|| WWE WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP STORYLINE ||
|| Dolph Ziggler (c) vs. AJ Styles ||
August 23rd: When it came to putting together the main-event for Backlash, Smackdown General Manager Daniel Bryan made it clear that he wanted a world title match that the entire WWE Universe would look forward to watching and without any qualifying matches or requests from the roster Bryan would announce just two nights after SummerSlam that Dolph Ziggler would be defending the WWE World Championship against none other than "The Phenomenal One" AJ Styles. There was no denying that the fans were extremely excited about the prospect of Styles becoming the world champion. However, there would be one man who take offence to the announcement and this would be none other than former champion Dean Ambrose. Despite Ambrose ranting about the being deserving of a rematch, General Manager Daniel Bryan though would come away looking strong and flat out refuse Ambrose a chance at redemption. Ambrose despite his clear anger would accept the decision, although it was clear that this wasn't something he was simply going to forget about. To add insult to injury AJ Styles would make an appearance at the exact moment that Ambrose was heading backstage, and would be caught on camera openly mocking Ambrose which would visually annoy Dean but most escalate any further. AJ would congratulate Daniel on making the best decision for Smackdown Live by finally giving the fans a match that they wanted to see, instead of a match that management wanted to be booked. Daniel would clearly not enjoy put in the same light as other infamous authority figures, but remained professional none the less. The segment would end with Bryan making it clear that as General Manager of Smackdown Live he had the power to alter any booked matches how he saw fit, and that Styles would be wise to remember that fact. As one would predict Styles would offer no objections and remain silent.
Later on in the night WWE World Champion Dolph Ziggler would successfully manage to defeat Tyler Breeze in singles action, despite Fandango offering multiple distractions for his tag-team partner Breeze. After the contest Ziggler would cut a post-match promo and make it clear that he was extremely looking forward to defending his WWE World Championship against Styles at Backlash although through everyone off guard when he made it clear that he felt Dean Ambrose was more deserving of a title shot at the pay per view. Before Dolph could finish though he would find himself being blindsided by AJ by way of a chair-shot to the back of the head. The show would come to a close with Styles standing over the fallen Ziggler openly taunting the champion.
August 30th: Near to the beginning of the show Mauro Ranallo would inform the viewers that the World Champion was absent from tonight's show and that he was resting at home after the injuries he had picked up from the chair-shot delivered by Styles last week. Ranallo would find himself interrupted by Styles though who would appear from the crowd and announce that tonight he was going to be a guest commentator for the entirety of the evening's show. Throughout the night Styles would make a mockery of the various matches that took place, with it being clear that him sitting at the commentary table was all about his own ego rather than offering any actual insight on the matches taking place. In the final match of the evening former world champion Dean Ambrose went one-on-one with Kane. The match never finished though as Ambrose found himself on the ascendancy he would be blindsided by Styles, in exactly the same fashion as Ziggler was attacked last week with a brutal chair shot. Despite the obvious fact that AJ was very much cementing himself as a super-heel, it was clear that he was still very much the fan favourite as the show came to a close.
September 6th: With just one week to go until Backlash AJ Styles found himself the most popular man on Smackdown Live. Dean Ambrose, fairly early into the night attempted to attack Styles although found himself prevented by security. Ambrose though would himself ejected from the building by Smackdown's Commissioner Shane McMahon, with the reason given that it was to ensure that the scheduled title match at Backlash took place. Ambrose would not hide his objections and accuse Shane of playing favourites. Styles would compete in a match against Baron Corbin and would manage to win in fairly impressive fashion. After the bell was rung to signal the match's conclusion, WWE World Champion Dolph Ziggler made his way out from the back. Ziggler made it clear that if Styles thought a chair-shot was going to be enough to keep him down then he was sorely mistaken, and that this Sunday in Richmond, Virginia he would be leaving with the world title belt around his waist.
|| WWE INTERCONTINETAL CHAMPIONSHIP STORYLINE ||
SIX PACK ELIMINATION CHALLENGE
|| Apollo Crews (c) vs. The Miz (with Maryse) vs. Baron Corbin vs. Shelton Benjamin vs. Bray Wyatt vs. Kalisto ||
August 23rd: With Apollo Crews in possession of the Intercontinental Championship (to note his first title with the company) he made it very clear to General Manager Daniel Bryan that he wanted his first title defence to be an event to be remembered. This led to Bryan suggesting that the match at Backlash being a Six Pack Elimination Challenge, rather than try to run away from the idea Crews openly welcomed the challenge and said he looked to chance of outlasting five other men and retaining the Intercontinental Championship. Apollo's private meeting with Bryan would be interrupted by The Miz and Maryse who had clearly been eavesdropping at the door. The Miz would comment that he found Crews cute for believing he was actually going to retain the title and that in fact it would be he who would be leaving with the title to become a six time Intercontinental Champion. The Miz though would be totally caught off guard as General Manager Daniel Bryan would inform the Miz that in order to take part in the Sick Pack Elimination Challenge he would have to qualify just like everybody else. This was something that was almost too much to handle for the Miz who stormed out the office, Maryse held back though and queried who her husband would be facing. Daniel Bryan had a massive smile across his face as he revealed that later on tonight her husband would be going one-on-one with the man who Miz had previously taken the title off; Zack Ryder.
During the evening another qualification match would take place that would see Baron Corbin would convincingly defeated Rhyno and cement himself in the title match. Despite Zack Ryder's showmanship and positivity, as well as continued support and motivation given by Mojo Rawley, it would be the Miz who would win the match by way of a referee distraction from Maryse much to everyone's dismay (apart from Miz and Maryse of course).
The following week would see another string of qualification matches take place. Firstly Bray Wyatt would qualify by beating Alberto Del Rio, whilst Kalisto would defeat Curt Hawkins to leave just one place left to fill in the Six Pack Elimination Challenge. Daniel Bryan would reveal that the final entrant though had already been decided and that they would be revealed on next week's show.
Daniel Bryan would assemble all five named entrants in the ring and make it clear that the title match was very important in solidifying the Intercontinental Championship as a title belt worthy of everyone's recognition and desire. Bryan would then give all five men the opportunity to cut a short promo in the middle of the ring before revealing the final man that would be taking part in the title match; Shelton Benjamin. Benjamin would make a charismatic and highly enthusiastic entrance much to everyone's delight. Benjamin would cut a short promo mostly talking about how happy he was to be back on Smackdown and that he had every intention on returning to winning ways at Backlash.
|| WWE SMACKDOWN WOMEN'S CHAMPIONSHIP STORYLINE ||
It would be revealed by Commissioner Shane Mcmahon that a tournament would take place at Backlash to crown the inaugural WWE Smackdown Women's Champion. The eight participants for the tournament would be revealed as Alexa Bliss, Naomi, Becky Lynch, Nikki Bella, Eva Maria, Carmella, Natalya and would involve Bayley being announced as the last entrant of the tournament and also act as Bayley officially becoming part of the Smackdown Live roster. Below is the scheduled semi-final matches that will take place at the pay per view (with the four winner facing each other in the final):
|| Alexa Bliss vs. Naomi ||
|| Becky Lynch vs. Nikki Bella ||
|| Carmella vs. Natalya ||
|| Eva Marie vs. Bayley ||