WWE Backlash Results – 22/05/17

WWE Backlash 2017 Results: Winners, Grades, Reaction and Highlights

SmackDown careened off the beaten path at WWE Backlash 2017.

Sunday’s pay-per-view climaxed with a cellar-dwelling Superstar achieving the victory of his career. Jinder Mahal won the WWE Championship from Randy Orton to complete one of the most stunning turnarounds in company history.

Tyler Breeze and Fandango couldn’t make that leap from the bottom rung to the brass ring. Erick Rowan couldn’t gather momentum to take him out of midcard purgatory. Mahal, though, did the unthinkable.

Talk of him defeating The Viper will drown out the deserved praise for AJ Styles and Kevin Owens’ showdown. Sami Zayn’s gutsy win and Aiden English’s better-than-expected showing may get lost, as well.

Which of these matches thrilled in Chicago? What stories compelled? The following is a breakdown of the Backlash PPV, from pre-show to main event.

Tye Dillinger vs. Aiden English (Pre-Show)
1 OF 8

Aiden English serenaded the Chicago crowd before getting to work in the ring.

He managed to ground Tye Dillinger early on, maintaining control after going after The Perfect 10’s arm. A methodical pace favored the heel.

Dillinger fired back to the delight of the fans.

Frustrated about not being able to put away his foe, English started to unravel, nearly crying mid-match. Dillinger pounced on the stricken singer and nailed the Tye Breaker for the win.


Dillinger wins via pinfall.

Memorable Moments and Quotes

English dons Starry Night-inspired tights.
English calls himself “the greatest thing this trash town will ever see.”
“This is my town!”—English.
English yanks Dillinger’s arm through the ring ropes.




This is the best English has ever looked.

He was the star of this short, solid bout. Had he worked more on Dillinger’s arm and been vicious throughout, he would have generated more heat, though.

Their feud has been minimally built and hasn’t feel significant. Getting the pre-show slot was proof of that.

English’s over-emotional gimmick will be his key to improving his stock.
Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Dolph Ziggler
2 OF 8

Ziggler glared at Nakamura as he strutted into the ring.

The rivals then wrestled on the mat where The Showoff remained wary of Nakamura. The King of Strong Style toyed with his opponent, showboating in between strikes.

As Nakamura reentered the ring, Ziggler swooped in on him, taking control from that point. Ziggler beat on the babyface with a measured attack.

A fiery comeback saw Nakamura leave Ziggler reeling.

The weary men traded momentum several times before Nakamura had to go in survival mode as he took Ziggler’s best shots. The former NXT champ battled back, kneed Ziggler out cold and scored the three-count.


Nakamura wins via pinfall.

Memorable Moments and Quotes

Crowd chants for Nakamura before his arrival.
Nakamura counters a pin attempt with a triangle choke.
Ziggler eggs on the crowd while prepping for a superkick.
Nakamura kicks out of the Zig-Zag.
Ziggler spits in Nakamura’s face.




Rather than go with a dominant win for Nakamura, WWE chose to make things more even. That choice led to more drama, but felt like a missed opportunity. Nakamura didn’t look like the ass-kicking warrior he could of.

Still, he and Ziggler told a solid story of a babyface fighting his way back.

The near-falls worked. The foes had chemistry they can build on.

Nakamura kicking out of the Zig-Zag is a nice notch on his belt. The win did manage to show off some offense, but we need to see him tear heads off folks in the future.

The Usos vs. Breezango (SmackDown Tag Team Championship)
3 OF 8

Dressed in a janitor’s outfit, Tyler Breeze flustered The Usos with a mop. The champs broke his cleaning implement, but were unable to break The Prince of Pretty himself.

The Usos managed to corner Fandango, punishing the dancer in their corner.

Breezango’s silly antics, though, threw The Usos off their game. Breeze dressed up like an old woman and nearly toppled them by way of Super Model Kick. Aggression beat out absurdity in the end as The Usos held off the challengers.


The Usos win via pinfall.

Memorable Moments and Quotes

Breeze mops the canvas while fans chant “Mop!”
Breeze changes into an old woman disguise.
The Usos hit a double-team flying chop/backbreaker combo.
The Usos fling Breeze into the stands.




Comedy juxtaposed violence in an odd ride of a match. The goofy aspects will turn off some fans, but it was an original contest brimming with fun.

Breezango got within milliseconds of a win. The Usos found themselves in the most bizarre battle of their careers. The crowd roared watching it all unfold.

WWE did well to keep folks interested in Breezango’s story and increase the magnitude of the duo’s potential eventual win.

Sami Zayn vs. Baron Corbin
4 OF 8

Baron Corbin hammered Sami Zayn in the early going. Zayn was able to knock Corbin out of the ring, but the battle left his back in pain.

The Lone Wolf attacked that vulnerable point.

Corbin squashed several of Zayn’s comeback attempts. He slowed the action, pounding on The Underdog from the Underground.

Zayn’s injured back held him back, but he gutted out the match, holding on after taking Corbin’s best shots. A Helluva Kick earned him the upset.


Zayn wins via pinfall.

Memorable Moments and Quotes

“It’s not like Baron Corbin needs a target, needs a bull’s eye.”—John “Bradshaw” Layfield.
“Why won’t you stay down?”—Corbin.
Corbin flips Zayn over with a running clothesline.




Strong storytelling led to an engaged crowd. Zayn played the babyface-in-peril role expertly; Corbin was great as the bloodthirsty predator.

There were a number of compelling moments here, but this was a few beats away from being great. It felt like a condensed version of Zayn’s top hits.

More bad blood brewing with this feud will make the sequel even better.

The Welcoming Committee vs. Charlotte Flair, Becky Lynch and Naomi
5 OF 8

James Ellsworth introduced his “homegirl” Carmella before the bout.

Tamina and Becky Lynch kicked things off for their respective teams. Charlotte Flair soon found herself in trouble in the heels’ corner. The Welcoming Committee took turns attacking her.

Naomi’s flurry ended early after Carmella chopped her down at the leg.

After the champion took a lot of punishment, chaos erupted around her. Everyone got involved, teeing off on each other.

Natalya eventually got the win for her team with a Sharpshooter.


The Welcoming Committee wins via pinfall.

Memorable Moments and Quotes

“I am the epitome of masculinity.”—Ellsworth.
Carmella tumbles out of the ring after missing a Bronco Buster.




The announcers did well to play up how cohesive the heels were together. Natalya’s crew, though, doesn’t feel like a real unit.

The action was fine, but not at the level we’ve seen from Flair and Lynch before.

There was too little teasing of the tension between Flair and Naomi. We didn’t see any of the hints of Flair re-embracing her dark side, either. As much action as the bout featured, not much of note happened.

Kevin Owens vs. AJ Styles (United States Championship)
6 OF 8

Owens vs. Styles opened with each man briefly grabbing hold of the momentum.

Styles’ speed allowed him to stay atop of KO. The champ, on the other hand, relied on a smashmouth style.

A back-and-forth match saw the foes leave each other drained. Despite his knee bothering him, The Phenomenal One scored a series of near-falls. Owens went after Styles’ bad wheel in response.

Owens mauled the challenger, maintaining his focus on the injured knee.

The match moved to the outside where Styles soared, but Owens nailed him with a low blow. Styles got his leg caught in the announce table, opening the door for KO to win by count-out.

The Prizefighter attacked Styles after the bell on his way out.


Owens wins via count-out.

Memorable Moments and Quotes

Fans chant “Stupid idiot!”
Owens dodges a moonsault and hits a superkick.
Owens hits a cannonball onto Styles’ leg.
Styles hits a powerbomb from the top rope.
Styles stumbles from the top rope as his bad knee gave out during a Phenomenal Forearm attempt.
Styles suplexes Owens onto the ring apron.




A big-time match from two big-time performers. This was everything fans were anticipating from these two.

The story of Styles gutting it out as his knee held him back clicked. Owens looked great as the predator and Styles thrived as he pushed the champ to his limits.

Momentum swings, intensity, desperation and stellar chemistry equaled a stunner in the squared circle.

And to hold something back for the inevitable sequel, WWE scripted a count-out ending. That’s not as satisfying as a decisive result, but it’s a smart way to move forward with this feud.

Luke Harper vs. Erick Rowan
7 OF 8

Erick Rowan slugged Luke Harper after the opening bell rang. He managed to bowl over his former Wyatt Family “brother” as the fight moved to the outside.

Harper charged back, trading shots with his foe.

Even though Rowan seemed to draw inspiration from his mask at ringside, he fell short. Harper hit a discus clothesline for the win.


Harper wins via pinfall.

Memorable Moments and Quotes

Rowan pulls Harper up to his feet by his beard.
Rowan misses a splash from the top rope.
Harper shoves Rowan in between the two announce desks with a suicide dive.
“That would have knocked out a dinosaur.”—JBL.




WWE has been showcasing Rowan more of late, spotlighting his bag filled with masks. Harper got the win, though, to even things up between them. The win didn’t feel important as their feud hasn’t gotten nearly enough attention to this point.

This was a solid slugfest that didn’t get a chance to hit its highest gear.

It’s clear these two could produce something memorable with more hype and ring time. WWE would be smart to take their story to weird places a la Orton vs. Bray Wyatt.

Randy Orton vs. Jinder Mahal (WWE Championship)
8 OF 8

Orton attacked Mahal during the introductions, clubbing him with right hands.

Once the bout officially began, a furious Mahal found himself on the receiving end of more of Orton’s offense. The Viper chased his foe out of the ring. That’s where Mahal gained the advantage with a cheap shot.

The Maharajah zeroed in on Orton’s shoulder, slowing the bout to a crawl.

Favoring his left arm, Orton fought back. He tangled with The Singh Brothers outside, leaving himself vulnerable to Mahal. In the chaos, Mahal beat The Viper with a full nelson slam.


Mahal wins via pinfall.

Mahal Champ

Memorable Moments and Quotes

Orton flings Mahal over the announce desk.
The Singh Brothers pull Mahal out of harm’s way after he took an RKO.
Orton slams both Singh Brothers onto the announce table.
“My God, hell has frozen over.”—Mahal.




WWE really did it. It went all in on the Mahal push. The company made shock value a priority, fast-tracking a low-rung star’s rise to championship status.

The match had a good supply of exciting moments. Many of which were courtesy of Orton. The Viper was an ass-kicking anti-hero here. Mahal, on the other hand, didn’t hold up his end so well.

The opening moments put a charge into the bout, one the rest holds threatened to ruin.

The result will have people talking, but he doesn’t appear to be capable of thriving in this spot. He’s a midcarder out of his comfort zone.

With the gold in his possession now, though, The Maharajah will have ample opportunity to prove WWE made the right choice.

Credit: Bleacerreport.com

All in all, a fantastic PPV which Bleacher Report covered perfectly as always! So thank you for that great write up on Backlash.

I for one cannot believe the WWE gave Mahal the title! Not because he didn’t deserve it… but because WWE don’t usually live up to the hype! But in this case, they did and boy did they shock everyone by doing it! So well done WWE! Mahal will make for an aweseme Heel WWE Champion!

The Maharajah era has begin!

Big Dave Sig