– The 2018 WWE Backlash Kickoff pre-show opens live from the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey as Renee Young welcomes us. She’s joined by David Otunga, Peter Rosenberg and WWE Hall of Famer Booker T. The panel hypes the show and goes over the card for tonight. We go backstage to Charly Caruso, who talks about the drama between Shinsuke Nakamura and WWE Champion AJ Styles. They have been placed on opposite sides of the backstage area as one wanted to be nowhere near the other. The hope backstage is that they can keep them apart before tonight’s match. Charly tells fans to use the “#AskTheGMs” hashtag on Twitter as Paige and Kurt Angle will be taking questions in the Social Media Lounge during the Kickoff. Renee sends us to a preview for Roman Reigns vs. Samoa Joe.
The panel discusses Reigns vs. Joe next. Booker and Rosenberg predict Joe to win but Otunga goes with Reigns. We go to another break and come back to a promo for Big Cass vs. Daniel Bryan. We get more discussion from the panel. Booker says he can’t wait to see Cass rip Bryan “from limb to limb.” Bo Dallas and Curtis Axel are backstage going over potential Superstars to join up with when The Miz walks in and says daddy’s home. He gives them props for the mind games they have been playing with Finn Balor and Seth Rollins on RAW. They all reminisce on the great times they have had. Miz says he’s happy the band is back together and they can work together for his match with Rollins tonight. Miz tells them they’re up first and he goes to leave but they’re not following him. Dallas says they’re sorry but they’re no longer the supporting cast in his story. Miz looks stunned as they walk off. We go back to the panel fore more discussion on the WWE Intercontinental Title match. Rosenberg believes The Miz will take the title tonight and Renee agrees. The others go with Rollins to retain. Renee leads us to a promo for tonight’s SmackDown Women’s Title match.
We go back to the panel for talk on the blue brand women’s match but out comes The IIconics to interrupt, Billie Kay and Peyton Royce. They mock the panel and pick on Rosenberg, saying he sounds like one of the Jersey Shore guys. They give some props to Carmella and say Backlash could get iconic. They finally leave the panel and Booker asks what the hell that was. Booker goes with Charlotte Flair to take the title while Rosenberg picks Carmella to retain. We go backstage to Sasha Banks and Bayley. Bayley apparently wanted to talk. She says she’s done fighting with Banks and thinks Banks should be in her corner for the match with Ruby Riott. Banks says now Bayley wants her in her corner after not being there for her, including when The Riott Squad attacked her. They have some words and Bayley says Banks is wrong, but she doesn’t need her tonight. Bayley says forget it, she was trying to offer an olive branch and let Banks get back at The Riott Squad but if she’s too pig-headed to see that, that’s her problem. Banks says Bayley can try to spin this anyway she wants but she’s on her own tonight. She walks off and we return to the panel. The panel talks about Braun Strowman and Bobby Lashley vs. Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens now. Renee asks if Braun and Bobby will be able to jell together. We get a promo for tonight’s RAW Women’s Title match.
Back to the panel and everyone picks Nia Jax to retain over Alexa Bliss. Renee welcomes RAW General Manager Kurt Angle and SmackDown General Manager Paige, who are taking social media questions from backstage. Angle is asked his dream opponent from today’s era and he names Daniel Bryan. He’s wanted to wrestle Bryan for a few years now and hopes we will see it happen down the road. They’re asked a few more questions and then what they think will steal the show tonight. Paige is looking forward to Shinsuke Nakamura vs. AJ Styles and Flair vs. Carmella because Carmella is one of her favorite wrestlers to watch. Angle is looking forward to Jax vs. Bliss and Reigns vs. Joe the most. Renee thanks them and sends us to the announcers at ringside.
Bayley vs. Ruby Riott
We go to Michael Cole, Corey Graves and Jonathan Coachman at ringside. Bayley is out next for the first match of the night. Out next comes The Riott Squad – Ruby Riott with Liv Morgan and Sarah Logan.
The bell rings and they lock up to start. Bayley takes Ruby down first as they trade holds. They get up and Ruby slams Bayley right back to the mat. Ruby drops Bayley again and talks some trash. Bayley ends up rolling Ruby for a 2 count. Bayley with two more quick pin attempts. Ruby keeps control and slams Bayley’s head into the corner a few times. We see Sasha Banks backstage watching the match.
Bayley with offense in the corner. Bayley charges but gets sent to the apron. Bayley keeps control and kicks at Logan as she approaches from the apron, but misses. Ruby takes advantage of the distraction and slams Bayley on the mat. Bayley ends up out on the floor, selling the offense from Ruby. Logan and Morgan taunt Bayley on the outside as we go to a break.
Back from the break and Ruby has Bayley grounded on the mat. Liv and Logan talk trash from the outside. Bayley tries to turn it around but Ruby drops her on her face in the middle of the ring. Ruby works Bayley over on the mat instead of covering for the pin. Ruby with a knee strike on the mat and a 2 count. Ruby keeps Bayley grounded in the middle of the ring now as fans try to rally.
They get back up from the mat and Ruby slams Bayley face first in the corner to keep control. Logan ends up connecting with a cheap shot from the outside. Ruby covers for a 2 count. We see Sasha backstage watching again and she may be concerned about the cheap shot. Bayley tries to fight out of the corner now. Bayley drops Ruby face first into the turnbuckle. Bayley goes on until Ruby smashes her face into the turnbuckles by pulling her in and driving her with knees. Ruby with a 2 count. Ruby keeps control and takes Bayley back to the mat as the referee checks on her. Liv and Logan look on. Bayley escapes a move and stumbles around, trying to find a break. Bayley gets an opening and barely hits a springboard crossbody from the corner for a 2 count. Ruby approaches first but Bayley clotheslines her and slams her. Bayley with a belly-to-back suplex now. Bayley ducks a clothesline and gets caught on the ropes but she ends up driving Logan into the floor as Logan interfered.
Bayley turns it around on Ruby and goes to the top for the big elbow drop. Ruby kicks out at 2. Bayley with more offense on Ruby. Liv gets on the apron but Bayley has to stop and knock her off. This leads to Ruby hitting the Riott Kick for the pin and the win.
Winner: Ruby Riott
– After the match, Ruby leaves with Liv and Logan while Bayley recovers in the ring. We go back to the panel for a quick discussion on tonight’s WWE Title match and that’s it for the Kickoff.
– The 2018 WWE Backlash pay-per-view opens up with a video package.
– We’re live from the Prudential Center in Newark, NJ as Michael Cole welcomes us. He’s joined by Corey Graves and Jonathan Coachman.
WWE Intercontinental Title Match: The Miz vs. Seth Rollins
We go to the ring for tonight’s first co-branded match as The Miz makes his way out. WWE Intercontinental Champion Seth Rollins is out next to a pop as JoJo does the introductions.
We see the Spanish and German announce teams at ringside as Rollins enters the ring. Fans chant for Rollins as we get some stalling and playing to the crowd after the bell. They lock up and trade holds to start. Miz ends up scrambling to the bottom rope to break a hold by Rollins. Miz turns it around on Rollins and stomps away as fans boo. Miz backs off as the referee warns him. More back and forth between the two now. Rollins tries to springboard in from the apron but Miz kicks him and he lands hard on the floor. Miz follows to the floor and works Rollins over, from the announce table to the apron. Miz brings it back into the ring and nails a running boot to the face for a 2 count. Miz keeps Rollins grounded in the middle of the ring now.
Miz keeps control and works Rollins over while keeping him down. Rollins counters a knee and rolls Miz up for a 2 count. Miz counters Rollins again and nails a big DDT for another close 2 count. Miz beats Rollins around and plays to the crowd for boos. Rollins fights up and out with strikes. Rollins blocks a move and slams Miz face first into the mat. Rollins with more offense in the corner. Rollins goes on and hits a Slingblade. Rollins sends Miz over the top to the floor as fans cheer. Rollins runs the ropes and nails a suicide dive to the outside, landing on his feet.
Rollins brings Miz back into the ring and springboards up but Miz catches him in mid-air. Rollins blocks the Skull Crushing Finale and rolls Miz up for a 2 count. More back and forth as Rollins hits a Blockbuster for a 2 count. Miz fights Rollins off and goes for the Figure Four but it’s blocked. Miz sends Rollins to the apron but he flies back in with a big clothesline. Rollins looks out at the crowd as fans cheer. Rollins charges in the corner but Miz sends him to the apron and pulls him down face first into the apron. Fans boo as the referee counts. Miz rolls Rollins back into the ring and goes to the top. Rollins catches him and rolls through, standing up with Miz and driving him back down to the mat for a close 2 count. Rollins goes to the top for the big Frogsplash and nails it. Miz kicks out right before the 3 count.
Rollins cranks up for the Blackout curb stomp now as Miz recovers. Fans chant “burn it down” as Rollins gets ready. Miz rolls to the floor and fans boo. Rollins chases Miz back in the ring and ducks a clothesline. Rollins clotheslines Miz right back to the floor. Rollins runs the ropes for a dive but Miz meets him at the ropes with a big left hand. Miz looks to go for a DDT on the apron but it’s blocked. Miz with a boot to the face on the apron. They trade more big shots on the apron now. Rollins jumps with the big Revolution Knee but Miz moves and Rollins drives his own knee into the ring post. Miz comes in and applies the Figure Four in the middle of the ring.
Miz tightens the hold as Rollins tries to fight it. Rollins turns over in the middle of the ring as Miz screams out in pain now. Miz reverses it again but Rollins makes it to the bottom rope and Miz is forced to break the hold. They trade shots as fans go along with them now. Rollins counters the Skull Crushing Finale. Miz with a big kick but Rollins comes right back with the enziguri. Rollins looks to counter the Skull Crushing Finale again but his knee goes out and Miz drops him for a close 2 count. Miz with the flying clothesline in the corner to a dazed Rollins. Miz goes to the top but wastes some time and Rollins crotches him. Rollins climbs up for the superplex but Miz hangs on and fights back, sending Rollins to the mat on his knee. Rollins runs right back up and nails the superplex, holding it for the Falcon Arrow but his knee goes out again. Miz with a Skull Crushing Finale for another close 2 count.
Miz gets up first as Rollins is still selling the knee injury. Miz puts Rollins on the top and rocks hi. Miz climbs up for a super Skull Crushing Finale from the second rope but Rollins fights it off. Rollins climbs up and comes down but Miz takes out the knee in mid-air. They trade pin attempts and more offense after Rollins misses a super Blackout from the second rope. Rollins nails the Blackout but his knee goes out again. Rollins still manages to crawl over and get the pin for the win.
Winner: Seth Rollins
– After the match, Rollins clutches his knee and takes the title as his music plays. Rollins gets up and raises the title to a pop while Miz is still down. We go to replays. Rollins raises the title and gets hyped up as fans cheer. We get another replay of the finish as Rollins continues the celebration.
– Back from a break and we get a promo for the next match.
RAW Women’s Title Match: Alexa Bliss vs. Nia Jax
We go to the ring and out first comes Alexa Bliss for this WrestleMania 34 rematch. RAW Women’s Champion Nia Jax is out next for her first title defense. We get formal ring introductions from JoJo.
The bell rings and Bliss goes right for the knee. Bliss goes for a Sleeper on Nia’s back but Nia tosses her to the mat. Bliss ends up on Nia’s back for another Sleeper attempt. Jax ends up driving Bliss away with a headbutt and then nailing a big running splash in the corner. Jax manhandles Bliss again, sending her to the floor for a breather as the referee counts. Bliss brings Jax to one knee from the apron and kicks her in the head. Bliss stays on Jax and brings her down for a 2 count.
Bliss uses the middle rope on Jax as the referee counts and warns her. Bliss uses the referee’s count again and yells at him. Bliss slams Nia face first into the apron and then slaps her. Bliss comes back in and drives a knee to the face. Bliss with another big slap in the middle of the ring. Bliss talks trash and taunts Nia in her face. Jax grabs her and counters with a Samoan Drop attempt but Bliss slides out and avoids the move. Jax floors Bliss with a clothesline. Jax goes for the rolling senton but Bliss rolls out of the way. Bliss gets right back on Jax with strikes.
Bliss slams Jax again and talks more trash to the referee, then Jax. Bliss runs the ropes but Jax catches her in mid-air and puts her on her shoulders. Jax walks over for a super Samoan Drop from the second rope but Bliss gets out of it. Bliss tries to bring Jax down again but Jax overpowers. Bliss hangs on until Jax drives her into the corner to finally break free. Jax finally launches Bliss from the top to the mat by her arms and she lands hard across the ring. Nia with a big clothesline now. She tosses Bliss across the ring again and then splashes her in the corner. Jax continues to ragdoll Bliss and shows no remorse. Jax drags Bliss to the corner as fans pop.
Jax climbs up to the second rope for the Vader Bomb but Bliss jumps up and sends Jax flying over the top rope, landing hard out on the floor. The referee counts as Bliss leaves the ring to bring Jax back in. Jax get sent face-first into the steel ring steps. Bliss goes back in and begs the referee, saying she can’t get Jax back in to break the count. The official starts the count again as Bliss broke it. Bliss finally gets Jax in the ring and covers for a 2 count. Bliss throws a temper tantrum on the mat.
Jax ends up going for the super Samoan Drop from the second rope but it’s blocked. Bliss manages to send Jax to the mat by kicking her leg out for another close 2 count. Bliss with more offense and another pin attempt. Bliss goes to the top for Twisted Bliss but Jax catches her in mid-air. Jax turns that into a Samoan Drop for the pin and the win.
Winner: Nia Jax
– After the match, Jax recovers and stands tall with the title as Bliss rolls around. We go to replays. Bliss sits with her back against the apron as Renee Young interviews Jax in the ring, asking what this win means. Jax says this means everything. It means Alexa’s moment of Bliss is over. This victory is for anyone who’s ever felt less than, never good enough. This is for everyone who’s been bullied, who’s being bullied in school, at work or on social media. Jax says you are not alone and it’s OK to be different. Who wants to be ordinary? Be extraordinary because your uniqueness makes you special and that’s beautiful. Nia goes on and says she never apologizes for who she is, this is Nia. She says be who you are, be a star and always remember – the bully gets their ass kicked in the end. Jax looks on as her music hits. Cole talks about WWE’s anti-bullying programs as Bliss leaves with a referee and Jax looks on.
– Back from a break and the announcers discuss the controversial ending to the Steel Cage match between Roman Reigns and WWE Universal Champion Brock Lesnar at the Greatest Royal Rumble event.
– Dasha Fuentes is backstage with Samoa Joe, asking if he thinks Roman Reigns is rattled going into their match. Joe says rattled is a word that’s not good enough. Reigns has lost his confidence , some speed, a little power and a whole lot of determination. And tonight he will lose to Joe. Joe goes on about how Reigns will feel pain and admit his failures. Joe turns The Big Dog into a whimpering puppy tonight.
WWE United States Title Match: Randy Orton vs. Jeff Hardy
We go to the ring and out comes Randy Orton as Greg Hamilton does the introduction. Tom Phillips is doing commentary with Byron Saxton and Graves now. WWE United States Champion Jeff Hardy is out next to a pop.
The bell rings and they go at it. Hardy drops Orton first with a shoulder. Orton fights back and nails an elbow. Orton drops Hardy for a quick pin attempt. Jeff with a jawbreaker out of nowhere. Hardy dropkicks Orton. Orton rolls to the floor and Hardy drives him into the barrier through the ropes. Jeff launches himself from the apron and takes Orton down on the floor again. Jeff brings it back into the ring but Orton kicks him. Orton with a standing dropkick for another 2 count.
Jeff goes for a Twist of fate but Orton blocks it. Jeff stuns Orton in the corner but Orton sends him into the top turnbuckle and the ring post. Jeff gets turned upside down in the corner as Orton stomps away. Orton keeps control and rocks Hardy with another uppercut, and another. Hardy rolls out to the floor and is down. Orton follows but Hardy comes flying from the side, kicking Orton on top of the barrier. Hardy keeps control and pounds on Orton, quickly sending him into the steel ring steps. Jeff brings it back into the ring and goes to springboard in but Orton sends him back to the floor with a dropkick.
Orton keeps control on the outside and slams Hardy on top of the barrier several times as fans cheer. Orton brings it back into the ring for a 2 count. Orton takes his time working Hardy over now. Orton with another pin attempt. Orton keeps Hardy grounded now. Orton wraps his legs around Hardy and pulls back. Hardy tries to fight back to his feet. Some fans chant for Rusev Day as they go at it. Hardy launches himself at Orton to turn it around. Hardy with the inverted atomic drop, more offense and the dropkick between the legs for a 2 count. Hardy ends up hitting the Whisper In the Wind for another close pin attempt.
Orton blocks the Twist of Fate but Hardy blocks the RKO. Orton catches Hardy with a powerslam for another close 2 count. Hardy escapes from a move and kicks Orton back into the corner. Orton avoids the Hardyac Arrest boots in the corner and Jeff lands hard. Orton ends up hitting the second rope draping DDT. Orton hits the mat and calls for the RKO. Hardy block the RKO and brings Orton down for a 2 count. Hardy with the Twist of Fate. Hardy runs right up to the top for a big Swanton Bomb to get the pin.
Winner: Jeff Hardy
– After the match, Hardy stands tall with the title as his music hits. We go to replays. Hardy poses in the corner with the title and rolls out of the ring to greet fans at ringside.
– Back from a break and JoJo introduces Elias, who is in the ring with a spotlight and his guitar.
Elias talks about how he’s friends with Bruce Springsteen but the only thing wrong with Bruce is he’s from New Jersey. Elias goes on and says this song is for Bruce listening at home. He ends up toying with the crowd and isn’t sure if he wants to stay or go. He decides Bruce needs to hear this so he’s going to stay but the music interrupts and out comes The New Day – Xavier Woods, Kofi Kingston and Big E.
Woods gives some props to Elias and he thanks them but he’s not sure why they’re out here because he wasn’t done. Elias asks if they want some autographs and Kofi says definitely not. Kofi proposes a dual-brand Backlash jam-off as they also came out with instruments. Elias asks if they want to play with him? Woods says no, they want to walk with Elias. This leads to Big E starting things off as they play their instruments at ringside. Elias yells at them to stop. Elias says maybe one day they can open for him but tonight is not that night. he tells them to take their toys somewhere else. Elias calls for JoJo to start over as the lights are dimmed. Elias is interrupted before he can get started as we hear Aiden English getting ready for a performance. Fans pop.
English sings and raps some to remind us that today is Rusev Day. Rusev is out next to a pop as his music hits. Elias calls for the music to be cut and asks why the hell these two are here. A big “Rusev Day” chant breaks out. Rusev says they are doing whatever they want. There’s only one person here that celebrates a holiday in his honor and it’s not bootleg Bob Dylan or The Booty Boys. Elias says Bob Dylan wishes he was Elias. Elias goes on and says this is his night. He asks for JoJo to start over once again. No Way Jose interrupts this time as he comes out with his conga line.
Jose’s conga line includes Tyler Breeze, Fandango, Titus O’Neil, Apollo Crews and Dana Brooke. Elias yells for the fiesta to be stopped and the music cut. Elias says no more conga line, no more gang of freaks, no more Rusev Day and The New Day. This is his night and no one will ruin it. Elias is angry now. He calls for JoJo to start over one more time. “Glorious” hits this time to interrupts. Bobby Roode hits the ring out of nowhere and drops Elias with a Glorious DDT. The crowd and some at ringside go along with Roode’s “Glorious” pose. Jose’s music starts back up as he leads the conga line up the ramp. Titus Worldwide, Breezango and The New Day are in it now. Rusev Day watches the line go by. Roode is at the end and he’s also dancing. Roode dances with Titus, Jose and The New Day on the stage to end the segment.
– We get a video package for Big Cass vs. Daniel Bryan.
Big Cass vs. Daniel Bryan
We go to the ring and out comes Daniel Bryan to a big pop. Fans chant “yes!” as Bryan walks down the ramp and greets some at ringside. Bryan does the chant as he poses in the corner. Big Cass is out next.
The bell rings and fans chant for Bryan as Cass backs off and takes it in. Bryan strikes first with a kick to the formerly injured knee. Bryan keeps Cass back but connects with a few more kicks. Bryan ducks another shot and fires back. Cass turns it around and works Bryan around the ring now. Cass charges but Bryan dumps him to the floor over the top. Bryan runs the ropes and sends Cass into the barrier. Bryan with a flying knee from the apron to the floor.
They bring it back into the ring and Bryan nails a big dropkick from the top. Bryan yells out and delivers the “yes!” kicks to Cass now as fans count along. Cass blocks the last kick and drives Bryan down into the mat as some fans boo. Cass stands tall with his fist in the air. Cass with a big chop to the chest and more offense now.
Cass keeps control and overpowers Bryan. Bryan tries to fight back but Cass drops him and delivers a big elbow for another pin attempt. Cass with a modified backbreaker in the middle of the ring now. Bryan gets out and sends Cass into the turnbuckle with a drop toe hold. Bryan with “yes!” kicks in the corner now. Bryan with the corner dropkicks now. Cass catches the third and lifts Bryan high to bring him down into the mat. Cass with a huge clothesline and another 2 count. Cass disrespects Bryan some more and keeps him down. Cass smiles as he raises one arm in the air and drags Bryan with the other. Cass with a clothesline to knock Bryan back down.
Cass turns Bryan inside out with another big clothesline. Cass waits for Bryan to get up. Bryan ducks a big boot and nails a kick. Bryan struggles but finally brings Cass to the mat. Bryan goes for the Yes Lock but Cass is fighting it. Bryan finally gets the hold applied and Cass taps out.
Winner: Daniel Bryan
– After the match, fans chant “yes!” as Bryan recovers while his music hits. Bryan leads a chant as we go to replays. Bryan hits the corner to pose but Cass comes from behind and decks him. Fans boo as Cass knocks Bryan out to the floor. Cass follows and tosses Bryan around a few times, slamming him hard on the floor. Fans chant “you tapped out” at Cass as he gets upset. Cass brings Bryan back into the ring as the boos continue. Cass waits for Bryan to get up again, staring him down. Cass floors Bryan with a big boot as he gets up. Cass stands tall over Bryan and raises his fist as the boos continue. We go to replays. Fans chant “asshole” as Cass leaves while the referee checks on Bryan. We get another replay and come back to Cass backing up the ramp with his fist in the air.
– We get a video package for the next match.
SmackDown Women’s Title Match: Charlotte Flair vs. Carmella
Out first comes Charlotte Flair. SmackDown Women’s Champion Carmella is out next. We get formal ring introductions from Hamilton.
The bell rings and Flair taunts Carmella with a “wooo!” to start. Carmella taunts back and struts but Flair drops her with a big boot. Carmella goes out to the floor. Flair opens the ropes and invites her back in. Carmella grabs her title from the timekeeper’s area and says she doesn’t need this because she’s the champion. Flair confronts her before she can leave. They face off. Flair goes after her and they end up back in the ring trading holds and pin attempts. Carmella tries to escape again but Flair pulls her back for the Figure Four. Carmella ends up escaping again and going to the floor. Flair launches herself out using the top rope but Carmella moves and superkicks Flair as soon as she lands.
Carmella brings it back into the ring for a 2 count. Carmella mounts Flair and unloads on her. Carmella with another 2 count and more strikes. Carmella keeps Flair grounded again and yells out about being the champion. Carmella keeps Flair grounded with the submission and yells at the referee to ask her if she gives up. The hold is broken but Carmella floors Flair with a kick. Carmella keeps Flair down on the mat again. Flair finally breaks it but Carmella counters again and drops her. Carmella mounts Flair and throws a fit on her again. Carmella puts a knee to the back and keeps Flair down, slamming her into the mat a few times. Carmella yells at Flair to give up but she’s still hanging on. Carmella yells about how nobody likes Flair. Flair finally gets up and counters with two boots. Flair with a standing STO.
Flair fights back with chops to drop Carmella. Flair backdrops Carmella and kips up. Carmella goes to the floor and gets decked as she tries to come back in. More back and forth now. Flair goes for a big boot on the apron but Carmella takes her down. Flair’s neck lands hard on the apron. Carmella punks Flair in the corner and yells about who’s the Queen now. Carmella shows off some more but turns around to a big Spear from Flair. Flair goes for the Figure Four but goes for a pin attempt instead. Carmella applies the Code of Silence out of nowhere in the middle of the ring.
More back and forth and a 2 count by Carmella. Flair comes right back with a boot for a 2 count. Carmella blocks the Figure Four. Flair goes to the top for the moonsault but has to land on her feet. Flair’s knee goes out. Carmella takes advantage of the knee and attacks, then covers Flair for the win.
– After the match, Carmella immediately goes to the floor and clutches the title. We go to replays. Carmella celebrates up the ramp as Flair clutches her knee and slowly gets up in the ring.
– The announcers lead us to a video package for tonight’s WWE Title match.
No DQ Match for the WWE Title: Shinsuke Nakamura vs. AJ Styles
We go to the ring and out first comes Shinsuke Nakamura with his new entrance. WWE Champion AJ Styles is out next for this No DQ match. They have some words before Hamilton does formal ring introductions.
The bell rings and Nakamura immediately goes to the floor for some mind games. AJ chases Nakamura back into the ring. Nakamura taunts him and charges with a knee against the ropes but AJ pulls Nakamura out to the floor and sends him into the barrier. AJ tosses Nakamura into another part of the barrier now, and then another part. AJ slams Nakamura into the German announce table. AJ brings it back into the ring and takes Nakamura to the corner for more offense. AJ with another takedown. AJ with a snap suplex for a quick 1 count.
AJ catches Nakamura in a backbreaker after some more back and forth. Nakamura looks to turn it around with a cheap shot. AJ misses a dropkick but comes right back and nails one to the face. Nakamura goes to the floor for a breather and AJ follows. AJ slams Nakamura into the barrier a few more times. AJ runs and leaps at Nakamura against the barrier, sending him back down. AJ charges again but Nakamura moves and he lands hard on the barrier. AJ is down now. Nakamura rocks AJ with a forearm and then sends him into the barrier. Nakamura launches AJ over the steel ring steps now and his knees hit them.
Nakamura places AJ on the apron and delivers a high knee. Nakamura jumps off the steps and nails a knee to the back of the neck now. AJ falls to the floor. Nakamura brings AJ back into the ring for two quick pin attempts. Fans do dueling chants for both competitors now. Nakamura with stomps in the corner. Nakamura with big kicks in the corner now. Nakamura backs AJ into another corner and puts the boots to his chin and throat. Nakamura with Bad Vibrations in the corner now. Nakamura walks around and smiles as the referee checks on AJ. Nakamura drops a big knee on AJ for another 2 count, and another. AJ gets up and fights back but Nakamura drops him into the rope. Nakamura ends up back dropping AJ and putting a foot on the chest for a lazy 1 count.
Nakamura drives knees into AJ while he’s down now. Nakamura kicks AJ back out of the ring and sends him over the timekeeper’s area. AJ tries to leap off the barrier but Nakamura kicks the knee out and AJ lands hard on the floor again. Nakamura brings it back into the ring and works to get a Dragon Sleeper applied in the middle of the ring. AJ counters it and blocks the reverse Exploder, then begins to fight back. AJ gets sent to the apron but he fights back and goes to the top. Nakamura catches AJ in the air once again. Nakamura delivers knees to the ribs in the corner again. Nakamura waits in the corner while AJ gets up in the middle of the ring now. Nakamura nails the big jumping knee but AJ kicks out at 2.
Nakamura keeps control and hits the Michinoku Driver for another 2 count. Nakamura stomps away on AJ. Nakamura goes to the floor and grabs a steel chair while smiling. Nakamura brings the chair back into the ring and waits for AJ to get up. AJ ducks the chair shot and scoops Nakamura on his shoulders. Nakamura fights out but AJ hits him back with offense. Nakamura nails a kick but AJ is still standing, but dazed. Nakamura with the reverse Exploder suplex onto the steel chair for a 2 count. Nakamura waits for AJ to get up and calls for the Kinshasa. AJ puts the steel chair up in between them as Nakamura flies in with the Kinshasa. The chair hits Nakamura in the knee but bounced back and hit AJ as he’s bleeding from the cheek now. We get a replay.
AJ takes a kick to the cheek but he comes right back and puts Nakamura in the Calf Crusher near the middle of the ring. Styles tightens the hold and talks trash to Nakamura. Nakamura rolls out of the hold into a triangle attempt but AJ powers up for a Styles Clash attempt. Nakamura gets to the ropes and goes to the floor for safety, avoiding the Clash. AJ looks to springboard out of the ring with a Phenomenal Forearm but Nakamura rushes in. AJ ends up nailing a big running forearm to the back of the head. AJ goes on and covers for a 2 count. AJ hits a pele kick to send Nakamura back down. Styles goes for the Clash again but he can’t hit it. Nakamura nails a low blow but it’s legal. AJ comes right back with a low blow to Nakamura. Both are down in the middle of the ring now as the crowd pops.
The referee counts as they struggle to get back to their feet. AJ is standing first. Nakamura gets up and they trade shots in the middle of the ring. AJ with a headbutt. They both go to kick each other with low blows and they both connect at the same time. Both Superstars are down once again as the referee counts. The referee calls for the double count out as fans boo.
Double Count Out
– After the bell, the referee goes to Hamilton and explains the finish. Neither man could answer the 10 count but AJ retains. Fans boo the finish. AJ is handed the title as his music starts up. We go to replays with both Superstars still down on the mat. AJ is standing outside of the ring but Nakamura is still down on the mat. A referee helps AJ to the back and he drops to both knees at ringside as we go to another replay of the double low blow. Another referee helps Nakamura out of the ring as AJ is helped up the ramp. Styles stops and looks back to end the segment.
Braun Strowman and Bobby Lashley vs. Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens
Back from the break and out first comes Braun Strowman. Bobby Lashley is out next. Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn are out next together as we see some of the other international announce teams in the arena.
Sami and Lashley start the match off. They go back and forth until Owens comes in. Owens and Lashley trade shots now. Lashley with a swinging neckbreaker before Sami tags back in. Lashley floors him and nails a clothesline in the corner. Lashley unloads with back elbows to Sami in the corner now. Sami ends up going to the floor for a breather as Lashley looks on. Lashley follows and they tangle until Lashley sends him into the barrier. Lashley slams Sami’s face into the announce table and he rolls back in. Lashley re-enters, fights Owens off but gets knocked to the floor from the apron but Sami due to the distraction.
Owens with a senton to Lashley on the floor as he’s the legal man now. Owens brings Lashley back in and stomps away. Sami tags right back in and mounts Lashley with strikes as the heels keep control. Sami keeps Lashley grounded from behind now. Lashley tries to tag but Sami stops him. Lashley slams Sami but still can’t get the tag as Owens runs in. Owens has words with Braun. Braun finally gets the tag and runs over Owens with big clotheslines.
Braun with a big running shot in the corner. Braun ends up chasing Sami around the ring. Owens gets in the way and goes down. Braun sends Sami flying into the barrier. Braun goes on and brings Owens back into the ring. Braun charges but hits the steel ring post as Owens moves out of the way. Sami tags in and goes for a Helluva Kick but Braun scoops him out of the air. Sami slides out and looks to leave the ringside area but Owens talks him out of it. Sami looks to leave again but Owens yells at him and they have some words. Sami rolls Owens back into the ring and Braun decks him with a big shot. Braun yells out and stands tall over Owens.
Owens retreats to the floor and Sami tells him to come on. Owens rolls Sami back into the ring now. Sami asks Owens what he’s doing. Sami brings Owens to the apron and smacks him as things get serious. Sami apologizes and says he got carried away. Sami leaves the ring as everyone is mad at him now. Owens and Sami have words. This leads to Owens getting quickly destroyed by Braun and Lashley, then covered by Lashley for the pin.
Winners: Braun Strowman and Bobby Lashley
– After the match, Sami looks on from the ramp as Braun and Lashley stand tall over Owens. Sami has the chance to help Owens after the match but Braun scoops Owens and plants him with the powerslam. Sami yells from ringside as Braun stands over Owens again while his music hits. Owens is sent to the floor and he’s laid out while Sami checks on him. Braun leaves the ring and grabs Sami as he tries to run away. Braun brings Sami back into the ring and he begs them both to take it easy. Braun scoops Sami and delivers another powerslam. Braun’s music hits again as he and Lashley stand tall.
– Cole announces that Daniel Bryan will not be appearing on the Backlash post-show due to the injuries he suffered from Big Cass but Elias will replace him and he’s demanding to finish his performance from earlier.
– We get a video package for tonight’s main event.
Samoa Joe vs. Roman Reigns
We go to the ring and out comes Samoa Joe for the main event. Roman Reigns is out next.
Reigns enters the ring and Joe nails him with a cheap shot before the bell rings. They brawl to the floor and Reigns fights back. Joe takes back control and slams Reigns through one of the announce tables for a big pop
Joe launches Reigns across another announce table and stays right on top of him. Joe launches Reigns over the third announce table now. Joe backs off as a referee checks on Reigns. Joe stands tall in the ring now but comes right back out and grabs Reigns. Joe rolls Reigns back into the ring and watches as a referee checks on Reigns. The referee warns Joe back into the corner as fans chant about Joe killing Reigns. The bell finally rings and Joe goes right to work on Reigns. Joe drops a big knee and covers for a 2 count. Joe keeps Reigns grounded in the middle of the ring now.
Joe keeps Reigns grounded for a few minutes now, talking trash. We get a replay of Joe putting Reigns through the table at ringside. Reigns finally fights up but Joe sends him to the corner and drops him with a stiff shot for another 2 count. Joe with more strikes before keeping Reigns grounded again. Reigns tries to fight back again and ends up on the outside. Joe runs the ropes and nails a big dive to the floor to drop Reigns again. Joe brings it back in the ring and covers for a 2 count after taking his time. Joe stops the match once again by keeping Reigns grounded.
Fans boo and Joe talks more trash as he keeps Reigns grounded for a few more minutes. Reigns tries to fight back to his feet now. Joe fights back and they trade shots in the middle of the ring. Reigns finally drops Joe with a big boot. Joe goes out to the floor. Reigns rolls out of the ring and runs around for the Drive By. Reigns brings it back into the ring and hits a pair of clotheslines. Reigns with big shots in the corner now as some fans count along. Joe catches Reigns in mid-air. Joe with an inverted atomic drop, a boot and then the senton for a close 2 count. Joe picks Reigns up for the Uranage but Reigns fights him off. Joe with a kick. Reigns blocks the Uranage again. More back and forth. Reigns finally drives Joe down for a 2 count. Both Superstars are exhausted and down again.
Reigns gets up first and waits as Joe stumbles around. Joe blocks the Superman Punch and goes for the Coquina Clutch but Reigns avoids it by dropping Joe over the top rope. Reigns goes to the floor and limps. Joe catches Reigns in mid-air as he leaps for a Drive By and pulls him into the ring. They trade pin attempts. Reigns with a Superman Punch for a close 2 count. Fans chant for Rusev Day as Reigns and Joe recover again. Reigns goes for the Spear but Joe meets him with a kick to the face. Reigns comes right back and nails the Spear for the pin but Joe gets his foot on the bottom rope to break the pin.
They get up at the same time and run the ropes. Joe with a kick. Reigns tries to fight the Coquina Clutch off but Joe drops to the mat. Reigns counters and Joe is forced to break for the pin attempt. More back and forth between the two. Joe gets the Clutch locked in out of nowhere as fans pop. Reigns starts fading as Joe tightens the hold. The referee checks on Reigns but he’s still in it. Reigns gets the bottom rope and the hold is broken. Joe gets up first and shows some frustration. Joe brings Reigns to his feet and takes him to the corner. Joe brings Reigns to the top for the Musclebuster now. Reigns fights him off and jumps off the top but rolls through. Reigns comes right back with a Spear for the pin.
Winner: Roman Reigns
– After the match, Reigns recovers as his music hits. Joe is still down as we go to replays. Reigns stands tall and has his arm raised in the ring by the referee. Joe recovers out on the floor and Reigns stands tall in the ring as Backlash goes off the air.
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