The show kicked off with a big fireworks display (for the first time in a little while, I think) and the announcers plugged Bobby Lashley vs. Drew McIntyre.
6-woman tag team match: Asuka, Mandy Rose & Dana Brooke defeated Charlotte Flair, Women’s Tag Team Champions Nia Jax & Shayna Baszler (8:40)
Rose and Brooke have new music.
This was awful television.
Less than two minutes into the match, all six women got in the ring and began arguing when Alexa Bliss’ music hit. Bliss appeared on the stage with Lilly on her swing set. Bliss said they wanted to keep their eye on someone. Commercial break.
The heels were in control after the break as Bliss continued to watch from the stage with her Playground graphics all over the screens on the stage.
Baszler’s leg randomly gave out as she tried walking to her corner for a tag. I think we’re supposed to think that Bliss took control of her body and prevented her from doing so. Asuka flew in with a shining wizard and pinned Baszler for the win.
Charlotte laid out Asuka after the match with a boot. The rest of the women stared at Bliss as she and the puppet giggled.
(During the match, a graphic popped up to plug Jeff Hardy against Jinder Mahal tonight.)
Riddle accosted New Day in the back and let them know that he officially registered himself and Randy Orton as a tag team. Kofi Kingston was delighted to hear that and called them a real team, unlike AJ Styles and Omos. Riddle recalled how funny it was to see Orton get doused with tomatoes last week only to realize that Orton was standing behind him. Kingston admitted he thought it was pretty funny. Xavier Woods and Riddle thought so too. Orton told Riddle that the things he found funny were ending careers, kicking people in the head, and setting things on fire.
MVP approached Braun Strowman in his personal locker room. Strowman told him to get out. MVP reminded him that McIntyre cost him the match last week and Lashley even admitted that Strowman almost beat him. MVP told him that McIntyre has already had his opportunities and basically tried to convince him to take out McIntyre before Sunday.
Damian Priest vs. The Miz was announced for Backlash. Adam Pearce, Priest, Miz and John Morrison had a meeting in the back. Morrison said he would have beaten Priest last week if not for a certain someone. He motioned at the Miz but Miz told him that he could see him. Priest had a proposition: whoever won the Priest/Morrison rematch tonight could pick the stipulation for Priest/Miz on Sunday. Miz was about to decline but Morrison accepted.
Jinder Mahal cut a promo in the back. He was happy to be back but wasn’t coming back alone. He introduced us to Veer and Shanky.
Jinder Mahal (w/Shanky & Veer) defeated Jeff Hardy (3:25)
Thumbs Down Mahal has a shaved head. He blocked a Twist of Fate, hit a knee strike and Khallas for the pinfall win.
I know Hardy hasn’t been gone long, but they made a much bigger deal of Mahal returning here. Hardy was basically an afterthought.
They showed Sonya Deville meeting with Charlotte (now in regular clothes) in the back.
Elias and Jaxson Ryker had tomatoes and they devised a plan to get back at New Day. Styles and Omos approached them. Styles (sporting a goatee) wondered what the heck they were doing. Elias was about to perform a song but Styles cut him off. Styles liked his music but suggested they take their match a little more seriously. Omos crushed a tomato with his hand and said that would be their opponents tonight.
8-man tag team match: Riddle, Randy Orton, Kofi Kingston & Xavier Woods defeated Elias & Jaxson Ryker and Raw Tag Team Champions AJ Styles & Omos (12:08)
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Elias started but Omos entered after he got in trouble and easily took down Riddle and Kingston. He stared down Orton as they went to break less than two minutes into the match.
Elias was in control over Riddle after the break and we have no idea what happened or didn’t happen with Omos and Orton. Woods tagged in and New Day double-teamed Styles. Woods had to fight off Elias which allowed Styles to slam him and tag Ryker. They worked over Woods for a while until he “finally” (as Adnan Virk remarked) tagged in Riddle.
Riddle gave Elias a Bro Derek but Omos broke up the cover. Orton blind-tagged in as Riddle came off the top but Omos swatted him out of the air (sort of). Styles was down on the mats outside the ring and New Day spun him around and around like they were playing some sort of playground game. This caused Omos to leave the ring and march toward them.
This allowed Orton to give Elias an RKO for the pinfall win.
The good guys celebrated and Kingston even seemed happy to be on Orton’s side. Of course, Orton laid out Woods and Kingston with RKOs. Riddle told him they’ll never make friends if he acts that way. Orton left.
Deville met with Asuka and Rhea Ripley in the back. She said she was given an idea and decided to put them in a singles match tonight. Ripley figured this was Charlotte’s idea and wasn’t happy. Deville deflected. Asuka said she already competed tonight and was happy to again because she was ready for Rhea. Ripley said she would be happy to beat Asuka again.
Elsewhere, Kevin Patrick asked Lashley what he planned on proving tonight. MVP was offended that Patrick barged in there to ask him that. Lashley said he beat Strowman and would beat McIntyre again. Patrick asked about “reports” that MVP offered Strowman a proposition (an exchange that aired on live TV). MVP blew him off.
Before his match, Sheamus cut a promo mocking US champions of the past who offered open challenges and said you had to earn opportunities. He also made a crack about Virk being out of his element on commentary. He said Humberto Carrillo would try to earn an opportunity tonight but would instead get a Brogue Kick to the head.
US Champion Sheamus defeated Humberto Carrillo in a non-title match via referee/injury stoppage (9:00)
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Carrillo tried a baseball slide but Sheamus caught him (sort of), yanked him out of the ring and chucked him over the barricade which led to break 90 seconds into the match. After the break, Sheamus was fully in control until Carrillo brought him down from the top with a cool hurricanrana.
Carrillo followed with a sunset flip powerbomb to the outside, but Sheamus landed right on top of him. Carrillo appeared to be hurt for real and the referee called the match after checking with him. They announced Sheamus as the winner. Medical staff checked on Carrillo.
There was a video package for Lucha House Party, so they may be getting a push.
They aired the Eva Marie video from last week.
Shelton Benjamin defeated Cedric Alexander (4:22)
They both wore their black and gold Hurt Business gear. Benjamin entered to his singles music.
Alexander wrenched Benjamin’s leg in the ropes with a dragon screw and applied a heel hook but Benjamin countered into a sharpshooter. Alexander got a rope break before coming back with a low dropkick. Alexander hit a suicide dive but Benjamin countered a second attempt with a lifting knee strike. Alexander responded with a Neuralyzer.
Alexander dared Benjamin to get up, then Benjamin suddenly caught him with a t-bone suplex for the win. This was good while it lasted.
They aired a replay of Angel Garza kicking a rose into Drew Gulak’s butt last week. Virk even acknowledged that Garza had planned on sticking a rose down his butt.
Garza was doing a photoshoot in the back when he was confronted by Gulak who was pissed that Garza embarrassed and humiliated him. Garza didn’t care. He threatened to shove it down his throat next time.
Raw Women’s Champion Rhea Ripley defeated Asuka in a non-title match (12:36)
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They sometimes show facts for wrestlers as they enter and one of the facts for Ripley was that she is “just 24 years old.” Ripley gained control until Charlotte’s music hit and she sauntered out. This distracted Ripley who ate an Asuka back fist, which led to commercials.
Charlotte was on commentary as Ripley regained control over Asuka. Asuka came back with a sliding knee on the apron. Ripley chucked Asuka outside the ring and she went face-to-face with Charlotte. Ripley attacked Asuka from behind and followed with a Northern Lights Suplex in the ring for two. Asuka countered a Riptide into a Codebreaker for two.
Ripley rolled outside the ring and decided to confront Charlotte. Asuka flew in with a running hip attack off the announce table and followed with a missile dropkick in the ring for two.
Ripley came right back with a kick to the head and Riptide for the pinfall win. Ripley posed with her belt as Charlotte applauded.
McIntyre told Patrick that he wasn’t planning on getting involved in the main event last week until Strowman put his disgusting hands on him. It wasn’t his fault that Strowman got speared, but it was his fault that they both got laid out by Claymores. McIntyre admitted that he was toast if Strowman and Lashley teamed up on him (which is an odd thing to admit). McIntyre planned on connecting with a Claymore at Backlash and once again become champion.
Damian Priest defeated John Morrison (w/The Miz) (12:54)
There was a spot where Morrison caught Priest right in the face with a knee strike and Morrison checked on him to make sure he was okay before making a cover for two. (The ref quickly checked on him too.)
Miz pulled Morrison outside the ring to help him regroup but Priest shoved him back in. Miz and Priest acted as though they were about to fight but that sent us to commercials. Of course, after the break, the match was underway again and they didn’t let us know what came of the confrontation.
Morrison took control after Miz attacked Priest with the ref distracted. Priest came back with a bell clap, spinning heel kick, strikes and broken arrow for two. Priest used a spinning kick off the top for a nearfall. Morrison got a nearfall with a rollup before attempting a sliding kick but Priest kicked his leg out of his leg.
Priest set up for Hit the Lights so Miz distracted the ref. Morrison countered into a crucifix pin but the ref was still distracted by Miz. The ref turned around and counted but Priest kicked out at two. Priest followed with Hit the Lights for the pinfall win.
Miz attacked Priest after the match but Priest blocked a Skull Crushing Finale. Miz bailed from the ring and ran up the ramp before Priest could attack him. Priest gave Morrison another Hit the Lights.
McIntyre and Lashley were each shown warming up in the back. Strowman approached Lashley as they went to break.
There was a new Eva Marie video. People see her as a supermodel, but she sees herself as a super role model.
Priest told Pearce he wanted a lumberjack match against the Miz. Pearce wanted to know why. Priest didn’t want Miz to have anywhere to run and encouraged Pearce to use wrestlers from Raw and Smackdown. Pearce agreed to the stip.
The announcers ran down the Backlash card.
Drew McIntyre defeated WWE Champion Bobby Lashley (w/MVP) via DQ in a non-title match (13:26)
Thumbs In The Middle Pointing Up
They fought back-and-forth until McIntyre hit an overhead suplex on the outside. After a break, Lashley hit a flatliner for two. McIntyre fought back and hit a big vertical suplex. Lashley knocked McIntyre off the apron before driving him into the ring post. Lashley went for a spear but McIntyre chucked him into the turnbuckle.
McIntyre hit consecutive overhead suplexes, a neckbreaker, a headbutt (which missed), and a spinebuster for two. McIntyre went for a Claymore kick but Lashley knocked him down with a running body block. Lashley tried applying the Hurt Lock but McIntyre did his best to block it so Lashley suplexed him.
McIntyre came right back with a Claymore kick. At that point, Strowman’s music hit so McIntyre turned his attention to the stage but Strowman attacked him from behind for the DQ. Strowman laid him out with a powerslam.
Strowman helped Lashley to his feet but laid him out with a powerslam too. Strowman gave McIntyre another powerslam before slamming Lashley through the barricade. Strowman gave McIntyre one more powerslam and stood tall as the show ended.
The match itself was going well until the finish. Strowman looked good in the post-match angle too, it’s just too bad we needed a disqualification to get there.
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