Well, the speculation can end now. WWE did the unthinkable and pulled the trigger.
Erick Rowan and Luke Harper have imploded after years of being part of the Wyatt Family together.
Seriously though, WWE put the WWE Championship, a 54-year-old title held by about 50 men (nearly half of whom are Hall of Famers), on longtime jobber-to-the-stars Jinder Mahal, a man who once lost to El Torito. It’s the kind of head-scratcher that makes you wonder how lucratice the India market really is, or how much Vince really loves throbbing veins showing on his wrestlers.
Beyond that, Backlash really didn’t offer much of note to viewers. It wasn’t a bad PPV in the sense that it was unwatchable, but it wasn’t something you would go back and watch later because your friends are talking about it. We saw Shinsuke Nakamura debut in the ring, and it was an average bout for him. We saw Sami Zayn pull off a victory. And we saw Randy Orton’s latest bland title reign come to an end, propelling Jinder Mahal to the top of the SmackDown food chain.
So what surprised and impressed fans, and what let them down and had them heading for a snack break? Let’s get to it…
OK, fair warning: We’re gonna hedge a little here.
Comedy acts have long been an integral part of WWE programming. Santino Marella was one of the most popular parts of Raw for a good while in the late 2000s. BookDust was extremely popular for a good while. The Hurricane was a great midcard act in the early 2000s. And the list goes on and on.
But one thing that gets frustrating is when a comedy act doesn’t know when to turn it off and get down to business. Typically, that would mean title matches. In this case, Fandango and Tyler Breeze taking on the Usos for the SmackDown Tag Team Championships. Breeze had been disguised (poorly) as a janitor in a skit from SmackDown, so naturally he came out dressed in the same costume at Backlash.
He then proceeded to wear the disguise during the match and continuously mop the apron and ring during the match. Now, if these antics paid off and the duo won the tag titles, then all would be forgiven. But Breezeango came up short, leaving you to wonder whether they could have won if they had just come out ready to fight.