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WWE SmackDown Live preview (Sept. 6, 2016): Confrontation

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Seems like SummerSlam was just a couple weeks ago - probably cause it was. But this is the “new era”, and that means one pay-per-view (PPV) per brand most months. And that starts with Backlash this Sunday, so the blue crew is taking it home tonight from Lincoln, Nebraska.

The Headliner(s)

Last week we were promised a “confrontation”, and it turned into a show opening promo from one guy and a response on Talking Smack to blow off their entire program. Hopefully, the promised showdown between #1 contender AJ Styles and WWE World champion Dean Ambrose will go a little more according to plan.

The Phenomenal One has been on a heck of a roll, beating a still missing John Cena in Brooklyn to earn a title shot, and then defeating Dolph Ziggler to keep his Backlash bout one-on-one. The Lunatic Fringe still doesn’t seem to be taking their match completely seriously. But maybe that’s just his way. And his way is working okay, since it left AJ racked on the top rope as the show faded to black last Tuesday.

A match this important, and where a title change seems plausible, doesn’t need a lot of selling, but that’s what these two will do. They’ll be trying to sell you on SmackDown, and the idea the blue brand should have its own PPV, too.

Provided we have the segment at all, of course.

The Title Scene

The match which was set-up by last week’s opening scene rekindles an old feud, and advances the story they’ve been telling with Ziggler since the Draft. Miz’s neverending Intercontinental title world tour might end on Sept. 11 in Richmond, or another loss for the Show-Off might drive him even closer to snapping.

SmackDown’s tag belts haven’t been awarded to anyone yet, but we’ll find out tonight which two teams will be battling for them come Sunday. That’s because tonight is the semi-finals of the tournament to crown the first champs. On one side of the bracket, the Usos and American Alpha square off in a finals worthy match-up. On the other, Heath Slater & Rhyno are fighting for more than just gold, they’re fighting for Heath’s job (and his kids) when they face Hype Bros.

Six women will fight for the right to become the first Women’s champ at Backlash, and they’ve been jockeying for position since the strap was unveiled. Becky Lynch, Natalya, Naomi & Alexa Bliss have their eyes on the prize, while things between Nikki Bella & Carmella may have gotten so personal those two ladie are as interested in hurting the other as they are becoming the first queen of the division.

Other stuff to keep an eye on:

- We’re headed toward a battle of two guys that really need a win when Randy Orton wrestles Bray Wyatt at Backlash. The Eater of Worlds has been playing his usual mind games with the Viper. Will we see any signs he’s going to back them up this time tonight?

- Before a great showing against the WWE champ, Baron Corbin stared down Kane... and the Demon stared back.

- General Manager Daniel Bryan is not wrestling anybody in WWE, so hopefully the people working under him will stop taunting him about it.

- Commissioner Shane McMahon didn’t have to much to say about Brock Lesnar, but that’s probably just on the back burner until we get closer to a date where the Beast Incarnate is scheduled to work again.

- Curt Hawkins is still coming, for a run that almost certainly won’t live up to the outrageous claims hyping his return.

It’s the ‘go home’ show for Backlash!

What will you be looking for on SmackDown Live tonight?