Wrestlemania Backlash Reaction

First match of the night for Backlash is Rhea Ripley defending the Raw Women’s Championship against Asuka and Charlotte Flair in a triple threat match. Charlotte comes out giving Cruella Devil vibes with her gear and using great heel mannerisms to get under the skin of her 2 opponents before the bell rings. All 3 women came out swinging hard, Ripley and Asuka teaming up to dish punishment to Charlotte. Their alliance doesn’t last long as the animosity between those two is brought back to the surface. The fight spills out to the floor allowing Charlotte to hit her patented moonsault on Ripley and Asuka. The fight heads back into the ring where Charlotte plans on a second dive off the top rope, but she was met by both Asuka and Rhea who hit a top rope superplex on her. All 3 women get to their knees and exchange punches. Charlotte hits a double natural selection on both opponents and scores a 2 count when pinning both women at the same time. A flurry of offense leads to a mad dash from Asuka trying to get one of her opponents to tap out to the Asuka lock. Asuka knocks Charlotte to the apron and runs into a big boot. Askua staggers back form being stunned by that big boot to be put in a riptide by Ripley for the win.

And Still Raw Women’s Champion

Next match up is Dolph Ziggler and Robert Roode defending their Smackdown Tag Team Championships against Rey and Dominik Mysterio. Before the match started, a video clip from earlier in the day was played showing Ziggler and Roode attacking Dominik. Due this attack, Rey was left to fight the tag champs by himself. Rey in his typical fashion puts up a solid fight showing that it is not about the size of the dog in the fight, it is about the fight in the dog, but the numbers game gets the best of him every time he builds up any form of momentum. The dirty dogs hit a flapjack and famasser combo on Rey for a close 2 count. Utilizing quick tags and double team moves, Roode and Ziggler keep Rey cornered. Roode slides Rey out of the ring right into a super kick by Ziggler. Much to the surprise of the tag team champions, Rey was able to slide back into the ring beating a 10 count by the ref. All 3 men are down, leading to the camera cutting to Dominik walking down the ramp holding his ribs to help his father. Ziggler and Roode continue to cut the ring off on Rey until Rey is able to hit a top rope bulldog on Roode to create separation and tag his son. Dominik gets the tag and shows a sign of offense for a good 2 minutes before the rib injury catches up to him. Ziggler throw Dominik into the ring post shoulder first and begins to setup sweet chin music, only to be met by a super kick from Dominic. Both Ziggler and Dominik crawl to their corners to ta their partners. Rey builds up momentum to send Roode into the corner to hit a 619 on him. Rey tags in Dominik then slides out to hit a baseball slide into a power bomb on Ziggler to keep him out of the ring. Dominik climbs to the top rope to hit a frog splash on a fallen Roode leading to a 3 count. Rey and Dominik become the first ever father and son team to hold tag champions in WWE history.

And NEW Smackdown Tag Team Champions

Next match up is the Lumberjack Match between Damian Priest and The Miz. The lumberjacks are zombies to incorporate the Army of the Dead sponsorship for the PPV. Both competitors take turns swatting at the zombies outside. Both men go back and forth exchanging offense with each other and fighting off the zombies. This match was hard to follow with the gimmick. Damian Priest wins via pinfall, afterwards, Miz is swarmed by the zombies.

We get back to normalcy with the Smackdown Women’s Champion Bianca Belair defending her title against Bayley. Bayley comes out showing the latest message cut in the back of her hair “Bel Loser” to get under the skin of her opponent. The bell rings and it is a dominant display from Bianca. Bayley gets her chance to get some offense in when Bianca makes a mistake leaving an opening for Bayley to start an attack on Bianca’s back. The fight goes outside of the ring where Bianca regains control. Bianca lifts Bayley and walks her back to the apron to slam her rib first on the apron. As they get back into the ring, Bayle begins to tap into her heelish tactics with a couple of rollups while holding the ropes. Bianca kicks out twice. Bayley then rakes at Bianca’s right eye without the referee seeing it. Even with all of these tricks, Bianca is able to get past Bayley and pin her for the 3 count to retain her title.

And STILL Smackdown Women’s Champion

We follow this match up with the triple threat match for the WWE title as Bobby Lashley defends against Drew McIntyre and Braun Strowman. You can feel the tension between each man as they make their entrances and stare at each other. This is already showing us that this is going to be more of a fight than a wrestling match. Each man gives out some hard hitting strikes as soon as the bell rings. They fight spills out the ring and up the ramp. At the top of the ramp, McIntyre throws Lashley through one of the stage displays creating sparks and takes Lashley out of action. Strowman and McIntyre fight their way back down the ramp and into the ring while Lashley is out of commission. IF the title is going to change hands, this is the time for it to happen. Strowman showcases a new move that nearly wins him the title by pinning McIntyre. The fight spills back outside where in Claymore attempt leads to Mcintyre getting caught by Strowman and getting slammed through the announce table. Strowman sends McIntyre back into the ring to pick up the win only for McIntyre to kick out at 2 out of desperation. Both men get back to their feet, Strowman goes for his running powerslam to put McIntyre away for good only for Mcintyre to slip off his shoulder. They both build up their momentum by running against the ropes for McIntyre to hit Strowman with a Claymore. Just as McIntyre moves in to Pin Strowman, Lashley reappears and throws McIntyre out of the ring. Strowman gets back up to be hit with a spear and Lashley retains his title by pinfall.

And STILL WWE Champion

Time for the main even. Roman Reigns defends his Universal Championship against Cesaro. As Roman is coming out, Michael Cole points out the differences in each man being in the main event. Cole mentions how Reigns has been involved in 39 heavyweight title matches compared to Cesaro’s 0. With the build up being placed for Cesaro beingthe ultimate underdog for this match, Roman starts the match by grounding Cesaro. Reigns uses a slow methodical pace to keep Cesaro from getting any offense in. Cesaro catches an opening on Reigns and puts him in the Sharpshooter. Roman is able to escape and get outside the ring. That is not enough to get away from Cesaro though. Cesaro flies out of the ring with a corkscrew plancha to knock Roman down right in front of the announce table. Cesaro throws Roman back in the ring only for Roman to roll back out to create separation. cesaro stays on the chase and meets him outside with an running european uppercut. Cesaro sends Roman back into the ring to get a pin, only for Roman to kick out and regain control and pace of the match. Reigns continues his methodical approach to pick Cesaro apart and focus on his right arm to limit the use of the European uppercut. Cesaro hits a clothesline out of nowhere to show life in the match again. Cesaro gets on a roll again until he is met in the air by a superman punch when he tries to go for a springboard European uppercut. Both men go back and forth with offense again only for Reigns to lock in the guillotine on Cesaro. Cesaro escapes the first time to be met with the guillotine a second time. Cesaro escapes again to lock in the Sharpshooter a second time then to switch it to a crossface. Roman attempts to get out and Cesaro rolls away from the ropes to lock the hold in again. Roman fights his way out to lock the guillotine in 1 more time to get the victory.

And still Universal Champion

Overall this was a decent show. The only 2 surprises were Roman getting a clean victory over Cesaro and the addition of the gimmick for the lumberjack match. Roman winning clean was not necessarily a bad thing, but adding conflict with the Usos would have helped further along their storyline as well. The use of the zombies was a little too much. I get why they did it for their sponsor, but it ruined what could have been a solid match. I think the Raw women’s championship match was the match of the night. All 3 ladies put on a good show to start the event. Let’s see how the WWE decides to build up to Hell in a Cell on June 20th.

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