WWE BACKLASH RESULTS: Royal Glow Fire Attempt Retribution Against the Unwelcoming Foes (May, 21st 2017)

A Weekend of non stop wrestling concluded this Sunday as the WWE Smackdown brand brought its first single brand Pay Per View since WrestleMania. The PPV that brought a shocking but fresh ending (if you don’t know by now you’ll know by tonight’s Smackdown) and while it sadly gave us no smackdown women’s championship defense but what made up for it was women’s tag team action as Becky Lynch united with the Reigning Champion Naomi and Smackdowns recent roster acquisition Charlotte to take on the unified force of Carmella, Natalya and Tamina, now dubbing themselves the “Welcoming Committee”.

Coming out to give a single intro for she of whom he manages, Carmella, is James Ellsworth. Once the Confident Princess of Staten Island has stepped foot in the ring, her fellow accomplices of the Welcoming Committee Stable, Tamina and Natalya get their own separate entrances. With the heels united in the ring, out come their rivals, first a fiery Becky Lynch, then 4x RAW Women’s Champion Charlotte then Smackdowns reigning Women’s Champion Naomi. With the All Star babyface team in the ring the heels, who retreated to the ring amid the babyface entrances, are made to step back inside and the combat between the feuding sides is finally underway. Becky and Tamina will represent their respective sides to open the women’s tag team match.

When Tamina and Becky lock up, there’s a quick reminder of Tamina’s strength as she easily manages to shove Becky into a corner. Tamina taunts the WWE Universe before turning the attention back to the opponent, going back on the offense that Becky manages to dodge, instead leaping onto Tamina’s back. Her chance to lock in a possible sleeper is diverted when Tamina rams Becky back first into the nearby corner post, but as Tamina looks to splash her against that same corner, Becky slips free and dodges more offense before attempting to lure Tamina into a pin attempt. Tamina stays on both feet and forces Becky upright, headbutting her in the direction of her fellow villainous teammates. Tamina tags in Natalya to deal with Becky, with history dating back to the days the duo were on Monday Night RAW. Natalya scores an opening kick to the midsection of Becky before dragging the Lasskicker near to the rings center, attempting a possible suplex that is reversed into a small package pin. Natalya kicks out at two, taking more offense from Becky in the form of a arm drag, kick and forearm to the back of Natalya’s shoulders. With an arm wrapped around Natalya, Becky extends a free arm to Charlotte, who tags in, and the former RAW Womens Champion and long tenured rival of the Queen of Harts begins to show her own momentum with a hammerlock applied to Natalya. Natalya tries to one up Charlotte by attacking her knee, using the sneaky shot to quickly reverse her hammerlock, also countering Charlotte’s reversal post cartwheel. Natalya taunts Naomi and Becky, but it nearly becomes costly, as Charlotte rolls Natalya into a sudden roll up pin attempt, another Natalya escapes at two.

Charlotte unleashes some strike action next with her fathers famed chops directed at Natalya. Charlotte connects with her patented single knee drop to Natalya, then proceeds to mock Carmella. Natalya attempts a comeback by reversing an irish whip from Charlotte, only to watch Charlotte float out of the corner and onto the apron. Charlotte boots Natalya from below the top rope and sends Natalya back first to the mat using her hair. Charlotte has a temporary gaze on the villainesses on the outside, most importantly Carmella, but this works in the favor of Nattie, as she sends Charlotte back first to the apron with a clothesline. Natalya brings Charlotte back to the ring, seizing her as she brings her to the heels corner and back in the match comes Tamina. Tamina is in only shortly, delivering some vicious kicks to the midsection of Charlotte, before tagging Carmella in to do some work. Carmella also brings some kicks in, unleashing them on Charlotte before doing as Tamina did by tagging in a tag partner, this time Natalya. Natalya has her round of kicks before tagging Tamina back in, who completes this set of kicks before Carmella returns to the match to bring some different offense as she snapmares Charlotte out of the corner. Carmella elbows both of Charlotte’s shoulders before reverting to a side headlock. Charlotte manages to elbow out, with some backing from the WWE Universe to help her summon her momentum. Charlotte goes for a slam which Carmella counters, taking Charlotte by her hair and sending her back first to the mat. Carmella tries to capitalize on the one counter with a pin attempt, getting a near fall on the former RAW Women’s Champion.

Carmella continues to bring the offense like before, this time sending her fellow NXT Alumni directly into her boot perched against the top turnbuckle. Carmella slams Charlotte face first against the same turnbuckle, having the second attempt countered. Charlotte tries to reach over to Naomi and Becky, knocking off each attempt by Carmella to isolate her from her partners, eventually making a tag to the Smackdown Women’s Champion, Naomi. Naomi flies in, taking herself off the top rope and planting Carmella with a diving crossbody. She delivers her series of fast kicks to Carmella after, completing that offense with an inziguiri, before firing up the WWE Universe prior to delivering a dropkick in a corner to Carmella. Naomi looks to go for her signature move on the woman who has pinned her multiple times since the unit rivalry grew, but aiding Carmella by distracting Naomi on the apron is her former Team BAD Ally Tamina. While Naomi manages to fend Tamina off with a big kick behind the ropes, Carmella gets to chop block Naomi from behind after the assist, and after viciously pulling at Naomi’s locks, Carmella kicks away at the women’s champion. Carmella knees Naomi’s shoulder then plants herself on her in the corner with a bronco buster, not without directing some mockery at Charlotte at first. Carmella takes her by the foot and drags her out of the corner slightly for a pin attempt, but only lands a near fall on Naomi.

Carmella tags Tamina, hoisting Naomi upward before she goes to take offense from Tamina. Tamina applies a side headlock on Naomi to try and wear her down, while the WWE Universe back Naomi to hopefully escape the former allies clutches. Naomi kicks at Tamina but just as she takes off the ropes, Tamina is back with a big clothesline to take her down. Back in moments later is Carmella to deliver a kick to Naomi, courtesy of a little help from Tamina beforehand. Carmella’s time in the ring is short lived as within seconds she tags Nattie in. The two work together with a double team whip before Natalya whips Carmella over to Naomi, who tries to hit the champ with a bronco buster, only to miss the target. Naomi reverses a whip by Nattie only to end up taking a kick to the midsection, who throws a forearm at Charlotte before switching focus quickly back to Naomi. Naomi whips Natalya into her own corner, and making a quick tag to assist Natalya is Tamina. Tamina seizes Naomi by the feet, attempting to stop her from reaching over to Becky, but Naomi knocks her away. Naomi makes a huge leap, hoping to tag Becky in successfully, but just as it may look like it, Carmella has headed over to the other side and she drags the Lasskicker from the apron to the floor. As disbelief sets in for the lone champion, Tamina capitalizes and lays out her former ally with a Samoan Drop, but just as it looks like Tamina may get the win, Charlotte runs in and kicks Tamina, breaking up her pin.

When Becky finally clambers to the apron, Naomi is facing trouble, targeted by the welcoming committee and their newly tagged in leader Natalya. Despite a brief shot from Naomi, shes brought rear first to the mat by Natalya, who goes for the usual basement dropkick after only to be overthrown by a sudden hurricanrana. Naomi then ducks the oncoming offense by Nattie and makes the needed tag to Becky. Becky charges in, taking down Natalya then lunging at both Tamina and Carmella. Becky switches back to Natalya, throwing one more clothesline at her before proceeding to dropkick her. After connecting with an exploder suplex, Becky goes for her flying firearm just as Natalya charges from the corner. Bex tries to pin the Welcoming Committee leader, only for her to escape at two. Becky heads up then leaps off the top turnbuckle to avoid a possible behind cheapshot by Tamina, and though she sends away Tamina with a dropkick, shes subjected to a take-down from Natalya. Natalya readies the Sharpshooter only for Becky to reverse into the disarmer. Along comes Carmella with an axe handle to split Becky from Nattie, only to be thrown above the second rope by Charlotte. Charlotte then takes a superkick to the face from Tamina, who additionally headbutts Naomi before dismissing herself from the ring. Becky tries to pick up where she left off by rolling Natalya away from the ropes into a pin attempt, only to get a near fall to her dismay. Tamina runs in again despite being illegal, having a kick blocked by Becky who forearms her. Natalya takes advantage of this assist and after another take-down, she prizes Becky into the Hart Familys famous sharpshooter and submits the Lasskicker. Natalya, Tamina and Carmella win the match.

(Tamina, Carmella and Natalya w/ James Ellsworth vs Charlotte, Becky Lynch and Naomi)

Thoughts On This Match:
While it felt a step down from last years championship crowning six pack challenge, the majority of last years competitors represented the Smackdown women’s division again here, and it didn’t come off as predictable as some expected. While in many cases momentum on the heel side pre PPV means a babyface win, the Welcoming Committee, featuring two women who also needed a win considering Carmellas victories recently, won and dominated thoroughly without being overtaken in the last few seconds and submitted/pinned. On top, while its non too surprising that Charlotte wasn’t pinned, its great that Naomi wasn’t either, plus the finish to me felt well thought out, because while it doesn’t focus on the championship side story wise, it was Natalya’s revenge for Becky turning down her offer to join the faction, and with that sealed, Becky will be the one most in need of momentum, and mostly targeted and criticized by Charlotte on Smackdown possibly. The Good thing coming out of this is that we don’t know what actually could happen with the Smackdown Women’s Division here, and while the predictable route is Charlotte dethroning Naomi, what about the heels that have utterly dominated and the one in particular Carmella that carries two wins over the champion? Natalya, as much as shes likely to have a great showdown with Naomi, being selected as contender cant go down well with Carmella, so the route logical from here would be Carmella as contender while Becky and Charlotte are at each others throats, increasing tension between them going into Money in the Bank. Lets just see what Smackdown gives us very soon.

– Catherine

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