Backlash 2016 was a professional wrestling pay-per-view (PPV) event and WWE Network event produced by WWE. It took place on September 11, 2016 at the Richmond Coliseum in Richmond, Virginia. It is the twelfth event in the Backlash chronology. It was also the first SmackDown branded event following the second WWE brand extension in July 2016 and the first SmackDown-branded event since 2007's No Way Out. The event determined the inaugural champions of both the WWE Smackdown Women's Championship and WWE Smackdown Tag Team Championship.
The card consisted of matches which resulted from scripted storylines and had results predetermined by WWE on their SmackDown brand, one of WWE's brand divisions. Storylines between the characters were produced on WWE's weekly television show SmackDown Live.
At SummerSlam, Dean Ambrose retained the WWE World Championship against Dolph Ziggler, while AJ Styles defeated John Cena. On the August 23 episode of SmackDown, Styles made fun of Ziggler, who then attacked Styles. Later, Styles was declared the No. 1 contender for the WWE World Championship at Backlash. Ziggler also came out to demand another shot at the title, but Styles defeated him to prevent the title match from being turned into a triple-threat match also involving Ziggler. On the August 30 episode, a non-title match between Ambrose and Baron Corbin ended in disqualification when Styles, who was providing guest commentary for the match, interfered; the ensuing three-way brawl ended in Styles straddling the top rope. A week later, a confrontation between Ambrose and Styles ended in Styles hitting Ambrose with a low blow.
At the 2016 WWE draft, WWE Women's Champion Charlotte was drafted to Raw, leaving SmackDown without a women's championship. On the August 23 episode of SmackDown, the WWE SmackDown Women's Championship was unveiled. A six-pack elimination challenge between Alexa Bliss, Becky Lynch, Carmella, Naomi, Natalya, and Nikki Bella was then set for Backlash to crown the inaugural champion. Bella had returned from injury two nights before at SummerSlam when she had joined Natalya and Alexa Bliss to replace the suspended Eva Marie in a winning effort against Becky Lynch, Carmella, and Naomi. On the August 23 episode of SmackDown, Nikki was set to face Carmella, whom she had pinned at SummerSlam, but instead, Carmella attacked Nikki during a pre-match interview and again during Talking Smack, SmackDown's aftershow, turning Carmella heel and Nikki face. On the August 30 episode of SmackDown, Carmella once again attacked Nikki, who provided guest commentary on the tag team match between her other Backlash opponents. On the September 6 episode, the six women had a championship forum conducted by General Manager Daniel Bryan that ended in a brawl. Later on in the same show, all competed in a six-woman tag team match with the team of Nikki Bella, Becky Lynch, and Naomi facing Natalya, Alexa Bliss, and Carmella. The match ended with Carmella making Nikki submit to the Code of Silence.
Also at the 2016 draft, WWE Tag Team Champions The New Day were drafted to Raw, which also left the SmackDown brand without a tag team championship. On the August 23 episode of SmackDown, the WWE Smackdown Tag Team Championship was unveiled alongside the women's championship. A tournament to crown the inaugural champions was then set up, with the final match scheduled for Backlash. Originally a 6-team tournament between The Hype Bros, The Vaudevillains, The Ascension, The Usos, American Alpha, and Breezango, Heath Slater, who was kayfabe still trying to earn a SmackDown contract after being left out of the WWE draft, was granted entry into the tournament on the condition that he must find a partner and win the tournament to earn a contract. Rhyno, who had defeated Slater to win a contract weeks before, agreed to be his partner. In the quarter-finals, The Usos and American Alpha advanced with wins over The Ascension and Breezango, respectively. The following week, The Hype Bros and Slater and Rhyno advanced with wins over The Vaudevillains and The Headbangers (who were added to the tournament), respectively. On the September 6 episode, American Alpha and Slater and Rhyno advanced with wins over The Usos and The Hype Bros, respectively. However, The Usos turned heel and attacked American Alpha after their match. After Chad Gable suffered a kayfabe leg injury, American Alpha were ruled out of the tournament final. A match between The Usos and The Hype Bros was then set for Backlash, with the winners replacing American Alpha in the final against Slater and Rhyno.
On the August 23 episode of SmackDown, Bray Wyatt confronted Randy Orton. The following week, Wyatt challenged Orton to a match at Backlash, which Orton accepted. On the September 6 episode, Wyatt gave a promo, stating that Orton will become his prey. Orton responded with his own message in an attempt to one-up Wyatt. On the August 23 edition of Talking Smack, Intercontinental Champion The Miz went on a tirade on General Manager Daniel Bryan, in response to Bryan's comments about him wrestling "like a coward" and "someone who's afraid to get hit". On the August 30 episode of SmackDown, Dolph Ziggler confronted The Miz, very nearly goading him into a fight after also insulting him for being "a soft, safe coward". Immediately afterwards on Talking Smack, Bryan scheduled The Miz to defend his Intercontinental Championship against Ziggler at Backlash. On the September 6 episode of SmackDown, The Miz slapped Ziggler, who was providing guest commentary for The Miz's match against Apollo Crews. After the match, Ziggler once again called Miz a coward.
|Tag team tournament final||Preview|
|Dean Ambrose vs. AJ Styles||Preview|
|Randy Orton vs. Bray Wyatt||Preview|
|The Miz vs. Dolph Ziggler||Preview|
- Numbers in parentheses indicate the length of the match.
- (c) refers to the champion(s) heading into the match.
- Becky Lynch defeated Alexa Bliss, Carmella, Naomi, Natalya and Nikki Bella in a Six-pack challenge to win the inaugural WWE Smackdown Women's Championship (14:21)
- The Usos (Jimmy and Jey Uso) defeated The Hype Bros (Zack Ryder and Mojo Rawley) to qualify for the tag team tournament final (10:11)
- The Miz (c) (w/ Maryse) defeated Dolph Ziggler to retain the WWE Intercontinental Championship (18:22)
- Heath Slater & Rhyno defeated The Usos (Jimmy and Jey Uso) in a Tag team tournament final to win the inaugural WWE Smackdown Tag Team Championship (10:02)
SmackDown Tag Team Championship tournament bracket
|9/6||American Alpha †||0:28|
|Smackdown||Heath Slater & Rhyno||Pin|
|Backlash||The Usos (Jimmy & Jey Uso)||Pin|
|9/11||Heath Slater & Rhyno||10:02|
|9/6||Heath Slater & Rhyno||7:03|
|8/30||The Hype Bros||2:50|
† After Chad Gable suffered a storyline injury after defeating The Usos, American Alpha were removed from the final. The Usos then defeated The Hype Bros at Backlash in a second chance tag team match to replace American Alpha in the final.
SmackDown Women's Championship match
|Eliminated||Wrestler||Eliminated by||Method of elimination||Time|
||Alexa Bliss||Naomi||Pinned after a powerbomb/neckbreaker combination with Natalya||9:38|
||Naomi||Natalya||Submitted to the Sharpshooter||10:52|
||Natalya||Nikki Bella||Pinned after a fireman's carry cutter||12:00|
||Nikki Bella||Carmella||Pinned with a roll-up||12:08|
||Carmella||Becky Lynch||Submitted to the Dis-arm-her||14:21|
Other on-screen talent
- Backlash 2016 Official website
- Backlash 2016 on WWE Network
- Backlash 2016 kickoff show on WWE Network
- Backlash 2016 Pre-Show at CAGEMATCH.net
- Backlash 2016 at CAGEMATCH.net
|Backlash 2016 previews|
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|2016 World Wrestling Entertainment pay-per-views|
Royal Rumble • Fast Lane • Roadblock • Takeover IX • WrestleMania • Payback • Extreme Rules • TakeOver: The End • Money in the Bank • Battleground • Back to Brooklyn • SummerSlam • Backlash • Clash of Champions • No Mercy • Hell in a Cell • TakeOver: Toronto • Survivor Series • TLC: Tables, Ladders, & Chairs • Roadblock: End of the Line