WWE started off their separate branding tours. While the Raw brand stars were on an international tour competing in Shanghai, China, Smackdown Live stayed domestic. They went to Raleigh, North Carolina.
Here are the results:
- Rhyno & Heath Slater & Hype Bros & Jason Jordan def. The Vaudevillains & The Ascension & Baron Corbin
- Kane def. Bray Wyatt
- Apollo Crews def. The Miz
- Nikki Bella def. Carmella
- The Usos def. Breezango
- Becky Lynch & Naomi def. Natalya & Alexa Bliss
- Dean Ambrose def. AJ Styles & Dolph Ziggler
Chad Gable was not with Jason Jordan as they are going with the leg injury angle. Perhaps he will return to the house show circuit in 2-4 weeks, as Shane McMahon said on Talking Smack that he would be out for that long.
Although John Cena is part of Smackdown Live, he was on the international tour, as they needed their biggest name draws for their shows in London, Shanghai, Manila,etc. He is expected to return during the build up to No Mercy next month.
If AJ Styles is champion by Backlash, then it would make sense for him to rekindle that feud, this time for the world title. However, it is unlikely that he would win his prestigious 16th world championship, as it seems like he will be facing The Undertaker at Wrestlemania 33. So as of now, it looks like AJ Styles is still the long term plan to carry the blue brand.
Fans said that Naomi’s entrance is just as spectacular in house shows. She is competing for the Smackdown Women’s Championship at Backlash along with Carmella, Becky Lynch, Natalya, Alexa Bliss and Nikki Bella. It would be interesting to see her becoming the inaugural women’s champion on the blue brand.
It was originally reported that Nikki Bella was the favourite to win the championship. However, she is currently feuding with Carmella, so they may pick up the feud after Backlash.
It is unlikely that Becky Lynch will win, as she is said to be the long-term plan for Smackdown. Perhaps she could have her long-awaited coronation at Wrestlemania 33. It would make sense since Smackdown Live is focusing on long-term storytelling.
Whatever it is, whoever are the champions walking out of Backlash, it will dramatically affect the storytelling of Smackdown Live, and perhaps the house shows as well.