By Steve Ward
WWE returned for their first pay-per-view (sorry, “Premium Live Event” as they are labeled on Peacock) since Wrestlemania as Wrestlemania Backlash emanated from the Dunkin Donuts Center in Providence, Rhode Island. This evening’s card boasted only six matches with a mere one title contested and was headlined by a six-man tag team match which pit The Bloodline against the collective of Drew McIntyre and RK-Bro.
Cody Rhodes vs. Seth Rollins
Winner: Cody Rhodes via pinfall
This evening’s card opened with a grudge match following their encounter at Wrestlemania last month. Since Cody was introduced at the last minute as Seth Rollins’ mystery opponent, Rollins has cried foul ever since claiming his loss was a fluke because he had no time to prepare. Despite my thoughts of Cody departing from AEW, the company he helped to build to return to the company where he was once bestowed with the gimmick of Stardust, Cody still put forth a solid effort against Seth Rollins in this match. In a classic back and forth battle, both competitors unleashed several of their signature moves - Rollins the frog splash and Falcon Arrow, Rhodes the Cody Cutter and Cross Rhodes, however, this match would be decided as Cody reversed a rollup pin attempt by Rollins and grabbed Rollins tights to secure the pinfall.
Bobby Lashley vs. Omos w/ MVP
Winner: Omos via pinfall
After Lashley was victorious over Omos at Wrestlemania, MVP would return the following night on RAW only to turn his back on Lashley and align himself with the aforementioned Nigerian Giant. Under MVP’s guidance, Omos segued his way into a rematch this evening at Backlash. Bobby Lashley dominated Omos for the duration of the match showcasing his unearthly power as he manhandled seven foot three inch giant. Unfortunately for Lashley, MVP would prove to be the x-factor late in the contest. As the referee was distracted, MVP struck Lashley in the head with his cane which allowed Omos to capitalize with a two-handed choke slam for the victory.
AJ Styles vs. Edge
Winner: Edge via submission
In another rematch from Wrestlemania where Edge was able to pull out a victory after the shocking appearance of his new cohort, Damian Priest, he found himself toe to toe with The Phenomenal AJ Styles again tonight. The difference this time would be Priest being banned from ringside following his loss to Styles this past Monday on RAW. Late in the contest, Styles appeared to have Edge in dire straits after he executed the Styles Clash and dealt further damage with the calf crusher submission. Damian Priest would make his way down the aisle stopping just short of ringside as Styles stood on the top turnbuckle. As Priest and Styles jawed back and forth, Finn Balor would attack Priest from behind to neutralize the threat. With the referee distracted, a hooded figure would emerge to shove Styles off the top turnbuckle which opened the door for Edge to cinch in a crossface submission for the victory. Following the match, the unknown assailant would enter the ring and reveal herself as Rhea Ripley.
Smackdown Women’s Championship “I Quit” Match
Charlotte Flair (c) vs. Ronda Rousey
Winner: Ronda Rousey
In another return match from Wrestlemania, Charlotte Flair once again put her Smackdown Women’s Championship on the line against “The Baddest Woman on the Planet.” This time around things would be more interesting as Rousey pushed for an “I Quit” Match where one must make their opponent actually mutter the words “I Quit” in order to claim victory. These women beat each other with kendo sticks and steel chairs and attempted to make each other utter the words “I Quit” several times throughout the contest. In the closing moments, Flair introduced a chair once again which would prove to be her downfall. Rousey would turn the tide on Flair and drag her arm through the chair as she cinched in an armbar and finally made Flair exclaim “I quit” crowning herself as the new champion.
Madcap Moss vs. Happy Corbin
Winner: Madcap Moss via pinfall
Following Moss’ win in the Andre The Giant Memorial Battle Royal the night before Wrestlemania and Corbin’s loss at Wrestlemania, the duo of Moss and Corbin finally had a falling out on RAW several weeks ago which brings us to their encounter tonight. Late in the match, Corbin executed the Deep Six but was unable to put away Moss. This would prove to be costly as moments later, Moss would propel himself over Corbin with a Sunset Flip as he stunned Happy with a pinfall.
Roman Reigns w/ Paul Heyman & The Usos vs. Drew McIntyre and RK-Bro (Randy Orton & Riddle)
Winners: Roman Reigns & The Usos via pinfall
The Usos were originally set to square off with RK-Bro tonight in a title unification bout until Roman Reigns and Drew McIntyre inserted themselves into the equation and expanded this match into a six-man tag team affair. The main event locked in at a feverish pace for the duration of the bout. In the closing moments, Riddle thought he had victory at his fingertips after he executed a top rope RKO on Jey Uso, however, Reigns had initiated a blind tag before Uso was propelled across the ring. As Riddle returned to his feet, The Tribal Chief met him with a rib-breaking spear which allowed him to easily secure the pinfall for The Bloodline.