WrestleMania Backlash is as notable for its familiar feel to parts of WrestleMania 37 as it is for its dramatic departures from that card.
The Universal championship match between Roman Reigns and Cesaro is about as different from the triple threat match between Reigns, Edge and Daniel Bryan that we saw at Raymond James as it could be. It rests squarely in the middle of Bryan’s departure after losing a last-chance match that banished him from SmackDown, and the lingering threat that Edge will return to seek his revenge. In between, Jimmy Uso has returned to sprinkle additional family drama into the equation.
The Raw women’s championship and WWE championship have gone in the other direction, as previous one-on-one matches from WrestleMania 37 have become triple threats. Charlotte Flair has been added to the Rhea Ripley-Asuka conflict, and Braun Strowman has made an emphatic statement in getting himself involved with Bobby Lashley and Drew McIntyre.
With Sasha Banks out of the picture for now, Bayley has stepped in as a worthy first challenger for Bianca Belair’s newly won SmackDown women’s championship. And in the lone tag team match scheduled for the card, Dominik and Rey Mysterio look to become the first father-son combination to win WWE tag team gold against Dolph Ziggler and Robert Roode.
Rounding out the card, Damian Priest looks to put the finishing touches on his first major rivalry in WWE as he takes on The Miz in a lumberjack match.
Follow along live throughout the night as Tim Fiorvanti breaks down the action going down inside the WWE Thunderdome.
Match in progress: Triple threat for the Raw women’s championship: Rhea Ripley (c) vs. Asuka vs. Charlotte Flair
Sheamus def. Ricochet
The match was impromptu, and Sheamus’ United States championship wasn’t on the line. It was physical and fun, and an opportunity to question where Ricochet and a handful of other hyper-talented stars (paging Keith Lee?) have been in recent months.
Sheamus earned a definitive victory, but in a haphazard post-match scrap, Ricochet stole Sheamus’ jacket and hat and antagonized him, which will almost certainly lead to some sort of follow-up on Monday and beyond.
Moonsaults EVERYWHERE 🤩
Can @KingRicochet knock off @WWESheamus on #WMBacklash Kickoff?!
Stream on @PeacockTV ▶️ https://t.co/RsfCdPBh3U pic.twitter.com/vQXbYPqBZm
— WWE (@WWE) May 16, 2021
What’s next: A United States championship match that Sheamus seems unlikely to lose.
Still to come:
Universal championship: Roman Reigns (c) vs. Cesaro
Triple threat match for the WWE championship: Bobby Lashley (c) vs. Braun Strowman vs. Drew McIntyre
SmackDown women’s championship: Bianca Belair (c) vs. Bayley
SmackDown tag team championship: Robert Roode & Dolph Ziggler (c) vs. Dominik & Rey Mysterio
Lumberjack match: Damian Priest vs. The Miz