WWE Backlash 2017 Results: Best and Worst Moments

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Worst: Spending 15 minutes on a Great 10 Minute Match

After weeks of hype, Shinsuke Nakamura finally made his in-ring debut. In the show opener, he defeated Dolph Ziggler. There was a lot of back and forth, but it was a pretty good opener for the most part.

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I say “for the most part” because the match was just way too long. When I started writing this up, I looked up the match time, fully expecting it to be at least 20 minutes. But it was just under 16 minutes. Sure, that’s only four minutes off, but still: the match felt long.

If you’re debuting a new talent, especially one who’s primed to be a big star, you would think you’d want to make them look exceptional. Take a look at Kevin Owens when he debuted in NXT – he absolutely dominated the vast majority of the match against CJ Parker. When Owens made it to WWE, he defeated John Cena cleanly in the best match of the night at Elimination Chamber.

Now look at Nakamura tonight: sure, Ziggler is a former world champion. But so is David Arquette, you know? Pro wrestling is very much a “what have you done for me lately” kind of endeavor. Lately, Ziggler has been less than stellar. But the “next big thing” had to struggle and take way too long to defeat him? It doesn’t make sense.

Don’t get me wrong, the match was pretty good. But a little less Ziggler dominance would go a long way to building Nakamura up for the long term.

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What did you think about WWE Backlash 2017?