Updated: May 31, 2022
Reverse Hipster's Reviews
Cody Rhodes vs. Seth Rollins 8.4/10
Cody and Seth went out and had one of the night's best matches, and I now believe they are incapable of having a bad match together. They played off their WrestleMania match with counters of their regular offense. However, in the end, Cody still stood tall, turning Seth's attempt to win using Cody's tights into Cody winning using Seth's tights. It was kind of a nonsensical finish considering Cody just kicked out while Seth was grabbing the tights showing that it was possible. That kick out takes away the protection grabbing the tights was supposed to provide.
Also, Cody and Seth both kicked out of each other's finishers before ending the match on a rollup. The number one reason this match couldn't measure up to their first bout is the story. Cody and Seth knocked it out of the park the first time, and they didn't up the stakes or change the story, so they couldn't get anything but diminishing returns.
Bobby Lashley vs. Omos 7.9/10 C+
Bobby and Omos surpassed their WrestleMania match due to MVP. MVP meddling at ringside added a new dimension to the match that made the match more entertaining. However, I don't think the match itself did any favors for Omos. Bobby dominated Omos most of the match and only lost because MVP interfered. So, Bobby has one clean win over Omos and a win via interference. The story being told is that Omos can't beat Bobby on his own.
Edge vs. AJ Styles 8.1/10 B
Edge vs. AJ was better than their wrestling match at WrestleMania because they weren't holding back. This time they told a good match story of Edge working AJ's arm and it even had an exciting finish revealing Rhea Ripley joined Edge and Damian Priest. However, I still have problems with the match. The story between AJ and Edge leading into this match was just as flat as it was at WrestleMania. Also, Damian was supposed to be banned from ringside, but he still showed up, making the stipulation pointless. While it's cool to see Rhea join Edge and Damian, what is she joining? Edge and Damian have yet to define their gimmick. The match was better than the previous one, but suffered from the same core booking issues.
Ronda Rousey vs. Charlotte Flair (SmackDown Women's Championship) 10/10 A+
Ronda and Charlotte had the best "I Quit" match I have seen in years. The match was brutal, and they had plenty of moments where each competitor was asked to quit and refused without overdoing it. The match was everything you could ask for.
They had excellent weapons spots like the kendo stick spot, where Ronda stole Charlotte's double kendo sticks and gruesomely wore her out. Charlotte and Ronda fought in the ring, around the ring, by the entrance, and in the crowd. The match also had great fakeouts, where it felt like Ronda or Charlotte had to quit, but they didn't give in. Those spots just made the finish that much better. Charlotte got one last jab in wishing Ronda a Happy Mother's Day before trying to cripple her with a chair. However, Ronda surged up and trapped Charlotte's arm in the armbar with a chair.
When Charlotte initially refused to quit, Ronda says she was hoping Charlotte would say that, and then she broke Charlotte's arm. Charlotte quit. That's how "I Quit" matches should end with one competitor hobbled and broken because that's what it should take to lose an "I Quit" match.
I can't even criticize this match. My only criticism is for WWE. This match should have been the main event of Backlash. They knew they were going to do a title change. WWE knew what these women were capable of. There was no way Roman Reigns' non-title six-man should have ended the night.
Happy Corbin vs. Madcap Moss 7.8/10 C+
This match was just designed to be a break between what should have been the main event and what was actually the main event. Corbin and Moss had a solid match and Moss winning was the right call. They did their job and furthered their story along.
The Bloodline vs. Rk-Bro and Drew McIntyre 9.25/10 A
I had my reservations about this match, but they delivered. I can't even tell if Roman Reigns is injured or not because he controls the crowd so well. The match started slow, but it was a thrill ride when it hit its stride. It felt like they had a ten minute long hot tag. Drew came and wrecked everyone, even hitting Roman with a Claymore, but Randy Orton would be the MVP of this match. Randy turned back the clock fifteen years, and he was RKOing everyone. It was his best hot tag and he has had electric hot tags all year. Riddle also had an awesome RKO, where he reversed a top rope move into an RKO halfway through, but Roman was there to put him down with a spear and win the match. This was an all-star exhibition of the most over male stars in WWE that lived up to the hype.
Seth Rollins vs. Cody Rhodes
This match was just all-around excellent. They didn't need to do anything extra to build this feud because these are two of the best doing it right now. Their chemistry, pacing, and spots were excellent: I think this second encounter was even better due to having more time to work together. The only thing keeping it from a better grade is the finish. I don't think it would have hurt Seth Rollins to lose on a straight-up victory, but this finish did protect Rollins more, and Cody Rhodes still looks good and keeps a spotless record going toward whatever is next for him.
Final Grade: 8/10 Great
Omos vs. Bobby Lashley
Bobby Lashley's new entrance was the highlight of this segment. Lashley and Omos had a slightly better match than WrestleMania, but it was still nothing special. The dirty finish where Omos got help from MVP implies that this feud isn't quite over yet too. Omos will have to up his game if he wants to gain momentum from winning the feud and start having better matches.
Final Grade: 5/10 Average
Edge vs. AJ Styles
I have to admit I'm bought into Edge's new persona and entrance. It was a crazy leap of faith to abandon his gimmick as a living legend and iconic theme music, but I think it has paid off. I was really excited to see more of Edge and AJ Styles, but something about it never quite clicked for me. This encounter was better and more fast-paced than their WrestleMania encounter. I hate to say it, but I think part of the problem is that Styles in WWE is starting to feel more formulaic, and he's not quite the same Styles he was in TNA/NJPW. The action just isn't as fast and smooth, so it doesn't hit the same. The same could be said for Edge, but his storytelling and pacing usually carry him in these WWE-style matches. To me, the most exciting thing about this was Rhea Ripley joining Judgment Day, and it made for a hype reveal. I think this feud is destined to get even better if we get a tag match with Finn Balor and Damian Priest included, or maybe even a trios match with Ripley and Liv Morgan.
Final Grade: 6/10 Above Average
Charlotte Flair vs. Ronda Rousey, SmackDown Women's Championship
In the continuation of rematches from WrestleMania, I also felt like this match was better than their last one. In fact, this is what Charlotte Flair and Ronda Rousey's feud should have been all along. The brutality and submissions of the "I Quit" gimmick fit perfectly with their story. Rousey unleashing on Flair was an extraordinary babyface moment, and I think Rousey winning was the right choice. It's easy to forget she was the hottest thing in the women's division when she was champion, and I'm hoping this will keep Flair out of the title picture for a while. If WWE books Rousey well, she can reach the heights she did in 2018/19.
Final Grade: 7/10 Good
Happy Corbin vs. Madcap Moss
I thought this was a good spot for both guys to show what they could do on a premium live event, and they delivered. The feud and turn were well-executed, and Madcap Moss is getting a decent response from the crowd as a consequence. It was hard to take Moss seriously in his Spongebob-inspired ring gear, but he looked great in the ring nevertheless. Happy Corbin will continue to be a staple in WWE, but it's up to WWE if they want to do anything with Moss's momentum after this win.
Final Grade: 6/10 Above Average
RK-Bro and Drew McIntyre vs. the Bloodline
I wasn't ready to buy into this as the main event. Nothing was on the line, and the feud was ultimately meaningless now that the titles weren't being unified, but they definitely won me over by the end. With a lot of time to work, they started slow and built to an insane pace with dives and high spots galore. I wasn't even sure who the legal man was by the end, and I couldn't tell you if that's a compliment or diss on this match. I don't know why I should be surprised.
Everyone involved in the match is an excellent worker, and the final product is combined to show off all their strengths:
The psychology of Randy Orton
The explosiveness of McIntyre
The unique offense of Riddle
The high flying of the Usos
The star power of Roman Reigns
I thought the finish was perfect. It teased that RKBro could have likely beat the Usos, but having the champion Reigns in their corner pushed them over to win. I'll be darned if the crowd wasn't way into it by the end, and so was I.
Final Grade: 8/10 Great
Rob's Final Thoughts
WrestleMania Backlash was not an exciting build, and they had a lot going against it going into the night. The show kicked off with four direct rematches from WrestleMania, but I feel like they were all better than their WrestleMania counterparts. There was only one title match on the whole card, but we got a title change. The main event could have been the main event of Raw: it was a trios match with nothing on the line. Despite all that, the beginning and end of the show were excellent. The middle was sort of average, but I have to give it to WWE; the overall show was solid. When it comes time for these premium live events, WWE delivers. WrestleMania Backlash was a pleasant surprise as a show, especially coming off the heels of a long WrestleMania weekend; to have a solid show that clocks in under 3 hours was a delight.
Final Grade: 7/10 Good
Reverse Hipster's Final Grade: 8.5/10 B
I didn't expect much from this premium live event because it was mostly just rematches without significant upgrades to the conflict. I was pleasantly surprised though. All the matches were good even though the storylines held some of the matches back from reaching their true potential. WWE should definitely develop their premium live event matches more in terms of stakes, but I liked the format. WWE should continue to do small cards. It allows them to have more content for TV and premium live events that don't overstay their welcome. Only the big four (Royal Rumble, WrestleMania, SummerSlam, and Survivor Series) need to be long. WrestleMania Backlash was a success that WWE could easily improve upon and replicate.