5/21 Powell’s WWE Backlash Kickoff Show: Tye Dillinger vs. Aiden English

By Jason Powell

WWE Backlash 2017 Kickoff Show
Aired live on WWE Network and social media
Chicago, Illinois at Allstate Arena

The pre-show team of Renee Young, Booker T, and Peter Rosenberg checked in from their usual spot on the arena floor…

Dasha Fuentes checked in form the social media lounge and said Sami Zayn would be her guest later in the show (he’ll answer the worst of the questions that fans submit via social media)…

A Shinsuke Nakamura video package aired. It featured footage of an artist painting and then went into his highlights and then shifted to footage of the build to his match against Dolph Ziggler…

The panel spoke about Nakamura making his debut. Booker spoke about his excitement to see his debut. He compared him to Great Muta in that he’s someone you heard about before finally seeing him. Rosenberg put over strong style. Booker said he took offense because that’s what he did twenty years ago. Rosenberg questioned when the last time a debut was this anticipated. Booker said Nakamura doesn’t have to say a word and yet he captivates viewers. Young spoke about getting goosebumps watching his entrance…

Footage aired of Renee interviewing Tye Dillinger about his match against Aiden English. Dillinger spoke about how he’s always loved Chicago. He was interrupted by Aiden English, who complained about Dillinger interrupting his singing. English said he will unveil “The Perfect Downfall” at Backlash. Dillinger said he would deliver him another beating and then tossed him a tissue. “You don’t have to cry about it,” Dillinger said…

James Ellsworth joined the pre-show panel and acted like he didn’t know Rosenberg. Ellsworth said he’s the homeboy of the Welcoming Committee. Rosenberg and Booker pushed Ellsworth for details about his relationship with Carmella. Ellsworth said she is his homegirl. He got a call from Carmella on his phone and said he had to leave. He waved to the fans and was booed…

-The next discussion was about Sami Zayn vs. Baron Corbin and the tag title match. Erick Rowan wandered onto the set, walked behind the hosts, and left without saying a word.

-Backstage, Dasha asked Ziggler if he was prepared for his match. He said he was and watched all of Nakamura’s matches. “Just kidding,” Ziggler added. He said Nakamura was somewhere in the back of the building nervous and questioning whether he would deliver. Ziggler said he would be the person who would actually deliver. Ziggler said he’d been told they would be the first match on Backlash and he would beat the hell out of Nakamura.

Powell’s POV: I iked the idea that Dot Net staffer Zack Zimmerman mentioned to me about headlining the show with Nakamura vs. Ziggler. It would send the right message about Nakamura being a top player. And without knowing what they have in mind for the other matches, it would also give them a chance to close the show on a positive note.

-A WWE Network video package aired and included footage of Goldberg’s WWE 24 documentary along with several additional shows… A video package aired on the U.S. Championship match…

-The hosts discussed the Kevin Owens vs. AJ Styles match for the U.S. Championship. Booker said it’s a dream match and everyone in the arena will remember where they were.

-Dasha interviewed Sami Zayn in the social media lounge. The first question was whether he feels he has a chance to beat Corbin. Zayn said he doesn’t think that question would be asked of John Cena. He said he’s been labeled an underdog. He said he can beat anyone on any given night and beating Corbin will help prove that. He was also asked if he’s had a better opportunity since moving to Smackdown, and having a positive attitude. He spoke about the competition of Smackdown, and he said he bounces back from tough losses well.

Powell’s POV: Zayn was pretty straight forward and didn’t seem to be playing into the neurotic persona they keep teasing.

-The broadcast team of Tom Phillips, JBL, and Byron Saxton checked in from ringside.

1. Tye Dillinger vs. Aiden English. Before the match, English introduced himself as being from Chicago, yet added that he couldn’t have been happier that he left. English sang. He was about to deliver an encore when Dillinger’s entrance music interrupted him. Dillinger worked the “10” gimmick and the crowd chanted along. English drew heat by yelling that it was his town. English performed a neckbreaker on Dillinger and put the boots to him in the corner. English performed a running elbow into the corner and took a bow heading into a commercial break.

Dillinger came back after the break and performed a flying forearm and additional strikes. Dillinger did the ten punches in the corner spot with the crowd chanting “10” each time. Dillinger pulled his kneepad down. English fled to ringside. Dillinger followed and brought him back inside the ring, but English chocked him on the top rope. English went up top only to be slammed from there. English went for a top rope splash, but English moved. English picked up a near fall and then got emotional over not getting the pin. English slammed Dillinger and went up top for a senton that Dillinger avoided. Dillinger performed the Tye Breaker for the win…

Tye Dillinger pinned Aiden English in 8:20.

Powell’s POV: Fine for a Kickoff Show match. I enjoy English’s crybaby gimmick more than the repetitive “10” gimmick, but I know I’m in the minority on that one.

-Young, Booker, and Rosenberg hyped WWE Extreme Rules and WWE Network. They also spoke about the Erick Rowan vs. Luke Harper match. Rowan showed up again and brought his sack of masks with him. Rowan took a seat between Young and Rosengerg and removed his mask. Rowan reached inside the sack and pulled out a mask, which he tore up and tossed aside. Rowan took Rosenberg’s pocket square and attached it to his main mask briefly before also tossing it aside and then walking away without saying a word…

-Young turned the focus to the WWE Championship match. Booker spoke about having Jinder Mahal on his radio show. Rosenberg said Randy Orton is so talented that there are times when he does get up for matches. Young cut off the conversation so that they could squeeze in a video package that focussed on Jinder becoming number one contender and his feud with Orton…

Join me for live coverage of WWE Backlash in a separate story on the main page.


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