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Pantoja’s WWE WrestleMania Backlash 2022 Review

May 9, 2022 | Posted by Kevin Pantoja
AJ Styles Edge WrestleMania Backlash Image Credit: WWE
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Pantoja’s WWE WrestleMania Backlash 2022 Review  

WWE WrestleMania Backlash

May 8th, 2022 | Dunkin’ Donuts Center in Providence, Rhode Island

My attempt to review more shows this month ramps up here. I’m doing this PPV and will attempt to get up reviews for NXT, Dynamite, Rampage, and maybe even NXT UK and Dark. That’s the goal but we’ll see how work holds up.

Cody Rhodes vs. Seth Rollins

I actually really loved their WrestleMania match (****¼) so I’m here for this. I love how over the top Seth Rollins is. They opened this with some quality back and forth exchanges before the first big move happened outside on a Seth clothesline. Seth held serve for a while after that with the idea being that he had done his homework. I liked that because it fit the story. Seth said Cody only won last time because he caught him by surprise and here he had a better game plan. Like in the previous outing, they started throwing bigger bombs down the stretch, including a great looking frog splash from Seth. I appreciated that the close call on a finisher came because Seth got his foot on the ropes. Cody countering the superplex/Falcon Arrow combo into Cross Rhodes was cool, so a kick out there would’ve sucked. I liked Seth doing the Dusty punches only for it cost him as he got caught with Cross Rhodes. I thought that should’ve been the finish but going into pin attempts and having Cody pull the tights (after Cody did) to win was a great move. It keeps Seth strong, keeps Cody unbeaten since his return, and ended a great match in a clever way. The whole thing went 20:46. A step above Mania. [****½]

Bobby Lashley vs. Omos

Their WrestleManiaencounter was a mess (*). This kind of followed those same lines with them trying to wail on each other but Omos still struggling to move at times. Lashley had the crowd behind him and has been very good as a face so far in this run. MVP intervened with his cane but Lashley fought him off and went for the Hurt Lock. Just seeing him attempt this on Omos was rather impressive. We got more uninteresting exchanges before MVP used the cane and Omos won with a chokeslam bomb in 8:52. That felt like it went way longer. Also, it was dumb that commentary acted like the Hurt Lock wouldn’t work when we’ve seen it already. [*½]

AJ Styles vs. Edge

Damian Priest is barred from ringside. Their Mania match was good but disappointing (***), though that’s kind of where AJ lives these days. AJ came out hot, which makes sense given that Edge has made this personal and talked about his family. Things did slow down a bit sooner than I wanted but they picked things back up well enough. The back and forth on submission attempts was also well done and the way the exposed buckle came into play but wasn’t the finish. AJ dug deep in this match, busting out Asai moonsaults and a super rana. The way that AJ caught Edge in the Styles Clash was one of my favorite versions of that move ever. As Styles went up top for offense, Damian Priest walked out for a closer look but stayed away from ringside until Finn Bálor took him out and into the ring. THAT’S THE WRONG WAY FINN. Then someone else in a hood pulled AJ off the top, setting up the Crossface, modified into a sleeper hold of sorts for another Edge win in 15:21. An improvement over WrestleMania though not anything great. [***¼]

Edge’s new stablemate revealed themselves to be Rhea Ripley as many predicted. As much as I wish we would’ve kept Rhea and Liv together, this is great and gives Rhea something major to do alongside a legend.

WWE Smackdown Women’s Championship I Quit Match: Charlotte Flair [c] vs. Ronda Rousey

This feud is so ass. The Mania match didn’t help matters (**¼). They started with aggression and each asked the other about quitting quickly. Things escalated when kendo sticks were brought into play, though Charlotte made a monkey flip bump on the stage look weak as hell. Though Ronda wailed on her with the sticks which was cool. They fought into the crowd where Charlotte bent Ronda with a camel clutch on the stairs railing which looked cool. When Ronda didn’t quit, she just let it go for no reason. I did like that Charlotte used it since it’s how Sasha made her quit in 2016. Back down toward the ring and they continued to beat on each other until Ronda applied a Tree of Joey Lawrence style armbar. Ronda used a chair to break the Figure Eight but then Charlotte talked too much smack. Ronda caught her in an armbar in the chair and when Charlotte didn’t quit, Ronda was all “BITCH” and wrenched at a different angle to get the win in 16:33. That was better than Mania but nowhere near Survivor Series 2018. It had some hard hitting stuff and the goofy “BITCH” stuff made it funny. Though Charlotte should’ve sold the arm better instead of doing the Figure Eight with the greatest of ease. But I’ve been wanting Charlotte to sell better for years and she hasn’t so that’s moot. [***¼]

Happy Corbin vs. Madcap Moss

Man, I didn’t care about this at all. They traded stuff early on and nothing about it really grabbed me. That changed a bit when Corbin busted out a BIG BOI SENTON. I’ve never seen him do that and even commentary was surprised. That didn’t make things any better but it did make me take notice. Moss survived the best stuff Corbin threw at him, including Deep Six, before beating him with a sunset flip in 9:45. That dragged and was really bland. [*]

Drew McIntyre and RK-Bro vs. Roman Reigns and The Usos

Despite being a six-man tag, this felt like a big deal. Early on, McIntyre wanted Roman Reigns, who gave the tag to a pop only to tag out because he calls the shots. I love that. Eventually, Riddle ended up as the guy taking the heat, with Reigns dominating him. I liked that Roman made a rare mistake (which commentary rightfully hyped up) as he tagged in only for Riddle to do the same and bring in McIntyre, who cleaned house. It showed that Drew was a threat to Roman. The Usos kind of made the save but moments later, Drew still caught Roman with the Claymore and he looked done. Drew was too hurt to capitalize so the tag went to Orton and I am ALL FOR an Orton/Roman program. They haven’t done it since 2014 and it could be big. Here we got the Usos tagging in though so Orton ran through them. Things continued to escalate with great close calls and exchanges from everyone involved, with the crowd hot for all of it. We got table spots and chaos around every corner before Riddle hit a super RKO, only to turn around right into a Spear, giving the Bloodline the win in 22:10. A hell of a main event that delivered in spades, though I would’ve had the faces win over one of the Usos. [****]

The final score: review Good
The 411
Other than Corbin/Moss and Omos/Lashley, this was a really good show. Several quality matches, a main event that was great, and an opener that was top-tier. WWE continues to have lame builds for PPVs that end up delivering.