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Backlash 2024 Reviews

Kevin Owens & Randy vs. Solo Sikoa &Toma Tonga 85/100 B 

Randy Orton

This crowd is absolutely ridiculous. They sang Randy Orton's song to him like he was the Rock. Randy has never gotten a better reception in his career, but he deserves it. The energy rolled right into the start of the match when the two teams brawled before the match to the point where it looked like there would be a DQ. Instead, Nick Aldis came out and made it a street fight. It felt like an Attitude-Era moment.

The Rogue Bloodline

This was an excellent match. It did exactly what it should have done: deliver highlight after highlight, concluding a satisfying finish that advanced the story. Randy Orton hit an RKO on the table. Kevin Owens hit a fisherman's suplex off the top rope onto a bed of chairs. However, the Bloodline turned the tide when a new member, Toma Tonga's brother, debuted and stopped the ref before a three count could be made on Solo. Solo then threw Kevin through a chair, hit him with a Samoan Spike, and won the match. The Rogue Bloodline continues to grow. This is the kind of match that makes me want to tune into SmackDown. 

Tiffany Stratton vs. Naomi vs. Bayley 92/100 A

Tiffany Stratton

This match was awesome. If it were up to me, it would have main-evented the show. It was way more interesting on Smackdown than Cody vs. AJ. Each woman looked like a superstar. Tiffany looked the best. Alabama slammed both Naomi and Bayley onto the announce table. Double-stomping Naomi into oblivion. At one point, it looked like a SmackDown replay where Naomi and Bayley were going to take the Prettiest Moonsault, and Tiffany would pin them both, but they rolled out of the way. But Tiffany still recovered and landed on her feet, rolled, and came back at them when Naomi and Bayley performed the spot of the match by delivering a 3D to Tiffany. It was one of the most unexpected wrestling maneuvers I've ever seen in a match. 

Naomi SmackDown WWE

Naomi looked very good as well. She actually trapped Tiffany in the ring with a powerbomb submission combo, and Tiffany would have been done if Bayley hadn't hit them both with an elbow off the top. Naomi also hit Tiffany with her off-the-ropes moonsault. Plus, Naomi hit a wicked blockbuster off the barricade. Bayley's head whipped back too fast, and they hit the ground like a sack of potatoes. Naomi seemed to be the favorite in France. They were giving her the biggest crowd reaction. 

Bayley's Elbow drop

Bayley was actually the least dominant, but she had moments like the 3D flying elbow and suicide diving to the outside onto Tiffany. However, she got the pin when she outmaneuvered Naomi and got the quick pin. I hate that the match ended on such a soft note, but all three of these women have so much momentum that I really don't want anyone to take the pin. I got to hand it to WWE. The match was incredible, and all three women came out looking sensational, and that's not easy to achieve.  

Jey Uso vs. Damian Priest World Heavyweight Title Match 87/100 B

Jey Uso Smackdown

These two had a way better match than I expected. They went back and forth, giving each other their best shots, but neither man would give up. Jey continues to be hindered by other people. JD and Finn Balor came to interfere. Jey beat all three Judgment Day members up, but there is only so long that you can fight three-on-one before it comes back to bite you. 

Damian Jey Uso

After having Damian give him two roundhouses, only a kickboxer could deliver, Jey somehow fought back, hit his biggest move off the top, and had Damian dead to rights, but JD stopped the pin by lifting Damian's leg. Then Priest took over and hit South of Heaven, and it was over for Jey. Except Jey Uso kicked out, and the French crowd lost their minds. They were going back and forth, but once again, Jey was distracted by Judgment Day, which cost him big. Instead of hitting a big splash, he made a big splat on the mat after Damian delivered a South of Heaven. After the match, Damian stopped Judgment Day from beating up Jey and yelled at them for getting involved. The Dissolution of the Judgment Day continues. Dom didn't even come. Jey didn't fail because he was cheated, and Damian didn't prove himself cause he cheated. I wonder if there will be a rematch. 

Bianca & Jade Cargill vs. The Damage Conrol's Asuka & Kairi Sane Women's Tag Team Title Match 95/100 A

Bianca Jade ASuka Sane

This match was incredible. This was a turning point for the WWE Women's tag team titles. This felt like a Wrestlemania match. The Women's Tag Title has been down in the dumps for so long that it's easy to forget how elite the wrestlers fighting for it were. Jade Cargill was the least experienced. They made her look like a star. She threw people around like they were nothing, and she showed off a diverse moveset and evolution. She jumped off the top rope like Rey Mysterio. Asuka and Kairi must have been terrified watching an Amazon-like Jade flying through the air towards them. Jade also grabbed Sane out of the air and threw her into the powerbomb position, into the electric chair, and again into her finisher. It was a smoother transition than I would have thought possible for her. The crowd went insane. Jade has grown immensely. 

Bianca and Jade

Bianca shined, too. She carried herself like a champion when she was in the ring. You could see it in her every move. Every powerout, every reversal, it was like, damn, she is so good. What is it going to take to stop her? Jade and Bianca both shined on their own, but when they did make tag moves, they were vicious. They flipped Sane and then caught her before throwing her in the air and letting her freefall. Jade also held Asuka by her legs in the wheel barrel position, and Bianca hit her with a DDT and then kicked her back up into a German suplex from Jade. It was incredible. In the end, Bianca was able to hit Asuka with KOD, and Jade and Bianca became the new champions. 

Kairi Sane Insane Elbow

Asuka and Sane didn't make it easy, though. They put up a fight that brought honor to what it means to be a Women's Tag Team Champion. They had a tag move where Asuka held Bianca down, and Kairi hit her with the Insane Elbow. They also got Bianca Down, and Sane slid into a punch while Asuka kicked her in the face. Also, Asuka and Sane's most deadly finisher was reserved for the Amazon Jade. They put Jade in a blender when they just traded shots on her. Kairi Sane was back fisting Jade, and Asuka was hitting her with kicks to the head and back fist. It was ferocious. Jade would get hit in the face and turn into another strike until she collapsed from the blows. At one point, Sane and Asuka even had Bianca and Jade in arm bars in the middle of the ring. Both teams gave their all. They transcended the moment. It was like they were video game characters. The fight was unreal. This was the best Women's Tag match of all time.

Cody Rhodes vs. AJ Styles, WWE Championship 90/100 A- 

Cody Wins The Title

The feud between these two was lukewarm, but the match was straight fire. Cody Rhodes just made his title defenses an event worthy of anticipation. Cody and AJ's styles took each other to their absolute limit. They were reversing each other's mat moves and pulling out new moves. Cody locked AJ in the Kimura lock, and AJ hit Cody with a burning hammer slam. They both tested each other's will to fight. Cody put AJ through a table, and AJ front-flipped onto Cody, but they kept coming back. Cody had to literally hulk up to come back, and in the end, he went off the top rope and hit the Cody Cutter. It was explosive, to say the least. Cody defended his title successfully. AJ had the best match he's had in years, and it felt like they could fight forever. Cody established that despite Roman being legendary, this title reign will have a much higher level of wrestling in title defenses. 

Backlash 2024 Final Grade 89.8/100 A- 

Paul Heyman Backlash

Backlash 2024 was .1 away from tying the highest grade I've ever given a PPV. This card was simply amazing. You know it's a good night when your first match is the lowest grade, and that's an 85. Every match had great wrestling, but what really sets a PPV apart isn't just the wrestlers. It's smart booking. Nobody walked away from these matches looking bad. Every single match was incredible in its own way, and both stars walked away looking good. I am beyond impressed with the wrestling and crafting of these matches to allow the wrestlers to reach their highest heights. This was one of the best PPVs of the 2020s. 

Also, while I do like big PPVs like the two-day Wrestlemania, it's nice to have these short NXT Takeover-like cards where WWE can focus on putting on the best five matches possible instead of 10. The more concentrated effort has led to phenomenal results on more than one occasion. Also, the French Crowd has just been fantastic. If this was a movie, they helped make it an Oscar winner by bringing so much energy to the show that you could feel it at home. They kept the energy up all night. They never stopped cheering and energizing the matches. Hats off to France.  

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