In what seemed like an unlikely main event for a pay-per-view, Cody Rhodes and Brock Lesnar gave wrestling fans a compelling — and bloody — drama Saturday in San Juan, Puerto Rico.Rhodes and Lesnar, the last two challengers to Roman Reigns at WrestleMania for championship supremacy, seemed poised to work together to face off against The Bloodline on Raw after WrestleMania. Instead, Lesnar rebelled and F-5’d Rhodes, and a new feud was put in front of us.
At Backlash, Rhodes fought like he was ready to quickly get past The Beast Incarnate and got in a ton of offense on Lesnar. Rhodes was crisp and dynamic, landing big moves while matching Lesnar’s physicality at every turn. That physicality turned into Rhodes tripping Lesnar into an exposed turnbuckle and leaving Lesnar busted open and gushing blood.
WWE Backlash 2023
Cody Rhodes overcame the toughest challenge of his career when he pinned The Beast Brock Lesnar in a bloodied main-event. In what has turned out to be a chaotic Backlash, The Bloodline picked up the win in the six-man tag-team match but tension within Solo Sikoa, Jimmy and Jey Uso has become pretty evident. Bad Bunny continued his impressive run in the WWE, picking up a terrific win over Damien Priest which saw so many spots, interruptions and returns. Earlier, Seth Rollins defeated Omos and Austin Theory retained his United States Championship against Bobby Lashley and Bronson Reed. Besides, Bianca Belair hit the KOD to put an end to Iyo Sky’s spirited performance. Also, the WWE Smackdown Women’s Champions Rhea Ripley overcame a solid fight put up by Zelina Vega.
2023 Backlash results, grades
Raw Women’s Championship — Bianca Belair (c) vs. Iyo Sky: Huge chants of “Iyo Sky” broke out as the two women tied up. The San Juan crowd booed every offensive action by the champion and cheered each moment of success that Sky had. It was an unusual reaction towards Belair, one of the most consistently beloved superstars on the roster. A rabid “Iyo” chant commenced as the Damage CTRL member took control, damaging Belair’s arm. Every time the champion started rolling, Sky would derail her momentum by targeting the arm. Sky rolled through Belair’s offense and landed a double stomp to the chest for the evening’s first near fall. Belair halted a head scissors, snapping Sky with a backbreaker.
Seth Rollins vs. Omos: Rollins struggled to overcome the size of Omos for the majority of the match. The former WWE champion tried to take flight, wear out the giant with sleepers and chop him down at the legs, but Omos’ enormous frame could not be toppled. Omos tossed Rollins around like a ragdoll as MVP mocked his giant’s opponent. Rollins eventually turned the tide by spiking Omos with a DDT, crashing the entirety of his unique frame on his head and neck. In an amusing twist, Rollins attempted a Stomp on Omos, only for the giant to not budge under the weight of Rollins’ body. Rollins eventually landed the Stomp but only secured a two-count. One more Stomp, this time launched off the ropes, was enough to fell the beast. It was a fun contest with contrasting styles that benefited from its short run time. Say what you will about Omos, his PPV matches continue to be entertaining
United States Championship — Austin Theory (c) vs. Bobby Lashley vs. Bronson Reed: Lashley hit the ground running, toppling over Reed and Theory as soon as the bell rang. It was a wise move after the villains ganged up on him during previous encounters on Raw. Lashley’s fears played out shortly after. Theory took Lashley’s legs out from underneath and Reed followed with a big splash. They ganged up on Lashley, beating him down in the corner and delivering combination offense. Their temporary alliance was just that as Reed body-checked Theory. The communication breakdown gave Lashley a necessary moment to recover and lay out both opponents.
Backlash 2023 Results Winners
SmackDown Women’s Championship –– Rhea Ripley (c) vs. Zelina Vega: Vega received a touching welcome in front of her fellow Puerto Ricans. The LWO member’s family sat ringside to watch her challenge for the title. She struggled to hold back the tears while being introduced by announcer Samantha Irvin. Vega snagged a shoe from her mom and tossed it to Ripley, but that only spurred Judgement Day’s enforcer. Ripley bullied Vega through the early portions of the match, laying into her with powerful blows and slams. The champ also took plenty of shots at the crowd, drawing loud boos. Ripley stretched Vega with a modified Gory Special while continuing to mock her fans.
Matt Riddle, Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn vs. The Bloodline (Solo Sikoa and The Usos): The tag champs and Riddle outclassed The Usos through the early moments of the match. The tide only turned once Sikoa tagged himself in and rag-dolled Zayn. The layout played into the idea that The Usos are losing a step as Sikoa grows increasingly short with his older brothers. “We want Roman” chants erupted as a brief look of disapproval crossed Jey Uso’s face. Jimmy Uso continuously communicated with his brothers, attempting to serve as the trio’s glue. Zayn’s desperate attempts to reach his corner finally materialized after an extended beatdown. Riddle got the hot tag and exploded into action. The UFC alum laid out each member of The Bloodline before knocking over all three at once with a springboard Floating Bro ringside. Owens, who was laid out earlier by Jey Uso, finally recovered and swapped in for Riddle. Owens ducked out of the way as Jimmy Uso inadvertently clipped Jey Uso with a super kick. Owens followed up with a pop-up powerbomb on Jey Uso for the near fall.