Written by Marc Middleton
The WWE WrestleMania Backlash Kickoff pre-show opens live from the WWE ThunderDome at the Yuengling Center in Tampa, Florida as Kayla Braxton welcomes us. She’s joined by Peter Rosenberg with WWE Hall of Famers JBL and Booker T. They hype tonight’s card and it’s announced that the Kickoff will feature an Open Challenge from WWE United States Champion Sheamus. We get a video package for recent happenings in the WWE Universal Title storyline now. JBL and Rosenberg believe Roman Reigns will retain tonight while Booker goes with Cesaro to win the title. Back from a break and we get a video package on Bianca Belair winning the SmackDown Women’s Title at WrestleMania 37, and tonight’s match with Bayley. Sonya Deville is on the panel now. She praises Bayley but says Belair will win tonight if she can stay focused. Booker says he wouldn’t be surprised if Bayley pulls it off tonight.
The panel talks about tonight’s Lumberjack Match between Damian Priest and The Miz now. Booker and JBL go with The Miz to win, while Rosenberg picks Priest. Back from a break and we get a video package on tonight’s RAW Women’s Title. Deville returns to the panel and goes on about how Charlotte Flair deserves to be in the match. Deville says she made this match better by bringing Flair back. Deville has tried to get everyone focused on the goal at hand, not their personal beefs. The panel talks about tonight’s match for the SmackDown Tag Team Titles. We see Dominik Mysterio backstage now. He’s confronted by the champs, Dolph Ziggler and Dolph Ziggler. They tell him to go find his dad but then they won’t let him by. Ziggler nails Dominik with a headbutt and Rode attacks him. Ziggler cheers Roode on as he beats Dominik down some more. Officials run up and call for help as Roode and Ziggler back off. Producer Jamie Noble tells a referee to go find Rey Mysterio. We go to another break and then to ringside.
Non-Title Open Challenge: WWE United States Champion Sheamus vs. Ricochet
Adnan Virk welcomes us to ringside. He’s joined by Corey Graves and Byron Saxton. Out first comes WWE United States Champion Sheamus as Mike Rome does the introductions. Sheamus takes the mic and talks about his recent Open Challenges and tonight will be no different. Sheamus says this won’t be for the title because a title shot has to be earned, not given. He is still giving a chance to step in the ring with one of the greatest, your United States Champion. Fans boo. The music hits and out comes Ricochet to a pop.
The bell rings and Ricochet nails a big dropkick. Ricochet unloads with strikes now. Sheamus catches a kick but Ricochet slaps him. Sheamus levels him with a big clothesline in response.
Sheamus beats Ricochet around from corner to corner now, then tosses him across the ring and talks some more trash. Sheamus grabs Ricochet by his face. Ricochet fights but Sheamus decks him. Sheamus with an uppercut. Ricochet with a kick and a chop but Sheamus catches him with a big backbreaker in the middle of the ring. Sheamus stomps away as the referee warns him now. Sheamus keeps control and delivers 10 Beats of The Bodhrán on the apron now.
Sheamus keeps Ricochet down with power moves and then does the Dublin Smile. Sheamus with a knee to the back and some arguing back with the referee. Sheamus grounds Ricochet now. Ricochet fights with punches and knees from the mat to get free. Ricochet with a jawbreaker now. Ricochet keeps fighting to his feet but Sheamus kicks him down. Ricochet fights free again with a bunch of elbows. Sheamus clubs him in the back. Ricochet stuns Sheamus with a kick to the head. Sheamus walks into a boot to the face. Sheamus catches a kick and takes Ricochet to the top. Ricochet gets free and Sheamus runs into boots again. Ricochet fights from the apron now and springboards in with a flying clothesline.
Ricochet with a running Shooting Star Press and the Asahi moonsault for a close 2 count. They’re both slow to get up now. Ricochet with a forearm to the back. Ricochet tries to power up with Sheamus on his back but he can’t get him up. Ricochet counters but Sheamus nails a big knee to the face. Ricochet keeps fighting and nails a Backstabber.
Ricochet slowly rolls to the apron and springboards back in with the 450. He nails it but Sheamus kicks out just in time. Ricochet goes to the top now as fans cheer him on. Ricochet lands on his feet as Sheamus moves. Ricochet ducks the Brogue Kick and rolls Sheamus up for a 2 count. Sheamus comes right back with a big knee to the face for the pin to win.
– After the match, Sheamus stands tall as his music hits. We go to replays. Sheamus asks for his jacket and his hat now. He puts it on and starts talking about his recent Open Challenges but Ricochet attacks from behind and drops him Ricochet rips off the hat and jacket as Sheamus retreats to the floor. Ricochet poses in Sheamus’ gear and dances around in it. Sheamus storms back in the ring to get his gear as Ricochet takes it off and retreats to the ramp. Sheamus seethes in the ring as Ricochet talks trash from the ramp. We go to replays as Ricochet declares he wants the title back.
– Back from a break and we get a video package for tonight’s WWE Title Triple Threat. The panel discuses the match now and Booker believes Bobby Lashley will retain. JBL and Rosenberg agree. Kayla reveals that the RAW Women’s Title match will open the pay-per-view. That’s it for the Kickoff.
– The WWE WrestleMania Backlash pay-per-view opens up with a video package. The video is narrated by former WWE Champion Batista, featuring clips of his “Army of the Dead” movie that premieres on Netflix this coming Friday. That movie is sponsoring tonight’s pay-per-view.
– We’re live from the WWE ThunderDome at the Yuengling Center in Tampa, Florida as pyro explodes inside the arena and the virtual crowd cheers. Adnan Virk welcomes us. He’s joined at ringside by Corey Graves and Byron Saxton. They lead us to a video package for tonight’s opening match.
Triple Threat for the RAW Women’s Title: Asuka vs. Charlotte Flair vs. Rhea Ripley
We go to the ring as Mike Rome does the introductions. Out first comes Charlotte Flair as the pyro goes off. Fans boo as she heads to the ring. Flair has the referee open the ropes for her. Asuka is out next to a pop. She hits the corner to pose as more pyro goes off. Out next comes RAW Women’s Champion Rhea Ripley to a mixed reaction. Ripley stomps on the stage and pyro goes off as she heads to the ring.
We get formal ring introductions from Rome next. The bell rings and they size each other up. Flair heads to the floor to stall. Asuka follows. Ripley meets her on the other side. Flair runs in and Ripley follows. Flair clotheslines her. Asuka rocks Flair and Ripley rolls her for 2. Asuka and Ripley have words now. They shove each other and Flair gets rocked. Flair goes to the apron as Asuka and Ripley fight. Asuka sends Flair off the apron with a Ripley-assisted Hip Attack.
Ripley and Asuka go back & forth now. Asuka with a Hip Attack. Flair pulls Asuka out and tosses her overhead to the floor. Flair fights in from the apron but Ripley fights back. They collide with shoulders. Flair talks trash in Ripley’s face and they have words. They collide with shoulders again but no one goes down. More trash talking. Flair drops Ripley with a knee. Flair with an overhead toss to Ripley now. Flair stomps away in the corner to boos. Flair gets sent to the apron but fights back. Asuka holds her leg while Ripley dropkicks her off the apron. Asuka comes to the apron but Ripley kicks her off. Ripley stands alone in the ring now. Flair sweeps Ripley off the apron and she hits the floor. Flair stands alone on the floor now to boos.
Flair works Asuka over in the ring now. Flair uses the ropes to choke Asuka and then covers for 2. Flair drops Asuka and delivers a big boot to the face for a 2 count, and another. Flair taunts Asuka and smacks her around. Asuka fights back with strikes and unloads for a pop. Asuka takes Flair down into an armbar in the middle of the ring. Flair gets her foot on the bottom rope to break it. Asuka with another armbar but Ripley breaks it up with a stomp. Flair delivers big chops to Ripley now. Flair with the backbreaker and face-first slam into the turnbuckle.
Asuka blocks a slam but Flair elbows her. Flair with big chops to drop Asuka now. Ripely charges and clotheslines Flair. Ripley with another clothesline and a back kick. Ripley dropkicks Asuka. Ripley with knee strikes to Flair now. Ripley drops Flair and dropkicks her in the head. Ripley with a Northern Lights suplex for a 2 count as Asuka breaks it up just in time. Asuka blocks Ripley with a knee to the face. Asuka takes a kick and delivers one back. All three competitors are down now. Asuka gets up first and tangles with Flair. Asuka with two big German suplexes to Flair. Asuka with a Hip Attack to Ripley in the corner. Asuka boots Flair as she approaches. Asuka kicks Flair down and then kicks Ripley. Asuka with more kicks to each opponent now as fans cheer her on. Asuka with the sliding knee to Flair for a close 2 count.
Asuka shows some frustration now but she goes to the top. Asuka with a missile dropkick to Ripley. Flair sends Asuka to the apron but she keeps fighting. Asuka with a sliding knee to Ripley on the floor. Flair knocks Asuka off the apron, next to Ripley on the floor. Flair goes to the top and delivers a big moonsault to Asuka and Ripley on the floor. Flair brings Asuka back in and goes to the top but Ripley attacks from the apron. Ripley keeps rocking Flair and climbs up now. Ripley tries for a superplex but Flair holds on. Asuka comes over and climbs up with Ripley. They hit the double superplex on Flair for a pop.
All three are down once again as we get replays. They start fighting from the mat in the middle of the ring, trading shots on each other. They get up and the strikes keep coming. Flair gets double teamed but she lands on her feet from a suplex. She nails a double chop block to bring them both down, then nails a double Natural Selection. Flair covers both opponents for a close 2 count. Flair drags them over to the corner now. She goes to the top but lands on her feet from the moonsault. Asuka with double knees to the face. Asuka sends Flair out. Ripley attacks Asuka from behind.
Asuka counters Riptide and goes for the Asuka Lock but Ripley fights her off. They keep fighting but Flair comes in and levels Ripley with a big boot. Asuka with the Asuka Lock on Flair now. Flair rolls through and gets kicked into the corner as Asuka blocks the Figure Four. Asuka kicks Flair, then drops Ripley with a kick to the head. Asuka sends Flair to the apron and goes for a Hip Attack but runs into a boot, which also knocks Flair to the floor. Ripley immediately follows up with Riptide to Asuka for the pin to retain.
Winner: Rhea Ripley
– After the match, Ripley takes the title and celebrates as the music hits. We go to replays. Flair seethes at ringside as Ripley stands tall over Asuka with the title in the air. Ripley poses in the corner and taunts Flair now. Flair points up at her as we go to a break.
– Back from a break and we see MVP and Bobby Lashley arriving earlier. We also see a replay of what happened on Monday’s RAW with Lashley, Drew McIntyre and Braun Strowman. The announcers hype the match.
– The Miz and John Morrison are backstage. Miz isn’t happy about tonight’s Lumberjack Match with Damian Priest. Morrison says he has it all figured out, he’s going to talk to the Lumberjacks and convince them that its in their best interest for The Miz to win. Morrison apparently has a “thirst trap” set for Priest tonight.
– Michael Cole and Pat McAfee welcome us to ringside. We see how Dolph Ziggler and Robert Roode attacked Dominik Mysterio backstage during the Kickoff pre-show. We see Rey Mysterio and Dominik in the trainer’s room now. Dominik apologizes and his dad says he can’t do this tonight, but they will have another opportunity. Rey says he’s got this. He tells Dominik he loves him, and heads out.
SmackDown Tag Team Titles Match: Rey Mysterio vs. Dolph Ziggler and Robert Roode
We go back to the ring and the title match is announced anyway as SmackDown Tag Team Champions Dolph Ziggler and Robert Roode come to the ring. Out next comes Rey Mysterio, announced as the sole challenger.
Rey hits the ring and attacks both opponents. Roode decks him from behind but Rey sends Roode into Ziggler, knocking Ziggler to the floor. Rey with a close 2 count on Roode. Rey keeps fighting and sends Ziggler into the announce table with a baseball slide. Roode decks him again but Rey slides under the bottom rope to splash Ziggler on the floor. Roode follows to the floor and hits Rey from behind again. Roode goes to send Rey into the ring post but Rey slides out and shoves Roode into the post.
Rey runs the apron and nails a senton to Roode on the floor. Rey returns to the ring and gets a pop. Cole confirms the titles are on the line here. Roode returns to the ring but Rey drops him and works him over. Roode kicks Rey in the gut. Rey counters a move and rolls Roode for a 2 count. Roode comes right back with a big clothesline. Ziggler tags in with another close 2 count. Ziggler works Rey over and keeps him down in the corner as the referee warns him.
Roode tags back in and delivers big chops in the corner, then whips Rey across the ring into the opposite corner. Fans boo as Roode keeps Rey down. Rey blocks a shot and drops Roode face-first into the turnbuckles. Ziggler gets knocked off the apron. Rey fights Roode off and goes to the top but Roode knocks his legs out. Rey falls and is turned upside down in the corner in a Tree of Woe now. Roode kicks away as fans boo and the referee warns him. Rey falls to the floor, clutching his left knee.
Ziggler tags in and taunts Rey on the floor, then goes to work on the hurt leg. Ziggler rolls Rey back in for a 2 count. Roode tags back in and keeps Rey down. Rey tries to get up but he falls right back down and the referee checks on him. Roode stays on Rey, focusing on the leg and taunting him. Rey fights out of the corner, hitting both opponents. Ziggler comes in for the double team Fame-asser but Rey somehow kicks out. Ziggler can’t believe it.
Roode tags back in and yells in Rey’s face. Ziggler tags in and goes to the floor. Roode launches Rey under the bottom rope to the floor, right into a waiting superkick from Ziggler. Rey is down on the floor as the champs return to the ring and wait for the count out. Rey makes it back in right before the 10 count and Ziggler isn’t happy. Fans cheer Rey on as Roode tags back in. Roode headbutts Rey back to the mat. Ziggler tags right back in. Rey counters a double suplex with a big double DDT in the middle of the ring for a big pop. Rey sends Roode into the ring post shoulder-first. Rey tangles with Ziggler and sends him into the opposite post shoulder-first.
Roode is down on the floor now but he crawls back to his feet. Dominik Mysterio is walking down the ramp now, clutching his hurt ribs. Dominik goes to the apron and waits for the tag now. Rey asks what he’s doing out here. Ziggler rocks Rey. Rey drops Ziggler into position for 619. Rey rocks Roode off the apron. Ziggler comes right back and hits Rey with a Zig Zag but Rey kicks out just in time for a pop.
Roode scoops Rey and taunts Dominik, then drops Rey for another close 2 count. Roode takes Rey from corner to corner. Roode takes Rey back to the second turnbuckle but Rey resists. Rey with a super bulldog from the top. Rey fights Roode off. Dominik finally gets the tag. Roode misses a clothesline and Dominik knocks Ziggler off the apron. Dominik and Roode go at it now and Roode nails a big Spinebuster in the middle of the ring. Ziggler tags back in for the big double team neckbreaker but Dominik still kicks out. Ziggler can’t believe it.
Ziggler launches Dominik into the ring post shoulder-first as Rey watches. Roode yells in Dominik’s face. Ziggler cranks up but Dominik cuts him off with a superkick of his own. They both go down. Rey and Roode tag in. Rey with a top rope senton, then a shot to knock Ziggler off the apron. Roode catches Rey with a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker for a close 2 count. Roode is frustrated now. Roode grabs Rey and wastes time talking trash to Dominik.
Rey blocks the powerbomb and fights free. Rey sends Roode into the turnbuckle, then hits 619 in the corner. Dominik tags in as Rey slides under the rope and hits a Sunset Bomb to Ziggler into the barrier. Dominik goes to the top and hits the Frogsplash on Roode for the pin to win the titles.
Winners and New SmackDown Tag Team Champions: Dominik and Rey Mysterio
– After the match, Rey and Dominik stand tall with the titles as the music hits. We go to replays. Ziggler and Roode recover at ringside and they are not happy. Kayla Braxton enters the ring to interview The Mysterios. Rey comments on being the first father and son to win the titles, saying he’s on top of the world. Dominik says it’s an honor and a blessing to share this moment with his dad, but it’s time to celebrate. They exit the ring together as we get another replay.
– Back from a break and John Morrison walks into the Lumberjacks locker room but they’re all zombies. This is a tie-in with the “Army of the Dead” movie, which is a sponsor. Morrison looks confused and shocked as the zombies start walking out of the room.
– Jimmy Uso walks into Roman Reigns’ locker room and finds Jey Uso. Jimmy says Jey’s name should be on the locker room door also. He says they’re going to get their own locker room and the SmackDown Tag Team titles. He keeps on about how Jey shouldn’t be carrying Roman’s bags. They argue and Reigns walks up. Jimmy says he just wants to wish Reigns good luck tonight, champ. Jimmy turns and walks away as Jey and Roman look on.
– John Morrison catches up with The Miz and tells him about the zombies. Miz tells him to snap out of it, it’s just in your head and this is about me embarrassing Damian Priest. They walk off and we see a bunch of zombies walking through the backstage area.
Zombies Lumberjack Match: The Miz vs. Damian Priest
We go back to the ring and the announcers mention the zombies and we see Batista’s earlier tweet where he said his “friends” would be here tonight, to plug the “Army of the Dead” movie, which is a sponsor. The Miz and John Morrison are out, as is Damian Priest. The zombies are out now, terrifying Miz and Morrison. The zombies surround the ring and also terrify the announcers but they settle back in at the table. Morrison has ran away to the back.
The ring is surrounded by zombies and smoke now. There are also graphics all over the arena, apparently representing the city setting from the “Army of the Dead” movie. The match begins as Priest and Miz go at it. Miz misses a dropkick and lands on the floor, surrounded by zombies. He runs back in and tuns around to a big Facebuster from Priest. Priest ends up on the floor but he attacks the zombies. He runs back in and Miz levels him with a big boot for a 2 count. Miz keeps control and delivers another big boot.
Priest ends up delivering a huge clothesline after Miz finds himself in trouble with the zombies and runs back in. Priest unloads with kicks now, then a right hand. Priest levels Miz for a close 2 count. More back and forth between the two. Priest keeps control and looks to finish Miz off but Miz catches strikes and takes him down for the Figure Four in the middle of the ring.
Miz and Priest end up on the floor, both fighting the zombies off and sending a few over the barrier. They back into each other but keep fighting the zombies off. A large zombie stalks Priest, shoving another zombie out of the way. Priest fights him off and delivers a kick from the steel steps. Miz and Priest meet back int he ring now. Miz calls for a high five but he kicks Priest instead. Priest turns it around and delivers a Broken Arrow for a close 2 count.
Priest calls for the finish and waits for Miz to get up. Morrison runs back down the ramp and hits the apron. Miz distracts the referee while Morrison kicks Priest in the head. Miz covers but Priest kicks out at 2. Morrison is surrounded by zombies at ringside now. He flips off the steps and takes out several zombies. Morrison with another big barrier kick to a zombie. Morrison stands on the barrier again for a move but zombies pull him down on the other side of the barrier. Morrison is being eaten now.
Priest takes advantage of the distraction and drops Miz with Hit The Lights for the pin to win in the middle of the ring.
Winner: Damian Priest
– After the bell, Priest leaps to the top to get out of the way as zombies start crawling in the ring. Zombies cover Miz and start eating him as Priest fires his imaginary arrow from the ramp. Priest makes his exit as the zombies continue to devour Miz. The lights go out and we go to a break.
– Back from a break and Jey Uso catches up with Jimmy Uso backstage and yells at him for bringing distractions to Roman Reigns before his big title defense. Jimmy wonders if the sign on the door should say “Roman Reigns and His Bitch” instead. Jimmy walks off.
– We get a video package for the next match.
SmackDown Women’s Title Match: Bayley vs. Bianca Belair
We go back to the ring and out first comes Bayley to boos as she taunts her opponent. Out next comes SmackDown Women’s Champion Bianca Belair to a pop. Belair swings her hair around and heads to the ring for her first title defense.
We get formal ring introductions from Greg Hamilton. The bell rings and Belair taunts Bayley to start. Bayley stalls some as the crowd chants “EST!” now. They lock up and trade holds. Belair shoves Bayley out of the ring but she comes right back in. More back and forth between the two. Belair grounds Bayley on the mat now. Bayley fights free from a hold on their feet, trying to use the hair. Belair threatens to swing the hair at Bayley. They run the ropes and trade holds some more. Bayley with a 2 count. Belair taunts Bayley from the corner again. Belair delivers a big dropkick for a pop, then kips up.
Belair keeps control and launches Bayley into the turnbuckles, and again. Belair continues taunting Bayley while she’s down. Belair slams Bayley to the mat from the apron. Bayley rolls to the floor to regroup as Belair has dominated the first several minutes of the match. Belair chases Bayley around the ring. Belair runs over Bayley with a shoulder.
Belair brings it back into the ring and nails a springboard moonsault for a 2 count. Bayley pleads with Belair to hold off. She suckers Belair in and grabs her ear ring, then rocks her. Bayley beats Belair down and unloads on her as fans boo. Bayley whips Belair hard into the turnbuckles and she goes down. Bayley ends up nailing a back suplex for a 2 count. Bayley with more offense to keep control. Bayley tries to suplex Belair to the floor but Belair counters and brings Bayley in from the apron with a big suplex for a pop.
Bayley with a close roll-up out of nowhere for 2. They go to the floor and Bayley slams Belair over the steel ring steps. Bayley drops Belair with a suplex on the floor and brings her back in for another close pin attempt. More back and forth now. Bayley scoops Belair on her shoulders but Belair tries to counter. This is botched, by both competitors apparently, for a 2 count by Bayley. Bayley ends up going for another pin but Belair kicks out with power and launches Bayley to the floor. Bayley runs back in and pounds on Belair to keep her down.
Belair ends up dropping Bayley as she laughs at her. Belair is upset at the disrespect now. Belair unloads and launches Bayley across the ring twice. Belair with a dropkick as fans cheer her on. Bayley dodges a move and drops Belair with a shot to the back of the knee. Belair blocks the Rose Plant finisher and nails a Spinebuster for another close 2 count. They go at it again and Bayley nails a clothesline. Bayley goes to the top and delivers the flying elbow drop but Belair kicks out just in time. Bayley ends up sending Belair face-first into the ring post and she goes down.
Bayley runs the ring for a suicide dive but Belair side-steps and Bayley lands bad on the floor. Belair slams Bayley hard into the edge of the apron with a Glam Slam, then rolls her back in. Belair covers for 2. Belair shows some frustration now. More back and forth and pin attempts. The referee gets used in the way and Bayley takes Belair down with a rake to the eyes.
Belair goes down holding her eyes. Bayley grabs Belair’s hair and taunts her with it. Bayley uses the hair to yank Belair into a Ripcord and Bayley-to-Belly suplex for a close 2 count. Bayley sits up and smacks Belair in the back of the head, then talks some trash. Belair blocks the Rose Plant and uses her own hair to pin Bayley in the middle of the ring to retain.
Winner: Bianca Belair
– After the match, Belair goes right to the floor and stands tall with the title as her music hits. Bayley is shocked in the ring. Bayley goes to the announce table and yells at Cole and McAfee. She calls for a replay to show how her leg was wrapped up, calling Belair a cheater. Belair continues celebrating on the stage.
– Back from a break and Kevin Patrick is backstage with MVP. He knocks Braun Strowman for being unable to make a business deal last week and goes on about not being worried for WWE Champion Bobby Lashley to retain his title up against the odds tonight. We see Drew McIntyre backstage getting ready. The announcers lead us to a video package for the next match.
Triple Threat for the WWE Title: Drew McIntyre vs. Braun Strowman vs. Bobby Lashley
We go back to the ring for the next match as Drew McIntyre makes his way out to pyro and a pop. Braun Strowman is out next to another pop. WWE Champion Bobby Lashley is out next with MVP. Lashley hits the ring to pose with the title as more pyro goes off. Rome does formal ring introductions next.
The bell rings and Lashley offers a handshake to Drew but he just stares back. Strowman attacks Drew and then goes to work on Lashley. Lashley drops Strowman. Drew shoves Lashley out of the way and goes to work on Strowman while he’s down. Lashley and Drew are working together on Strowman now. Lashley grabs Strowman and orders Drew to join him for a double suplex. Drew hesitates but joins him and they hit the long vertical suplex, holding Strowman in the air.
Drew and Lashley go at it now. Drew with a big overhead throw. Drew drops Strowman with a Glasgow Kiss headbutt. Lashley brings Drew to the floor now, sending him into the apron. Lashley scoops Drew for a shot into the ring post but Drew slides out and sends Lashley into the post. Strowman flies off the apron out of nowhere and takes out Lashley and Drew for a huge pop. Strowman sends Drew into the barrier and brings Lashley in the ring for a chokeslam. Lashley kicks out at 2.
Lashley counters Braun and goes for The Hurt Lock but can’t get it. Drew comes flying in off the top and takes them both down. Drew launches Lashley with another suplex. Drew sends Braun shoulder-first into the ring post. Drew fights in from the apron but goes to the top for a flying clothesline to Lashley. Drew kips up for a pop and then drops Braun with a modified Zig Zag for a 2 count as Lashley breaks it up just in time. Lashley unloads on Drew in the corner as MVP cheers him on. Lashley tosses Drew with a big suplex. Strowman charges but Lashley drives him down with an easy chokeslam for a 2 count. Strowman ends up taking them both out at ringside with half of the steel ring steps but Drew came back and knocked him over the barrier with a Claymore Kick. Drew beats Lashley up the apron now. Lashley counters and drops Drew on the steel ramp. They fight to the stage and Lashley sends Drew into the LED boards, then yells in his face.
Lashley goes to suplex Drew into a hanging LED board but it’s blocked. Drew with a Glasgow Kiss before slamming Lashley several times into the part of the set. Drew keeps fighting and sends Lashley into the LED board, causing it to explode and spark. Fans chant “holy shit!” as Drew recovers and yells out. Lashley is gone, nowhere to be seen. Drew goes looking for Lashley but Strowman attacks and beats him down the ramp. Braun runs down the ramp and runs right over Drew at the apron. Braun rolls Drew back into the ring and beats him down, then drops a big senton but Drew kicks out just in time. More back and forth now. Drew somehow hits a huge Michinoku Driver on Strowman for a close 2 count.
Strowman sends Drew over the top rope to the floor. Strowman follows and runs around the ring with the Strowman Express but Drew meets him with a big belly-to-belly suplex in front of the announce table. Braun lands on his neck. Drew charges and leaps at Braun with a Claymore but Braun catches him in mid-air and powerbombs him through the announce table. Fans chant “this is awesome!” now.
Braun brings it back into the ring for the running powerslam finish but Drew nails a big Claymore. Lashley runs back into the ring out of nowhere, tosses Drew out of the ring, and then delivers his Spear to Strowman for the pin to retain in the middle of the ring.
Winner: Bobby Lashley
– After the match, Lashley stands tall as his music hits. MVP brings the WWE Title belt in and fastens it around his waist. We see a disappointed Drew at ringside as Lashley begins celebrating in the corner. We go to replays. Lashley continues celebrating as Strowman recovers from the Spear at ringside. A disappointed Drew can’t believe it as he leans against the barrier at ringside. Lashley and Drew stare at each other before Lashley raises the WWE Title to boos.
– Cole and McAfee send us to a video package for tonight’s main event.
WWE Universal Title Match: Cesaro vs. Roman Reigns
We go back to the ring for tonight’s main event as Cesaro makes his way out to a pop. We see WWE Universal Champion Roman Reigns in the Gorilla Position with Jey Uso and Paul Heyman now. Jey is hyping Reigns up but Reigns interrupts and questions his loyalty. Jey says he’s always riding with Reigns. Reigns says Jey sounds like his brother Jimmy Uso now, so maybe Jey should go find his brother. The music hits and Reigns heads out to the ring with just Heyman. Reigns stops on the stage and raises the title as the pyro goes off. Cesaro looks on from the ring.
Reigns enters the ring and raises the title to more pyro as Cesaro stares him down. We get formal ring introductions from Hamilton. The bell rings and they lock up. They tangle into the corner and break but there’s some tension. They lock up again and Reigns applies a headlock. Reigns takes Cesaro down to the mat now. Cesaro fights up but Reigns drops him with a shoulder. Reigns with another headlock. They run the ropes and Cesaro drops Reigns with a shoulder for a 1 count.
They trade quick pin attempts on the mat. Reigns rolls to the floor to regroup as fans boo him. Heyman talks with Reigns as the referee counts. Reigns returns to the apron and takes his time coming back in. Cesaro ducks an attempt and grabs Reigns from behind. Reigns takes him to the corner with shoulder thrusts, then a shot to the face. Reigns slams Cesaro in the turnbuckles. Cesaro hits a big springboard uppercut for a pop.
Cesaro slams Reigns and goes for the Cesaro Swing but Reigns gets away. Reigns kicks Cesaro away. Reigns tosses Cesaro over the top rope to the floor. Cesaro clutches his right arm as the referee counts. Cesaro comes back in and they trade big strikes. Reigns drops Cesaro with a strike, then sends him shoulder-first into the ring post. Cesaro falls to the floor and continues selling the right arm injury as the referee counts.
Reigns follows and slams Cesaro into the announce table a few times. Reigns brings it back in for a 1 count, then grounds Cesaro on the mat. Cesaro fights up and goes for a suplex but can’t get Reigns over. Reigns nails a suplex of his own for a quick pin attempt. Reigns talks some trash and then rocks Cesaro into the corner. Reigns with more big right hands and kicks in the corner as the referee backs him off. Cesaro fights back with punches of his own from the corner. Reigns levels him with a big punch to the mouth. Reigns wrestles Cesaro back to the mat as Heyman looks on and fans try to rally.
Reigns comes right back and drops Cesaro for another quick 1 count. Reigns can’t believe Cesaro kicked out with ease. Reigns with big strikes while Cesaro is on the mat, then a headlock to ground him again. Cesaro fights up and out but Reigns catches him with a Samoan Drop for a 2 count. Reigns calls for the Superman Punch now as fans boo. Cesaro ducks it and nails the Pop-Up Uppercut for a big pop. Reigns is down but Cesaro fails to make a pin. Reigns struggles to get up. Cesaro with a running uppercut in the corner, and another in the opposite corner. Cesaro with another running uppercut and a running big boot for a close 2 count.
Cesaro goes for the Sharpshooter now but stops and kicks away at the leg and knee. Cesaro drops elbows on Reigns’ knee now. Cesaro applies the Sharpshooter in the middle of the ring but Reigns quickly gets to the bottom rope to break the hold. Reigns goes to the floor for a breather. Cesaro runs the ropes and nails a big corkscrew plancha. Cesaro is fired up now as fans cheer him on. Cesaro brings it in but Reigns rolls right back to the floor. Cesaro follows again and levels him with a running shot. Cesaro brings it back in and goes to the top. Cesaro nails a crossbody from the top but Reigns kicks out at 2. Cesaro shows some frustration now.
Cesaro goes for the superplex from the apron but Reigns fights him off. Reigns ends up leveling Cesaro with a big boot, then using the ropes to inflict more damage to the hurt arm. Reigns follows to the floor and nails the Drive By into the ring post. Reigns brings it back in for a close 2 count. Reigns smiles and laughs now, taunting Cesaro. Cesaro sees this and rocks Reigns fighting up from the mat. Reigns fights back and starts yanking the hurt arm around. Reigns laughs while yanking the arm around, taunting Daniel Bryan in the camera.
Cesaro breaks free with a headbutt but Reigns comes right back with a huge clothesline for a 2 count. Reigns shakes his head at Cesaro. Reigns with more trash talking and right hands. Cesaro gets up but the punches and knees keep coming from Reigns. Reigns knocks him into the corner and delivers more knees as the referee backs him off. Cesaro is dazed from the knees, leaning against the corner. Reigns levels Cesaro with a big boot. Reigns kneels back down to Cesaro and keeps taunting him. Reigns headbutts Cesaro back into the corner and unloads with kicks as the referee backs him off again. Reigns yells at the referee and they have words. Cesaro with a big elbow from the corner, then an uppercut, and a kick. Reigns keeps coming but Cesaro clotheslines him and they both go down.
The referee checks on both competitors as Cesaro sells the hurt arm. They trade big strikes from their knees now. Cesaro with a big uppercut into the corner, then a running uppercut. Cesaro beats Reigns down in the corner and unloads as the referee warns him. Cesaro with the big second rope superplex from the apron for a pop. Cesaro covers for a close 2 count. Cesaro with a headbutt and stomp to the thigh. Cesaro with a big double stomp to the chest. Cesaro goes for the Neutralizer but Reigns counters after the bad arm goes out. Reigns takes Cesaro down into an armbar on the hurt arm.
Cesaro struggles and rolls Reigns over for a 2 count. Cesaro ducks a clothesline and goes for the springboard corkscrew uppercut but Reigns meets him in mid-air with a Superman Punch. Cesaro still kicks out at 2. Both Superstars are down now. Fans cheer as both try to get to their feet. Reigns starts smiling and talking to himself. They slowly get up and Reigns calls for the finish. He charges with a Spear but Cesaro meets him with an uppercut. Cesaro’s arm goes out when he tries the Pop-Up Uppercut. Reigns takes him down into the Guillotine submission. Cesaro powers up and slams Reigns to break the hold. Cesaro barely has strength to get the Sharpshooter applied. He stops and unloads with strikes to keep Reigns down.
The Sharpshooter is locked in now but barely as his arm slips. Reigns reaches for the ropes but Cesaro pulls him back into a Crossface submission. Reigns starts to power out of the hold. He mounts Cesaro and unloads with strikes now as fans boo. Reigns with a sitdown powerbomb in the middle of the ring but Cesaro kicks out just in time. Reigns is frustrated now as he mounts Cesaro with more big strikes. Cesaro blocks and tries to power up from the mat. He sends Reigns to the mat but Reigns comes right back and stays on him.
Reigns goes back to the Guillotine submission. Cesaro powers up but Reigns pulls him back to the mat. The hold is broken but Reigns rocks him a few times, then locks the Guillotine back in. Cesaro tries to break Reigns’ grip but Reigns wraps his legs tighter. Cesaro starts fading in the hold and the referee calls the match.
Winner: Roman Reigns
– After the match, Reigns sits up as the music hits. Heyman hands him the WWE Universal Title. Cesaro also comes back to and he’s shocked at the finish. Reigns stands tall in the middle of the ring now, raising the title. Jey Uso runs down and hits the ring, carrying a lei. Jey places it around Reigns’ beck and Reigns nods at him. Jey stares at Cesaro and Reign tells Jey to go get him. Cesaro slowly gets up but Jey drops him with a big superkick, then mounts him with strikes as fans boo. Jey goes to the top to deliver a big Uso Splash but Seth Rollins’ music interrupts.
Rollins comes marching to the ring as Uso and Reigns look on confused. Rollins enters the ring and stares Reigns down. Rollins starts laughing, then leaps onto Cesaro and beats him up while he’s down on the mat. Rollins brings Cesaro to the floor and sends him into the steel steps, then slams his hurt arm into the steps. Rollins launches Cesaro over the announce table and then slams the hurt arm into the table. Rollins grabs a steel chair and talks trash while keeping Cesaro down with chair shots as the boos continue. Rollins wraps the chair around Cesaro’s hurt arm, twisting it around and holding him against the ring post. Rollins yells in Cesaro’s face that he’s Seth f’n Rollins and nobody makes a mockery of him. Rollins then slams the chair around Cesar’s arm into the ring post. Cesaro goes down but Rollins follows up with the Stomp into the floor. Rollins stands tall in the middle of the ring ass a referee checks on Cesaro at ringside. Reigns and Uso have already moved on from the ring. Fans chant “you suck!” while Rollins stands tall in the ring as WrestleMania Backlash goes off the air.