No matter how silly we all think the title "WrestleMania Backlash" is, I think we can all agree on one thing: it's Tag Team Appreciation Month! Make sure to check out the fun and festivities throughout the rest of May.
Ricochet vs. Sheamus just felt like a waste, even for a Kickoff Show match. Like, if they were going to present Ricochet as a serious surprise contender, then maybe that would have been one thing; give him a quick win on this show. But considering they didn't.... what the hell was the point? They could have done this whole angle and post-show attack on Raw tomorrow... but as it stands right now, extremely forgettable.
Rhea Ripley vs. Asuka vs. Charlotte Flair was an inspired choice to begin the PPV portion of the show, and had a ton of great energy to it (it also made sense to space out the Triple Threat matches a bit, assuming that's the plan here). Parts of the match also made Asuka look like a rock star -- which is never a bad idea. Unfortunately, the finish felt a little underwhelming; I would have rather seen Charlotte come out on top here. Or Asuka, for that matter.
Rey & Dominik Mysterio vs. The Dirty Dawgs was made more infinitely more interesting due to Rey's old-school Batman outfit (though.... they couldn't have given Dominik the matching old-school Robin gear?). This told a tremendous, dramatic story throughout (and few are better at making dramatic stories these days than Rey is). Credit to Robert Roode and Dolph Ziggler, too, who may be one of the great emerging heel teams. Great match!
Maybe we should talk about the zombies.... or maybe not. I mean, WHY?? What purpose did that serve? Were they COVID tested before they entered ThunderDome? And once again... why?
Bianca Belair vs. Bayley was fine, if not a bit on the long side. The match itself was fine, and Bayley made a great first challenger.... but it would have been nice to see Belair win more definitively. And even at points throughout the match, she didn't feel particularly dominant.
Drew McIntyre vs. Braun Strowman vs. Bobby Lashley did not feel like the "big fight" that McIntyre and Lashley had at WrestleMania. It did pick up some steam about halfway through, especially with the LED screen and Michinoku Driver spots, but on balance, I could have done without this being a Triple Threat. No issue with Lashley going over, but it felt "less than" the previous go-round of McIntyre and Lashley.
According to online reviews, apparently I'm alone in my thoughts on that previous match. It was good... just not great (in my mind).
Cesaro vs. Roman Reigns also started off slowly.... but it made sense in this case, as you wanted this to be a struggle for the first-time challenger Cesaro. Of course, Roman could do these types of matches in his sleep and always look great. This match just got better as it went along; felt like a main event; and I'm (pleasantly) surprised that the Uso Civil War didn't play any part in the finish. The Rollins-Reigns tease was interesting, for sure.
Overall, this was a REALLY solid show and I'm glad I watched it live.