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Csonka’s WWE Backlash 2018 Review

May 6, 2018 | Posted by Larry Csonka
Roman Reigns Samoa Joe WWE Backlash
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Csonka’s WWE Backlash 2018 Review  

Csonka’s WWE Backlash 2018 Review

Kickoff Match: Ruby Riott defeated Bayley @ 10:10 via pin [**]
WWE Intercontinental Championship Match: Champion Seth Rollins defeated The Miz @ 20:33 via pin [****]
Raw Women’s Championship Match: Champion Nia Jax defeated Alexa Bliss @ 10:17 via pin [**]
WWE United States Championship Match: Champion Jeff Hardy defeated Randy Orton @ 11:50 via pin [**½]
– Daniel Bryan defeated Big Cass @ 7:45 via submission [**½]
Smackdown Women’s Championship Match: Champion Carmella defeated Charlotte @ 10:12 via pin [*]
WWE Championship No Disqualification Match: Champion AJ Styles vs. Shinsuke Nakamura ended in a double KO @ 21:10 [***]
– Braun Strowman & Lashley defeated Kevin Owens & Sami Zayn @ 8:50 via pin [**]
– Roman Reigns defeated Samoa Joe @ 17:55 via pin [**]

– Follow all of my reviews at this link.

– Full pre-show notes at this link.

Bayley vs. Ruby Riott: Logan & Morgan are at ringside. They lock up; Bayley takes early control and grounds things. Ruby quickly fights back, but Bayley gets a sunset flip for 2. She works for more pin attempts, and gets a Skayde special for 2. Banks watches on from backstage as Ruby hits an STO after a distraction. Post break, Bayley tries to fight back, but Ruby hits a flatliner and lays in elbows. The cover gets 2. Ruby grounds things, and continues to work the heat, choking out Bayley in the ropes. Logan gets in a cheap shot and Ruby covers for 2. Bayley battles back, and slams Ruby to the buckles, but Ruby cuts her off with the corner knees and covers for 2. Ruby again grounds things; Bayley fires back and hits a springboard high cross for 2. Bayley follows with clotheslines and a Saito suplex. Bayley takes out Logan on the floor and stuns Ruby in the ropes. Bayley up top and the elbow drop gets 2. Bayley is slowed, still selling the previous attacks of Ruby. Morgan with the distraction, allowing Ruby to hit a Riott kick for the win. Ruby Riott defeated Bayley @ 10:10 via pin [**] This was an ok kickoff match, with some sloppiness and Bayley feeling really off her game. The story being that the Riott Squad is a unified force and that Bayley & Banks aren’t successful on their own against them. With wins over Banks & Bayley, I could see them building Ruby for a title shot against Nia down the line.

WWE Intercontinental Championship Match: Champion Seth Rollins vs. The Miz: Rollins takes early control until Miz decides to stop attempting to outwrestle him and attacks with kicks and strikes. Rollins cuts him off with a dropkick and follows with chops. Rollins follows with forearms, but Miz cuts off the springboard attack and knocks Rollins to the floor. Back in and Miz covers for 2. Miz maintains control, hitting a knee strike and then grounds the action. Rollins looks to fire back, but Miz counters and hits the short DDT for a good near fall. It’s been pretty much all Miz here until Rollins hits an x-factor and both men are down. Rollins hits a flatliner to the buckles, and follows with sling blade before dumping Miz to the floor. The suicide dive follows. Back in and they work into some counters, leading to a blockbuster by Rollins for 2. Miz fights off the ripcord knee, but Rollins then hits a springboard lariat. Miz manages to take him to the floor, back in and Rollins catches Miz and hits a catatonic for the near fall. Rollins up top and the high fly flow connects for 2. Rollins fires up the crowd, but Miz bails before the curb stomp. Rollins chases, dumps Miz but Miz cuts off the suicide dive. Rollins fights off an apron DDT, they trade strikes and Rollins hits the post going for the ripcord knee. Miz locks on the figure four immediately back in the ring. That was a really well done cut off spot to transition onto the figure four. Rollins fights and rolls the hold, but Miz rolls it back, allowing Rollins to make the ropes. Rollins fires back with chops, Miz lays in strikes and then goes back to the knee. Enziguri by Rollins but Miz hits the skull-crushing finale as Rollins’ knee gives out for a great near fall. Rollins is hobbled now; Miz hits the corner clothesline and heads up top. Rollins cuts him off but Miz takes out the knee. Rollins manages the superplex but Miz counters the deal and hits the skull-crushing finale again for another great near fall! Miz now back on the attack, takes Rollins up top and looks for a finale off the ropes, Rollins fights him off and misses the curb stomp as they work into a series of cradles and Rollins hits the curb stomp and finally wins. Champion Seth Rollins defeated The Miz @ 20:33 via pin [****] This was an absolutely great back and forth opening match, with a hot crowd, some really great near falls, and it was easily believable that either man could win. This was a really great way to kick off the PPV, and extremely enjoyable.

Raw Women’s Championship Match: Champion Nia Jax vs. Alexa Bliss: No Mickie James with Bliss tonight. Bliss attacks the knee right away, and looks for a sleeper. Bliss escapes and Jax starts to overpower her and toss her around. Bliss powders. Bliss attacks the knee again and lays in kicks. The KO shot follows for 2. Bliss now chokes her out in the ropes, and then stomps on her. Bliss talks shit and maintains control, slapping Jax around. Jax fights off the DDT, and hits a clothesline. The rolling senton misses, Bliss lays in strikes and kicks. Jax cuts her off and looks for a Samoan drop off the ropes, but Bliss fights it off and works a guillotine. Jax powers out, but Bliss goes back to the sleeper and gets tossed to the mat. The clothesline follows, and Jax continues to toss her around. Jax looks for a corner Vader splash, but Bliss dumps her to the floor. Bliss follows her out and DDTs Jax onto the steps. Bliss tries to get her back into the ring, and fails. She tries again, and back in we go. Bliss covers for 2. Jax cuts her off and Bliss counters the second rope Samoan drop, but Bliss takes out the knee and covers for 2. Bliss hits a dropkick to the buckles and heads up top. Twisted Bliss is caught and Jax hits a Samoan drop for the win. Champion Nia Jax defeated Alexa Bliss @ 10:17 via pin [**] This was an OK outing here, with a decent amount of drama created in terms of Bliss possibly winning, but offering absolutely nothing memorable.

– Jax cuts a post match promo, and says her win is for anyone that has ever been bullied. She says it’s ok to be different, and special. She doesn’t apologize for who she is. Remember, this is for anyone who is a relative of the Rock. This was an overly contrived segment.

– We get highlights from the Greatest Royal Rumble event, and Roman’s alleged victory.

– Samoa Joe arrives and runs down Reigns, and says he will win tonight and turn the big dog into a puppy. Joe is a national treasure.

WWE United States Championship Match: Champion Jeff Hardy vs. Randy Orton: Orton takes control early on, going for a near fall. Jeff hits a jawbreaker and dropkick and dumps Orton to the floor. The apron clothesline follows, and back in they go. Orton cuts him off with a dropkick, covering for 2. Jeff fires back, but gets crotched up top. Into the tree of WHOA and Orton lays the boots to the champion. Orton now follows with uppercuts, and Jeff rolls to the floor. Orton follows and Jeff cuts him off with a leg lariat. He slams Orton to the steps and rolls him back in. Orton cuts off the springboard attack with a dropkick and Jeff flies to the floor. Orton follows and slams Jeff off of the barricade a few times, taking control. Back in and Orton covers for 2. Orton grounds things with the side headlock, and then adds in a body scissors. Jeff fights to his feet, hits a flying forearm leg drop to the balls. The dropkick follows for 2. Jeff follows with whisper in the wind for 2. Orton counts a twist of fate and hits the snap slam for 2. Jeff fires back with a spin kick, but Orton counters the corner dropkick and looks for a draping DDT. That connects and Orton takes time to celebrate. He sets for an RKO, but Jeff cradles him for 2. The twist of fate connects and the swanton follows for the win. Champion Jeff Hardy defeated Randy Orton @ 11:50 via pin [**½] This was a solid back and forth match, with Jeff continuing to roll as the US champion. It felt as if it was missing something, and lacked the intensity and overall sense of urgency that a PPV match should have, coming off more like a TV match in all honestly. I still expect an Orton heel turn coming soon.

– Elias arrives for concert time. He’s friends with Bruce Springsteen, and that Springsteen calls HIM the boss. Elias then runs down New Jersey and dedicates tonight’s song to Bruce. New Day interrupts. Big E is wearing a bass drum as Kofi has pancakes in his cymbals. Elias offers them autographs, but New Day wants to jam with and walk with him. Elias is not amused, and says that one day they may be able to open for him. Aiden English now arrives, and introduces Rusev. Rusev calls Elias “Bootleg Bob Dylan.” Elias tries again to sing his song. But No Way Jose now arrives with his conga line, including Titus Worldwide & The Fashion Police. I am sure that Vince finds this hilarious. Bobby Roode arrives and lays out Elias with the glorious DDT. This was complete filler; you’re telling me on a three-hour, dual branded PPV, that we really needed this?

Daniel Bryan vs. Big Cass: Bryan plays keep away, working leg kicks. He then mixes in strikes and kicks, but Cass cuts him off with rights. Bryan then dumps him to the floor and hits a dropkick and apron knee strike. Back in and Bryan hits a missile dropkick. Yes kicks follow, and Cass then cuts him off with a spinebuster. Cass takes time to celebrate, and then follows with chops. There were actually “we want Enzo” chants at Cass here. Cass hits a slam, and the elbow drop for 2. Rights follow from Cass, and then works a back breaker. Bryan escapes and trips Cass into the buckles. Bryan follows with more kicks, and the shotgun dropkicks follow until Cass flapjacks him and hits a lariat for 2. Cass drags Bryan to his feet and hits a short-armed clothesline. Another follows. Cass now looks for the big boot, but Bryan counters and hits a head kick. The yes lock follows. Cass fights, but Bryan lays in cross face strikes and has it fully applied and Cass taps. Daniel Bryan defeated Big Cass @ 7:45 via submission [**½] This was fine and Bryan winning clean was the right call, but unfortunately, the feud will continue. Bryan looked good, but Cass still comes across like CAW #53, slow and uninspired on offense.

– Post match, Cass attacks and this feud must continue. He beats Bryan down on the floor, tossing him around and the crowd chants, “you tapped out” at Cass. Back in the ring and Cass lays out Bryan with the big boot.

Smackdown Women’s Championship Match: Champion Carmella vs. Charlotte: Carmella mocks Charlotte and eats a big boot, rolling to the floor. Carmella teases walking out, but Charlotte cuts her off. Back in and Charlotte covers for 2.The small package follows for 2 and then a cradle for 2. The clothesline follows and the champion powders. Charlotte follows and walks into a superkick. Back in and Carmella lays in ground and pound, covering for 2. She grounds the action, talking trash to no heat. Charlotte escapes, eats another kick, and Carmella grounds things again. Charlotte powers to her feet and escapes. Carmella cuts her off and yells a low while slapping away at her. She then lays in stomps while yelling some more. Charlotte escapes again, and hits a back breaker and STO. Chops follow, and Carmella is down. The belly to back suplex follows, and then a knee drop. To the apron they go, but Carmella cuts her off. She slaps her around and continues to yell. Charlotte hits a desperation spear, and both are down. Carmella counters the figure four into the code of silence. Charlotte escapes, but Carmella rolls her up for 2. Charlotte hits a big boot for 2. Charlotte up top, and Carmella avoids the moonsault, Charlotte tweaks her knee, and Carmella takes out the knee and cradles her for the win. Champion Carmella defeated Charlotte @ 10:12 via pin [*] This was bad, easily the worst match on the show, with no heat, no sense of aggression, and absolutely no drama; just a lot of Carmella yelling. No one looked good here.

WWE Championship No Disqualification Match: Champion AJ Styles vs. Shinsuke Nakamura: They go to the floor as Nakamura plays keep away from the champion. Styles attacks and slams him to the barricades repeatedly. Styles then slams him to the announce table and rolls him back in. Styles maintains control, laying in kicks. Nakamura cuts him off with a kick, but runs into a back breaker. Nakamura hits a cheap shot, but runs into a dropkick. They brawl to the floor, with Styles controlling. He slams Nakamura to the barricade, but misses a charge, allowing Nakamura to attack with forearms. He slams Styles to the steps, and then follows with a running knee strike and connects with another. Back in and Nakamura covers for 2. He follows with strikes, and then leg kicks. Nakamura chokes out Styles and works good vibrations. The knee drop follows for 2. Styles fires back with strikes, but Nakamura cuts him off and hits a backdrop, covering for one with the foot on the chest. Nakamura continues on with grounded knee strikes, and then works a guillotine. Nakamura then kicks Styles to the floor. He follows for some floor brawling. Styles battles back but Nakamura cuts him off, rolling him back in and grounds the action with a dragon sleeper. Styles escapes, and springboards in but caught by Nakamura and the corner knees follow. Nakamura to the ropes and flies in with a knee, covering for 2. The landslide follows for 2. Nakamura to the floor, gets a chair and brings it in. Styles avoids the chair shot, but Nakamura cuts him off with kicks. Nakamura hits the reverse XPLODER onto the chair, covering for 2. Nakamura looks for Kinshasa, but Styles throws the chair at his knee to cut him off. The chair flew back into Styles’ face and busted Styles open. The calf crusher follows by Styles, Nakamura fights, but Styles keeps cranking back on the hold. Nakamura counters out and into a triangle, but Styles powers out and knocks Nakamura to the floor. Back in and Styles hits a sliding forearm and ushigoroshi for 2. PELE by Styles, and he looks for the clash and they end up trading low blows. They work to their feet, and trade strikes. Styles lights him up, but Nakamura hits a head butt. They then low blow each other. Neither man can answer the count. Champion AJ Styles vs. Shinsuke Nakamura ended in a double KO @ 21:10 [***] This was another good, but ultimately unsatisfying outing from these two as the feud will continue. I’ve enjoyed a lot of the build and the Nakamura heel turn, but the feud is just not delivering for me in the ring. The disappointment continues.

Braun Strowman & Lashley vs. Kevin Owens & Sami Zayn: Sami and Lashley begin. Sami tries to run, but Lashley easily overpowers him. Sami runs away and tags in Kevin. Lashley works him over, and hits a neck breaker. Sami back in and he runs into a lariat. Sami powders and Lashley follows, slamming Sami into the barricade and then slams him off of the announce table. Back in and double teams allow Kevin & Sami to take control. Kevin lays the boot to Lashley, and that leads to quick tags, and the heels taking the heat. Lashley tries for a tag, and then hits a flatliner. Kevin tags in and stops the tag. Lashley manages to cut him off, and tags in Braun. Braun runs wild with clotheslines and then chases Sami around, shoulder tackling Kevin and slamming Sami into the barricade. The lariat follows to Kevin. Back in and Braun posts himself as usual. Sami tags in and looks for a helluva and is cut off. Sami tries to run, Kevin stops him and they argue. Sami tosses Kevin to the wolves and then he tries to run, but tosses Sami back in. Sami slaps Kevin, and runs. Lashley back in and hits a spinebuster. The delayed suplex follows, and that gets the win. Braun Strowman & Lashley defeated Kevin Owens & Sami Zayn @ 8:50 via pin [**] This was a complete disappointment compared to their raw outings, including another tease of Sami & Kevin breaking up. It existed, and Lashley already feels like “just another guy.”

– Post match, Kevin gets laid out by Braun. Braun then lays out Sami. No one cared.

Roman Reigns vs. Samoa Joe: Joe attacks before the bell and they brawl to the floor. Joe then puts Reigns through an announce table. Joe continues to kick his ass at ringside, tossing him over tables and rolling him back in. The match officially starts as Joe continues to work over Reigns. Joe runs wild, hitting a knee drop for 2. He then starts working the arm of Reigns, grounding the action. Reigns again gets to try and be the fighting babyface, battling from the bottom. Joe works a neck crank, keeping things grounded, and killing the established momentum as commentary claims Reigns isn’t 100%. Reigns finally fires up, but Joe cuts him off with an enziguri, covering for 2. Joe lays in jabs and knee strikes, grounding the action again. Reigns fires up, but gets cut off and Joe hits the elbow suicida. Back in and Joe covers for 2. Joe again grounds things, because why follow up on momentum? We now get, “this is boring chants.” Reigns escapes, they trade strikes and Reigns finally hits a big boot. Joe rolls to the floor, and Reigns follows with a drive by kick. Back in and Joe hits an atomic drop and senton for 2. Reigns fights off the uranage, and hits a spinebuster for 2. Joe avoids the superman punch and Reigns escapes the choke. Joe avoids the drive by and locks on the clutch Reigns counters into a cradle for 2. The superman punch gets 2. Joe cuts off the spear with a kick, but Reigns hits a spear anyway for 2. Joe gets the clutch, but Reigns counters into a cover for 2. Joe gets the clutch again and Reigns fades, but then makes the ropes. Joe sets Reigns up top, but Reigns counters out, and hits a spear for the win. Roman Reigns defeated Samoa Joe @ 17:55 via pin [**] This started off great, with the Joe attack and him running wild. Unfortunately it broke down into every Reigns match, it lost momentum, and was only a 15-minute set up for him to overcome the odds and make his miraculous comeback to win with a flat and predictable finish. The crowd became uninterested, started chanting random things and filing out of the arena. In no way was this a good PPV main event.

– End Scene.

– Thanks for reading.

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“Byyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyye Felicia!”

The final score: review Poor
The 411
WWE Backlash 2018 felt like many WWEPPvs over the last 18 months, starting out hot and giving us false hope that we were in for a quality show. Miz vs. Rollins was an absolutely great match, but in all honesty, that is the only thing worth watching. They managed to take a completely hot crowd, who was into things and killed them off with mediocrity at best, and the show just felt like diminishing returns after the opener. Nothing at all felt important after that, Styles vs. Nakamura was good but ultimately disappointing, and the closing two matches were ok at best. Again, watch Miz vs. Rollins, and turn it off after that.