We’re just getting over Payback and now we hit the road to Backlash. But first, there’s some unfinished business to settle from Sunday night. WWE has to figure out a way to get the US Title off Chris Jericho. After all, he can’t defend it at Backlash because he’ll be in Morgantown, WV with Fozzy on May 21st. Jinder Mahal is also trying his hand at being a top heel
Mahal is taking some pictures with the WWE Championship. Shane McMahon came up and took the title away. He was very to the point about it. Shane said he was returning the title to its rightful owner. Then Shane set up a match with Jinder vs Sami Zayn for later on in the night.
That’ll show Jinder for taking what isn’t his.
Shane’s music hits in the arena and he comes to the ring. Shane had a ton of “Shane O-Mac” chants. Shane introduced the newest addition to SmackDown Live, Chris Jericho.
Jericho came out with a list in his hand and the US Title around his waist. JBL was really picking on Byron Saxton for a second. He made fun of his sweater in between putting Chris Jericho over. “Y2J” chants roared as Jericho he’s gonna give us what we want and need because this is the new show of Jericho, “Smack it down maaaaan!” Nice.
Shane said Jericho would be defending his championship against Kevin Owens and AJ Styles’ music hit. It always gets more interesting when AJ Styles’ music hits. This was no exception.
Styles came out and addressed his old friend and bitter enemy. Chris beat AJ at Mania 32 and he hadn’t forgotten that. He said you’re standing in the ring AJ Styles built. He said he would love to take the championship off of him if he’s still champion at Backlash.
Chris Jericho said he’s the new face of America. Then he said, “you know what happens when you don’t think I can beat Kevin Owens tonight?” But just as he was about to put AJ Styles on The List, KO’s music cracked the silence of the moment.
Owens came with a bandaged up hand and said this is the most pathetic thing he’s ever seen with Shane, AJ, and Chris talking about things that don’t matter.
Kevin Owens said if Jericho thought the Festival Of Friendship was bad then he’s going to top that tonight. He told AJ to get out of the ring because it doesn’t concern him. Then Styles casually exited the ring, walked up to Owens and they started beating the crap out of each other. Officials had to separate AJ and KO while Y2J and Shane just watched from the ring.
Jinder Mahal vs Sami Zayn
They played footage from Baron Corbin destroying Zayn on Talking Smack last week. It’s the same footage that got Corbin suspended for a week.
Sami and Jinder got things started pretty quickly but Jinder used his strength to take advantage early on. Sami hit a hurricanrana on Mahal, but he ate a stiff right hand from Mahal.
Sami nailed a dropkick on Jinder and he powered out of the ring. Mahal continued to gain an advantage over Zayn and kept him grounded. The Singh Brothers were utilized to gain an advantage.
Jinder Mahal kept putting on the damage to Sami by focusing on his back and head. He used a lot of stiff shots. He better not start hurting too many people.
Jinder got Sami on the top turnbuckle and tried to superplex him, but Zayn knocked him off. After an exhange, Jinder took Sami’s head off with a high knee for a two count.
Jinder ate a couple of clotheslines and Sami perched himself on the top. He hit Mahal with a high cross body and got a close two-count. One of the Singh brothers jumped up to distract Sami and it resulted in a near-fall. Jinder blocked a Blue Thunder Bomb after that.
Zayn hit a tornado DDT on Mahal and got himself ready for a Helluva Kick. However Mahal was pulled to safety by a Singh brother, and when Sami went to go for a dive his leg was pulled by the other Singh brother. Mahal snuck in behind Zayn and hit him with a finisher and that was all she wrote for Sami.
Nattie, Tamina, Carmella, and Ellsworth are talking up Becky Lynch about how she shouldn’t be Charlotte’s friend. They told her to join them and band together as “our division.” Becky said she’s never thought of it like that before and asked for some time.
Tye Dillinger was shown backstage walking to the ring. He’s ready for his match and we’re ready to see him.
A Nakamura promo and Dolph Ziggler is talking trash backstage aout how Shinsuke’s not even there tonight. Shane overhears Ziggler and reminds him who Nakamura is. Ziggler said they should watch what he does to Sin Cara tonight.
Aiden English vs Tye Dillinger
It’s so good to see the spotlight finally on Aiden English. The Drama King sang beautifully and hasn’t skipped a beat since he dropped the gimmick in NXT. But in the middle of his magnificent solo, Tye Dillinger’s music hit.
Aiden English jumped on Tye pretty early on and yelled: “nobody interrupts the Dillinger.”
Tye Dillinger turned things around on English and started performing a highlight reel. Tye hit a new looking version of the Tye Breaker, it looked nice. He got a quick three-count and picked up the victory.
After the match, Aiden English had a little break down in the middle of the ring. Those are always fun.
Chris Jericho was asked by Renee backstage what he plans on doing to KO tonight. Aiden English walked by still crying. Jericho said there’s no crying in SmackDown just like he was Tom Hanks in A League Of Their Own. Then he put Aiden English on The List for crying on his new show.
Jericho put Renee on the list for no reason. Aiden just cried more. Is that his new gimmick now? An opera singer who cries?
Charlotte is interviewed backstage and she said the “welcoming committee” couldn’t stop her and SmackDown Live is her destiny. Then Nattie, Tamina, and Carmella beat her down pretty hard. “Welcome to SmackDown Live Charlotte,” Nattie said. They left her on the ground.
Naomi and Charlotte vs Carmella and Natalya
Well, you might want to scratch Charlotte’s name off this match. She just suffered a backstage beatdown so she might not be able to come out and play.
Carmella started the match out and took a hard kick or two from Naomi for her trouble. Carmella tried to kick back, but Naomi grabbed her leg. Then Naomi made Carmella Feel The Glow with that rapid kicking move she does.
Nattie got the tag and started taking it to Naomi the best she could. Naomi’s being booked pretty strong here and held her own well. Naomi went for a baseball slide, but Nattie turned her around and slammed her face against the mat.
Nattie and Carmella double teamed Naomi but only got a two-count. “You wanna kick me, Naomi?!” Carmella yelled as she held in a headlock. Carmella grabbed her hair and pulled her back to the mat hard.
Carmella did a move where she just sat on Naomi while she was draped over the middle rope. That was cute. Nattie got the tag and kept up the abuse on The Glow.
Naomi and Nattie met in the middle of the ring and took each other out just as Charlotte’s music hit and she came limping out. The Nature Girl looked pissed, but badly beaten. Great sell-job from Flair.
Charlotte got the tag and started taking everyone out. She hit Nattie with some stiff chops and quickly followed it up by taking Carmella out with a chop as well.
Charlotte fended off both Nattie and Carmella for a moment until Nattie smacked her down with a clothesline on the apron.
Naomi ended up getting in the ring and Carmella won with a surprise roll-up. After the match, the welcoming committee started beating the faces down. Suddenly Becky Lynch’s music hit and she came walking slowly to the ring. Becky looked at the heels and the faces trying to decided which team she’s be on.
She stood above Charlotte and turned to look at the heels. Becky extended her hand and shook Tamin and Carmella’s hand. She hugged Nattie, but threw Ellsworth through Tamina. Becky continued to take it to Tamina and the rest until they overpowered her. Nattie tied Becky up and Carmella hit her with a finishing blow.
The Welcoming Committee stood in the middle of the ring as Carmella’s music played. Go lady heels!
Dolph Ziggler vs Sin Cara
Sin Cara’s new ring attire is pretty nifty. But it didn’t help him much against Dolph Ziggler. Heel Ziggler is very effective in his offense.
Sin Cara did get a couple neat moves in though. He hit a moonsault on Ziggler but didn’t go for the pin. He tried to launch Dolph to the outside but he hung on. One kick and Ziggler was on the floor. Then Sin Cara went for a suicide dive that was almost literally suicidal because Ziggler barely caught him.
Ziggler turned it around once they got back in the ring and hit him with a few wrestling reverals followed by a nice standing dropkick. Sin Cara picked Ziggler up with one arm out of a roll-up pin and powerbombed him to the mat for a two-count. That was impressive.
Dolph got his knees up when Sin Cara went for another moonsault and one superkick later, it was 1-2-3, Dolph won.
The Fahion Files
Breezango had the best live action vingette I’ve ever seen. They parodied Law And Order and used their comedic skills expertly. If this thing becomes an ongoing segment, it would make us very happy.
Thier back and forth was priceless. These two get along so well together. Everything they said was funny. They hyped their Backlash match in a way I’ve never seen before. Quite impressive.
Chris Jericho vs Kevin Owens (US Title — AJ Styles Banned From Ringside)
Jericho started taking it to KO right off the bat. But Kevin started returning the favor as the crowd chanted “you tapped out.”
Jericho banged Kevin’s injured hand off of the ring steps, but Owens rolled in the ring before he could get another set of ring steps stomped on them. Kevin kicked Jericho as soon as he got in the ring and stayed on top of him.
These two know each other so well and work amazingly against each other. “Stupid idiot” chants started to ring out as Y2J kicked out of a pin.
KO chopped Jericho down in the corner and whipped him to the corner. Jericho raised his foot and connected with a dropkick from the top. Jericho yelled “Stupid idiot!” as the crowd popped hard.
Jericho took a bump over the turnbuckles and fell to the floor. Kevin rolled outside and hit a running cannonball on Jericho against the barrier. He threw Chris back in the ring for a two-count.
Jericho jumped on top but KO caught him with a fist to the midsection when he came down. Owens tried a pop-up powerbomb, but Jericho reversed it. KO then reversed a lionsault. Jericho reversed a cannonball. Then Y2J hit a lionsault for a two-count. Genius.
Jericho went for the Walls Of Jericho, but Owens spun him out of it. Then Y2J tried a second attempt and locked in the move. Kevin went crawling to the ropes, and finally grabbed the bottom rope.
Jericho went for a springboard move, but Owens pulled his neck across the top rope. Kevin hit a superkick and got a two-count. Then Owens sent for another pop-up powerbomb but Jericho rolled through and ended up turning it into another Walls Of Jericho.
Kevin’s face showed a ton of agony as he crawled toward the rope. His bandgaged hand didn’t help. KO finally got to the bottom rope once more but the damage had already been done.
They took the action ouside and KO hit a sick DDT on Jericho on the outside. Jericho looked limp as Kevin rolled him back in the ring. The crowd chanted “Y2J” but obviously they didn’t know Jericho’s touring schedule.
Kevin Owens hit another superkick. 1-2-kickout! Owens looked angry and Jericho looked hurt. Owens pulled Jericho up as the crowd chanted “you tapped out.” Jericho tried to roll Owens up but only got a two-count.
Owens finally hit a pop-up powerbomb and won the match. Kevin Owens is the Face Of America once more.
Officials rushed to the ring to tend to Y2J. Kevin Owens stood by the side of the ring and finally got back in once his music stopped playing. He picked Jericho up and hit another pop-up powerbomb on his former best friend. Then KO picked Y2J up and yelled “you were never my best friend!” right in Jericho’s face. Chris fell lifeless to the mat. Owens walked away with the US Title around his shoulder.
It didn’t end pretty. But good lord, that was an incredible match.
“Thank you Jericho” chants rose out of the crowd as officials helped Chris Jericho walk up the entrance. Then Kevin Owens ran back out to continue his beatdown. After all, he’s got to put Jericho out for a bit because he’s got a Fozzy tour.
Kevin put Jericho’s head inside an opened steel chair and drove it into the ring post. Jericho was left laying on the ground in a ton of pain as KO walked back up the ramp with US Title in tow looking very proud of himself.