The backlash from this year's shows on "The Grandest Stage of Them All" goes down tonight.
WWE WrestleMania Backlash emanates from the ThunderDome inside of the Yuengling Center in Tampa, Florida, streaming live via the WWE Network On Peacock this evening with a six-match card.
On tap for tonight's pay-per-view is a headline bout pitting Bobby Lashley against Drew McIntyre and Braun Strowman in a triple-threat match for the WWE Championship, as well as Roman Reigns defending his WWE Universal Championship against Cesaro in one-on-one action.
Also in store for the WWE Universe tonight is Bianca Belair vs. Bayley for the SmackDown Women's Championship, Rhea Ripley vs. Asuka vs. Charlotte Flair for the Raw Women's Championship, The Dirty Dawgs vs. Rey & Dominik Mysterio for the SmackDown Tag-Team Championship and a LumberJack Match with Damian Priest taking on The Miz.
Featured below are complete WWE WrestleMania Backlash results from Sunday, May 16, 2021.
WWE WRESTLEMANIA BACKLASH RESULTS (5/16/2021)
We are officially underway now, as the WrestleMania Backlash Kickoff Show has begun streaming live across all WWE platforms, and right here on this page (see video below).
Following the CarShield presents WrestleMania Backlash Kickoff opening video, we are welcomed inside the ThunderDome in Tampa, FL. by Kayla Braxton. She introduces her co-panelists, which include Booker T, JBL and Peter Rosenberg.
The gang begins talking about tonight's show after some pleasant opening banter among themselves. They talk briefly about the Booker T episode of the A&E Biography: WWE Legends docu-series and then run down the lineup for tonight's show, including confirming the Sheamus U.S. Title Open Challenge as the lone pre-show bout for this evening.
From there, we head to our first of many video packages to tell the stories leading into tonight's matches, as we shoot to one that shows the story behind the Roman Reigns vs. Cesaro match. After the video wraps up, we return to the pre-show panel where the panelists, starting with Peter Rosenberg from HOT 97 -- who quotes a Jay-Z verse -- as they give their insight and analysis into tonight's Universal Championship showdown between "The Tribal Chief' and "The Swiss Superman."
Now we move on to the next match on the card, as the elaborate video package telling the story leading up to tonight's bout pitting Bianca Belair against Bayley for the SmackDown Women's Championship airs. Once it wraps up, we head back to the panel where our expert analysts, which includes special guest Sonya Deville, weigh-in with their thoughts on the match. Deville jokes about how she should become a permanent addition to the pre-show panels and then they give their breakdown behind tonight's Belair-Bayley bout from the blue brand.
The panelists move on directly to the next match, narrating footage from this past week's Raw that shows how Damian Priest earned the right to pick the stipulation for his bout with The Miz -- which ultimately was decided to be a LumberJack Match. The panelists then break down the match after thanking Sonya Deville for stopping by. Now we head to a quick commercial break.
Once the break wraps up, we gear up for our next match on the show, as we delve into a deep look behind the stories leading into the triple-threat thriller for the Raw Women's Championship, with Rhea Ripley defending against Asuka and Charlotte Flair. When the video package wraps up, we return to the panel where we are once again joined by Sonya Deville, a woman who as seen in the package, played a large part in the story leading up to tonight's Raw Women's Championship match.
As they wrap up the talk for the Credit One sponsored bout of the pre-show, they head to the next title match on tonight's card, as we see the events that led up to the SmackDown Tag-Team Championship showdown this evening, with The Dirty Dawgs -- Dolph Ziggler & Robert Roode defending against Rey & Dominik Mysterio.
As we return live, we see Dominik walking backstage when he runs into the champs. They tell him to go find his dad, but they block him when he tries to walk by. They laugh and act like they're only joking with him, but then Ziggler blasts him with a headbutt and Roode puts the boots to him, before both Dawgs dump a big piece of the set backstage on top of Dominik and tell him that they'll see him later tonight, as tons of medics and officials run to help Dominik.
Non-Title Open Challenge
Sheamus (C) vs. Ricochet
Adnan Virk, Corey Graves and Byron Saxton welcome us back to the Kickoff Show and get us ready for our lone match on the pre-show this evening, as the WWE United States Champion Sheamus is in the ring now with a microphone and talks about his Open Challenge for tonight. He says it won't be for the gold, however, claiming title opportunities are earned and not given. He says even though the title isn't on-the-line, he is still willing to offer an opportunity to anyone in the back to get in the ring with one of the best.
He wraps up his pre-match promo on that note and then after a lengthy delay, the music of Ricochet plays and he makes his way down to the squared circle for this non-title open challenge showdown against "The Celtic Warrior." The bell sounds and we're off-and-running with our opening contest of the evening here on the Kickoff Show for WWE WrestleMania Backlash 2021.
Ricochet runs and hits a dropkick on Sheamus straight out of the gate and even slaps the big man in a disrespectful move. From there, we see the champ jump off to an early offensive lead as we settle into the match, using his size and strength advantage to dominate his smaller opposition in the early goings. He taunts him all-the-while, calling him a cheeky bastard and such while putting the boots to him.
We see Ricochet grab Sheamus' head and drop to his knees, blasting "The Celtic Warrior" with his own bald dome in his chin to buy himself some time in a hope spot, however Sheamus immediately takes back over and punishes the challenger with devastating strikes. Ricochet again starts firing away with punches to try and use his will to get back into competitive form. Sheamus tries shutting it down again, however Ricochet jumps at him with a big kick that stuns him momentarily.
Ricochet is picked up by Sheamus but he holds onto the ropes in the corner to avoid a potential Alabama Slam type power spot. He then climbs to the top and launches off, splashing onto Sheamus. He follows up with a shooting star and then a Asai moonsault off the middle rope for a close near fall. Sheamus gets up favoring his rib cage and Ricochet goes to work on him with forearms. Sheamus catches Ricochet with a knee to the jaw that slows him down, but Ricochet fights back catching Sheamus with a big spot.
He then hits a springboard flipping splash off the ropes for another close near fall. Moments later, Sheamus catches Ricochet with a big knee to the face after he avoided a Brogue Kick attempt to finish him off. 1-2-3. Sheamus wins.
After The Match: Ricochet To Sheamus -- "Gotcha Hat!"
Once the match wraps up, Sheamus hops back on the mic and tries adding insult to injury by mocking and gloating Ricochet after his victory. He puts his coat and fancy hat back on. He gets back on the mic but Ricochet recovers and attacks the U.S. Champion before taking his coat and hat and putting them on and dancing around as Sheamus is on the deck. Ricochet heads to the back and off-mic tells Sheamus to watch his back because he's coming for that title.
From there, we head back to the pre-show panel, where our expert analysts get us ready for the main show by running down a couple of the remaining bouts, starting by introducing the elaborate video package that tells the story leading up to tonight's WWE Championship triple-threat match with Bobby Lashley defending against Drew McIntyre and Braun Strowman.
The pre-show wraps up from there and then we shoot to the cold open for tonight's WWE WrestleMania Backlash pay-per-view, which is narrated by WWE legend Dave Bautista, and includes clips from his new film.
We are then welcomed inside the ThunderDome as fireworks and pyro erupt and we are introduced to the show by the same announce trio from the lone pre-show match, which is a three-man team consisting of Adnan Virk, Corey Graves and Byron Saxton.
Raw Women's Championship
Asuka vs. Charlotte Flair vs. Rhea Ripley (C)
The elaborate pre-match video telling the story behind tonight's triple-threat match for the Raw Women's Championship airs as we get ready for our opening bout and our first of several title matches here on tonight's card.
Mike Rome gets the official pre-match ring introductions underway as the theme for "The Queen" plays and Charlotte Flair makes her way out in her fancy robe.
As she settles into the ring, her music dies down and Asuka's plays as "The Empress" comes out with a mask on, taking it off during her top-rope pose in the ring.
Finally, we hear the familiar sounds of "This is my brutality ..." as the reigning Raw Women's Champion Rhea Ripley emerges and makes her way down to the squared circle for the opening PPV contest.
The bell sounds and we're underway as all three women are cautious and circle each other. Charlotte heads out to the floor as the commentators talk about her always being involved in the outcome when titles change hands in women's triple-threat championship matches.
We see Asuka and Ripley try and corner Charlotte on the floor, so "The Queen" rolls back into the ring. They get Charlotte out of the picture and then start to argue among themselves, leading to their first physical exchange, as Charlotte is bumped out to the floor and sells while these two get after each other in the ring.
Asuka seems to get the better of Ripley, but then Charlotte yanks her out to the floor and hits a samoan drop on her. She hops on the ring apron and starts duking it out with the champ. Back in the ring, Ripley kicks her in the gut and then hits the ropes. They shoulder bump each other and Charlotte gets in her face and says she's a 14-time champion. Ripley challenges her to try and shoulder knock her down. Charlotte tries and fails. Charlotte challenges her to do the same. As Ripley hits the ropes, Charlotte follows her in with a big knee to the gut.
She puts the boots to her on the follow-up but is then distracted by Asuka, allowing Ripley to dropkick her out to the floor. Asuka heads to the top but Ripley sees her and kicks her out to the floor as well. Ripley goes to exit the ring to continue after them, but Charlotte sweeps her legs out from under her as she was on the ring apron, knocking her down to the floor. Charlotte and Asuka resume the action by themselves in the ring, with Charlotte taking it to Asuka.
These two brawl until out of nowhere Asuka turns the tables and pulls Charlotte down to the mat with a flying armbar attempt. Charlotte escapes but Asuka locks her right back in another one. Now we see Ripley get involved again. She goes on an extended offensive run but is ultimately taken out and knocked out to the floor, as is Asuka, before Charlotte leaps to the top-rope and hits a picture-perfect moonsault with great elevation onto the floor, splashing onto both opponents. Moments later we see a wicked double super-plex off the top-rope with Ripley and Asuka each bringing Charlotte down the hard way together.
From there, things only continue to pick up as we see a double chop-block from Charlotte, taking out both the knees of Ripley and Asuka. She follows up with a double Natural Selection on both opponents before attempting to cover both at the same time, only for them to kick out at two. She heads to the top-rope and goes for another moonsault on Asuka, but "The Empress" moves and knocks Charlotte out of the ring with a big kick. Ripley looks for Rip-Tide on Asuka but Asuka avoids it and looks for the Asuka Lock.
Ripley avoids that and as she and Asuka fight back-and-forth, Charlotte hits the ring and walks right into an Asuka Lock from Charlotte. She escapes but Asuka blasts her with a kick and locks it back in. Ripley gets involved but Asuka takes her out with a kick. She goes after Charlotte, knocking her out to the floor but then turns around into a Rip-Tide from Ripley for the 1-2-3. Ripley retains as Charlotte watches on from the ring apron as she was about to re-enter the ring, only to late. Great opener.
Winner and STILL Raw Women's Champion: Rhea Ripley
Backstage: The Miz & John Morrison; Dominik Mysterio Unable To Compete Tonight?
We see footage of Bobby Lashley and MVP arriving earlier in the evening. Then we see footage from Raw explaining how the triple-threat WWE Championship match tonight was set up.
From there, we shoot backstage live where The Miz and John Morrison are shown standing around as Miz complains about who the LumberJacks are going to be. Morrison claims he's going to find out.
Then we head back inside the ThunderDome where the announce duo of Michael Cole and Pat McAfee from SmackDown are introduced as they recap the Kickoff Show segment that saw The Dirty Dawgs attack Dominik Mysterio backstage earlier tonight.
After the backstage segment is shown we return live in the backstage area where Dominik is on the medical table where a doctor tells he and Rey that Dominik is not cleared to perform. Rey says there will be a next time and tells him it's ok before walking off.
SmackDown Tag-Team Championship
Rey & Dominik Mysterio vs. The Dirty Dawgs (C)
Now we witness the ring entrance of The Dirty Dawgs -- Dolph Ziggler and Robert Roode -- as Cole and McAfee talk about how they might not have to defend the SmackDown Tag-Team Titles or if they do, it'll be against just Rey it appears.
As they settle into the ring looking extra confident after taking out Dominik, their music dies down and then the familiar sounds of the theme song of Rey Mysterio plays as the future WWE Hall of Fame legend makes his way down to the ring by himself.
Mysterio gets into the squared circle and goes right after both guys by himself, as the bell sounds to get our latest championship match underway, as it appears Rey Rey is going to go it alone this evening. The action quickly spills out to the floor as Rey slides under the ropes and onto his intended target, only to then be attacked from behind.
Rey fights off the two-on-one attack and gets the better of Roode on the floor before heading back into the ring and waiting for the action to resume. Roode finally re-enters but Rey is ready for him and jumps on him with the attack. Roode quickly fights back. Rey goes for a wild pin attempt but Roode escapes and decks him, and then tags in Ziggler.
"The Show Off" establishes the offensive advantage over the masked legend, dominating his smaller foe before tagging Roode back into the match. Roode picks up where Ziggler left off, taking it to Rey, as he now chooses to mock him by bringing him to his corner of the ring to show him that he has nobody on his side.
This allows Rey enough time to recover and he capitalizes, drop-toe-holding Roode into the middle turnbuckle and knocking Ziggler off the apron. He goes to leap to the top rope but Roode knocks him upside down into the Tree of Woe before he puts the boots to him as Ziggler taunts him and yanks on his head behind the referee's back.
After this we see Rey selling his knee / leg very badly, as the Dirty Dawgs start to focus their attack on the seemingly injured limb. The ref checks to see if Rey wants to continue. The two hit a double-team spot that culminates with Ziggler hitting a Zig-Zag on Rey for a close near fall, so close that Dolph pounds the mat in frustration when Rey manages to kick out before the count of three.
We see a tag now and Roode slides Rey under the bottom rope to a waiting Ziggler who blasts him as he slides out of the ring beneath the bottom rope with a waiting, perfectly-timed super kick with vicious momentum. That was nasty. Rey barely beats the follow-up count from the ref, but he slides back in just after the ref hits the count of nine, much to the dismay of Roode and Ziggler.
The two go for some double-team offense yet again, as they look for a double-suplex on Rey, only for Rey to counter and hit a double-DDT on both of the tag champs. This shifts the momentum in his favor now as he goes to work, taking out both men single-handedly. As he recovers with both men down and out momentarily, we see Dominik limping down to the ring holding his sides but making it to the apron.
Rey finally notices his son and asks what he's doing, saying you're hurt. Rey sets Ziggler up for the 6-1-9 and knocks Roode off the apron, but then turns around into a Zig-Zag from Ziggler. Dolph goes for the cover but Rey still manages to kick out. Ziggler tags Roode in, who picks Rey up and taunts Dominik, slamming him right in front of him and going for the cover. Again Rey manages to kick out before the three-count from the ref.
Roode picks Rey up across his shoulders and begins climbing to the middle rope. Rey fights his way free and climbs up onto Roode, leaping off and hitting a top-rope bulldog on one-half of the tag-champs that lights the ThunderDome crowd on fire. Rey is hesitant to make the tag to his son. The hesitation could cost him as Roode grabs him. Rey fights his way free and slightly hesitates again but finally makes the tag to Rey.
The stage is set for the kid to shine! He takes the hot tag after a seemingly endless barrage against his pops after he galiantly makes it down to the ring after toughing out a backstage two-on-one sneak attack. He goes for a big run but is immediately cut off by Roode. Ziggler tags in and the two hit double-team offense on him and already have him down and out of it. Ziggler sends Dominik shoulder first into the steel ring post. Roode shouts at Dominik that he's an embarassment and that he should've stayed down.
Ziggler tunes up the band for a super kick but walks into a waiting super kick from Dominik instead. Both guys are down and Dominik crawls and makes the tag, as does Ziggler. Rey comes off the top with a senton that takes out Roode. He knocks Ziggler off the apron but walks into a spinning tilt-a-whirl back-breaker for a close near fall. Roode is shocked that Rey kicked out yet again. Roode hoists Rey up for a power bomb but Rey floats over and takes him out, then sets him up for the 6-1-9.
He hits it and tags in Dominik and then runs over and takes out Ziggler. Dominik comes off the top rope with a frog splash. 1-2-3. We have new father-and-son tag champs on the SmackDown brand! They have the big emotional post-match celebration, which the ThunderDome audience and the commentators eat up. Great stuff here.
Winners and NEW SmackDown Tag-Team Champions: Rey & Dominik Mysterio
Backstage: John Morrison Finds The LumberJacks; The Usos & Roman Reigns
We head to a commercial break after a brief post-match in-ring interview with The Mysterio's and Kayla Braxton. From there we see John Morrison walking backstage and he comes to a locker room that reads "The LumberJacks." He sees a bunch of zombies behind the door.
Now we're seeing Jimmy Uso walking backstage and he approaches the locker room of "The Tribal Chief" Roman Reigns. He sees Jey Uso sitting by himself in there and tells him he should be with him in the locker room that reads, "The Usos" and says they'll be tag champs. Roman Reigns walks in and Jimmy leaves.
After this we catch back up with John Morrison, who catches up himself with The Miz, who is getting ready for his LumberJack match against Damian Priest. He tries telling him about the zombies he saw in the LumberJack locker room. Miz thinks it's more new-age nonsense from his pal. They walk off and get ready.
The Miz (w/ John Morrison) vs. Damian Priest
We're back inside the ThunderDome where we are re-joined by the announce trio of Virk, Graves and Saxton as The Miz's theme hits and he comes out. John Morrison's theme hits and he joins him and the two head down to the ring for our advertised LumberJack match as the commentators show a Batista tweet plugging the match and says it should be interesting.
The duo settles into the ring and their music dies down. Now the theme for Damian Priest plays and the highly-regarded up-and-comer on the Raw brand makes his way down to the ring. As he settles in we see the zombies emerging all over the place, which stops Miz and Morrison from leaving, as every path they choose results in zombies turning up to stop them, leaving them nowhere to go but the ring.
Finally Miz is stuck in the ring with Priest as the zombies are already doing their jobs as lumberjacks, keeping the two in the ring and any-and-everything else the hell-out. They swipe their hands under the bottom rope the entire time, as they are zombies who continue to try and move forward (only for the ring to stop them). The commentators finally re-join their position after initially leaving town when zombies arose from under their table as Miz and Morrison tried to leave earlier.
We see the action spill to the floor as Miz is immediately swarmed up zombies, so he quickly gets back in the ring. Priest ends up on the floor moments later and has a different approach, as he decides to just kick the ass of the zombies that are in reaching distance of himself before re-entering the ring on his own. Miz ends up thrown out to the floor where this time he crawls under the ring. He comes out the other side only to run into more zombies so he runs into the ring -- right into a lariat from Priest.
After he recovers both guys end up outside of the ring where they each start firing away at zombies with punches. They clear a few away and bump into each other. They turn around and decide against fighting each other, instead deciding to continue taking out zombies. They head back into the ring and Miz goes to high-five him but then tries a cheap shot. Priest catches it and makes Miz pay. Now John Morrison hits the ring and provides a distraction, allowing Miz to hit a running knee.
He goes for the cover but no dice. Now Morrson is taken out by zombies and Priest hits Miz with his finisher for the win. After the match, Priest gets out of there while all the zombies finally hit the ring at the same time and seemingly feast on Miz. Graves asks on commentary for Dave Bautista to stop sending his friends there. On that note, we head to a commercial break.
Winner: Damian Priest
Backstage: The Usos Bicker Some More
We shoot backstage after the break and we see The Usos run into each other again. Jimmy talks down to Jey again, telling him the name on the locker room door should read, "Roman Reigns ... and his b*tch."
SmackDown Women's Championship
Bayley vs. Bianca Belair (C)
Now we are treated to the elaborate pre-match video package that tells the story leading into tonight's SmackDown Women's Championship showdown pitting "The EST Of WWE" Bianca Belair against the first Women's Grand Slam Champion in WWE history -- Bayley -- as it is up next here at WWE WrestleMania Backlash 2021.
Once the package wraps up, the commentary duo of Cole and McAfee return for this blue brand bout, as the familiar sounds of Bayley's theme hits. She makes her way down to the ring as the announcers point out that she has the word "BELL-LOSER" shaved into the back of her head in honor of her opponent tonight, Bianca Belair.
Speaking of Belair, the whiplash kicks her theme song off and the women who is "The EST Of WWE" makes her way down to the ring for this SmackDown Women's Championship defense, her first PPV defense since winning the title from Sasha Banks at WrestleMania 37. The ring announcer does the formal ring introductions for this match. The fans chant "EST! EST!" as they clearly back Belair in this one.
The bell sounds and we are underway with our next title bout of the evening. Belair immediately waves Bayley on like The Rock telling someone to "just bring it!" The fans break out in "EST! EST!" chants again as these two lock up. Belair goes behind Bayley, but we see a reversal. Another reversal leads to Bayley getting launched through the ropes and out to the floor.
Bayley reaches for the long ponytail of Belair upon returning inside the ring, and the failed attempt is enough to anger Belair, as she warns Bayley not to touch her hair. It also keeps her fired up as she continues to dominate the action against her challenger in this, her first SmackDown Women's title defense. She starts to taunt Bayley as she gets comfortable in the lead. Belair goes for another big spot but Bayley slides out the back door and heads to the floor for a quick time out to re-group and recover, as things clearly are not going her way thus far.
Belair invites Bayley into the ring but instead Bayley runs so Belair comes out after her. Bayley tries luring her around the corner, and Belair follows right around. Bayley's attempt to set her up doesn't work as Belair continues to dominate her and the commentators continue to tell the story that Bayley is not having any luck no matter what she tries. Finally Bayley reaches up and grabs the ear-ring of the champ and this cheap move finally allows her to get in some offense, as she begins to go to work on the champ with her first prolonged offensive attack of the match.
We see Bayley hit a cutter on Belair over the middle rope out to the floor. She sits on the ring apron and arrogantly tells Pat McAfee to talk about her on commentary now. He does, putting her over. Bayley goes for a suplex while standing on the bottom rope on the outside of the ropes on the ring apron. Belair reverses and brings her into the ring. Bayley still rolls Belair up but Belair kicks out. Regardless, Bayley remains in control of the action, hitting Belair with a cheap shot and then going back to work on her. She hits another big shot on Belair and goes for the cover but Belair kicks out. On the floor, Bayley hits a suplex, belly-first, onto Belair on the steel steps.
Back inside the ring, Bayley takes Belair down and goes for the cover, however the champ kicks out -- so viciously that Bayley flies through the ropes and takes out the camera man in the process. Bayley pops back up and jumps back in the ring, taking it to Belair with punches. She gets up and taunts Belair, laughing and pointing at her, telling her to crawl. Belair pops up and drops Bayley with a big smack. The two exchange some back-and-forth strikes and Bayley goes for her finisher only for Belair to counter with a huge spinebuster for a close near fall on the challenger. Bayley recovers and takes the champ down with a big clothesline.
She then heads to the top-rope where she comes off with a flying elbow smash that connects. Belair kicks out of the follow-up pin attempt. Bayley tries sliding through the bottom rope from the floor with a kick to Belair, but Belair saw it coming. Instead Bayley leaped down to her feet and ran Belair face-first into the steel ring post. Bayley re-enters the ring and hits the ropes, flying through the ropes on the other side looking to splash on Belair, but missing. Belair slams Bayley chest-first into the ring apron. She rolls her back into the ring and goes for the cover, but Bayley kicks out after the count of two.
Belair is frustrated that this didn't put Bayley away. Moments later Bayley rolls Belair up and puts her feet on the ropes for the pin attempt, only for Belair to still kick out. She tries grabbing the ropes with her hands during a pin attempt seconds later, but this time she is caught in the act by the referee. Bayley uses Belair's body to block the vision of the official long enough to rake the eyes of Belair without him seeing it. Belair is grabbing her eyes and screaming on the ground as Bayley recovers, leaving the ref confused. Now Bayley has the long ponytail of Belair. She taunts her with it and uses it to hit her Rip-Cord into a Bayley-to-belly. She goes for the pin but Belair somehow kicks out before the three-count. Seconds later, out of nowhere, Belair rolls Bayley up and gets the pin by using her ponytail as leverage.
Winner and STILL SmackDown Women's Champion: Bianca Belair
Backstage: MVP Talks Tonight's Main Event, Drew McIntyre Prepares
After a quick commercial break, including an advertisement for WWE Icons: Rob Van Dam airing on the WWE Network on Peacock after the WWE WrestleMania Backlash 2021 pay-per-view, we head backstage.
A member of the WWE broadcast team then congratulates Bianca Belair on retaining her SmackDown Women's Championship in the previous bout and then introduces his guest at this time, which is MVP.
MVP talks briefly about tonight's WWE Championship showdown and how Bobby Lashley is being forced to defend his title against two opponents in the form of Drew McIntyre and Braun Strowman. He says although it is unfair, nothing changes and tonight ends with the WWE Championship still belonging to The Almighty Era.
Now we see "The Scottish Warrior" himself jumping up and down and getting ready in his gear for his chance to recapture the WWE Championship in the triple-threat title match -- which is up next.
Drew McIntyre vs. Braun Strowman vs. Bobby Lashley (C)
Now we are treated to the elaborate pre-match video package that tells the story leading up to tonight's triple-threat match for the WWE title. This match is up next here at WWE WrestleMania Backlash.
Once the package wraps up, we hear the slice of a Scottish sword and then the familiar sounds of the official entrance music of "The Scottish Warrior" plays as Drew McIntyre makes his way out with the massive sword. He spikes it into the ground as fire erupts from the stage and he begins his walk down to the ring as the commentator talks about him attempting to become the 16th three-time WWE Champion in history tonight.
He settles into the ring and poses on the top rope as fireworks explode one more time and then his music dies down and the theme for Braun Strowman plays as the Strowman Express begins making its' way down to the ring. "The Monster Among Men" settles into the ring and refuses to take his eyes off of McIntyre. His music dies down.
The theme song for "The All Mighty" Bobby Lashley plays as the WWE Champion emerges after the lightning strikes the top of the stage. He is accompanied by MVP, who is wearing his Sunday best -- on this fine Sunday evening -- as he walks his champion down to the ring for our co-main event of the show. He poses on the top rope with his title and pyro goes off one final time.
The bell sounds and the ring announcer does the formal pre-match ring introduction for each challenger and then the champion, giving this semi-final bout of the evening the "big fight feel" it deserves. McIntyre gets in Lashley's face during the introductions. The three men circle each other. Lashley tells McIntyre that they should take out Strowman together and then fight it out. Before McIntyre can agree or disagree, Strowman charges at both of them.
Strowman goes to work taking out McIntyre and then begins beating on the champ. Lashley gets Strowman down and looks at McIntyre to see if he's interested in the aforementioned offer. McIntyre doesn't acknowledge him but does go after Strowman. Now Lashley gets after Strowman and tells McIntyre to come get some as well. McIntyre seems to oblige him purposely this time, helping hit a double-suplex with the champ.
Now they lock eyes on each other with Strowman down and the battle begins between these two. McIntyre launches Lashley out to the floor and then blasts Strowman with a Glasgow Kiss. Lashley yanks McIntyre out to the floor and rams him back-first into the ring apron and then the ringside barricade. He hoists him over his shoulders but McIntyre escapes out the back door and slams him into the steel ring post.
With those two exchanging shots, Strowman comes flying off the ring apron with a somersault, taking out both guys. That was crazy. Now Strowman manhandles Lashley with a chokeslam in the ring. He goes for the cover but Lashley kicks out at two. Lashley recovers and looks to apply The Hurt Lock on Strowman. While he goes for this, McIntyre enters the camera picture out of nowhere and violently takes out both guys like a car crash.
Strowman is taken out briefly and now Lashley goes to work on "The Scottish Warrior." He takes him out of the picture and hits a wicked super spinebuster on "The Monster Among Men." Lashley is dominating the action at this point, as he goes out to the floor to work over McIntyre as Strowman is still out as well. Lashley slams McIntyre into the ring barricade and then into the steel ring post. He turns around, however, into a big shot from the steel ring steps held by Strowman. And another. Strowman throws them up the aisle and we see some replays of this.
Out of nowhere, McIntyre recovers and hits a big kick that takes out Strowman, knocking him over the barricade with a Claymore Kick that the commentators completely missed the call on. We see the replay of it and they nearly miss it again. Truth! McIntyre and Lashley fight up the ramp as Strowman is down -- seemingly still in the front row where McIntyre kicked him. Lashley counters and hits a suplex on McIntyre in the steel entrance ramp.
We see Lashley hook a suplex on McIntyre right in front of the LED boards that are part of the entrance stage design. McIntyre avoids it. He whips Lashley into them and a bunch of sparks go off. The fans chant "Holy sh*t" as we see replays of this spot. McIntyre looks down the ramp knowing Strowman is down there by himself. He instead decides to walk over and look through the LED boards to see for himself that Lashley is down. Instead he doesn't see him anywhere and turns around to a big shot from Strowman that takes him out. Strowman then rolls him down the entire entrance ramp. He charges down after him and runs him over right in front of the ring.
Braun rolls Drew back into the ring and as Graves points out, this could be the golden hour for "The Monster Among Men" to put him away. He hits a big sledge and then a senton into a cover but somehow McIntyre survives. Moments later we see McIntyre side-step Strowman as he charged at him. Strowman bounces off the turnbuckles in the corner and turns around into a Michinoku Driver from McIntyre. Crazy! We see replays of this after Strowman kicks out of the follow-up pin attempt. We return live and we see Strowman hit a belly-to-belly suplex that throws McIntyre over the top and out to the floor. Strowman heads out after him.
Graves touts the Strowman Express is about to leave the station. He charges around the ring on the floor to a waiting McIntyre who launches Strowman with a belly to belly overhead release suplex that dumps Strowman onto the floor -- with authority. We see replays of this as McIntyre charges at Strowman and leaps at him with a Claymore Kick. Strowman senses it coming and catches McIntyre, hoisting him up and power-bombing him through the commentary table, which explodes into 1,000 toothpicks. We watch replays as the fans chant "This Is Awesome!" and Strowman tears his t-shirt off with intensity.
Strowman rolls McIntyre into the ring and the commentators talk about how this could be over. Strowman comes in after him and claims it's about to be over. Instead, he walks into a Claymore Kick from McIntyre. Lashley hits the ring out of nowhere and takes out McIntyre, sending him out to the floor and then spears Strowman for the pin fall victory. Lashley retains.
Winner and STILL WWE Champion: Bobby Lashley
WWE Universal Championship
Cesaro vs. Roman Reigns (C)
We return from a quick commercial break, which includes an ad for WWE Hell In A Cell on June 20, 2021 on WWE Network on Peacock, we see Michael Cole and Pat McAfee standing in front of what is left of the commentary table after what just transpired during the WWE Championship triple-threat co-main event of the evening.
They finish recapping the action and plugging the next WWE PPV event, and then they set up the elaborate pre-match video package for tonight's main event, which airs now telling the story leading up to tonight's WWE Universal Championship showdown between "The Swiss Superman" Cesaro and current title-holder "The Tribal Chief" Roman Reigns.
We're back from the package and we see Cesaro make his way down to the ring as the green lasers and lights fill the ThunderDome in Tampa, Florida and "The Swiss Superman" makes his way down to the squared circle. The commentators do their best job in setting the stage for this to be the potential crowning moment for Cesaro as a main event player in WWE.
Cesaro looks to be soaking up the moment, wearing an ear-to-ear grin as he enters the ring and bounces up-and-down, getting ready for battle. We shoot backstage and we see Roman Reigns in his ring gear. Jey Uso tries hyping up Reigns. Reigns questions Uso's motives. He tells him he sounds like his brother right now. He says maybe he should go find him. He and Paul Heyman walk off and leave Uso standing by himself backstage looking offended.
The new theme for "The Head of the Table" plays as "The Tribal Chief" emerges with his special counsel Paul Heyman accompanying him to the ring with his WWE Universal Championship. He hands it to Reigns, who holds it high as fireworks explode while Cole and McAfee use some statistics to try and help better explain the circumstances surrounding tonight's match. They point out how this is just another usual day on the job for Reigns while this is a complete first for Cesaro.
Our WWE WrestleMania Backlash 2021 main event for the WWE Universal Championship between Roman Reigns and Cesaro is up next. The ring announcer begins the final formal pre-match introductions now that both men are in the ring and ready for battle. The ref calls for the bell and we're off-and-running with our headline bout of the show.
These two circle each other with Cesaro pressing forward as the aggressor and Reigns backing up and circling. They finally lock up aggressively and they push and pull with neither man establishing a clear offensive advantage over the other. We see Cesaro kind of get the better of things before they get tied up in the ropes and the ref calls for them to break things up. They break up and Cesaro smiles. Reigns closes in on him and they lock up again. This time Reigns slaps a head lock on the challenger and takes him down.
Cesaro works his way back up and eventually free, only for Reigns to shoulder tackle him down and go for the cover. Cesaro kicks out at one. They fight back up and now Cesaro does the same thing to Reigns that he did to him, including going for the cover and getting a one count only. Reigns rolls out to the floor in frustrated fashion, looking to his special counsel briefly as he regroups before slowly taking his time to re-enter the ring and re-engage with "The Swiss Superman," who is looking super confident.
Back in the ring now, Reigns and Cesaro lock up again with Cesaro again getting the better of things. He eventually hits a big leaping European uppercut that decks the champ. He continues to work him over until Reigns shows his own strength and power displays, as he sends Cesaro over the ropes and out to the floor, where Cesaro seems to land awkwardly on his shoulder, favoring it as he gets up which the commentators quickly point out and talk us through when showing an immediate replay.
We see Cesaro re-engage once he re-enters the ring and while he does land some European uppercuts, the commentators point out that he made facial expressions like he was in pain when doing so. Reigns seems to notice this and is now targeting his offensive attack on the seemingly injured shoulder and arm of the challenger. Reigns sends Cesaro out to the floor, but goes out after him and brings him back in, going right back to work on him and using his body weight to smother him while he works him over on the mat.
Cesaro tries to use his strength to suplex his way out of this situation, but Reigns blocks it twice and ends up suplexing him instead. The commentators speculate that the apparent arm injury of Cesaro is affecting his trademark super-human power advantage that he normally enjoys. He keeps trying to fight his way back into competitive form, but the Tribal Chief is doing a good job of keeping things in his control until finally the tables get turned on The Head of the Table himself, as Cesaro starts firing up.
"The Swiss Superman" hits a crazy corkscrew plancha onto Reigns and then hits a running European uppercut that nearly knocks the champ over the ring barricade. Back in the ring, Cesaro hits a huge spot that sets up a close near fall attempt. Reigns hangs on, however. Cesaro grabs Reigns by the ear and tries dragging him over to the corner while he is in the ring and Reigns is outside the ropes on the ring apron. Cesaro heads to the top but Reigns knocks him down over the top with a big shot.
He then kicks Cesaro in the head but holds onto his seemingly injured arm and inflicts further damage to it by essentially hanging him by his arm over the turnbuckles in the corner. He follows that up with a running dropkick on the ring apron that knocks Cesaro's hurt arm directly into the steel ring post. Reigns goes for the cover but Cesaro kicks out at two. The camera shows a close up of Cesaro's arm which is bruised and even bleeding a little it seems.
As both guys slowly get back up to their feet, we see Reigns wearing a huge smile on his face, as he is pleased with what he has done to Cesaro's arm and spirit in general. This angers Cesaro and the two start trading. Reigns gets the better of it, however, and yanks on Cesaro's arm while talking directly into the camera, taunting him and even dancing around. Cesaro fights his way free momentarily, but Reigns clotheslines him down and kills his momentum before it gets started. Now Reigns sits behind Cesaro taunting him, laughing and talking trash telling him he loves this before ambushing him with another violent offensive striking sequence.
We see Reigns bickering with the ref who points to the logo on his shirt to show his authority. As this is going on, finally Cesaro recovers enough to go after Reigns again. He uses his hurt arm to beat on the champ with repeated European uppercuts, despite them seeming to hurt Cesaro almost as much as Reigns. Cesaro finishes with a big clothesline with the hurt arm that definitely took a toll on him. Both guys are down and when they recover enough to get back up, they trade shots all the way back to their feet where, out of the blue, Cesaro fires up and goes into "Swiss Superman" mode.
Cesaro shakes his hurt arm loose and goes to work on the champ. He hits Reigns with a superplex using pure strength to lift him off the ring apron to the top-rope with him all the way over and down to the mat. He goes for the follow-up pin attempt, although the champ kicks out. We see replays of the crazy superplex from moments ago. When we return live, we see Cesaro softening the legs up of Reigns. He is seemingly looking for the Swing or the Sharpshooter but Reigns tries fighting free. Cesaro kicks him and picks him up, looking to hit him with The Neutralizer. His arm gives out during the attempt and Reigns capitalizes by slapping an armbar on the hurt arm of the challenger.
As the champ cranks on the armbar, Cesaro wiggles his arm loose enough to reverse Reigns and counter with a pin attempt. Reigns kicks out. Cesaro goes for a corkscrew European uppercut but instead turns around into a well-timed Superman Punch from Reigns that lands right on the button. Both guys are down now as we see replays of the aforementioned sequence. Reigns stalks Cesaro, waiting for him to get up. He charges at him looking for a Spear but instead lowers his head into a perfectly timed European uppercut from Cesaro. This again hurts Cesaro's arm. Reigns capitalizes on this by slapping the guillotine choke on the challenger and cranking away on it.
Cesaro counters out of it and slams Reigns down. He looks for the Sharpshooter again and this time he steps through and fully locks it in. He cranks back and Reigns screams out in pain. Cesaro counters and slips in the Crossface. He rolls and brings him back into the middle of the ring. He cranks back with everything he's got. McAfee and Cole point out how deep it is on commentary. Reigns somehow eventually loosens the grip and turns Cesaro over. He begins pounding him with vicious elbows and ground and pound. Reigns hooks Cesaro and uses pure strength to hoist him up, putting him back down with authority with a seated power-bomb directly into a pin -- which Cesaro somehow kicks out of. Reigns looks discouraged and then plain-pissed off. He mounts Cesaro and angrily hammers away at him with ground and pound. Reigns slaps a front face lock on Cesaro and floats over into a guillotine choke. Cesaro's head turns bright red as he runs out of oxygen. Cesaro powers Reigns up and slams him down, but Reigns still has it somewhat locked in. Cesaro tries powering his way out of it but again Reigns tightens it back up. Cesaro seems to be fading again. He hand-fights wth Reigns and breaks the grip of the champ. Reigns re-applies the hold. Cesaro fades and the ref calls for the bell. Reigns wins and retains the title.
Winner and STILL WWE Universal Champion: Roman Reigns
After The Match: Jey Uso & Seth Rollins Attack Cesaro
After the match, Jey Uso comes out and recognizes Reigns as The Head of the Table, putting the lay around his neck and looking dead-eyed as he stands by Reigns' side. He tells Reigns angrily "let me get him!" Reigns seems to agree. Uso runs over and super kicks Cesaro down and beats on him with punches as Reigns watches on and smirks.
Uso drags Cesaro over and climbs to the top-rope. As he makes it to the top we hear "Burn it down!!!" Seth Rollins makes his way out in a goofy suit. He enters the ring and gets in Reigns' face and then smiles real big. He charges over and picks the bones, beating on whatever is left of Cesaro, throwing him out to the floor and launching him over the announce desk at ringside.
He puts Cesaro's arm inside a steel folding chair and slams it violently into the steel ring post. He follows that up with a big Stomp on the floor. He proudly stands tall in the ring as officials run to check on Cesaro as the WWE WrestleMania Backlash show goes off the air.
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