RKO, but Mahal rolls out of the ring. Orton grabs Mahal but Jinder yanks him hard into the ring apron. Jinder brings Orton inside the ring and applies an arm-triangle. Orton fights out and starts methodically beating Jinder down, stomping on his limbs and controlling the pace.

Jinder goes back to the shoulder with an armbreaker. He drops a knee across Orton’s chest before covering him for a two count. Mahal continues to focus on the arm of Orton. Randy sends him into the ring post to even the odds. The Viper takes Mahal to the top rope and hits a big superplex for a near fall. Orton starts to build some momentum, but Jinder hits a shot to the throat followed by a neckbreaker to get another two count.

Orton sends Mahal outside and hits a backbody drop onto the announce table. The Singhs block him from continuing his attack but Randy throws them out of the way. Mahal is able to send him into the ring post a few times. They roll back in the ring and Orton hits an RKO out of nowhere. The Singhs pull Jinder out of the ring to save him, so Orton takes them out once and for all. He launches both of them onto the announce tables with suplexes, and one of them practically lands on his head.

There’s no such thing as wasted motion for @RandyOrton#WWEBacklash #WWEChampionship @JinderMahal pic.twitter.com/EdFgXcRGJM

— WWE (@WWE) May 22, 2017

Orton drags one back into the ring and the other jumps onto the apron, so he hits the rope-hung DDT on both Singh Brothers. From behind Mahal comes from nowhere and hits the Cobra Clutch Slam for the pin to become the new WWE champion!

Winner and New WWE Champion: Jinder Mahal

Jinder Mahal is the new WWE Champion. I know it says that right above here but I could write it a thousand times and I still wouldn’t believe it. Jinder celebrates with his new title, taking it into the crowd, then stands atop the announce table with it.

.@JinderMahal has just DEFEATED @RandyOrton for the #WWEChampionship… and the @WWEUniverse is in SHOCK! #WWEBacklash pic.twitter.com/Qh9cyOcOIH

— WWE (@WWE) May 22, 2017

We see reaction shots of the crowd and they look genuinely shocked and saddened.  There is a lot of hands on heads as Mahal stands tall as your new Champion. Wow.

That’s it for Backlash. What did you think of the show? How about that ending? Let us know in the comments and be sure to come back here tomorrow night for Monday Night Raw! Until then, safe travels.

Tags: WWE Backlash
Curtis Dillion

Curtis does our weekly live match-by-match coverage of WWE RAW and SmackDown for Ringside News. In addition to SmackDown, Curtis also does WWE & NXT special event coverage as well. He has been helping out at for Ringside News for many years.

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