WWE Backlash 2018 Preview and Predictions

Brian Damage, Jamie Lithgow & Earl Marx

Tonight WWE hosts Backlash 2018, headlined by a rematch from Wrestlemania as AJ Styles defends his WWE Championship against Shinsuke Nakamura, only this time it will be fought under no disqualification rules. Today, the team discuss that match and the rest of the card in the traditional preview and predictions post on the day of a PPV.

WWE Intercontinental Championship Match: The Miz vs. Seth Rollins

Brian: The Miz really elevated this once prestigious title, so kudos to him. Seth Rollins I think will take the IC title to another level. A series of matches between Rollins and Finn Balor will do the Intercontinental title good.

Winner: Seth Rollins

Jamie: I dip in and out of WWE these days, but have caught most things recently… apart from this whole IC Title situation! It’s purely by chance too, because I have seen some of Big Cass, against my better judgement. Anyway, I care about these two guys, I also now seem to care about this title – bravo Miz – so I think I’ll enjoy this match. In terms of a result, it’s always hard to separate Miz from the IC Title, but for now I think it’s time to let other guys fight over it.

Winner: Seth Rollins

Earl: Seth Rollins has been a MVP as of late. The Miz is the quintessential heel IC champ and Seth Rolllins has been the quintessential face IC champ. While I would love for The Miz to be able to regain the title he has made relevant, the torch will stay in the hands of the Kingslayer.

Winner: Seth Rollins

WWE United States Championship Match: Randy Orton vs. Jeff Hardy

Brian: I really don’t know what to make of this match. Is Randy Orton a face or a heel? I guess Jeff Hardy retains, but that’s just a guess.

Winner: Jeff Hardy

Jamie: It’s a Randy Orton match, so I’ll be fast-forwarding this one. No offence Jeff.

Winner: Jeff Hardy, I guess

Earl: Randall Keith Orton in another championship match? I’m not surprised. Ha. I do think there could be something else here. Randall’s actions have been so unpredictable as of late..Could it be the start of another heel turn? I think so. Jeffrey Nero strikes first in what could be an interesting feud,

Winner: Jeff Harvey…I mean Hardy

Raw Women’s Championship Match: Alexa Bliss vs. Nia Jax

Brian: I gotta believe that Nia Jax is in line for a long run with the Raw Women’s title. Alexa Bliss will make a go of it, but in the end…Nia retains.

Winner: Nia Jax

Jamie: This is such a story driven feud and good, logical story telling dictates that Nia Jax wins here and wins this feud once and for all. It is the right thing to do.

Winner: Nia Jax

Earl: This feud was good. I loved it going into Mania. After that, it’s just been somewhat there. This match should be the end of it. Whatever happened to that Sasha/Bayley feud? Hmm.

Winner: Nia Jax

SmackDown Women’s Championship Match: Charlotte Flair vs. Carmella

Brian: There is no doubt in my mind that if there is one title change that will occur at Backlash….it is this match here. Charlotte is being pushed to the moon and losing back to back matches to Carmella after ending Asuka’s unbeaten streak would just be stupid.

Winner, and new Smackdown Women’s Champion: Charlotte Flair

Jamie: I’m tempted to predict a Carmella win here, albeit by shady methods. Surely WWE took the title from Charlotte for a reason, right? Well yeah, but I do feel like Carmella is a pawn here. Charlotte vs Rousey is clearly where WWE want to get to down the line, so The Queen has to remain as The Queen until at least then. This little interlude with Carmella holding the title helps to break up Charlotte’s title run a bit, keeps things unpredictable and also gets rid of that Money in The Bank briefcase. We’re not far away from this years MITB for goodness sake!

Winner, and new Smackdown Women’s Champion: Charlotte Flair

Earl: I knew Carmella would be champion. I REALLY wanted her to sneak an end to Asuka’s streak, but she defeated Queen Char instead. Here we are. So, if I’m being forward, I don’t have high hopes from this matchup, but let’s give Carmella a little more time to come into her championship reign.

Winner: Carmella

Samoa Joe vs. Roman Reigns

Brian: These two can put on a decent match as we have seen in past performances. Joe is the one who really needs the rub by beating Roman and becoming a killing machine on Smackdown.

Winner: Samoa Joe

Jamie: Rumour has it that the bloom is finally off the rose with Roman Reigns. I do think Joe needs the win more though. Adding all that up I reckon I can predict WWE’s thinking here………. Reigns wins, lol.

Winner: Roman Reigns

Earl: This could be match of the night. Joe has been SOOO good on the mic in this feud. It seems like..with every promo…he gets under Reigns’ skin a little more. If I thought Joe was next to go after AJ, I would book Joe with the win. However, I think we need to be reminded of Reigns’ status as Big Dawg. He just took two losses – can’t see him taking three in a row.

Winner: Roman Reigns

Daniel Bryan vs. Big Cass

Brian: Another match that just doesn’t do anything for me. Cass needs a big signature win and maybe Backlash is where it’ll happen?

Winner: Big Cass

Jamie: What a weird pairing for each guy, this just feels like it will be a total clash of styles. Danial Bryan is capable of getting a good match out of a broomstick, but this is Big Cass we’re talking about. I’m thinking Bryan wins the match but Cass gets his heat back by destroying him afterwards. In the minds of WWE writers that seems to count as putting Cass over.

Winner: Daniel Bryan

Earl: And yet…I am not interested in this. I do like a “Davey vs Goliath” feud, but I am not the biggest fan of Big Cass. His promos have been getting better however. Let’s have DB slay Goliath right out the gate.

Winner: Daniel Bryan

Braun Strowman and Bobby Lashley vs. Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn

Brian: A glorified Raw match on a pay per view. I really couldn’t care less about this. Maybe Lashley turns heel here and allows KO and Sami to get the win.

Winners: Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens

Jamie: I’m with Brian, this feels like an elaborate setup for an angle rather than a competitive match. I find Lashley amazingly dull, so turning on Strowman is predictable but necessary. I do still think this team wins though, this is WWE and they are big guys after all.

Winners: Strowman and Lashley

Earl: This strikes me as a placeholder match to get these guys on the card. I’m going to use this time to say…who is Bobby Lashley? Did anyone watch Raw? Lashley came out to very little reaction…at least Reigns was heavily booed. We need character from Mr. Lashley. This match won’t do it…and I’m not too interested in the winner. Let’s say the heels get a sneaky win here.

Winner: Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn

WWE Championship No Disqualification Match: Shinsuke Nakamura vs. AJ Styles

Brian: I love the work that AJ Styles has been doing as WWE champion. With that said though, I am rooting hard for Shinsuke Nakamura to win the WWE title. I just don’t see it happening though.

Winner: AJ Styles

Jamie: Is it just me or are these guys still not ‘clicking’? I’m hoping third time’s the charm and I think it will be. The babyface vs babyface dynamic at Wrestlemania didn’t really generate much heat while The Greatest Rumble result felt designed to take to this match. I’m hoping they can finally recapture that Wrestle Kingdom 10 magic. In terms of a result, I really feel like Nakamura needs the win here and it wouldn’t hurt AJ to lose to a heel in a no DQ match.

Winner, and new WWE Champion: Shinsuke Nakamura

Earl: This is another contender for match of the night. The feud is now in full swing and this match means more to me than their ‘Mania match. The question is simple – does Naka lose 3 times to AJ and let AJ move on? I think this is the match where Naka is crowned. He might not be champ long, but I think this is it. Low blows galore….we know you love that. Ha!

Winner: (and new champion) Shinsuke Nakamura


Overall Thoughts

Brian: On paper, it looks to be a lackluster and average show. Nothing really stands out as being great. I will of course watch but there is zero excitement going into this event.

Jamie: My hopes for Styles vs Nakamura is what is attracting me to this show, nothing else feels like essential viewing though. It’s a bank holiday for us Brits on Monday though, so I may gave this show a chance……. just not Orton’s match!

Earl: I typically am a fairly optimistic WWE fan. This pay per view…is just not doing it for me on paper. With that in mind, I tend to hope execution will be good. Truly hoping AJ/Naka and Reigns/Joe will be show stealers. Also – with the dual branded ppvs, we can see….it’s going to be a long road for the mid card talents.

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