Not many have been able to go toe to toe to start a match with Reigns, so the start of this match made Cesaro look strong.
Reigns did a good shoulder tackle and went to cover Cesaro immediately, and then Cesaro returned the favor for his own one count. He almost got Reigns in a swing but he was able to wiggle out.
Cesaro then started favoring his right shoulder after a nasty fall, and Reigns started taking advantage of that. A Samoan drop put Cesaro on that shoulder, and Reigns locked up a Superman punch, but he countered with an uppercut.
Cesaro attacked one of Reigns’ legs and did the sharp shooter, but Reigns got out of it. An awesome corkscrew over the top rope from Cesaro and then charging at Reigns with an uppercut. Reigns draped Cesaro’s bad shoulder over the top rope and held it there. Great spot.
Reigns trash talking started up and he started snickering and smiling at Cesaro’s will to fight. He kept beating him up and Cesaro looked rough, but you could see it on his face that he wasn’t ready to give up. Cesaro started a come back and Reigns got serious.
A clothesline saw Cesaro writhe in pain. He fought through it and did an incredible superplex over the top rope fore a near fall! Cesaro went for a Neutralizer and he couldn’t do it. So Reigns transitioned into an armbar and Cesaro rolled out.
Cesaro went for a springboard uppercut and Reigns met him with a Superman Punch, and Cesaro just kicked out at 2.9!
CESARO COUNTERED THE GUILLOTINE! He locked in the sharp shooter and Reigns screamed in pain. Cesaro transitioned to an armbar and Reigns powered out and pummeled him.
Reigns locked in another Guillotine, and he powered out again! But Reigns locked it in again, and it looked like it was over. Cesaro tried so hard to get out of it, but he couldn’t.
Jey Uso came down and draped the lei over Reigns, and attacked Cesaro viciously.
All of a sudden Seth Rollins came down to the ring. He and Reigns locked eyes and Rollins attacked Cesaro seemingly... for Reigns? I don’t know what the look and smile was for. Rollins just destroyed Cesaro’s shoulder and did the curb stomp.
That was an unexpected ending for this show. I would have thought that there would be some continuation of the Jimmy/Jey/Reigns saga, but they opted for Rollins and Cesaro instead.
The few parts with Jimmy throughout the show were to continue the division in the family and have Jey playing sides, but Jey just continued to play for Roman and Jimmy didn’t come out at the end like I thought he was going to.
The bigger story out of this - Roman did it all on his own. No cheating, no interference, no disqualification. Roman locked in the Guillotine in a straight up wrestling match, and won the match by himself. It plays right into the story they were telling on SmackDown, and I’m very intrigued to see how Jey reacts to that on Friday.
Cesaro was excellent and played his babyface role perfectly. I’m sad to have seen him lose here, but WWE hopefully sees him in a much higher position now. He deserves it.
Let’s get to the rest of the main hits and misses of this show. For a full rundown of WrestleMania Backlash, check out the live blog by Claire Elizabeth!
Always be on the look out
Asuka and Ripley played it smart right in the beginning trying to take out Flair.
Of course, we all know double teaming never ends up working for more than a minute.
Ripley took her eyes off Flair for a moment and Flair took advantage by taking out her left leg on the apron. But Flair didn’t pay attention to Asuka and Asuka did a seamless transition into the Asuka Lock. That was beautiful!
Ripley broke that up and hit Flair with a flurry of knees and a really nice Northern Lights suplex. Asuka got there right at the two count. She was able to take both women out and got a nice minute and a half of offense.
And then The Queen did her Moonsault from the top rope top the floor. It’s been a while since we’ve seen that! Ripley and Asuka met Flair on that same top rope and teamed up again for a double superplex.
It all broke down between them and Flair did a double Natural Selection, trying to do Reigns’ smash ‘em, stack’em, pin ‘em but it didn’t work for her.
But what was a bit of some really good storytelling here is that Flair ended up losing because she took her eyes off of Ripley. Asuka knocked her off the apron, and Ripley came in and won the match right under her nose.
Now, what I probably wouldn’t have done was all the childish stuff after, sticking her tongue out and acting like a 4th grader, but we’ll all forget about that by next week. Charlotte and Rhea are not done yet.
As for Asuka, I really don’t know where we go next. It’s a shame how she has been treated since October of last year. Never the centerpiece in her own feuds, always tied to other people, and coming up short in non-title matches. She deserves better. I’d probably move her to SmackDown.
This show made clear that she’s not positioned atop the Raw women’s division anymore.
Earlier in the day, those Dirty Dawgz attacked Dominik to take him out of the match.
So Rey Mysterio came out alone and gave it to the bad guys. Mysterio did a baseball slide to Ziggler and Roode. The one to Ziggler looked nasty but he was alright.
It finally turned into a match with tags between the Dawgz.
Once it turned into a match, Ziggler and Roode largely dominated Mysterio. They had him their corner and Ziggler did the assisted Famouser for a near fall. Then Roode threw Mysterio into a superkick, and Mysterio made it back into the ring for the 9.9 count. Really great moment.
And then the young Mysterio walked down the ramp and told his Dad to tag him in. Ziggler did the Zig Zag for another near fall, but the heels weren’t letting him get to his son.
Finally, Rey got to his corner, but he was hesitant to tag Dom in, so Dom tagged himself in. Very good storytelling here. Roode did a great spinebuster, and they teamed to do a neckbreaker. Dom kicked out.
Ziggler set up the superkick, and Dom did one of his own! Rey got the hot tag and it looked like Roode would get the victory, but Rey kicked out. Roode kept taunting the young Mysterio and Rey did the 619 to him and took out Dolph. Dom did the frog splash and got the victory.
Really classic babyface storytelling in this match. Roode trash talked Dom the whole time, and ended up eating the pin. Rey was hesitant to tag in his injured son, and Dom taking charge showed some good character work. All around good stuff here and I’m happy to see this continue.
Lashley tried to get McIntyre to take out Strowman with him, but Strowman didn’t give them time.
However they finally were able to give a monstrous suplex to the monster. Braun was very angry with that because he damn near spiked his head on the outside diving to take them out. Drew and Bobby saved his damn life on that spot.
Bodies were everywhere. McIntyre Claymore kicked Strowman over the barricade after Strowman hit Lashley with the steps. McIntyre then threw Lashley through some LED boards and sparks flew.
Strowman bulldozed through McIntyre realizing that Lashley was out of it, and did a senton to McIntyre. Gosh that looks especially painful by a 380 pound guy. McIntyre ducked Strowman and did a Mishinoku driver! McIntyre then went for a Claymore on the outside and Braun caught him and they crashed through the announce table. Wow.
Braun tried the powerslam and Drew Claymore kicked him, and then Lashley decided to grace us with his presence to steal the victory.
I really appreciated the announcers giving us some history on WWE title and triple threats. Made this match feel more important. And once Bobby went through the LED boards, this match got really fun. I expected Lashley to win, and Strowman to get the pin, because why else was he in this match?
My guess is that Lashley and McIntyre will be at the new June edition of Hell in a Cell. By the way, Lashley hit the title so hard a piece of the red swoosh broke off. Doesn’t look bad in gold! Maybe just pop off the rest of that stuff?
Bianca Belair defeated Bayley
It’s a shame that this match followed one of the dumbest things I have seen from WWE this year. I was not really able to pay much attention to this, after I was really looking forward to it. It also didn’t help that I already knew who was winning this, so the vitriol I had from Priest and Miz just made this not as interesting to me. Though I did really like Belair side stepping and making Bayley crash to her face on the outside. Bayley tried to use the ropes to win, and if Belair didn’t kick out, she would have won. Bayley just resorted to cheating for the rest of the match, and it didn’t work.
Damian Priest defeated The Miz
Not even Priest’s good looks were able to distract me from this garbage. Paid actors were dressed up as zombies and Priest and Miz at one point WORKED TOGETHER TO TAKE OUT ALL THE ZOMBIES. There were actual people dressed up as zombies. And then Morrison got eaten by them. And then Miz got eaten by them. There was a match in here somewhere.
What were your thoughts, Cagesiders?