7 Things WWE Got Right At Backlash 2017

Things just got a little more interesting on the blue brand...

AJ Styles Kevin Owens

Of all the wrestling stories of 2017, Jinder Mahal's ascension from jobber to WWE Champion may well be the most shocking. It isn't even close, is it? This time last year not a single wrestling fan could have said what Jinder was up to, at least not without the aid of Google.

Times have changed: Jinder is now the WWE Champion.

For such a newsworthy show, WWE Backlash 2017 was as average as a pay-per-view gets. Sure, there were plenty of memorable moments - Shinsuke Nakamura made his in-ring main roster debut, Jinder's won, Owens vs. Styles - but they all happened at a decidedly so-so event.

Despite this, it can't be denied that things look pretty interesting on SmackDown as 2017 progresses. Backlash wasn't a great show, but it ticked the necessary boxes to pique interest in the blue brand moving forward. It might have been a little underwhelming, but WWE still got plenty right last night in Chicago.

7. Opening With Shinsuke

Shinsuke Nakamura Dolph Ziggler

A lot of the advertising for Backlash centred around the main roster in-ring debut of Shinsuke Nakamura. It was somewhat surprising therefore that Nakamura vs. Dolph Ziggler opened up the pay-per-view proper. It was the right thing to do - it guaranteed a hot crowd from the get-go, and maybe released some of the potential pressure on the shoulders of Nakamura going forward.

The match itself was a disappointment. Nakamura rightly picked up the win, but the former NXT Champion lost a little by having such a competitive match with a non-entity. You can see what WWE was going for - showcasing Nakamura by putting him in the ring with one of the best wrestlers on the roster. It worked in NXT - surely it was going to work here?

The difference between NXT Sami Zayn and SmackDown Live Dolph Ziggler is clear for all to see however. Nakamura winning was clearly the right move, but The Showoff pushed the King of Strong Style a little too much last night. Still, an average Nakamura match is still a very good match.


Born in the middle of Wales in the middle of the 1980's, John can't quite remember when he started watching wrestling but he has a terrible feeling that Dino Bravo was involved. Now living in Prague, John spends most of his time trying to work out how Tomohiro Ishii still stands upright. His favourite wrestler of all time is Dean Malenko, but really it is Repo Man. He is the author of 'An Illustrated History of Slavic Misery', the best book about the Slavic people that you haven't yet read. You can buy it at the link below... anillustratedhistoryofslavicmisery.wordpress.com