Results, Ratings, News, and Notes From WrestleMania Backlash 2022 On May 8, 2022
The Bloodline (Roman Reigns and The Usos) faced Drew McIntyre and RK-Bro (Riddle and Randy Orton) in a non-title six-man tag main event at WWE WrestleMania Backlash 2022 from the Dunkin’ Donuts Center in Rhode Island. WWE had already announced that the Raw and SmackDown Tag Team Championships would be merged.
Ronda Rousey and Charlotte Flair competed in a “I Quit” match for the SmackDown Women’s Championship at WrestleMania Backlash. With an armbar through a steel chair, Rousey won the bout and became the new WWE SmackDown women’s title.
The most recent episode of WWE SmackDown drew 1.953 million viewers.
- Charlotte Flair vs. Ronda Rousey
- Cody Rhodes vs. Seth “Freakin’” Rollins
- AJ Styles vs. Edge
- Happy Corbin vs. Madcap Moss
- Bobby Lashley vs. Omos
- Drew McIntyre and RK-Bro vs. The Bloodline
- WrestleMania Backlash 2022 Venue: Dunkin’ Donuts Center (Providence, R.I.)
- WrestleMania Backlash 2022 Tickets Distributed: 8,060
- WrestleMania Backlash 2022 Available Tickets: 194
Cody Rhodes vs. Seth Rollins
The American Nightmare’s return WrestleMania match against Seth Rollins kicked off Backlash. It ended with Cody, surely on the road to a WWE Universal Championship match against Roman Reigns, rolling up Seth for the win.
The match was much different to their WrestleMania encounter. Whereas that was an exchange of big moves, this had more storytelling to it. For the first half of the match, Rollins was one step ahead of Rhodes. It’s not just that Rollins got heat on Rhodes, but that Rollins had a counter for all of Rhode’s attempted offense. The commentators did a good job at explaining that Rollins had clearly watched tape on Rhodes and had prepared for his moves.
Halfway through, Rhodes gave Rollins a big slap and it turned into a slugfest. Rhodes got the better of Rollins, which began his comeback. Cody got some offense in, countered a Suicide Dive and landed a Cody Cutter for a two count — getting the first “This is awesome!” chant of the night.
The two then brawled on the outside. Rhodes threw Rollins into the ring and attempted a Moonsault from the top rope, but Rollins moved out of the way and then planted Rhodes with a Pedigree for a two count.
Rollins yelled that Cody can’t lace his boots, and then taunted him by doing Dusty Rhodes’ punching combination. Rhodes countered, yanking Rollins into a Cross Rhodes. He tried to roll into a second one, but Rollins caught Rhodes with a knee. Rollins attempted a roll up, pulling on Rhodes tights, but Rhodes reversed the roll up into one of this own and, with a fistful of Rollins tights, got the three count.
Rating: 4.5 stars. Fantastic match. These two had the match of WrestleMania, and this was better. It’s hard to communicate this in a recap, but Rollins and Rhodes work super well together. Everything they do is smooth — they’re fun to watch. As noted, this bout had a greater storytelling element to it than their original clash, which to me made it easier to get invested in.
Seth Rollins really leaned into fans chanting along with his theme song, but they went even crazier for Cody Rhodes.
Those holding out hope for Cody Rhodes using a trap door at pay-per-views were let down as the days of Rhodes’ trapdoor entrance seem to be permanently over.
The story of this match was the “value of preparation” as Seth Rollins was even more prepared for Cody Rhodes and he countered Rhodes’ signature maneuvers throughout.
This great opener earned a well-deserved “this is awesome” chant.
Cody Rhodes continues to tease the Pedigree and get massive reactions for it.
Seth Rollins got immense heat for mocking Cody Rhodes with Dusty Rhodes’ famed punches.
RIP to the rest of this card, because nobody is going to be able to follow this opener.
Omos as the “Nigerian Giant” has a nice ring to it.
Bobby Lashley’s entrance with the platform is one of the best in WWE.
Omos screamed “he’s too small” while throwing Bobby Lashley around the ring, and I pray that “he’s too small” becomes a meme.
Watching Omos wrestle Bobby Lashley is novel for about a minute, then increasingly underwhelming as the bout drags on. These two fought for 10 minutes and, other than the finish, there’s really not much to say about it.
After 10 minutes of mostly generic brawling, Omos threw Lashley into the turnbuckle, making his shoulder crash into the post between the top and middle rope. As the ref was busy keeping Omos off Lashley, MVP smashed Lashley in the face with his cane. Omos then gave a dazed Lashley a two-handed chokeslam for the win.
At one point in the match Lashley put the Hurt Lock on Omos, but Omos, after nearly passing out, managed to break free. Later, Lashley was able to plant Omos with a spinebuster. Other than these spots, there’s little to say about this match.
This match was basically a remake of Andre the Giant’s fight in the Princess Bride.
There was great heat for this match, as fans really rallied behind Bobby Lashley to slay the giant.
If Omos was going to win here, there was no need to beat the giant at WrestleMania. A winning streak that includes two wins over Bobby Lashley would have kept up the mystique of this giant, but with this 50/50 booking, both Lashley and Omos were hurt.
Damian Priest was barred from the ringside for this WrestleMania rematch. It ended with, surprise, Damian Priest coming out anyway. That wouldn’t be the only distraction: Rhea Ripley cost AJ Styles the match at the end, pushing Styles from the top rope at a crucial moment. That allowed Edge to lock in the Crossface and make Styles pass out.
The story going into this match is that AJ has a damaged shoulder following an attack from Edge and Priest on Raw a couple weeks back. That attack has also left him an angry man, which is why he began with a set of big offense, including an explosive sliding dropkick to the outside and a beautiful springboard moonsault. But when he went for a Phenomenal Forearm, Edge cut him off with a big boot.
Edge slowed the pace down massively, methodically working over AJ and his injured arm. Edge eventually got Styles in the Crossface, but Styles countered into a Calf Crusher. From there it was a great series of counters and back and forth moves.
AJ pressed Edge front-first into the turnbuckle and German Suplexed him, but as he was thrown Edge ripped the middle turnbuckled padding off. Styles then threw Edge face-first into the exposed buckle and rolled him up for a nearfall. Then Edge cut Styles down with a big Spear, again for a two count. (This Spear happened as the replay for the turnbuckle spot happened, which was awkward.)
Edge attempted another Spear, but AJ caught him with a V-Trigger knee. AJ then hit a great Styles Clash when he hung Edge on the top ropes then hoisted him up from there for another false finish.
Styles began to setup another Phenomenal Forearm, but his bum shoulder wouldn’t allow him to springboard. So he scaled the turnbuckle to the top rope, but before he could launch Damian Priest walked down the ramp. Styles protested to the ref, saying Priest was barred from ringside, but Priest said he was on the ramp and not the ringside. Very cheap getaround here.
As Styles was distracted by Priest, Finn Balor attacked Priest from behind and got him out of the way. But as the ref was distracted, a hooded stranger pushed Styles off the top rope. Edge then got Styles in the crossface and Styles passed out.
After the match the hooded stranger revealed herself to be Rhea Ripley, who joins Edge’s demonic faction.
Rating: 4 stars. More fun to watch than their WrestleMania match. It was shaping up to be an outstanding bout, but the cheap finish brought it down. It’s not that Rhea joined the faction, which is a welcome use of her. It’s that Priest was banned from ringside but came out anyway, which made the whole finishing sequence feel hard to take seriously. Stipulations should matter, and it’s hard to not roll your eyes when they’re broken in such a brazen fashion.
Still, Edge and AJ did a great job here. AJ in particular shined. His offense was tight and explosive, and his selling of the injured shoulder was tremendous too.
Edge’s ring entrance is much longer now as the ring announcer included all of Edge’s major accolades.
The second Corey Graves said AJ Styles was entering this match with one good arm, it was a wrap for Styles’ chances of winning this match.
We’ve known the story of this match since Edge and Damian Priest injured Styles, and that story was Edge working over Styles’ arm.
This match’s one stipulation was that Damian Priest was not to interfere, yet Priest interfered.
The finish saw the latest member of Judgment Day interfere to help Edge win—Rhea Ripley.
Ronda Rousey is women’s champ again. She made Charlotte Flair yell “I Quit” when she wrapped a chair around Flair’s shoulder and put her in an armbar.
After an opening flurry by Rousey, Flair got control when she planted Rousey with a German Suplex. From there she barraged Rousey with chops (woo!), taking her to the outside. With Rousey slumped on the barridace, Flair chopped her and demanded the ref ask her if she quits. Rousey said no, and that Flair “slaps like a bitch”.
Rousey pushed Flair into the turnbuckle post outside, then sent her flying over the barricade. Charlotte fought back, but immediately ran away when Rousey secured herself a Kendo Stick. Charlotte ran to the back, then came out with two Kendo Sticks. The two then battled with Kendo Sticks, Star Wars style, with Rousey getting the better of Flair. Rousey blitzed Flair with several Kendo Stick shots, and the ref asked if she wanted to quit.
Rousey beat Flair into the crowd, but her offense was improbably stopped when Flair threw water in Rousey’s face. This stunned Rousey, for whatever reason, and Flair took the advantage. They brawled through the crowd, with Rousey at various points refusing to quit. The crowd chanted “We want tables!”
Back at ringside, Flair went to the top rope and began to go for a Moonsault outside. Rousey interrupted, and pulled Flair down into an armbar, with Flair’s legs caught on the top rope. Flair did an outstanding job selling, shrieking with convincing terror, but refused to quit.
Flair then retook control when she smashed a chair into Rousey’s leg. On the inside, she slammed Rousey’s face into the chair with a Natural Selection. Flair put Rousey in a Figure Eight, but Rousey broke it up by grabbing the chair and hitting Flair in the hip with it. The crowd chants “We want tables!”
Flair set up a chair in the middle of the ring and grabs the mic. With sinister intent, she wished Ronda a “happy Mother’s Day.” Ronda then snatched Flair’s arm through the chair, so that it was clamped over her shoulder, and locked in the armbar. Flair squeeled that she quits, and Rousey is the new SmackDown Women’s Championship.
Rating: 4 stars. Very intense, very good. There were no tables, but the crowd still popped big for the finish.
There was a scary German Suplex early where Ronda Rousey landed on the back of her head.
After four years, Ronda Rousey finally got her revenge with the kendo sticks by brutalizing Charlotte Flair with two kendo sticks.
The crowd was getting restless for this match, chanting “we want tables!”
Fans showed signs of fatigue during an otherwise good match/brawl. Thankfully, the match leveled up for a great finish as soon as Charlotte said “Happy Mother’s Day!”
The vignette for this match played like an after-school special.
This was actually a pretty solid match, but the crowd took this one off as they quietly awaited the main event.
This was an A-to-B match. Very simple, not particularly effective. Madcapp Moss beat Happy Corbin by pinning him with a sunset flip roll up.
Corbin took the whole match, with limited Moss offense throughout. The commentators talked up Moss’ incredible explosivity, but we only got to see flashes of it. There wasn’t really even a sustained, impressive comeback. It was evidently meant to come off as an upset victory, which means Madcap Moss won but didn’t necessarily get put over.
Following this match, it was announced that Charlotte Flair has a “fractured radius.”
This match had no stakes and a puzzling finish, but was extremely fun. If you can forgive the titles not being on the line, this was a terrific main event.
The first part saw The Bloodline work over Riddle. It set a slow pace, but that picked up once Reigns and McIntyre got in the ring. The crowd was very into their showdown, which was ultimately won by McIntyre. McIntyre set up for a Claymore Kick but was interrupted by Jimmy Uso, which allowed Reigns to take out McIntyre with a Superman Punch. Reigns took time to gloat, taunting Orton and giving a cheap shot to Riddle, which allowed McIntyre to catch him with a Claymore.
Orton then tagged in as Reigns tagged Jimmy. This began a sequence which led to Orton hitting one of his best RKOs in months. He got a hot tag into the match, planting Jimmy Uso with the middle rope DDT and setting him up for an RKO. Jey Uso tried to break it up, but Orton threw him out. Reigns then flew into frame with a Superman Punch, but Orton caught him with a sick RKO. Jey Uso then Superkicked Orton, who fought through the pain to deliver another RKO. The nearfall was broken up by Jey.
Reigns would get his revenge on Orton. Later Orton was battling with Jey Uso on the outside, setting up to slam him on the announcer’s table. Reigns exploded onto the screen, launching off the ringside steps to blitz Orton with a Superman Punch. McIntyre then attacked Reigns, attempting a powerbomb on The Big Dog but was interrupted by The Usos. Reigns then broke McIntyre through the table with a big Rock Bottom-esque Uranage.
Jimmy Uso and Reigns were then laid out by Riddle, who crashed into them with a springboard moonsault. Jey Uso then hit Riddle with a Suicide Dive and threw him back into the ring. In there, they exchanged huge strikes: Uso hit an Enziguri, Riddle a flying knee and then Uso a big Superkick. Jey climbed the ropes, but Riddle hopped up and landed a top-rope RKO.
Unfortunately for Riddle, Reigns tagged Uso just before the RKO. Reigns then snuck in the ring and sliced Riddle in half with a Spear for the win.
Rating: 4.5 stars. Great from start to finish. The main issue is with booking rather than the action: If WWE are preparing a title match between Reigns and McIntyre, why have Reigns pin Riddle? It would make far more sense if Reigns were pinned — or at least for McIntyre to get a win.
Reigns is the biggest, most protected star in the company. People need to be convinced that his championship reign is in jeoardy, and this did the opposite of that.
Despite this being a star-studded main event, these fans only chanted “Randy!” after both entrances.
Randy Orton vs. Roman Reigns could work at WWE Hell in a Cell before WWE goes back to Drew McIntyre vs. Randy Orton at Allegiant Stadium for Money in the Bank.
Roman Reigns brilliantly trolled this crowd by tagging in for a possible confrontation with Drew McIntyre, only to tag back out and get immense heat. Nobody loved this more than Pat McAfee, who cackled maniacally.
At its peak, there was a lot of heat for this match.
Despite doing a good job of building up to Roman Reigns vs. Drew McIntyre, these fans chose to chant “Randy” while McIntyre was being beat down by Reigns. In fact, McIntyre hit the Claymore Kick, and after doing all the work, these fans still wanted Randy to get the glory.
Orton hit the most amazing RKO on Roman Reigns, mid-Superman Punch, and the Dunkin’ Donuts Center went nuts for it. Corey Graves described it as “beating Superman to the punch.”
Reigns delivered a uranage on McIntyre through a table, and Pat McAfee interestingly called it a “Rock Bottom.”
Roman Reigns picked up the win over Riddle in the finish, which is fitting because this match simultaneously built up to Reigns vs. McIntyre and Reigns vs. Orton.