Date: August 30, 2016
Location: American Airlines Center in Dallas, TX
The Big Takeaway —
Despite what was advertised for the show, Daniel Bryan only barely addressed the situation with Miz. On Talking Smack, Bryan made an IC Title match for Backlash, with Miz defending against Dolph Ziggler.
The Headbangers did return, but promptly lost to Heath Slater and Rhyno.
Randy Orton vs. Bray Wyatt was made official for Backlash.
John Cena was once again absent from SmackDown.
Show Recap —
They showed what happened on Talking Smack last week right off the bat. The clip started with Daniel Bryan calling Miz a coward in the ring followed by Miz’s response. They seemed to play it in full after that, including Miz telling Bryan to go back to the indies and Bryan saying he would return if “they” would let him.
They cut to Shane McMahon and Bryan standing backstage. Shane told Bryan he owed Miz an apology because he can’t provoke talent like that, even if he agreed with Bryan, and told him not to get so involved with the talent. Bryan said maybe he won’t be so honest next time, but called this advice ironic considering Shane’s involvement with Brock Lesnar.
After the SmackDown intro, Miz marched to the ring (before he music even started) with Maryse. The crowd booed him heavily. Miz yelled at the fans for booing him. He said there’s nothing wrong with his style, that he’s smarter and better than the guys getting hurt, that he deserves respect for being IC champion and for all the appearances he does for the company. He added that it wasn’t right that the fans didn’t like him just because he didn’t spend years on the indies.
He called the fans cowards until he was interrupted by Dolph Ziggler. Ziggler said the crowd sees right through Miz, because the rest of them love this business, but Miz just wants to be famous. Ziggler said Miz had the opportunity to prove them wrong every night, then challenged Miz to a fight – no title on the line, no referees, no ring bell. The crowd chanted Yes.
Miz teased that he would accept the fight, but left instead. Ziggler said Bryan was right to call him a soft coward. Miz began marching back down the apron but Maryse stopped him as the crowd chanted “coward.”
They announced Dean Ambrose vs. Baron Corbin for the first time ever for tonight.
Tag Team Tournament Match: Hype Bros defeated The Vaudevillains
Hype Bros won in just under 3 minutes with the Hype Ryder. After the match, Ryder and Mojo told Charly Caruso that they would win the tag titles because they stay hype.
They showed tournament brackets with the Headbangers listed, which is the first time they were referenced on the show.
A very cheerful AJ Styles walked around backstage, wearing John Cena’s headband. He ran into Apollo Crews, but didn’t appear to know his name. Crews spelled it out for him. AJ mocked him for doing that and walked away as Crews just stood there.
Styles came to the ring as the ring announcer let us know that he wants to be referred to as “the face that runs the place.” The crowd chanted for Styles, who said he was going to beat up Dean Ambrose and become champion. He was interrupted by Crews.
Styles was annoyed, and asked if he was out there for another spelling B. Crews said he went to Bryan and got a match with Styles right now.
AJ Styles defeated Apollo Crews
There was a “Beat up Crews” chant as the match started. Crews got a couple of moments to shine, but Styles won in about 7-8 minutes with the Phenomenal forearm.
They aired a pre-taped video of Renee Young visiting Heath Slater’s home over the weekend. Slater introduced her to Rhyno, who was just standing there. He also introduced her to the love of his life – Beulah. (The joke, of course, is that she isn’t particularly attractive. She even burped at one point.) She served them crackers with spray cheese.
Slater told Renee that not getting drafted was just an oversight. As Renee continued the interview, they showed Rhyno drawing a sad face on a cracker. Renee asked Rhyno why he’s teaming with Slater and he just shrugged. Slater said they would upgrade to a double-wide if they win the tournament. They also said his kids were in the backyard picking up cans. Anyway, this was pretty dumb.
They announced Rhyno & Slater against the returning Headbangers for later tonight. (So far, they’re acting as though we already knew about the Headbangers’ return.)
Bray Wyatt promo
Bray said he doesn’t fear snakes or monsters, because he is fear. Orton is just a man who believes he has venom in his veins. Bray went on about Orton getting beat by Brock Lesnar as the crowd chanted “what” at him.
Orton interrupted and got some “Randy” chants. Orton said the voices in his head were wondering who Bray thinks he is. Orton said he wasn’t damaged because of the staples in his head, he’s been damaged a long time and it’s part of his charm.
Bray said he, not Orton, was the predator and would cut the head off the snake at Backlash. Orton said Bray couldn’t play games with him, and mentioned being dropped on thumbtacks by Cactus Jack and his battles with Undertaker.
Orton said the worst scars were internal and accepted the match at Backlash. Orton said he wasn’t afraid of kicking his ass and jumped in the ring, but Bray’s creepy video went off and the segment ended.
They announced Daniel Bryan would be on SportsCenter tomorrow at 9 PM.
Nikki Bella was on commentary and called herself the “living Wonder Woman.” They showed Carmella attacking her last week on SmackDown and Talking Smack. Nikki said, “Ugh, hard to watch,” so Otunga had to follow up to get more out of her. Nikki said Carmella is trying to make a name for herself.
Natalya & Alexa Bliss defeated Naomi & Becky Lynch
They went to commercial almost immediately after entrances, but not before they had Nikki plugging Total Bellas.
They got the heat on Naomi as Lynch led the crowd in a “Naomi” chant. Lynch came in on the hot tag and ran wild on Bliss, although the two of them did not work well together. Carmella suddenly appeared (through the crowd) to attack Nikki, and Bliss used the distraction to roll up Lynch for the win. Lynch and Naomi checked on Nikki after the match.
They aired a video package for the Headbangers. There was also another one for Curt Hawkins.
Tag Team Tournament Match: Heath Slater & Rhyno defeated The Headbangers
Otunga said the Headbangers must have ring rust because they haven’t been in WWE in 16 years. The crowd didn’t seem to care about them, but they did like Slater and Rhyno. The Headbangers got the heat on Slater and knocked Rhyno off the apron. They hit a powerbomb/leg drop combo on Slater, but Rhyno broke up the cover. Rhyno was bleeding from a cut above the eye. He dragged Slater to their corner, made the tag, and hit a Gore for the win.
The next round of the Tag Team Tournament will feature American Alpha vs. The Usos, and Hype Bros vs. Heath Slater & Rhyno.
AJ Styles was on commentary for the main event, but there was a random man in a suit in the ring who introduced himself as Gary “The Milkman” Millman. He cut a purposely bad promo saying he’s been granted a chance to compete tonight and demanded an opponent. He disrobed down to his underwear when Kane came out to give him a chokeslam. As Kane left, Baron Corbin made his entrance, and the two men crossed paths.
Non-Title Match: WWE World Champion Dean Ambrose defeated Baron Corbin via DQ
Near the end of the match, Corbin tossed Ambrose into the barricade. Styles got up from commentary and told Corbin to stay on Ambrose. Corbin confronted Styles, but Styles responded, “You better get out of my face.” Ambrose pushed Corbin into Styles.
Back in the ring, Corbin countered a Dirty Deeds and tossed Ambrose toward the ropes. Styles tried to kick him, but Ambrose ducked and he caught Corbin instead for the DQ. Ambrose immediately attacked Styles and they brawled.
Corbin got involved so Ambrose gave him a Dirty Deeds. Styles was about to attempt a Phenomenal forearm, but Ambrose crotched him, and bounced him up and down on the rope. Ambrose gave him a little slap on the face and walked off with his belt. Weird ending.
Final Thoughts —
There were some bright spots, but I didn’t think this show was particularly good.