They actually did it, you guys. The absolute madmen, they actually did it. Jinder Mahal beat Randy Orton at Backlash to become the WWE Champion. Not only that, but he is the 50th person to hold the title. He’s now in the same league as men like The Rock, Stone Cold, Bret Hart, and Hulk Hogan.
Meanwhile, Kevin Owens retained the US title by trapping AJ Styles’ leg in an announce table. Natalya beat Becky Lynch (no surprise there) to pick up a victory for the Welcoming Committee. Shinsuke Nakamura finally had a match. Obviously all of these have repercussions and consequences, so let’s try to figure out how the Smackdown environment will change.
The Tag Team Division
Unfortunately, Tyler Breeze and Fandango were not able to pick up a win (and the Smackdown Tag Team Championship) at Backlash. They lost to the Usos, who resorted to sort of underhanded tactics to win. This “tainted” win will most likely mean that this feud is not over.
Unfortunately it really feels like the tag team division is spinning its wheels until the New Day can arrive. While they put on quite a match and won our hearts, Breezango ultimately feel like placeholder contenders to be fed to the Usos while New Day is on hold. With the Hype Bros out and American Alpha MIA (hopefully doing a hard reset), there was clearly no one else left to challenge the Usos.
This most likely means that Breezango gets one more match and then brutalized to give the Usos some heat. With the ever looming threat of the New Day hanging over the tag division, I expect the Usos will be keeping the titles warm for the them to take.
The United States Championship
Kevin Owens barely won the match. After securing a count-out victory, Owens proclaimed that he was better than AJ Styles. Styles, of course, will not take that lying down. He will most likely demand a rematch. Not that there’s anything wrong with that as they put on a great match.
Maybe at Money in the Bank, Styles and Owens will lock horns again. Hopefully this time there will be a decisive winner. The question is, will it be AJ Styles or will Kevin Owens hold onto the gold?
Styles has just come off one of the best debut years in recent history. He debuted in a WWE Championship match, was in the main event of two pay-per-views within the first four months of his WWE career, beat John Cena clean as a whistle, and became WWE Champion. Meanwhile Kevin Owens became Universal Champion, was unable to successfully defend it without interference, and lost to Goldberg in under 30 seconds. Who needs a win more?
I feel that Owens will retain the US title, which will free up Styles to re-enter the WWE title picture. That’s already starting to look crowded, but in a good way. Meanwhile Owens can defend the title against Sami Zayn or Tye Dillinger. Both of those programs show promise.
The Women’s Division
The Welcoming Committee have firmly established their dominance over the whole division (read: six people) at Backlash by making Becky Lynch tap out to Natalya. The backlash from this? We’re about to find out.
Charlotte is still gunning after the Women’s Championship, but there are other sharks circling about. Carmella can claim a shot at the title, because she pinned Naomi. As they say, you pin the champion, you get a title match.
Natalya, however, also may have a few words to say. She won the match for her team, which means she beat Naomi and Charlotte. She beat the champion and the number one contender. Surely that boosts her standing a little? Either way, Naomi has new foes to face.
She is probably going to drop the title soon, most likely to Charlotte. Hopefully this will allow for a Becky Lynch v. Charlotte match at Summerslam where Becky can pick up the win. It’s been so long since she has won.
The WWE Championship
The million dollar question now is this: what’s going to happen to the WWE Championship? Jinder Mahal is for sure not holding onto the title for very long.
Orton was kicking his ass decisively until the Singh Brothers came along and Randy casually murdered them. Randy Orton is not someone you want as your enemy.
There’s also Rusev demanding a title shot. While he hasn’t shown up yet, surely they’ll humor him. He’s on the hunt, and right now his target is Jinder Mahal. If all goes well, Rusev will have a match at Money in the Bank.
Money in the Bank. You know, where someone gets an opportunity for a WWE Championship match anytime and anywhere? That thing? Yeah, it’s happening next month. So now the champion has to potentially deal with Randy Orton, Rusev, and Mr. Money in the Bank. It could be Baron Corbin, or Sami Zayn. Heck, it could even be Erick Rowan. This is going to be an interesting title picture for the next few months.
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