WWE BACKLASH RESULTS (5/4): Keller’s report on Cody vs. Styles, Priest vs. Jey Uso, Bloodline vs. Owens & Orton, Kabuki Warriors vs. Jade & Belair


MAY 4, 2024

Commentators: Michael Cole, Corey Graves

Ring Announcer: Samantha Irvin

-Michael Cole introduced the show as they showed scenes of Lyon. Then they showed Cody Rhodes, A.J. Styles, Bianca Belair & jade Cargill, Damage CTRL, Damian Priest, and Jey Uso arriving at the arena as fans reacted to them on the big screen.

-A video package previewed the show.

-Then they cut to the arena where Cole touted the sellout crowd. In talking about the enthusiasm of the fans, the also noted that Paul “Triple H” Levesque had posted about a warning issued to fans in the arena about the sound level being dangerous because the fans were so loud.


(Keller’s Analysis: Noteworthy that they actually aren’t starting with Damian Priest’s defense of the World Hvt. Title. So often in the “two world title defense on a PPV” situation, they’ve started with the lesser belt or champion in the opening slot, with the argument being it’s the second most prestigious place to be on a card. For a hot crowd, this is a hot match to begin with.)

Owens came out to a big reaction. Then Orton came out to an even bigger reaction with fans again singing his theme song as they did the night before. Cole said, “I get paid to do this.” Then he said the fans are providing the soundtrack tonight. Cole noted it was Tonga’s first match in WWE. Cole and Graves talked about the situation with Roman Reigns and Heyman. Cole wondered if Solo is the new boss of The Bloodline sine Heyman said he hasn’t talked to Roman since WrestleMania.

The two teams squared off and then broke into an intense brawl that immediately spilled to the floor. Officials, referees, and agents ran out to try to pry the teams apart. Graves said they’ll have to call off the match if they can’t restore order. Owens gave security guys stunners one after another. Nick Aldis walked out with a mic in hand and insisted everyone stop. He said if they want to disregard the rules, “then do whatever you want because this match is now a no disqualification, no countout street fight.” Fans popped. The bell rang 16 minutes into the hour.

Orton and Solo brawled up the steps in the stands as Owens beat up Tonga in the crowd near ringside. They showed both in a double-box format. The brawl returned to ringside with Owens and Orton in control. Cole said it’s one of the wildest starts to a event he can remember. Fans chanted, “We want tables!” Orton smashed Tonga over the head with a trash can. Owens then hit Solo with a trash can lid. Owens bashed Solo with a keno stick a few times. Fans were crazy-loud throughout the whole thing. Graves asked if they’ve ever seen a scenario where The Bloodline looked outgunned. (That seems to be an actual concern here for Tonga’s debut and Heyman’s warnings on Smackdown that they’re getting pummeled and seem outclasses here.)

Owens landed a frog splash onto Tonga on a table at ringside. In the ring, Orton set up a table, but Solo fought back and drove Orton through the table with a Samoan Drop. Owens entered the ring as Solo was celebrating. Solo countered KO with a clothesline. For the first time, both Owens and Orton were down. Orton was down ta ringside for an extended stretch as Solo and Tonga double-teamed Owens. Owens sent Solo into the corner in a sign of a comeback, but Tonga then nailed him with a running lariat. Graves said staring into Tonga’s eyes is unsettling.

When Orton finally returned, he gave a draping DDT to Tonga and then landed an RKO mid-ring , but Solo broke up the cover at two. Solo set up a Samoan Spike on the table, but Orton countered with an RKO. Owens then returned to the ring with a fierce expression. He bashed Tonga with a chair across his back, then set up four chairs facing each other, bashing Tonga a few times before setting up each one. He then put Tonga on the chairs. As Owens climbed to the top rope, Tonga stood and fought back. He then mounted Owens in the corner and headbutted him. He went for a superplex, but Owens countered mid-air into a brainbuster onto the chairs. “Holy cow!” exclaimed Owens.

Tanga Loa then showed up, the other son of Haku. Heyman was wide-eyed. Graves said he was as shocked as anyone in the arena. He then helped Solo set up and deliver a Samoan Spike to take out Owens and get the win. Graves said no one was as shocked at the arrival of Loa than Heyman. Heyman leaned over Owens and begged Solo, Tama, and Loa to back away. Heyman stood and nervously raised his finger in the air along with the threesome next to him.

WINNERS: Solo & Tonga in 21:00.

(Keller’s Analysis: A wild brawl start to finish with a crazy enthusiastic crowd. I’d argue the enthusiasm of the crowd almost became a detriment because it was so prevalent throughout and almost cartoonishly over-the-top in reacting to everything. Almost. I think it was a net positive, but it was also a little much. It’s a real testament to pent up demand and excitement to see the WWE product in person. The one-sided nature of the majority of the match make sense when the ultimate story in the end was the arrival of Tonga Loa.)

-They showed a beaten and battered Owens and Orton finally making their way to the back. [c]

(2) BAYLEY vs. NAOMI vs. TIFFANY STRATTON – WWE Women’s Title match

They exchanged rapid-fire leverage two counts early. Cole said he’s never been part of an atmosphere like this before. Graves said Tiffany’s ego is as big as France and what makes he so unlikable is that she’s never seen anything she didn’t think belonged to her, including the WWE Title. Naomi landed a leaping blockbuster neckbreaker on Bayley off the ringside barricade. She then went after Tiffany on the ring apron. She followed with a split-legged moonsault, but Bayley interrupted the ref’s count afterward. Bayley broke up a Tiffany submission hold on Naomi and the scored a two count on Naomi. All three were down and slow to get up.

Tiffany sat down on a Bayley sunset flip attempt. Bayley landed a Bayley-to-Belly for a near fall. Stratton rallied and set up a Prettiest Moonsault Ever, but both Bayley and Naomi moved. Bayley then gave Stratton neckbreaker. With Stratton at ringside, Naomi then rallied against Bayley, but Bayley leveraged Naomi’s shoulders down out of nowhere for the win.

As Bayley celebrated, Naomi sat up and smiled at Bayley and congratulated her on a fair win. They hugged.

WINNER: Bayley in 13:00 to retain the WWE Women’s Title.

(Keller’s Analysis: Another non-stop entertaining match. I like the clean finish without controversy. It was nice to see Naomi be a good sport afterward. It makes sense for Stratton to be spared directly losing since they’re protecting her and giving her something to complain about when demanding a one-on-one match instead.)

-Cole noted there’d be an announcement about WrestleMania on “The Today Show.”

-They cut backstage to Jey Uso warming up. Solo walked up to him, followed by Tama and Loa. They stared at him and then walked past him. Heyman then approached him and shook his head ominously. Jey looked worried. [c]

(3) DAMIAN PRIEST (w/J.D. McDonagh, Finn Balor) vs. JEY USO – WWE World Hvt. Title match

Jey came through the crowd who did the arm motions with their phone flashlights on, so it was a fun visual. “What a scene!” exclaimed Cole.  The bell rang 19 minutes into the second hour. The announcers talked about the doubters when it comes Priest. Graves said he’s the real deal and he has transformed his body and his career. Jey outmaneuvered Priest early and fans yelled “Yeet!” Cole asked if the crowd “Yeets” were going to get under Priest’s skin. Jey leaped at Priest at ringside, but Priest (sorta) caught him and then slammed him into the ringside barricade. Graves said France has raised the bar on crowd enthusiasm.

Priest took over in the ring. The announcers said Priest was trying to take the crowd out of it. Priest threw some roundkicks at Jey. Jey ducked a swing and then landed a back suplex. Fans applauded. Jey landed a top rope crossbody press for a two count at 5:00. Cole noted that Jey has never been a singles champions. Then he dove through the ropes and tackled Priest. J.D. McDonagh showed up and crotched Jey with the second rope as the ref’s back was turned. Priest speared Jey and scored a two count. Priest then yelled at McDonagh and said, “What are you doing out here? I told you I don’t need your help.” Jey superkicked McDonagh and then kicked Priest followed by a top rope Uso Splash for a near fall.

Priest came back and landed a Razor’s Edge a couple minutes later for a near fall. Jey made a comeback. They fought back and forth. Priest grew frustrated after a Jey kickout. Priest landed a spinning hook kick and then called for Jey to stand. He delivered another kick to Jey’s head and called for Jey to stand again. Jey stood and caught Priest with a superkick. He hit two more and priest stumbled into the corner. Jey speared Priest seconds later, then landed an Uso splash for a near fall at 14:00, but McDonagh placed Priest’s boot on the bottom rope. Fans roared with disapproval. Fans chanted “Asshole!” Cole said, “We don’t need a translator for that, and I agree.” Then “F— you, J.D.!” rang out.

Jey dove onto McDonagh at ringside. He then speared Balor. Priest knocked Jey off balance on the top rope and then delivered a South of Heaven chokeslam off the ropes for the win.

WINNER: Priest in 15:00 to retain the World Hvt Title.

-After the match, Priest shyoved McDonagh and Balor, including stopping Balor from stomping on Jey. He did agree to let them pose with him as his music played and he raised the belt in the air. Cole said Priest has made it clear he didn’t want their help in recent weeks.

(Keller’s Analysis: The match was good for its place on the card and about the right length. We seem definitely in a fast lane toward Priest turning babyface. It makes me wonder if the interaction with Logan Paul at the start of Raw this week was a sign of a future feud between them once Priest breaks away as a babyface. I assume that’d be after he loses the World Title, but the question is whether Priest loses the belt as a heel to a babyface C.M. Punk or if he loses as a babyface to a heel Drew McIntyre.)

-A French announcer said the gate for Backlash is the biggest in WWE history for an arena show.


The bell rang 47 minutes into the hour. Kairi pie-faced Jade at the start, so Jade fired back with two backbreakers, then tagged in Belair. The heels eventually took control for a few minutes against Belair. Belair reached for a tag at 7:00, but Asuka pulled her away and then tagged in Kairi. Kairi scored a two count after a top rope flying punch to the face.

Belair eventually did tag Jade. Jade thrwarted Kairi’s offense and slammed her. Kairi countered into an armbar on Jade. Asuka also put Belair in an armbar at the same time. Belair and Jade both lifted and slammed Asuka and Kairi next to each other at the same time. All four were down and slow to get up. Fans cheered. Jade and Belair hit a double-team sequence on Kairi with a DDT into a faceplant for a near fall. Graves called it “a hell of an offensive barrage.”

Belair charged at Kairi in the corner, but Kairi moved and Belair crashed shoulder-first into the ringpost. Kairi then tagged in and landed a top rope Insane Elbow for a near fall, broken up by Jade at 17:00. Jade countered Kairi into a Jaded mid-ring. Belair fended off interference from Asuka and slammed her onto Kairi with a KOD. Belair then scored a three count on Kairi for the win.

WINNERS: Belair & Jade in 18:00 to capture the Women’s Tag Team Titles.

(Keller’s Analysis: Jade looked winded at the end even though Belair carried the majority of the burden in this match. She looked mostly good for her experience level, but a bit unsteady a few times especially late in the match when setting up moves. Overall, though, she’s coming along well and just stands out as powerful and intense in the division. This is a good situation for her now as Belair can continue to carry the majority of the work but Jade can take on more over time and improve with experience.) [c]

(5) CODY RHODES vs. A.J. STYLES – WWE Undisputed Title match

Styles made his entrance first. The Cody. Fans sang Cody’s song and even after he entered the ring and the music stopped, they finished the song and knew the lyrics. Formal ring introductions then took place. The fans joined Irvin in the ring introductions. Cole said this is Cody’s first televised defense of the WWE Title. Cole congratulated Jessica Carr for being the first female referee in a men’s main event WWE Title match on PLE. The bell rang 24 minutes into the hour, so barring a marathon match, this event will clock in under three hours.

The crowd ate up everything early as Cody and Styles battled back and forth in the opening five minutes. Styles threw Cody shoulder-first into the corner and then focused on that shoulder, including driving it into the mat. Styles methodically went on sustained attack, including at ringside. He eyed the French announcers; fans booed. Styles cleared the desk. Cody recovered enough to drive Styles into the ringside steps.

Styles and Cody exchanged strikes on the ring apron. Cody set up a superplex, but Styles reversed momentum and slammed Cody to the mat. Styles lifted Cody onto his shoulders and slammed him backwards. Styles went for a springboard moonsault, but Cody lifted his knees., Both were down and slow to get up at 11:00. Cody took over. Styles fought back a minute later and scored a two count after dropping Cody’s shoulder over his knee.

Cody landed a running bulldog next. Styles rolled to the ring apron. Fans broke into a “This is awesome!” chant. Styles suplexed Cody on the ring apron as he leaped to the floor. Cody came back and powerbombed Styles through the announce desk next. Both were down and slow to get up. Back in the ring at 18:00 they exchanged strikes and both went down again. They both sat up and yelled at each other and then charged. The back and forth intensified. Cody channeled his dad with spinning fists and even a crotch grab before taking Styles down with a Bionic Elbow.

Cody went for a Cody Cutter. Styles blocked it and went for a Styles Clash. Cody blocked that. The fans were standing and singing and bouncing up and down excitedly. “I’ve never quite experienced a night like this,” said Cole. Graves said he hadn’t either and he was loving every second of it. Styles landed a springboard 450 splash for a two count at 21:00. Styles landed a Burning Hammer next for a two count. Cody began to show fire. Styles backed away like a Hulk Hogan 1980s heel opponent, looking around in fear. Cody then landed a Cody Cutter for a near fall.

Styles stood and showed fire and charged at Cody. Cody clotheslined him. Cole played to the crowd and then set up the Cross Rhodes, cut Styles slipped free and landed a Pelé kick. Styles went for a Phenomenal Forearm, cut Cody kicked him out of mid-air. Cody then locked on a kimura lock at 25:00. Styles escaped and set up a Styles Clash. Cody slipped free and set up a Cross Rhodes. Styles slipped out and set up a Styles Clash again. Cody sat out of it for a leverage two count. Cody then landed a quick climb-and-leap Cody Cutter off the top rope Cody looked at the crowd and pounded his chest and then hit the Cross Rhodes for the win. “What a hell of a first title defense,” said Cole. Graves said it’s be a main event in any city anywhere.

WINNER: Cody in 27:00.

(Keller’s Analysis: Really good match. Not off the charts great, but definitely really good start to finish and main event worthy. The crowd was a mix of endearing and overbearing where their enthusiasm bled into a “look at us” vibe at times. I think ultimately, though, they were just so elated to be seeing these WWE stars in person and knew the world was watching so it was a part of WWE history they were being witness to. This was a very straight-forward show and the main event followed that formula of not trying to be overly cute or clever or even deliver anything unexpected. It just worked.)

We’ll be recording our VIP-exclusive post-event Roundtable Podcast immediately after the event tonight.

I’ll be leading a discussion with Todd Martin and Brandon LeClair after Backlash right after the show. VIP members can stream the event on our ad-free VIP website or download the show on our VIP podcast feed later this afternoon. To sign up for VIP membership with a ton of unmatched benefits (35 years of archives, podcasts dating back 20 years, the most technological compatibility with different podcast platforms, more ways to pay, and a wider array of top shelf analysts than anywhere else), click here:


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