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WrestleMania Backlash Preview & Predictions

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WWE presents WrestleMania Backlash this Sunday at 7 p.m. ET from the Yuengling Center in Tampa, FL and will stream live on Peacock with the kick-off show beginning an hour prior. Below are my previews and predictions for this Sunday’s show

Smackdown Tag Team Championship Match: Dirty Dawgs(c) vs Dominik and Rey Mysterio

Rey Mysterio is enjoying the twilight of his career in the best possible way, fighting alongside his son Dominik on Smackdown. One really couldn’t write a better script than with Rey & Dominik winning the Smackdown Tag Team Titles at WrestleMania Backlash and giving Rey one final run as a champion in WWE. Meanwhile, Dolph Ziggler and Robert Roode have had a decent run as the Champs on the Blue Brand. With Dolph Ziggler coming off back to back losses to Dominik and Rey on Smackdown it’s tough to pick a scenario where we don’t see new Smackdown Tag Team Champions and history being made this Sunday.

 

Winners- Dominik and Rey Mysterio

Triple Threat Match for the WWE Championship: Bobby Lashley (c) vs Drew McIntyre vs Braun Strowman 

The idea of Bobby Lashley as WWE Champion felt fresh and his Title defense against Drew McIntyre at WrestleMania solidified the decision to make him Champion. We’ve seen McIntyre vs Lashley a lot and perhaps that may have been the reason to add Braun Strowman in to this feud. Braun can make the claim that he should be the one challenging Lashley for the WWE Championship after defeating McIntyre on Raw a few weeks ago. Drew’s run as WWE Champion was incomplete, especially during a global pandemic, it was just tough to truly judge his run as Champion. The only reason Strowman had a run with the Universal Championship was because Roman Reigns had stepped away due to health risks due to COVID-19. Both McIntyre and Strowman are fighting for redemption, but it doesn’t appear that it’s going to happen this Sunday. Like so many other matches that are on the card for WrestleMania Backlash there just doesn’t seem to be a sensible reason to take the WWE Championship off of Bobby Lashley. The Almighty One has done a great job during his current WWE Title run and it doesn’t look like it will be ending any time soon.

Winner- Bobby Lashley

Triple Threat Match for the Raw Women’s Championship: Rhea Rhipley (c) vs Charlotte Flair vs Asuka

WWE went all in with Rhea Ripley when she defeated Asuka for the Raw Women’s Championship at WrestleMania, but things have just been flat for Ripley ever since. Whether it’s been bad booking, having lackluster matches, or both things just haven’t  fallen in to place during Ripley’s first run as Raw Women’s Champion. Enter Charlotte Flair, who has been inserted back in the Women’s Title picture, thanks to Sonya Deville. What would the Women’s Division be without the Queen vying for the Championship? The Empress of Tomorrow had a tremendous run being the top female on Raw, but after losing to Rhea this past Monday Night those days may be coming to a close. Picking is a winner in this match is a toss up here because Rhea could retain and get “the rub” by beating Charlotte and Asuka in the same match or WWE could have Charlotte win the Raw Women’s Championship and hit the reset button on Ripley. Ripley could regain her momentum by chasing the Queen for the Title but with the impending return of Becky Lynch, it’s imperative that Rhea doesn’t get lost in the fold.

Winner- Charlotte

Lumberjack Match: Damian Priest vs The Miz

Damian Priest has gotten the best out of the The Miz this entire feud dating all the way back to WrestleMania. After defeating John Morrison on Raw where the winner would pick the stipulation for the Damian Priest vs Miz bout at Backlash, Priest requested that their match be a Lumberjack Match. There will be nowhere to run for this Miz, it’s put up or shut up time for the must see WWE Superstar this Sunday. After being told by WWE brass that his tag-team match with Bad Bunny at WrestleMania was make or break for Damian Priest, he has been given the ball and he has rolled with it. Raw needs to make new stars and it looks like WWE has found one in Priest, that is why a win over an established star in The Miz makes the most absolute sense in this situation.

Winner- Damian Priest

Smackdown Women’s Championship: Bianca Belair (c) vs Bayley

The expectation is for Belair t0 retain her Smackdown Women’s Championship and continue to get the rub from another established former Women’s Champion in Bayley. After Bianca’s history making win over Sasha Banks at WrestleMania it just wouldn’t make sense to pull the plug on her Championship run. One thing that WWE has done well with their women’s division is build up their core four.  Charlotte, Sasha, Bayley and Becky are so teflon that losses don’t matter and won’t affect their position on the roster. The main goal for WWE going forward is to make new stars and win over Bayley will only raise the EST of Smackdown’s stock even more.

Winner- Bianca Belair

Universal Championship Match: Roman Reigns (c) vs Cesaro 

Cesaro is finally getting his chance in the main event!  Our hearts say yes, but alas our heads say a resounding no. It just doesn’t make sense for Reigns to lose this match, especially after dominating Daniel Bryan & Edge at WrestleMania. Roman Reigns is on the greatest Championship run of his career and the family acknowledgement storyline between himself, Jimmy, and Jey Uso is the best thing going on the Blue Brand. Could the WWE Universe be thrown a bone by having Cesaro win by DQ due to outside interference from the Usos?  There’s also the outside possibility that Cesaro beats Roman setting cementing him as a main event player going forward and setting up a rematch at Money in the Bank. As much as the priority should be to create and establish more stars for Roman Reigns to feud with in the long term, there just isn’t any justification to take the belt off the Tribal Chief right now.

Winner- Roman Reigns

 

 

Jeff Burga is the creator and host of the HSP Podcast on the HSP Media YouTube Network. He is a former Contributor for Bodyslam.net & is currently a producer for NFL & NBA programming at SiriusXM in New York City.

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