This year’s WWE Backlash pay-per-view saw an ending that shocked and surprised some, if not most of those watching, but it may not have been a shock to oddsmakers.
The 2017 WWE Backlash pay-per-view once again saw wrestling betting odds fare accurately, as all of the favored competitors on this year’s show won their respective matches. This is surprising considering fan opinion would have you believe some of the match results were considered to be a lock before the event.
Jinder Mahal has been on a tear lately, including his first big win to become number one contender and a win over AJ Styles on WWE Smackdown Live, but he was largely unproven before this spring and facing Orton, a 13-time World Champion. Several storylines had been prevalent recently, including backstage discussion of WWE’s expansion into India being a key factor for Mahal’s big push. Even with that, Mahal’s win was still a big surprise to most, and it got the right (heel) reaction from the Chicago crowd, but you have to wonder if these talking points led to handicappers losing faith in Orton and putting more stock in “The Maharaja.”
Before the show started, (new WWE Champion) Mahal was favored at (-260), meaning a bet of that amount ($260) would have paid out $100. Mahal saw a late shift in odds, as Randy Orton was favored earlier in the day, but dropped to +180 just before the show.
Like the WWE Championship main event switch, Sami Zayn was another competitor that saw a swing in odds, and he went from being a big underdog to being favored in his match against Baron Corbin at -190. Sami has been presented by WWE as a literal underdog (from the underground) and even mentioned as much in his pre-match interview. Zayn said he could win on any given day and did so, leading to another surprise in Chicago.
Perhaps the biggest gap in odds, the ‘Welcoming Committee’ won their six woman tag team match at (-1350), although the contest was hardly a decisive victory. It could be said that that match was about teasing dissension between Charlotte, Naomi and Becky, but they largely worked together, and the ‘Committee’ just got the better of them this round.
Most of the card played out as expected, with Luke Harper (-530) picking up a win over former Wyatt Family stablemate Erick Rowan (+350), The Usos retained over Breezango, and Shinsuke Nakamura won his highly anticipated Smackdown brand debut over Dolph Ziggler.
In hindsight, Jinder’s win was not that surprising considering how Kevin Owens retained his WWE United States Championship at the PPV. In what was likely the biggest twist, or at least the most polarizing moment in some people’s eyes, as he tied AJ Styles’ feet in the cables at the commentary table at picked up the win via count out. Owens did win in an unusual or controversial way, but he was also one more competitor who benefitted from a late shift, as he went to being a -265 favorite over AJ Styles.
AJ StylesBecky LynchCharlotte Flairjinder mahalNaomiRandy Ortonsami zaynShinsuke NakamuraThe UsosWWEwwe backlashHave a news tip? Attended an event and want to send a live report?