Dot Net reader Chuck attended the WWE Backlash event in Chicago, Illinois on Sunday and sent the following report.
I missed the pre-show and came in just as the show was starting. The arena was full and loud all night. Well, most of the night.
Shinsuke Nakamura was way over. Dolph Ziggler had some decent heat all things considered. The match went longer then I thought but the crowd popped big for the finish. Ziggler sold the Kinshasa like he was shot. He was down for a long time.
It was a little odd that they showed the full Fashion Files from Smackdown rather then something new. The match was so fun in person. I never thought I’d hear chants for a mop or grandma, but, hey, it’s wrestling. If the crowd reaction is anything to go by I wouldn’t be shocked to see the Fashion Police get those belts in the future. I just hope whoever holds the titles make them mean something because so far no title run has felt important. I’m not sure how it played on TV, but the live crowd loved the comedy.
Baron Corbin vs. Sami Zayn was okay. Corbin was surprisingly over, especially with the younger kids. Corbin has improved so much since coming up to the main roster. The finish came out of nowhere but I liked the one Helluva Kick finish. It’s called a finisher for a reason WWE.
I couldn’t get over the small rug the Singh brothers brought out for Jinder to stand on. It was so tiny what was the point? It’s also pretty awkward for the crowd to boo when India is mentioned. Is this a good kind of heat for Jinder? Why is Jinder a heel for saying people boo him because he doesn’t look like them?
The six-woman tag was a little lackluster. Becky Lynch and Naomi were pretty over, but people didn’t really know how to treat Charlotte. James Ellsworth still has a lot of heat. There didn’t really seem to be a story and I’m not sure what happens from here. I would have preferred a title match. Or at least a tease of something between Naomi and one of her teammates. The funniest part was a little 5 year old behind me went crazy for Tamina for some unknown reason. Also, he was wearing a Wu-Tang shirt, so he’s basically my new hero.
Kevin Owens vs. AJ Styles was awesome… until the finish. A guy in front of me was a hero for popping a beach ball before it could make the rounds around the arena. It was an awkward finish in that it was hard to tell where the ref’s count was at. With everyone chanting 10, I lost track so the count out finish caught me by surprise. I wanted a clean finish but, Its probably to early in the feud for either man to win clean. Still, a dud finish to a great match.
Luke Harper vs. Erick Rowan suffered from card placement as well as lack of character for either man. This was the bathroom break for most people. I don’t know what happens to either man after this, but I like Harper and hope he develops a character outside of the Wyatts.
Jinder Mahal vs. Randy Orton had an entertaining ending with a surprising finish. The crowd was hot for Orton beating up the Singh brothers. The finish was unexpected and I don’t know how to feel yet. There are a lot of people on Smackdown who I would rather see with the title. I’m not sure if it came through on TV, but there was a loud “we want Rusev” chant for a portion of the match. I know mahal worked hard to get in the shape he’s in but he hasn’t really done much in ring or on the mic to get me excited. That said, we always say we want WWE to change things ups and going from Jobber to Champ is a big change. We’ll see where it goes.
As far as the crowd reaction goes for the title change, a lot of surprise and some good heat for Mahal. A fair amount of people liked the change and there was a fun chant for Mahal gear at the merch table.
Overall, a really fun show with a hot crowd. A few people tried to get s CM Punk chant going, but thankfully they were booed away.
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