Welcome to San Juan, Puerto Rico, as WWE gives you their Backlash. 

No, not the way they handled Cody Rhodes losing to Roman Reigns on night two of Wrestlemania 39 (still salty about that), but the Backlash pay-per-view with a double main event as Bad Bunny and Damián Priest come to blows in a San Juan Street Fight, and Cody Rhodes wants bloody satisfaction as he takes on the Beast Incarnate, Brock Lesnar.

Before we get started, I will state the following for the record: I have decided that Bad Bunny is best for the business of pro wrestling. I had dismissed the reggaeton star years ago without realizing what a compassionate human he truly is. For that, I hope to see Bad Bunny in the squared circle for years to come.

As for Logan Paul and his ilk, I wish to unofficially state the policy of the TV TAN PODCAST that I host with Bill Frost (The Only TV Podcast that Matters™): Stop Making Garbage People Famous.

You’ve been put on notice, WWE!

The preshow happened, and the less you heard, the better you are as a person. I recommend you read the Countdown to WWE Backlash article to get a sense of what may happen because it was better and more concise.

Now, The Show starts from the Coliseo de Puerto Rico José Miguel Agrelot in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Corey Graves and Michael Cole have the call as they announce their first show in 18 years as your First Match of the Night is for the…

WWE Raw Women’s Championship — Bianca Belair (c) vs. IYO SKY

Belair looking to be the longest-reigning women’s champion since WrestleMania 38. It’s the EST of WWE versus The Genius of the Sky, and interestingly there is no Damage CTRL with SKY at ringside.  Hmm.

The Puerto Rican crowd gives huge chants for “IYO”, even though Belair is just as popular during the boxing-style intros.  There’s some nice chain wrestling from both women and each one-ups the other with their brand of athleticism.  SKY takes out the left arm of Belair and gets a straightjacket choke from the top turnbuckle for five seconds, and she then focuses all her attacks on the bad wing of Belair and even her braid starts to come undone.

Belair attempts with a chicken wing but SKY rolls through for a double stomp to the solar plexus.  Then there are some “Yay/Boo” punches from SKY and Belair, respectively. SKY connects with a huracanrana but Belait puts the brakes on midway and lands with a wicked backbreaker.  She sends SKY to the corner and mounts with ten punches (en Espanol)  and then military presses her with one hand to the mat and a moonsault gets a two count.  SKY attacks her bad arm again and lands a missile dropkick to send her to the outside.  Belair sends SKY back in the ring and attempts a 450 splash but gets her knees in the midsection, and SKY transitions to a crossface, but she fights to a vertical base.  SKY drives her back to the mat with a facebuster for a two count.  Sky lands a Meteora in the corner, and each tries a pin attempt to no avail. Belair attempts the KOD but SKY rolls out before that can happen.  She then attacks and gets a beautiful moonsault and rolls in to cover Belair for another two count.  They both go up the top turnbuckle, and SKY attempts with a huracanrana but Belair is too powerful as she blocks her offense and gets the avalanche powerbomb for a count of two.

Now Bayley and Dakota Kai come out ringside, as SKY grabs Belair by the braid.  She picks up SKY for the KOD and rolls up for another close two.  SKY lands the moonsault after shenanigans from Kai and Bayley, but Belair rolls away.  After the Ref spots the Damage CTRL group on the outside, Belair delivers the KOD on SKY for the win.

Your Winner, and Still RAW Women’s Champion:  Bianca Belair

Bad Bunny gets a visit from Rey Mysterio, and Savio Vega makes an entrance to a massive pop. All of the segment is in Spanish, but the gist is he gifts Bunny with a Puerto Rican-themed Cane to whip Priest all throughout the arena.

My Spanish is poor, and I may not get the language, but I get the gist of the lingo.  He’s gonna hurt Priest tonight.

Speaking of things that hurt me (mentally), here’s…

Seth Rollins vs. Omos (with MVP)

A couple of things I noticed.  First, MVP obviously looks like he raided Ricardo Montalban’s Fantasy Island wardrobe.  Second, the fans are happy to chant along with Rollins’ song but the match is slow and plodding.

How plodding, you ask?  It’s like Hunter S. Thompson’s book, The Rum Diary. It was a so-so book made into a so-so film with Johnny Depp and Amber Heard (you may have heard of them recently in the news).  It’s disappointing, given Thompson’s reputation for writing engaging “gonzo journalism.”

Why do I bring this up?  Because, like Thompson’s fiction, this match was also so-so despite Rollins doing the majority of the work. Rollins gets the win with the avalanche stomp.

Your Winner via Pinfall:  Seth Rollins

Now sing along, folks, as you BURN IT DOWN! 

Speaking of plodding, here’s your next match for the…

WWE United States Championship: Austin Theory (c) vs. Bobby Lashley vs. Bronson Reed

The theory is sent out of the ring right away and Reed and Lashley start the match and try to get the better of each other, but then Theory inserts himself to the fans and everyone’s chagrin.  Lashley gives Theory a nice delayed vertical suplex but then he gets tripped up by Theory and Reed splashes him to boot.  Theory and Reed work together to gang up on The All Mighty, with Theory clotheslining him in the corn Reed then drops him with a Vader-esque running slam, and that team-up is over.  Lashley manages to get a one-armed choke slam to Theory and a spear to cover, but Reed pulls him off the pin attempt.

Reed nails a Vader Bomb to Lashley on the outside and throws him back in the ring.  He then goes up top, but Theory drops him.  Lashley follows close behind and cinches the Hurt Locker.  He starts to fade, but Theory bounces off the ropes to turn into a pin for Lashley to break the hold, and then Reed splashes Lashley to cover but Theory breaks the count.  He lands a blockbuster to Reed and he impressively gets him in a fireman’s carry but not for long.

Reed goes back up top for a moonsault that misses, and then Lashley connects with a spear, but Theory dumps him out of the ring and gets the pin on Reed.

Your Winner via Pinfall and Sheer Douychenozzlery:  Austin Theory

Now for some nationalism (the good kind) as we head to the ring for the…

SmackDown Women’s Championship — Rhea Ripley (c) vs. Zelina Vega

Vega comes out in a Puerto Rican flag, and the hometown crowd loves during the boxing-style intros as Vega is choked up by the moment to a near hydrogen bomb pop to see their Boricua heroine.

This is a classic power (Ripley) versus speed (Vega) match and things look bleak until Vega goes to the outside near her family at ringside and grabs The Chancla®, and tosses it at her head.

My God, will somebody stop the damn match!!!

(Too much?  Not enough?)

Either way, a powerbomb by Ripley gets her a two count, and she picks Vega apart.  Also, “Mami” shows some disrespect to the Puerto Rican crowd, which can’t always be healthy.  Neither is Vega looking healthy as Riplet gets her in a Gory Special, bending her in half.  Somehow she escapes the submission and sends Ripley to the post to hurt her shoulder and she fires back.  Ripley goes for her finisher, but Vega stops it midair and sends her to the middle ropes, where she nails a 619 to the champ.

Up top, Vega feels the spirit of Eddie Guerrero as she nails Ripley with the  Meteora for a two-count.  Ripley stops screwing around finally and nails a kick to Vega and delivers the Riptide for the pin and the win.

Your Winner via Pinfall, and Still WWE Smackdown Women’s Champion:  Rhea Ripley

Despite the loss, the fans cheer on their Boricua heroine for a valiant effort as Vega chokes up again for a second time.

But let’s get to the first of the double Main Event as this is a San Juan Street Fight between…

Bad Bunny vs. Damian Priest

The fans in San Juan erupt as Chambea hits, and he brings a shopping cart o’ plunder to the ring.  Priest stares daggers at his former best friend, and then both men are face to face.  Priest shoves him hard and Bunny gets back up to give him the receipt with a Michinoku Driver for a one count.

Now Bunny grabs two kendo sticks, and then steps up to bat, but gets driven into the corner.  Priest looks at him and breaks the stick in half, and slams him to the mat.  Priest slows the tempo, but Bunny scratches and claws and tries to put him away but it ain’t happening.  Priest choke slams Bunny and pins for one, two…oh, no it ain’t ending that way, says Priest (douche).

Priest grabs an axe handle from the shopping cart and for some reason, Michael Cole goes, “Be wevy wevy quiet”, a la Elmer Fudd (Slow your role, Cole.  This is my domain.)  In any case, Bunny tosses a steel chair in his face and then plants him with a tornado DDT.  Then he lands a crossbody to Priest, and of course, you know this means war.

(Author’s Note:  That’s how you insert a Bugs Bunny reference, Michael Cole.  Stop listening to your headphones once in a while!)

Bunny bangs Priest around with trash can lids and plays the cymbals with his head, then he grabs another kendo stick, cracks away, and nails a falcon arrow (not a Michinoku Driver, Cole!) to cover for a two count.  Priest gathers his thoughts outside and Bunny draws a line inside the ring, and Priest’s face says, “Screw this screwy Bunny.” He gives chases and tosses a trash can at him and slams him on the back repeatedly with the weapon.  Priest grabs the special Kendo stick Savio Vega loaned him and swings for the fences to his back and throws him into the timekeepers’ area.

Now both men are in the tech engineering area, and Priest props in on a piece of equipment and then nails a falcon arrow through a nearby table for your “Holy S***” moment of the night.  Priest then dumps his carcass back to ringside and goes for a kick, but misses and hits the ring post.  Bunny grabs another kendo and swings at the bad leg.  As he focuses on the bad wheel, Bunny rushes at Priest who lifts a boot.  Bunny catches it and hyperextends the knee and then slams it around the ring post.  Bunny then grabs a chain from the cart, wraps it on the bad leg and uses the torque to slam it to the post, and then takes a chair to the bad leg.

Soon Priest grabs the chair from him but Bunny low blows him (because it’s legal in a street fight), and now all of Judgment Day come out to gang up on the Bunny.  Rey Mysterio runs out to even the numbers, but no luck, until…Carlito comes out, and That’s Cool©.

Dominik gets nailed with the 619 by his dad and Carlito spits the apple in his face.  Balor and Domink beat a hasty retreat until Savio Vega comes out. Now the LWO comes out and it’s a fair fight.

Meanwhile, back in the squared circle, Bunny gets Priest in a Figure Four leglock.  He manages to break the hold to nail a chokeslam, but Bunny rolls to a pin for a count of two.  Bunny goes for a Sliced Bread #2 on Priest to cover for another two count.  Priest grabs another chair and slams it into his back repeatedly until Bunny evades the swing and delivers the Puerto Rican Destroyer, and that seals the deal.

Your Winner via Pinfall:  Bad Bunny

After the match, the LWO come out with the Puerto Rican flag and hoist Bunny on their shoulders, as he gets Venganza on Damien Priest.

Also, like the wise pig says, “That’s All, Folks!”

(Wait, I can’t say that legally, dammit, because  there are still two more matches)

So here’s a six-man tag match with…

Matt Riddle, Kevin Owens & Sami Zayn vs. The Bloodline (Jimmy and Jey Uso, and Solo Sikoa)

The fans are hot for The Usos, but they have love for Zayn and company.  Jey starts strong over the former Honorary Uce, but Zayn manages to send him a receipt.  Now Jimmy steps in, as does Owens, and the Montrealan slugs away and lands with a high elbow followed by a senton.  Now Riddle comes into the fun and he nails a gutwrench suplex on Jimmy.  He tags back to Zayn and Jimmy rolls to the corner and Sikoa tags himself in, to his chagrin.

(Can you smell the drama?  No, wait!  That’s my Arm & Hammer deodorant giving out.  Hang on a tick!)

Sikoa lays a stomping on Zayn, and he tags back Jimmy.  From there The Bloodline take their time on Zayn and he is in Peril.  At one point, Zayn leapfrogs  Jimmy’s attack and kicks him in the mush. Zayn goes for the Owens tag, but Jimmy runs around and drops him off the apron.  Zayn strives for a tag, but Jey comes in and nails him with the Samoan Drop.  Now Sikoa is in and props Zayn up the top turnbuckle, but he reverses and lands a tornado DDT.

He gets the hot tag to Riddle and he is a Bro en Fuego on The Bloodline and lands a corkscrew senton on the outside.

A superkick by Jimmy on Riddle gets a two count and then he plants him with a superplex.  Finally,  Owens gets back in with a swanton for a count of two and even though The Usos gang up on him, there is some miscommunication between the brother, and Owens takes advantage with a pop-up powerbomb for two on Jimmy. Owens goes back with another swanton and Jimmy gets his knees up on his back.  They slug it out in the ring until Owens gets a clothesline, and then Zayn tags in for the Blue Thunder bomb on Jimmy for another two count, and then he climbs up the top turnbuckle but Jimmy kicks him in the face.  Now The Usos fight up the high-rent district.  Zayan manages to fend them off, but when he comes down he’s greeted with a super kick par-tay as the cover for another count of two.

It becomes complete chaos and at one point Sikoa tags himself in to attack Zayn and company, and during the melee, he almost nails the Samoan spike to Jey, hinting at more issues in The Bloodline.

As things began to clear, Riddle and Sikoa become the legal men and the enforcer of The Bloodline delivers the Samoan Spike to lift his team to victory.

Your Winners via Pinfall:  The Bloodline

After the match,  Things look tense in the family.  Where’s Paul Heyman to calm things down?

Well, let’s get to The other Main Event between…

Cody Rhodes vs. Brock Lesnar

Even though there is less than twenty minutes in the show, all the fans in Puerto Rico are of their feet for both men’s intros, but before Lesnar’s theme concludes, Rhodes dives at Lesnar and uses parts of the announcers’ table to slam at The Beast incarnate including the steel steps.  Graves notes this is Superman fighting Doomsday (nice DC reference).

Rhodes nails multiple Disaster Kicks to the big man, but it’s when he tries the last one, Lesnar takes him to Suplex City (or Ciudad de Suplex, according to Graves, and that means he’s learned some Spanish from his brother of late.)

A fallaway slam by Lesnar has Rhodes feeling the effects while The Beast brings the pain with multiple German suplexes, one of them having Rhodes grab and rip off the turnbuckle pad.  Lesnar goes for a bear hug, then he launches another suplex on  Rhodes, and the fans in San Juan chant, “Let’s go, Cody!”

In desperation, Rhodes shoves him into the corner face-first to the exposed turnbuckle.  Lesnar is dazed and Rhodes nails another Disaster kick as The Beast is bleeding.  He follows his attack with a Cody Cutter, then delivers the CrossRhodes twice for a two count.  Rhodes goes for a third, but Lesnar delivers his patented F-5 for one, two…no!  Both men resort to punches until Lesnar attempts a Kimora submission on Rhodes but the American Nightmare manages to angle their bodies to a pinning combo and he gets the one, two, and three.

Your Winner via P:infall:  Cody Rhodes

Rhodes is static to get the win and the pay-per-view fades to black.

WWE Backlash - 05/06/2023

Final Thoughts:

Rhodes got the much-needed win, as did Bad Bunny, and all is right in Puerto Rico.

Some matches shouldn’t have been on the card, but if you had the right mojito, it won’t matter so much.

Until then, see ya next pay-per-view.