Ronda Rousey makes Charlotte Flair quit, Bloodline wins again

Backlash has been a longtime WWE premium event, but last year was the first time the company added “WrestleMania” in front of the moniker. That’s apropos this year for WrestleMania Backlash 2022, where the card is littered with rematches from this year’s grandest stage.

Cody Rhodes vs. Seth Rollins will open the show after stealing all the attention on WrestleMania Saturday. Without a WWE heavyweight title to show for on RAW, their feud has been showcased as the most important on Mondays in the leadup to Backlash. Cody is rightfully being featured as the most prominent babyface in the company, and his rematch against Rollins should only solidify that standing.

Beyond Rollins and Rhodes, all eyes will be on Charlotte Flair vs. Ronda Rousey in an “I Quit” match for the SmackDown women’s championship. Regardless of the outcome, this bout will take their feud to a new level.

One key difference between WrestleMania and WrestleMania Backlash is that neither the heavyweight title or tag titles will be on the line. Instead, RAW tag team champs RK-Bro and Drew McInytre take on WWE Universal champion Roman Reigns and SmackDown tag team champions The Usos. The decision to pivot from the winner-take-all tag team title match was a head-scratcher, but the talent in this six-man main event should more than make up for a questionable build.

WrestleMania was a massive success by any measure. Can WrestleMania Backlash be more than a WrestleMania hangover?

Follow live as we recap every match as it happens.

Match in progress: Six-man tag team match: The Bloodline def. RK-Bro and Drew McIntyre

RKOs, spears, Claymores and Superkicks were everywhere, but in the end Roman Reigns hit Riddle with a spear to earn the win for his team. Recap to come.


Smackdown women’s championship: Ronda Rousey wins ‘I Quit’ match against Charlotte Flair

This was one of the most physical women’s matches in a long, long time. Piercing Knife Edge Chops, exploding kendo stick sword fights, launching cameras — Charlotte and Rousey took full advantage of the unforgiving stipulation where anything goes until someone utters the words “I quit.”

In the words of Pat McAfee, it was “an absolute fight from beginning to end!” Rousey’s armbar on Charlotte from the apron was an uncomfortable sight, even for the most avid MMA enthusiasts. That helped set up the finish when Rousey trapped Charlotte’s arm in a steel chair before pulling off a modified armbar.

During the final moments, when Charlotte wouldn’t quit, Rousey screamed in the mic, “I was hoping you’d say that b—-!” and changed the angle on the hold. Charlotte then quit almost immediately and Rousey became the SmackDown women’s champion. Later on the broadcast, WWE reported that Flair had suffered a fractured radius.

What’s next: Rousey as a champion is best for business, as a part-timer or full-time performer. Her name transcends WWE, or even MMA. The question is whether Rousey will be a defending champion who shows up every week to advance feuds.

Rousey could use a mouthpiece if she’s going to appear on SmackDown weekly — Paul Heyman, please. RAW boasts the more impressive women’s roster (Asuka, Becky Lynch, Bianca Belair, Rhea Ripley), so the Charlotte feud might have to continue through Hell in a Cell. However, it’s only a matter of time until Sasha Banks is back in the title picture. Bayley may also be returning from injury in the near future.

Madcap Moss def. Happy Corbin

This match had the unfortunate slot coming right after the Rousey-Charlotte barnburner and before the main event. The purpose of this match from start to finish was to showcase Madcap Moss as a future player on SmackDown. Moss has the look, intensity and physical charisma of a performer WWE tends to favor. Moss won the short match with a roll up, stunning his former tag partner.

What’s next: Happy Corbin will continue to be a pain in someone’s side, whether that’s in a main event or an opening match. This next month for Moss could say a lot about how high WWE thinks his ceiling could be.

Edge def. AJ Styles

AJ Styles continues to be an ageless wonder, pulling off an Asai Moonsault to the outside seldom seen from the 44-year old these days. Edge is still plenty athletic as well at the age of 48. But this rematch was all about psychology from the two veterans.

Edge ripped off the turnbuckle as Styles went for a German Suplex, with Styles then launching Edge chest first into the exposed metal. Styles impressively landed a Styles Clash on the much-taller Edge, but he kicked out just as he did in their first encounter.

The climax of the match saw the banned-from-ringside Damien Priest come out to save Edge. Finn Balor charged out and attacked Priest, which distracted the ref. As Styles stood on the top rope, someone wearing a black hoodie pushed him and allowed Edge to lock in his crossface submission for the win.

The hooded person was revealed to be none other than Rhea Ripley, with a freshly dyed black hairdo.

What’s next: The addition of Ripley to “Judgment Day” provides a much needed boost to the newly-formed faction. Ripley and Priest will benefit from Edge’s leadership and experience, on and off the screen. Styles is far from done with Edge and his crew. This one figures to be settled at Hell in Cell, but the biggest question may be if Balor continues to be in Styles corner or will he be the next member of Judgement Day?

Cody Rhodes def. Seth Rollins

This one was well worth tuning in promptly at the start of the card to see. Rollins used the surprise element of their first matchup as his excuse for falling short at WrestleMania, and he appeared to be better prepared this time around, having a counter for every one of Rhodes’ signature moves in the first half of the match.

“The Architect” stayed a step ahead, showcasing a level of storytelling that’s refreshing to see in rematches. The match was filled with near fall after near fall with the Providence, Rhode Island, crowd eating up every 2.99999 count — Rhodes’ missed moonsault leading to a Rollins’ Pedigree was a highlight.

Rollins and Rhodes displayed chemistry far beyond two singles matches. There were multiple signature moves along the way, but the ending had none of them. The finish had Rollins roll up Rhodes, holding his tights, only for Rhodes to counter into his own roll-up while grabbing a handful of Rollins’ tights for the pin.

What’s next: Would anybody complain about seeing these two go at once again? Cody won clean at WrestleMania, but needed to cheat at WrestleMania Backlash to pull off the victory. The cheap victory more than likely means the Rhodes-Rollins feud is far from over. Hell in a Cell is WWE’s next premium event on June 5 and the namesake of the event could be a fitting end to what’s been an exhilarating first two chapters.

Omos def. Bobby Lashley

Omos got another shot at Bobby Lashley, but this time with MVP in his corner. The first half of the match was more or less a retread of their first encounter, with Omos using his size advantage to physically dominate Lashley.

Lashley was able to mount some offense and even locked in the Hurt Lock, something he wasn’t able to do at WrestleMania. Omos would break the hold by forcing Lashley into the corner ropes and from that moment on, it seemed the match could only end one way. Lashley’s lifting Spinebuster of the 7-foot-3 Omos was a sight to behold, but it was MVP’s involvement that turned out to be the difference on Sunday. To nobody’s surprise, MVP hit his former client with his cane as the official was distracted and Omos capitalized to finish the match.

What’s next: Lashley and Omos each have a win, so a rubber match is in the cards for RAW over the next couple of weeks. One would think this feud won’t have enough steam to make it to Hell in a Cell, but MVP’s involvement adds storytelling to an otherwise fruitless rivalry. Lashley will need to figure out how to win with MVP continuing to be a thorn in his side. A cage match on RAW could do just that.

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