WWE Backlash 2017 Fallout – Triple Threat POV | Smark Out Moment

WWE Backlash 2017 Fallout – Triple Threat POV

Posted by Jordan Chaffiotte Friday, May 26, 2017
Welcome to another edition of Triple Threat from Smark Out Moment, where three of us get together to discuss three questions based on one big topic going down in the week of professional wrestling.

This week, Jordan Chaffiotte, Gabby Velasquez, and Robert DeFelice will be discussing WWE Backlash. The SmackDown exclusive pay-per-view was full of moments no one expected, not the least of all the crowning of Jinder Mahal as the new WWE World Champion. Our writers give their takes on the twist and turns of the events of Sunday night.

Question 1: He did it. Jinder Mahal is the WWE World Heavyweight Champion. What was your reaction?

CHAFFIOTTE: Wait, WHAT? You know, I really missed the mark on my Backlash predictions, I went to bed after TakeOver's main event thinking the show was over, I thought Sami Zayn was surely going to lose, and I did not expect them to put the belt on Jinder. It was really a weekend of pleasant surprises. After years of jobbing him out, to give him this chance now as WWE expands into India might seem a little bit racist (or be a little bit racist,) but I'm optimistic that this he probably should've won the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal, but hey, anything is isn't a one-week champion. I'm honestly so relieved to see them take a risk for once, and sure, better than what we had with unmotivated Randy Orton. No one is expecting him to walk into WrestleMania with it, but he could be in for a bit of a run before the next in line, possibly Baron Corbin or Shinsuke Nakamura, gets their big moment at SummerSlam. If Jinder continues to do the great promo work that he has been the past few weeks, I'm 100% in on this, at least for a few months.

VELASQUEZ: I feel like I could show you rather than tell you:


DeFELICE: I'd like to state on the record that I'm jealous I didn't record my reaction as it really is a much better way of showing my true emotions at the time. He did it. He did the seemingly impossible. However, there's a bigger story than the rise of the Maharajah. WWE sent a clear message to the audience, especially the younger, open-minded fan base: never miss an episode because anything can happen. Even the older more jaded fans can't believe that Jinder Mahal actually walked away champion. Going forward, I still see him wrestling John Cena in August, but beyond that I'm not sure. It doesn't matter, his name is forever in the history books and it was an awesome moment and I can't wait for more.

Question 2: Did your bright star hold their own during the six-woman tag? Did anyone else impress you?

CHAFFIOTTE: Becky Lynch took the pin for her team and while on one hand, it was a little disappointing. Just call her Becky "easily distracted" Lynch because damn that girl cannot focus on anything. I find myself loving it though, for all the bright hair and puns, there really is a fully formed character underneath. Tough, never backing down from a challenge, but loyal to a fault and not always the most cunning. It's really important to me that every single competitor, no matter what your gimmick or position, has an Achille's heel. Becky's is really well defined, we know exactly where her weakness lies and her competition has been shown to exploit it. As long as it's balanced by her strengths, like the killer tork on that armbar, I'm okay with it.

I also believe the Sharpshooter should be protected. It has such an unprecedented legacy, there's not other move that has been passed down from wrestler to wrestler like this. We've seen it come and go in terms of devastation, but I'm a stickler for it being a protected move. Natalya, from a technical perspective, is the best wrestler in that division. When she gets her finisher locked in, I don't care who you are, if you can't get to the ropes or kick her off, you better tap out. I'm sorry it had to come at Becky's expense, but it was a decent enough finish and it gave the Welcoming Committee the win they so desperately needed. Unfortunately, this week Becky was a role player rather than a breakout star.

VELASQUEZ: Charlotte and Naomi more than held their own in a tag match that, though it had its moments, still felt incomplete in the way of storytelling. Naomi's swift kicks look better than ever (despite Carmella's awkward selling of the move itself) and she received a warm ovation from the notoriously difficult to please Chicago crowd. I feel like we won't truly see any standouts, however, until WWE goes back to what made its SmackDown women's division shine in the first place: one-on-one, individualized storytelling.

Faction warfare only has so much to offer an audience, especially when the factions include so many eccentric and highly individual characters. Becky, Charlotte, Naomi, Carmella...all of these women have a lot to offer as individuals that can be better communicated through individual storylines and not just a mash-up of an entire division.

DeFELICE: I stated in last week's piece that I was so uninterested in the 6-Woman tag and that nobody really stood out, unfortunately, I left feeling the same way. SmackDown has hit a roadblock in their path to women's wrestling superiority. I don't know what it is but WWE has an obsession with girls who are buddy-buddy with each other. It doesn't work. It's so Disney Channel high school bullshit. Aside from that, the match itself was solid with a very surprising finish. Natalya making Becky tap to the Sharpshooter dropped my jaw about as much as Mahal winning the title.

The issue in this particular story is the lack of a standout. They've managed to make Charlotte feel like any other average girl, Becky is the most easily distracted player on the field, who is not living up to her full potential in my opinion. She has the skill to be an ice cold killer, but they play to her adorable fantastic charisma so she ends up very gullible and looks more like a female Eugene than a Dean Malenko. Naomi is the smiley champion with a great flashy character. Nattie, is unfortunately like the female Dolph Ziggler. I'm glad she got the win but it's too little too late in most people's eyes. Tamina is perhaps the most grossly underutilized of them all. Much like I said last week, James Ellsworth is the one who deserves the credit for how much he's done with so little and by default, that makes Carmella the one with the most character out of the six.

Rumor has it that in four weeks the girls will be having their first Money in the Bank ladder match. If that be the case then I would like to see Carmela go one on one with Naomi and Becky grab the briefcase and start on her path Korea surgeons with a slightly more serious demeanor. The talent list is great but these superstars are lacking in personality just a little too much for my liking right now.

Question 3: How did you enjoy Shinsuke Nakamura's debut pay-per-view match?

CHAFFIOTTE: Ehhhh it was good. It certainly wasn't bad. For me, it just honestly lacked a little bit of shine. Let's compare it to Shinsuke's first match in NXT against Sami Zayn, I watched that match with the sound off because of things competing for my attention, and it was still incredible. That's just how good Shinsuke is capable of being. This hardly kept me interested much at all. I'm struggling to remember exactly what happened. Shinsuke's entrance was obviously a joy, and of course, he needed the pay-per-view W under his belt. Part of my problem may be Dolph, who after his work last year, some of the best of his career, has gone straight down in terms of a solidified character. His heel work has largely felt forced and uninspired, and he's so far off from Shinsuke's level I have a hard time Shinsuke would even give him the time of day at catering right now. Guess sometimes the things you love really don't love you back.

How much better would this have been if they gave us a rerun of Shinsuke/Sami? Sure everyone would've cried seen it, but that could be part of the story. Sami's frustrated with his role in SmackDown, he thought things would be different here but instead he's getting pushed to the side for guys like Baron Corbin. He needs a chance to prove himself, and Shinsuke, Shinsuke needs a match. Together they put on a MOTY. They did it before and they can do it again. Instead, we got white-bread Ziggler.

VELASQUEZ: I was shocked to see this match go on first, but I think it really did its job in terms of showing us how special Nakamura is. I enjoyed the action of the match and Nakamura got a lot of good character moments in. Was it as magical as his NXT debut? No, of course not, and I don't believe anyone expected it to be a 5-star classic.

Dolph Ziggler, as expected, sold his offense wonderfully and rightfully let all of the focus go to Nakamura. And that's what this match was. It was never going to be a thrilling culmination of an intense rivalry. Both performers knew that. It was an introduction, a taste of someone who is surely going to be a top name on the blue brand in the months to come. And Nakamura, to no one's surprise, was enthralling in the ring. That sort of magnetism and charisma doesn't just go away, even if you are in a brief introductory feud.

So yes, I did enjoy it. Now, would I watch it again? Eh, maybe. To be frank, I think I enjoyed Nakamura and AJ Styles' tag match on Tuesday's SmackDown more

DeFELICE: "White-bread Ziggler." What a perfect segue into exactly what I want to talk about. This is going to be my focus of why I think people were down on the match and why I myself couldn't get into it completely. In a pre-NXT world, this match would've been five stars. I always feel bad for Ziggler. He was the best worker in WWE before it was the only thing that mattered and they hired a bunch of reputable independent talent. The only reason that people aren't gushing over this contest is the perception of Dolph. "He's boring. He's stale. He's overrated." Personally, I don't share this mindset. I think Dolph is the total package and his feud with The Miz late last year proved that he can still captivate an audience, but ultimately the inconsistency that has plagued his entire career halted him once more and it was impossible for me to see this match as anything but a grand scale enhancement match for Shinsuke and that, to me, is a damn shame.

Shinsuke will be in his first WWE style gimmick match as he meets Dolph and four other familiar faces in this year's Money in the Bank ladder match. A match that in many ways will ingratiate Shinsuke in the WWE main roster way of life perhaps more than any other. It will be another great showcase for him but I would be surprised if he walks away with the win and the guaranteed title opportunity. His character is not the character that needs it but he will be able to participate in a fun, high-octane the cluster with many workers he already feels comfortable with. Thus far, I really like his work on the blue brand.

Those are our thoughts on the issue, but where do you stand?
Let us know your answers to these questions in the comments below!

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THIS POST WAS WRITTEN BY JORDAN CHAFFIOTTE

Jordan Chaffiotte is a writer and blogger on a variety of channels and is an alum of Her Campus. Her long-term love of writing has been matched recently by a new love for professional wrestling. You can follow her on Twitter and LinkedIn.

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