Preview by Joseph Currier
SmackDown's first post-WrestleMania 33 pay-per-view takes place at the Allstate Arena in Chicago tonight.
Most of the advertising for the show has been built around it featuring Shinsuke Nakamura's televised main roster in-ring debut. Nakamura will face Dolph Ziggler in his first match on TV since debuting on the SmackDown after WrestleMania.
We're looking for your thoughts on tonight's show, so you can leave a thumbs up, thumbs down or thumbs in the middle along with a best and worst match for this show as well as last night's NXT show, to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Randy Orton will defend his WWE Championship against Jinder Mahal on the PPV. Their unlikely matchup was set up after Mahal won a six-pack challenge on SmackDown last month to become the new number one contender.
Elsewhere on the show, Kevin Owens defends his United States title against AJ Styles, The Usos put their tag titles on the line against Breezango, Naomi teams with Charlotte Flair & Becky Lynch against Natalya, Carmella & Tamina, Sami Zayn takes on Baron Corbin, and Luke Harper and Erick Rowan square off.
Tye Dillinger vs. Aiden English is also scheduled for the Backlash pre-show. Our coverage begins with that match before the main card kicks off at 8 p.m. ET.
By Dave Meltzer
TYE DILLINGER VS. AIDEN ENGLISH
Decent match ending when English missed a senton off the toip and Dillinger hit the Tye-breaker for the pin. They were playing up that Dillinger was having an emotional breakdown.
SHINSUKE NAKAMURA VS. DOLPH ZIGGLER
Slow match. There was nothing wrong with it. It accomplished its purpose but it was mainly Ziggler doing most of the office, getting a near fall with the Zig Zag until Nakamura used an elbow, the reverse powerslam and the Kinshasa for the clean win.
USOS VS. TYLER BREEZE & FANDANGO FOR TAG TITLES
First two-thirds were comedy. Tyler Breeze was dressed up like a janitor early, and then like a grandma. The Usos took Breeze's dress off and threw it and it hit JBL in the face. The crowd was with it. Nothing like last night. The last few minutes they got serious. Breeze did a flip off the apron but the Usos caught him and threw him over the barricade. Fandango did a running flip dive. The end saw Fandango on the top rope and Jey superkicked him off the top rope and pinned him.
SAMI ZAYN VS. BARON CORBIN
They did an upset here as Zayn won with the Helluva kick. Corbin dominated the match with Zayn doing his usual good job of selling. It was a basic pattern match. Zayn kicked out of the Deep Six but Corbin doesn't win with that move ever. Corbin would block many of Zayn's trademark spots. The crowd popped for the finish but this crowd overall is nothing compared to last night.
The Singh Brothers and Jinder Mahal showed up. Mahal did the foreign menace promo. The crowd reacted to him like he was a star at first and then did all the "what" stuff but since he was taped he didn't have to detail with it. Some CM Punk chants. Said he would turn the universe of doubters and discriminators into believers. Definitely played up being a babyface in India. Crowd booed him when it was over.
CHARLOTTE FLAIR & NAOMI & BECKY LYNCH VS. NATALYA & CARMELLA & TAMINA
Just a match. A few rough spots but generally okay. Most of the match was Naomi being worked over until Lynch made the hot tag. Lynch was doing well. Tamina played powerhouse some. The finish was Natalya putting the sharpshooter on Lynch in the middle. Nobody saved her and she tapped.
KEVIN OWENS VS. A.J. STYLES FOR THE U.S. TITLE
Very good match. The finish saw Styles hit the forearm off the barricade on the floor. He went for the Styles Clash on the announces table but Styles leg fell into the opening where a monitor would be. Styles was haning from the table with the idea that his right knee was hurt and he was counted out. Owens kicked him after the match. Styles had his knee worked over much of the match. He went for the phenomenal forearm and lost his balance on the ropes and was selling. Very good match. The crowd was into this more than anything so far, but nothing like last night.
LUKE HARPER VS. ERICK ROWAN
Harper got the win back. Both guys worked real hard but the crowd was dead for them in this position. Harper did a tope knocking Rowan in between the announcing tables. Harper turned a power bomb into a huracanrana and hit two superkicks and a spinning elbow.
RANDY ORTON VS. JINDER MAHAL FOR WWE TITLE
They put Mahal over for the title when Randy Orton gave both Singh Brothers the draping DDT and then Mahal came form behind him with a cobra clutch slam for the pin. The crowd was very into the match early, then seemed to lose interest but picked up at the end. It wasn't a great match but it served its purpose and got a main event reaciton. Most of the match was him working over Orton's shoulder. Orton hit the RKO but the Singh Brothers pulled Mahal out of ther ring. Orton gave back suplexes on both Singh Brothers on their heads on a table. That was sick. There was a somewhat babyface pop for the title change and there were people doing dueling chants for Mahal early.