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MAJOR TITLE CHANGE AND MORE: COMPLETE WWE BACKLASH COVERAGE

By Mike Johnson on 2017-05-21 19:00:00

Welcome to PWInsider.com's live, ongoing coverage of WWE Backlash 2017 from Chicago, IL at the Allstate Arena.

KICKOFF SHOW

The Kickoff panel is Renee Young, Booker T and Peter Rosenberg.

James Ellsworth joined the panel to talk up the Welcoming Committee going into tonight's six woman tag team match.  He said he has credibility from beating AJ Styles three times and strategize their victories.  He said Carmella has two victories over Naomi and wants a Smackdown Women's championship match for her.    They pressed Ellsworth on the nature of his relationship with Carmella and Ellsworth tried to deflect it by saying she was his home girl,  then claimed she was calling him on his cell phone and walked off.

As the panel was discussing the Smackdown Tag Team championship match, Erick Rowan wandered around the panel's table, looking down upon everyone as they silently wondered what he was going to do.

Backstage, Dolph Ziggler was asked if he was prepared.  He said he was, saying he scouted all of Shinsuke Nakamura's matches, but then said he really hadn't because there are no tapes, because in Ziggler's mind, Shinsuke doesn't exist.  He said they are opening the show and he's going to put on a clinic and he feels bad for everyone who has to follow him, because he's going to beat the crap out of Nakamura.  He said that he feels bad for all the fans who are going to be here waiting to chant for Nakamura and said to remember that he "told you so."

Dasha Fuentes had Sami Zayn in the social media lounge.  He was asked if he had a chance to beat Baron Corbin last night.  Zayn said that he feels like that wouldn't be asked of John Cena.  He said there's a label on him as an underdog but on any given night, he can beat anyone.  He was asked if he's gotten better opportunities since he's come to Smackdown.  He said there's been more opportunities to mix it up with more amazing competitors and he's had fresh opportunities and that's a good thing.  He was asked what was the secret to having a positive attitude.  He said that he doesn't know he always has one, but he he tries to remember that you can't live or die in the moment of what happens that night and to remember it's about the long scheme of things.

Aiden English vs. Tye Dillinger

English did his Broadway style singing entrance, knocking his hometown of Chicago in the process.  Nice reaction for Dillinger.   Some decent wrestling early on.  Dillinger got caught with an elbow.  Aiden tried to drill him with punches but Dillinger slipped up and drove him into the buckles.  English cut him off with a nice neckbreaker and stomped away at him.  

When they returned from commercial, English was still kicking away at Dillinger in the corner.   He continued to control Tye with a standing rear chinlock.   Dillinger fought back band used an inverted rollup for a two count.  He followed up with an atomic drop and several hard chops.  Dillinger nailed a leaping forearm and some kicks and knee strikes.  Tye drilled him with punches in the corner.

English drilled him and went to the top but was caught and slammed off.  Dillinger went for a splash but missed.  English slammed him but only garnered a two count.     English began to get emotional that things weren't going his way.  He slammed Dillinger and ascended to the top but missed a swanton bomb.  Dillinger scooped him up and drilled English with the Tye-Breaker for the pin.

Your winner, Tye Dillinger!

Good action all the way through.  Exactly what an opening match should be.

Rowan returned to the panel and joined them.  He put on a mask and began tormenting Rosenberg before walking off again.

WWE BACKLASH 2017

Dolph Ziggler vs. Shinsuke Nakamura

Ziggler and Nakamura went back and forth.  Shinsuke was way over, with the audience chanting his name before his entrance even began.  Nakamura nailed several knees and worked over Ziggler's arm.  Ziggler was able to gain control and worked over his arm.  Ziggler charged Nakamura but was drilled with a knee.   Ziggler went to the floor, where Nakamura followed and worked him over.  Nakamura brought him back to the ring but Ziggler cut him off and nailed a neckbreaker as he returned to the ring.

Ziggler ripped at Nakamura's face and eyes before cinching in a side chinlock.   Nakamura fought back and tossed him off but was caught with a dropkick for a two count before he could even try to mount any offense.  Ziggler continued to control the match, drilling him with his elbowdrop.  Ziggler began browbeating Nakamura verbally and headbutt him as the crowd tried to rally Shinsuke.  Nakamura cut off an Irish whip attempt and drilled Ziggler with a spinkick.   Nakamura set up Ziggler on the top and nailed a kick to his exposed mid-section for a two count.

Nakamura was trying for a move when Ziggler back elbowed him.  He covered Nakamura who trapped him in a triangle choke.  Ziggler made it to the ropes.  Ziggler cut off Nakamura and hit a big DDT for a two count.  Ziggler followed up with the Famouser but Nakamura kept kicking out.   Ziggler set up for the superkick but Nakamura escaped.  Ziggler snapped him with the Zig Zag but Nakamura kicked out of that as well.

The crowd was chanting for Nakamura to make the comeback at this point, but Ziggler pulled him in for a piledriver attempt.  Nakamura escaped and began whipping out all his kicking offense.  Nakamura went for the reverse exploder but Ziggler landed on his feet and superkicked him in the back of the neck.   Ziggler covered him for a two count.  They went back and forth.  Ziggler spit in his face, which seemed to make Nakamura wake up with all sorts of kicks and a knee to the side of the head while Ziggler was draped against the bottom rope.

Nakamura went to the top rope and tried to go for a Kinshasa but Ziggler moved.  He went after Nakamura, but was nailed with an exploder.  Nakamura KO'd Ziggler with the Kinshasa for the pin.

Your winner, Shinsuke Nakamura!

A good match technically but too slow and too much Nakamura being kicked around.  The build of the booking really set up Nakamura just going all out and kicking the hell out of Dolph but it never happened and instead, this was more of a 50/50 back and forth match.  Ziggler is very good in the ring but he's been treated forever like he's scorched Earth, so watching Nakamura have to struggle to beat him felt more like undercutting the former NXT champ as opposed to setting him up with a strong debut.  The good news is that Nakamura is so over that it probably won't be an issue either way, but I feel like this was just OK as his first match when it should have been a great one.  The big moment of Nakamura's arrival was lost here.

They showed AJ Styles preparing in the back for Kevin Owens.

WWE Smackdown Tag Team champions The Usos vs. Breezango.

They aired the most recent Fashion Files video before the match and had Breeze come out in the janitor outfit.  He stood in the corner with the mop, which looked pretty idiotic.

Fandango started off.  Breeze quickly tagged in and mopped the ring.  Jey Uso tripped over the mop.  Uso tried to charge him but the mop got pulled up and he ran into it.  Yes, really.  Uso attacked Breeze from behind as he played to the crowd, then broke the mop.  Go Usos!  Usos went to the ropes to nail a splash but Breeze kept rolling to the other side of the ring.  Uso went to the other side but rinse, repeat.

Breeze finally surprised him with a kick and tagged out to Fandango.  Jey Uso nailed him, then drilled Breeze on the apron.   Jimmy Uso tagged in and fired away with chops.  Breeze returned to the apron dressed like a grandmother. They were trying to put over that Breeze was a master of disguise.  That movie was awful when Dana Carvey starred in it.  The crowd chanted "Let's go Grandma."  JBL had a funny line that Moolah was back from the dead.  Uso went to nail Breeze but he sent them into the corner and did the Bronco Buster.  Wow, this was pretty goofy and bad but the crowd was reacting to it.

Uso cut off Breeze and wiped him out.   Jey nailed a hip attack in the corner.    He went for a Stinger Splash but Breeze moved and Uso hit his head on the top of the ring post.   Breeze tagged out to Fandango, who nailed a series of rights but dropped his head and Uso caught him with an uppercut.    Fandango fired back with chops.   He nailed a tornado DDT off the ropes for a two count.

Breeze and Fandango went for a double back suplex but Jey Uso landed on his feet and wiped out Fandango.  The Usos doubleteamed Breeze, who kicked out.    They worked over Tyler in the corner but Breeze tricked one of them into superkicking the other and scored a two count.   Breeze went for a dive off the apron but was caught and slammed down into the barricade, bouncing into the first row.  Fandango nailed a dive onto the Usos but back in the ring the Usos cut him off and scored the pin.

Your winners and still WWE Smackdown Tag Team champions, The Usos!

Pretty much all comedy early on.  The action towards the end was fine but nothing major here.  Just a weird hybrid of a bad SNL skit and a wrestling match.

Coverage continues on Page 2!


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