The next pay-per-view (PPV) on the WWE schedule is the WrestleMania Backlash show set to take place on Sun., May 16, 2021, at the ThunderDome inside the Yuengling Center in Tampa, Florida. This will mark the first time the Backlash event has been rebranded with the WrestleMania name tacked on.
We’re seven days out from showtime, with five official matches so far:
- Bobby Lashley (c) vs. Drew McIntyre vs. Braun Strowman (WWE championship)
McIntyre failed to win the title from Lashley at WrestleMania 37, but he won a triple threat match against Strowman and Randy Orton on Raw to earn another shot at the WWE championship. However, Drew instantly started feuding with T-Bar and Mace, which led to a match on Raw where Strowman pinned McIntyre. As a result of Braun’s big win, the PPV match between Lashley and McIntyre was turned into a triple threat.
- Bianca Belair (c) vs. Bayley (SmackDown women’s championship)
In the aftermath of Belair’s championship win over Sasha Banks at WrestleMania 37, Bayley challenged her to a match on the grounds that her tears at the big show represented fear and that’s not how a champion should act. Belair accepted. Belair and Bayley brawled on the most recent episode of SmackDown, with Bayley gaining the advantage after grabbing Bianca’s earring.
- Rhea Ripley (c) vs. Asuka vs. Charlotte Flair (Raw women’s championship)
Ripley defeated Asuka for the title at WrestleMania 37. They had a rematch on Raw the very next night, but Charlotte Flair interrupted the fight and took out both women. A proper championship rematch between Ripley and Asuka was then officially announced for WrestleMania Backlash. Flair was added to the match by Sonya Deville a couple hours later to make it a triple threat, because being added to other wrestlers’ championship matches is pretty much Charlotte’s gimmick at this point.
- Roman Reigns vs. Cesaro (Universal championship)
Cesaro defeated Seth Rollins on SmackDown after Jimmy Uso returned to WWE and superkicked Seth. Teddy Long said that Cesaro would earn a Universal championship match if he beat Rollins, so here we are. Roman’s relationship with a defiant Jimmy Uso is a core part of this story.
- Dolph Ziggler & Robert Roode (c) vs. Rey & Dominik Mysterio (SmackDown tag team championship)
This match was announced a couple weeks after the Mysterios defeated Alpha Academy in a tag team match on SmackDown. Dolph Ziggler recently taunted Dominik about his inexperience and being in Rey’s shadow. Dominik responded to Dolph’s trash talk by quickly pinning him in a singles match. The Mysterios have a chance to become the first father/son tag team to ever hold tag team titles in WWE.
There’s speculation that a multi-man match for the Intercontinental championship might be added, given that the Apollo Crews vs. Big E match has already been done multiple times, as well as the recent inclusion of Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens into that story.
Finally, it doesn’t look like there will be a Women’s tag team championship match on the card. That’s because Nia Jax and Shayna Baszler are scheduled to defend those titles on the May 14 episode of SmackDown, just two days prior to WrestleMania Backlash.
How do you like the card so far?