Here’s our final thoughts on SmackDown Live’s WWE Backlash 2017!
Tye Dillinger vs. Aiden English
Reactions: This turned out to be on the same level as other solo Kickoff Matches. It went a lot longer than the last two matches these two men had before, which meant we got to see English actually get in a few minutes of offense. The extra action that transpired here was admirable at best, but it ended just like we knew it would. Dillinger wins once again and we’re happy to see his push continue. This was an average bout, but at least it had the right man winning.
Rating: 1 & a Half out of 5 Stars
Luke Harper vs. Erick Rowan
Reactions: These two hosses put on an okay match. Too bad the crowd didn’t care enough to stay focused for much of it. Rowan seemed like he had a chip on his shoulder as he looked to prove he wasn’t just some 3rd wheel member of The Wyatt Family. Harper’s one of the more underrated members of SD Live and he made sure to show just how good he is during this bout. While this match was far from terrible, it lost a few points due to having no true heat behind it. With more crowd interest and possibly a hardcore stipulation put on top of it, it could have turned out even better.
Rating: 2 out of 5 Stars
Sami Zayn vs. Baron Corbin
Reactions: This turned out to be less of a slog and more of a spirited encounter. Corbin is steadily improving and Zayn never has a bad match. While this match initially started out slow, it crescendoed the longer it went on. Zayn always plays the part of a wounded dog perfectly and Corbin was the right one to be in domination mode. Zayn’s comeback sequence was lively as always. This match went from decent to surprisingly good the more it went on. Zayn’s Sunset Powerbomb to Corbin off the top rope and Corbin’s devastating Deep Six Slam to Zayn were definitely highlights here. I predicted a Corbin win here, but to my surprise Zayn got the shocking victory. This match was a pleasant surprise thanks to how much better it turned out to be and due to who ended up actually winning.
Rating: 3 out of 5 Stars
Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Dolph Ziggler
Reactions: I’m glad WWE chose a great worker in the form of Ziggler to be Nakamura’s 1st main roster opponent. I figured this match would be amazing, but it actually turned out be good at best. That’s not a huge knock on the match, but we were expecting just a little bit more from these two charismatic individuals. Both men engaged in some pretty entertaining grappling exchanges, plus Ziggler turned things up a notch. Ziggler’s work when he had control over Nakamura wasn’t boring whatsoever, which helped keep this bout stay alive with the hype crowd. When Nakamura finally got some time to dominate Ziggler, it was impressive as expected. Both Superstars fought hard and provided Backlash 2017 with a fun opener. I enjoyed what I saw here, but it needed another 5-10 minutes of action to really make it worthy of Nakamura’s main roster greatness. I hope this is just the 1st of many matches between Ziggler and Nakamura.
Rating: 3 out of 5 Stars