If you watched SmackDown on Friday, you saw Daniel Bryan and AJ Styles have possibly the best WWE match since shows were taken out of stadiums and crammed into the company’s Performance Center. Yet WWEare in for The Greatest Wrestling Match Ever when the returning Edge takes on Randy Orton. The odds of that being the case are, being charitable, incredibly slim. But on the upside, it should at least be good.
It’ll almost surely be better than the placeholder title matches, in which Drew McIntyre defends his WWE Championship against Bobby Lashley and the team of The Miz and Morrison double up against Universal Champion Braun Strowman in a handicap match for the title. But I also thought Money in the Bank would be a failure, yet it ended up being super fun. So here’s hoping to me being wrong for the second time.
Check back to this page as Backlash’s main card begins,, for live updates and analysis.
Braun Strowman vs. The Miz and John Morrison
The handicap match for the Universal Championship is up next.
Asuka ties with Nia Jax
The Raw Women’s Championship match ends up with a double countout. Asuka put an armbar on Nia Jax on the outside, leading to Jax powering out by slamming Asuka in the barricade. The two roused themselves up and Asuka hit Jax with a high kick — just as the referee counted 10.
The match was a little sloppy and points, but mostly good up until the weak finish. Asuka went for submission after submission to neutralize Jax’s size advantage. Jax, for her part, would fight out of submissions and steamroll Asuka. After the double count out, Asuka hit a flying hip attack on Jax to leave her laying.
The bad news is that the ending was lackluster. The good news is that Asuka is still champion.
Rating: 2 stars. A decent match let down by a poor finish.
Sheamus defeats Jeff Hardy.
This match was long and sometimes slow, but ended up being strong. Sheamus beat the hell out of Jeff Hardy in this match, and ended up getting the win following a Brogue Kick.
Sheamus took the overwhelming majority of the bout, laying an extensive beatdown on ol’ Jeff. (Literally old, Michael Cole noted how Hardy is getting old and can’t recover like he used to — which is a weird thing to say.) Hardy would mount brief comebacks before being cut right off by Seamus.
Eventually Hardy hit a surprise Twist of Fate and then a Swanton Bomb, which looked like the end. But Sheamus got his legs on the ropes, a nice false finish. On the outside, Hardy tried to jump off the barricade onto Sheamus but was hit by a Brogue Kick. One more Brogue Kick in the center of the ring led to the 1-2-3.
Rating: 3.5 stars. Solid.
Sasha Banks and Bayley retain Women’s Tag Team Titles
Sasha Banks and Bayley defeated Alexa Bliss and Nikki Cross and The IIconics in a triple-threat match to open the show. After a chaotic match, Banks rolled up Bliss for the three count.
All six women worked hard in his chaotic match, though it’s clear how Banks is head and shoulders above the rest. That said, The IIconics have improved a lot and, though there was some clunkiness that’s hard to avoid in a match with six people, there were no noticeable botches or slip ups throughout the bout.
There were three women in the ring at any time, one from each team. The story of the match was that it was a scramble, with energetic pinfall attempts and ad-hoc tag team moves throughout. A decent open.
Rating: 2.5 stars.
Apollo Crews retained the US Championship by defeating Andrade.
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