Monday, September 12, 2016

WWE Backlash 2016

It sucks to be Bray Wyatt.
OK. The amount of effort I'm willing to put into the seven bonus brand-specific PPV's the WWE has added to their schedule is less than complete, so I'm just going to see how my predictions went and talk a bit about the matches.

NO PREDICTION: Baron Corbin vs. Apollo Crews (Pre-show)

A couple of mistakes, and Baron Corbin tried his slide out one side of the ringpost and slide in on the other side new "move" twice like he thought the camera didn't catch it the first time, but still, one of Corbin's better recent matches. He's gradually accruing a moveset. Crews was his usual excellent self. Not sure what the point is to having Corbin pin Crews clean, though.

BACKLASH PREDICTION: Becky Lynch has still never held WWE gold. She totally deserves this win, should get this win, and had better get this win.

And she does! Finally, WWE gold for Becky Lynch, the single biggest benificiary of the brand extension. Elimination order was weird - Bliss, Naomi, Natalya and Brie right after each other, and then Carmella tapping out to the Disarmer for the win. Going forward it'll probably be Becky/Natalya for the belt, Carmella/Bella for the rivalry, and Naomi/Bliss wrestling story-free. Also, I'm 1/1 on predictions.

BACKLASH PREDICTION: And there's an even bigger swerve, as Talking Smack announces that the Usos "injured" American Alpha, so the Usos will face the Hype Bros to see who will face Slater and Rhyno in the finals. So the Usos will win and then lose to Slater-Rhyno in the finals, instead of Slater-Rhyno defeating a weakened Alpha.

And now I'm 3/3. The Usos won as expected, coming out without facepaint or the Uso Intro, so the heel turn is already reaping benefits. They won with Minor Shenanigans and going after Zack Ryder's leg like they did Chad Gable's. Then, in the penultimate match of the evening, everything went as expected. Heath Slater got beat up a lot, made the hot tag, tagged himself back in, and took advantage of a Rhyno Gore to pin an Uso, get a contract, and become the first SD Tag Champs. I'm 3/3, but ugh, I hope they drop the belts soon and let watchable tag teams fight for the belt.

BACKLASH PREDICTION: I will always bet against The Miz because I always want The Miz to stop being Intercontinental Champion. This makes me wrong a lot lately.

And I was wrong again. Miz wins through Maryshenanigans in a very good Miz match and an average Ziggler match that also saw Miz taunting Daniel Bryan. So expect this story to continue with all three people. 3/4 on predictions.

BACKLASH PREDICTION: Bray Wyatt doesn't win PPV matches and Randy Orton needs to look strong after Summerslam, so Orton will win. Then Wyatt will probably be spooky at Ziggler or something.

I'm counting this one as a correct prediction. What actually happened was that Wyatt attacked Orton backstage at the beginning of the show. This meant that Orton couldn't compete, so instead, Wyatt had a No Holds Barred match with Kane. This was a plodding, slow, very lite hardcore affair with some uninspired chairshots and a senton through an announce table. Then Orton limped out, hit the RKO on Wyatt, leading to a chokeslam and a Wyatt loss. So, ultimately, as I suspected, Orton defeated Wyatt with the RKO out of nowhere. It was just a convoluted way to get there. Word on the street is that Lesnar gave Orton a concussion at Summerslam and Orton still hasn't recovered yet. So that makes me 4/5.

BACKLASH PREDICTION: This is actually the toughest call, and could go either way. I'm gonna go with Styles here - I think they need to maintain the momentum from Summerslam, and I'm not sure what the belt is doing for Ambrose at this point.

Most of this match is, shall we say, "deliberately paced". A couple of sequences kicked into gear, like an Ambrose attack sequence outside the ring near the end, but a lot of this wasn't very interesting. The finish saw a ref bump, a kick to Ambrose' nutz by Styles, and a Styles clash for a new World Champion and a 5/6 prediction rate for yours truly, which is the best I've done at a main roster PPV in forever. Styles gets cheered like Kevin Owens did when he won the belt, which is a shame, because Styles cheated to win, and if you really respected his work, you'd treat him like a heel even if you're happy he's got the belt. I suspect we'll see Ambrose-Styles II in lfour weeks at No Mercy.

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