Billi Reports: WWE Backlash 2017 match card already looks stacked
Backlash already looks like a stacked side with two possible match of the year contenders. Orton vs Jinder isn't one of those contenders.
What's the story?
As revealed on the “Dirty Sheets’ Podcast, via our “DS Breaking News” show, the first televised SmackDown Live match between Shinsuke Nakamura and Dolph Ziggler, along with Kevin Owens vs AJ Styles and Randy Orton vs Jinder Mahal will be the top 3 matches, on what appears to be a stacked card, at SmackDown Live's Backlash PPV on May 21st.
You can listen to the Podcast here, by opening the Soundcloud link, below (length: 7 minutes and 44 seconds).
In case you didn't know...
Nakamura debuted on SmackDown on April 4th. However, despite facing Dolph Ziggler on house shows and dark matches, their first encounter will be saved for Backlash.
Meanwhile, Jinder Mahal was crowned the No.1 for the WWE Championship last night on SmackDown after winning a six pack challenge and AJ Styles was crowned the No.1 contender for the US Championship in the week before when he won a triple-threat match. They will receive their title matches at Backlash.
The heart of the matter
With three matches on the card already set, and both the Nakamura vs. Ziggler and AJ Styles vs. Kevin Owens matches likely to be given ample time, there will only be room for four more matches on the card. They are likely to be The Usos defending their titles, a Naomi title defence and matches featuring Charlotte and Baron Corbin.
Backlash will go down on Sunday 21th May. This will be SmackDown’s first brand-exclusive PPV since WrestleMania 34 and the “Superstar Shake-up.” It will take place in Chicago, IL. The Chicago crowd are likely to give the likes of Styles, Owens and Nakamura a tremendous reception.
Nakamura is the most unique and charismatic talent in the WWE. Holding off his debut until Backlash and facing an established opponent makes him seem much more special.
It previously worked for Nakamura in NXT, when he debuted against the established Sami Zayn. If they follow the blueprint of his NXT run, he should have a very solid year. It will be a toss up between Nakamura vs. Ziggler and Styles vs. Owens for match of the night. However, you can be certain that both matches will be excellent.
As for the rest of the card, if I was to speculate, I would say that it’s likely that The Usos will be paired up with The New Day, while Naomi could face Carmella. Carmella was at one point pencilled in to win the SmackDown Women’s Championship at WrestleMania and begin a program with Naomi.
It is unlikely to be Naomi vs. Charlotte at Backlash, as it appears that the WWE may be turning Charlotte babyface. Therefore Charlotte could face either Tamina or Natalya. The only suitable opponents for Baron Corbin appear to be Sami Zayn, Tye Dillinger or Mojo Rawley.
I expect it to be Zayn. Another possible match could see Luke Harper vs. Rowan, which could be relegated to the pre-show, given that the card is heavily stacked. I expect the likes of Tye Dillinger, Mojo Rawley, American Alpha and Becky Lynch not to feature, which may surprise some.
However, as it stands, only the top 3 matches are finalised and the WWE may shorten matches to get more people on the card.
So the WWE Backlash 2017 Match Card looks like this as of now:
- Nakamura vs Dolph Ziggler
- The Uso vs The New Day
- Naomi vs Carmella
- Charlotte vs Tamina or Natalya
- Sami Zayn vs Baron Corbin
- AJ Styles vs Kevin Owens (c) for the US Championship
- Randy Orton vs Bray Wyatt (Not for the WWE Title)
Be sure to check out my Podcast, “The Dirty Sheets” for the latest breaking news, along with rumours and in-depth analysis. It is available via iTunes.
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