Tye Dillinger vs Aiden English (Kickoff Show)
Prediction: Tye Dillinger has already defeated Aiden English and will move to 2-0 against the former Vaudevillian.
Erick Rowan vs Luke Harper
Rowan has already picked up a victory over Harper recently on SmackDown. This match was made on Tuesday night’s episode of Talking Smack. Erick Rowan was a guest on the show and demanded that the match be made. SmackDown commissioner Shane McMahon granted Rowan’s wish and the two former Wyatt Family members will battle on Sunday night.
Prediction: I’d like to believe that Luke Harper will pick up the win this Sunday at Backlash. Harper is very talented but has been completely wasted on SmackDown the past couple of months. Rowan has a new gimmick where he is hearing voices from his mask. It comes off as dumb rather than scary. Harper gets the win on Sunday and hopefully becomes relevant again on SmackDown.
Baron Corbin vs Sami Zayn
Sami Zayn made the move from RAW to SmackDown during WWE’s Superstar Shake-Up. The brand switch hasn’t made a difference for Zayn, as he is right back to getting his ass kicked on a weekly basis. Zayn was attacked by Corbin during an episode of Talking Smack. Corbin has beaten down Zayn since then and it would be a major upset if Zayn were to pick up a victory at Backlash.
Prediction: The announcers will praise Sami Zayn for not giving up, but he will ultimately lose the match. JBL will say something like “yeah, but you’ve got to know when to just stay down” as Corbin is punching Zayn in the face. Corbin hits the End of Days and wins in dominant fashion.
Becky Lynch, Naomi & Charlotte Flair vs Carmella, Natalya & Tamina Snuka
Natalya, Carmella, Tamina Snuka and James Ellsworth have named themselves the “Welcoming Committee” and have made Charlotte Flair’s life a living hell since she came over to SmackDown. They tried to recruit Becky Lynch, but Lynch beat them down instead. Charlotte Flair has her eyes set on Naomi’s SmackDown Women’s Championship, but agreed to put that on hold in order to deal with the Welcoming Committee.
Prediction: Charlotte and Naomi will get frustrated with each other during the match. Ellsworth will probably try to interfere and get kicked out. If the Welcoming Committee is going to remain a stable on SmackDown, they need a victory here.
SmackDown Tag Team Championship Match: The Usos (c) vs Breezango
Breezango have been on a roll lately. They defeated The Colons on Tuesday night and are heading into WWE Backlash with confidence. The Usos have been cutting promos on Breezango after their matches on SmackDown.
Prediction: I think Breezango will win the SmackDown Tag Team Championships in the future. However, The Usos should retain the titles on Sunday. The New Day should be making their SmackDown debut soon and I’d like to see them feud with The Usos.
Shinsuke Nakamura vs Dolph Ziggler
Shinsuke Nakamura will wrestle in his first match on WWE’s main roster this Sunday at Backlash. Ziggler has pretty much built up this match by himself, as Nakamura has only made a couple of entrances and thrown out an insult or two in the past few weeks. Ziggler believes that Nakamura has done nothing to deserve such praise from the WWE Universe and wants to embarrass Shinsuke at Backlash.
Prediction: I would be shocked if Shinsuke Nakamura lost this match. Nakamura will pick up the victory but Ziggler will attack him after the match. I’m guessing this feud will continue after Sunday night and that is fine by me. Ziggler and Nakamura can put on an incredible match and I predict that they will steal the show on Sunday night.
United States Championship Match: Kevin Owens (c) vs AJ Styles
AJ Styles earned a shot at Owens’ United States Championship a few weeks back. There hasn’t really been much to this feud until the most recent episode of SmackDown. Owens cost AJ Styles his match against Jinder Mahal. Owens has declared himself the new “Face of America” and AJ Styles wants to take his title and bring it back to the USA.
Prediction: Kevin Owens will either get himself disqualified or cheat to win. There is no reason to take the United States Championship off of Owens right now. AJ Styles can absorb a loss, he is practically untouchable. Styles should be in the WWE Championship picture anyway, so a loss here really doesn’t matter. This match also has the potential to be the best match of the night.
WWE Championship Match: Randy Orton vs Jinder Mahal
Mahal has gotten the upper-hand on Orton pretty much since winning the Six-Pack Challenge to become #1 contender. Mahal has attacked Orton during the House of Horrors Match at Payback, stole Orton’s WWE Championship and planted Orton with a Khallas to close out Tuesday’s SmackDown.
Prediction: Jinder Mahal has done the best he could with this opportunity. He has cut a few solid promos and has done his best to make this feud feel legitimate. Unfortunately, it didn’t work. I think several factors have prevented this feud from being great. First, people just didn’t want to accept Jinder Mahal as the #1 contender. Fans complain that they want to see new people get opportunities in WWE. When that finally happens, they get annoyed that it wasn’t the guy or girl they wanted. Thus, WWE was immediately fighting an uphill battle when they pushed Jinder Mahal.
WWE didn’t do enough to get the doubters to change their minds. I gave the feud a chance, but I got bored with it rather quickly. Another reason why this feud hasn’t worked is because Randy Orton is the WWE Champion. Orton hasn’t brought anything to the table since taking the WWE Championship off of Bray Wyatt at Wrestlemania 33. If the WWE Champion was beloved by the WWE Universe, maybe fans would have reacted to Jinder Mahal more. Instead, the ratings for SmackDown have plummeted and this feud was ultimately a failure.
Randy Orton will retain his WWE Championship this Sunday at Backlash. One can only hope that his next feud is entertaining. SmackDown has been quite boring since he became the top guy on the show. Maybe after Backlash, Randy Orton will finally decide to …entertain.
Who do you think will win this Sunday at Backlash? Share your predictions in the comments below.