– The 2017 WWE Backlash Kickoff pre-show opens with Renee Young welcoming us to the Allstate Arena in Rosemont, IL. She’s joined by Peter Rosenberg and WWE Hall of Famer Booker T. Rosenberg talks about being here for WWE NXT “Takeover: Chicago” last night and Booker talks about how rowdy the Chicago fans can get. He predicts it will be a very awesome night. Renee sends us to Dasha Fuentes backstage in the Social Media Lounge. She plugs tonight’s hashtags and will be joined by Sami Zayn later. Fans can submit questions with the #AskSami hashtag. We get a video hyping Shinsuke Nakamura’s SmackDown TV debut tonight.
– We go back to the panel and they discuss Nakamura vs. Dolph Ziggler. Booker praises Nakamura and says his entrance alone is worth the price of admission. Rosenberg says Nakamura has to get a win because of the hype. The announcers plug the WWE Network and the rest of the card. We see a segment from earlier in the week with Tye Dillinger and Aiden English, which set up tonight’s pre-show match. Back to the panel and James Ellsworth is out. James talks about how The Welcoming Committee has been dominating lately and how they’re confident about tonight’s six-woman match. Ellsworth’s goal is to get Carmella a SmackDown Women’s Title shot after her recent pins on Naomi. Ellsworth ends up leaving the panel as fans boo him. Rosenberg predicts The Welcoming Committee will win. We take another break and come back to discussion on Sami Zayn vs. Baron Corbin. Booker predicts Sami while Peter goes with Corbin. Renee agrees with Booker. We get a promo for tonight’s SmackDown Tag Team Title match next. Erick Rowan comes walking out and everything gets quiet. Booker compliments Rowan on his new mask. Rowan just creeps everyone out and leaves without saying anything. Rosenberg predicts The Usos will retain tonight and Booker agrees.
– Dasha is backstage with Dolph Ziggler. He cuts another promo on Nakamura and their match tonight. Ziggler says Nakamura will not deliver tonight but he will. Ziggler reveals that they will be opening the pay-per-view. Ziggler says he’s going to put on a clinic and beat the living hell out of Nakamura. Ziggler says he feels really bad for all the fan boys who can’t wait to chant Nakamura’s name, and even worse for Nakamura. We get a promo for tonight’s WWE United States Title match and Rosenberg predicts it will be the match of the night. Booker calls it a dream match and says it will be a hell of a fight. Booker predicts Owens to retain but Rosenberg goes with AJ. We go backstage to the Social Media Lounge with Dasha Fuentes and Sami Zayn for some fan questions. Sami mentions how he’s wanted to get into the ring with Baron Corbin for a while now. We go back to the panel as Renee hypes the pre-show match and sends us to a break.
Tye Dillinger vs. Aiden English
Back from the break and Tom Phillips welcomes us. He’s joined by JBL and Byron Saxton. Fans start booing as Aiden English makes his way out with a mic and a spotlight. English sings and takes a shot at Chicago as the boos continue. English goes to perform an encore but Tye Dillinger’s music interrupts and out he comes to a pop.
The bell rings and we get some stalling. Fans boo English and pop for Tye. They lock up and go at it. English takes Dillinger down first. They tangle and trade holds but Dillinger gets the upperhand and taunts English as a “10” chant starts. English decks him and takes it to the corner. English mounts Tye in the corner and talks some trash but it backfires. English ends up pulling Dillinger into the top rope as Tye was arguing with the referee. English runs back in with a neckbreaker as he keeps control of Tye.
English wastes some time but launches himself into Tye in the corner. English poses as fans boo and we take a break.
Back from the break and English is still in control, keeping Tye grounded in the middle of the ring. Fans try to rally for Tye. English with knees before taking Tye back down. English sings while he has Tye grounded. Tye fights out and gets a 2 count. Tye with an atomic drop and chops. Tye kicks English in the face and nails a flying forearm. Tye with more offense as the crowd pops.
Dillinger mounts English in the corner and unloads as fans count to 10. Dillinger drops the knee pad but English rolls to the floor to escape. English ends up suckering Tye in and dropping him over the top rope. English goes to the top but Tye brings him to the mat. Dillinger goes back up but misses a top rope splash. English drops Tye on his face for a close 2 count. English gets frustrated and starts crying like he did a few weeks ago. English talks some trash and scoops Tye for a slam. English goes back to the top but misses on the way down. Tye side steps as English charges and hits the Tye Breaker for the win.
Winner: Tye Dillinger
– After the match, Dillinger stands tall as the “10” chants pick up.
– We go back to the panel for WWE Network plugs. Erick Rowan comes back and takes a seat this time. He places a sack on the table. He pulls his mask out and tries to put Rosenberg’s headset onto it but it won’t stay on. Rowan puts the sheep mask on and stares at Renee as she asks about his gameplan for tonight’s match with Luke Harper. Rowan creeps Rosenberg out again before just walking away. The panel discusses tonight’s main event next and Renee leads us to a video package and that’s it for the pre-show.
– The 2017 WWE Backlash pay-per-view opens up with a video package.
– We’re live from the Allstate Arena in Rosemont, IL as the pyro goes off. Tom Phillips welcomes us. He’s joined by JBL and Byron Saxton.
Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Dolph Ziggler
We go right to the ring and out comes Dolph Ziggler. Phillips shows us some of the international announce teams at ringside. Ziggler waits as fans start chanting for his opponent. The lights go out and they pop. The music finally hits and out comes Shinsuke Nakamura to a big pop for his in-ring SmackDown TV debut.
Fans chant Nakamura’s name as they face off before the bell. Ziggler goes for Nakamura’s leg to start. Light back and forth action before breaking. They lock up and go to the corner. Ziggler with a cheap shot to the face. Nakamura comes back with a shot to the gut. They trade holds again and Ziggler takes control, taking Nakamura down by his arm. Nakamura turns it around and works on Ziggler’s arm. Nakamura mushes Ziggler in the face. Nakamura tells him to bring it. Ziggler charges but takes a knee to the gut. Nakamura with a knee drop.
Ziggler goes out for a breather but Nakamura brings him back in. Ziggler catches Nakamura with a neckbreaker. Ziggler with a cheap shot. Ziggler takes Nakamura down and keeps him grounded in the middle of the ring now. Nakamura gets up and charges but Ziggler nails a dropkick for a 2 count. Ziggler works Nakamura over and talks some trash but it backfires as Nakamura drops him with a kick to the face. Nakamura with more offense now as he makes his comeback. Nakamura ends up with Ziggler laying over the top in the corner. Nakamura with the big high knee for a 2 count.
Ziggler counters a suplex attempt and rolls Nakamura up but Nakamura turns that into a submission on the arm. Ziggler gets the bottom rope and breaks the hold. Ziggler counters again and drops Nakamura with a big DDT for a close 2 count. Fans chant for Nakamura. More back and forth. Ziggler blocks the Kinshasa and goes on to hit a Fame-asser for a 2 count. Ziggler poses and gets booed. Ziggler cranks up for the superkick but it’s blocked. Nakamura gets blocked and Ziggler hits another Zig Zag for a close 2 count.
More counters between the two. Nakamura with a knee to drop Ziggler and a kick to the back of the neck. Ziggler counters the exploder suplex again and superkicks Nakamura in the back of the neck. Ziggler crawls over and covers for a 2 count. More back and forth action. Nakamura drops Ziggler with a knee to the face. Nakamura goes to the top for a Kinshasa but Ziggler moves. Ziggler misses a superkick. Nakamura finally hits the inverted exploder. Fans pop as Nakamura prepares to put Ziggler away. Nakamura nails the Kinshasa for the win.
Winner: Shinsuke Nakamura
– After the match, Nakamura celebrates as his music hits and fans sing along. We go to replays. Nakamura bows and makes his exit greeting fans on the way to the back.
– Back from a break and we see AJ Styles backstage warming up.
– The announcers hype the next match and lead us to the latest “Fashion Files” video from last Tuesday’s SmackDown.
SmackDown Tag Team Title Match: Breezango vs. The Usos
We go to the ring and out comes Tyler Breeze with Fandango as Greg Hamilton makes the introduction. SmackDown Tag Team Champions The Usos are out next.
Jimmy Uso starts off with Fandango. Fandango with a headlock after striking first. Fandango ducks a clothesline and takes Uso down with a scissors. Breeze tags in next, still wearing his janitor disguise, mop and all. Fans chant for him to mop. Breeze with comedy here as Uso goes down when trying to charge. Breeze keeps Jimmy away with the mop. Jey Uso tags in and drops Breeze with a big right. Jey snaps the mop in two as fans boo.
Jey climbs to the top for a splash but Breeze rolls out of the way. Jey comes back down and climbs to the other top turnbuckle. Breeze rolls again. Jey climbs down and goes for another corner but Breeze rolls again. And again. Breeze suckers Jey in and nails a big kick for a close 2 count. Fandango tags in for a bit of double teaming. Jey decks him and knocks Breeze off the apron. Jimmy tags in and works over Fandango now. Fandango stops a roll-up and dances over Uso’s face. Fandango with a leg drop and a 2 count. Fandango keeps Uso grounded now. Breeze comes back to the apron and he’s wearing another disguise, this time as an old lady with a cane.
Fans chant “let’s go grandma” as Breeze tags in. Jey nails her to boos but Breeze comes right back for a pop. Grandma Breeze with a Bronco Buster. Uso comes right back with a big kick as The Usos take back control. Uso tosses the night gown onto JBL. Uso ends up going for a splash but he hits the turnbuckle as Breeze moves. Fandango gets a tag and unloads on both of the champions.
Uso blocks a shot but Fandango kicks him in the head for a close 2 count. Jey misses another splash in the corner. Fandango with a DDT for another close pin attempt. Breeze tags in and they double team Uso but he counters and fights back. Jimmy tags in and they hit a big double team on Breeze but he still kicks out. More back and forth. Breeze gets a very close 2 count on Jey with the Unprettier. The Usos end up sending Breeze over the barrier into the crowd after he leaps off the apron onto them. Fandango comes off the apron and takes Uso out. Fandango brings it back into the ring and goes to the top but Jey pushes him off and Jimmy kicks him for the pin and the win.
Winners: The Usos
– After the match, The Usos recover and take their titles as we go to replays. Breezango recovers as The Usos leave with the titles.
– Back from a break and the announcers hype the next match before sending us to the ring.
Baron Corbin vs. Sami Zayn
We go to the ring and out comes Sami Zayn to a pop. Tom introduces some of the other international announce teams in the arena tonight. Baron Corbin is out next.
Back and forth to start. Sami sends Corbin to the floor to regroup. Sami runs the ropes for a dive but is forced to put the brakes on. Corbin comes back in and kicks Sami, then takes him to the corner. Sami fights in from the apron and dropkicks Corbin out of the ring. Corbin pulls Sami to the floor and decks him. Sami jumps onto the barrier and comes crashing down on Corbin. They bring it back into the ring and Sami works Corbin over in the corner. Corbin powers up and rams Sami into another corner. Corbin stomps on Sami’s lower back now. Corbin with a backbreaker.
Sami tries to fight back after more offense from Corbin but Corbin catches him in a bear hug. Sami tries to make a comeback but the hug is locked in again. Sami ends up dumping Corbin over the top in front of the announce table. Sami goes to the top but Corbin comes back into the ring. Sami comes down from the top. Corbin catches Sami in a big spinebuster for a 2 count. Fans with the “ole!” chants for Sami now. Corbin keeps him down and yells at Sami to stay down as fans boo. Corbin decks Sami again and poses over him as the boos continue.
Sami manages to catch Corbin with a clothesline out of nowhere. Sami with another clothesline. Sami keeps control and nails a crossbody from the top for a 2 count. Corbin with a shot to the throat. Corbin slides under the bottom rope and runs back into the ring with a big clothesline. Corbin with a close pin attempt. Corbin with more offense to Sami, focusing on the lower back of Sami. Sami counters a move but Corbin catches him in a backbreaker for another close 2 count.
Corbin goes up top for a superplex but Sami fights him. Sami nails the sunset flip powerbomb but Corbin kicks out at 2. Fans chant for Sami as he gets up. Corbin hits him but runs into an elbow. Sami goes for the big DDT out of the corner but Corbin stops it with power. Sami then tries to catch Corbin in the exploder suplex but Corbin overpowers him. Sami with a roll-up for a close 2 count. Corbin catches Sami wit a Deep Six for another close 2 count. Corbin gets frustrated and stomps away on Sami now. Corbin with forearms to the head now. Corbin with more stomps as the referee warns him. Corbin charges but Sami sends him through the ropes to the floor.
Sami looks to ready for a dive but Corbin runs right back into the ring. Sami boots him and follows up with the Helluva Kick for the win out of nowhere.
Winner: Sami Zayn
– After the match, Sami stands tall as his music plays. We get replays and come back to Sami having his arm raised as fans cheer.
– Tom shows us video of Ember Moon, Brennan Williams, Zack Ryder and Xavier Woods playing Rocket League for Woods’ “UpUpDownDown” channel. The game is a sponsor for tonight’s pay-per-view.
– A limousine pulls up in the back and The Singh Brothers get out with a carpet. They place it outside of the car and Jinder Mahal exits. Dasha approaches him for comments but he starts ripping on Chicago. Jinder says they hate him for the way he looks and talks. Jinder is going to take that hatred and turn it into goodness, something positive, something spiritual, something almost holy. Jinder says he is truly a peaceful man but once he’s provoked, he becomes an animal. Jinder says he will turn everyone into believers tonight as the entire world will witness what the 1.3 billion people of India already know – that he is the modern day Maharaja and now, he will speak to his people in Punjabi.
Naomi, Charlotte Flair and Becky Lynch vs. Carmella, Tamina Snuka and Natalya
We go to the ring and out comes James Ellsworth. He takes the mic to boos and gets some heel heat before telling everyone to stand and welcome Carmella. Tamina Snuka is out next, followed by Natalya. Becky Lynch is out first for her team. Charlotte Flair is out next as The Welcoming Committee looks on from ringside. SmackDown Women’s Champion Naomi is out next.
Tamina starts things off with Becky and they go at it. Tamina overpowers to start. Becky tries to use her speed but Tamina headbutts her into the corner. Natalya tags in for some double teaming. Becky rolls Natalya up for a 2 count. Becky takes control and tags in Flair as fans do the “wooo!” chants. They trade holds and Natalya slams Charlotte. Natalya taunts her opponents as fans boo. Charlotte rolls her up for a 2 count. Charlotte with more offense and some trash talking to her other opponents. Carmella and Tamina distract Charlotte, allowing Natalya to drop her. Tamina tags in and works over Charlotte. Carmella tags in next as they keep Charlotte down in their corner with frequent tags.
Carmella counters a slam and drops Charlotte by her hair for a 2 count. Charlotte and Carmella tangle. Charlotte sends her into the turnbuckle. Naomi gets the hot tag and springboards in with a crossbody on Carmella. Naomi unloads with kicks on Carmella, dropping her with a kick to the face. Tamina provides a distraction but gets decked, allowing Carmella to turn it around on Naomi. Carmella talks trash and works Naomi over now. Carmella with a Bronco Buster and a 2 count. Tamina tags back in and keeps Naomi grounded. More tags on Naomi as they take control. Naomi looks to tag Becky in but Carmella pulls her off the apron. Tamina with a Samoan Drop on Naomi.
Natalya with more offense on Naomi. Naomi finally gets a counter in and makes the tag to Becky. Becky unloads on all three opponents and rocks Natalya with uppercuts. Becky with a Bexploder on Natalya. Becky with Straight Fire on Natalya for a 2 count. Becky goes to the top but Tamina comes over on the apron. Becky sends her to the floor. Natalya goes for a Sharpshooter but Becky turns it into the Disarm-Her in the middle of the ring. Carmella breaks it. Flair dumps Carmella. Tamina superkicks Charlotte. Tamina drops Naomi with a headbutt. The referee orders her out of the ring. Becky and Natalya trade moves now. Tamina comes in but Becky drops her. Natalya takes advantage and applies the Sharpshooter on Becky in the middle of the ring. Becky taps out.
Winners: Natalya, Carmella and Tamina Snuka
– After the match, The Welcoming Committee regroups on the ramp as Charlotte, Naomi and Becky look on from the ring. We go to replays.
– The announcers lead us to a video for tonight’s WWE United States Title match.
WWE United States Title Match: AJ Styles vs. Kevin Owens
We go to the ring and out first comes AJ Styles to a big pop. WWE United States Champion Kevin Owens is out next. We get formal ring introductions from Hamilton.
Fans chant for AJ before the bell. The bell rings and they go at it, then break. AJ is fired up. Back and forth now. AJ with a quick pin attempt. AJ keeps a headlock applied. They run the ropes and Owens rolls to the floor after avoiding a dropkick. AJ comes out but Owens goes right back in. Fans chant “stupid idiot” at Owens as he works Styles over in the ring now. AJ misses a dropkick as Owens puts the brakes on. Styles goes on and connects with a dropkick to the mouth. Fans chant AJ’s name as they go back and forth. Owens fights out of the corner but AJ rocks him right back. Owens turns it around in the corner and comes off the ropes with a big clothesline for a 2 count.
Owens mounts AJ with strikes now. Owens keeps control and grounds AJ with a headlock, ordering the referee to ask if he quits. Owens ends up dropping AJ with a DDT for a 2 count. Owens with three sentons for another pin attempt. Owens goes right back to the headlock.
Owens keeps control until AJ drops him with a kick to the head. AJ keeps on with a bunch of strikes and a running forearm for a 2 count. Styles with more offense before dropping Owens face first into the mat for a 2 count. More back and forth. Owens dodges a moonsault and hits a superkick, then a neckbreaker over the knee for a close 2 count. AJ blocks a pop-up powerbomb and they trade shots. Owens sends AJ to the apron and brings him down with the top rope. AJ is down on the floor now. Owens climbs to the top but AJ cuts him off. AJ goes for a Styles Clash from the apron but Owens slides out and slams AJ’s bad leg into the ring post. He falls down and Owens sends him into the steel steps and the barrier. Owens brings it back in and nails a corner cannonball.
The referee checks on AJ now. Owens wraps AJ’s leg around the bottom rope and hits a cannonball into it. Owens grabs the injured leg and applies a single-leg crab now. Owens drags AJ back into the center of the ring and applies an ankle lock. The hold is broken but AJ is hurting. Owens takes AJ up top for a big move but AJ turns it into a powerbomb from the top and both Superstars are down now. Styles springboards in for a Phenomenal Forearm but the leg goes out and he falls off the top rope, landing on his leg. Owens drops AJ for a close 2 count. Owens yells at AJ and beats him around. AJ fires right back with a pele kick to the face.
AJ makes a comeback and goes to the corner but Owens counters and brings AJ to the mat with a big suplex for a close 2 count. Fans chant “this is awesome” now. Owens climbs to the top but AJ rolls under the rope. AJ ends up countering and hitting a suplex on the apron. Owens falls to the floor in pain, as does AJ. A “holy shit” chant starts up.
Owens sends AJ over the barrier into the timekeeper’s area. AJ comes flying off the barrier with a big forearm. The referee counts as AJ brings Owens on top of the announce table for a Styles Clash. Owens pulls AJ’s leg out, causing him to fall with the leg trapped in an opening on the table. AJ is stuck. Owens goes back into the ring and AJ is counted out.
Winner by Count Out: Kevin Owens
– After the match, Owens takes his title as the music hits. A referee checks on AJ as he’s still stuck but Owens leaves the ring and superkicks him in the back of the head while he’s stuck upside down. Owens laughs and clutches his title as he heads to the stage. Fans boo as we go to replays of the finish. AJ is finally free from the table but he’s down on the floor as the referee checks on him. Fans cheer as AJ is helped away by two referees while his music plays.
Erick Rowan vs. Luke Harper
Back from a break and out first comes Luke Harper. Erick Rowan is out next.
Back and forth to start. Harper looks to take control but he ends up going into the steel steps. Rowan takes control and hits a dropkick. Rowan sends Harper into the barrier and brings it back into the ring. Rowan drops a splash and covers for a 1 count. Rowan keeps Harper grounded now. They go to the corner and Rowan with big shots to the chest.
Harper fights back out of the corner but Rowan dropkicks him for a 2 count. Rowan keeps Harper down on the mat again. Fans chant for Harper. Rowan scoops Harper and slams him twice. Rowan smiles and brings Harper over for a pumphandle slam into a backbreaker. Rowan floors Harper with a clothesline for another pin attempt.
Rowan goes to the top for a big splash but Harper moves and Rowan lands hard. They go back to the floor and Harper floors Rowan, then slams him into the announce tables. Harper goes back into the ring and runs the ropes for a big dive, knocking Rowan between the announce tables. Harper brings it back into the ring and nails a senton from the apron. Harper with a boot for a 2 count. More back and forth. Harper with a tilt-a-whirl sideslam for a 2 count. Rowan comes back and hits a spinning kick. Rowan with a big powerbomb for another close 2 count. Rowan unloads on Harper and shows frustration now. Fans boo as Rowan poses. Harper manages to hook Rowan for a 2 count. They get up and trade shots in the middle of the ring now.
Harper with chops. Rowan with a shot to the gut. Rowan goes for another powerbomb but Harper launches him across the ring. Harper with a superkick to the jaw. Rowan reaches for his sheep mask to hype himself up but Harper keeps the attack going. Harper drops Rowan with the discus clothesline for the win.
Winner: Luke Harper
– After the match, Harper stands tall and hits the corner as his music plays. Back to a break.
– The announcers lead us to a video package for tonight’s main event.
WWE Title Match: Jinder Mahal vs. Randy Orton
We go to the ring and out first comes Jinder Mahal with The Singh Brothers. WWE Champion Randy Orton is out next.
Hamilton does formal ring introductions before the match. Orton interrupts the introductions and unloads on Jinder in the corner. Orton goes wild and sends Jinder to the floor. He ends up tossing Jinder over the announce table as The Singh Brothers scatter. Orton pounds on Jinder on top of the table. Fans chant for Orton. Orton brings it back into the ring. The referee tries to restore order and asks Jinder if he wants to continue. Jinder is furious. The bell finally rings and Orton goes right back to work. Jinder misses a clothesline but blocks the RKO. Jinder goes to the floor for a breather but Orton chases and clotheslines him.
Jinder ends up pulling Orton shoulder-first into the apron LED board and turning it around. Jinder brings it back into the ring and applies a submission to focus on the shoulder. Jinder keeps control and keeps Orton grounded. Fans do dueling chants for Jinder now. Orton counters off the ropes and drops Jinder. Orton starts stomping. Orton with European uppercuts now. Orton blocks a backslide but Jinder drops him by his arm. Jinder with a running knee drop to the chest for a pin attempt. Orton comes back and sends Jinder to the floor. Orton slams Jinder on top of the announce table.
The referee counts as Orton brings Jinder back into the ring. Jinder kicks Orton and stomps away as Orton tries to roll in. Jinder keeps Orton grounded again now. Jinder goes back to focusing on the shoulder as the referee checks on Orton. Orton finally breaks it and moves out of the corner as Jinder charges and hits the ring post. Orton ends up going for a superplex in the ring. Mahal fights him off and sends him to the mat. Jinder gets crotched on the top. Orton climbs up and nails the superplex. Orton is slow to make the cover and Jinder kicks out at 2.
They both get up and trade shots in the middle of the ring. Orton unloads and nails the powerslam. Orton sells the arm injury and runs into an elbow in the corner. Orton scoops Jinder and hits a a modified fall-away slam for a 2 count. Jinder nails Orton and hits a neckbreaker for a 2 count. Orton catches Jinder in a backbreaker. Jinder rolls to the apron. Orton gets up and grabs Jinder for the second-rope draping DDT. Orton nails it and gets up pacing. Orton hits the mat and readies for the RKO. Jinder rolls to the floor in front of The Singh Brothers. Orton follows and comes from behind. The Singh Brothers yell at him. Orton smacks one brother and kicks the other. He tosses one into the barrier and the other into the apron. Jinder takes advantage and attacks Orton. Jinder rolls Orton into the ring and follows but Orton nails the RKO outta nowhere. The Singh Brothers pull Jinder out of the ring before Orton can get the pin. Fans boo.
Orton tosses one brother over an announce table and slams the other on top of the Spanish announce table. The other brother is driven into another announce table as well. Fans pop big as Orton destroys The Singh Brothers. Orton brings one brother into the ring and the other follows. He hits them with the double draping DDT. Jinder comes from behind and hits The Khallas for the win and the title.
Winner and New WWE Champion: Jinder Mahal
– After the match, Jinder takes the WWE Title and celebrates as fans in the crowd are shocked. Jinder poses in the corner and raises the WWE Title high in the air. Jinder takes the title through the crowd and comes back to pose on top of the announce table. We get more replays and see more shots of upset fans. Jinder poses in the corner with the WWE Title as The Singh Brothers look on. Backlash goes off the air.