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411’s WWE Backlash 2020 Preview

June 14, 2020 | Posted by Jeremy Thomas
Edge Randy Orton WWE Backlash

Hello wrestling fans! Welcome to 411’s WWE Backlash preview. I’m Jeremy, and we’re going to take a look at this weekend’s show that airs tonight on the WWE Network. The show will feature Drew McIntyre defending the WWE Championship against Bobby Lashley, the GREATEST WRESTLING MATCH EVER (which will not be the greatest wrestling match ever), and more. Everyone feel free to chime in with your picks in the comment section. It’s going to be a tricky PPV to predict with WWE making big changes to the creative team, but the show must go on so let’s get right to it.

Sheamus vs. Jeff Hardy

Sheamus vs. Jeff Hardy has one of the more…let’s just call it “interesting” feuds leading up to the match. The storyline of Sheamus trying to portray Jeff as a drunken “junkie” has had a negative reaction from pretty much all corners, right down to the panel on a recent episode of WWE Backstage expressing extreme reservations about the tastefulness of the whole thing given Jeff’s real-life past issues. The way that it’s been built up, you can’t imagine that Jeff isn’t going over here. There isn’t much further for this feud to go right now, so Sheamus getting a cheap win doesn’t have any potential. What will they do for the next month outside of repeat what’s been done up to now? The match should have some potential; Jeff and Sheamus can go and work together pretty solidly. It’s really hard not to believe that Hardy gets the win to put this whole angle (thankfully) to bed.

WINNER: Jeff Hardy

WWE United States Championship Match
Apollo Crews vs. Andrade

A couple of days ago, I would have thought this would be a no-brainer. Apollo Crews won the title just two weeks ago and there’s no reason to hotshot the title back onto Andrade. But with the removal of Heyman in charge of Raw’s creative, all bets are off. Crews was a known project of Heyman’s and without any crowds, it’s difficult to know how well he’s getting over during his push. WWE always has that “trying to get a new Latinx star” thing on its agenda and Andrade is their best bet. But Andrade is also somewhat of a Heyman project, so that evens things up here. This is one of my least confident picks, but for now there’s just more value and variety in opponents for Crews.

WINNER: Apollo Crews

WWE Women’s Tag Team Championship Match
Bayley & Sasha Banks vs. Alexa Bliss & Nikki Cross vs. The IIconics

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This is another one that could go a couple of different ways, and it all depends on how WWE wants to progress the Bayley and Sasha storyline. If they want to build to a match between the two for SummerSlam, it would make sense for them to take the titles off of them. It’s notable that they’re facing the team that defeated them for the titles at WrestleMania 35 in the IIconics, while Bliss and Cross are the team Banks and Bayley beat just last week. On the other hand, they could decide to save Bayley and Sasha for Survivor Series in which case they may want to hold onto the titles a little longer. With Bayley holding the Smackdown Women’s Champion, I feel like their tag title reign is not destined to last long and it makes a certain amount of sense for them to lose the belts here. The question then becomes who wins the titles. There’s more value in Bliss and Cross chasing the IIconics, and that’s where I’m leaning for this to go.

WINNER: The IIconics (New WWE Women’s Tag Team Champions)

Raw Women’s Championship Match
Asuka vs. Nia Jax

This is probably the easiest pick. Asuka is still new in her reign as Raw Women’s Champion and the storylines are obviously setting up Charlotte vs. Asuka. And look, Asuka is a goddamned delight and perhaps the best thing going on Raw right now. She’s a fantastic worker, but I don’t think even she can make Nia Jax look good in a match of any length. She’ll make it probably about as good as it could be, so there is that, but I would rather see literally any member of the Raw women’s roster in this match. This will hopefully be fairly short, and it should be as Asuka puts Jax away and then looks ahead to her eventual match with Charlotte. Maybe this will surprise me and be a decent in-ring outing, but I’m not holding my breath.

WINNER: Asuka

THE GREATEST WRESTLING MATCH EVER
Edge vs. Randy Orton

Has a match ever been more weighed down by its billing than this one? I can’t think of one, at least in recent memory. Edge and Orton are coming off what can best be called a polarizing Last Man Standing match at WrestleMania that went way, way too long. But by the same token, both of these guys can obviously go when motivated. Edge has had a match to get some of his ring rust off and there’s plenty of potential here for an enjoyable effort in the ring. Will it be the GREATEST WRESTLING MATCH EVER? No, of course not. It’s a dumb billing and everyone knows it’s dumb. But if you set that aside, there’s a lot of potential here. I doubt that Edge and Orton are done with their feud quite yet, so Orton wins — probably by nefarious tactic to really heel it up considering he wanted a pure wrestling match — and they go to a rubber match to finish the feud out.

WINNER: Randy Orton

WWE Universal Championship Match
Braun Strowman vs. The Miz & John Morrison

Handicap matches are always incredibly iffy matches in terms of booking, most particularly because you know who’s going to win most of the time. The whole point of a handicap match is to stack the odds against the monster character, and no matter who wins it’s a wash. Strowman needs a big win here because his title reign is far from setting the world on fire, but he’s obviously expected to win and if he doesn’t then it destroys his main event credibility. On the other hand, Miz and Morrison could potentially win if you just consider the story, because it plays into their characters to pick up a win over Strowman with a stacked deck. That said, I can’t imagine anyone is looking at the potential of a Miz, Morrison, or Miz AND Morrison title run right now, and especially not the feud that would likely come out of that between the two. This is 100% a filler match to get the title and Strowman on the PPV, and that’s fine. Miz and Morrison as a team provide something interesting for Strowman to work off of. But don’t expect him to walk away without his title as WWE tries to figure out who his next opponent is.

WINNER: Braun Strowman

WWE Championship Match
Drew McIntyre vs. Bobby Lashley

Here’s another match where the result really isn’t in doubt. I’m 50/50 on whether this will be the main event or Orton vs. Edge. Like that match, this should be a good in-ring effort. McIntyre has been giving good performances as a rule and Lashley, while not the most exciting guy in the ring, can work well against McIntyre’s style. With MVP and Lana in Lashley’s corner, the story lets McIntyre play with the deck stacked against him, likely until MVP and Lana start arguing and self-sabotage their advantage. WWE still has a lot of road to go in terms of Drew as champion and he’s been doing a lot of good press interviews for WWE so I don’t see why they would possibly take the title off of him. This one will be decent to watch, with McIntyre walking away still holding the title.

WINNER: Drew McIntyre


And that’s all we have for Backlash! All in all I expect this to be a mostly forgettable PPV as WWE twiddle their thumbs waiting for crowds to come back, hopefully for them in time for SummerSlam but that may or may not be optimistic yet. On paper it’s far from the worst show we’re likely to see from WWE in a long time, but there isn’t a whole lot to be incredibly excited for right now. Here’s hoping that WWE surprises us.

Thanks once again for reading, and remember that we will have live coverage of Backlash right here on 411mania.com. Time for me to go…

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WWE Backlash, Jeremy Thomas