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.