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MAJOR TITLE CHANGE AND MORE: COMPLETE WWE BACKLASH COVERAGE

By Mike Johnson on 2017-05-21 19:00:00

Luke Harper vs. Erick Rowan

Harper was slammed into the corner at the onset.  Rowan worked over him but a long time and scored a two count with a clothesline.  Harper was smiling at being hit so hard.  Very physical back and forth stuff.   Rowan went to the top but missed a splash.  Rowan was reaching out for his mask but Harper stepped on his hand.  Rowan went to the floor and Harper charged and drilled him into the barricade, which looked great.  Harper set up and nailed a tope suicida into the announcing table.    Rowan was trapped in between the tables.  Harper tossed him back in, nailed a senton and a big boot for a two count.

Harper nailed a twisting sideslam for another two count.  Harper went for a powerbomb but was fought off and hit with a spinkick.  Rowan nailed a powerbomb but Harper got his shoulder up.  Rowan rained down with right hands.  He went for another powerbomb but Harper nailed him and used an inverted rollup for a two count.  They fired back and forth with big right hands, kicks and chops.     Harper superkicked Rowan, knocking him towards the sheep mask.  That psyched up Rowan but Harper drilled him with a big boot to the chest and scored the pin.

Your winner, Luke Harper!

Not bad at all.  Very physical, solid stuff.

Orton attacked Jinder during the ring introductions, tossing him to the floor and throwing him over the announcers' table.  They made it clear the match hadn't started yet.  Orton beat him with punches on the table as the crowd chanted for Orton.  He tossed Jinder into the ring and stood in the corner, backing off, his point having being made.  Mahal was furious and pulled himself to his feet.  They rang the bell and met in the middle of the ring, brawling.  Nice, wild opening.

Orton went for the RKO so Mahal retreated to the floor.  Orton caught him with a clothesline.  Orton tossed him back into the ring but Jinder rolled to the outside.  Orton followed but was shoved shoulder-first into the LED board on the apron.  The announcers noted Orton's history of shoulder issues.  Jinder locked in an arm submission and worked over the arm.  There was a "Let's go Jinder/Jinder sucks" back and forth chant, as if he was John Cena.

Mahal sent Orton into the ropes but was nailed.  Orton acted if his shoulder was hurt and began doing the Garvin Stomp.   Mahal cut him off and nailed a backbreaker, followed by a kneedrop for a two count.  Jinder went right back after the hurt shoulder.    They ended up back on the floor, where Orton slammed him across the announcers' table.

Orton, with his shoulder hanging, tossed Jinder back into the ring but was attacked as he came through the ropes, stomped and beaten.   Mahal continued to work on the shoulder but Orton backed him into the corner to break it.  Orton avoided a charge and Mahal drilled the ring post shoulder-first.    Orton began working over Mahal and placed him on the top rope.  Orton set up for a superplex but Mahal nailed him.  Orton caused Mahal to crotch himself and this time, nailed the superplex, his dad's old finisher.  Orton covered Mahal for a two count.

They battled back.  Mahal snapped his arm but Orton was still able to hit the scoop powerslam.  Orton charged Mahal but was caught with a right hand.  Orton nailed a Fall Away Slam for another two count.  Orton's shoulder hampered him but he was still able to nail a backbreaker.  The story was that Orton couldn't capitalize quick enough due to the injury.  He set up and nailed the draping DDT off the ropes.

Orton set up for the RKO but Mahal realized it and rolled out to the floor.  Orton went to the floor and the Singh Brothers confronted him.  Orton attacked them and sent them into the barricades.   Mahal attacked Orton and sent his shoulder into the ring post.  He followed Orton in but was nailed with the RKO out of nowhere.  Orton was too hurt to get the pin right away, allowing the Singhs to pull Mahal out of the ring and back to the floor.

Orton tossed one of the Singhs over a table and the other over another.  He nearly killed one of them with a back suplex onto the table, flipping him upside down.  For a second, it looked like he was going to break his neck.  Orton continued destroying them and set up for a double draping DDT off the ropes, nailing it.  Mahal attacked Orton and scored the pin.

Your winner and new WWE champion, Jinder Mahal!

They told a good story bell to bell.  It was a solid main event.

Mahal went out into the crowd to celebrate.

Overall, a mixed bag PPV.   I thought Styles vs. Owens and Mahal vs. Orton were the strongest things on the show.  I'll be recording my Elite audio post-game shortly.

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