After weeks of issues with his cousin Jimmy Uso, Universal champion Roman Reigns decided to go it alone for his WrestleMania Backlash main event against Cesaro. It sent a message to Jimmy & Jey, but was also the latest way the Tribal Chief was telling the world he thought his latest challenger was beneath him.
The Swiss Superman and his legion of fans didn’t care. We’d been waiting a long time to see Cesaro get a chance like the one he was getting on May 16.
Cesaro brought the fight right from the bell, but Reigns was unfazed. When the King of Swing seemed to tweak his right arm, Roman smelled blood and went to work. Cesaro didn’t work all these years to fold early in his biggest opportunity, though. When he countered a Superman Punch into a Pop-up European Uppercut, the Head of the Table was reeling.
The champ was able to snap Cesaro’s injured arm over the rope after a boot to the face, and Reigns set to punishing his opponent - and reminding everyone about his mission statement as the face of WWE.
Selling his arm throughout, the two men traded big shots. Cesaro got two after a superplex.
Reigns returned the counter favor and answered a Corkscrew European with a Superman Punch. The challenger’s arm gave out on his during a Neutralizer attempt, but Cesaro was able to fight out of a guillotine to lock in a Sharpshooter, then a Crossface.
The champ fought through that, then reapplied his guillotine choke. Cesaro did everything he could to escape, including lifting Reigns up for a powerbomb. But he could only battle for so long, and eventually succumbed.
Unfortunately, Cesaro had more indignity to suffer on his big night. First, looking to impress his Tribal Chief, Jey asked for and was granted permission to continue the assault on a beaten man.
Then, in a move that seems designed to set-up a feud-ended at the just announced June Hell in a Cell show, Seth Rollins came out to destroy the Swiss Cyborg with a steel chair.
Cesaro gave us a great show in his first PPV main event. But it looks like he won’t be Roman’s opponent for the next one. It does look like he’ll stay near the top of the card though, and that’s a win in any book.
Get complete WrestleMania Backlash results and coverage of the entire show here.