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Pantoja’s WWE Backlash Review 5.4.24

May 4, 2024 | Posted by Kevin Pantoja
Cody Rhodes WWE Backlash France, Triple H Image Credit: WWE
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Pantoja’s WWE Backlash Review 5.4.24  

WWE Backlash

May 4th, 2024 | LDLC Arena in Lyon-Decines, France

I have to say right off the bat that the crowd is rocking.

Street Fight: Kevin Owens and Randy Orton vs. Solo Sikoa and Tama Tonga

The crowd sang the words to Randy Orton’s theme like he was Cody Rhodes. Loud “we want Roman” chants too. The two teams brawled before the bell, fighting both in and out of the ring as security and officials ran down to break things up. Nick Aldis showed up and made this a Street Fight, which got a great pop. They just continued to fight all over the arena and the molten crowd added a lot to what was otherwise a generic brawl. They got more amped for every new spot or weapon brought out, reaching a peak when a table was introduced, which Owens broke with a big frog splash. The Bloodline slowed the pace, isolating Owens after taking Orton out and picking him apart. Solo Sikoa had Red Rooster hair going after a while. Orton returned to the fray and planted Tama with the RKO only for Solo to break up the pin. The big spots came when Orton hit an RKO on the table on Solo and KO hit Tama with a Brainbuster off the top onto a pile of open chairs. That set up the debut of Tanga Loa (HILARIOUS) as he pulled KO out of the ring. His attack opened the door for the Solo to hit the Samoan Spike and win in 19:36. That was super fun and the stipulation change was just what it needed. The Guerrillas of Destiny have never been it and that won’t change in WWE. [***¾]

WWE Women’s Championship: Bayley [c] vs. Naomi vs. Tiffany Stratton

Bayley’s new theme is very not good but the crowd was again super into her. They were into all three women actually. As a match though, this was very disjointed. You could feel them moving from spot to spot and it often felt awkward. Part of it seemed to be trying to hit the expected triple threat tropes and part of it was a lack of chemistry. I’ve always felt that Naomi and Bayley lacked some together though it’s too early to tell if Tiffany is really in line with them. Thankfully, things improved as it went on and I feel like Bayley vs. Tiffany will be good if it happens one on one. Naomi vs. Tiffany solo was also pretty good. Naomi got going with a Blockbuster off the guardrail and a split-legged moonsault inside. Not a fan of Tiffany kicking out of the Bayley to Belly. I know it’s not her finisher anymore but still. It should be. The Alabama Slam counter spot with Tiffany and Naomi came off really well as did Naomi and Bayley busting out 1D. The finish kind of came from out of nowhere but I mean that in a good way. With Tiffany off to the side, Bayley went at it with Naomi and countered a pinning combination into one of her own to retain in 13:32. That started out pretty rough but got very good once things clicked. They also protected Tiffany and even Naomi kind of only lost on a fluke. [***¼]

World Heavyweight Championship: Damian Priest [c] vs. Jey Uso

The entrance for Jey Uso was special. He came through the crowd who danced with him, did the “YEET” and had their phones out. That live reaction played a big part in boosting this early on. The guys were having solid back and forth but nothing stood out. Jey got going and then JD McDonagh showed up to help Priest. However, Priest got mad at his attempt and told him to use his “BIG ASS HEAD.” Jey took advantage with a superkick and splash but only got two. Things picked up after that with them trading stuff and the crowd rocking. Finn also ran in just to eat a superkick, which set up a big Priest near fall on a chokeslam. Jey had it won only for JD to intervene again. Jey went after him and Finn again, opening the door for Priest to win with an avalanche South of Heaven in 15:47. That was better than expected, boosted by the crowd. [***¼]

WWE Women’s Tag Team Championship: The Kabuki Warriors [c] vs. Bianca Belair and Jade Cargill

Jade and Bianca look like a million bucks. The pop for the tag to Jade in the early stages was huge. They were tossing the girls around and flexing, showing off their outstanding muscles. I see Jade and Bianca (and the Kabuki Warriors to be honest) and I think, I love women. The champions eventually gained control, working a heat segment on Bianca to isolate her and set up the hot tag to Jade. The heat segment was entertaining because of how good Asuka and Kairi are and because they did a good job of teasing the tag while cutting it off. When Jade’s hot tag finally arrived and started with springboard cross body, the place came unglued. There was some confusion a bit after as Kairi had it won but wasn’t legal so the pin just didn’t happen and she still didn’t tag to Asuka, who was apparently legal the whole time. That set up about three minutes where nothing seemed to go right and things were disorganized as they couldn’t get it back on track. When they finally did, this got good again. Jade saved Bianca from the big elbow finish and then we got a sick ending as Jade caught Kairi, launched her in the air, and then hit Jaded. Bianca then added the KOD on Asuka onto Kairi to give us new champs in 17:21. Outside of that horrendous few minutes of confusion, this was really good. I love the idea of this team as it is the perfect vehicle for Jade until we eventually get a singles match between them. [***¼]

Some matches were announced for the King and Queen of the Ring tournaments. On Raw, it’ll be Zoey Stark vs. Ivy Nile, Shayna Baszler vs. Zelina Vega, Lyra Valkyria vs. Asuka, and IYO Sky vs. Natalya. Then you have Drew McIntyre vs. Finn Bálor, Kofi Kingston vs. Rey Mysterio, Ricochet vs. Ilja Dragunov, and Gunther vs. Sheamus.

Undisputed WWE Universal Championship: Cody Rhodes [c] vs. AJ Styles

The reaction for this from the start was something to behold. From the celebratory song whenever “Phenomenal” is heard to the singing of Cody’s theme after the music cut was incredible. The wrestling was kept basic to start as they had a feeling out process, which lines up given they don’t have a history in the ring. They progressed slowly to bigger spots but it worked because of how into everything the crowd was. I was a bit more into the crowd than the match at point but things picked up in a big way with the powerbomb by Cody through the announce table. That led to some stiffer shots and bigger offensive moves being hit as this went on. The fact that AJ can still cleanly hit that springboard 450 at his age is nuts. I may not have liked a lot of his work after 2017 but he still has that. They went into the expected big kickouts like AJ surviving the Cody Cutter and Cody kicking out at one at one point, yet they didn’t overdo finisher kickouts or things like that. It was more based on signature moves. Cody’s double jump Cody Cutter was a great idea even if it didn’t come off totally cleanly. Cross Rhodes ended it afterward at the 27:17 mark. They built that up so well and delivered one of AJ’s best matches in years. Cody is on a heater and has never been better than this WWE run. [****]

The final score: review Very Good
The 411
That was a blast of a show. Nothing was bad, it moved along nicely (and clocked in at just under three hours), and the crowd boosted it up so much. They need to consistently do shows outside of the States. Use the “World” in World Wrestling Entertainment.

article topics :

WWE Backlash, Kevin Pantoja