WrestleMania Backlash starts tonight at 7 PM EST and is available on PPV, Peacock, and if you are outside the United States, the WWE Network.
As par for the course, the show takes place inside the ThunderDome at The Yuengling Center in Tampa Florida. The show features matches such as Drew McIntyre vs. Bobby Lashley vs. Braun Strowman, Roman Reigns vs. Cesaro, Charlotte vs. Asuka vs Rhea Ripley, and many more.
All betting odds are obtained from bovada.lv and are current as of 9:30 am EST on 5/16.
Lumberjack Match: The Miz +300 vs Damian Priest -500
Priest is favored in Vegas, and rightly so. As awesome as The Miz is, this is Damian Priest's time to shine as he is being built up for bigger and better things. He should be challenging for the World Title before the year is out, and quite frankly The Miz is going in the opposite direction.
History indicates that The Miz and Morrison are due for a break up, so don't be surprised if Morrison accidentally costs The Miz the match.
Winner: Damian Priest
Smackdown Tag Team Titles: The Dirty Dawgs (c) +210 vs Rey and Dominik Mysterio -320
I could see either team winning this one, but I am leaning more towards Los Mysterios. Ziggler and Roode have held the belts since January and they aren't exactly reinventing the wheel as champions. Usually when you throw two meandering mid-carders together in this type of situation it elevates at least one, if not both to better things. That doesn't seem to be the case this time however as I can't shake the feeling that once they drop the titles they will both fall back into lower mid-card obscurity.
On the flip side we have Los Mysterios, father and son teaming together. For Rey the tag team titles would be yet another of many championship notches in his belt, but for Dominik it would be the first title gold of his career. This is Family Wrestling Storyline 101 here. It is inevitable that Dominik is going to turn heel on his father at some point, and that point is most likely at the next PPV which just so happens to fall on Fathers Day.
So it would make perfect sense for them to win the titles at Backlash and drop them at Money In The Bank next month.
Winner: Rey and Dominik Mysterio
Smackdown Women's Title: Bianca Belair (c) -1,400 vs Bayley +650
This match is as close to a no-brainer as one can get. There is just no way that Belair is dropping the title this soon into her first reign. Furthermore, Bayley does not need the title to be relevant.
Everything is pointing towards a rematch between Bianca and Sasha Banks for the title at SummerSlam in August, so every woman who challenges for the title between now and then stands no chance unless Bianca should injure herself and they need to strip her of the title.
Winner: Bianca Belair
RAW Women's Title: Rhea Ripley (c) -175 vs Charlotte +180 vs Asuka +650
This matchup should be as cut and dry as the Smackdown Women's Title match, but sadly it is not. Having just won the title at WrestleMania and being one of the best up and coming talent in the WWE, Rhea Ripley retaining should be a no brainer. If she had been going up solely against Asuka I would stop the summary here and declare Rhea the winner, but then they went and added Charlotte to the match.
Her 12 Women's Title reigns make her a legitimate threat in any match she is in. You expect her to win each and every match. If they wanted to do things right, Rhea pins Charlotte to further cement her spot on the roster. It wouldn't harm Charlotte at all, and Asuka keeps her heat by not taking the fall.
If Charlotte does win, it will be the second time in little over a year that she will have ended a Rhea Ripley title reign. They are in danger of turning Rhea into an "also-ran" or "never-was" here if they truncate her title reign on Sunday. So this time I am going to give the WWE the benefit of the doubt and hope they do the right thing.
Winner: Rhea Ripley
Universal Title: Roman Reigns (c) -1,000 vs Cesaro +550
Come next Friday, Roman Reigns will still be the reigning, defending WWE Universal Champion. His domination of the Smackdown roster is total, and unlikely to end anytime soon. While it is nice to see Cesaro get his biggest push ever in the WWE, it is just beyond the pale to buy into him as being a serious contender to Reigns.
So let us enjoy what is certain to be a great match with plenty of near falls, but in the end Cesaro must accept that his defeat is inevitable. Roman Reigns' is as constant as the Northern Star, and it'll probably take a Brock Lesnar or John Cena comeback to get the title off of him.
Winner: Roman Reigns
WWE World Title: Bobby Lashley (c) -300 vs Braun Strowman +800 vs Drew McIntyre +300
Bobby Lashley, with the help of his manager MVP, has been carrying the weight of the RAW brand on his back for the better part of a year now. He deserves a longer title reign than what he has had thus far. Braun doesn't make for a good draw as champion as has been proven in the past. It's alright for him to rise up and challenge for the title every now and then, but that is his ceiling. As for Drew, I do believe he will have more title reigns in his future but now is not the time.
Winner: Bobby Lashley
There you have it, I am predicting only one title to be changing hands tonight. It's a little too tidy for the remainder of the matches to seem to have such an obvious outcome, but here we are. Just keep in mind the infamous words oft spoken in the "Big Brother" house: "Expect The Unexpected". Enjoy the show, and please feel free to comment! I'll be back in two weeks with a preview for AEW Double Or Nothing 2021 on May 30th.
The Weekly Assist: 10/26 to 11/1
As Ferris Bueller might say: The world of sports moves pretty fast.
If you don't stop and look around at least once a week, you could miss it. Here we'll review what you might have missed in the past week all in one place. Why spend hours scrolling through Twitter to catch up on the news you want? We've already done that for you, so remember to check back every Monday to get your dose of weekly sports review.
The World Series was decided last Tuesday night and it was the Los Angeles Dodgers who claimed their seventh title, and first in 32 years. After making it to the WS in three of the past four years, LA finally gets a win. Dave Roberts became the first manager of Asian heritage to win a WS.
His dad died last year and was a huge Dodgers fan. With his dad’s hat and shirt in his hand, he watched them win… https://t.co/csUnXty8UB— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) 1604252500.0
Corey Seager won World Series MVP and did it all throughout the postseason including the matchup against the Rays. Seager had a .400 batting average in the WS and hit two home runs, five RBI, scored seven runs, had a stolen base, and played excellent defense.
Seager is only the eighth player in league history to win the MVP award in both their League Championship Series and the World Series.
In 1988, the Lakers and the Dodgers won their respective league titles, making Los Angeles the first city to win a… https://t.co/rrHlfgGcog— Front Office Sports (@Front Office Sports) 1603857377.0
In Game 6, Rays manager Kevin Cash made a questionable decision to pull starter Blake Snell in the 6th inning after allowing a single to Austin Barnes with the top of the order coming up. Snell was only at 73 pitches and had gone 5 ⅓ allowing 2 hits, no walks, no runs, and had struck out nine. Six of those strikeouts were against Mookie Betts, Corey Seager, and Justin Turner, who had struck out in every at bat against Snell in Game 6. What ensued was a Betts double, a run scored on a wild pitch, and an RBI infield single to give the Dodgers the lead they would never relinquish.
Cody Bellinger has a chuckle over Kevin Cash lifting Blake Snell in the sixth. https://t.co/JeCgsrg3Wd— Kenny Ducey (@Kenny Ducey) 1603858440.0
Randy Arozarena finished with 10 home runs, 29 hits, and 64 total bases during the 2020 postseason. All are MLB records for a single postseason. His 14 extra base hits tied him with David Freese for most ever in a single postseason. Arozarena leads a young core for Tampa Bay who should have a window of opportunity to make it back to the World Series over the next few seasons. Most of their players are either under contract or arbitration eligible through 2023.
RANDY. AROZARENA. AGAIN. Starts off Game 6 with his 10th home run of the postseason 🤯 (via @MLB) https://t.co/C1CwSRLJWF— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) 1603844026.0
Clayton Kershaw had two wins for the Dodgers in the WS. Throughout the playoffs he went 4-1 with a 2.93 ERA .91 WHIP, and struck out 37 over 30 ⅔ IP. This championship cements his legacy as one of the best pitchers of his generation adding the one thing that's eluded him during his illustrious career.
The October stage has been so cruel to Clayton Kershaw. But now … a curtain call. Take a bow, @ClaytonKersh22. 💍 https://t.co/YYoeKE0QwS— The Athletic MLB (@The Athletic MLB) 1603856648.0
Week 8 in the NFL saw its fair share of upsets. Most notably Joe Burrow led the Cincinnati Bengals to a win against the Tennessee Titans 31-20. Burrow had 249 passing yards and two touchdown throws. Giovani Bernard had two scores on the day. For the Titans Derrick Henry had 112 yards and a touchdown as Tennessee loses their second game in as many weeks.
Joe Burrow escapes inside pressure & tosses one up for Tee Higgins, goodness what a haul - https://t.co/hkV4gWh2mF— Michael Kist (@Michael Kist) 1604326405.0
Tua Tagovailoa earned his first NFL win in his first NFL start against the Los Angeles Rams. The Dolphins defense and special teams helped get the W for Miami as Andrew Van Ginkel scored a touchdown off of a fumble recovery and Jakeem Grant scored on a punt return.
The Vikings upset the Packers 28-22 in a division matchup behind the performance of Dalvin Cook. Cook had 163 yards and three rushing touchdowns, and added 63 yards receiving with another touchdown through the air. Aaron Rodgers finished with 291 yards and three touchdown passes, all of them to Davante Adams. The Packers drop to 5-2 and hold a slim advantage over the Bears for the NFC North.
The Raiders embarrassed the Browns 16-6 in a snoozer. Coming off a five touchdown performance in Week 7, Baker Mayfield was unable to find anything downfield, and the explosive offense we've come to expect from Cleveland was nowhere to be found on Sunday. With the Bengals looking to be trending up, the Browns will need to get back on track quickly if they want to avoid a collapse that could find them at the bottom of the division by year's end.
The Bills have claimed supremacy in the AFC East with their win over the Patriots
The Steelers outlast the Ravens in an AFC North contest where turnovers prevented the Ravens from getting a win
The Seahawks down the 49ers as Jimmy Garoppolo and George Kittle go out with injuries
It takes overtime for the Saints to defeat the Bears
The Cowboys haven't scored a touchdown in two consecutive games as they fall to the Eagles on Sunday night
UEFA Champions League Group Stage Matchday 2 (10/27 and 10/28)
The UEFA Champions League held its second matchday in the group stage on Tuesday and Wednesday. Bayern Munich defeated Lokomotiv Moscow 2-1 and lead Group A with six points. Manchester City dominated Marseille behind goals from Ferran Torres, İlkay Gündoğan, and Raheem Sterling. Man City leads Group C with six points.
Caption this! #UCL https://t.co/kjgbcgDwRS— UEFA Champions League (@UEFA Champions League) 1604325293.0
A much anticipated fixture between Juventus and Barcelona didn't yield as exciting of a result as hoped. Barcelona saw Ousmane Dembélé score in the 14th minute and Lionel Messi added a goal off a penalty kick in extra time to seal the win. Juventus was unable to score and Barcelona now has a three point advantage in Group G over Juventus.
Messi said goodbye to Bonucci 👋 https://t.co/vMMDI8dqZw— Goal (@Goal) 1604323740.0
Other notable wins from Matchday 2 included Manchester United with a resounding 5-0 win over RB Leipzig, Dortmund defeated Zenit 2-0, Chelsea beat Krasnodar 4-0, and Liverpool over Midtjylland 2-0. Matchday 3 continues this week beginning Tuesday 11/3 and continues into Wednesday 11/4.
Deontay Wilder has accused Tyson Fury of loading his gloves with "Something the size and shape of an egg weight".
Deontay Wilder releases a video accusing Tyson Fury of cheating. (via @BronzeBomber) https://t.co/NFJULVNtHJ— DAZN Boxing (@DAZN Boxing) 1604172742.0
Furthermore Wilder is accusing his former coach Mark Breland and the training staff of putting a "muscle relaxer" in his water from that fight. Wilder's actions and statements of late have been erratic and not helping his cause in getting the rematch he wants with Tyson Fury.
Gervonta Davis (24-0, 23 KOs) and Leo Santa Cruz (37-2-1, 19 KOs) fought in a highly anticipated matchup between the young prodigy and the veteran champion. "Tank" Davis delivered a Knockout of the Year contender Saturday night on his way to winning the WBA World Super Featherweight and the WBA World Lightweight championships.
Gervonta Davis (-600 ML) puts Leo Santa Cruz to sleep in the sixth round #DavisSantaCruz https://t.co/LelZWUImpu— Barstool Sportsbook (@Barstool Sportsbook) 1604202530.0
Davis fights for Mayweather Promotions and is the protégé of the former champ, Floyd Mayweather. With this win he has justified his rise to stardom and put two divisions on notice. Whatever is next for Davis, it's sure to be in the main event.
Dana White believes there's a strong possibility that Khabib Nurmagomedov will return to attempt to finish his career with an even 30 wins. Currently, Khabib is 29-0-0, and his early retirement was focused around the loss of his father and coach and not a decline in ability. White feels strong enough about the potential for one more fight that Nurmagomedov will remain lightweight champion rather than vacating it in lieu of his retirement announcement.
Dana White also told me Khabib Nurmagomedov is still the lightweight champion. He's not SURE Nurmagomedov will retu… https://t.co/o8u0z8AUVW— Brett Okamoto (@Brett Okamoto) 1604198299.0
White also announced that Israel Adesanya will be moving up to compete for the light heavyweight championship against Jan Blachowicz. A win for Adesanya would make him a two-division champion.
I have heard that Israel Adesanya wants to face me next. No problem, If you are ready to fight in March, let's do t… https://t.co/8VxSRtu35v— Jan Blachowicz (@Jan Blachowicz) 1603991515.0
Anderson Silva took a loss in what was billed to be his final fight inside a UFC octagon. Uriah Hall won by TKO in the fourth-round, but Dana White spoke about how disappointing the performance was for both fighters. Noting that Hall only threw 11 punches in the second round and seemed to be allowing Silva to stay in the fight. White flat out stated he doesn't believe that Silva should fight again. Even though Silva was hesitant to confirm his retirement in his post fight interview, it appears unlikely he would be offered the opportunity by the UFC.