Welcome to the first PPV after WrestleMania 34. Backlash featured the return of both brands being together. Once again, A.J. Styles defended the WWE title against Shinsuke Nakamura. Seth Rollins defended the Intercontinental Championship Against former champ, The Miz. Nia Jax put her Raw Women’s Championship on the line against Alexa Bliss. Carmella defended the Women’s SmackDown Championship Against Charlotte Flair. We also have Roman Reigns battling Samoa Joe. Let’s see how things turned out.
We kicked things off with Seth Rollins defending the Intercontinental Championship against the Miz. Ever since Rollins wrestled for more than an hour on Monday Night Raw during that Gauntlet Match, he’s been on fire. He’s arguably the best wrestler in the world as of now and this match was added to his claim. Seth Rollins and Miz put on a clinic and the fans enjoyed every bit of this match. This match had a little bit of everything in it and Miz had a pair of Skull Crushing Finales on Rollins. Miz was frustrated and Rollins displayed so much athleticism in the match. Rollins hit his knee on the steel post, which forced Miz to focus on it. Miz tried to hit the Skull Crushing Finale from the second rope, but Rollins blocked it. They trade near pinfalls, but after a reverse pin attempt Rollins hit the Stomp for the win. Winner and Still Intercontinental Champ: Seth Rollins
Match Rating: 4.5/5- WOW!!! What an opener as this match was AWESOME!!!
Nia Jax defended the Raw Women’s Championship against former champion, Alexa Bliss. Bliss tried to go after the knee of Jax, but Nia went to work immediately on Bliss. Alexa got the advantage after a kick to the head of Nia Jax. Later on, Jax tried to hit a Samoan Drop from the top rope, but Bliss turned it into a guillotine. Alexa continued to have the advantage on Jax while she talked trash to her. In the end, Bliss went for Twisted Bliss, but was caught with a Samoan Drop and Jax pinned Bliss. Winner and Still Raw Women’s Champ: Nia Jax
Match Rating: 2.5/5
We have a matchup between two veterans as Jeff Hardy defended the United States title against Randy Orton. This is the first match-up these two future Hall-Of-Famers have had in about 10 years. Hardy used his high-flying method to bother Orton throughout the match. On the other hand, Orton was very physical as he worked on the back of Hardy with repeated suplexes on the apron. After Orton hit the hangman DDT, he called for the RKO. Hardy counters into a pin. Orton kicks out. Hardy hits the Twist of Fate followed by a quick Swanton Bomb for the win! Winner and Still United States Champ: Jeff Hardy
Match Rating: 3.25/5
We have Daniel Bryan’s in-ring singles PPV return as he faced the returning Big Cass. As we all know, Bryan was cleared to return to active competition before WrestleMania. Big Cass was cleared to return during the same time and this is his first match in damn near a year. Bryan immediately went after Cass when the bell rang. Cass managed to gain the advantage with a spine buster and body slam. Cass controlled most of the match until Bryan locked in the Yes Lock after a few crossfaces. Cass couldn’t do nothing about it and he tapped immediately! Winner: Daniel Bryan
Match Rating: 3.5/5- After the match, Cass appeared to snap and attacked Bryan.
We had Carmella defending her newly won Women’s SmackDown title against Charlotte Flair. The WWE dropped the ball by not building Carmella up properly before cashing in the briefcase. The biggest takeaway from Carmella was the constant screaming. Charlotte dominated the match and it seemed like she was about to regain her title back. Charlotte tweaked her knee when she done her top-rope moonsault. Carmella quickly rolled her up for the win. Winner and Still SmackDown Women’s Champ: Carmella
Match Rating: 2.5/5
We have A.J. Styles once again battling Shinsuke Nakamura for the WWE Championship. Ever since Nakamura turned heel, it seems like he’s a much better superstar. Nakamura has gone the route where he’s catching Styles with low-blows. The match at WrestleMania didn’t live up to expectations so hopefully this can improve on that one. Things picked up when Styles hits Nakamura in the knees with a chair. The chair bounces off Styles and busts him open. Nakamura runs right into the calf crusher by Styles. Nakamura counters into a triangle. Styles stands out of it and almost hits the Styles Clash. Styles sends Nakamura to the outside. Styles crushes Nakamura with the Ushigoroshi. Pelé kick by Styles. Styles tries to pick up Nakamura, but Nakamura low blows him. Nakamura tries to pick up Styles but Styles low blows him! Everyone is down! Styles and Nakamura trade strikes.
Nakamura and Styles kick each other in the nuts at the same time! Neither man could get to their feet to break the 10 count. The referee calls the match. No Contest
Match Rating: 3.75/5- This match was much better, but the ending killed it.
We had the huge ta match between Braun Strowman & Bobby Lashley taking on Kevin Owens & Sami Zayn. Let’s be honest, who thought Owens and Zayn had a shot against two of the most powerful guys in the WWE. The biggest takeaway from the match was Zayn & Owens going at each other after Zayn tried to leave. Owens and Zayn argue. Zayn slaps Owens. Zayn apologizes. Owens gets a spine buster followed by a delay vertical suplex by Lashley. Owens is done. Winners: Braun Strowman & Bobby Lashley
Match Rating: 3/5- After the match, Owens gets a power slam by Strowman for good measure. As Zayn is checking on Owens Strowman grabs him and sends him into the ring. Powerslam by Strowman.
We have the main event where Roman Reigns took on Samoa Joe for at least another year. Roman Reigns stayed on Monday Night Raw and Samoa Joe was moved over to SmackDown Live. If the WWE don’t want to lose any fans, they may have no choice in turning Reigns heel. The crowd chanted boring and began to leave during the main event. After a brutal contest, Reigns tries an Oklahoma roll. Joe reverses it into the clutch. Reigns is almost out but he manages to grab the bottom rope. Joe sets Reigns on the top rope for the Muscle Buster. Reigns pushes Joe away and hits the Spear for the win! Winner: Roman Reigns
Match Rating: 3.25/5- This wasn’t a bad match, but the crowd has completely turned on Roman Reigns.
Overall Rating: 6/10- The PPV wasn’t bad, but some questionable cooking decisions like having Reigns main event was one of them. Maybe the WWE is using this to further cement Reigns as a heel without turning him. Seth Rollins is the MVP right now and he’s elevating the Intercontinental Championship with him being a fighting champion. Below are my top-3 matches from the Backlash PPV.
- Seth Rollins© vs. The Miz
- A.J. Styles© vs. Shinsuke Nakamura
- Daniel Bryan vs. Big Cass
What did you think about Backlash? What was your favorite match of the night? Do you like the concept of having both brands on one PPV? Leave a comment below.