Welcome mesdames et messieurs as the World Wrestling Entertainment brings their brand of pro wrestling to France.  Instead of watching the Kentucky Derby (which is decadent and depraved), or watching STAR WARS (May the Fourth be with you, by the by), we’ll see Cody Rhodes defend the WWE Undisputed Championship against AJ Styles. That is a Main Event that looks to be Too Sweet for France’s first pay-per-view premium event on Peacock.

Oh, yeah, there are other matches, too.

And we come to you from the LDLC Arena in Décines-Charpieu in Lyon, France. Michael Cole and Corey Graves have the call with a raucous Lyon crowd that is literally shaking the foundation. Your First Match of the Night is…

RKOwens (Randy Orton and Kevin Owens) vs. The Bloodline (Solo Sikoa and Tama Tonga)

France pops huge for the Maryville, Quebec native, and Owens basks in the adulation. The crowd even sings along to Orton’s intro theme (go figure!). 

Once all the men get in the ring, there is a brief staredown, and it is a brawl and they go out to the floor, out to the commentary desk, and into the crowd.  Now backstage producers (hey there’s a “Hurricane” Helms sighting.  Stand Back) and security try to control this, and Smackdown GM Nick Aldis tells them if they’re gonna behave like this, then “Ce que vous voulez!,” because now it’s a Street Fight match, and we are off to the races.

Everyone brawls in the crowd, where you can see a “Bring back Heel Doink” sign. (heh!)   Also, you have not lived until you’ve heard “This is Awesome!” in French.  At one point Sikoa beats down on Owens until Orton makes the save.  They go back to ringside and Owens splashes Tonga on the floor from the barricades, Orton slams him on the announcers’ desk and Owens plants Sikoa with a DDT on the steel steps.  Now out comes the plunder and a trash can is slammed on Tonga, amidst French chants of “Get the Tables” and “E-C-Dub!”  This is bilingualism at its best.

The tables are out to the delight of the crowd, and Owens puts Tonga through it with a splash.  Finally, we head back into the ring, and Sikoa gives a Samoan Drop to Orton through another table.  Owens attempts a stunner but it gets countered and Sikoa nails him with a clothesline that turns Owens inside out.  Sikoa and Tonga lay a beating on Owens and break out the kendo sticks on his body, and he is a Prizefighter in Peril.  He manages a desperation spear to Tonga until Sikoa stops that with a can to Owen’s back.  Now another table gets set up in the corner as Owens gets back on his feet. Sikoa whips him to the corner but Owens reverses him to the table and he gets the worst of the wood. Tonga stalks Owens but the Apex Predator isn’t far behind, and he unleashes an offense that is (Gods, I hate myself for writing this) “Vintage Viper.”

Now Sikoa clears the commentary desk, places Orton on it, and then preps for the Samoan spike but he eats an RKO outta nowhere. 

In the ring, Owens unloads the chairs on Tonga’s back and sets them up in the ring. He places Tanga on the chairs and climbs up the top turnbuckle.  Tonga comes to and battles him up top until Owens gains the upper hand and connects with an avalanche fisherman’s buster. The ref counts one, two…and he’s pulled out by Tonga Loa.

Looks like Loa’s New Japan contract expired, and the fans are still in awe as Sikoa takes advantage with a uranage to Owens on a chair and the Samoan spike ends it.

Your Winners via Pinfall:  Solo Sikoa and Tama Tonga

As the newest member of The Bloodline joins, we get this exchange at commentary:

Cole: This is guerrilla warfare.

Graves: Destiny has brought them together.

Love the wordplay between the two, and Heyman nervously looks on at how this New Bloodline decimated the competition and what that means down the road.

Now let’s get back to the ring for title action, and this is a…

Triple Threat Match for the WWE Women’s Championship: Bayley (c) vs. Naomi vs. Tiffany Stratton

We get the first of boxing style intros by Samantha Irvin to highlight the importance of this title bout between the three women, and there are strong chants for Naomi, but especially for Bayley, including the NXT favorite, “Heyyyy Bayley! (hoo-hah) I wanna knowwwww if you’ll be my girl.” I gotta say that is fun to hear that in France.

There’s some gymnastics to start on early in the match, and then it goes to a series of near falls from all three women.  Bayley gets a sunset flip on Naomi but can’t get her on her back.  Stratton nails a dropkick to get Naomi over and then kicks Bayley, and covers for a two count.  That prompts Graves to say, “Stratton’s ego is bigger than France.”  I mean, it’s funny in a knee-jerk thing to say, but…he’s not wrong, folks.

It’s now Bayley and Stratton going back and forth, but it’s not time for Tiffy to pin the champ.  She goes for a handspring back elbow and it’s caught by Bayley.  She preps for Bayley to Belly but Stratton gets out and lands an Alabama Slam.  Naomi joins in the fun, spears Stratton to the outside, and takes the fight to her.  Stratton sends Naomi to the barricades as she feels a different glow of pain.  She checks her watch and says it’s “Tiffy Time,” and that’s when the little hand on the clock decides it’s half past time Bayley dives on her from the outside.  Naomi comes back and hits a blockbuster from the barricade onto Bayley on the floor.  Now there’s a heatseeker by Naomi on Stratton followed by a split-legged moonsault that finds the mark, but Bayley breaks the cover.  Naomi and Bayley battle up top, and Stratton pulls Naomi off. She fights out and nails a powerbomb to a submission and Stratton tries to fight out of the hold until Bayley lands a big elbow.

Bayley lands a sunset flip powerbomb to Naomi to the turnbuckle and then Bayley to Belly connects on Stratton for one, two…ohhh, so close.  Stratton then sends her to the ring posts and hits a senton Ont he champ, but Naomi pulls her out of the ring.  Then they cartwheel jockeying for position until Stratton Alabama Slams Naomi and Bayley on the commentary desks.  She sends them both back in the ring and they battle.  Stratton misses the PME as Bayley and Naomi nail the 1-D, and she rolls out before she can get pinned.

Naomi and Bayley go for the heavy bombs and go for pin attempts, but it is Bayley who succeeds in a rollup on Naomi to retain.

Your Winner, and Still WWE Women’s Champion:  Bayley

Naomi raises Bayley’s hand in victory after a hard-fought match.

We now are told the RKO to Sikoa on commentary is the highlight of the night and I think that’s a tad premature since there is more show to go.  Tell me when I’m telling lies.

Jey Uso is getting ready backstage when Sikoa and company walk past and they all give him the side eye. Uso is only caught by surprise by Heyman as he looks on with a mixture of sadness and concern as he shakes his head “no” to Uso.  

Can you smell the drama building?  No, wait, that’s my mint julep.  My mistake.  Well let’s get to the next match and it is for the…

WWE World Heavyweight Championship: Damian Priest (c) vs. “Main Event” Jey Uso

Uso appears in the Lyon crowd and they are big into The Main Event.  That also leads to things I do not want to hear by Michael Cole when he proclaims, “I can still YEET.”

(Author’s Note to Michael Cole: No you cannot, sir.  This is the sort of behavior old people do when they want to sound hip and relevant.  You are not hip and relevant, and I should know; we can smell our own kind.  I’m still struggling with the word YEET as it is and your usage, to quote one of my radio friends, makes my tired ache.  Please stop.)

This is the first title defense for Priest since claiming the belt on Night Two of Wrestlemania XL.  Uso leads in “YEET” chants, and Priest, like me, is annoyed by this.  That tells me the following  things are true:  the Mint Julep I made has shifted to another gear and this match is making me realize a Lucid Luchador Limerick™ is in order:


Priest battles the Main Event

And the Archer of Infamy is able to take on USo to some extent.

Uso fires up the crowd with “YEET”

But the end is bittersweet

As The Judgment Day helps Priest win, leaving Uso spent

Your Winner and Still WWE World Heavyweight Champion:  Damian Priest

After the match, Finn Balor and JD McDonagh swarm in and attack Uso.  Priest shoves them off and yells at them that he doesn’t want their help when he defends the belt.  Can you say, “problems in the stable,” kids?  I know I can.

We get the following announcement from French announcer Philippe Chéreau that Lyon has the largest gate of any arena show in WWE history.  He might’ve said what the numbers were, but I don’t speak French, and you gotta make do with my amalgam of Spanglish and Utahnics.

Nut this I know needs no translation, as the next match is for the…

WWE Women’s Tag Team Championship: The Kabuki Warriors (Asuka and Kairi Sane, with Dakota Kai) (c) vs. Bianca Belair and Jade Cargill

Belair and Asuka are getting snug in their strikes early on, and you can tell neither woman is gonna let up.  Tag to Cargill and she and Sane face off, but she is too powerful for the Kabuki Warrior.  Back to Belair and they give a double-team slam to Sane.  Belair stays in the ring and Sane takes advantage and pulls on her hair. Belair flips and goes after her outside the ring, but lands awkwardly on the floor.  A kick by Asuka and Sane crashes down with a splash and the Warriors are in control, as Belair becomes an EST in Peril.  A suplex gets reversed by Belair, and she crawls to her corner for Cargill, but Sane knocks her off the ring apron.  Sane tugs at her hair again, and Belair clotheslines her.  Now she gets the hot tag to Cargill and she is a’ blazing through on offense against the Women’s tag team champs.

The Warriors come back with a double team on Cargill and Sane covers but the ref advises she is not the legal woman.  Then they get Cargill and Belair in armbars but they pick them up and slam Asuka and Sane hard to the mat in stereo.  Now we get some nice tag team chemistry as Belair nails a codebreaker and Cargill launches Sane with a wheelbarrow suplex.  Belair covers for a count of two.  The Warriors respond with their own with an assisted Insane Elbow drop to cover Belair, but Cargill breaks the count.  Sane leaps at Cargill, but she reverses her huracanrana into the Jaded finisher, and Belair delivers the K.O.D. for the three-count.

Your Winners, and New WWE Women’s Tag Team Champions:  Bianca Belair and Jade Cargill

WWE plugs their next PPV for the King and Queen of the Ring, with the winner to be crowned in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.

Now it’s time for the Main Event, and this is for the…

WWE Undisputed WWE Championship: Cody Rhodes (c) vs. AJ Styles

Styles enters with some Undertaker-inspired gear, and faster than you can say, “Judas”, France is signing along to Rhodes’ intro music.

We get boxing-style intros again by Samantha Irvin, and throughout the match anytime Styles was on offense the Lyon crowd would chant, “Il est vraiment! Il est vraiment! Il est vraiment phénoménal! La la lala la la!”  According to a sub-Reddit, it translates to, “He is truly! He is truly! He is truly phenomenal!”  Another thing to note is Styles’ physique is jacked more than at any time in his career.  Also of note is that Cole acknowledges this is the first time the former leaders of the Bullet Club will face each other in the squared circle.

See what happens when you don’t have McMahon barking in your ear not to mention other wrestling stables outside of WWE?

The Lyon crowd offers chants of “Phénoménal,” and dueling “Let’s go Co-dee/AJ Styles.”   They go back and forth, and neither gains an advantage.  There are chops in the corner, and Rhodes returns the receipt from last night’s Smackdown with a slap to Styles’ face and adds a little Stardust flourish.  That leads to a dropkick to Rhodes and Lyons love the Phénoménal One.

Rhodes comes back with a delayed vertical suplex, but Styles throws him shoulder-first into the turnbuckle to soften up and follows with a flatliner to the arm/shoulder area.  Rhodes and Styles go to pinning situations that yield only near falls, and Styles retaliates with a step-up enzugiri.  Rhodes whips Styles hard to the bottom ropes and he gets whiplash. Then he attempts a tope suicida and gets caught by a forearm by Styles.  Now the action spills to the outside, and Styles clears off the French announce table.  He climbs up the top turnbuckle and then Rhodes follows and they battle up top.  Both men topple to the mat as Rhodes clutches his lower back in pain. Styles slams him to the mat and goes for a springboard moonsault but Rhodes gets his knees up, and he gets the worst of it in the midsection.  The American Nightmare fires up, slams Styles to the mat, and nails a Disaster Kick for a two count.  Another Disaster Kick is blocked and Styles counters with a neckbreaker.  Styles goes for another and Rhodes connects with a bulldog.  They battle on the apron edge and Rhodes goes for a suplex, but Styles reverses with a brainbuster.  He leaps, and Rhodes catches him to powerbomb Styles through the French announcers’ table.

Both men are down and the ref starts to count them out.  They get to their feet and make it back in at the count of nine.  Now Styles and Rhodes are throwing bombs until they collapse from exhaustion.  They’re on opposite sides of the squared circle and round two commences, but Phenomenol flurry can’t match a Rhodes bionic elbow.  He goes for a Cody Cutter, but it gets blocked and he is suplexed to the turnbuckles by Styles.  A springboard 450 splash and Styles covers for Un, Deux…Non, simplement deux.  Now Styles connects with a Burning Hammer variation and Rhodes kicks out at one. The American Nightmare is fired up and nails the Cody Cutter pour simplement deux.

A clothesline by Rhodes and he signals for the CrossRhodes, but Styles rolls out and nails a Pele kick.  Now he attempts the Phenomenal Forearm, and Rhodes kicks him in midair.  He locks in a modified kimura, and Styles powers out of the submission.  They go to their finishers but each man blocks until Rhodes nails a super Cody Cutter from the top rope and then the CrossRhodes is delivered pour le un, deux, et trois.

Your Winner, And Still WWE Undisputed Champion:  Cody Rhodes

Rhodes proves tonight that of all the Bullet Club members he was, as the French would say, “Too Sweet!” as the event draws to a close to massive cheers from Lyon.

WWE Backlash 2024: 05/04/2024

Final Thoughts:


The best parts of this event were the Street Fight and the debut of Tonga Loa, and AJ Styles proved why he should be in title contention sooner rather than later after this bout with Cody Rhodes.  Bayley and Naomi also deserve praise, as well as Stratton.

The other matches could’ve been an email…or an episode of Smackdown, but you wouldn’t know from the loud Lyon crowd.

Until then mes amis, à bientôt au prochain pay per view!