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WWE News: What happened after SmackDown Live went off the air (05/09/2017)

Additionally there was a dark match that preceeded the tapings as well.

News 10 May 2017, 09:06 IST

Ziggler and Nakamura seem to be on a collision course for Backlash

What’s the story?

Tonight (May 9th) marked the end of WWE’s tour of Europe – at least, as far as it’s USA Network programming is concerned. Both before SDL got started and 205 Live finished up, the fans at London’s O2 Arena were treated to two big off-the-air matches: Aiden English vs. Tye Dillinger and Dolph Ziggler vs. Shinsuke Nakamura.

The background

Out of four dark match competitors, only half of them saw any time on the main program tonight. In yet another promo segment, Ziggler called out Nakamura, trying to goad him into a fight. 

When Nakamura accepted the challenge, Ziggler backed off, claiming they would fight on his terms. Dolph then attempted a cheap shot, leading the King of Strong Style to lay into the Show Off, ostensibly leading them into a match at Backlash. 

On the other side, Dillinger has faced English twice since making his Smackdown debut and has emerged victorious both times. Neither of them was seen on TV this week.

The heart of the matter

Before the cameras started rolling, Dillinger once again took on English and, like the previous two times, emerged the victor. After the tapings, Nakamura took on Ziggler (because why wait until a PPV when you can wrestle in front of the half of the crowd that didn’t leave during 205 Live?), and won following a kinshasa. 

What’s next?

It seems all but official that Nakamura will take on Ziggler at Backlash for his main roster TV wrestling debut. It’s less certain what the plan is for Dillinger – a match with English on the pre-show, perhaps? – but it’s doubtful that the WWE pushed him so hard and so far to leave him unutilised.

Author’s take

Props to Dolph Ziggler for helping make Nakamura look like the star the WWE is trying to build him into. To me, it feels like Ziggler is more interested in working outside the promotion and probably won’t re-sign when his contract us up, but is still helping where he can so he can leave the company on good terms. 

That’s just my thinking, though. They’re doing a good job of not bringing either of these guys up too fast. They brought up Finn Balor at light-speed and saw that backfire (through no fault of Finn’s, of course), so they’re clearly not rushing things now.

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