Review for WWE Wrestlemania Backlash 2021
This PPV was so odd coming off the back of a (for the most part) enjoyable Wrestlemania. It was great to have the crowds back and so to go back to the Thunderdome it felt a little disappointing. I understand that there are still apprehensions about Covid-19 and Social Distancing, but the Yuengling Center wheree it was presented can hold 10,000 people and so I can’t see why they couldn’t have set this for 4-5,000 fans to get that atmosphere back.
That being said, apart from one match being ‘dead’ embarrassing (I sigh even at my own joke), this was a pretty solid PPV top to bottom.
In a great Triple Threat Rhea Ripley defended her Raw Women’s Championship against Asuka and Charlotte. This was a solid match from all involved and though last time I was hard on Ripley this was not to say that she isn’t great in the ring and held her own against the other two. It was a shame that both this and the WWE Championship were Triple Threat matches as I did feel as though I saw similar spots in both. Bobby Lashley defended his title against Drew McIntyre and Braun Strowman (who WWE have shockingly just released due to budget). This was a very enjoyable match and though I usually say this was just brutes throwing each other around, it was actually pretty entertaining.
For the Smackdown Women’s Championship Bianca Belair put her new title on the line against Bayley. This was a good match and I think Bayley’s character works so well. My only issue with this match is that by the end I wasn’t very satisfied with the and felt that to play up Bayley’s Heel character would have made it a lot more interesting.
In an odd, but enjoyable match Dolph Ziggler and Robert Roode put their Tag belts on the line against Rey Mysterio and his son Dominik who had been injured and for most of the match was unable to compete. This had some great moments and really felt like an old-skool tag team match which I really enjoyed. My only issue is they played so much on Dominik’s injury that him coming out should have led to a quick victory which would have made it a lot more satisfying and impactful.
As a tie in with the Zack Snyder Netflix film Army of the Dead starring Batista for some reason we had Damien Priest against The Miz in a Lumberjack match in which all the lumberjacks were zombies? I can’t believe I just wrote that sentence. The match itself was fine in general, but the ending was painfully bad and what made it worse was how the announcers tried to sell it made my head hurt.
Finally, in a fantastic wrestling match, Roman Reigns put his Universal Championship on the line against Cesaro. Cesaro had been in rumours to quit when his contract was coming up and so to give him this push and for Roman to make him look so good was amazing. The issue I had was the use of the Usos which is starting to get a little old and is begging for a swerve to make it more interesting. However, the match between them was fantastic and proof that Cesaro is someone worth keeping hold of. Very technical and the chemistry between them was just wonderful. This is the kind of wrestling I love to watch.
On the Kickoff we had Sheamus defend his US belt against Ricochet. This was a pretty good match from them both and I am waiting for WWE to really start doing something with Ricochet before he feels underused and leaves. The ending was pretty good and hopefully leads to more from the two of them.
Wrestlemania Backlash only had technically two rematches from Wrestlemania and so unlike other PPVs like this it didn’t just feel like they were trying to rectify any mistakes. As it is, the whole PPV was pretty solid and apart from the zombie debacle (which really should have ended with Batista appearing, destroying all the zombies and then The Miz leading to a match at the next PPV-How hard was that?) there was nothing that wasn’t enjoyable to some extent. This is the only backlash I would give to this all round great PPV.