Date: September 6, 2016
Location: Pinnacle Bank Arena in Lincoln, NE
The Big Takeaway --
The Usos turned heel after American Alpha beat them in less than a minute. They also injured Chad Gable’s ankle. On Talking Smack, they announced that American Alpha is out of Backlash because of the injury. Heath Slater & Rhyno are in the finals, and will face the winner between the Usos and Hype Bros at Backlash.
Also, Dean Ambrose and AJ Styles had a great confrontation, ending with Styles kicking Ambrose in the nuts.
Show Recap --
Daniel Bryan starts off in the ring with the SmackDown Women’s title belt, leading the crowd in Yes chants. He announced that the 6-pack challenge at Backlash will be an elimination match. He also announced a 6-woman tag match for tonight, and a championship forum right now.
Becky Lynch came out first, and thought Bryan would introduce Nikki Bella first. Bryan said he loves his sister-in-law, but Lynch was their first women’s pick. Bryan did plug Total Bellas, which the crowd lightly booed. Lynch said winning the championship would make it all worth it. She said it would be the greatest night of her life, when Natalya interrupted.
Natalya called Lynch boring. She hated being stuck on the same show as Lynch, and SmackDown was supposed to be her kingdom. Alexa Bliss showed up next, running down Natalya and Lynch. She also called Bryan a trophy husband.
Carmella was next and reminded us what she did to Nikki, which got no reaction. The three heels bickered until they realized they’d be better off going after Lynch. Before they could, Naomi and Nikki ran out to even the odds. Natalya attacked Nikki, but the other faces cleared the ring. The crowd liked Lynch but they were quiet for most of this.
Backstage, Dean Ambrose was at catering and poured a pound of sugar in some guy’s coffee.
Elsewhere, Bryan sarcastically told Shane McMahon that maybe he should handle the Women’s title stuff from now on. They were interrupted by Miz and Maryse, back from vacation. Miz was pissed he has to defend his IC title against Ziggler, who doesn’t deserve a shot. Bryan said the six women in the ring wanted to fight, unlike Miz, and called him out for walking away from a fight last week. Bryan said Miz can hand over the title now if he doesn’t want to defend it. Miz and Maryse left.
Non-Title: Intercontinental Champion The Miz (w/Maryse) defeated Apollo Crews
Ziggler was on commentary, and will be on Talking Smack later. He let us know how good he’d be on that show without papers in front of him like the commentators. Crews hit a moonsault off the apron and high-fived some fans. Miz had control after a break, but Crews caught him off the top and hit an overhead belly-to-belly, followed by clotheslines, running boot, Stinger splash and jumping clothesline.
Miz left the ring to regroup and pushed Ziggler. Ziggler got in his face, when Crews attempted a baseball slide. They both moved out of the way, but Miz pushed Crews into Ziggler. Miz was able to follow with a Skull Crushing Finale in the ring for the win. Afterwards, Ziggler dared Miz to get back in the ring and take his title, but Maryse took it instead.
AJ Styles joined Renee Young at the desk and they replayed Ambrose crotching him last week. Styles was pissed and blamed a random stagehand for giving her the footage. He bullied the guy and threatened to break his headset.
A video package aired for American Alpha. Charly Caruso asked the Usos about facing them. Usos let us know they were multiple time champs and won the Slammy for best tag team two years in a row. They noted American Alpha getting drafted ahead of them, and while they deserved to be there, the Usos were still the top team.
Bray Wyatt cut a promo in his mystery room backstage. Bray called himself a God, the evolution of man, and said all that will be left of Randy Orton is chunks of meat in the teeth of the eater of worlds.
6-Woman Tag Match: Natalya, Carmella & Alexa Bliss defeated Becky Lynch, Nikki Bella & Naomi
Lynch made her entrance before commercial, everyone else made their entrances after the break, and they went back to commercial 2 minutes into the match.
They had the heat on Lynch until she made the hot tag to Nikki, who gave Bliss a flying kick off the middle rope for a two count. Bliss cut her off and tagged in Carmella, but Nikki gave her a fireman’s carry cutter. Bliss broke up the cover, and everyone got involved. With the ring cleared, Carmella applied the Code of Silence on Nikki who tapped out. They got time but this wasn’t much of a match.
Tag Team Tournament Semifinal: American Alpha defeated The Usos
American Alpha won in less than a minute. The two teams shook hands before the match, but the Usos jumped American Alpha as soon as the bell rang, which the crowd booed. Jordan and Gable quickly recovered and hit Grand Amplitude for the win.
The Usos jumped Jordan and Gable afterwards. They targeted the leg of Gable and hit a splash to his leg off the top rope. They played up that Gable might be hurt. Mauro Ranallo said he couldn’t believe the actions of the Usos.
Before the match, they announced American Alpha will be on SportsCenter tomorrow. After a break, JBL said he’s known the Usos and their dad a long time, and was embarrassed by their actions. They said they would give us an update on Chad Gable as soon as they got one.
Backstage, Randy Orton told Caruso a tale about a man and a snake preying on the same rabbit. Long story short, the snake waited out the man knowing it could kill them both. This was about his match with Bray Wyatt.
Fandango was in the ring and let us know Tyler Breeze couldn’t be there tonight. He brought a woman into the ring, a fan/plant wearing a Dean Ambrose t-shirt. He wanted to see her dance with her hips. She danced and the crowd cheered, but Fandango wasn’t happy with it. He told her, “Your hips are full of lies. You’re a liar.” Then he kicked her out of the ring. That brought out Kane who gave him a chokeslam. This was kind of dumb, but Fandango was pretty funny.
AJ Styles saw some guys backstage looking at a camera and asked if they were taking a picture of him. They said no, but he smashed their camera against the wall anyway and let them know he’s the face that runs this place.
A promo aired for Curt Hawkins who re-debuts next week.
Tag Team Tournament Semifinal: Heath Slater & Rhyno defeated The Hype Bros
They showed Heath Slater’s “wife” and “kids” in the front row. There were seven kids, and one was noticeably taller than the others. They went to commercial 2 minutes into the match with the Hype Bros in full control.
After the break, they worked over Slater as the crowd chanted “We want Rhyno.” Rhyno got the hot tag to a big pop and nailed Ryder with a spinebuster, but Rawley broke up the cover. Rhyno took out Rawley outside the ring and Ryder gave Slater a school boy for two. Rhyno tagged himself in and hit a Gore on Ryder for the win. Pretty good pop from the crowd.
Renee Young said the American Alpha’s status for Backlash was questionable according to Shane McMahon, but Shane would join her and Daniel Bryan on Talking Smack later. The Usos interrupted her and cut a fiery promo, saying their actions were built up inside them and American Alpha were in the wrong place at the wrong time. They said they tried garnering respect for the past seven years, but that was done now.
Ambrose was at makeup backstage. He sniffed the hairspray a couple of times before allowing the makeup lady to continue.
Dean Ambrose and AJ Styles Face-to-Face
Charly Caruso was supposed to host, but Ambrose told her to leave because things could get ugly, and because Styles gets nervous around pretty women. Ambrose had a gift for Styles--an old bowling trophy of his (for participating). He said it was the only trophy Styles was getting from him.
Styles said Ambrose doesn’t know what he’s getting himself into and shouldn’t be treating him like a joke. That led to Ambrose replaying the footage of Styles getting crotched. Styles didn’t think it was funny, but the crowd did. Ambrose just wanted to give Styles a high-pitched voice to go along with his soccer mom hair, and the crowd chanted “soccer mom.”
Styles said his new armband was a trophy for beating John Cena, and he would take Ambrose’s title at Backlash. Styles said Ambrose can look past him if he wants, but Cena took him very seriously and Styles beat him “clean.” Styles added, “And come on Dean, let’s be honest, you’re not John Cena.”
Ambrose responded, “You’re damn right I’m not John Cena.” Ambrose fired up, saying Styles outwrestled Cena, but that’s not his game. He drags people down and beat Styles the only time they ever fought. Ambrose told him they don’t give out trophies for the “face that comes in second place.”
Styles kicked Ambrose in the nuts and smashed the bowling trophy. He posed over Ambrose and pointed at his head to end the show. This was real good.
Final Thoughts --
This was a nothing show until the final segment, although I did like the angle with the Usos and American Alpha. The Usos were long overdue for a turn.
That final segment with Styles and Ambrose was really good. In particular, Ambrose was terrific, and it really makes you wonder why they do all the comedy with him, including on this very show.