WWE Backlash: What in the sam hill was that crap?
The match between Roman Reigns and Samoa Joe, neither of whom holds a belt, or has been close in a while, was put in the main-event slot, following a tag match with Braun Strowman, the hottest wrestler in the company, and Bobby Lashley defeating Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn.
I’ve been a WWE Network subscriber from the get-go, back in 2014. Last night was the first live event on the Network that I didn’t watch to the finish.
And it’s now two straight underwhelming Network live events, on the heels of the Greatest Royal Rumble, which was basically just a really, really, really good house show, with no title changes or advancements in storylines.
No titles changed hands last night at Backlash, either. The Styles-Nakamura match ended with both unable to answer the 10-count after each struck the other with simultaneous low blows, a finish I don’t know that I’ve seen, sure, but also one that I’m not sure I needed to see.
Carmella defended her Smackdown women’s championship with a clean win over Charlotte Flair, putting to question the move to have Flair be the one to end Asuka’s long unbeaten streak at WrestleMania, if she’s going to job out to a much-lesser talent thereafter.
The Nia Jax-Alexa Bliss match for the Raw women’s title was good, but predictable. Jeff Hardy’s successful defense of his United States title against Randy Orton was predictable, and not good.
The best match of the night was the opener, a win for Intercontinental champ Seth Rollins over former IC champ The Miz, but you could have turned in for the night after that one, roughly around 8:45 p.m. Eastern, and gotten your money’s worth.
I think I’ll take the next few weeks off from Raw and Smackdown, to let the creative team get things working again, with an eye toward the June 9 New Japan megamatch between Kazuchika Okada and Kenny Omega.
Review by Chris Graham