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Tuesday, September 20, 2016

The Rundown Slam: WWE Backlash 2016

09/18/2016 06:40:14 PM

I must say SmackDown Live has been topping the competition wars against Monday Night RAW here in this new era of the WWE so far. At least, for now; unless Clash of Champions will pull off a monumental run this coming Sunday.

Look: their first pay-per-view called Backlash may have run a bit longer than the usual set-up (which is 3 hours long), but the show is packed like SummerSlam to say the least. The arrangement of cards were solid from start to finish. The story lines behind them were crafted well (not that very well but at least way better than their RAW rival). 

And before we put the verdict into the entirety, let's take the rundown.

The kickoff match between Apollo Crews and Baron Corbin may appeared to be plotted by just mere minutes. But this seemed like a step-back of a bit to Crews – as similar to what has been the developments of Dolph Ziggler, a potential that either has yet to capitalize or just a wasted one at all. However, let's how far the new guys take it from there.

The six-pack challenge for SmackDown Women's Championship wasn't a bad way to start the main program; with all of the competitors proving their worth, and new breed of feuds unfolding inch by inch.

And while Becky Lynch emerged victorious at the end, it's nice to see Carmella and Nikki Bella earning the attention the most here. Say, Alexa Bliss may have been eliminated first during the contest, but look how far the evil-Cinderella-like story may have been inked into it soon.

Still, Becky Balboa got what she deserves. That being said, the Four Horsewomen has already reached their respective individual milestones. And somehow, women's revolution has taken another full throttle.

The Usos finally unraveled their darker side when they went out of the gorilla without face paint, donning black get-ups with white hoodies, and more vicious moves. But frankly, prior to winning the second match, I still don't like the way they were booked into this. Like typical-logically speaking, how on earth do the Usos even earned their slot there in the first place? They put Chad Gable into the stretcher after injuring his MCL. 

Though I get it: SmackDown writers have set the story for the rise of American Alpha into hitting a proverbial wall early in their career, but man, could've someone else in the lower-brackets deserved to be in the Usos spot? Like, let's say The Ascension or the Vaudevillains? Or maybe, in our hindsight, they weren't really effective as heels; and they are lacking thereof. That being said, the experiment of Usos as unleashing their devilish side worked this time around; after failing through their twin magic years ago.

And just when you thought The Miz wasn't a coward after successfully defending the Intercontinental Championship at Backlash, so were his wife Maryse. Of course, some naysayers would've say it's a mind game, pal. Yeah, right. And that shows behind every “great” man (or coward) is a woman of the same likeness. This, somehow, makes the A-lister couple the most despicable heel duo in WWE right now (Lana-Rusev who?). 

It's funny how both Dolph and Miz allegedly mocked CM Punk with the way how this match has started though.

The Randy Orton vs. Bray Wyatt match appeared to be a no-contest result due to a backstage assault. Funny, how ring announcer Gregg Hamilton became both a spokesperson of the authorities (and I mean, either GM Daniel Bryan, Commissioner Shane McMahon, or the SmackDown writers itself) and Wyatt himself. Perhaps that's how they shadowed Orton's health progress. There are rumored reports which says Randy was still having concussion issues related to the aftermath of his SummerSlam duel with Brock Lesnar.

And while the no-holds barred match versus Demon Kane appeared rush and had just an a-okay reception, but the finish somehow made for the fans – that is Randy hitting a sweet revenge to Bray en route to Kane's victory.

I must say the Tournament Finals for the SmackDown Tag Team Championship has made my night. It should've been the match of the night candidate. Like do you guys realized how the story of Heath Slater became one of the best tales the WWE has unveiled for this quarter of the year? The nobody-to-somebody one, I suppose. 

While we all get it that the team of Slater and Rhyno should lose the final match to the Usos (and still Slater earned the respect of Shane and DB by giving him a contract), I think we have seen that already during WrestleMania 32. And frankly, it's about time the one-man band should be taken by the WWE seriously. Yes, please, to say the least.

Hey, at least, this shows how efforts could be really paid off no matter how stupid it might seems in reality. Look at him right now – at least he's way better than his ex-partner Jinder Mahal right now.

I had a strange feeling about this match between Dean Ambrose and AJ Styles. While the crowd chants “This is Awesome,” it doesn't really appear that awesome to me for one reason or another. Maybe because some of us have foreseen that AJ Styles will already win this one anyway, and let's face it: Ambrose's WWE World Title run has gone very stale recently. He wasn't that really selling bumps unlike those days when he was chasing it. 

And the pre-match hype wasn't really selling very well to me. Like they were just all-comical talk but done little shoves. It looked like a transitional run for Styles to become the top guy and setting up the stage for his rivalry with (nonetheless) John Cena. Like no one can really fare well to AJ than the Cenation leader alone (at least, for now); that speaks why later on the was inserted in a triple threat match and has put any prejudicial takes on how this title picture goes on on some sets of huge question marks.

And maybe, Cena could help Ambrose raise the stock of his own by working with the tow of them soon. That being said, Backlash has opened the new world for SmackDown. And we mean stories and chapters of stories; making the the solid brand than what it used to be a few years ago.

I have to commend the trio of announcers for doing the great job for calling Backlash. Seriously, this is what Mauro Ranallo really needs – a big break in his WWE career so far. And with the partnership alongside the notable JBL and David Otunga (wait, he has yet to improve, though), there's no other trial that could question SmackDown Live's legitimacy as the dominating brand in the WWE right now.

Verdict: 8.6

Author: slickmaster | © 2016 september twenty-eight productions

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