Originally published at WRESTLEMANIA BACKLASH: Reigns and Lashley retain titles
Welcome to POST Wrestling’s coverage of WWE WrestleMania Backlash with the promotion’s first major show since WrestleMania 37 in April.
John Pollock & Wai Ting will be LIVE immediately afterward with the WrestleMania Backlash POST Show. Double Double, Iced Capp & Espresso members of the POST Wrestling Cafe will be able to watch & listen live.
Our coverage begins at 7 pm ET.
*WWE Universal Championship: Roman Reigns (champion) def. Cesaro in 27:30
*WWE Championship: Bobby Lashley (champion) def. Braun Strowman and Drew McIntyre in 14:17
*SmackDown Women’s Championship: Bianca Belair (champion) def. Bayley in 16:05
*Lumberjack Match: Damian Priest def. The Miz in 6:54
*SmackDown Tag Team Championship: Rey & Dominik Mysterio over Dolph Ziggler & Robert Roode (champions) in 16:59
*Raw Women’s Championship: Rhea Ripley (champion) def. Asuka and Charlotte Flair in 15:22
*Non-title Match: Sheamus def. Ricochet in 7:11
The kickoff show featured the panel of Kayla Braxton, Booker T., JBL, and Peter Rosenberg.
Dolph Ziggler & Robert Roode confronted Dominik Mysterio backstage and attacked him including tipping a couch on top of him.
Ric Flair’s Car Shield ads were part of the commercial inventory during the show.
Sheamus came out on the kickoff for an open challenge where the United States Championship isn’t on the line. It was answered by Ricochet, who came out wearing jeans for the “impromptu” match.
SHEAMUS VS RICOCHET IN A NON-TITLE MATCH
Sheamus took the beginning of the match before Ricochet fought back. Ricochet landed a series of moves culminating with a Quebrada for a two-count. Ricochet hit a springboard 450 splash, teased the 630 but rolled through after Sheamus moved. Ricochet side-stepped the Brogue kick, tried a roll-up, and then ate a knee strike as Sheamus won clean.
WINNER: Sheamus in 7 minutes and 11 seconds
Sheamus cut a promo when Ricochet jumped him and stole his jacket and hat before Sheamus chased him away. Corey Graves compared it to the Jake Paul scene where he stole Floyd Mayweather Jr’s hat.
RHEA RIPLEY VS ASUKA VS CHARLOTTE FLAIR FOR THE RAW WOMEN’S CHAMPIONSHIP
Flair was knocked off the apron early leaving Asuka and Ripley to start things off. Flair yanked Asuka to the floor and hit a suplex on the floor before entering the ring with Ripley. This format continued with each taking turns selling on the floor.
Ripley prevented Asuka from using an armbar on Flair.
Asuka took turns lighting up both women with kicks ending with a sliding knee to Flair. Flair recovered and knocked both to the floor before hitting a moonsault off the top turnbuckle to the floor.
In the ring, Ripley and Asuka hit a double superplex on Flair. Flair came back and hit both with chop blocks and a double Natural Selection attempting to pin both simultaneously, which they kicked out from.
Flair was hit with a codebreaker by Asuka. Asuka blocked the Riptide, Flair returned and landed a boot on Ripley, Flair rolled out of the Asuka Lock and the figure-four was blocked. Asuka ran into a boot from Flair on the apron and was sent into a Riptide allowing Ripley to pin Asuka.
WINNER: Rhea Ripley in 15:22 to retain the Raw Women’s Championship
It was better than Ripley and Asuka’s match from WrestleMania as Flair added a lot with several dynamic triple-threat sequences. The finish was a bit strange as Flair lands a boot from the apron but never attempted to make the save, instead she was shown on the floor after Ripley pinned Asuka. You were left with the idea that Ripley and Flair would have a singles match after this as Flair pointed at Ripley and the championship.
The Miz and John Morrison were backstage discussing the Lumberjack Match tonight. Miz blamed Morrison for losing to Damian Priest this past week to create this mess. Morrison will persuade the locker room to help Miz and “fall for our thirst trap”.
There was a recap of Ziggler & Roode’s attack on Dominik from the pre-show. The trainer said he can’t wrestle tonight. Dominik wanted to go but Rey wouldn’t allow it and told him, ‘I got this’.
Mysterio came out for the match alone.
DOLPH ZIGGLER & ROBERT ROODE VS REY MYSTERIO FOR THE SMACKDOWN TAG TEAM CHAMPIONSHIP
Mysterio fights both men by himself as the bell rings. Mysterio slid through Roode’s legs and off the apron onto Ziggler on the floor with a splash.
The champions had the advantage of Mysterio and placed him in the tree of woe in their corner while attacking his left knee. Roode lifted him for a wheelbarrow into a famouser but Mysterio kicked out.
Roode threw Mysterio for a slide to the floor into a superkick by Ziggler, which looked amazing.
Mysterio sends both men’s shoulders into the post. While Rey recovered, Dominik came down and joined the match while holding his ribs and wanted to be tagged into the match.
Rey kicked out of a Zig Zag. Roode lifted Rey on his shoulders on the turnbuckle, which was stopped, and Rey hit a bulldog. Rey crawled to the corner and hesitated to tag Dominik before finally making it. McAfee emphasized that Dominik made the tag on his own.
Roode hit a spine buster to Dominik attacking the injured ribs. Dominik was sent into the post as Roode berated him, Dominik responded with a superkick on Ziggler.
Rey and Roode were tagged, Rey sent Roode into the corner and landed the 619. Rey slides off the apron with a sunset flip knocking Ziggler into the barricade while Dominik hits the frog splash to pin Roode.
WINNERS: Rey & Dominik Mysterio in 16:59 to win the SmackDown Tag Team Championship
It was laid out really well and was a strong use of Dominik by having him appear late in the match selling his injuries. Ziggler and Roode are one of the most underrated teams in the industry and have been hitting on all cylinders of late and continued that trend. A small quibble was Dominik using a frog splash to win after the ribs were the focus of his injury. They played up the title win big and noting Eddie Guerrero would be proud of Dominik using the frog splash to win a title.
The Mysterios were interviewed by Kayla Braxton and Rey said, “I’m on top of the world right now.”
John Morrison walked into a locker room full of zombies for the movie tie-in.
Jimmy Uso entered Roman Reigns’ office and met with Jey. Jimmy said they could get their own dressing room with their names on the door instead of Jey carrying Reigns’ bags. Reigns appeared and Jimmy wished him good luck and departed.
Morrison explained the lumberjacks are zombies. There was a tweet earlier from Dave Bautista explaining he couldn’t attend the show “but some of my friends will” alluding to the zombies for the lumberjack (which was hinted by Damian Priest on Raw with Adam Pearce).
THE MIZ VS DAMIAN PRIEST IN A LUMBERJACK MATCH
The arena filled up with smoke as the zombies surrounded the ring and the commentators – including Adnan Virk ran for cover and went to a “safer place” to call the match.
Priest hit a spinning heel kick off the top for a two-count.
Priest and Miz attacked the zombies on the floor before returning to the ring. Miz put his hand up for a high-five but was hit with the Broken Arrow. Morrison landed an enzuigiri from the apron setting up a near-fall for Miz.
Two zombies took Morrison behind the guardrail, presumably to die as Priest used Hit the Lights for the victory.
WINNER: Damian Priest in 6:54
The zombies swarmed The Miz.
What are we doing?
The Hell in a Cell card takes place on June 20th, so they are moving it up from October this year.
Jimmy Uso was with Jey and asked what he’ll do when Reigns loses the title? He said the locker room door should read ‘Roman Reigns…and his bitch’.
BIANCA BELAIR VS BAYLEY FOR THE SMACKDOWN WOMEN’S CHAMPIONSHIP
Belair teased whipping her with the ponytail but resisted, stating, ‘don’t touch my hair’.
Belair used a vertical suplex bringing Bayley from the apron inside. Bayley for a spinning slam off her shoulders and lost Belair in mid-move.
Belair lost her cool and attacked Bayley with a series of strikes. Bayley went for the Rose Planet; it was stopped, and Belair hit a spine buster.
On the floor, Belair was sent into the post face first. Bayley went for a dive, missing Belair and crashing to the floor.
Bayley argued with the referee after being caught using the rope for leverage during a cover. Bayley gouged Belair’s eye and sold it big. Bayley took the braid of Belair used it for a ripcord into the Bayley-to-belly for a near-fall.
Bayley wrapped the braid around Belair to attempt the Rose Plant, it was countered and Belair was supposed to tie Bayley’s legs with the braid but it got messed up as the referee counted three.
WINNER: Bianca Belair in 16:05 to retain the SmackDown’s Women Championship
Bayley protested the finish stating she cheated using her hair.
The finish was somewhat blown and was the biggest negative. They had a hell of a task following one of the worst segments in WWE history and it took me out of the early portion. By the closing minutes, they had a nice match going for themselves and felt like they’ll get at least one more match out of this program given Belair has no other challengers ready.
Kevin Patrick interviewed MVP about the inherent disadvantage for the champion in the triple threat match.
BOBBY LASHLEY VS DREW McINTYRE VS BRAUN STROWMAN FOR THE WWE CHAMPIONSHIP
McIntyre reluctantly works with Lashley for a double-team vertical suplex on Strowman. Strowman came back flying off the apron and crashed through both men on the floor.
Strowman blocked The Hurt Lock when McIntyre came off the top with a crossbody to both. This was all action from the start.
Lashley drove McIntyre into the post on the floor and Strowman attacked Lashley with the steps. McIntyre sent Strowman over the barricade with the Claymore.
McIntyre and Lashley fought onto the stage. Lashley was thrown into the set with an explosion going off and he disappeared.
Strowman and McIntyre fought inside the ring and saw McIntyre hit a Michinoku Driver. On the floor, the Strowman Express was stopped and McIntyre hit him with a belly-to-belly with Strowman nearly landing on his head. Strowman caught McIntyre and put him through the desk with a powerbomb.
In the ring, McIntyre hit the Claymore but Lashley reappeared and tossed McIntyre to the floor, and hit Strowman with a spear for the win.
WINNER: Bobby Lashley at 14 minutes and 17 seconds to retain the WWE Championship
This was non-stop action from start to finish and all three worked incredibly hard. For a match with minimal buzz, it’s hard for anyone to be disappointed with this one. The story was McIntyre had the match won and Lashley capitalized as came back from the dead (continuing the theme of tonight’s show). This was a very good match.
Roman Reigns left Jey Uso in the back and told him to go find his brother.
ROMAN REIGNS VS CESARO FOR THE WWE CHAMPIONSHIP
Pat McAfee’s audio was cutting in and out, so it was hard to hear him. Cesaro got the early advantage and Reigns retreated to the floor to reset.
Reigns sent Cesaro’s right arm into the post he began selling it. Reigns wears him down until setting up for the Superman Punch, which is avoided and Cesaro hits a pop-up uppercut.
Cesaro applied the sharpshooter and Reigns quickly grabbed the rope.
Reigns went back to the arm as he held onto it from the apron and drove a boot into Cesaro’s face. Reigns hit the Drive-By sending Cesaro’s shoulder into the post.
Reigns attacked the arm repeatedly until Cesaro hits a discus lariat that further damages the arm. Cesaro unleashes a flurry in the corner and executes the deadlift vertical suplex lifting Reigns from the apron.
Cesaro could not hit the Neutralizer and Reigns applied a Fujiwara armbar on the injured body part, Cesaro countered out and flew off the middle rope with a corkscrew uppercut attempt that was met with a Superman Punch for a two-count.
Reigns applied the guillotine, Cesaro stood up and slammed himself free. Cesaro went for the sharpshooter and applied it but the legs slipped through the injured arm and he held onto it before transitioning to a crossface. Reigns broke free and go on top landing strikes.
Reigns used an alligator roll back to the guillotine. Cesaro lifted and tried to slam Reigns but was still caught in the guillotine, Cesaro tried to break the grip but couldn’t escape and Cesaro went out.
WINNER: Roman Reigns in 27 minutes and 30 seconds to retain the Universal Championship
Cesaro sold it so well and stunned once he regained consciousness.
Jey Uso came down, he superkicked Cesaro and attacked him in the ring while Reigns watched.
Seth Rollins came down and confronted Reigns in the ring with a serious look on his face before smiling and attacking Cesaro, as well. Rollins used a chair to attack the injured arm and wrapped the chair around the arm and drilled it into the post. Rollins ended by using The Stomp on the floor.
This was spectacular and an excellent showcase of both men with a gripping main event that never dragged.
If you eliminate the zombie fiasco, this was a very enjoyable event.