Last night’s Backlash airing from Richmond pay per view set a benchmark. Be it Becky winning the SmackDown Women’s Championship, Slater and Rhyno winning the SmackDown Tag Team titles or AJ Styles winning the WWE World Championship, it was a night of firsts. It gave us a refreshing glimpse into the New Era that we had been promised for months.
The night ended with AJ Styles holding the gold above his head after defeating Dean Ambrose in a controversial manner to win the World Championship.
However, the pay per view went off the air in an anti-climactic turn of events as there were no dark matches to follow the pay per view. Many had expected John Cena to show up during or even after the event, but that was not to happen. After Backlash went off the air, the new WWE World Champion AJ Styles made his exit. Following this, former champion, Dean Ambrose too returned to the locker room as his music played.
Backlash being the first SmackDown exclusive pay per view was expected to be a huge hit among the fans. And the show didn’t disappoint. As Shane McMahon and Daniel Bryan said, SmackDown Live was given their crimson counterparts all they could handle. We had tangible proof of Backlash being a success based on a poll that WWE conducted briefly after the event aired. It is reported that 68% of fans on Twitter gave the pay per view a thumbs up.
Earlier, Becky Lynch became the first SmackDown Women’s Champion when she won the Six Pack Challenge after overcoming the likes of Alexa Bliss, Carmella, Naomi, Natalya and Nikki Bella. She tweeted the following after her win:
Slater and Rhyno also won the final of the tag team tournament to be crowned the first SmackDown tag team champions. This makes Health Slater the first person to hold both the RAW and SmackDown versions of the tag titles.
Miz retained his Intercontinental Championship with the assistance from his wife Maryse when she sprayed Ziggler with something allowing Miz to hit the Skull Crushing Finale for the three count.
But the story of the night has to be AJ Styles picking up the victory over Dean Ambrose. Styles created history by winning his first ever WWE Championship by beating Ambrose with a Styles Clash. The win, however, did not come clean for “The Phenomenal one” as he low-blowed Ambrose when the referee was not looking.