After being canceled last year and replaced with WWE’s Stomping Grounds pay-per-view, Backlash is back, and just in time for the end of the world (thank you, COVID-19).
WWE has put Edge and Randy Orton in quite the precarious position by coining their upcoming bout “The Greatest Wrestling Match Ever,” and as we all know, wrestling fans are absolutely thrilled with that. No pressure, guys. New Raw Women’s Champion Asuka faces her first true title defense at a pay-per-view event in the form of the dangerous Nia Jax, Drew McIntyre looks to avoid defeat at the hands of Bobby Lashley’s vicious full nelson submission, and several other major titles are up for grabs. Our team of experts provides you with their predictions below.
You can tune in to watch WWE Backlash this Sunday, June 14, at 7 ET/4 PT on the WWE Network.
Jeff Hardy vs. Sheamus
Forrest: There is, of course, a lot of moral dilemmas and compromise that comes with being a WWE fan but I’ll be the first here (but probably not the last) to say this angle especially f–king sucks. I have to believe Hardy cinches the win to prove Sheamus — and by extension the kind of dispassionate thinking around addiction this angle hedges on — wrong.
Shane: I’m having a hard time with this one. I just find, I just really hate this story line. WWE does need more “real” storylines, yes, but I just find this particular storyline to be in bad taste. I think I’m going to have to agree with Forrest’s prediction on this one. They have to give to Jeff Hardy the win here just because of the drug addiction story. There are ways to help build Sheamus back up as a nasty heel, but this is definitely not it.
Winner: Jeff Hardy
Jay: Hardy. They’re going with a bullying angle and the aggressor has to lose. Be-A-Star.
Winner: Jeff Hardy
Apollo Crews (c) vs. Andrade (WWE United States Championship match)
Forrest: Big “meh” to revisiting this, and Andrade around the US Championship for much longer at all, if we’re honest. Crews will win, Zelina’s coterie will fall apart, and the real match between Kevin Owens and Crews will probably be a midcard at SummerSlam.
Winner: Apollo Crews
Shane: This should have been Apollo Crews vs. my man Angel Garza, but unfortunately, it’s not. Is it too late to make it a four-way match with Owens and Garza added in? No? Dang. Well, here’s to hoping Angel Garza costs Andrade the match (purposefully or not) to help move the inevitable falling apart of Zelina’s stable further along. #givegarzaachance!
Winner: Apollo Crews
Jay: They’ve been trying to make Andrade a thing since 2018 and it’s just not going to happen. His character starts and stops with Zelina Vega and his legacy will be defined by his relationship status with Charlotte Flair. His career is caught in a never ending cycle of obliterating Rey Mysterio, gaining a modicum of momentum only to be struck down by anyone who is not Rey Mysterio, and then regaining the same modicum of momentum by obliterating Rey Mysterio once again. The best thing you can say about Andrade is that Zelina is on screen with him. Apollo should and probably will keep the title because of that.
Winner: Apollo Crews.
Braun Strowman (c) vs. The Miz and John Morrison (2-on-1 handicap match for WWE Universal Championship)
Forrest: The only thing I really want from this match is Miz and Morrison, or really anyone, to finally address how weird Strowman’s new train merch is. It’s the least they could do for me personally while continuing to lazily put over their accidental Universal Champion until Roman is back.
Shane: I just want to start with saying that I love the energy that JoMo has breathed into the Miz as of late. That babyface run with Shane McMahon was AWFUL and Miz should never, ever be a babyface again. But, this match, in my opinion, is the easiest one to call of the whole card. Braun will win and WWE will continue to enter him into placeholder feuds until Roman Reigns comes back.
Winner: Braun Strowman
Jay: Braun. The only this match is happening is because they are keeping Braun in a holding pattern for Bray Wyatt. The match will be better than any of us expect but look for The Fiend to appear to wipe our palette’s of the raw mediocrity that this match will leave us with.
Bayley & Sasha Banks (c) vs. Alexa Bliss & Nikki Cross vs. The IIconics (WWE Women’s Tag Team Championship match)
Forrest: As long as this isn’t used to split up The IIconics, I don’t care who wins. Bayley and Sasha returning to NXT next week to defend against Shotzi Blackheart and Tegan Nox given their history there seems as likely as anything.
Winner: Bayley Dos Straps and Sasha Banks
Shane: I think this match and the feud surrounding it has given the Women’s Tag Team Championships the most screen time since the build up to Wrestlemania 35, which is a positive in my opinion. The IIconics and Bliss/Cross Applesauce were having a nice little program that I was looking forward to seeing represented on a PPV Card. Then Bayley and Sasha Banks happened. My gut is telling me that WWE just put the straps on the team formerly known as the Boss-N-Hug Connection just to add to the tension of their impending split when they ultimately lose the straps. We only have Extreme Rules between Backlash and Summerslam and I can’t really see Bayley and Sasha holding on to the belts for that long. Or maybe they will. Who knows? Anyways, the IIconics will win the belts, just because they’re my favorites.
Winner: The IIconics
Jay: I’m shocked Bayley and Sasha aren’t limping because they are holding Smackdown on their backs right now. I literally do not care about any other feud besides the inevitable breakdown of this duo. The Fiend will come back and beat Braun. AJ will become IC champion and feud with Drew Gulak or whatever. Otis is a bad meme that has run its course. New Day has been running on fumes without Xavier Woods. Baron Corbin is destined to become what Dolph Ziggler is. And WWE should look at Cesaro as the one who got away. Anyway, the titles need Bayley and Sasha more than converse to that clause. They’re the best act on SD and raise the stock of the titles. Plus, the IIconics can use the loss to fuel whatever they want to fuel
Winner: Sasha and Bayley
Asuka (c) vs. Nia Jax (WWE Raw Women’s Championship match)
Forrest: Despite being one of the hardest working and most consistently over performers in the company (almost entirely of her own wholesome accord), WWE continues to feed Asuka horrible booking. A loss to Charlotte followed by a loss to Nia, the least safe worker in WWE, is too much for me to bear for my favorite wrestler. I will personally find and leak Vince McMahon’s SSN if they disregard the danger Nia consistently puts Kairi Sane in particular in for a cheap heel win.
Shane: I cannot stomach the idea of a Nia Jax win here. Auska has long proven to be the real MVP of Raw in this Empty Arena Era that we are currently experiencing and deserves a long, strong ride at the top of the division.
Jay: Asuka. This is the monster heel the new babyface overcomes in their first title defense to prove their mettle. This will likely just be a slugfest with Jax unloading on Asuka till she counters and gets the win from out of nowhere in underdog fashion.
Drew McIntyre (c) vs. Bobby Lashley (WWE Championship match)
Forrest: Bobby with MVP works better than Lana, but still not good enough to successfully navigate Claymore Country. Especially now that Drew has really become the charismatic draw he was always destined to be.
Winner: Drew McIntyre
Shane: Pairing MVP and Lashley together was genius! I have been more into Lashley the last month than I have been since 2006. However, even with MVP in his corner, it is way too early to take the title off Drew, who will hopefully hold onto the WWE Championship for a quite a while longer.
Winner: Drew McIntyre
Jay: This but with less EC3 and Drew winning.
Winner: Drew McIntyre
Edge vs. Randy Orton
Forrest: We should all be thankful to be alive and watching wrestling for this, The Greatest Wrestling Match of All Time which is very definitely a legitimate thing and not at all an attempt to manipulate SEO to stop NJPW and AEW matches from coming upon search for said phrase. In any event, Orton and Edge will put on an equally compelling and tiring Broadway just barely different enough for Orton to get the win here. The two will reconcile, announce their mutual respect for eachother, and reunite Rated RKO for a brief but fun tag team run.
Shane: Rumor has it that this match has already been recorded and such rumors also say, that while this match didn’t necessarily live up to the “greatest wrestling match ever” moniker, it was still pretty good. While I am not surprised that the match was good with the performers involved, it just seems weird to me that we went from Last Man Standing to a standard wrestling match. It’s like we just walked backwards in a story. I’m going to give it to Randy in this one just because I can feel a 3rd installment coming around Summerslam where Edge can (hopefully) have decent bout in front of a live audience.
Winner: Randy Orton
Jay: The only way this match works is if Edge and Orton begin to reenact famous spots and sequences from wrestling matches that are worthy of being considered “The Greatest Wrestling Match Ever.” It will start off by the two locking up, trading arm drags and drop-tackles, and chain wrestling ala Savage and Steamboat. They are going to follow that up by trading suplexes and holds like HBK and Angle did at WM21. Edge will go for a shooting star press only to land on the top of his head in a Brock Lesnar at WM 19 sort of way. Orton will then put Edge in the sharpshooter with Edge bleeding profusely from the forehead, fighting to maintain consciousness as Austin did against Bret. The Hell in a Cell will appear within the performance center from which Orton will be promptly thrown off by Edge as Byron Saxton shouts “good god almighty! Good god almighty.” Orton will give Edge a straight-forward bodyslam and oversell Edge’s body mass while hulking up. Till Finally, Orton, hesitantly, waits for Edge to rise before quietly whispering – “I’m sorry. I love you.” and kicking Edge in the face for the three.
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