Conventional wisdom (and bookies) had Seth Rollins as a safe favorite in his Intercontinental Title defense against The Miz at Backlash on May 6. The other secondary belt was safely on SmackDown, so surely Raw wouldn’t lose the IC to the blue brand, right?
A Kickoff match segment confirmed The A-Lister would be alone for his match, as Curtis Axel and Bo Dallas told Miz they were no longer his -tourage, further pointing to a win for The Kingslayer against the eight-time Intercontinental champ.
It looked like a one-sided affair in the opening minutes, as the Newark crowd was clearly behind Rollins. But a well-timed kick as Seth looked to press the advantage put Miz in the driver’s seat:
After one comeback ended in a close call when the challenger swatted aside another kick to crash Rollins’ skull to the mat...
... Miz spent a bit too much time telling the fans how relevant he’s made the white-and-gold belt throughout his career. As it has so often in the past, showboating cost The Awesome One, and Seth fought back with his own signature moves, including a blockbuster and a dive to the outside.
Flying three-quarters of the way across the ring, Rollins hit a frog splash for a great nearfall of his own. He looked to follow-up with his finisher, but Miz used another staple of his offense - rolling out and forcing the champ to give chase, allowing him to regain control of the match. Dodging a knee on the apron, Seth went knee first into the ringpost. That set-up a great spot where the champ withstood the pain of a Figure Four to first reverse the hold, then reach the ropes for a break.
The knee factored into a couple follow-up two counts that had the crowd biting despite the belief that a Rollins win was all but assured. Seth was unable to counter the Skull-Crushing Finale on two different occassions, and on two different occassions, the champ kicked out.
A fantastic series of reversals eventually led to a move Miz couldn’t kick out of, when The Kingslayer hit the curb stomp. The pain in his injured knee almost kept him from covering, but Rollins crawled over and got the pin.
It was the predictable result, but it was still a heck of a lot of fun getting to it.
Get complete Backlash results and coverage of the entire card here.