Hello everyone, you've landed on Planet Kayfabe once again. This time I give some quick predictions for the upcoming WWE Backlash Pay-Per-View event live from Newark, New Jersey.
This is the first of the new dual branded PPV's so the event is noteworthy (I guess) for that. This is also the 14th "Backlash" PPV. I hate to sound like an old fan riddled with nostalgic thoughts, but this new logo f***ing sucks and I also miss the old sets. It's kinda weird how this company's shows looked like a bigger deal 18 years ago than they do today, but whatever. I guess we're all supposed to just be used to bland LED-gasms devoid of all character and charm by now. Whatever.
AJ Styles and Nakamura have gotten more personal of a rivalry a month after their Wrestlemania match which was basically hyped around it's 5 star potential. I always think its weird when WWE on TV, which is supposed to be kayfabe, make reference to 5 star matches which is how matches are judged by quality in the shoot world. (More on this later on)
Nakamura complete with new theme and attitude has revived his WWE career with a much needed heel run... Hmm... What an idea. Considering Nakamua has gotten all the heat so far in this rivalry, I would think AJ is going over, but a win for Shinsuke wouldn't be bad either. The only problem is, if Nakamura wins, it will probably be with a low blow or at least a low blow to give the assist to his finisher... and... how many times does AJ have to get hit in the cherry basket before he invests in a cup. I'm sure Dick's Sporting Goods have some. I mean, their name basically advertises them.
The Intercontinental Championship is staying on Raw and so is the winner, Seth Rollins. The Miz I'm predicting will have some sort of alliance with Big Cass over on SmackDown which will carry into his feud with Daniel Bryan that started a couple years ago when Miz cut that memorable promo on Talking Smack. The two will have a good match, but this is all Rollins.
Over on the US Championship side of things there's US Champion Jeff Hardy defending against Randy Orton. This match feels weird. Two future hall-of-famer's and world champions going for the US title. In Jeff's case I get it. He just came back from an injury and is getting a singles run, so it's a good way to establish his run in a meaningful way, but... Randy Orton? Why does he still care about this title? I know I've said this a lot lately, but once more for those who forgot or weren't paying attention... This is what the brand split is. It doesn't really give more guys opportunities. It just splits the rosters in half and also splits the star power in half so the guys holding the IC and US titles are usually just main event guys that they want to keep busy between top programs. Go look back at the holders of both these titles since the split. Shit, even Roman Reigns was IC champion and the guy just main evented his 4th straight Wrestlemania. Can you think of the last time these titles actually made a young rising star off the top of your head. Talk about prestige all you want, but we are far from the days of this title being Randy Savage's or Shawn Michaels' stepping stone to main event stardom. Anyway, my pick is Jeff.
Nia Jax vs Alexa Bliss for the Raw Women's Championship. The Bliss anti-bully promos have been pretty entertaining. Not great, but kinda funny. I wouldn't be shocked if she wins the belt back, because I have a feeling they just took the belt off Alexa because they booked themselves in a corner by doing the bully story and a couple recent procedures she's had. So, my pick is Alexa to retain. I'm curious how the crowd reacts. I'm still not sold on the crowd really feeling sympathetic for Nia (who did a great job selling being bullied) once the bell rings and once again they see the image of a 6 foot tall 250 pound woman tossing around a 5 foot tall 105 pound "bully".
The SmackDown Women's title I think will get thrown out in a DQ by the Iconic Duo running in to help Carmella. There isn't much else to say here. I think the match will be ok, but I'm not expecting a clean finish at all and I'm saying Carmella keeps the title via disqualification.
Strowman and Lashley are teaming up against Owens and Zayn in a match that really means nothing. For this to be interesting I think Lashley needs to turn. I remember a year or so ago people were giving me shit when I said Lashley wouldn't be hot-shotted to face Lesnar because Lashley was simply not that big of a star in WWE, nor did he make a bigger name for himself outside of WWE. You may have liked his TNA run, but it didn't raise his public profile at all. Lashley's return got a strong pop from a crowd of hyped up hardcore fans right after Wrestlemania who all knew about the leaked Titan Tron image signifying his return. Well... Now what? He's just a guy who wears a headband and I don't think he has said ONE word on TV this past month since returning. I don't think the crowd is that invested in a guy from 10 years ago that no one is really that nostalgic for and the fans who started watching this decade have no idea why they're supposed to care about this guy who was never even a world champion. Here, if he turns on Raw's hottest name, that's Braun Strowman, it's at least something to get people at least caring about him when he comes out. It's more than just being the guy who comes out and suplexes people. We already have one of those and most fans are sick of the act. So... that's my prediction. KO & Sami win after Lashley turns on Braun leading to them two feuding for a bit. If it's just the happy babyface finish, Braun will be fine but Lashley will continue to come out to tepid reactions.
I guess once again Samoa Joe has to play clean up for Reigns. Roman coming off his 500th Universal Championship loss has to be built up, I guess...My prediction is Roman Reigns is winning but the fans are going to be totally behind Joe who has cut some great promos on Roman. The thing that also sucks for Roman is that his heel counterpart in this match has been right. Roman has been a whiny self-entitled brat in character and got his ass beat cleanly at Wrestlemania and was pinned in a pool of his own blood, so why should he be continued to be given rematches while Brock is champion? There is no reason, but... Roman must look strong and considering Joe is on Smackdown, I don't see Roman losing a match and moving on without being able to get his win back.
Lastly... Ahh... You waited for it, you got it. That's right. For 3 years we all dreamed of Daniel Bryan to come out of retirement... to feud... with Big... f***ing Cass.
Are you serious?
Like I mentioned earlier I hope this means some sort of alliance between Miz and Cass because right now it feels like same old/same old WWE. Let the elite worker make the 6'9" (his shoot height and you can teach that) green as grass dude with long hair look like a million bucks. Now, I don't hate Cass. He cut a great promo a couple weeks ago, but it's pretty sad when you're the better worker of he and Enzo and you're still just "o.k." When Daniel Bryan was cleared by WWE I was convinced he's here to stay but if his role is just going to once again be the under-pushed superstar that makes their pet projects look good I doubt he'll re-sign.
Anyway, I enjoyed Cass' promo a couple weeks ago. Even though the spotlight hasn't really been on him in the ring he seems less green and more confident on the mic... To be clear, he seems MORE confident, not fully confident. At the top of this edition of Planet Kayfabe I said I'd get to WWE referencing 5 star matches and that's one reason why I hated Cass' segment this past week on Smackdown.
He basically said he doesn't know a bunch of holds and traditional wrestling moves and doesn't care about putting on 5 star matches. I guess that's their "clever" way of making sure the hardcore fans don't cheer him (uhh... trust me, they weren't going to) but what kind of shit is that for a wrestler to say. He's basically saying "I don't' know any wrestling moves and I don't care" what? Is that supposed to make him sound like a bad ass? What I would have had him say would be something more to the effect of "you can try and apply all the fancy holds you want on me, but it's not going to be worth a damn when I stare down you and punch you in the face". Its that simple. Instead we got, whatever it was, 10 or so minutes of Cass saying he is tall and better than everyone with the segment capped off with him bringing out a midget dressed as Daniel Bryan. This was just crap television. The kind of wrestling segment that casual fans sitting around with their friends start to look at each other embarrassed that they're watching this shit and turn on the NBA playoffs or something.
The story has been that Daniel Bryan is the "underdog". I hate WWE's versions of underdog stories because they make no sense. Daniel Bryan is a multiple time world champion who has main evented Wrestlemania and his talents are recognized by fans around the world and by his peers. Big Cass is Big Cass... One half of Enzo and Cass. He broke free from Enzo, feuded with him until he tore his ACL and was out for 8 months. He hasn't even won a title in WWE yet and we haven't got a full sampling of him as a singles competitor yet.... Daniel Bryan is the UNDERDOG? f*** that. Daniel Bryan is the favorite not just in the fan's minds but also in the kayfabe world stack Bryan's credentials against Big Cass'... It's not even close. But... whatever, he's an "underdog" because he doesn't look like Andrew Martin's dollar store equivalent.
As for referencing 5 star matches, it makes no sense to me in the world of kayfabe since the only thing that should matter to them is winning. I don't hear Daniel Bryan saying back "well, you may not care about 5 star matches, but I'm giving you one whether you like it or not!" Ugh... So stupid!!! Anyway, my pick is Cass to win but with a little help from The Miz, but if Cass simply wins clean outright make sure you follow me on Twitter @PlanetKayfabe and read my review because I'm sure I'll have a lot to say. Especially if this match is the shits and Bryan still had to do the job just to make the tall guy look good.
There's my predictions for this year's Backlash PPV. I hope you enjoy the show and I hope you join me next time for the review of this event. Follow me on Twitter @PlanetKayfabe and enjoy your weekend. Thanks everyone. I'm KC for NoDQ, take care.