By Adam Salzer
Hello, everyone, and welcome to the second edition of Making the Grade! Each month, or sometimes twice a month, I review WWE's PPV offerings. The show will be issued a letter grade based on each match, with the opportunity for extra credit for anything spectacular, and the chance to lose points for anything particularly heinous.
It is September 11th, 2016 and that means we're talking about Backlash 2016!
Let's see the matches!
Apollo Crews v. Baron Corbin
Operation "Please Cheer for Apollo" meets Baron "We Have Nothing For You" Corbin. And Baron wins! That surprised me. Match was decent, nothing stood out as particularly spectacular, they tease a top-rope maneuver from Apollo and then go right into the finish.
Grade: C, perfectly average match
Women's Six-Pack Elimination Challenge
I feel it a little pointless to start off the show with a promo from Shane and Daniel and not just go right into the match. We know what's happening at the show, we've been watching the product. The match itself, though, was pretty great, and Becky Lynch walks away the first-ever SmackDown Women's Champion!
Grade: B, slightly sloppy in a couple places, too much one-on-one action for a six-woman match, and a couple weird spots bring us down just a little
Second Chance Challenge: Usos v. Hype Bros
Though it's a horrible story-telling crutch, the match itself was quite good. The Usos debut a new look, no facepaint, no wardance, no neon vomit pants, and no high-flying maneuvers. The finish mimics that of SmackDown Live, with the twins taking out Zack Ryder's knee.
Grade: B, no surprise as to who won, same team will win later tonight as well
Intercontinental Title: Miz (c) v. Dolph Ziggler
Great match, even with the BS finish. Possible contender for match of the night, if the Main Event doesn't deliver. A much better Intercontinental Title match than we had at SummerSlam
Grade: A, both Dolph and Miz can go, and they proved that tonight
Bray Wyatt vs. Kane
Decent no-DQ match, but major points off because there is absolutely no reason that Kane should beat Bray Wyatt, RKO or no. Fuck that.
Grade: D, just no
Tag Tournament Finals (kinda), Usos v. Slyno
See that note I made above about the Second Chance match? Color me surprised that Slyno actually won the match. Although this leaves the Usos in the same position of Dolph, lost the big title match that meant everything and now seemingly have nothing to do, I have to give some extra marks for Heath's post-match promo.
Grade: B, HEY BEULAH! WE'RE GETTIN' DOUBLE-WIDE, BAYBAY!
WWE World Championship: Dean Ambrose (c) v. AJ Styles
A very good match hampered by some sloppy ring work and the champion not being able to decide whether or not he wants to sell the knee injury they'd been playing up during the match. A dick kick does come into play at the end after a so-so ref bump, so maybe a couple points off for that as well.
Grade: B, Holy shit, guys, AJ Styles is WWE Champion!
Average Grade: B-, Even with Kane pinning Wyatt we still had some really good matches tonight, and it shows in the average grade.
Zack Ryder's tights said "ZackDown Live" and I appreciate that
Not only do you make the tag tournament useless, you also choose to "up" the comedy with diarrhea jokes?
Ending at 10:45? What is this, 1998?
One up and two down, that drops us down to a...
Overall Grade: C+
Slightly better than average and, strictly speaking, slightly better than SummerSlam overall.
That does it for me tonight, I'll be back in two weeks for Clash of Champions! Leave your thoughts below!
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