Backlash has been a longtime WWE premium event, but last year was the first time the company added "WrestleMania" in front of the moniker. That's apropos this year for WrestleMania Backlash 2022, where the card was littered with rematches from this year's grandest stage.
While some of the matches had a bit of repetition, the biggest change on Sunday was Ronda Rousey becoming the new SmackDown women's champion by forcing Charlotte Flair to say "I quit" while locked into a brutal-looking armbar. In the main event, The Bloodline was on the defensive for most of the match, but a spear from out of nowhere changed the outcome in a hurry.
Here's how every match played out at Backlash, and what might lie ahead in the coming weeks as WWE builds toward Hell in a Cell on June 5.
Six-man tag team match: The Bloodline def. RK-Bro and Drew McIntyre
There was never a legitimate explanation given for why the winners-take-all tag team match between The Usos and RK-Bro was scrapped in lieu of the six-man tag, and that made for a match on paper that was more worthy of being the main event for a SmackDown than a premium live event.
Looking past that letdown, the match properly advanced the story between Roman Reigns and Drew McIntyre. Reigns did his best to avoid any action with McIntyre, tagging out whenever he was opposite McIntyre. It made for a meaningful moment when the two tagged in at the same time, giving us a preview of what's likely the beginning of a months-long title feud.
Reigns likes to boast that he has "Greatness on a different level." Clearly Randy Orton does, too. Orton's hot tag was a highlight of the night, capped off with an RKO counter of a Reigns spear.
The last few minutes of the match were a total free-for-all. Reigns slammed McIntyre through the announcer's table with a massive Uranage. Riddle dove to the outside. Orton was laid out with a Superman punch. Riddle got back in the ring and a RKO. And then finally, Reigns blind tagged into the match and speared Riddle for the win.
😳😳😳— WWE (@WWE) May 9, 2022
Bodies are flying everywhere! #WMBacklash pic.twitter.com/ojsoPstFv2
The Bloodline ended WrestleMania Backlash on top, but the match did exactly what it was supposed to: These six are far from done battling.
What's next: Reigns is going to defend his WWE Universal title against McIntyre. This is a match that's not only likely to be the main event for Hell in a Cell, but could very well headline Money in the Bank at Allegiant Stadium on July 2. It might even continue at SummerSlam and beyond. There's plenty for WWE to work with between these two.
RK-Bro and the Usos might still have their winners-take-all match we were supposed to see on Sunday. Fans deserve to see these two teams in a proper, two-on-two tag match without being overshadowed by Reigns.
Smackdown women's championship: Ronda Rousey wins 'I Quit' match against Charlotte Flair
This was one of the most physical women's matches in a long, long time. Piercing Knife Edge Chops, exploding kendo stick sword fights, launching cameras -- Charlotte and Rousey took full advantage of the unforgiving stipulation that anything goes until someone utters the words "I quit."
In the words of Pat McAfee, it was "an absolute fight from beginning to end!" Rousey's armbar on Charlotte from the apron was an uncomfortable sight, even for the most avid MMA enthusiasts. That helped set up the finish when Rousey trapped Charlotte's arm in a steel chair before pulling off a modified armbar.
During the final moments, when Charlotte wouldn't quit, Rousey screamed in the mic, "I was hoping you'd say that b----!" and changed the angle on the hold. Charlotte then quit almost immediately and Rousey became the SmackDown women's champion. Later on the broadcast, WWE reported that Flair had suffered a fractured radius.
This match has descended into chaos! #WMBacklash pic.twitter.com/EEhHCEBYuz— WWE (@WWE) May 9, 2022
What's next: Rousey as a champion is best for business, as a part-timer or full-time performer. Her name transcends WWE, or even MMA. The question is whether Rousey will be a defending champion who shows up every week to advance feuds.
Rousey could use a mouthpiece if she's going to appear on SmackDown weekly -- Paul Heyman, please. RAW boasts the more impressive women's roster (Asuka, Becky Lynch, Bianca Belair, Rhea Ripley), so the Charlotte feud might have to continue through Hell in a Cell. However, it's only a matter of time until Sasha Banks is back in the title picture. Bayley might also be returning from injury in the near future.
Madcap Moss def. Happy Corbin
This match had the unfortunate slot coming right after the Rousey-Charlotte barnburner and before the main event. The purpose of this match from start to finish was to showcase Madcap Moss as a future player on SmackDown. Moss has the look, intensity and physical charisma of the type of performer WWE tends to favor. Moss won the short match with a roll-up, stunning his former tag partner.
What's next: Happy Corbin will continue to be a pain in someone's side, whether that's in a main event or an opening match. This next month for Moss could say a lot about how high WWE thinks his ceiling could be.
Edge def. AJ Styles
AJ Styles continues to be an ageless wonder, pulling off an Asai Moonsault to the outside seldom seen from the 44-year old these days. Edge is still plenty athletic as well at the age of 48. But this rematch was all about psychology from the two veterans.
Edge ripped off the turnbuckle as Styles went for a German Suplex, with Styles then launching Edge chest first into the exposed metal. Styles impressively landed a Styles Clash on the much taller Edge, but he kicked out just as he did in their first encounter.
The climax of the match saw the banned-from-ringside Damien Priest come out to save Edge. Finn Balor charged out and attacked Priest, which distracted the ref. As Styles stood on the top rope, someone wearing a black hoodie pushed him and allowed Edge to lock in his crossface submission for the win.
The hooded person was revealed to be none other than Rhea Ripley, with a freshly dyed black hairdo.
It's @RheaRipley_WWE!!! #WMBacklash pic.twitter.com/lvT4JtSVt8— WWE (@WWE) May 9, 2022
What's next: The addition of Ripley to "Judgment Day" provides a much-needed boost to the newly formed faction. Ripley and Priest will benefit from Edge's leadership and experience, on and off the screen. Styles is far from done with Edge and his crew. This one figures to be settled at Hell in a Cell, but the biggest question might be if Balor continues to be in Styles' corner or if he'll be the next member of Judgement Day?
Cody Rhodes def. Seth Rollins
This one was well worth tuning in promptly at the start of the card to see. Rollins used the surprise element of their first matchup as his excuse for falling short at WrestleMania, and he appeared to be better prepared this time around, having a counter for every one of Rhodes' signature moves in the first half of the match.
"The Architect" stayed a step ahead, showcasing a level of storytelling that's refreshing to see in rematches. The match was filled with near fall after near fall with the Providence, Rhode Island, crowd eating up every 2.99999 count -- Rhodes' missed moonsault leading to a Rollins' Pedigree was a highlight.
.@CodyRhodes is starting to take over! #WMBacklash pic.twitter.com/nIEMVjmLan— WWE (@WWE) May 9, 2022
Rollins and Rhodes displayed chemistry far beyond two singles matches. There were multiple signature moves along the way, but the ending had none of them. The finish had Rollins roll up Rhodes, holding his tights, only for Rhodes to counter into his own roll-up while grabbing a handful of Rollins' tights for the pin.
What's next: Would anybody complain about seeing these two go at once again? Cody won clean at WrestleMania, but needed to cheat at WrestleMania Backlash to pull off the victory. The cheap victory more than likely means the Rhodes-Rollins feud is far from over. Hell in a Cell is WWE's next premium event on June 5 and the namesake of the event could be a fitting end to what's been an exhilarating first two chapters.
Omos def. Bobby Lashley
Omos got another shot at Bobby Lashley, but this time with MVP in his corner. The first half of the match was more or less a retread of their first encounter, with Omos using his size advantage to physically dominate Lashley.
Lashley was able to mount some offense and even locked in the Hurt Lock, something he wasn't able to do at WrestleMania. Omos would break the hold by forcing Lashley into the corner ropes, and from that moment on, it seemed the match could end only one way. Lashley's lifting Spinebuster of the 7-foot-3 Omos was a sight to behold, but it was MVP's involvement that turned out to be the difference on Sunday. To nobody's surprise, MVP hit his former client with his cane as the official was distracted and Omos capitalized to finish the match.
.@fightbobby doing all that he can to stop @TheGiantOmos! #WMBacklash pic.twitter.com/TtpkVJiEeZ— WWE (@WWE) May 9, 2022
What's next: Lashley and Omos each have a win, so a rubber match is in the cards for RAW over the next couple of weeks. One would think this feud won't have enough steam to make it to Hell in a Cell, but MVP's involvement adds storytelling to an otherwise fruitless rivalry. Lashley will need to figure out how to win with MVP continuing to be a thorn in his side. A cage match on RAW could do just that.