The WrestleMania Backlash is equally notable for its familiar feel in parts of WrestleMania 37 as well as for the dramatic deviations from that card.
The Universal Championship match between Roman Reigns and Cesar is roughly different from the triple threat match between Reigns, Edge and Daniel Bryan as we saw in Raymond James. He rests in the middle of Bryan’s departure after losing the last chance that drove him out of SmackDown and the long-running threat that Edge will return to take revenge on him. Between them, Jimmy Uso returned to even out the extra family drama.
The Raw Women’s Championship and the WWE Championship went in a different direction as previous WrestleMania 37 one-on-one matches became triple threats. Charlotte Flair was added to the Rhea Ripley-Asuk conflict, and Brown Strowman made a prominent statement regarding Bobby Lashley and Drew McIntyre.
With Sasha Banks out of the picture for now, Bayley has entered as a worthy first challenger for Biance Belair’s newly won SmackDown women’s championship. And in a lone team match scheduled for a card, Dominik and Rey Mysterio look like the first father-son combination to win a WWE team team gold against Dolph Ziggler and Robert Roode.
Rounding off the map, Damian Priest seeks to end his first major rivalry in the WWE as he takes over Miz in a lumberjack match.
Follow live all night as Tim Fiorvanti breaks down the action that descends inside the WWE Thunderdome.
Match in progress: SmackDown Women’s Championship: Bianca Belair (c) vs. Bayley
WWE has created several shameless couples in its history, but the “lumberjack match” between Damian Priest and The Miz is likely to go down in the company’s history as one of the closest and most controversial moves they have ever made.
Less matching, and a more confusing hybrid of commercial and Z-level zombie film, the pay-per-view sponsor, the upcoming film “Army of the Dead,” has made loggers zombies.
Miz, Damian Priest and John Morrison spent more time fighting zombies against each other, and the match ended with Priest hitting his final move, pinning Miz and then the zombies that ate both Miz and Morrison as Priest fled with places of place. The dream of a fever has tightened the suspension of disbelief involving wrestling fans to enjoy the show and stopped the momentum of a pretty strong pay-per-view dead.
– WWE (@WWE) May 17, 2021
What is next: If we get zombie Miz and Morrison on Monday … I mean, who are we kidding, we’ll probably get zombie Miz and Morrison on Monday.
Professional wrestling has been a generational thing from the very beginning, and WWE has a rich history of leaning. But for all fathers / sons, fathers / daughters and every other family relationship, simultaneous success was incredibly rare.
In WrestleMania Backlash, Rey Mysterio and his son Dominik went down in history, becoming the first father-son combination to ever win a WWE team gold together. They beat Robert Roode and Dolph Ziggler, despite the odds set against them from the start.
During the opening show, Ziggler and Roode performed Dominic behind the scenes. In the first half of the match, Rey fought alone, having moments of success between the brutal double teams of Ziggler and Roode. They made a special shot with an assisted Famouse from Ziggler as Roode lifted his body into the air, and again when Roode pushed Rey’s body under the bottom rope and directly into a super kick from Ziggler from the outside.
Rey reversed the double suplex attempt to double DDT on both Roode and Ziggler, and then Dominic limped to the rescue. But team champions would not go quietly. They regained control and as they beat Dominic in tandem, Roode shouted “you should have stayed down.”
Ziggler lined up Dominic for Superkick, but Dominic beat him with one of his own. The match, which started strongly, but due to its length began to recede, accelerated. Rey connected to Roode at 619 and then slipped under the lower rope to neutralize Ziggler’s Sunset Flip Powerbomb to the barricade. With a frog shower on Roode, Dominic secured a striking win and a title win.
What is next: The rematch seems pretty certain, especially given the current uncertainty of the landscape team at SmackDown. In addition, Rey and Dominik have a lot of opportunities to move forward.
– WWE (@WWE) May 17, 2021
Rhee Ripley’s first real challenge since becoming a raw female champion at WrestleMania 37 saw her persevere in Charlotte Flair and Asuki – but he was close enough that her next step was perfectly clear.
On Sunday, we saw the best of what the raw women’s division has to offer, as all three women showed off in the opening match of the WrestleMania Backlash card. But Flair, who Flair slipped from the ring, after taking a shot directly into Asuka’s head, was just enough room for Ripley to pick up Asuka and hit Riptide for a three.
Asuka and Ripley collaborated for most of the match, although it was simply a matter of removing their frustration on Flair between bouts of fighting. The match was a combination of chaotic energy with bodies flying everywhere. Every early chance of victory was stifled, until Asuka locked the deep armor on Flair, only for Ripley to interrupt her and save the title.
Several penetration attempts were similar in the short circuit, which led to Flair’s blind spot with the moon’s rays from the upper rope to the outside, which suddenly pulled out both Ripley and Asuku.
But as Flair climbed the upper rope again, Ripley thwarted her efforts on another high-flight maneuver. The Superplex attempt was initially blocked just long enough for Asuka to join the fight – posing another opportunity for the double team, the double Superplex of Asuke and Ripley Flair.
The tempo increased even more in the last moments of the match. Late skirmishes ensued when Ripley and Asuka tried to double the Suplex Flair to the ground again, for Flair to jump out of it, hit with a double chopper, and finish the sequence with a double Natural Selection. An attempt to pin both of her opponents yielded only two numbers.
Flair’s missed moon strike took Asuka directly to Codebreaker, and Flair stumbled outward. Ripley grabbed Asuka by the ropes, but her initial attempt at Riptide failed. Both Flair and Asuka missed the punches, but hit Ripley instead. Finally, Asuki’s successful Flair boot through the ropes was Pir’s victory and set Ripley up to keep the title.
What is next: Flair fell shortly before the win and saw the title slide through her fingers. But Ripley’s mockery after the match, Flair points to the belt while Ripley mocks her, and the fact that Flair didn’t take into account the scarcity created a stage for Ripley and Flair who fought over the summer. With their history, that should be good.
The match was improvised, and the Sheamus United States Championship was not in order. It was physical and fun, and an opportunity to ask where Ricochet and a few hyper-talented stars (who had been calling on Keith Lee) had been in recent months.
Sheamus earned the final win, but in a random waste after the game, Ricochet stole Sheamus ’jacket and hat and antagonized him, which will almost certainly lead to some sort of follow-up on Monday and later.
Moonsaults everywhere 🤩
– WWE (@WWE) May 16, 2021
What is next: A match in the United States championship that Sheamus seems unlikely to lose.