|Date: May 16, 2021
|Venue: WWE Thunderdome at Yuengling Center |City: Tampa, Florida
|tweet me: @BastionBlogger
A video package opens the show narrated by Batista. Roman Reigns and Cesaro, Charlotte, Asuka and Rhea Ripley, Bobby Lashley, Braun Strowman and Drew McIntyre all get big mentions. “Army Of The Dead” which is a new Batista film is the main sponsor for this show.
Adnan Virk, a new commentator to Raw welcomes us to the show before he, Corey Graves and Byron Saxton lead into the first video package.
There’s a video package for Rhea Ripley, Asuka and Charlotte.
Rhea Ripley (c) vs. Asuka vs. Charlotte Flair – Triple Threat match for the Raw Women’s Championship
Background: At WrestleMania 37, Rhea Ripley defeated Asuka to win the Raw Women’s Championship. The two had a rematch the following night on Raw, however, the match ended in a no-contest after interference from a returning Charlotte Flair, who attacked Asuka. Prior to the match, Flair, who had been off TV for the past month, returned that night after missing her first WrestleMania since WrestleMania 32 in 2016. The following week, Flair lost to Asuka thanks to a distraction from Ripley. Following the match, an irate Flair attacked the referee. Adam Pearce subsequently suspended Flair, however, fellow WWE official Sonya Deville, who primarily appeared on SmackDown, reinstated Flair the following week after Flair made a public apology on Raw. On the May 3 episode, another rematch between Ripley and Asuka for the Raw Women’s Championship was scheduled for WrestleMania Backlash. However, Deville allowed Flair a chance to present a proposal and after hearing Flair’s case, Deville added Flair to the championship match to make it a triple threat match.
Previous PPV matches: This is a first time triple threat match between these three girls.
Backlash Record: Asuka drew her only previous match at Backlash, Charlotte is 0-2 at this event and Rhea Ripley wrestles at Backlash for the first time tonight.
Match: There are no friends in this match as all three girls go at it in the early going. It’s Charlotte that takes a lot of the double teaming. Charlotte soon takes the advantage until the double teaming becomes too much. Charlotte is dressed in 102 Dalmations gear. Rhea is taken out of the match by Charlotte which allows Charlotte to lay into Asuka for a bit. Rhea gets back into it, hitting a nice northern lights suplex on Charlotte for a near fall. Asuka then has her moment, hitting German suplexes on Charlotte. Asuka hits quick strikes and even a missile dropkick on Ripley. Charlotte hits a moonsault to the outside taking out both opponents. Asuka and Rhea then hit a double superplex on Charlotte. Charlotte hits a double chop block and then a double natural selection on both opponents for a near fall. Asuka counters the Rip-tide and Charlotte hits a running boot on Ripley. Charlotte counters the Asuka lock but gets knocked out to the apron where she hits a big boot on Asuka. That sends Asuka into Ripley who hits a Rip-tide for the win!
Result: Rhea Ripley retains the Raw Women’s Championship by pinfall.
Review: This was a really enjoyable triple threat match. Three talented wrestlers and they produced a great opening match here. Rhea wins and gets her first PPV title defence under the belt. Asuka takes the fall which is very telling.
After the match Rhea does some childish taunting at Charlotte which I hate. Ripley is a killer, don’t turn her into a comedy figure. I think there’s more to come between Rhea and Charlotte.
There’s an ad for WWE merch.
We’re shown some footage from earlier today with Bobby Lashley and MVP arriving. We’re then shown some footage from Raw last week with Braun Strowman taking out both Drew McIntyre and Bobby Lashley with powerslams.
John Morrison and The Miz are talking backstage about the lumberjack match. John Morrison says that he is going to go and convince the lumberjacks to help The Miz win.
Michael Cole and Pat McAfee introduce some footage from the Wrestlemania Backlash kick off show with Robert Roode and Dolph Ziggler attacking Dominik Mysterio backstage.
Dominik and Rey Mysterio are backstage with a doctor who says that Dominik isn’t fit to wrestle tonight.
The Dirty Dawgs (Dolph Ziggler & Robert Roode) (c) vs. Dominik & Rey Mysterio – Smackdown Tag Team Championship match
Background: Dolph Ziggler has lost to both Mysterio’s and tonight Rey and Dominik get the opportunity to be the first ever father and son tag team champions. Earlier tonight Roode and Ziggler took out Dominik so Rey will be going alone.
Previous PPV matches: This is a first time PPV match between these two tag teams.
Backlash Record: Dolph Ziggler is 0-2 at Backlash, Rey Mysterio is 0-1, Roode wrestles at this event for the first time tonight.
Match: Rey Mysterio is wearing an old school Batman inspired gear tonight. Rey starts the match quickly, going alone again the Smackdown Tag Team Champions. Rey starts well against both men, nullifying Ziggler on the outside. The numbers become too much and Robert Roode takes the advantage. It’s only brief though as Rey takes out both men on the outside. Roode and Ziggler soon get into the match and make quick tags to wear down their challenger. The champions hit a double fame-asser for a near fall. Roode throws Rey out of the ring under the bottom rope into a waiting superkick from Dolph Ziggler. That was nice. Rey starts a comeback with a double DDT before sending both men into the ringposts. Dominik then walks out from the back selling his rib injury. Dolph hits a zigzag on Rey for a near fall. Rey Mysterio hits a bulldog off the top on Roode and then tags out to Dominik. Dominik fires up but runs into a Roode spinebuster. Ziggler is bleeding just above his eye. The champions now double team and make quick tags against Dominik. Rey gets a hot tag and lays into both opponents. Rey hits a 619 on Roode and then tags out to Dominik who hits a frog spklash on Roode for the 3!
Result: Dominik and Rey Mysterio win the Smackdown Tag Team Championships by pinfall.
Review: This was a fun match. It was all about the crowning of the first ever father and son tag team champions. Roode and Ziggler are a good team though, they compliment each other well and have some decent tag team moves. I don’t mind Rey and Dominik winning though, they’re a good babyface team. The psychology was good in this one.
Kayla Braxton interviews the new champions after the match. Not the best promo. Booyaka.
There’s a trailer for Army Of The Dead but with flashes of WWE matches in. It’s very strange.
John Morrison is backstage looking for the lumberjacks but opens a locker room full of zombies.
The Usos are backstage where Jimmy Uso tells Jey that he’s being mis-treated by Roman Reigns. Roman shows up and Jimmy wishes him luck tonight.
John Morrison is backstage telling The Miz that the lumberjacks tonight are zombies. The zombies show up as Miz and Morrison walk off.
Damien Priest vs. The Miz – Lumberjack match
Previous PPV matches: This is a first time singles PPV match between these two men.
Backlash Record: The Miz is 1-2 at Backlash, Damien Priest wrestles at this event for the first time tonight.
Match: The zombie lumberjacks surround the ring causing John Morrison to flee to the back. The zombies are clearly NXT superstars such as Joe Gacy, Grayson Waller, Trick Williams, Bron Breakker and Von Wagner. The Miz finds himself outside the ring early but the zombies are too slow to do anything. Priest actually fights the zombies off. It’s a back and forth match, Miz hits his trademark clothesline in the corner. Priest hits some big kicks for a near fall. Miz locks on the figure four but the zombies pull Miz and Priest out of the ring. Miz and Priest decide to team up and fight off the zombies together until they get back into the ring and slug it out again. Miz is selling a knee injury. John Morrison comes back out and hits Priest with a big kick to the face. Miz hits a running knee and there’s a very near fall. Morrison fights off the zombies on the outside until the numbers become too much. Priest hits his finisher on Miz and gets the three.
Result: Damien Priest wins by pinfall.
Review: This was weird. Not a great match here and the whole zombies thing was a massive distraction. A big win for Damien Priest though.
After the match the zombies get in the ring and eat The Miz.
There’s a promo for the upcoming Hell In A Cell PPV.
Braun Strowman is shown getting ready backstage.
Jey Uso finds Jimmy backstage and berates him. Jimmy refers to Jey as Roman Reigns’ bitch.
There’s a video package for Bianca Belair and Bayley next.
Bianca Belair (c) vs. Bayley – Smackdown Women’s Championship match
Background: At WrestleMania 37, Bianca Belair won the SmackDown Women’s Championship. On the following episode of SmackDown, The Street Profits (Angelo Dawkins and Montez Ford, the latter of whom is Belair’s real-life husband) threw Belair a championship celebration. Later, Bayley challenged Belair for the title. The following week, the championship match was scheduled for WrestleMania Backlash.
Previous PPV matches: This is a first time PPV match between these two girls.
Backlash Record: Bayley is 1-0 at Backlash events, Bianca wrestles at this show for the first time tonight.
Match: Bianca throws Bayley out of the ring in the early going. Bianca keeps the advantage in the early going, using her strength. Bianca dominates for a while until Bayley rolls out of the ring to catch a breather. Belair then lays into Bayley on the outside before going back in the ring and hitting a moonsault for a two count. Bayley grabs the earring of Bianca to take the advantage. Belair hits a big suplex to even the odds. The two girls fight to the outside where Bayley suplexes Bianca on to the ring steps and then hits another suplex on the outside. Bayley hits a spinning sidewalk slam for a two count. Bianca fires up, throwing Bayley around the ring but Bayley hits a chopblock. Bayley hits a flying elbow drop for a near fall. On the outside Bianca drops Bayley on the apron. Bayley rakes the eyes and then uses Bianca’s braid to pull her into a Bayley to belly for a near fall. Bayley attempts the roseplant but Bianca rolls her up and uses her braid to keep her tied down for the three. The braid didn’t actually stay there for the three and Bayley looked like she kicked out. Bianca is the official winner though!
Result: Bianca Belair retains the Smackdown Women’s Championship by pinfall.
Review: This was a good back and forth match between two talented wrestlers. I enjoyed it, the two have a lot of chemistry. The psychology was good. The finish was a bit of a botch but it didn’t affect my overall rating too much. I can definitely see another match between these two.
There’s an ad for Peacock and an ad for the new Rob Van Dam documentary.
Kevin Patrick is backstage with MVP who says that Braun isn’t intelligent enough to win the WWE Championship. MVP says Lashley will overcome Drew and Braun tonight.
Drew McIntyre is shown standing around backstage.
There’s a video package showing the history between Bobby Lashley, Drew McIntyre and Braun Strowman.
Bobby Lashley (c) vs. Drew McIntyre vs. Braun Strowman – Triple threat match for the WWE Championship
Background: At WrestleMania 37, Bobby Lashley defeated Drew McIntyre to retain the WWE Championship. On the following night’s Raw, Lashley’s manager MVP declared that no one could defeat Lashley. McIntyre interrupted and wanted another opportunity at Lashley, claiming that he would have defeated him if MVP had not distracted him and prevented him from performing the Claymore Kick on Lashley. Braun Strowman and Randy Orton then interrupted and stated their respective cases to challenge for the title. WWE official Adam Pearce then scheduled a triple threat match between McIntyre, Strowman, and Orton with the winner facing Lashley for the WWE Championship at WrestleMania Backlash, which was won by McIntyre. On the April 26 episode, Strowman challenged McIntyre to a match with the added stipulation that if Strowman won, he would be added to the championship match at WrestleMania Backlash. Strowman defeated McIntyre thus the championship match became a triple threat match.
Previous PPV matches: This is a first time triple threat match between these three men.
Backlash Record: Bobby Lashley is 1-2, Drew McIntyre is 1-0 and Braun Strowman is 2-0.
Match: Bobby Lashley tries to get Drew McIntyre in an alliance against Braun and after Braun attacks both men we get that alliance. McIntyre and Lashley hit a huge double suplex on Strowman. Drew and Bobby then go at it. McIntyre hits Strowman with a Glasgow kiss. Lashley and McIntyre go at it on the outside until Strowman dives off the apron and takes out both men! All three of these men were involved in world title matches at Backlash last year. Lashley can’t lock the hurt lock on Strowman and McIntyre makes sure of that s he comes off the top. Drew fires up, taking down both opponents. Bobby has his turn on top, ramming McIntyre into the ring post but Braun Strowman beats the WWE Champion down with the ring steps. Lashley hits a belly to belly suplex on McIntyre on the entrance ramp. McIntyre then throws Lashley through some LED boards which causes sparks. Strowman lays into McIntyre, hitting a big senton in the ring for a near fall. Drew hits a big Michinoku driver on Strowman for a near fall. Strowman looks to hit a running shoulder charge on the outside but McIntyre sees him coming and hits a belly to belly suplex. Drew then looks for a claymore kick but Strowman catches him and powerbombs McIntyre through the announce desk! Braun looks for a running powerslam but Drew counters and hits a claymore! Lashley then shows up out of nowhere, disposes of McIntyre and hits Strowman with a spear for the win!
Result: Bobby Lashley retains the WWE Championship by pinfall.
Review: This was a fun triple threat match. I enjoyed it. Three big agile men that bought some powerful moves, some good spots and a well put together match. Bobby Lashley wins the match and I think he’s due some new opponents.
There’s more promotion for the next PPV, Hell In A Cell.
Video package for the main event next.
Roman Reigns (c) vs. Cesaro – Universal Championship match
Background: On the April 16 episode of SmackDown, Universal Champion Roman Reigns, along with Paul Heyman and Jey Uso, boasted about retaining his championship at WrestleMania 37. Reigns was then interrupted by Cesaro, but before he could speak, Reigns, Jey, and Heyman left the ring and departed backstage. Later, Cesaro confronted Adam Pearce and Sonya Deville about facing Reigns that night, even as a non-title match. However, instead of Reigns, Cesaro faced Jey in the main event, which ended by disqualification when Seth Rollins, who Cesaro had defeated at WrestleMania, interfered and attacked Cesaro, proclaiming that their rivalry was not over. On the special Throwback SmackDown on May 7, Cesaro was scheduled to face Rollins with the added stipulation that if Cesaro won, he would earn a Universal Championship match at WrestleMania Backlash. Cesaro defeated Rollins once again, securing the championship match. Also that episode, Jey’s brother Jimmy returned from injury, last appearing at Hell in a Cell in October 2020, and although conflicted at first, particularly because of what Reigns did to them at Hell in a Cell, Jimmy also eventually aligned with Reigns, but soon turned on Reigns.
Previous PPV matches: This is a first time PPV singles match between these two men.
Backlash Record: Roman Reigns is 1-0 at Backlash, Cesaro wrestles at this event for the first time tonight.
Match: Roman Reigns tells Jey Uso to stay in the back for this one. It’s a cagey start to he match as both men jockey for position. Cesaro hits a springboard uppercut and then looks to swing Roman around but Reigns gets to the ropes. Roman takes control, Cesaro sells his right arm after getting thrown out of the ring. This is Reigns 10th PPV in a row, nobody else has wrestled on all of the last 10 PPV’s. He hits a Samoan drop for a near fall. It’s all Roman Reigns in this one. Cesaro ducks a superman punch and hits a pop-up uppercut. Cesaro then fires up with uppercuts and a running boot for a near fall. Cesaro locks on a sharpshooter but Roman gets to the bottom rope. Reigns heads to the outside but Cesaro dives out with a corkscrew plancha! Cesaro then hits a massive running uppercut on the outside. Roman goes back to work on the injured arm of Cesaro to regain control. Reigns slowly picks apart Cesaro, even smack talking Daniel Bryan as he does.
Cesaro hits a superplex for a two count. Reigns counters a neutraliser and applies an armbar but Cesaro breaks free. Cesaro attempts a springboard uppercut but Reigns catches him with a superman punch. Reigns then motions for a spear but Cesaro counters. Cesaro tries for a pop-up uppercut but his arm gives out. Roman Reigns applies a guillotine but Cesaro powers out! Cesaro locks on the sharpshooter and then a crossface but Reigns breaks free. Reigns locks the guillotine on again but this time Cesaro can’t escape and passes out.
Result: Roman Reigns wins by technical submission.
Review: This was a good main event. Cesaro definitely hung with the biggest star in the company tonight. I don’t think there was ever any doubt over who was going to win this match. Roman Reigns is on another level at the moment. I don’t know who will beat Reigns for the championship but it’ll be a huge win when it does happen.
After the match Jey Uso runs out from the back, acknowleges Roman Reigns and then attacks Cesaro. Seth Rollins music hits and out walks Seth who goes face to face with Roman Reigns before attacking Cesaro. Seth traps Cesaro’s arm in a chair, screaming at him and then smashes the trapped arm into the ring post.
And that was Wrestlemania Backlash 2021. For the most part, and with only one exception, this felt like a really good show. The opener was really good. Rhea beat Charlotte and asuka to retain the Raw Women’s Championship which was the right result but it looks like the plan going forward would be Rhea vs. Charlotte. Rhea could do with a long run as champion to establish her as the dominant force that she is. Dominik and Rey Mysterio then made history, becoming the first ever father and son tag team to win tag team championships in WWE and I’m all for it. It was a decent match too. Damien Priest beat The Miz in a match that will be remembered for all the wrong reasons. What the hell was this. The Damien Priest vs. Miz side of things was ok but zombies? Jesus Christ. Thanks but no thanks.
Bianca Belair beat Bayley to get Bianca’s reign underway. Obviously this was the right result but the finish was a bit clumsy. It looked like Bayley kicked out. But it’s a big win for Belair who is really establishing herself as a top talent. Bobby Lashley beat Drew McIntyre and Braun Strowman to retain the WWE Championship in another good match. I didn’t see Lashley losing this one, especially after beating McIntyre at Wrestlemania. A good match between three heavyweights though, I look forward to seeing who could stop Lashley. In the main event Roman Reigns beat Cesaro to retain the Universal Championship. Because of the way this finished I don’t think there’s any coming back for Cesaro and this’ll put an end to this rivalry. Roman Reigns is great right now, much like this match, and he’s having a great run as champion. We’re really seeing the best of Reigns at the moment.
Overall Rating: 65.4/100 (ranked 73rd out of 401)
Match Of The Night: Roman Reigns vs. Cesaro
Worst Match Of The Night: Damien Priest vs. The Miz
Surprise Of The Night: Zombies.
Worst Booking Of The Night: Zombies.
Superstar Of The Night: Roman Reigns
Wrestlemania Backlash 2021 Will Be Remembered For: Zombies.