It’s time for the followup to Wrestlemania and this time they are making that as obvious as possible by calling the show Wrestlemania Backlash. WWE has run Backlash for years but this time around, WWE does not exactly seem to be putting much effort into the Raw side of things. Smackdown is a different story, but egads Raw is not exactly inspiring me here. Maybe the show can wind up going a bit better in action. Let’s get to it.
Raw Women’s Title: Rhea Ripley(c) vs. Asuka vs. Charlotte
There is no word on if WWE is going to do what they want to do and bill this as Charlotte vs. the world, as Asuka and Ripley, the champion, have felt like afterthoughts in the whole thing. That is not exactly a shock but unfortunately it is reality, as Ripley already beat Asuka at Wrestlemania so now it is time to bring Charlotte in. Why? Well because it’s always time to bring Charlotte in.
I’ll take Ripley to retain here though, as I think WWE knows they can’t just put the title right back on Charlotte as soon as possible. Ripley absolutely needs the win more, though it isn’t going to matter all that much if Charlotte continues to get all of the focus. Asuka is probably taking the fall here, setting up the rematch from Wrestlemania XXXVI so Charlotte and Ripley can have their showdown. I’m not sure where it goes from there, but Ripley holds onto the title here to keep things moving.
Smackdown Tag Team Titles: Robert Roode/Dolph Ziggler(c) vs. Rey Mysterio/Dominik Mysterio
The fact that I sighed as soon as I typed that out says a lot about the match. Ziggler and Rey had a match on Smackdown which had me wondering how much longer I could keep my eyes open. The tag format should be a little bit better and the idea of the father and son going after the titles works fine. The problem is Ziggler and Roode have defended the titles twice in four months, which isn’t the right way to make the fans care about them or the titles.
I think the Mysterios get the titles here, though it seems to be a matter of time before the reunited Usos get the belts back. There is zero point to keeping the titles on Ziggler and Roode at the moment, though they have been around for a long time now and them retaining would not stun me. I’ll go with the title change here though, if nothing else for a nice moment.
Smackdown Women’s Title: Bianca Belair(c) vs. Bayley
This is Belair’s first major defense after winning the title at Wrestlemania, which should tell you where this is going. I’m curious to see how Belair does in a slightly less high pressure situation which is still a pretty high level match. Bayley is a good person to put her out there with though, and hopefully everything winds up working well. Belair is the future though and I think you know what that means.
Belair retains here, as we get to find out where she can go as the long term champion. If nothing else, they aren’t taking the title off of her before they get to the big rematch with Sasha Banks. Bayley is the right kind of opponent to boost up Belair’s stock and we could be in for a pretty good match as well. There shouldn’t be much doubt here, so being able to create some is going to be a nice challenge.
Damian Priest vs. The Miz
Yeah this is still going and I’m not sure I get why either. It isn’t a fresh match and it isn’t an interesting one, but above all else it isn’t something that is going to help Priest in the long run. Priest is already in his late 30s and I’m really not sure why he is wasting even more time facing Miz, who he has beaten before. This really needs to be it, but that was the case with Wrestlemania too.
I’ll go with what makes sense here, as there is no reason for Priest to lose or come close to it. They seem to be teasing the idea of splitting up Miz and John Morrison in the near future, which wouldn’t be the greatest thing in the world but right now, Priest needs to win. He doesn’t have the big singles win on his own yet and while Miz isn’t that, a win could be a nice stepping stone to his future.
Raw World Title: Bobby Lashley(c) vs. Braun Strowman vs. Drew McIntyre
Egads I don’t care. I really just do not care. Strowman is being added to the whole thing to keep this from being a rematch from Wrestlemania/this week’s Raw and….my goodness I don’t know why that is supposed to be interesting. Strowman has not been interesting in a long time and adding him in isn’t going to make fans care about this match any more than they already do. That’s what we’re getting here though and hopefully we are done soon thereafter.
In theory, Lashley should retain here as there is almost no reason for anything else to happen. Strowman getting the title back is not going going to happen and McIntyre doesn’t need it again. The match is going to be the hoss fight and should be entertaining enough, but my goodness it has been a rough build, and that is not the kind of thing that makes me want to see the match.
Smackdown World Title: Roman Reigns(c) vs. Cesaro
We’ve finally gotten to Cesaro’s title shot, though honestly that might be what qualifies as making it for him. Reigns is on another planet at this point and no one should be taking the title from him for a LONG time, so Cesaro just getting to this spot after all these years is pretty impressive. It would be an amazing match to see with fans in person, especially if Cesaro gets to Swing him, but I think you know how this is ending.
Of course Reigns retains here, because there is no reason for anything else to happen. There might be a rematch set up and they might do it again at Money in the Bank, but Reigns could lose a pair of limbs and still wind up retaining the title here. Cesaro might win the title one day, but that day is not going to be Sunday, because Reigns is going to be champion for a long time to come.
This feels more and more like the May pay per view that is taking place because we have to have a May pay per view, which isn’t exactly keeping my interest up. That being said, the six match card probably means they are likely to be out in less than three hours. That’s quite the relief, as this does not feel like anything resembling a major pay per view. If they can get in, get out and be done, this could be a lot worse. I’m not overly thrilled to see the show, but I’ve seen worse cards.
Thomas Hall has been a wrestling fan for over thirty years and has seen over 50,000 wrestling matches. He has also been a wrestling reviewer since 2009 with over 5,000 full shows covered. You can find his work at kbwrestlingreviews.com, or check out his- Amazon author page with 30 wrestling books.
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