The Phenomenal Champ.
The 12th edition of WWE Backlash was a SmackDown Live exclusive event and it came to you, live on the WWE Network, from the Richmond Coliseum in Richmond, VA. On what promises to be a historic night for SmackDown Live and the entire WWE, the most prestigious championship in WWE would be on the line at Backlash as the unpredictable Dean Ambrose would put the WWE World Championship on the line against the self-proclaimed “Face That Runs The Place” AJ Styles. Since being drafted to SmackDown Live in the WWE Draft, AJ Styles has been on a meteoric rise to the top of SmackDown Live, assisted greatly by his second one-on-one victory over John Cena at SummerSlam. Now “The Phenomenal One” will look to get his first taste of gold in WWE when he challenges Dean Ambrose for the top prize on SmackDown Live at Backlash. Can Styles be the one to dethrone the wild champion or will Dean Ambrose continue to reign atop SmackDown Live as the WWE World Champion?
At SummerSlam, the world was shocked by what transpired in the match between Randy Orton and Brock Lesnar when “The Beast” brutalized Orton, leaving “The Viper” bloodied and defeated in the middle of the ring. After ten staples to the head to close the wound caused by Brock Lesnar, Randy Orton would be on SmackDown Live just two nights later to address his match at SummerSlam, but that is when “The Viper” would find himself confronted by a Superstar who may be just as unhinged as Randy Orton and that is Bray Wyatt. “The Eater of Worlds” would prey on Orton’s loss to Lesnar, declaring that Orton is just a “man” and that, now, Bray Wyatt is the “predator”. Bray’s bold claims would be put to the test at Backlash as Bray Wyatt would go one-on-one with “The Viper” Randy Orton!
In the history books of professional wrestling, tag team wrestling has long been a staple of the sport with legendary teams such as The Wild Samoans, The Hart Foundation, Demolition, The Legion of Doom, The New Age Outlaws, Edge & Christian, The Hardy Boyz, The Dudley Boyz, The Brothers of Destruction, Los Guerreros and countless others all making history in their own right and, at Backlash, a new history would begin with the crowning of the first ever SmackDown Tag Team Champions. The result of an eight-team tournament, it appeared as though the Finals for the tournament were set this past Tuesday night on SmackDown Live when American Alpha defeated The Usos in record time to advance to face Heath Slater & Rhyno for the titles. However, The Usos would make sure that did not happen as Jimmy & Jey would viciously assault Chad Gable to the point that he was unable to compete at Backlash, forcing SmackDown Live Commissioner Shane McMahon to take American Alpha out of the Finals and make an impromptu 2nd Chance Match for the same night as The Usos will face The Hype Bros at Backlash and the winners of that match will advance to the Finals later that night to face Heath Slater & Rhyno for the SmackDown Tag Team Titles!
Throughout the years, there have been a long list of legendary champions in the Women’s Division from The Fabulous Moolah to Wendi Richter to Trish Stratus, Lita, Jacqueline, Michelle McCool, and countless others, but only a select few women can say that they were the first champion. At Backlash, one woman will make that history and, at Backlash, all six women in the Women’s Six Pack Elimination Challenge all have something to prove as Becky Lynch, Natalya, Carmella, Naomi, Alexa Bliss, & Nikki Bella will all compete with the winner being crowned the first ever SmackDown Women’s Champion. For Becky Lynch, winning the SmackDown Women’s Title would be the apex of her career and a worthy prize for years of hard work. For Natalya, winning the title means proving to the world that she is still the best and that she truly has the heart of a champion. For Carmella and Alexa Bliss, winning the title means proving that they belong in the same title picture as every other woman on the roster. For Naomi, the SmackDown Women’s Championship represents all of the hard work and missed opportunities she has endured in her WWE career and it also represents a new beginning atop the SmackDown Women’s Division. For Nikki Bella, the championship means completing a miraculous comeback story as Nikki aims to go from having a career threatening neck injury last year to taking back her spot as a champion. Also at Backlash, the Intercontinental Championship would be up for grabs between two bitter and familiar rivals as The Miz would defend the Intercontinental Title against “The Show Off” Dolph Ziggler.
- Kickoff Exclusive: Baron Corbin def. Apollo Crews by pin following the End of Days.
- SmackDown Women’s Championship: Women’s Six Pack Elimination Challenge: Becky Lynch def. Carmella, Nikki Bella, Natalya, Naomi, & Alexa Bliss to become the first ever SmackDown Women’s Champion.
- Naomi elim. Alexa Bliss by pin following a super blockbuster powerbomb by Naomi & Natalya.
- Natalya elim. Naomi by submission to the Sharpshooter.
- Nikki Bella elim. Natalya by pin following the TKO.
- Carmella elim. Nikki Bella by roll-up.
- Becky Lynch elim. Carmella by submission to the Dis-Arm-Her.
- SmackDown Tag Team Championship Tournament: 2nd Chance Match: The Usos def. The Hype Bros by Zack Ryder tapping out to Jimmy Uso’s single leg Boston Crab to advance to the Finals.
- Intercontinental Championship: The Miz (c) (with Maryse) def. Dolph Ziggler by pin following the Skull Crushing Finale after Maryse sprays something in the eyes of Dolph Ziggler to retain.
- Bray Wyatt def. Randy Orton by forfeit after Randy Orton was not cleared to compete.
- No Holds Barred Match: Kane def. Bray Wyatt by pin following the chokeslam after an RKO from Randy Orton.
- SmackDown Tag Team Championship Tournament: Finals: Heath Slater & Rhyno def. The Usos by Heath Slater pinning Jimmy Uso following the Gore by Rhyno to become the first ever SmackDown Tag Team Champions.
- WWE World Championship: AJ Styles def. Dean Ambrose (c) by pin with the Styles Clash following a low blow to win the WWE World Title.
See page 2 for detailed results.