WWE Backlash might as well have been a show titled WWE Burnout, as far as the fans in attendance were concerned.
The New Jersey faithful who showed out for the event were treated immediately to an incredible opening contest between Seth Rollins and The Miz for the Intercontinental title. That match, as of right now, is legitimately a match of the year contender for the WWE.
Following that opening contest, which absolutely burned it down (pun intended), we got a pretty good match between Alexa Bliss and Nia Jax. After that, though, it seemed to be all downhill for nearly an hour, if not longer.
A very uninspired match between Randy Orton and Jeff Hardy followed the RAW women’s title match, and that match was quickly followed by an Elias segment that was interrupted by the New Day, and then Aiden English, and then Rusev, and then No Way Jose, and then Bobby Roode, and it seemed like this segment was never ending at that point.
By the time we finally got to Big Cass and Daniel Bryan in the fourth match of the night, it had been about 45 minutes since we had something in the ring that was actually substantial (Bliss vs. Jax). From that moment forward, the New Jersey crowd that was unbelievably hot early definitely settled into a bit of a funk.
As the show dragged on, it was clear that the fans were becoming burned out and that WWE had way too much scheduled for a three hour PPV (plus the pre-show). The main event was just getting underway at about 11:00 p.m. Eastern time, and the slow pace of the show resulted in fans leaving early.
It was also curious that Styles vs. Nakamura didn’t close the show (despite a terrible finish), so the fact that Roman Reigns was once again placed in the main event position certainly upset some of the fans who were on the fence about leaving early. Something like that could have easily pushed them over the edge toward leaving the venue. Add in the fact that there were many kids in attendance and tomorrow is a school day and it’s time to leave the show.
Hearing that fans were leaving #Backlash during the main event. If you have photos and videos, please tweet them to us
— WrestlingINC.com (@WrestlingInc) May 7, 2018
From the looks of it, many did. The problem here is WWE probably needs to either start the shows earlier or condense some of the segments so that it ends on time. The Elias segment, while entertaining times, certainly could have been cut from the main show.
With WWE now moving to co-branded shows, and with so much to feature on one show, the pacing issues that caused fans to leave early on Sunday night will certainly be an issue moving forward.