Like the dung heap that is Twitter on a daily basis, the WWE is a mess right now.
Tonight’s highly-hyped WWE tag team championship reunification match was promoted for weeks and weeks on both Raw and Smackdown only for the stipulation to be dropped for no apparent reason and no explanation.
What confused fans were left with on the WrestleMania Backlash card was another stale match between the Usos and RK-Bro, with a side of Roman Reigns and Drew McIntyre thrown in for good measure.
It makes as much sense as turning Xia Li and Mansoor heel when they have both had one singles match each on Smackdown and received pushes to be faces, especially Xia with all those comic book vignettes.
From a big picture perspective wouldn’t it make sense to unify all the championships to make the most out of a shallow roster which has been decimated by roster cuts to the point that we are now seeing the same matches recycled over and over again?
Perhaps it is also time to end the brand split as well if the WWE isn’t going to be investing in talent any time soon. That way they can sub people in and out here and there to avoid what are already becoming stagnant shows and stagnant matches.
The WrestleMania Backlash main event began with that lame animation of Roman Reigns floating in the air. They really need to dump that PlayStation 2 graphic. It looks really, really bad compared to what can be done these days. And please stop saying “God mode” WWE commentators. When people who don’t play video games use the phrase it sounds like a boomer saying “Information Super Highway”.
With nothing on the line in the main event it was a matter of watching RK-Bro and the Usos battle for the 3,000th time. The Bloodline isolated Riddle until Reigns and McIntyre tagged in. They started pounding on each other. McIntyre fought off the Usos. The distraction though allowed Reigns to land a Superman Punch, bounce McIntyre off the ring and the ringside barricade. Back in the ring, Reigns pummels McIntyre with clothesline after clothesline in a corner.
Reigns takes the time to pose with both of his championship belts and punches a sleepy Riddle off the apron. McIntyre blasts Reigns with a Claymore and tags in Orton who busts up both Usos then shockingly RKOs Roman Reigns. Who is up minutes later because…WWE logic.
Jey Uso survives Riddle’s onslaught. Reigns Superman Punches Orton on the floor. McIntyre throws Reigns into the steel steps. Reigns slams McIntyre through the announce table. Riddle stuns Jey Uso with an RKO from the top rope. Apparently, he isn’t the legal man though. Reigns spears Riddle for the win to end the pointless and unnecessary main event.
In a far better match Ronda Rousey defeated Charlotte Flair to finally win the Smackdown Women’s Championship in an ‘I Quit’ match.
Pat McAfee called Charlotte and Rousey two of the best in combat sports. Well, he’s a at least half right. Rousey is ready to go, bouncing around but the official keeps her away from Charlotte until the bell rings.
It doesn’t take Rousey long to throw Charlotte around the ring. Charlotte escapes Piper’s Pit with a suplex that brings Rousey crashing down on her neck. Rousey tries an arm bar. Charlotte rolls them both to the floor and runs Rousey into the barricade. Rousey refuses to quit.
Charlotte is thrown into the steel post hurting her left arm. Rousey whips Charlotte over a barricade into the time keeper’s area. Rousey takes the microphone from the official. Charlotte meets her with a big boot. Rousey won’t quit though.
Charlotte retrieves a kendo stick. Rousey disarms her easily. Rousey chases her to the entrance way with the kendo stick. Charlotte comes back with two…Count them!…two kendo sticks. In an awkward move, Rousey monkey flips Charlotte to take the sticks away. Rousey lashes her with them all the way back to the ring and inside of it. Charlotte throws a ringside camera at Rousey. They brawl into the crowd. Charlotte drags her up the stairs in a headlock. Charlotte bends Rousey’s neck over a railing. Rousey still won’t quit.
Rousey rips a chair out of Charlotte’s hand. Charlotte kicks the chair from Rhonda driving her into the announce table.
The crowd chants: “We want tables!”
Charlotte gives Rousey a buckle bomb off the ringside barrier. Rousey won’t say ‘I quit!’. Charlotte halts a Piper’s Pit by raking Rousey’s eyes and shoving her into a steel post.
The crowd chants for tables yet again.
Rousey hangs Charlotte up in the ropes. Rousey puts on her arm lock while hanging upside down. Charlotte won’t quit. They both fall to the floor. Charlotte cradles her injured arm. Charlotte manages to whack Rousey over and over with a steel chair though. A Natural Selection on a steel chair has the official asking Rousey again. Rousey doesn’t admit defeat.
Charlotte locks in the Figure Eight.
“Never bitch!” says Rousey when asked if she gives up.
Rousey escapes by hitting Charlotte with the steel chair. Rousey locks in her arm lock again this time with the added leverage and assistance of a steel chair. Charlotte fights on screaming but won’t utter those words that Rousey wants to hear.
“I hoped you would say that bitch!” answers Rousey as she bends Charlotte’s arm even more cranking down on it.
Charlotte finally has no choice but to give up.
WWE WrestleMania Backlash 2022 Results
Cody Rhodes vs. Seth Rollins
These two tell an interesting story with Rollins outsmarting Rhodes, getting into his head.
Seth Rollins comes dancing and prancing down to the ring in that clown show, see-through lingerie garb he was wearing at WrestleMania.
What is it with this bozo? What is his character exactly? A goofball, dancing twit? I really don’t get what he is supposed to be.
Rollins gets in Rhodes’ head by halting his drop down punch in the first few minutes of the match. Both men trade waist locks until Rollins slaps Rhodes in the back of the head. Rhodes blows a gasket battering Rollins into a corner with punches. Rhodes continues to be behind the count as Rollins hits him with a running knee knocking him to the floor. A running clothesline turns Rhodes inside out.
A hanging suplex and Disaster Kick almost pins Rollins. Rhodes leaps into the ropes for another Disaster Kick. Rollins just shoves him to the floor, throws him into the ringside barrier and bounces his head off the announce table.
Rhodes hits an impressive Supersplex from the second rope but cannot capitalize. Things devolve into a chopfest in the middle of the ring until both men are just…slapping each other? Huh?
The match moves into absolute nonsense territory with both men kicking out of everything and anything over and over again. That booking literally ruins the match.
A Cody Cutter is a two and a half for Rhodes. Rollins almost pins Rhodes with a Falcon Arrow minutes later. Rhodes kicks out of a frog splash from the top rope. Rollins Superplexes Rhodes who turns a second suplex into a Cross Rhodes. Rollins avoids the pin by rolling into the ropes.
After the Cross Rhodes, Rollins is able to walk around the ring? Rhodes smashes his head against the announce table before rolling him back into the ring. Rhodes misses a moonsault and Rollins hits the Pedigree and of course Rhodes kicks out. Despite taking all those moves that have put away other opponents, they both fight on and on and on and on and on.
Rollins mocks Dusty by clobbering Rhodes with his signature punches. Rollins rolls up Rhodes pulling the tights. Rhodes reverses things pulling Rollins’ tights to pin him.
So Cody is the heel because he took a shortcut to victory? I don’t get that finish. This match illustrates what is wrong with modern wrestling. Wrestlers kicking out of, showing no effect of numerous devastating moves that usually end matches? A bogus match despite the amazing efforts of everyone involved. It shows you just how bad booking can ruin everything.
Winner: Cody Rhodes at 20 minutes and 52 seconds.
Rating: 7.5 / 10
Bobby Lashley vs. Omos
Before the match Omos says there will be nothing left of Lashley when he is finished with him tonight. Omos is now called “The Nigerian Giant”. MVP accompanies Omos to the ring.
Interesting that the WWE is promoting Draft Kings and gambling which they never would before considering their target PG audience.
Lashley overwhelms Omos with punch after punch backing him into the ropes. MVP jumps onto the apron. Lashley turns around and gets a boot in the face from Omos.
Omos crushes Lashley into a corner. A Stinger Splash drops Lashley to the mat. Omos tries to crush Lashley’s melon in the middle of the ring.
“Let’s go Lashley!” cheers the crowd.
Omos hurls Lashley to the floor where MVP trash talks him. Snake Eyes and a big boot flattens Lashley.
“Regret your decision?” yells MVP in Lashley’s face as Omos chokes him in the ropes.
Lashley leaps onto Omos’ back with a sleeper hold. Omos shrugs him off. Lashley’s shoulder tackles in a corner lead to Omos getting tied up in the ropes. Lashley pounds on a helpless Omos. MVP tries to use his cane to free Omos. He fails. Lashley attempts to put MVP in the Hurt Lock on the floor. Omos saves MVP.
A Flatliner gives Lashley space to put on the Hurt Lock. Omos backs Lashley into a corner to break the move. Omos lays in elbow after elbow as Lashley slumps in a corner.
Lashley goes for a suplex. He fails at that but is able to slam Omos. Lashley’s spear is met with a knee. Omos throws Lashley into a steel post. MVP hits Lashley with his cane in the head. Omos slams Lashley down for the pin.
Winner: Omos at 8 minutes and 54 seconds.
Rating: 7 / 10
AJ Styles vs. Edge
Both men meet in the middle of the ring punching the crap out of each other. A furious AJ smashes Edge’s head off the ringside barricade and announce table. Edge rolls into the ring and back to the floor. A drop kick through the ropes sends Edge flying. A moonsault flattens Edge on the floor. Styles goes for a Phenomenal Forearm. Edge jsut kicks him in the shoulder and hurls him into the ring post.
Edge wraps Styles’ arm around the steel post then slingshots him shoulder-first into the steel steps and a steel post. Edge rips the protective tape off of Styles’ shoulder as he slams it to the mat hard. A shoulder lock has Styles reaching for the ropes.
A Pele Kick turns the match around for Styles. Double crossbodies has both men down on the mat after that collision. Styles and Edge battle on the top rope. A hurricanrana by Styles comes close to pinning Edge.
Edge locks in a crossface. Styles turns it into a Calf Crusher. Edge escapes by slamming Styles’ head to the mat. A German Suplex sends Edge into the air as he is holding onto one of the turnbuckles. Edge misses a spear and hits the exposed buckle. Style charges. Edge nails the spear this time. Styles uses the ropes to set-up a Styles Clash with one arm. Edge kicks out at two.
Styles climbs to the top rope but Damian Priest saunters down the aisleway. A baffled Styles is distracted. Out of nowhere, an angry Finn Balor blasts Priest from behind. The two brawl into and out of the ring. Why Edge isn’t disqualified when Priest violated the stipulation of the match is anyone’s guess.
Suddenly, a hooded intruder pulls Styles off the top rope. Edge locks in the crossface for the submission as Styles passes out.
The intruder comes into the ring and bows before Edge. Edge motions them to get to their feet.
They remove the hoodie to reveal themselves as…Rhea Ripley.
Ripley and Edge pose and smile together as Edge’s music plays them out.
Winner: Edge at 17 minutes and 31 seconds.
Rating: 8 / 10
Charlotte Flair (c) vs. Ronda Rousey – WWE SmackDown Women’s Championship – “I Quit” Match
Winner:…and new Smackdown Women’s Champion…Ronda Rousey at 17 minutes and 2 seconds.
Rating: 8 / 10
Happy Corbin vs. Madcap Moss
Madcap Moss as a face? The goof who tells bad jokes, wears suspenders and shorts like he just stepped out of a Peanuts comic strip? Okay, Vince.
Madcap get tripped up in the ropes. Corbin slams him by the throat. Corbin drives his knee into Madcap’s back sending him into a steel post. Corbin pounds Madcap in a corner then Irish Whips him in the opposite turnbuckle hard. Corbin splatters Madcap with a slam and a senton.
Madcap runs the ropes shoulder tackling Corbin to the floor. Madcap beans Corbin off the steel post. Madcap catches Corbin in midair flipping him over for a fallaway slam.
Corbin slams his way out of a Punchline. Madcap kicks out of Deep Six due to Corbin’s lackluster cover. Moss pins him seconds later with a lame sunset flip.
Winner: Madcap Moss at 10 minutes and 5 seconds.
Rating: 6 / 10
The WWE announces that an x-ray at the stadium reveals that Charlotte Flair has a broken arm. They have an x-ray machine, facilities at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center? Impressive that. I wonder if they do MRIs and CT Scans too?
Drew McIntyre and RK-Bro vs. The Bloodline
Winners: The Bloodline at 22 minutes and 15 seconds.
Rating: 7.5 / 10
The WWE returns to PPV on Sunday, June 5th with Hell in a Cell.
Despite the Rollins and Rhodes match being overbooked beyond belief, a useless main event and Madcap Moss and Corbin on the card, WrestleMania Backlash had strong matches throughout the show. Rousey and Charlotte was way better than expected. One wonders if Rousey ‘found her smile’ because her performance tonight was her best ever in WWE. WWE needs to continue some of these feuds going forward into SummerSlam and others they need to drop…quickly and tag some other angles, feuds in.