WWE Backlash 2017: Full Predictions for Each Champion at SmackDown Event


Although two of SmackDown’s championships were defended at Raw’s Payback event several weeks ago, Backlash 2017 is the blue brand’s first actual pay-per-view following WrestleMania 33.

Coming off the Superstar Shake-Up, several new names are in the title hunt, and there is considerable potential to give the roster a slight overhaul.

Who would have thought a few months back that Jinder Mahal would be challenging for the WWE Championship or that Tyler Breeze and Fandango could win their first titles out of virtually nowhere?

SmackDown is in an interesting flux with Charlotte Flair transitioning to a babyface role and a Canadian calling himself The Face of America while he holds the United States Championship.

While the SmackDown Women’s Championship is not on the line at Backlash, there are plenty of major implications this event holds for the future of all the titles and the SmackDown roster in general.

With Backlash rapidly approaching, let’s take some time to assess where our champions are and who may be walking out with the titles on Sunday, May 21.


WWE United States Champion

     Kevin Owens

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Logic dictates you don’t start a gimmick revolving around being a champion just to have the champion drop the title.

Technically, WWE did just do that when Kevin Owens surprisingly lost the United States Championship to Chris Jericho at Payback, but the status quo was re-established just 48 hours later with Owens winning it right back.

The Face of America should be holding that belt for quite some time now that it is back in his possession, meaning he should retain in his match against AJ Styles at Backlash.

Styles is undoubtedly one of the biggest stars on SmackDown and will be prominently featured as a main event talent going forward, but that doesn’t mean he needs to hold a championship in order to maintain that role.

Even if that were the case, there’s nothing saying he would have to hold this championship to do the job.

Coming up soon after Backlash is Money in the Bank, which leaves Styles open to retrieving that briefcase and challenging for the WWE Championship in the coming months.

Owens, meanwhile, will be in charge of directing the secondary main events as the United States champion against any and all challengers WWE can set up to face him.

Whether it is through nefarious means or a legitimate victory, Owens will retain the title.


SmackDown Tag Team Champions The Usos

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You’re not alone if you feel like this is coming off more like a filler feud than a legitimate one, as The Usos aren’t really doing too much at all.

Breezango’s track record of never being taken seriously was flipped somewhat upside down with their random No. 1 contendership, although the lack of appearances from Jimmy and Jey Uso really hurts the credibility of this program.

There’s certainly room to have fun and do backstage skits like Fashion Files, but when they revolve more around other teams like The Ascension, it doesn’t have the same effect.

Without The Usos getting their hands dirty, this just comes off as though WWE is stalling until The New Day is able to come back.

Of course, any limelight is good for Fandango and Tyler Breeze’s careers, as this is their first real title shot possibly ever.

Simply by being in the title hunt, The Fashion Police are getting somewhat of a highlight. To counteract that, The Usos will be given their own highlights by being the victorious team and retaining their titles.

This is certainly not the end for The Usos as SmackDown tag team champions.


SmackDown Women’s Champion Naomi

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Not only is the SmackDown Women’s Championship not being defended at Backlash, but on top of this, the current champion isn’t even the focal point of the match.

Naomi is just one of the two teammates who are alongside Charlotte Flair in her feud against The Welcoming Committee, and it’s unlikely WWE is going to give her the spotlight in the match.

This entirely revolves around Charlotte, so she is the woman all eyes will be focused on.

Meanwhile, Naomi will be as much of a workhorse in the match as she’s expected to be and gaining little to no glory in the process.

Even if her team is successful in winning, it won’t be a great victory that adds to Naomi’s title reign. Rather, it will simply be a step in avenging Charlotte’s current feud, which Naomi shouldn’t care about.

Somewhere down the line, Charlotte and Naomi will clash for the title once more, and this momentary detour isn’t going to change that no matter which team walks out the winners.


WWE Champion Randy Orton

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A few months back, nobody would have guessed Jinder Mahal would not only be fighting for the WWE Championship at a pay-per-view, but that he would look as legitimate in challenging for the title as he does right now.

That is a testament to how somebody’s career can receive a major improvement just by having WWE show the littlest faith in them rather than having them struggle until they’re released.

Sadly, all those steps forward still aren’t going to be enough for Mahal when it comes to Backlash, as Randy Orton is surely going to retain his title.

The WWE Championship is simply above Mahal right now, and too much time and effort was built into Orton’s Royal Rumble win and WrestleMania victory to throw it all out for a random experiment.

Plus, we already know Rusev is being set up for a title match at Money in the Bank, so it makes more sense for him to face Orton than Mahal.

Granted, nothing rules out the idea of having a Triple Threat that includes Mahal, as he has had issues with Rusev in the past once they split from being teammates, but the likelihood of this happening is slim.

There is already going to be a multi-man match on the card with the Money in the Bank gimmick itself, so it seems a smarter bet to say Mahal will be in that match, while Rusev and Orton will face each other for the WWE Championship.

Based off those projections, the logical conclusion is that The Viper will live to fight another day as champion.

Who do you think will walk away with gold at Backlash?

Tell us your predictions in the comments below!

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