Wrestlemania Backlash 2022
Date: May 8, 2022
Location: Dunkin Donuts Center, Providence, Rhode Island
Commentators: Michael Cole, Pat McAfee, Jimmy Smith, Corey Graves, Byron Saxton
it’s time for a pay per view that feels like it has been little more than an obligation as the show is six matches long with a number of title matches. Granted in this case that number is one but take what you can get. The main event is a six man tag for reasons that I’m still not clear on but maybe the in-ring work can make up for it. Let’s get to it.
The opening sequence looks at Wrestlemania and how we got here.
We get a long recap video on Cody Rhodes vs. Seth Rollins. Rhodes returned at Wrestlemania as a surprise opponent and beat Rollins, who isn’t happy about it. Now they are having a rematch with Rollins knowing what he is getting and both guys wanting to prove that they are better.
Cody Rhodes vs. Seth Rollins
Cody starts fast by flipping out of a belly to back but the pop up uppercut is blocked. They take turns taking each other into the corner and Rollins rolls him up for two for a standoff. Cody is sent out to the apron for a knee out to the floor, where Rollins cuts him off with a clothesline. Back in and Cody fights out of a chinlock, setting up the Disaster Kick for two. Rollins knocks him out to the floor again and the crash puts Cody right back in trouble.
The chinlock goes on again but Cody fights up, only to get rolled up for two. Rollins heads up top, where Cody catches him with a delayed superplex for another big crash. They chop it out until the Cody Cutter gives Rhodes two but Rollins kicks him out of the air. They fight over a Pedigree attempt (that gets the fans’ attention) until Rollins grabs a Falcon Arrow for two. The Buckle Bomb into the frog splash gets two on Cody but he rolls away from the Phoenix splash.
A superkick (good one too) rocks Rollins, who is right there to catch him with the superplex but the Falcon Arrow is countered into Cross Rhodes, with Rollins’ foot landing in the rope on the cover. The moonsault misses and Rollins hits the Pedigree for two, leaving them both down. Rollins starts snapping off the Flip Flip And Fly, which Cody reverses into Cross Rhodes. Another is loaded up but Rollins snapmares out, only to have to flip out of a Vertebreaker. Rollins’ rollup with tights is reversed into a rollup with tights to give Cody the pin at 20:47.
Rating: B+. The Cody push continues as he gets another win over a former World Champion and proves that he belongs in the main event scene. These two have some very good chemistry together and I liked what we got here, even if the rest of the show might have some issues living up to this one. Heck of a match here, and Cody getting the title shot at Summerslam feels like a legitimate possibility.
Video on Bobby Lashley.
We recap Bobby Lashley vs. Omos. Lashley beat him at Wrestlemania, but now Omos has MVP in his corner as a guide to make him extra dangerous.
Bobby Lashley vs. Omos
MVP is here with Omos. Lashley slugs away to start and knocks Omos up against the ropes but an MVP distraction lets Omos get in a cheap shot. The slow beating continues as Lashley is knocked into the corner, allowing Omos the chance to make various noises. Lashley is knocked down again, allowing MVP to ask if Lashley is regretting his life choices yet.
A choke slows Omos down though and it’s Lashley tying him in the ropes and hammering away. With Omos tied up, Lashley goes after MVP but has to stop for the Downward Spiral on Omos. The Hurt Lock goes on but Lashley gets driven into the corner for the fast break. Lashley manages a spinebuster and loads up the spear, which is cut off with a knee. MVP gets in a cane shot and the chokebomb gives Omos the pin at 8:52.
Rating: C-. Unfortunately, this is about as good as it’s going to get between these two. You’re just not going to be able to get much out of Omos, who shouldn’t be doing much as far as moving around. This was the way it should have been and they made the match work about as well as expected. Omos had to win here and they even got the MVP interference in there too. Not a good match, but how it should have gone.
We recap Edge vs. AJ Styles. Edge beat him at Wrestlemania with help from Damian Priest, but Priest is barred from ringside. Styles also has a bad arm coming in.
AJ Styles vs. Edge
Styles starts fast and knocks him to the floor for some rams into a few things. A dropkick through the ropes doesn’t seem to connect but a camera cut saves them. AJ hits a moonsault to the floor but the Phenomenal Forearm is cut off with a big boot. Edge sends him into the post and steps a few times as the arm starts getting banged up again. Styles gets pulled down by the arm to set up an armbar to keep Edge in control.
Back up and AJ scores with a Pele but stereo crossbodies give us another double knockdown. A belly to back faceplant gives AJ two but Edge goes up, only to get hurricanranaed back down. The fireman’s carry backbreaker onto the knee gets two and the Calf Crusher goes on. Edge breaks that up with a ram into the mat, but AJ is smart enough to put it right back on. This time Edge goes to the rope for the actual break and loads up the spear, which hits a buckle that got exposed somewhere in there.
The second spear attempt connects but Styles is back up with the Styles Clash for two. The Phenomenal Forearm is loaded up so here is Damian Priest, who comes to the aisle but not to ringside, meaning he’s fine (even commentary calls that out as a lame technicality). Finn Balor comes in to take out Priest so Styles goes up….and we’ve got someone in a mask to pull him off the ropes. Edge grabs a crossface sleeper for the knockout win at 15:28.
Rating: B-. I don’t think there was any doubt that this was going to be pretty good, but it’s basically the exact same finish they had at Wrestlemania. Edge wins off some mysterious interference, likely setting up another match between these two in the Cell, as WWE manages to get a third match out of one idea. At least the mask reveal should be interesting, as they tend to be.
Post match the masked person gets in the ring, kneels to Edge, and unmasks as….Rhea Ripley. That’s not surprising and that isn’t a bad thing.
Video on Bianca Belair, who isn’t on the show but we need something to fill in the Peacock commercial time.
We recap Charlotte vs. Ronda Rousey for Charlotte’s Smackdown Women’s Title. Charlotte beat her via some shenanigans at Wrestlemania so now it’s an I Quit match. Rousey continues to look rather bored with everything she does, but that has been the case since she got back.
Smackdown Women’s Title: Charlotte vs. Ronda Rousey
Charlotte is defending in an I Quit match. Rousey knees her down to start and goes with the judo throws to stay on the arm. A clothesline gets Charlotte out of trouble but she has to escape Piper’s Pit. Charlotte hits a rather nasty German suplex (with the referee checking on Rousey) before they head outside. The trash talk lets Rousey get in a posting and she whips Charlotte into the timekeeper’s area. Charlotte is back out with a big boot and it’s kendo stick time, because OF COURSE WE HAVE A KENDO STICK.
Rousey takes it away so Charlotte runs off and comes back with two sticks. That’s fine with Rousey, who monkey flips her away and grabs both sticks in the process. The sticks are broken over Charlotte so she grabs a camera and throws it at Rousey’s head. With that missing because it would have wrecked Rousey, they fight into the crowd with Rousey being whipped into the hockey boards.
Charlotte ties her into a hand rail and puts on something like a camel clutch (how Sasha Banks beat Charlotte years ago). A chair shot is blocked through and they head back to ringside with Rousey taking over again. Another Piper’s Pit is broken up with a rake to the eyes and Rousey gets posted hard. Rousey manages to get in an armbar in the corner but they fall out to the floor to break it up.
After McAfee asks if that’s the Fiend in the front row (noticing some good cosplay), Charlotte comes back in with Natural Selection onto a chair for a No. The chair is set up with Charlotte saying this is her last chance and Happy Mother’s Day. The armbar in the chair goes on but Charlotte won’t quit. Rousey: “I was hoping you would say that b****.” The arm is cranked even harder and Charlotte quits at 16:23.
Rating: B. What mattered the most here was that this felt like a fight. It came off like two women who wanted to hurt each other and had a brawl (kendo sticks aside). The ending was about Rousey going into full gear to put Charlotte away because she was so angry. I’m not sure what is next for Rousey, but she absolutely had to win this one.
Money in the Bank is coming, complete with Cody Rhodes in the empty Allegiant Stadium, talking about the show. They’re making him one of the faces of the show.
We recap Madcap Moss vs. Happy Corbin. After losing to Drew McIntyre at Wrestlemania, Corbin blamed Moss, which split up the team. Then Corbin stole Moss’ Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal trophy and the match was set to prove themselves.
Madcap Moss vs. Happy Corbin
They start fast with Moss hammering away and yelling about jokes. A hiptoss drops Corbin again but he sends Moss out to the apron. Back in and Corbin hits a chokeslam before they head outside with Moss being rammed into the barricade. The chinlock goes on back inside before Corbin hits a flipping slam. A backsplash of all things (commentary is surprised at that one) gets two but Moss is back up for a nice looking fall away slam.
The Punchline is broken up and countered into a belly to back slam for two. Deep Six gets two more so Corbin does the slide underneath the ropes for the clothesline. Moss ducks and grabs a sunset flip for the pin at 9:42. I don’t remember the last time I saw someone win clean with such a basic move out of nowhere like that.
Rating: C-. This was the match that they put out there for the sake of filling in time between the big matches and it felt like it. Moss vs. Corbin isn’t an interesting feud and it wasn’t going to be well received as a pay per view match. What we got was a passable brawl but the fans weren’t having it. I did like the sudden finish though as that is something you do not see nearly often enough these days.
Video on Drew McIntyre.
Charlotte has a broken radius and is out of action for the time being.
We recap RKBro/Drew McIntyre vs. the Bloodline. The original match was RKBro vs. Usos to unify the Tag Team Titles but then McIntyre and Roman Reigns got involved to make it a six man tag, which is far more interesting. Allegedly.
RKBro/Drew McIntyre vs. Bloodline
Paul Heyman is here with the Bloodline and Orton starts with Jimmy. Riddle comes in for the assisted Floating Bro but Jimmy sends him into the corner to take over. McIntyre comes in and tosses Jimmy into the corner, allowing him to do the dramatic point at Reigns. After thinking about it for a bit, Reigns accepts the tag and then hands it off to Jey (sending McAfee into a fit of laughter).
It’s back to Riddle, who gets taken into the corner as the Usos start the beating. With Riddle down, NOW Reigns is willing to come in and the slow beating is on before it’s back to Jimmy. Orton gets superkicked off the apron so Riddle is a bit more alone. Riddle finally gets in a shot to the face though and the Usos are knocked down, allowing the double tag to McIntyre and Reigns, the latter of whom realizes he screwed up by having no one to tag.
McIntyre wins the slugout and hits a belly to belly, setting up the jumping neckbreaker. The Usos come in for a distraction though and it’s Reigns knocking McIntyre down. Reigns stops to pose with the titles and it’s McIntyre coming in with a Claymore. The hot tag brings in Orton to clean house with RKO’s, meaning Jey needs to save Jimmy. Jey superkicks McIntyre to cut off the Claymore and drags Jimmy over to the corner in a smart move. The double tag brings in Jey and Riddle, with the ladder striking away to put Jey in trouble.
The Floating Bro gets two on Jey, who is right back with a pop up neckbreaker for the same. Everything breaks down and McIntyre loads up the announcers’ table, only to get release Rock Bottomed through it by Reigns. Riddle takes out Jimmy and Reigns but Jey is there with a suicide dive. Back in and Jey and Riddle kick each other down, earning a nice bit of applause. Jey goes up top but gets pulled down with a super RKO, only to have Reigns spear Riddle for the pin at 22:25.
Rating: B+. That would have been a hot fire house show main event and it was a very entertaining match. Then you get to the problem: there is a grand total of nothing to get out of it once the bell rings. Reigns has no challenger set up, the Bloodline wins, there is no Tag Team Title match scheduled for either team, and nothing was set up going forward. That being said, I’ll take a very good main event like this any time, as you had all six of them working hard and the fans were all the way in.
Overall Rating: B+. This was actually a heck of a show, assuming you don’t want it to mean anything going forward (save for Rousey winning the title). It was a bunch of good matches, with the two weakest being watchable, and a hot main event. There was nothing horrible on the card and the fans were into a lot of things on here, so we’ll call this a low rent version of Canadian Stampede (no, it isn’t that good) in what shouldn’t be a surprise. As usual, when WWE gets away from the goofy, the in-ring product is strong and they had another solid three hour show here. Just don’t expect it to mean anything and you’ll be fine.
Cody Rhodes b. Seth Rollins – Rollup with tights
Omos b. Bobby Lashley – Chokebomb
Edge b. AJ Styles – Crossface sleeper
Ronda Rousey b. Charlotte – Armbar
Madcap Moss b. Happy Corbin – Sunset flip
Bloodline b. RKBro/Drew McIntyre – Spear to Riddle
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