SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
WWE WRESTLEMANIA BACKLASH 2022 KICKOFF REPORT
MAY 8, 2022
AIRED ON WWE NETWORK
REPORT BY MIKE F. MEYERS, PWTORCH CONTRIBUTOR
WrestleMania Backlash Kickoff Panel: Kayla Braxton, Booker T, JBL, Peter Rosenberg, Kevin Patrick
Video package: Rhodes vs. Rollins
Booker said that Rollins had a good excuse in not being prepared to fight Cody at WrestleMania. Kayla said she would hide her face if she were Rollins and lost two in a row to Rhodes. Peter said that he likes this matchup because both guys are trying to occupy the same spot: to be in line for a world title chance. JBL said that Rhodes is the “son of greatness,” and that he won’t be bothered by the showmanship of Rollins. The panel unanimously predicted Rhodes to win.
Video package: Lashley vs. Omos
Kevin’s head was in his hand because MVP joined the Kickoff panel. Booker asked MVP how he feels about Lashley abandoning him. “Initially, I felt some kind of way, but I never let my emotions affect my decisions. I made a calculated business decision to move onto bigger and better things.” Kayla asked what makes Omos a more attractive proposition. “Because I’m with him. I’m the x-factor. When Omos adds the MVP factor, he becomes the colossus.” “Omos told me tonight that he literally wants to break Bobby Lashley in half. His words – he wants to break his body in half.”
Kevin announced that the six-man tag match (RK Bro & McIntyre vs. Bloodline) would be tonight’s main event.
Video package: Styles vs. Edge
Booker said that Edge may not be the performer he once was, but Muhammad Ali figured out a way to beat Michael Spinks. JBL compared the opponents to Shawn Michaels and Eddie Guerrero, in no particular order. Peter drew additional comparisons to Michael Jordan and Patrick Ewing adapting their games as they aged.
Video package: Rousey vs. Flair
Kevin asked how the “I Quit” stipulation affects the psychology of this match. Booker said that since coming back, Rousey needs to win this match for her own psyche. JBL said the match isn’t about athleticism, it’s about Flairism. “Fighting a Flair isn’t like fighting anyone else.” Peter said it was more personal for Flair than Rousey because Flair is the most decorated woman in the company. Peter countered, saying it’s more personal for Rousey due to her tapping Flair out at WrestleMania while the referee was incapacitated.
Madcap Moss joined the Kickoff panel. Booker asked for a joke, but Moss said it’s not the time for jokes. A few fans near the panel briefly chanted “Big Bald Wolf.” Moss said this is the biggest match of his career and that he’s locked in. Kayla asked if he was sad about his friendship with Corbin ending. Moss said he had fun while things were going well, but once things went poorly, Corbin treated him like dirt. Moss said when he broke away from Corbin, he didn’t have a grand plan in place for a singles run – he was just standing up for himself. But now that he’s on his own, he can see it, and loves the support of the fans. Kevin asked why Moss thinks he can beat Corbin, who has been around longer and is more decorated. Moss said he has the speed and athletic advantage, and more than anything else, he has Rhode Island behind him. He repeatedly turned to yell at and rile up the crowd.
Sarah Schreiber was backstage with Heyman and the Usos. She asked about tonight’s six-man tag. Heyman replied, “What, not even a happy mother’s day to the mother of Roman Reigns?” He followed suit with the Usos’s mother who birthed twins. Heyman said McIntyre requires deep psychotherapy for naming his sword after his mother, and that he’ll receive that therapy tonight at the hands of Roman Reigns.
Video package: RK Bro & McIntyre vs. Bloodline
Kayla described the six-man tag as a “ring full of power.” Peter said RK Bro is the fiercest competition the Usos have seen in some time. Booker said the x-factor in the match is Drew McIntyre, and that his match is his way of getting near a championship. Peter said the Bloodline has the advantage of being a family, and McIntyre in particular is at a disadvantage for not being a member of a team. Kevin described RK Bro as “something magical” in WWE. Kevin was the sole dissenter who picked RK Bro to win.
Find Mike Meyers on Twitter: @themikeshow42