Backlash 2017 is a professional wrestling pay-per-view (PPV) event and WWE Network event produced by WWE for the SmackDown brand. It took place on May 21, 2017, at the Allstate Arena in in the Chicago suburb of Rosemont, Illinois. It was the thirteenth event in the Backlash chronology.
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 WrestleMania 33, Randy Orton defeated Bray Wyatt to win his ninth WWE Championship. On the post-WrestleMania SmackDown, Wyatt challenged Orton to a "House of Horrors" rematch, but since Wyatt was moved to the Raw brand as a result of the Superstar Shake-up, it was made a non-title match and scheduled for Raw's pay-per-view Payback. On the April 18 episode of SmackDown, Jinder Mahal, who had moved over from Raw, defeated Dolph Ziggler, Mojo Rawley, Erick Rowan, Luke Harper, and Sami Zayn, who also moved over from Raw, in a six-pack challenge to become the number one contender for the WWE Championship at Backlash. During the match, Mahal received help from NXT's The Bollywood Boyz (Gurv and Harv Sihra), who made their SmackDown debut as The Singh Brothers (individually, Sunil and Samir Singh, respectively). The following week, Orton defeated Rowan in a no disqualification match and was afterwards attacked by Mahal and The Singh Brothers; Mahal subsequently stole the WWE Championship belt. At Payback on April 30 during Orton's match against Wyatt, Orton easily fought off an attack by The Singh Brothers, but then Mahal attacked him with the title belt, costing Orton his match. On the following SmackDown, as Mahal was having a photo shoot with the WWE Championship, SmackDown Commissioner Shane McMahon appeared and retrieved the title belt from Mahal and later returned it to Orton. The May 9 episode opened with Orton, who claimed that he would defeat Mahal at Backlash. Mahal interrupted and stated that he would be taking the championship back to his home country of India where they would erect a statue of him. The two were later involved in a six-man tag team match that ended with Mahal pinning Orton.
At WrestleMania 33, Kevin Owens defeated Chris Jericho to win his first United States Championship. On the post-WrestleMania Raw, Jericho was granted a rematch for the title at Raw's pay-per-view Payback, but the following week, Owens was moved to the SmackDown brand as a result of the Superstar Shake-up. SmackDown General Manager Daniel Bryan decided that if Jericho won the title at Payback, he would also transfer to SmackDown. Also on the April 11 episode of SmackDown, AJ Styles defeated Sami Zayn and Baron Corbin, who had confronted Owens upon his arrival to SmackDown, in a triple threat match to earn an opportunity for the United States Championship at Backlash. Over the next couple of weeks, Styles defeated Corbin in back-to-back matches, while Owens sat at ringside on commentary. After Styles defeated Corbin on the April 25 episode, Owens attacked Styles and Corbin joined in on the attack. Zayn came out for the save and took out Corbin, but was overpowered by Owens. Afterwards on Talking Smack, Corbin attacked Zayn and shoved an official. He was subsequently suspended for one week. At Payback on April 30, Jericho defeated Owens to win the United States Championship, thus transferring Jericho to SmackDown. On the following episode of SmackDown, however, Owens defeated Jericho to regain the title, making him the defending champion against Styles at Backlash. After the match, Owens continued to beat and injure Jericho, taking him out of action. On the May 9 episode, Owens interrupted a segment between WWE Champion Randy Orton and Jinder Mahal and claimed that he would eventually become the face of the WWE. Styles then came out, followed by Corbin and Zayn, who attacked Corbin. A brawl ensued that resulted in a six-man tag team match where the team of Owens, Corbin, and Mahal defeated Styles, Zayn, and Orton.
On the April 11 episode of SmackDown, SmackDown Tag Team Champions The Usos (Jey and Jimmy Uso) retained their titles against American Alpha (Chad Gable and Jason Jordan). After the match, The Shining Stars (Primo and Epico), renamed to The Colóns, appeared, revealing they had been moved over from Raw as a result of the Superstar Shake-up, and attacked American Alpha, and defeated them the following week. On the April 25 episode of SmackDown, Breezango (Fandango and Tyler Breeze) won a Beat the Clock challenge to become number one contenders: American Alpha defeated The Colóns, but Breezango defeated The Ascension (Konnor and Viktor) in a shorter time, thus earning a title opportunity at Backlash. On the May 9 episode, after Breezango again defeated The Ascension, The Usos came out and claimed that they would still be champions after Backlash.
On the April 4 episode of SmackDown, NXT's Shinsuke Nakamura made his main roster debut by interrupting The Miz and Maryse, who were both transferred to Raw the following week. On the next SmackDown, Nakamura interrupted Dolph Ziggler's in-ring promo. Ziggler attempted a superkick on Nakamura, but Nakamura countered and Ziggler retreated. On the April 25 episode, Ziggler interrupted Nakamura's in-ring interview by Renee Young. After the two traded barbs, Ziggler attacked Nakamura, who retaliated with an Inverted Exploder Suplex on Ziggler, who retreated. It was then announced that Nakamura would have his SmackDown in-ring debut at Backlash against an unknown opponent. On the May 2 episode of SmackDown, Ziggler criticized Commissioner Shane McMahon and General Manager Daniel Bryan for hyping Nakamura for Backlash, even though he had not had a match on an episode of SmackDown yet. The following week, Ziggler cut a promo touting his accomplishments before calling out Nakamura. Nakamura called for a referee, but before the match could begin, Ziggler backed out and said he would face Nakamura at Backlash and then attacked Nakamura, but Nakamura overpowered Ziggler.
At WrestleMania 33, Naomi won a six-pack challenge to win her second SmackDown Women's Championship, and she subsequently retained the title against former champion Alexa Bliss on the post-WrestleMania SmackDown. As a result of the Superstar Shake-up, Alexa and Mickie James were moved to the Raw brand, and Charlotte Flair and Tamina, who was a free agent, were moved to the SmackDown brand. The following week, Charlotte demanded a title shot. She was confronted by the champion, and SmackDown Commissioner Shane McMahon decided that if Charlotte could defeat Naomi in a non-title match, she would be granted a title match the following week, which she did. This angered Natalya, Tamina, and Carmella (with James Ellsworth), as they each felt that they should have been the number one contender. The following week, Charlotte and Naomi's title match ended after they were both attacked by Natalya, Tamina, and Carmella. On the May 2 episode, Charlotte, now a face, was attacked backstage by the three heels, now calling themselves The Welcoming Committee, who also tried to convince Becky Lynch to join them. Naomi and Charlotte then teamed up, but were defeated by Natalya and Carmella. After the match, The Welcoming Committee teamed up on Charlotte and Naomi. Becky then came out and acted like she was going to join the three, but then attacked them, but got overwhelmed. The following week, during a match between Natalya and Becky, Charlotte kept Naomi from attacking Tamina, who was trying to cause a distraction, and Natalya got the win. Later, after some arguing backstage, Charlotte, Becky, and Naomi got on the same page, and were scheduled to face The Welcoming Committee at Backlash.
On the April 4 episode of SmackDown, NXT's Tye Dillinger made his main roster debut and defeated Curt Hawkins, who was transferred to the Raw brand the following week. On the April 11 episode, former Vaudevillain Aiden English began a solo career, but was defeated by Dillinger, who also defeated him the next week. On May 16, a match between the two was scheduled for the Backlash pre-show.
- Numbers in parentheses indicate the length of the match.
- (c) refers to the champion(s) heading into the match.
- The Usos (Jimmy & Jey Uso) (c) defeated Breezango (Tyler Breeze & Fandango) to retain the WWE Smackdown Tag Team Championship (9:15)
- The Welcoming Committee (Natalya, Tamina & Carmella) (w/ James Ellsworth) defeated Charlotte Flair, Becky Lynch & Naomi by submission in a Six-woman tag team match (10:05)
- Kevin Owens (c) defeated AJ Styles by Count Out to retain the WWE United States Championship (21:10)
- Jinder Mahal (w/ Samir Singh & Sunil Singh) defeated Randy Orton (c) to win the WWE Championship (15:45)
Other on-screen talent
- Backlash 2017 Official website
- Backlash 2017 on WWE Network
- Backlash 2017 Kickoff Show on WWE Network
- Backlash 2017 (RU) on WWE Network
- Backlash 2017 (HI) on WWE Network
- Backlash 2017 (PT) on WWE Network
- Backlash 2017 (ZH) on WWE Network
- Backlash 2017 (JA) on WWE Network
- Backlash 2017 (DE) on WWE Network
- Backlash 2017 (ES) on WWE Network
- Backlash 2017 Pre-Show at CAGEMATCH.net
- Backlash 2017 at CAGEMATCH.net
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