New Day opens the show with their usual shtick.
New Day vs. Gallows & Anderson
Gallows and Anderson start the match aggressively showing good fire.
A really nice pace to this match that has the crowd into it. Nice near fall after the Big Ending. But minutes later New Day goes over clean to retain the titles.
Gallows & Anderson are damaged beyond repair. At this point WWE might as well split them up. It's an absolute joke the way WWE has booked them. It's sad when an act’s peak was when they debuted.
TJ Perkins vs. Brian Kendrick
Perkins offers Kendrick a handshake, he refuses. Nice!
Nice heel work from Kendrick. They're working a much slower pace than the opening match.
The hurricanrana over the top rope by Perkins was impressive.
Some nice submission mat work from both men. Perkins retains by submission. The two hug it out after match, then Kendrick blasts Perkins with a head butt. Apparently this feud isn't over, which is a good thing in my opinion.
The match started out slow, but the second half of was very good. Some real nice submission reversals down the stretch from both guys. Overall a good match.
WWE2K17 commercial. Huh, surprised to see Alberto Del Rio in it.
Holy hell, what is Cesaro wearing?!? As good as his in ring work is, he just doesn't have the overall package a main eventer needs to have. It's unfortunate too because I like Cesaro.
Cesaro vs. Sheamus
If nothing else, this is a hard hitting match so far.
Cesaro pulls out a 619!
Nice Celtic Cross into a backbreaker lead to a good near fall.
Sheamus has been working over Cesaro’s back the entire match, yet he's able to execute the Cesaro Swing. Awful psychology.
Oh crap! Cesaro just gave himself a self inflicted Piledriver after diving onto Sheamus through the ropes. Jeez, that was scary!
Nice near fall after The Neutralizer. The crowd thought it was over. This is awesome chants.
This was by far the best match of the series until the end. These two delivered in a big way to the point Cesaro nearly broke his neck. I'm disappointed with the end of the match. There should've been a payoff after seven matches against each other. The official result is a No Contest.
No Mercy commercial
A backstage segment with Charlotte and Baylee
Sami Zayn vs. Chris Jericho
The crowd doesn't seem into this match. Although, it's been the equivalent of a basic RAW match.
Jericho and Zayn are exchanging...slaps.
The match picked up towards the end leading to some decent near falls. I think the Codebreaker out of nowhere for the clean pin surprised the crowd because of the previous near falls. I thought it was a good match, but I was expecting more between these two. Hopefully this isn't the end of their feud.
A KFC promo.
Hispanic Heritage Month commercial.
A backstage segment with Kevin Owens, Stephanie McMahon and Mick Foley.
Charlotte vs. Baylee vs. Sasha Banks
Of course there's friction between Baylee and Sasha.
That was an awkward triple drop kick that didn't land on anyone.
Damn, Charlotte is impressive. She's been dominate the first part of the match.
For the record, I really dislike Triple Threat matches. If there's no DQ then why doesn't Dana Brooke just help Charlotte win?
Dana Brooke isn't very good yet at this point in her career.
Just because a match is long, it doesn't automatically make it good. I'm not not saying this was a bad match. I think it went too long and there were a few sloppy spots. While I expected Charlotte to retain, I'm disappointed Baylee took the pin.
Cut to the Kickoff Show panel for a recap of what we’ve seen so far tonight.
Rusev vs. Roman Reigns
Let's go Roman, Roman sucks chants.
A good back and forth match so far.
Reigns is taking it to Rusev outside the ring.
Rusev kicks out of the Superman Punch in a nice near fall.
With the Lana distraction I thought that was it. Good near fall. Reigns with the Spear, and there's Lana who pulls the referee out of the ring. She's sent to the back.
Reigns powers out of the accolade. Spears Rusev and gets the clean pin. And new…
I don't like the finish. The match was excellent. Both guys brought it tonight and there were some fantastic near falls. After Reigns powered out of the Accolade, I knew he was going over. The crowd did pop for the title change.
No Mercy commercial
WWE Ride Along commercial
Backstage segment with Rollins, Foley and Stephanie.
Hell in a Cell commercial
Kevin Owens vs. Seth Rollins
Rollins’ surgically repaired knee is the focal point of the match.
The Spanish announce table is exposed, that'll play a role later in the match.
Good back and forth match to start.
Botched gut buster by Owens. Rollins selling his ribs well.
And there's the table spot as Owens misses a Swanton crashing through it.
Here comes Jericho to distract Rollins. Nice near fall by Owens.
Rollins had the match won but Jericho put Owen’s leg on the bottom rope.
Ref bump. Rollins has KO pinned but the ref is out. Enter Jericho, who puts the boots to Rollins.
Nice suicide dives from Rollins. Stephanie sends another ref to the ring. Seth walks into a pop-up powerbomb, and still…
This was an OK match. A bit overbooked for my liking with the Jericho interference, the ref bump and Stephanie sending in another official. The fact that Triple H was nowhere to be found was a big disappointment.
This show wasn't as good as Backlash. I didn't agree with some of the booking decisions, especially the tag team match, and some of the matches didn't deliver the way I thought they would.
Overall Grade: C
WWE Clash of Champions is live from Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis, IN on Sunday night. The stakes are for many WWE Superstars as titles are on the line in five matches on the card.
Kevin Owens vs. Seth Rollins for the WWE Universal Championship
There's no doubt this will be the match of the night. Owens and Rollins are two of the best in the business. The big question coming into this match is what role does Triple H play. He hasn't been on TV since he helped Owens win the title, so it will interesting to see if there's more story development. In my opinion this is the the easiest match to predict because there's no way WWE is taking the belt off of Owens this soon. The only question is whether Triple H shows up or not.
Roman Reigns vs. Rusev for the WWE U.S. Championship
I've enjoyed this feud. Rusev and Reigns are both solid in the ring so I expect these two to deliver in a big way in what should be the blowoff to their feud. This is a tough match to predict. The U.S. Championship seems below Reigns, but a win could be the start of a slow rebuild back to the main event. Rusev has been excellent as the U.S. Champion. I think a loss by Rusev hurts him more than a Regins loss.
Charlotte vs. Sasha Banks vs. Baylee for the RAW Women's Championship
The RAW Women's Division is a mess. Baylee is already an afterthought. Sasha Banks needs rebuilding and Dana Brooke just isn't very good. Expect there to be friction between Banks and Baylee while Brooke interferes in the match.
New Day vs. Gallows & Anderson for the RAW Tag Team Championship
I'm going to spare you the rant about how WWE completely mishandled the booking of Gallows and Anderson. It's unfortunate that WWE has put Gallows and Anderson in a position to where they need the belts to get them over. It's a true indictment on WWE’s inability to plan and tell compelling stories. Such a waste. Anyway, I'll go with a meaningless title change here.
Winner: Gallows & Anderson
Cesaro vs. Sheamus to decide their Best of Seven Series
This feud has been better than I expected. The matches in their best of seven series have been entertaining. The winner of this will earn a shot at a Champioship in the future. I expect a hard hitting, quality match between these two. We’ve seen Sheamus at the top of the card and we all know how well that went, so I'm going with Cesaro to finally get his shot at the top.
Sami Zayn vs. Chris Jericho
I wish this match had more build up. I'm looking forward to this match as much as any match on the card simply because of the talent in the ring. I'm hoping this feud continues well past Clash of Champions so we can see two can do with more time to build their feud. Look for Jericho to score a tainted victory and the feud to continue.
TJ Perkins vs. Brian Kendrick for the WWE Cruiserweight Championship
Formerly as Manik in TNA, now TJ Perkins became the first WWE Cruiserweight Champion since 2007. He’ll take on veteran, Brian Kendrick. I couldn't be happier for Kendrick, a talented and well respected wrestler getting one last run with the company. He’ll serve as an excellent mentor to the young talent on the roster, but this is all about Perkins and showcasing him as the man in the Cruiserweight Division.
Nia Jax vs. Alicia Fox
The Kickoff Match features RAW’s force of nature, Nia Jax as she takes on Alicia Fox. The former champion, Fox will look to stop the path of destruction caused by Jax. Unfortunately for her, it's not going to happen.
Enjoy the show!
UFC Fight Night 95 comes to us from Sao Paulo, Brazil Saturday night on FS1. Cris "Cyborg" Justino headlines the night's card in a 140lb catchweight fight against Lina Lansberg. The UFC is hoping to lure the casual fan into watching the most dominate female MMA on the planet. Hopefully it works because the main card isn't very impressive.
The co-main event pits two fighters whose better days are long behind them as Roy "Big Country" Nelson takes on Antonio "Big Foot" Silva. Also on the card is Renan Barao who is looking to get his UFC career back on track as he takes on Phillipe Nover.
The card rounds out with Francisco Trinaldo vs. Paul Felder, Thiago Santos vs. Eric Spicely and Godofredo Pepey vs. Mike De La Torre.
Cris Cyborg (16-1) vs. Lina Lansberg (6-1) | Current Line: Cyborg -1300, Lansberg +750
This is the equivalent to WWE squash match. Yeah, yeah anything can happen in a MMA fight…
Pick: Cyborg by TKO
Renan Barao (35-4) vs. Phillipe Nover (12-6-1) | Current Line: Barao -500, Nover +370
This fight was made to get Barao back on track. The former champion has fallen down the rankings, a win here will set him on the right course at 145.
Pick: Barao by submission
Roy Nelson (22-13) vs. Antonio Silva (19-9, 1 NC) | Current Line: Nelson -450, Silva +340
This is the fight I'm most looking forward to, if only for the spectacle. Don’t blink, because if you do you'll probably miss the finish. Silva has been in his fair share of wars in the octagon and the amount of damage he's taken over the years is downright alarming. Both fighters come into the fight losing four out of their last five. Nelson has the better chin and more gas left in the tank than Silva.
Pick: Nelson by TKO
Francisco Trinaldo (20-4) vs. Paul Felder (12-2) | Current Line: Trinaldo -120, Felder -110
This is the hardest fight on the card to predict. It should also be the most competitive fight. Trinaldo enters the fight on a six fight winning streak, while Felder has won his last two. Both men are skilled strikers, but Trinaldo clearly holds the advantage should the fight make it to the ground. If Trinaldo decides he wants to stand and trade with Felder, it's anybody's fight. But, if he takes advantage of his superior ground skills it's his fight to lose.
Pick: Trinaldo by decision
Thiago Santos (13-4) vs. Eric Spicely (8-2) | Current Line: Santos -625, Spicely +445
If this fight makes it out of the first round I'll be surprised. Santos gets back on track after losing to Gegard Mousasi at UFC 200.
Pick: Santos by TKO
Godofredo Pepey (13-4) vs. Mike De La Torre (14-5, 1 NC) | Current Line: Pepey -125, De La Torre -105
Pepey has more experience and has fought and beaten better fighters than De La Torre. Pepey has won three out of his last four fights, while De La Torre is 2-2, 1 NC in his five fights in the UFC. I do give Mike a punchers chance though as I expect both to stand toe to toe and throw down.
Pick: Pepey by TKO
Enjoy the fights!
The HEB Center in Cedar Park, TX is the site for Bellator 161 on Friday night. The main event features the up and coming Tony Johnson as he takes on MMA veteran Cheick Kongo in a battle of heavyweights. Johnson is moving up in competition after winning his last two fights against Raphael Butler and Alexander Volkov. A win here should put him in line for a shot at the heavyweight title. The UFC veteran, Cheick Kongo hopes to put himself back in the conversation as a possible contender for the title again with a win.
In the co-main event former champion Joe Warren takes on Sirwan Kakai. Kakai, also a UFC veteran looks to get his first win under the Bellator banner after losing his first contest against Joe Taimanglo. Warren comes into the fight looking to get his career back on track after losing his last two out three fights.
The four fight main card rounds out with lightweights Derek Campos vs. Djamil Chan and Anastasia Yankova vs. Veta Arteaga in a battle in the Strawweight Division.
Tony Johnson (10-2) vs. Cheick Kongo (24-10-2) | Current Line: Johnson -130, Kongo +105
This will be a serious test for Johnson as he goes up against his toughest foe yet in Cheick Kongo. Kongo brings a much better set of skills for Johnson to deal with than he's used to facing. Kongo can win this fight in many ways, as he's the more skilled fighter in just about every category. This isn't to say Johnson is going to get rolled over. If he’s successful in taking Cheick down and maintains control throughout the fight then I can see him grinding out a decision. That being said, I think Kongo will be able to stuff his takedown attempts.
Winner: Kongo by submission
Sirwan Kakai (12-4) vs. Joe Warren (13-5) | Current Line: Kakai -140, Warren +110
The Bellator veteran, Joe Warren comes into this fight losing two of his last three fights and not looking good in any of them. I think in order for Warren to win this fight he has to take advantage of his superior wrestling skills. If the fight stays standing, it's Kakai’s to lose. This is a big fight fight for Sirwan too. He needs to win this one after losing his Bellator debut in a fight he was predicted to win.
Winner: Kakai by decision
Veta Arteaga (2-0) vs. Anastasia Yankova (3-0) | Current Line: Yankova -425, Arteaga +325
This is a battle between two undefeated newcomers, with a total of five fights between them combined. Yankova beat Anjela Pink in her Bellator debut by submission, in fact, all three of her wins have come by submission. Arteaga, also won her first fight for the promotion by beating Jackie Vandenburgh by decision. Both her wins were by decision. There's not much to go on here so I'm siding with the younger, more impressive fighter.
Winner: Yankova by submission
Djamil Chan (11-2) vs. Derek Campos (16-6) | Current Line: Campos -135, Chan +105
Campos, a Bellator veteran looks to become a contender for the title with a win. He's coming off an impressive knockout victory over Melvin Guillard at Bellator 149. Chan is coming off a win in his first Bellator fight taking out Richard Patishnock by knockout. Chan has more power and is the better striker, but Campos is no slouch in the striking department either. Chan wants to keep the fight from going to the ground, but will he be successful keeping the fight standing for three rounds?
Winner: Campos by decision
Enjoy the fights!
WWE Backlash - September 11, 2016
Random Thoughts and Opinions
Naomi vs. Carmella vs. Nikki Bella vs. Natalya vs.Becky Lynch vs. Alexa Bliss
I'm digging Alexa Bliss’ ode to The Suicide Squad’s Harley Quinn.
Crickets for Carmella when playing to the crowd.
Can't help but notice Nikki Bella has to keep adjusting her bikini-bottom.
That was a quick tap by Naomi.
If you read my WWE Backlash Preview & Predictions column you know how I would've liked for this match to play out. That being said, I'm happy for Becky Lynch as I think she’ll be a great women's champion. Good post-match interview with a strong crowd reaction. This crowd was definitely ready for Becky to win the title.
Order of elimination: Alexa Bliss, Naomi, Natalya, Nikki Bella, Carmella.
Winner: Becky Lynch
Bray Wyatt was shown backstage slamming a door into Randy Orton’s knee. Word leaked earlier in the day that Orton was dealing with lingering concussion symptoms so this looks like how they're getting out of his match against Wyatt tonight.
The Usos vs. The Hype Bros
I like the swagger the Usos have now as heels.
While the Hype Bros aren't my cup of tea, they work well together and make a good team. They have good, high energy matches.
That was a good match, but the obvious finish was the Usos winning so there wasn't much suspense. The right team won, which sets up a fun finals match between the Usos and Heath Slater & Rhyno.
Winner: The Usos
Renee Young interviewed Slater and Rhyno backstage.
Slater says he feels like $100,000 instead of a million dollars. Funny.
Apparently Slater has an upset stomach and has the runs. Please tell that doesn't play into the finish of their match against the Usos.
Commercial for Connor's Cure.
Commercial for the Cruiserweight Classic Finale.
Video package hyping Ziggler vs. Miz.
Dolph Ziggler vs. The Miz
Before the match MIz is shown backstage telling Daniel Bryan the Smackdown brand needs him and the Intercontinental Championship so he is demanding a raise after he retains his title. I hope they're not foreshadowing a title change here.
Dolph starts the match hot with some good mat wrestling.
Good back and forth match so far. Miz showing a mean streak.
Miz mocks Daniel Bryan with the Yes gesture.
Miz selling a shoulder and Ziggler a knee. Great near fall after a DDT by Dolph. Another great near fall after a superkick from Dolph.
Maryse sprays something in Ziggler's eyes allowing Miz to deliver the Skull Crushing Finale and get the pin. That was an excellent match. Both guys worked hard and delivered their best match against each other to date. Dolph continues his losing streak but saves face due to the interference from Maryse.
Winner: The Miz
We now go to the Kickoff Show crew of Booker T, Jerry Lawler and Renee Young as they recap Corbin Baron's victory over Apollo Crews.
Randy Orton vs. Bray Wyatt
Bray Wyatt comes out for his match against Randy Orton who doesn't make the ten count and is disqualified.
Winner: Bray Wyatt
As Bray is leaving the ring the ring announcer comes back on and announces Wyatt in a No-DQ Match against Kane.
Kane? Come on WWE at least give us someone new. (Yawn)
Kane vs. Bray Wyatt in a No Disqualification Match
Bray strikes the Viper Pose on top of the announce table and delivers a Swanton onto Kane crashing through the table.
Kane counters Sister Abigail into a Chokeslam for a good near fall.
Both men are down in the ring and here comes Randy Orton limping to the ring. A RKO to Wyatt, then Kane follows with another Chokeslam and Bray loses yet again.
As disappointing as it is, I understand the Bray Wyatt loss.
No prediction made.
AJ Styles is shown backstage dressing down two jobbers.
A WWE Network commercial.
A No Mercy commercial.
The Usos vs. Heath Slater & Rhyno for the Smackdown Tag Team Championship
Let's go Slater chants as the match starts.
The Usos in control midway through the match by mostly working over Slater who continues looking for the hot-tag.
We want Rhyno chants.
There's the hot-tag. Rhyno gets the upper hand until he's thrown into the ring post, enter Slater who delivers a neck breaker and has the pin until he's dragged outside of the ring.
Once back in the ring Jimmy Uso delivers sweet chin music to Slater who then turns around and eats a Gore from Rhyno while the ref’s back is turned. Heath Slater covers for the 1-2-3. Big pop from the crowd.
Very enjoyable match with an excellent finishing sequence. I was expecting a run-in from Jordan, but I'll take what we got as I feel the right team went over.
After the match Slater says this is probably one of the biggest moments of his life, except for a couple of his kids being born. He finishes with,”Yo Buela, we’re getting a double wide baby!” Good stuff.
Winner: Heath Slater & Rhyno
Clash of Champions commercial.
A Styles vs.Ambrose video package.
AJ Styles vs. Dean Ambrose for the WWE World Championship
A methodical pace to start the match.
AJ Styles, Let's go Ambrose chants.
Stat: the WWE World Championship has been defended on Backlash nine times, with the title changing hands four times.
The pace of the match picks up at the midway point.
Good match thus far.
Ambrose survives two Calf Crushers.
Nice catapult into the ring post by Ambrose, and a nice bump by Styles.
Dean Ambrose is kicking out of everything Styles throws at him.
This is awesome chants.
Ambrose fires up, ref bump, Styles with a low blow into the Styles Clash and new WWE World Champion...AJ Styles.
Winner: AJ Styles
The match wasn't on the level of Styles vs. Cena at SummerSlam, but it was good. The tainted victory means this isn't the end of the feud. Although Ambrose lost the match he can justify it by the low blow. I like the decision to put the belt on Styles.
I'd like see AJ get an extended run with the title. The problem is, because the Smackdown roster is so thin they're going to run out of contenders to compete for the belt. I'd like to see Styles hold the belt through all of 2017, but what I see happening is Styles dropping the belt to John Cena at WrestleMania. Hopefully I'm wrong because I'd rather see Cena face the Undertaker at WrestleMania.
Overall Grade: B
The Richmond Coliseum in Richmond, VA hosts WWE Backlash live on PPV and WWE Network on Sunday night. Backlash is the first Smackdown Live only PPV/Network Special since the roster extension, and the first Backlash event since 2009.
With only six advertised matches and three hours of TV time to fill I hope WWE gives each match time to develop and tell a compelling story. Instead, I fear we’re going to get a glorified edition of Smackdown Live. That being said, I wouldn’t be surprised to see them add Baron Corbin vs. Kane and Apollo Crews against someone like Tyler Breeze.
Dean Ambrose vs. AJ Styles for the WWE World Championship
In my opinion AJ Styles is the best act, not only in WWE, but all of professional wrestling. Is WWE crazy enough to risk losing all the momentum Styles has going for himself after beating John Cena clean in the middle of the ring in the best match of the night at SummerSlam? Styles can have four-star matches with a broom stick he’s that damn good.
I don't know about you, but I just don't think Dean Ambrose’s character is WWE Champion material. No matter how hard I try, I can't get the image of Brock Lesnar throwing him around like a rag doll at WrestleMania out of my head. His feud and match with Dolph Ziggler at SummerSlam left a lot to be desired as well. I’d like to see Dean go back to the no-nonsense character he had during his run with the Shield.
Winner: AJ Styles
The Usos vs. Hype Bros in a Smackdown Tag Team Finals Qualifying Match
With the Usos turning heel and taking out American Alpha by injuring Chad Gable’s knee makes this is an easy one to predict. The Usos executed their turn flawlessly and in doing so breathed new life into their act. Now, the Usos become the top heel tag team on the show. If only WWE would make the same decision with Roman Reigns….
Winner: The Usos
Heath Slater & Rhyno vs. the winners of the Qualifying Match for the Smackdown Tag Team Championship
The Usos should be the team taking on the unlikely duo of Heath Slater and Rhyno. WWE is doing a fantastic job of laying this story out. A loss by Slater and Rhyno halts their momentum, but a loss by the newly turned Usos doesn't; especially if that loss is due to a Jason Jordan run-in. The crowds are behind Slater and Rhyno so they will win the tag team titles assuring Slater gets a contract. Meanwhile, the Usos will move on to a feud with American Alpha.
Winner: Heath Slater & Rhyno
Randy Orton vs. Bray Wyatt
This is a hard match to predict because both men are in desperate need of a win. After the brutal beating Orton suffered against Brock Lesnar at SummerSlam he needs a strong win here in order to stay relevant in the fan’s eyes. On the other hand, with the rosters now split and thin on talent it would make sense for WWE to finally go all in on Wyatt. The problem is I've thought this way for the past two years when it comes to WWE and Bray. In fact, Wyatt’s last PPV win was in 2015 at Battleground. I don't think the story ends after Backlash so I'm going with Orton by DQ due to interference from Luke Harper, but ultimately Wyatt wins the feud.
The Miz vs. Dolph Ziggler for the Intercontinental Championship
The Miz turned in the promo of his career on Talking Smack; which like the Usos turning heel, breathed new life into his character. I'm not sold on this elevating Miz back to main event status, but I also don't see WWE taking the belt off of him while he rides the buzz generated from Talking Smack. Besides, I like the story WWE is telling with Ziggler. A loss here by Ziggler makes sense in continuing his downward spiral until he snaps and turns heel. Although these two have faced each other numerous times in the past, I expect them to have their best match yet.
Winner: The Miz
Nikki Bella vs. Carmella vs. Alexa Bliss vs. Naomi vs Becky Lynch vs. Natalya in a Six-Pack Match for the Smackdown Women's Championship
Becky Lynch is the most over woman on the Smackdown Live roster which will make her the popular pick, but she will she finally get over the hump and win the big one? Nikki Bella and Carmella will continue their feud after Backlash so I don’t see either of them winning. Alexa Bliss could be the dark horse, but she’s not ready yet. That leaves Natalya. I'd love to see Natalya win the title at Backlash, hold it until WrestleMania where she drops it to Becky Lynch. Will WWE go this route? I highly doubt it. Although I think it’s a mistake, I fully expect them to put the title on Becky.
My Winner: Natalya
Enjoy the show!
The Fighting Champion
Blogging about mixed martial arts, sports betting and providing winning sports picks.