WWE’s Backlash pay per view on May 6th could be a dual-branded pay per view, according to a report by PWInsider.
‘An email sent out by Ticketmaster.com to fans holding tickets for the 5/6 Backlash PPV in Newark, NJ announced that the show, originally set to be a Raw-branded PPV, will now feature talents from both Raw and Smackdown.’
The reason for this – should it be true, and not simply a mistake – is unclear. PWInsider have theorised that the brand split will remain intact, but that pay per views will be dual-branded to ensure maximum star power:
‘It’s quite possible Raw and Smackdown as a TV product will be kept separate but instead build to PPVs that would feature storylines from each brand as a way to maximize interest. The downside to such a strategy would be less opportunities for talents overall, which was one of the big selling points of bringing back the brand extension.’
This does seem to be the most likely outcome, given the fact that the brand split only took place in 2016, and WWE would surely be unlikely to revert to a one-brand structure so soon after separating the talent.
The last two Backlash pay per views have seen significant title-changes. In 2016, AJ Styles defeated Dean Ambrose to become WWE Champion, less than a year after debuting at the Royal Rumble. Last year – with Backlash moved back to its traditional post-WrestleMania spot in the calendar – Jinder Mahal upset Randy Orton to also become WWE Champion.
The biggest news regarding WWE’s pay per view structure in 2018 is the addition of Money in the Bank to the traditional ‘big four’ as a dual-branded show – but this Backlash news could raise doubts about MITB’s status. Is it indeed being pushed on the same level as WrestleMania, SummerSlam, Survivor Series, and the Royal Rumble? Or is it merely one of many dual-branded ‘B’-pay per views?