HEYDORN’S TAKE: Don’t hold me to this – WrestleMania Backlash 2022

BY ZACK HEYDORN, PWTORCH ASSISTANT EDITOR (@zheydorntorch)

Full review of the WrestleMania Backlash kickoff show
PHOTO CREDIT: WWE

SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...

I’m just not quite sure what to say about a show, when it gets worse as the build goes on. How about we just leave it at that. This is where I’m at with WrestleMania Backlash.

WWE had an intriguing story going with The Usos, RK-Bro, and the unification of the tag team titles, but that match is a distant, distant memory. Hard to say the match is bogged down by Roman Reigns and Drew McIntyre given their star power, but it is.

WrestleMania Backlash has been built in a paint by numbers way, but lacks deep stories that fans are invested in. Ronda Rousey vs. Charlotte Flair? A feud that should pop off the screen, but doesn’t because fans don’t seem to care. Same thing with the six-man tag, now. A.J. Styles vs. Edge? Yep, same thing. Cody Rhodes vs. Seth Rollins has been solid, but that alone can’t save an entire PPV build.

Not having any men’s world championship on the line hurts the show and though it could easily be an event that delivers from an in-ring perspective, it can’t escape the negatives pulling it down.

Call this a preview, a calm look into the distant future, or a gaze into a wondrous crystal ball; just don’t hold me to anything, ok?

The Usos & Roman Reigns vs. RK-Bro & Drew McIntyre

Yeah, the straight tag would have been better. Not breaking any news with that opinion, right? This feels like exactly what it is – WWE deciding they didn’t want to unify the tag titles and deciding they didn’t want to go to Reigns vs. Drew at this time. So? Mash them all up together into one match. I can’t see Reigns and The Usos losing this and Riddle taking the pin won’t hurt anything, so I’ll put my money on that.

Happy Corbin vs. Madcap Moss

The grudge feud of all grudge feuds FINALLY comes to a head! Yeah, that’s sarcasm. This is what it is. Certainly not a elevator for Moss if he wins and Corbin stays where he is if he wins. Yawn. Madcap takes it, though. Why not?

A.J. Styles vs. Edge

Disappointing. The build, the match at WrestleMania 38, Edge’s heel turn, all of it. Styles and Edge could steal the show here, but there isn’t an indication that they will. Audiences don’t seem to be buying the Edge Judgement Day stuff and therefore haven’t reacted strongly to any angles building this rematch. I smell a Hell in a Cell match between these two, so with Damian Priest unable to be ringside, Styles has this locked up.

Bobby Lashley vs Omos

I’ve liked this. It’s old school in nature, but WWE has told a good story with clear heels and clear babyfaces. MVP greatly helps Omos and Lashley still looks the part as one of Raw’s top stars. Because of that fact, Lashley all the way in this one.

Cody Rhodes vs. Seth Rollins

The best built match on the show. Audiences are buying Cody in the role he’s in and Rollins plays off him nicely. It’s hard to see Cody losing here, but that’s why I’ll take Seth. WWE needs some feuds ready for Hell in a Cell and this could be one of them if they book this match in the favor of Rollins.

Ronda Rousey vs. Charlotte Flair – Smackdown Women’s Championship “I Quit” Match

WWE tried to do the right thing with this program. They’ve had regular interactions on Smackdown and a nice pull apart brawl on the go-home show. Rousey has not been an effective enough babyface to make fans care about her quest for the title. The result is a very cold feud. This could very well end up being the match of the night, but it’s just not simmering like WWE should want it to. There is no way Ronda Rousey is saying “I Quit” on PPV, so you’re looking at a new Smackdown champion come Sunday night.


CATCH-UP: PPV PRIMER – WRESTLEMANIA BACKLASH: Preview and predictions for Charlotte Flair vs. Ronda Rousey, Seth Rollins vs. Cody Rhodes, more

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