WWE Backlash will be the first SmackDown pay-per-view after both WrestleMania and the Superstar Shake-Up and with the revelation that Jinder Mahal will be contending for the WWE Championship at the event, things are already getting weird so let’s put the rest of the card together. We’re running with the assumption Randy Orton and Kevin Owens will retain their titles at Payback.
Pre-Show: Aiden English versus Sin Cara
Aiden English deserves a chance as a single’s competitor. He’s charismatic, got a unique look and is actually a really good singer. Give him a singles victory on the pre-show and let him show what he can do.
Winner: Aiden English
WWE Championship Match: Randy Orton versus Jinder Mahal
There’s no way this match can main-event the show. Have Jinder Mahal announce he wants his WWE Championship opportunity at the start of the show in order to ruin the pay-per-view for everyone in attendance, crushing their dreams in the first hour. Give the WWE credit for doing something unexpected and fresh here. Throwing Jinder with the Bollywood Boys is something that could be really interesting long-term, even if his push doesn’t go beyond Backlash. Give him 15 minutes to show what he’s capable of, use the Bollywood Boys and give Mahal a few near-falls to spook the crowd. Orton, of course, is retaining.
After the match, the Bollywood Boys and a recovering Jinder attack Orton to get some heat back. Then the New Day storm the ring, making their SmackDown debut, and clear the ring.
Winner: Randy Orton
Luke Harper versus Erick Rowan
These two deserve a pay-per-view singles match. The two former Wyatt’s going at it to settle all of their bad blood. We know they can put on a good, heavy-hitting match and this is a way to get Luke Harper a clean pay-per-view win. After the match, Harper picks up his fallen brother and the two embrace. From here, they can be a dominant babyface tag team.
Winner: Luke Harper
SmackDown Tag Team Championship Match: The Usos versus The Colons
This is essentially a heel versus heel match, but considering American Alpha are well and truly out of the title picture at this point, there are no other challengers until Harper and Rowan are ready. The Colons are great wrestlers and should mesh well with The Usos if given the chance for a good match. The Usos should retain clean, acting almost as the babyfaces in the match, but retaining their heel personas. The Usos are more than capable of being tweeners given how genuinely likeable they are on Talking Smack.
Winner: The Usos
Baron Corbin versus Sami Zayn
Corbin and Zayn have clearly been lost in the shuffle for this pay-per-view so stick them together for a match. You could even make this a number one contender’s match for the WWE Championship. Dirt-sheets are suggesting Corbin is set for a massive push after SummerSlam and with Orton not having a challenger after Backlash, why not give Zayn a win here? Have Corbin dominate the match, only for Sami to steal a win. Corbin can lay him out after the match, but Sami gets a massive underdog-style win and a title match.
Winner: Sami Zayn
SmackDown Women’s Championship Triple Threat Match: Naomi versus Charlotte versus Becky Lynch
With Charlotte set to get her shot at Naomi on the next SmackDown, we can only assume the trio of Natalya, Carmella and Tamina will interfere. From there, have Becky align with Charlotte and Naomi and have a six-woman tag match on SmackDown with the winning team becoming number one contenders to the title. Charlotte and Becky are victorious and now we have what should be a really good triple threat match. The WWE need to get brave here and put the title on Becky Lynch, which no one will see coming. The big-money match of this division is Charlotte versus Naomi so save that for SummerSlam. Have Becky retain over Naomi at the next pay-per-view (another fresh and interesting match-up in itself). Then have Charlotte and Becky feud, with Charlotte taking the title before SummerSlam. Naomi then returns to prove she can be more than just a transitional champion. It could be the start of some strong long-term booking.
Winner: Becky Lynch
Tye Dillinger and Mojo Rawley versus The Ascension
This is just a way of getting Tye and Mojo on the card. This could be moved to the pre-show if there isn’t enough time. Dillinger gets a showcase pay-per-view match and Mojo gets to keep his momentum going with a clean win over The Ascension, who also get some spotlight.
Winners: Tye Dillinger and Mojo Rawley
Shinsuke Nakamura versus Dolph Ziggler
If possible, Shinsuke shouldn’t wrestle a single match until Backlash. Keep him off television if you must, but holding his debut for Backlash after building him up with entrances, vignettes and promos would make him actually wrestling feel special. Nakamura could quickly become Lesnar-light. It should feel special when he wrestles. Ziggler is the perfect first opponent. No one sells offense like Dolph and if this given time to be more than a showcase for Shinsuke, they could seriously put on a match of the year contender. Nakamura wins obviously, but let the match go over 10 minutes.
Winner: Shinsuke Nakamura
United States Championship Match: Kevin Owens versus AJ Styles
This is the clear main-event of Backlash. Remember, these two were their brand’s respective world champion only a couple of months ago. Owens is going to be brilliant as the ‘face of America’ and AJ Styles’ babyface turn will see him become the company’s biggest star. Owens should retain via shenanigans and hold the United States Championship for a very long time. He doesn’t need a world title, he can and probably will make the US Title the most valuable belt on SmackDown Live.
Winner: Kevin Owens