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

WWE Backlash 2017 Preview – Triple Threat POV

Posted by Jordan Chaffiotte Friday, May 19, 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, Robert DeFelice, and Gabby Velasquez will be giving their opinions on WWE Backlash! It's that time again, with WWE showing no signs of stopping their twice monthly pay-per-view schedule, so our team is taking a look at some of the biggest stories. Who will leave Chicago with the WWE World Heavyweight Championship? Where did WWE misstep in this show's build?

Question 1: Will Jinder Mahal rise to the occasion on Sunday and walk out with the WWE title? What about in 6 months, will he still be in this spot?

CHAFFIOTTE: Hahahahahhaahah no. Look, I have really enjoyed Jinder's work the past few weeks. It's refreshing to see someone who isn't from the Triple H golden tier get a shot at the title and his heel tactics have been a lot of fun. But Randal. Keith. Orton. That guy is not lying down for Jinder Mahal, he's just not. Unless his recent ill-conceived Twitter rant on indy wrestling gets him in the dog house, which it probably won't, there's no way that Randy is dropping the belt to anyone not named Shinsuke Nakamura, AJ Styles, or maybe Baron Corbin. Now, this is ignoring the fact that WWE is making moves in India and that perhaps they will want to have an Indian champion as they do, but when has that actually ever been the case? Plus, "this is what we think of you" in a xenophobic stereotype, not the best foot forward. You know what would be? If the crowd gets behind him on Sunday because Randy's boring and he slowly shows us his heart throughout the match. Then turn him face the next SmackDown and let him be a hard-working descendant of immigrants who feels a responsibility to his family and culture to go and succeed at whatever it is that he does. That's probably a hair too progressive for WWE, but hey, a girl can dream.

In six months I worry we'll see him back at the bottom again, jobbing out to the likes of Kevin Owens. It's not fair, as he does seem to work incredibly hard to keep himself in the shape that he's in. But I also don't hate the concept that like Triple H says, this is a play, and we all have our roles. Hopefully, Jinder can find something in the upper-midcard to flourish in.

DeFELICE: Jinder Mahal is the latest shocking push in WWE history. Here is a guy who a mere four weeks ago was jobbing to Finn Bálor on RAW. Do I personally think he will rise to the occasion? No, but I would like to see him do so and ultimately create a new superstar that can be used in the main event scene for years to come. Jinder is talented in a very old school sense. A lot has been made of Randy Orton's recent tirade about the independent style, but I believe a worker like Mahal plays into Randy's strengths. Randy even praised him in 2012, so the idea of Randy not wanting to lose to him doesn't seem all that possible to me. Outside of that, the only thing that I can say this match reminds me of is the 2011 main event between John Cena and R-Truth. That was Truth’s only moment in the sun outside of some tag team work with The Miz. I do not know where Jinder will be by Survivor Series, but I do see him facing John Cena for the United States championship in August at SummerSlam.

I, for one, do not feel like the xenophobic storyline is a hindrance, I believe this is the main thing that will carry him further into the main event scene. I understand that we would sometimes prefer our entertainment not be so heavily reliant on phobias and prejudices, however the fact that he is Indian is something that sets him apart and not everybody can be just a good wrestler. There has to be some character there otherwise there's no point to this particular medium of entertainment. I look forward to seeing what happens on Sunday and if nothing else in years to come we will remember this match as one that stands out in its time.

VELASQUEZ: Jinder Mahal worked hard and rebuilt himself, coming back to WWE in astounding shape. His rise to the main event scene should be a cause for celebration. Instead, every time he comes out, I feel like punching myself in the face. It has nothing to do with his in-ring work or even his promos; he is working well and doing the best with what he’s been given by Creative. But when you consider the context: “All Lives Matter” Randy Orton taking on American-hating Jinder Mahal just feels...off. Right?

I highly doubt Randy Orton will drop his title to Mahal. Mahal has no stories to tell with any of the natural title contenders and it makes little sense for him to carry the company’s top title when its Raw counterpart is already absent from weekly programming. I think the pair will put on a good match if Mahal is allowed to showcase some offense. That being said, I highly doubt Mahal will still be on the top of the card six months from now with talent like AJ Styles and Shinsuke Nakamura waiting at the top of the midcard for their returns to the main event. I hope Mahal doesn’t return to his previous spot. He is talented, as are the Singh brothers. Perhaps they can strike up faction warfare with the New Day when they return to television.

Question 2: In the faction wars between The Welcoming Committee and Team Prepared To Bond, whose star is shining the brightest?

CHAFFIOTTE: That would be Ms. Prepared to Bond herself, Becky Lynch. It's not really a fair fight, Charlotte will always outshine anything she's put on, but I've been impressed by Becky's ability to stand up next to her best friend in this run. So if we're assuming that Charlotte is always going to do incredibly well no matter where they position her, then it's Becky who's really blowing me away here. She's charming in a way that is frankly unmatched in the division, even by Charlotte, who bleeds charisma. You just wanna be Becky’s friend, and here, it makes her really sympathetic as the reluctant captain of a dysfunctional ship. On top of that, there’s her undeniable chemistry with both of them, and actually, while we’re on the topic, with everyone. She has an uncanny ability to gel with whoever she’s in the ring with, and it’s amplified by her closeness to Charlotte. I’m really interested in where this is going, if Charlotte will change her mind about this alliance or if Becky will manage to bring out the best in her. That’s because of Becky’s work here.

DeFELICE: I feel like I would be kicked off of all future panels if I say that James Ellsworth has made the most of this opportunity. Before I get into the girls, I just like to take a moment to applaud the guy for turning a one-off appearance into a full-time gig. Kudos to you, Chince McMahon. Now then, I despise this angle. I feel as though it's an all too fast return to the Divas division of old where everybody has a buddy and there's constant tag matches. I still don't understand why the Welcoming Committee is mad. Are they mad because Charlotte is an established star? I don't like storylines that tend to peek behind the curtain and try to use rumored favor toward a particular talent it just doesn't make sense in the scripted world. Whenever I see things like this, I groan because I feel like they're all just acknowledging how irrelevant everybody is compared to Charlotte. I don't have too much to say about this outside of the fact that if there was going to be a stable, it should've been between the three second-generation superstars. I feel like Naomi is fantastic and I hope she continues to bask in her newfound glow. Becky needs a serious edge to her even though I love her puns. Most importantly, I seriously hope the Welcoming Committee goes their separate ways after Sunday.

VELASQUEZ: As much as I despise faction warfare, I do find the story behind the Welcoming Committee fascinating. Charlotte's arrival signals a major change of guard for the women of SmackDown. Her star power has shot her to the top of the card. Resentment is natural. But in the case of whose star is shining the brightest, the obvious answer would be Charlotte. She has become the centerpiece of the women's division almost overnight, and for good reason. Naomi is also wonderful right now. It's easy to be overshadowed by Charlotte, but she’s made herself continuously relevant in the story and has held her own in matches.

I can't say the same for the Welcoming Committee, however. I'd like to see more individual personality from Tamina, especially. That’s the problem with factions, especially ones hastily put together. You lose individuality. And if the group doesn't have a strong personality driving it, like the Bullet Club in New Japan or even the Shield, it can collapse in on itself and leave all of its members worse for wear.

Question 3: Is Nakamura a hit or a miss in his current position on SmackDown Live?


CHAFFIOTTE: Right now I think it's a miss, but Sunday could easily change that. Having him debut and then not wrestle for weeks was a questionable decision at best. Plus Dolph Ziggler, while a vet, is not exactly my top choice of first feuds for him. I probably would've put him in something with the overly confident Baron Corbin or have him shoot right for Kevin Owen’s US title straight out of the gate. However, Dolph can go. He’s one of the best sellers in the company, which will pair well with Nakamura's strong style. Additionally, he’s a technical worker, and the two have every opportunity to put on a clinic. If they do that, it'll renew my trust that WWE knows what they’re doing with Nakamura. Still, he needs to go straight for a title next, there's no more time to waste.

DeFELICE: Shinsuke Nakamura's NXT run is one of the few times WWE can say that they really did justice to an established foreign Superstar. The King of Strong Style didn't have to change a single thing about the way he worked and he made it work in a WWE setting. I was a little concerned for his speech, but for a Japanese wrestler, Shinsuke can cut a promo in English pretty well. My issue with his time on SmackDown isn't that they're saving him for the pay-per-view, I believe that enhances his marketability as a special attraction. I do not particularly care for the nickname of The Artist. Aside from that, the saddest thing about his match on Sunday is that Dolph Ziggler will be a glorified enhancement talent. Ziggler has always had the short end of the stick for whatever reason but I hope he gets a chance to shine against the Japanese stand out because he deserves all the time in the sun as well. Of course, I see Shinsuke getting a big W and moving on to a championship opportunity because he has a special talent that people will sour on if he isn't used in a top position quickly. Aside from a couple of hiccups, I consider his time on the main roster of thus far a total win. I don't know if it will be the same going forward but they have me holding my breath hoping for the best.

VELASQUEZ: I don't think Nakamura has been on the main roster long enough for his run to be much of anything, really. I don't mind saving the actual wrestling for Backlash, because it adds a sense of importance to not only his debut match, but to him as a character. I like having him cut promos, and anytime I can see his entrance, I won't complain. Dolph Ziggler was the right choice for his first opponent. He's got attitude and can deliver in the ring, and we all know how he can make any move look absolutely devastating. I'm looking forward to seeing him sell the Kinshasa.

We know it's only a matter of time before he's tearing it up in the main event scene. Audiences are already enthralled by him and management is behind him as a character. He's thrilling for casual fans and hardcore fans alike. Shinsuke Nakamura is a win-win situation. It's only a matter of time before he's swaggering into the ring with the world's biggest title around his waist.

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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