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Backlash: A Night of Technically Proficient Matches...

Updated on June 21, 2018

The title speaks for itself I think that this was a night of boring matches that were technically proficient in their choreography. And if you think that's enough for this twenty nine year old wrestling fan, you are sadly mistaken. I need characterization and story during the matches these days because I write my own fiction and NXT and Lucha Underground have spoiled me rotten with their in ring psychology. And the kicker is there were matches on the card that had a story going into them like Seth vs. Miz for the I.C. Title, Bayley vs. Ruby Riot, Charlotte vs. Carmela for the SmackDown Women's title, Alexa vs. Nia Jaxx for the RAW women's title, AJ Styles Vs. Shinsuke Nakamura for the WWE Title, and Samoa Joe vs. Roman Reigns. And none of them told a story through in-ring psychology. But I'll save that for the conclusion, for now on to the assessment...


Pre-Show Match had Bayley vs. Riot, as it was a slow paced technically wrestled match. That's an improvement over the tumbling and hair pooling of yesteryear, but this match lacked character from either wrestler. I suppose I get why this was on the pre-show if this is any indication to how these women had to wrestle each week. Not to mention there was very little interference from Ruby's comrade's Sarah Logan and Liv Morgan. This match was eight minutes but felt longer due to the lack of energy and character. It mercifully ended with Liv Morgan distracting Bayley allowing Ruby Riot to get the decisive blow and pinning Bayley for the win...

The main show opened with Miz vs Seth Rollins for the I.C. Title. A technically wrestled match. There was little character on Miz's part, when he mimicked Seth's super kick prep, but other than that it was slow paced and technically proficient match. I can understand if the performers are exhausted and if they play it safe in order to keep performing multiple nights. But they could make up for the lack of high risk maneuvers by showing character and telling a story with the choreography. Regardless, after a long grueling match, Rollins emerged victorious.

What followed was Nia Jaxx vs. Alexa Bliss, which oddly enough had some sense of character to it. A sort of human toppling a behemoth sense of psychology between Alexa and Nia, as Alexa tried everything she could to try and topple Nia. Nia proved too powerful for Alexa to overcome, which caused Alexa to resort to trying to use Nia's weight against her. At the end of the day, Nia proved to much for Alexa and ended up retaining her title with a pin.

Next was Jeff Hardy vs. Randy Orton, as it was another technically proficient match, but like the I.C. Title match there was a lack of character and story. Hell a greater lack of character and story than the I.C. Title match since neither Jeff nor Randy exhibited any character, which made the match feel longer than it did. The match did pick up after Orton's second rope DDT, but still lacking character for me or the audience's ability to care. Jeff retained with a swanton bomb, and this match mercifully ended.

Next was an Elias concert that never got started. Elias announced himself, spoke for a bit trying to get heat. The moment Elias got heat, he teased leaving, before he sat back down. And when he got started, The New Day came out wanting to perform with him. After Elias brushed them off Aiden English and Rusev interrupted him. After Rusev said that he didn't come to her a "Bootleg Bob Dylan," No-way Jose came out with his congo line, all the while I was wondering if a match was going to start. There was no match, as Elias got frustrated, before Bobby Roode came out, and laid out Elias with his "Glorious DDT," before he left dancing with Jose's congo line. It was time wasted that I wanted back, but knew I could never regain, and I hated this segment for it...

Next was Big Cass vs. Daniel Bryan, which somehow was bad... A classic David vs. Goliath match, and I wasn't invested, and neither was the crowd. Cass beat down Bryan, and showboated, before Bryan made a comeback, as he went for Cass' legs. Bryan toppled Cass, and tapped him out to the "Yes Lock." And you'd think it'd end there, but they had Cass attack Bryan after the match, meaning the feud continues...Flipping joy...

What followed was Smackdown Women's Championship. This match was a little bit better as Carmella was the cowardly heel, who tried to flee the match. Charlotte cut her off, and started to lay into her, before Carmella started fight back. Well assuming that fighting back equals a few choke holds, and a few kicks. Carmella retained as Charlotte missed a moonsault off the top rope, and was kicked in the face, before being pinned. The start was nice, but the match and finish fell flat after that for me.

Next was Aj Styles vs. Shinsuke's Nakamura... You'd think this would be the best match of the night, but it wasn't, as for a "no DQ" nothing happened... Like every match before it, it was a technically proficient match that lacked character. Well I take that back as AJ showed aggravation towards Shinsuke's underhanded antics, but that was it as far as character, as we got no character from Shinsuke. They used one chair...ONE CHAIR!!!! This is a No DQ, I expected, tables, kendo sticks, and chairs. Hell Shinsuke could've smacked AJ in the nads with a kendo stick. But no, just a technically proficient match with a peppering of aggression from AJ. The match went on so long that I begged God to end it. And when it ended, I felt cheated, like fifteen to twenty minutes of my life were wasted... AJ and Shinsuke kicked each other in the balls and it ended in a double count out... it was utter crap. Oh and I almost forgot about the spot where Shinsuke went for his Kinshasa kick, before AJ struck him in the knee with the chair before it ricocheted and busted open AJ's cheek... This match was so boring that didn't shock me.

Next was Bobby Lashely and Braun Strowman vs. Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens. Another technically proficient match, though there was characterization most from Kevin Owns and Sami Zayns who acted like underhanded heels. Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn worked over Lashely, giving him no chance to tag Strowman. When Lashely finally got to tag Strowman who beat Owens and Zayn so bad, Sami Zayn tried to leave, before Kevin through him back in the ring. I admittedly enjoyed this and laughed at it. I laughed at that and when Sami Zayn threw Owens back into the ring. Despite this it still felt like a waste, which is a shame. But it ended with Lashely slamming Owens with a duplex slam, and pining him for the win.

And lastly was Samoa Joe vs. Roman Reigns... You'd think this match would be a hard hitting match between two big samosa men, but if you thought that, you'd be wrong. There was nothing but a bunch of arm locks and chin locks. Well these were all performed by Samoa Joe. It like every matches before it, though the only one exhibiting any attempt at character was Samoa Joe, and that's only because he was verbally taunting Roman. Granted they brawled outside of the ring before the bell rang for the match to start, but that was boring to me. This match felt too long with its slow pacing, but mercifully ended with Roman spearing Samoa Joe and pinned him. And that ended this trash pay-per-view, along with the audience leaving...


The Conclusion...

This Pay-Per-View was garbage and felt a lot longer than the three and half hours it was scheduled to be. The pacing and lack of story in the in-ring psychology ruined what could have been good matches... This is one of the reasons I've stopped watching RAW and SmackDown, as the wrestling choreography and promos are lifeless. Bayley vs. Ruby Riot was pointless. Seth vs. Miz was average, as was Nia vs. Alexa. Jeff vs. Randy was boring, and Elias' segment had me feeing like I wasted my life. Big Cass vs. Daniel Bryan was terrible, and AJ vs. Shinsuke was like watching circus clowns.

You get my point, this was terrible, as if I used grades, I'd give this show an F.


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    • adecourv profile image

      Alex deCourville 

      2 years ago

      I had a similar reaction to this show. I wouldn't call these matches too bad on their own. But the show was such a slog to sit through


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