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Backlash 2017

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Arnold Furious: We’re in Chicago, Illinois. Hosts are Ragin’ Tom Philips, JBL and Byron Saxton. As if Philips has just dropped into Mauro’s spot, trying to do the same calls but looking more photogenic.

 

Dolph Ziggler vs. Shinsuke Nakamura
It’s astonishing to me how WWE have managed to cool off someone as naturally entertaining as Nakamura. Although I’m willing to admit that Nakamura sometimes doesn’t help his own cause by sleepwalking through perceived unimportant matches. This isn’t just any old match though, it’s his main roster debut and cast your mind back to his NXT debut when he and Sami Zayn tore the house down.

Not only that Ziggler needs to remind people why he was once rated at the world title level. Nakamura’s personality oozes forth and the crowd seem, at least temporarily, enchanted. The match takes a while to warm up, which is possibly the guys seeing if they can get responses without doing anything. It’s usually worthwhile to do a temp check on the crowd by starting slowly.

When it does get a bit frisky they go into big spots with kick-outs. Nakamura looks solid but he doesn’t share the chemistry with Dolph that he had with Sami Zayn. Nakamura’s theatrics occasionally look strange, even for him and especially when he’s selling. He’s far more entertaining on offence where his strangeness and odd angles of approach make more sense. Ziggler eats Kinshasa and Shinsuke picks up a debut win. This wasn’t a patch on Nakamura-Zayn, partially due to the crowd being less hyped up and partially because the match wasn’t as good.
Final Rating: ***1/2

 

Video Control gives us a flashback to Smackdown Live where Breezango continued their investigations into fashion faux-pas. The Fashion Files is the best ‘WWE style’ series of skits WWE have done in some time. It helps that Fandango plays an excellent moron and both of them are tremendous at their jobs.
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