The Smackdown Live’s first official solo pay-per view, Backlash is set to be held this Sunday, 21st May, at the Allstate Arena in the Chicago suburb of Rosemont, Illinois. After the Superstar Shake Up held recently, there has been quite downfall in the TV-ratings of the blue brand and through this pay-per view, the brand will be looking to uplift the same. There are quite a number of interesting matches to look forward to. Here are some predictions for this event.
The Usos(C) vs. Breezango: Tag-Team Championship Match
Smackdown Live has been able to live up to their tagline ‘the land of opportunities’ by giving a push to perhaps one of the most talented yet underrated tag-team on their roster, Breezango. The duo of Tyler Breeze and Fandango suddenly got a push the previous Tuesday where they won a Beat the Clock Challenge over The Ascension, American Alpha, and The Colons to put themselves in the Championship Match against The Usos. The duo has been constantly knocking on the doors of such opportunity, only to be understood now by the WWE Creatives. And now since the talent of those two Fashion Police gimmicks have been discovered, they would be looking to make the most of this chance and emerge victorious. Also, the Usos had a heated up conversation with the No. 1 Contenders and the match looks promising. As far as the result is concerned, the Usos would probably have a clean victory over their rivals, only to have an even more intense rivalry later in the year.
Charlotte, Becky and Naomi(C) vs. The Welcoming Committee
(Six Women Tag Team Match)
The Blue Brand looks to have made a foolish decision to not have a one-on-one Women’s Championship Match on their first exclusive pay-per view, and what awaits for the fans is a match where all the women of the roster are involved. The three top-faces take on the trio of Natalya, Tamina and Carmella (with James Ellsworth) where the former three look obvious winners if none of them turns back against each other. There is a real possibility of “The Queen” Charlotte turning heel during or after the match and that would probably decide whether they win or lose. The other thing here that would possibly happen here will be the start of a feud between Becky Lynch and James Ellsworth which looks quite on cards if we look back at the previous episodes of Smackdown.
AJ Styles vs. Kevin Owens(C): US Championship Match
Since the time when Raw and Smackdown split, there has been one man in the blue lights that has never stepped down on big occasions and has delivered “Match of the Year” candidates pay-per view to pay-per view – AJ Styles. This man has had the greatest debut year in the history of the company and Smackdown is clearly a house that “AJ Styles built”- as he correctly says so.
On the other hand, Kevin Owens has worked the entire previous year on Raw with one of the G.O.A.Ts Chris Jericho where he formed an alliance with him only to break it afterwards. He won over Chris Jericho cleanly in the recent edition of Smackdown to win the US Title to become “The Face of America” and now that AJ Styles is the No.1 Contender for the title, these two are set to provide another “Match of the Year” candidate and this match would clearly be one of the highlights of this Sunday blast. Since WWE has just begin with Kevin Owens as “Face of America” gimmick, he would emerge victorious here, but only by small margins and AJ would be a favourite throughout the match.
Randy Orton(C) vs. Jinder Mahal (along with Singh Brothers): WWE Championship
It comes as a bit of a shock to see Jinder Mahal being given such a major push by WWE as he now stands in the main event of the pay-per view competing for the greatest silverware of the company. Although Jinder is in the best shape of his life, but WWE maybe did too much in too short time when on 18th April, in a Six Pack Challenge for the No.1 Contender for WWE Championship where Sami Zayn looked the most probable winner and was about to deliver a helluva kick, OUTTA NOWHERE came The Singh brothers and left the WWE Universe in shock. Since then, Jinder Mahal and Randy Orton have been locked in a fierce rivalry which heated up on the Raw exclusive event as Jinder costed Randy a “House of Horrors” match against Bray Wyatt. As WWE looks to extend to India, Jinder seeks to become the new face of WWE which might be the tactics the company may resort to in order to develop strong grounds in our country.
Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Dolph Ziggler: The Main Event
On the April 4 episode of Smackdown, NXT’s Shinsuke Nakamura made his main roster debut by interrupting The Miz and Maryse, who were both transferred to Raw the following week. On the next Smackdown, Nakamura interrupted Dolph Ziggler’s in-ring promo. Ziggler attempted a superkick on Nakamura, but Nakamura countered and Ziggler retreated. On the April 25 episode, Ziggler interrupted Nakamura’s in-ring interview by Renee Young. After the two traded barbs, Ziggler attacked Nakamura, who retaliated with an Inverted Exploder Suplex on Ziggler, who retreated. It was then announced that Nakamura would have his Smackdown in-ring debut at Backlash against an unknown opponent. On the May 2 episode of Smackdown, Ziggler criticized Commissioner Shane McMahon and General Manager Daniel Bryan for hyping Nakamura for Backlash, even though he had not had a match on an episode of SmackDown yet. The following week, Ziggler cut a promo touting his accomplishments before calling out Nakamura. Nakamura called for a referee, but before the match could begin, Ziggler backed out and said he would face Nakamura at Backlash and then attacked Nakamura, but Nakamura overpowered Ziggler. This rivalry, while not yet having a single match, has been quite an intense one and would give WWE something to work on after the pay-per-view where the in-ring debutant will without-doubt emerge victorioius.
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