With the “welcoming committee” by her side, Natalya took on Becky Lynch, who had SmackDown Women’s Champion Naomi in her corner, in front of the UK faithful on Team Blue. However, before the contest could begin, Charlotte Flair came out to seemingly even the odds further and watch The Irish Lass Kicker’s back.
The two Superstars engaged in a hard-hitting affair, but Natalya caught Lynch off-guard for the victory when The Irish Lass Kicker was distracted by a disconnect between Naomi and Flair, who were trying to keep Carmella, James Ellsworth and Tamina at bay.
Dolph Ziggler and Shinsuke Nakamura’s ongoing conflict continued in the UK, as The Showoff called out The King of Strong Style for not yet having a match on SmackDown LIVE. Nakamura retorted by telling Ziggler that he was ready to show him what he was made of right then and there. A referee rushed to the ring, and it looked like Dolph was going to take him up on the offer for a match. However, Ziggler quickly rescinded and said that they would do this on his terms — at WWE Backlash.
The Showoff then tried to get the jump on The Artist Known as Nakamura, getting a few licks before The King of Strong Style rallied back, hitting Ziggler with some hard strikes and clearing him out of the ring.
After the pure carnage that kicked off the show, these two sides squared off in official fashion in the main event of SmackDown LIVE.
The action was fast-paced and intense as the two squadrons waged battle. As the match reached its final stages, it appeared that The Apex Predator was in an untouchable zone, battling through attempted interference from The Singh Brothers and even connecting with the RKO on Kevin Owens.
However, there were just too many hoops to jump through, as The Maharaja swooped in and connected with the Cobra Clutch Slam immediately following The Viper’s takedown of Owens.
With the victory, Mahal made a massive statement heading into WWE Backlash: He’s ready to take Orton’s title.
In other action … Lines got drawn in the sand as several Team Blue rivalries escalated … Erick Rowan def. Luke Harper … and Breezango def. The Ascension.