The Backlash from Backlash: What’s Next for Smackdown

They actually did it, you guys. The absolute madmen, they actually did it. Jinder Mahal beat Randy Orton at Backlash to become the WWE Champion. Not only that, but he is the 50th person to hold the title. He’s now in the same league as men like The Rock, Stone Cold, Bret Hart, and Hulk Hogan. 

Meanwhile, Kevin Owens retained the US title by trapping AJ Styles’ leg in an announce table. Natalya beat Becky Lynch (no surprise there) to pick up a victory for the Welcoming Committee. Shinsuke Nakamura finally had a match. Obviously all of these have repercussions and consequences, so let’s try to figure out how the Smackdown environment will change.


The Tag Team Division

Unfortunately, Tyler Breeze and Fandango were not able to pick up a win (and the Smackdown Tag Team Championship) at Backlash. They lost to the Usos, who resorted to sort of underhanded tactics to win. This “tainted” win will most likely mean that this feud is not over.

Unfortunately it really feels like the tag team division is spinning its wheels until the New Day can arrive. While they put on quite a match and won our hearts, Breezango ultimately feel like placeholder contenders to be fed to the Usos while New Day is on hold. With the Hype Bros out and American Alpha MIA (hopefully doing a hard reset), there was clearly no one else left to challenge the Usos. 

This most likely means that Breezango gets one more match and then brutalized to give the Usos some heat. With the ever looming threat of the New Day hanging over the tag division, I expect the Usos will be keeping the titles warm for the them to take.


The United States Championship

Kevin Owens barely won the match. After securing a count-out victory, Owens proclaimed that he was better than AJ Styles. Styles, of course, will not take that lying down. He will most likely demand a rematch. Not that there’s anything wrong with that as they put on a great match.

Maybe at Money in the Bank, Styles and Owens will lock horns again. Hopefully this time there will be a decisive winner. The question is, will it be AJ Styles or will Kevin Owens hold onto the gold?

Styles has just come off one of the best debut years in recent history. He debuted in a WWE Championship match, was in the main event of two pay-per-views within the first four months of his WWE career, beat John Cena clean as a whistle, and became WWE Champion. Meanwhile Kevin Owens became Universal Champion, was unable to successfully defend it without interference, and lost to Goldberg in under 30 seconds. Who needs a win more?

I feel that Owens will retain the US title, which will free up Styles to re-enter the WWE title picture. That’s already starting to look crowded, but in a good way. Meanwhile Owens can defend the title against Sami Zayn or Tye Dillinger. Both of those programs show promise.

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