The 2017 WWE Backlash Kickoff pre-show opens with Renee Young welcoming us to the Allstate Arena in Rosemont, IL. She’s joined by Peter Rosenberg and WWE Hall of Famer Booker T. Rosenberg talks about being here for WWE NXT “Takeover: Chicago” last night and Booker talks about how rowdy the Chicago fans can get. He predicts it will be a very awesome night. Renee sends us to Dasha Fuentes backstage in the Social Media Lounge. She plugs tonight’s hashtags and will be joined by Sami Zayn later. Fans can submit questions with the #AskSami hashtag.
A Shinsuke Nakamura video package aired. It featured footage of an artist painting and then went into his highlights and then shifted to footage of the build to his match against Dolph Ziggler…
The panel spoke about Nakamura making his debut. Booker spoke about his excitement to see his debut. He compared him to Great Muta in that he’s someone you heard about before finally seeing him. Rosenberg put over strong style. Booker said he took offense because that’s what he did twenty years ago. Rosenberg questioned when the last time a debut was this anticipated. Booker said Nakamura doesn’t have to say a word and yet he captivates viewers. Young spoke about getting goosebumps watching his entrance…
Footage aired of Renee interviewing Tye Dillinger about his match against Aiden English. Dillinger spoke about how he’s always loved Chicago. He was interrupted by Aiden English, who complained about Dillinger interrupting his singing. English said he will unveil “The Perfect Downfall” at Backlash. Dillinger said he would deliver him another beating and then tossed him a tissue. “You don’t have to cry about it,” Dillinger said…
James Ellsworth joined the pre-show panel and acted like he didn’t know Rosenberg. Ellsworth said he’s the homeboy of the Welcoming Committee. Rosenberg and Booker pushed Ellsworth for details about his relationship with Carmella. Ellsworth said she is his homegirl. He got a call from Carmella on his phone and said he had to leave. He waved to the fans and was booed…
Backstage, Dasha asked Ziggler if he was prepared for his match. He said he was and watched all of Nakamura’s matches. “Just kidding,” Ziggler added. He said Nakamura was somewhere in the back of the building nervous and questioning whether he would deliver. Ziggler said he would be the person who would actually deliver. Ziggler said he’d been told they would be the first match on Backlash and he would beat the hell out of Nakamura.
A WWE Network video package aired and included footage of Goldberg’s WWE 24 documentary along with several additional shows… A video package aired on the U.S. Championship match…
We go backstage to the Social Media Lounge with Dasha Fuentes and Sami Zayn for some fan questions. Sami mentions how he’s wanted to get into the ring with Baron Corbin for a while now. We go back to the panel as Renee hypes the pre-show match and sends us to a break.
Tye Dillinger vs. Aiden English
Back from the break and Tom Phillips welcomes us. He’s joined by JBL and Byron Saxton. Fans start booing as Aiden English makes his way out with a mic and a spotlight. English sings and takes a shot at Chicago as the boos continue. English goes to perform an encore but Tye Dillinger’s music interrupts and out he comes to a pop.
The bell rings and we get some stalling. Fans boo English and pop for Tye. They lock up and go at it. English takes Dillinger down first. They tangle and trade holds but Dillinger gets the upperhand and taunts English as a “10” chant starts. English decks him and takes it to the corner. English mounts Tye in the corner and talks some trash but it backfires. English ends up pulling Dillinger into the top rope as Tye was arguing with the referee. English runs back in with a neckbreaker as he keeps control of Tye.
English wastes some time but launches himself into Tye in the corner. English poses as fans boo and we take a break.
Back from the break and English is still in control, keeping Tye grounded in the middle of the ring. Fans try to rally for Tye. English with knees before taking Tye back down. English sings while he has Tye grounded. Tye fights out and gets a 2 count. Tye with an atomic drop and chops. Tye kicks English in the face and nails a flying forearm. Tye with more offense as the crowd pops.
Dillinger mounts English in the corner and unloads as fans count to 10. Dillinger drops the knee pad but English rolls to the floor to escape. English ends up suckering Tye in and dropping him over the top rope. English goes to the top but Tye brings him to the mat. Dillinger goes back up but misses a top rope splash. English drops Tye on his face for a close 2 count. English gets frustrated and starts crying like he did a few weeks ago. English talks some trash and scoops Tye for a slam. English goes back to the top but misses on the way down. Tye side steps as English charges and hits the Tye Breaker for the win.
Winner: Tye Dillinger
Young, Booker, and Rosenberg hyped WWE Extreme Rules and WWE Network. They also spoke about the Erick Rowan vs. Luke Harper match. Rowan showed up again and brought his sack of masks with him. Rowan took a seat between Young and Rosengerg and removed his mask. Rowan reached inside the sack and pulled out a mask, which he tore up and tossed aside. Rowan took Rosenberg’s pocket square and attached it to his main mask briefly before also tossing it aside and then walking away without saying a word…
Young turned the focus to the WWE Championship match. Booker spoke about having Jinder Mahal on his radio show. Rosenberg said Randy Orton is so talented that there are times when he does get up for matches. Young cut off the conversation so that they could squeeze in a video package that focussed on Jinder becoming number one contender and his feud with Orton…
WWE Backlash Opener:
The show opens with a video package highlighting the main feuds heading into tonight’s show. A good bit of time is spent on Orton vs. Mahal, Owens vs. Styles, and Nakamura vs. Ziggler.
The pyro hits and Tom Phillips welcomes us to the show. Dolph Ziggler’s music hits, and it looks like we’re kicking off with a marquee match as the show off makes his way down the aisle to a good bit of heat from the Chicago fans.
The crowd goes nuts as soon as Dolph’s music stops, and they begin chanting ‘Nakamura’. The lights go out, and when the music hits the crowd goes wild. Shinsuke Nakamura makes his way out to the audience singing along with his theme. Shinsuke is wildly over.
Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Dolph Ziggler
The bell rings and both men are slow to come out of the corners. After circling for a bit, Ziggler goes for the leg, and both men begin trading hold looking for the advantage. Nakamura kicks Ziggler to the mat, and he takes a quick shot at Ziggler. Ziggler stands and we get a lock up with Ziggler pushing Nakamura into the corner and swiping at his face. Nakamura chops Ziggler in the midsection to back him up before working over Ziggler’s arm. Ziggler is able to turn things around into a roll up for two. When Nakamura gets back up Ziggler goes to work on the arm, wrenching back and pulling at Shinsuke’s fingers.
Nakamura is quick to cartwheel out of the hold, and he pushes Dolph into the ropes and shoves away at his face. Nakamura calls out Ziggler and catches him with a knee to the gut before choking him with his boot in the corner. Ziggler rolls to the outside and Nakamura follows, clubbing Ziggler across the back before sending him into the ring. Nakamura gets back up to the apron and Ziggler kicks the rope into Nakamura’s crotch before bringing him back into the ring with a neckbreaker. Ziggler pulls Shinsuke up by his hair and clamps on a rear chin lock.
Ziggler is able to bring Nakamura down to the mat, grinding away, but Shinsuke fights back up to his feet and out of the hold. Nakamura hits the ropes and runs right into a dropkick from Ziggler that’s good for a near fall. Ziggler blasts Nakamura with a big right hand to the side of the face before hitting a leaping elbow drop. Ziggler screams to the crowd that he’s the man before he pulls Nakamura up by his hair. Ziggler screams in Nakamura’s face before head butting him in the face. Nakamura is able to connect with a quick knee to the gut and a spinning back kick that wipes out Ziggler.
Ziggler tries to fight back, but Nakamura blocks and counters with strikes. Nakamura takes Ziggler into the corner with a big splash before hanging him up on the top rope and blasting Ziggler with a kick to the midsection. Nakamura pulls Ziggler up, but Ziggler hits a back elbow and rolls Shinsuke up. Nakamura breaks the pin with a triangle choke, but Ziggler makes it to the ropes to break the hold. Nakamura tries for a suplex, but Ziggler fights it off, lands on his feet, and hits a massive DDT that puts Nakamura down for a two count.
Both men are slow to their feet, and Ziggler runs into a knee from Nakamura. Ziggler avoids the kinshasa, and is able to connect with the fameasser, but Nakamura kicks out at two. Ziggler pulls himself up in the corner and smiles. Ziggler tunes up the band, soaking in the heat every time his boot hits the mat. Shinsuke blocks the superkick, but Dolph is able to connect with the Zig Zag on the rebound. Ziggler goes for an immediate pin, but Shinsuke kicks out at two.
Ziggler picks up Nakamura and tries for a powerbomb, but Nakamura fights out and kicks Ziggler in the back of the head to put him down to the mat. Nakamura traps Ziggler in a front face lock before trying for a reverse exploder. Ziggler lands on his feet and hits a superkick to the back of Nakamura’s head. Ziggler crawls slowly over for the cover, but Shinsuke is still able to kick out at two.
Ziggler blasts Shinsuke with elbows to the back of the neck and knees to the side of the head. Nakamura blocks a knee, and Dolph spits in Nakamura’s face. Nakamura responds by taking Ziggler to the mat and hitting a nasty series of knees to the head, abdomen and back. Nakamura kicks at Ziggler while he’s trapped in the ropes before heading to the apron and kneeing him in the side of the head to drive Ziggler back into the ring. Nakamura heads to the middle rope and goes for a knee but Ziggler ducks it. Nakamura connects with an elbow to the back of Ziggler’s head, and the reverse exploder. Nakamura connects with the kinshasa and this one is over as Shinsuke gets the three count.
Winner: Shinsuke Nakamura
After the match, Nakamura celebrates as his music hits and fans sing along. We go to replays. Nakamura bows and makes his exit greeting fans on the way to the back.
– After some commercials, AJ Styles is shown briefly warming up in the back before the announcers turn their attention to the Tag Team Championship Match. We segue into a video package for the Fashion Police, which parodies an episode of Law and Order. Tyler Breeze is dressed in disguise as a janitor, and he and Fandango check out a piece of Uso merch, not understanding the phrase ‘Day One Ish’. Fandango has to remind Breeze that he’s Prince Pretty as Breeze seems to have gone too deep undercover. Breeze and Fandango do a freeze frame high five, and the ‘episode’ of Fashion Files has come to an end.
Smackdown Tag Team Championship Match
The Uso’s vs. Breezango
Back in the arena, Breeze and Fandango make their way out with Breeze still in janitor disguise and toting a mop.
The Uso’s are out next, and the tag champs don’t get much of a reaction on their way down the aisle, but get a bit of a pop when they make it into the ring.
Fandango and Jimmy will kick things off and Fandango catches Jimmy right in a headlock straight away. Jimmy fights out, but ends up taken to the mat with a headscissors. Breeze is still mopping on the apron in disguise. Breeze tags in and mops the mat, getting a big ‘mop’ chant. Breeze dodges a running Jimmy and he crashes into the corner. Breeze backs Jimmy away with the mop, sweeping it in Jimmy’s face. Jey tags in a blasts Breeze in the face before climbing to the top rope. Breeze rolls away, so Jey goes across the ring and climbs to the rope, Breeze keeps rolling away from Jey no matter which corner he climbs up. Breeze connects with a big kick out of nowhere on Jey, and he gets a two count. Fandango tags in and Breeze is almost immediately knocked from the apron. Jimmy tags back in and he looks for a pin on Fandango, but Fandango hits him with a big right hand, then locks in an arm bar. Breeze climbs up on the apron in a gray haired wig and a dress with a cane. Big ‘Let’s go Grandma’ chant.
Jimmy takes the cane, and Breeze responds with a dropkick. Jimmy gets sent to the corner for a bronco buster, but he’s able to come back with a quick kick and a kick to the face in the corner. Jimmy rips the dress off Tyler and throws it in JBL’s face. Fandango is able to make the tag and he comes in with a huge kick to Fandango’s face that puts him down to the mat. Fandango is whipped across the corner, but he avoids a splash and DDT’s Jimmy for a two count. Breeze tags back in and they go for a double back suplex, but Jimmy lands on his feet. Jey makes the blind tag, and after a springboard double team elbow drop/backbreaker, Breeze is down for a two count. Jimmy makes a tag and Breeze hits the unprettier, but Jimmy is still able to kick out at two.
Fandango tags in and The Uso’s toss Breeze into the barricade and into the crowd. Fandango hits a beautiful dive over the top rope to take out the Uso’s. Fandango heads up and is knocked from the top rope with a superkick from Jey, Jey rolls up Fandango for a quick three count, and this one’s over.
Winners and STILL Smackdown Tag Team Champions
After the match, The Usos recover and take their titles as we go to replays. Breezango recovers as The Usos leave with the titles.
– After another couple of commercials, the announcer’s turn their attention to Sami Zayn vs. Baron Corbin, showing a quick recap video of Corbin attacking Zayn during a promo on Smackdown.
Sami Zayn vs. Baron Corbin
Sami Zayn is the first man to make his way down to the ring for the next match, and he gets a great reaction from the fans who are singing along with his theme song. Baron Corbin is out next, and he doesn’t get much of a reaction at all on his way to the ring.
The bell rings and Sami circles Corbin, feeling him out. Corbin backs Sami into the corner and breaks clean. Sami wrenches away on Corbin’s arm, but Corbin backs Sami into the ropes and knees him in the gut. Sami leaps over Corbin by jumping off the ropes, and he sends Corbin to the outside with a hurricanrana, but when he teases a dive, he flips back into the ring instead. Corbin heads back into the ring and slams Sami’s head into the turnbuckle. Sami is able to come up with a big dropkick that sends Corbin to the outside. Corbin pulls Sami out to the floor, and Sami is able to quickly pull off a moonsault from the barricade to wipe out Corbin. Sami brings things back into the ring and he blasts Corbin with a couple of big right hands before Corbin picks up Sami and drives him into the corner. Corbin stomps on Sami before hitting a backbreaker across his knee.
Corbin whips Sami into the corner hard, then both men trade forearms before Corbin catches Zayn in a bearhug. Sami is able to fight out with a series of elbows, but Corbin locks him in the bearhug immediately a second time. Sami breaks out of the hold, kicks Corbin in the chest, and low bridges him, sending him crashing out to the floor. Sami heads up to the top rope, and Corbin rolls back into the ring. Sami leaps over Corbin, but then runs right into a giant spinebuster that puts Zayn down for two. Corbin screams at Sami to stay down, but the crowd is solidly behind Sami. Corbin blasts Sami with a big right hand, continuing the assault when Sami refuses to stay down.
Sami is able to sneak in a quick blow that knocks Corbin to the mat. Sami catches Corbin with a back elbow, then a quick kick in the corner. Sami leaps up and connects with a cross body that puts Corbin down for two. Corbin connects with a shot to the throat, then a massive clothesline that puts Zayn down for two. Corbin hits Zayn with a clubbing blow to the back, then another. Corbin tries for a suplex, but Sami lands on his feet. Corbin catches Sami by the throat and hits a chokeslam backbreaker, but Sami still kicks out of a pin. Corbin seats Sami on the top turnbuckle. Corbin tries for the superplex, but Sami fights it off with a series of clubbing blows to the back. Zayn hits a sunset flip powerbomb that’s good for a two count. Sami pulls Corbin up to his feet and he’s shoved into the corner. Sami hooks Corbin in the corner for a tornado DDT, but Corbin blocks it. Sami tries for the exploder in the corner, but Corbin blocks that as well. Sami pins Corbin with a crucifix, but Corbin pops up and hits an immediate Deep Six for two.
Corbin is up quickly and stomping away at Zayn. Zayn is able to sidestep Corbin and send him out of the ring. When Corbin steps back in Zayn shocks him with a big boot, and a quick follow up Helluva kick, and he pins Corbin for the three count.
Winner: Sami Zayn
Sami’s hand is raised triumphantly to a big pop from the crowd.
– The announcers toss it to Xavier Woods in a pre-recorded UpUpDownDown video for some WWE Superstars playing Rocket League in a quick fun video.
The Singh brothers are shown pulling a Persian rug out of the back of an Suv, then opening the door for Jinder. Jinder Mahal steps out of the limo. He’s approached by Charlie. Jinder says Chicago and America are full of haters. Haters who hate him for who they think he is. People who hate him for how he looks, and how he talks. Jinder is going to turn that hate into something positive, spiritual, holy. He is a peaceful man, but once provoked, he becomes an animal. But tonight he’ll turn a universe of doubters and discriminators, into believers. He’ll show the world that he’s the modern day Maja Raja. Jinder speaks in his native language for a bit before walking off.
Naomi, Charlotte Flair and Becky Lynch vs. Tamina Snuka, Carmella and Natalya
Back in the arena, James Ellsworth is in the ring. He calls himself the Michael Jordan of Sports Entertainment, and pumps himself up a bit before introducing his girl, Carmella. Carmella comes out to a very lackluster reaction.
Tamina is out next, followed shortly after by Natalya, neither get a good reaction.
Becky Lynch is out next, and the fans are a bit more lively as she makes her way down the aisle. Charlotte is out next, and she gets a very nice reception from the Chicago fans. Naomi is out last for her team, and the Smackdown Women’s Champion gets a warm welcome as well.
All six women have a staredown before the ref forces it down to Becky and Tamina. The bell rings and we get a lockup before Tamina shoves Becky to the mat. Becky comes back and clamps on a rear chin lock, but Tamina fights out. Becky tries to move quickly, but she’s staggered by a head butt. Natalya tags in and rolls up Becky for two. Becky is able to tag Charlotte, who comes in and works on Natalya’s arm. Natalya is able to send Charlotte crashing to the mat, but she’s rolled up from behind, then peppered with chops to the chest. Charlotte taunts her other opponents, then sends Natalya to the mat with a kick. Carmella is able to prove a small distraction that allows Natalya to take out Charlotte on the apron. Quick tags by the welcoming committee allow Natalya, Carmella and Tamina to make quick swaps before Carmella comes in and clamps on a rear chin lock.
Carmella drives Charlotte to the mat for a quick two count, but Charlotte fights back and is able to tag out to Naomi. Naomi comes in with a series of knees to Carmella’s midsection. Naomia kicks Tamina from the apron, but the distraction allows Carmella to attack from behind, laying in with kicks to the back. Carmella moonwalks across the ring before connecting with a bronco buster on Naomi in the corner. Tamina tags in and works right into a rear chin lock.
Naomi falls victim to some quick shots from all her opponents, but she’s able to avoid a splash in the corner. Natalya knocks Charlotte off the apron and Carmella pulls Becky from the apron right when Naomi tries for the tag. Charlotte breaks up a pin attempt and Natalya tags in. Natalya seats Naomi on the mat, then runs into a dropkick from Naomi. Becky tags in and hits a couple of clotheslines before hitting the exploder on Natalya. Becky hits a big forearm to Natalya’s forehead, but it’s not enough for three. Becky is able to trap Natalya in the Disarmer, but it’s broken up by Carmella. Tamina takes out all her opponents, but is sent from the ring. Becky rolls up Natalya for two, then takes out Tamina. Natalya is able to catch Becky in the Sharpshooter immediately, and Becky is forced to tap out.
Winners: Natalya, Tamina and Carmella
After the match, The Welcoming Committee regroups on the ramp as Charlotte, Naomi and Becky look on from the ring. We go to replays.
– After a couple of commercials, we’re ready for the United States Championship match as we get a video package highlighting the recent events between Kevin Owens and AJ Styles.
United States Championship Match
Kevin Owens vs. AJ Styles
AJ Styles is the first man out to the ring, and Styles gets a great reaction from the Chicago fans. Kevin Owens is out next, and the self proclaimed new face of America doesn’t get much of a reaction at all out of the crowd.
The bell rings and both men go right for it, but break the lock up almost immediately. Another lockup and Owens pushes Styles back into the corner. Styles turns things around, then breaks clean and Owens goes right for the leg, but Styles fights it off. Styles clamps on a headlock, and Owens pushes him off for a quick roll up. Styles goes right back for the head lock. Owens fights up to his feet and is able to turn the hold around with a front face lock of his own. Styles pushes Owens off and Owens bails out to the floor to catch his break. Styles follows to the floor, and Owens immediately rolls back into the ring.
Back in the ring, Owens chops at Styles chest, and avoids a dropkick. Owens stomps away at AJ, and when he hits the ropes, he runs right into a big dropkick to the face. Owens hits Styles with a big right hand to the face, and the two trade blows, with both man looking for the advantage. Styles heads up in the corner, and Owens pulls him down and hits an immediate clothesline that puts down Styles for two. Owens stomps away at AJ then picks him up and buries his knee in Styles’ back repeatedly before clamping on a rear chin lock.
Styles fights up, but Owens puts him down with a big DDT. Owens connects with a trio of quick sentons, but Styles is still able to kick out of a pin. Owens goes right back into the rear chin lock. Styles struggles back to his feet and out of the hold, but Owens pulls him down to the mat. Styles is able to connect with an enzugiri, and Styles is able to follow it up with a combination of strikes and elbows that puts Owens down for two. Styles waits for Owens to stand and hits a big forearm, then a clotheslines in the corner. Styles hits a corner clothesline before driving Owens face first into the corner for another near fall.
Styles calls for the Styles Clash, but Owens fights out, so Styles connects with the ushigaroshi. Styles teases the Styles Clash again, but Owens fights out of it. Owens avoids a springboard moonsault and connects with a superkick and a pumphandle neckbreaker to put Styles down to the mat. Styles avoids the pop up powerbomb, but falls to a stunner that hangs him up on the top rope and sends Styles crashing to the floor. Owens climbs up to the top, but Styles blocks him and teases a Styles Clash from the apron. Owens fights out of it, pulls Styles down and slams his leg into the ring post before launching AJ into the ring steps. Back in the ring Owens connects with a cannonball before wrapping Style’s leg around the bottom rope and connecting with a cannonball to the isolated leg. Owens wraps up Styles leg in a single leg Boston crab, and Styles tries to fight out, only to have things turned into an ankle lock.
AJ is able to fight out of the hold, and he pulls himself up on the apron. Owens climbs up to the middle rope and pull Styles up as well. Styles is able to fight out of the corner with a sunset flip powerbomb on Owens. Styles heads out to the apron and he tries for the Phenomenal forearm, but his leg gives out. Owens connects with a double underhook DDT, but it’s still not enough to put away Styles.
Owens screams at AJ while he slaps at him, and AJ responds with a Pele kick. AJ beats on Owens in the corner, then he seats Owens on the top turnbuckle. Owens hits the side fisherman buster from the middle rope, but AJ still kicks out at two. Owens heads up to the top rope and Styles rolls out to the apron. Owens climbs down and he pulls Styles up, trying to suplex him. Styles hooks his leg on the bottom rope and avoids the suplex, but he reverses it, planting Owens on the apron and leaving him writhing on the arena floor.
AJ breaks the count, and then ends up shoved into the timekeeper’s area by Owens. Styles leaps off the barricade with the Phenomenal forearm. Styles tries for the Styles clash on the announcer’s table, but Styles leg gets caught in the table, and Owens sneaks back into the ring, causing Styles to be counted out.
Winner via Count Out and STILL WWE United States Champion: Kevin Owens
After the match, Owens takes his title as the music hits. A referee checks on AJ as he’s still stuck but Owens leaves the ring and superkicks him in the back of the head while he’s stuck upside down. Owens laughs and clutches his title as he heads to the stage. Fans boo as we go to replays of the finish. AJ is finally free from the table but he’s down on the floor as the referee checks on him. Fans cheer as AJ is helped away by two referees while his music plays.
– We get a recap of the pre-show match which saw Tye Dillinger beat Aiden English with the Tye breaker.
Luke Harper vs. Eric Rowan
We don’t waste any time heading into the next match as Luke Harper’s music hits and the former Wyatt makes his way to the ring quickly. Eric Rowan is out next, and neither man is greeted warmly by the crowd.
The bell rings and Rowan drives Harper into the corner and lays in with punches and kicks right off the bat. Rowan connects with a couple of big chops before clamping on a headlock. Harper fights off Rowan and heads to the top, but Rowan knocks him off to the arena floor with a big clothesline. Rowan hits a baseball slide that sends harper crashing into the barricade. Rowan follows out to the floor and continues the assault before bringing Harper back into the ring. Rowan steps on top of Harper before pinning him for a two count. Rowan presses his fists into Harper’s temples. Harper breaks the hold and fights back with some chops of his own. Rowan sends Harper back into the corner and pins him once more for another two count. Rowan clamps on another rear chin lock, and when Harper breaks out, he’s slamming to the mat. Rowan hits a pumphandle backbreaker before clotheslining Harper to the mat again.
Rowan heads up to the top rope and leaps off, but Harper rolls out of the way and Rowan crashes to the mat. Rowan reaches out for the mask, and Harper points at it before the action spills to the outside. Harper slams Rowan’s head on the announcer’s table before heading into the ring, and launching himself out with a suicide dive that sends Rowan crashing down. Harper hits a big boot that puts Rowan down for a two count. Harper tries for the discus clothesline, but Rowan blocks it. Harper hits a tilt a whirl side slam, then he picks up Rowan. Rowan fights back with a giant spinning back kick and a powerbomb, but he’s not able to keep Harper down for a three count. Rowan mounts Harper and lays in with a series of right hands. Rowan goes to pick up Harper and he fades to the mat. The second time, Harper rolls up Rowan for two. Both men trade big right hands and chops. Harper counters another powerbomb with a hurricanrana, and a couple of superkicks. Harper hits the discus clothesline and he’s able to pin Rowan for three.
Winner: Luke Harper
After the match, Harper stands tall and hits the corner as his music plays. Back to a break.
– After another series of commercials, it’s time for the main event. We get a recap of the last few weeks, which include Jinder qualifying for the match tonight, and the run in’s that he’s had with Orton over the last few weeks leading up to tonight.
Randy Orton (c) vs. Jinder Mahal
Jinder Mahal is the first man to make his way to the ring, and he’s flanked by the Singh brothers on his way down the aisle. Jinder gets a small reaction out of the crowd. Randy Orton is out next, and Orton is received much more warmly by the Chicago fans.
Orton doesn’t waste any time, jumping Jinder immediately before the bell rings. Orton tosses Mahal out to the floor, and tosses him over the announcer’s table. Orton blasts Jinder with a series of right hands to the face. Orton brings things back into the ring, and the ref asks Jinder if he’d like to continue.
The bell rings and Jinder charges in strong. He pushes off an RKO and bails to the floor. Orton heads out to the floor and takes out Jinder with a clothesline. Orton tosses Jinder back into the ring, and he immediately bails out to the floor. Orton follows and Jinder is able to send him crashing into the LED board on the ring apron. Back in the ring, Jinder traps Orton’s arm before driving him down to the mat and burying his knee in Orton’s back for a two count. Orton shoves Jinder down to the mat, then he stomps at Jinder’s joints. Orton grinds his knee pad into Jinder’s face, then he hits him with a European uppercut before trying for a backslide. Jinder fights it off and he’s able to put Randy down on the mat and score a near fall with a running elbow drop. Jinder goes back to Randy’s arm, wrenching away, but Orton fights up to his feet and out of the hold. Orton tosses Jinder out through the ropes, then he plants him on the announcer’s table with a huge belly to back suplex.
Orton brings things back into the ring, and Jinder is able to turn things around with a series of knee drops to Orton’s face. Mahal clamps on a modified rear chin lock, trapping Orton’s arm, but Orton is able to fight up to this feet. Jinder puts him right back down to the mat, but Orton backs things into the corner when Mahal is forced to break the hold. Jinder sends Orton into the corner and charges in after him, but Orton moves and Jinder connects shoulder first with the ring post. Orton picks up Jinder and pulls him up to the top rope in the corner. Orton tries for the superplex, but Mahal fights it off. Orton is able to cause Mahal to crotch himself on the top turnbuckle. Orton tries for the superplex again, and is able to connect this time.
Orton goes for the pin, but Jinder is able to kick out at two. Orton blasts Jinder with a couple of big right hands, and Jinder responds with wrenching the arm. Orton hits a couple of quick clotheslines and a snap powerslam on Jinder. Orton connects with a fallaway slam, but he can’t keep Jinder down for three. Jinder is able to take Orton to the mat, but Orton doesn’t stay down long, connecting with his across the back backbreaker. Jinder crawls out to the apron, and Orton brings him back into the ring with the suspension DDT. Orton drops down to the mat, and Mahal bails from the ring.
Orton heads out to the floor, and the Singh brothers attempt to keep him away. Orton beats them up, and Jinder slams Orton shoulder first into the ring post a couple of times. Mahal jumps back into the ring right into the RKO, but Orton is still too damaged to make the pin right away. The Singh brothers pull Mahal from the ring. Orton tosses one of the Singh brothers over the announcer before planting the other with a belly to back suplex on the table. Orton plants the other brother with a belly to back suplex on the announcer’s table, then he plants both Singh brothers with suspension DDTs. Jinder sneaks in from behind and plants Orton with a big slam for the three count.
Winner and NEW WWE Champion: Jinder Mahal
After the match, Jinder Mahal grabs the WWE Championship and holds it up high on the corner. JBL had to repeat it on commentary that Jinder Mahal was the new champion. Mahal leaves the ring, walks in the crowd and stands up again holding up the title. Big reaction from the crowd in Chicago with many fans in complete disbelief.
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