Smackdown’s first brand-specific pay-per-view/network special/Sunday Night Raw thingy Backlash was last night – and it was a hell of a way to firmly establish the New Era on the blue brand. I’ll leave the spoiler-ific fact to the end of the article because people shout at me in the comments otherwise. But there was one sequence on the show that appeared to make a dig at CM Punk’s UFC 203 defeat from the previous night.
Saturday night saw Punk make his MMA debut against the brown-belt Mickey Gall, over two years since leaving WWE. Punk went for Gall as soon as the bell rang, but the 24-year-old took him down to the mat and spent the next two minutes pounding on Punk while trying to transition into a rear-naked choke. Once he got it locked in, Punk tapped – just 2 minutes 14 seconds into the first round.
Ryan Satin from Pro Wrestling Sheet pointed out on Twitter that the opening sequence of The Miz vs Dolph Ziggler match at Backlash the following night was almost an exact copy.
— Ryan Satin (@ryansatin) September 12, 2016
For everyone thinking, ‘yeah, right, quit being so paranoid. It’s just a coincidence’ – this is the same company that coincidentally sent Punk his official termination papers on his wedding day.
Now onto that Backlash spoiler. AJ Styles became the new WWE World Champion, defeating Dean Ambrose in the main event. This makes Styles the first person in wrestling history to have held the WWE World Championship, the TNA World Championship and New Japan’s IWGP Heavyweight Championship. Many have won two of those three, and Kurt Angle actually held the triforce on an unrecognised technicality, but nobody has definitively had all three belts in their career.
Kenny Omega, the man who kicked Styles out of The Bullet Club earlier this year, had this to say:
— Kenny Omega (@KennyOmegamanX) September 12, 2016
Do you think WWE took a jab at CM Punk’s UFC defeat? Let us know in the comments.