WrestleMania Backlash — to always and forever to simply be known as “Backlash” — is live on Peacock. The, as Bobby Lashley defends his WWE Championship against Braun Strowman and Drew McIntyre, and Cesaro challenges Roman Reigns for his Universal Championship.
For those aggrieved that Bayley was left off WrestleMania, she’ll be facing Bianca Belair for the SmackDown Women’s Championship. The Raw Women’s Championship will be decided in a triple-threat bout between Rhea Ripley, Charlotte Flair and Asuka.
Bayley vs. Bianca Belair
The SmackDown Women’s Championship match is up next.
The worst Lumberjack match of all time
This Lumberjack match between The Miz and Damian Priest doubled as an advertisement for Batista’s new movie, Army of the Dead. The Lumberjacks are all zombies from the movie. Ugh.
It begins with zombies surrounding the ring. The announcer’s flee, and then moments later we hear them say they’re now announcing “from a safe location.” The Miz and Priest then wrestling an awkward, subaverage match. At one point they go on the outside and fight zombies together. John Morrison interfered on behalf of The Miz, then fought zombies on the outside. Damien Priest then hit his finish, Hit The Lights, for the win. Zombies then mob The Miz.
I cannot express how stupid this was. It wasn’t fun, like The Firefly Funhouse from last year’s WrestleMania. It was just silly. Not just bad wrestling, but bad TV.
Rating: 0 stars.
Rey and Dominic Mysterio win SmackDown tag titles
This was formulaic in a bad way. The Dirty Dawgs — Robert Roode and Dolph Ziggler — took out Dominic Mysterio in the Kickoff Show, so Rey was to allegedly take both on in a Handicap Match. As soon as the match began, it was obvious where it would go. Ziggler and Roode would get the advantage on Rey and beat him down until Dominic heroically came to his father’s aid. And that’s exactly what happened — and it took forever.
Ziggler, Roode and Rey are all great, and everything they did looked good. There was a cool fameasser spot, where Roode held Mysterio up and Ziggler hit the move, and gnarly spot where Mysterio tried a suicide slide to the outside but Ziggler caught him with a superkick. But it was hard to be interested because you knew little mattered until Dominic hit the ring.
That said, things did indeed pick up when Dominic arrived. Ziggler and Roode got more heat on both, but then Dominic turned things around with a superkick onto Ziggler. Rey was then tagged in, hit a 619 on Roode, tagged Dominic in and then took Ziggler out on the outside. Dominic then hit a Frogslash for the win.
Rating: 2.25 stars.
Rhea Ripley defeats Charlotte and Asuka
I was a little worried about this match. All three women are typically excellent performers, but Ripley’s bout with Asuka at WrestleMania was a disappointment, and recent matches on Raw have been a bit underwhelming too. But not to worry, this was an outstanding opening match. Rhea Ripley won the triple threat match by pinning Asuka following a Riptide powerslam.
There actually isn’t too much to say about the match. It mostly followed the triple-threat formula, with two women in and one woman out. Each women got their shine in as the match progressed, getting spots where they dominated the other two. But the action was crisp and flowed smoothly, making it fun to watch from the bell.
The ending sequence began when Asuka and Ripley double superplexed Charlotte. There was then a fun spot where Charlotte fought back and hit a double Natural Selection then got a two-count when she tried to pin both Asuka and Ripley at the same time. The three then had a back-and-forth sequence with each other that culminated with Charlotte on the outside and Asuka being pinned after the Riptide on the inside.
Asuka actually shined the most during the match, which foreshadowed her demise.
Rating: 4.25 stars.
Kickoff Show Results
The Kickoff Show saw a United States Championship Open Challenge from Sheamus, which was answered by Ricochet. Sheamus won the match with a pump knee strike but afterwards Ricochet taunted Sheamus and they got into a brief scuffle, meaning we’ll probably see a rematch on Raw tomorrow.