WWE Backlash [Cincinnati, Ohio]
Pre-Show Match - Jack Gallagher O def. Kalisto X
Before the match, an interview video was shown of Gallagher where he exclaimed “I’m sick of the Gentleman moniker. I’m sick of waiting, sick of being polite and patient. It’s time I started taking what I want. And that starts tonight when I beat, nay, when I obliterate Kalisto in front of the world. Then, I’ll continue my ascent to taking the Intercontinental championship. Good day to you”
Gallagher was booed pretty loudly during his entrance, but Kalisto received a surprisingly hot baby face reaction from the crowd; they really wanted to see him put the boot to Gallagher.
The match started with the usual back and forth, trading reversals and strikes. Gallagher took control when he grabbed Kalisto's nose and almost twisted it off, following that with an elbow to the back of the head, putting him down, but only for a 2 count.
Gallagher then reversed an attempt at a dropkick with a dodge and kick to Kalisto's head. Jack then went for a for a Standing Double Stomp, but the Luchador managed to roll out of the way and dropped Gallagher with a reverse Listo Kick. However, when Kalisto attempted the Salida Del Sol, Gallagher stopped it with a headbutt and took Kalisto to the mat with an Achilles Lock where Kalisto tapped.
Gallagher though refused to release even after the bell. The referee and two helpers had to prise an intense Gallagher from Kalisto before the Luchador was helped to the back while Gallagher gloated from the ring.
Backlash started for real, and the pyro was back in full glory. The crowd seemed excited and were immediately engaged when they heard the opening sounds of The Revival's theme tune. Dash wilder and Scott Dawson marched to the ring where Wilder grabbed a microphone:
“You people make us sick. You come here and cheer for anyone who will do a flip or dive like some kind of performing monkey at a circus. These idiots doing the flips are just as disgusting too. They do all of that and then they still LOSE. Like a bunch of failed B+ spot monkeys. Then you go home to your computers and write about it with the other wrestling nerds [mocks typing on computer] ‘ooh did you see monkey A do that top rope 360 spinning tope backflip into a barricade’ or ‘hey wasn’t it great when monkey B did that springboard flipping rollover elbow strike’ ... and for what?? Then these idiots still lose after someone puts a boot in their face or a couple knees through their chest! So after beating those 3 other guys last week and with the choice of opponent tonight, We thought we’d give all of you people a treat, on top of the treat of watching us fight obviously. One last time to see an old flame before we extinguish them for good, so get your asses out here and let’s get this match over with so we can pick up our titles and get to the bar...” And with that, the mic was tossed out of the ring.
There was a slight pause to build the anticipation, and the crowd lit up when they heard the entrance music for AMERICAN ALPHA and as Jordan and Gable made their way to the ring, the excitement in the arena was profound; these two teams had had some hellacious matches in the past.
Match #1 - The Revival [Dash Wilder O & Scott Dawson] def. American Alpha [Chad Gable X & Jason Jordan]
[WWE RAW Tag Team Championships Match]
The Revival Become the 1st WWE RAW Tag Team Champions
To begin with, Wilder caught Gable with a cheapshot elbow after the tie up before delivering multiple boots to the chest on the floor. Gable dodge a corner attack from Wilder and tagged in Jordan and they quickly turn the tide after a double Dropkick. Jordan then hit Wilder with a Power Bomb, but foolishly went for another, allowing Wilder to rake the eyes, drop to the mat and tag in Dawson.
Dawson smartly worked Jordan’s arm to reduce the power game of the biggest man in this match, but Jordan managed to tag out allowing Gable and Dawson to go at it.
Dawson again though, used his in-ring smarts to work the legs of Gable, firstly with kicks and then an inverted Figure Four Leg Lock. The match was then taken outside when Gable ducked a running clothesline and kicked Dawson in the back sending him over the ropes. Gable then showed his amazing strength when he picked up Dawson and delivered a ring-shattering Apron Bomb then swung and smashed him into the side of the ring.
A dazed Dawson was rolled into the ring but Gable's pin was broken up by Wilder. Revival then gave Gable a double Chop-Block before Wilder was tagged in. Gable managed to make the tag and Jordon delivered a Double Running Corner Slam to Wilder before tagging in Gable for a Grand Amplitude. Dawson managed to break at 2 and sent Jordon out over the rope with a big clothesline. With Jordon outside, Gable had no chance after being hit with a Shatter Machine and covered for The Revival victory. With that, we crowned our first Tag Team Champions of the post Vince era: The Revival.
We were then taken backstage where a brawl between Elias and Jake Roberts had broken out. It looked like Elias didn’t like being made to look a fool last week and had attacked Jake from behind.
After a pretty savage use of various pieces of equipment and back and forth attacks, Jake Roberts managed to move out of the way of being hit with a turnbuckle wrench and hit a snap DDT to leave Elias out cold on the hard floor. Jake gives, what seemed like a nod of approval before hobbling away.
Match #2 - Bobby Roode O def. Andrade X, The Velveteen Dream & Dolph Ziggler
Roode sent Almas outside then delivered a Cutter on the hard floor. Meanwhile, it was the battle of the show-offs, with Ziggler and Dream going at each other, before it was Ziggler's a turn to take a trip outside when he climbed the turnbuckle but was caught with a beautiful Standing Dropkick by Dream.
Almas gave Roode a Fisherman Driver and attempted a pin which was broken by a running kick from Ziggler. Almas and Ziggler ended up taking each other over the top rope to leave Dream and a prone Roode in the ring. Roode manage to recover and managed to fight off Dream with a Back-Elbow Block and a Face Plant.
Ziggler hit a Neck-Snap and went for the pin on Almas which was stopped by Dream. Ziggler then hit Dream with a Super Kick which sent him to the apron. Ziggler went for a second Super Kick, but Dream pulled down the top rope and Back Tosses Ziggler to the outside.
Dream then attempted to hit Ziggler with the Purple Rainmaker off the turnbuckle, but Ziggler got his leg up and caught Dream in the face as he came down. With both men down, Roode gave the Glorious DDT to Almas and pinned him for the win.
Match #3 - Lars Sullivan O def. Mr. Perfect X
[WWE Intercontinental Championship Falls Count Anywhere Match]
Lars Sullivan Become the 1st WWE Intercontinental Champion
Earlier that afternoon, Mr Perfect decided that he would announce the stipulation of tonight’s IC match on Twitter: “Tonight, I’ll AGAIN beat the oaf, Lars Sullivan at Backlash. This time in a FALLS COUNT ANYWHERE MATCH, to become your #Perfect Intercontinental Champion!"
Perfect and Sullivan squared up in the ring, and surprisingly matched in height. Perfect laughed and sent himself to the ropes for a Running Dropkick. It hit but only sent Sullivan stumbling a couple of steps. In reply, Sullivan picked up Perfect and hoisted him straight up for a Gorilla Slam showing insane strength, then stomped repeatedly to a round of boos from the crowd. Mr Perfect, clearly in pain, was dragged to his feet and then thrown across the ring by the throat, wisely rolling out to the floor as Sullivan stared unblinkingly into the crowd.
As Perfect slowly got to his feet, Sullivan dropped to the floor and picked up Perfect onto his shoulders. This time Perfect fought back with a series of elbows to the side of Sullivan’s enormous head. With Sullivan distracted, Perfect managed to squirm free and grab Sullivan in a Russian Leg Sweep onto the hard floor. After a series of kicks and knee attacks to Sullivan’s arms, Perfect got him to his feet and sent him back-first into the apron, Sullivan crumpling to the floor clutching his back. Mr Perfect climbed to the apron, and just as he was about to attack the prone Sullivan, he stopped and pointed to the top turnbuckle. The crowd cheer their approval as he climbed but Sullivan suddenly leapt to his feet just as Perfect threw himself to the outside. Sullivan caught him in a Cross Body Hold and ran full force into the ring post, using Perfect as a battering ram.
Sullivan tried the pin and the ref got to 2 before Perfect managed to kick out. After a barrage of hard strikes to Perfect, Sullivan attempted another pin and again Perfect kicked out. Enraged now, Sullivan grabbed one of Perfect's legs and swung him into the barricade with freak-like power. Another pin attempt and another Mr Perfect kick out; Sullivan screamed at the Ref and confronted the official. “TOO SLOW” the fans heard bellowed at the ref who was dwarfed by the hulking Sullivan.
At this point, Mr Perfect had started getting to his feet. He was helped up by Sullivan who again picked him up into a Gorilla Press. But this time, incredibly, he managed to throw Perfect up and over the rope and into the ring with a huge thump. “HOLY SHIT, HOLY SHIT” the crowd chanted as Sullivan climbed into the ring. Mr Perfect, motionless as Sullivan slowly covered him for 1...2.. break! Mr Perfect amazingly managed to get his foot onto the rope to break the count. Sullivan, absolutely apoplectic now, dragged Perfect to the corner, lifted him to the top and climbed up next to Perfect. He delivered a Super Freak Accident to Mr Perfect who’s body was now completely limp and motionless. This time Sullivan got his 3-count and was crowned the New Intercontinental Champion.
Match #4 - Samoa Joe O def. Shinsuke Nakamura X
Joe hit Nakamura early with a Samoan Slam before going into an Overhead Suplex, leaving Shinsuke completley stunned. Joe's relentless attacks gave Nakamura no chance to recover, as he worked on wearing down the King of Strong style with submission holds. Nakamura tried in desperation to rally, and managed to catch Joe with an elbow which rocked the Submission Machine. He then attempted to build on his momentum and aimed a kick at Joe, who moved to let the ref take the hit.
With the ref down, Joe landed a huge Running Bodycheck followed by a Running Back Senton to the downed Nakamura. Joe attempted a pin, but the ref only managed to come around in time for a count of 1 before Nakamura kicked out. While Joe stared down the ref, Nakamura managed to get to his feet to deliver an incredible Reverse Powerslam sending them both to the mat.
Joe ate a Kinshasa to the face from a fired up Nakamura however, unbelievably Joe kicked out to the disbelief of the crowd. Joe reversed a DDT attempt by Nakamura into a brutal Uranage Slam as the ride began to swing back the way of the Samoan One. With Nakamura down, Joe, with an evil smirk on his face, removed the corner turnbuckle pad. He allowed Nakamura to get to his feet before trying to grab him, only for Nakamura to reverse it and down the Samoan with a spinning back elbow. Nakamura set up Joe for another Kinshasa, only for Joe to headbutt the leg of the oncoming superstar and send Nakamura back first into the exposed steel leaving him in agony.
From there, it was then easy for Joe to hoist Nakamura up for the muscle buster and the 3 count victory. Joe however was not done there. Upon exiting the ring, Joe turned and looked at Nakamura laid in the ring, grabbed a chair from under the ring and battered him to a huge reaction of boos from the crowd.
This rivalry looks to be getting nasty!
Match #5 - Billie Kay O def. Shayna Baszler X
[WWE RAW Women's Championship Last Woman Standing Match]
Billie Kay Becomes the First WWE RAW Women's Champion
With Baszler having already dominated Kay on the Raw earlier this week, it was hard to look past the Queen of Spades for this one, but Billie Kay has other ideas and managed to slide round the back of Baszler to deliver a back suplex followed by a jumping knee to the face.
Kay then hit Baszler with a barrage of stomps before picking her up and sending her back down with her version of Eat-Defeat. This exchange clearly rocked the former NXT Women's champ as she rallied and sent Billie Kay into the corner, only for Kay to dodge her running knee attempt and hit a spike DDT.
Kay then told the ref to count - he got to 8 before Baszler lifted herself up. This may have been Kay’s best chance, as it seemed to awake the Baszler we’ve all come to expect. She reversed an attempt at a Suplex and sent Billie face first to the mat before stamping on the Iiconic's hand. Baszler then sent Kay into the ropes, hitting her with a devastating Spear - the ref got to 6 this time before Kay got to her feet.
Baszler went for another Running Knee but Kay scouted it, moved out of the way and hit Baszler with a Knee of her own to the back, sending her to the mat. Kay then gave Baszler a taste of her own medicine with a series of stomps to her arm before picking her up for a huge Northern Lights Bomb. Baszler pulled herself to her feet at 8, but Kay sent her over the rope and to the floor with a Clothesline. Kay then went to end the match, placing Baszler's head against the ringpost and delivering a Big Boot... only for Baszler to move at the last moment leaving Billie Kay to kick the post. Writhing in agony, she was sent back into the ring by Baszler and moved into the corner, where Baszler showed amazing strength to hit a Gutwrench Superplex.
Baszler then stopped the ref's count and picked up an almost unconscious Billie Kay and signalled the corner again; Baszler wanted to cause even more pain. Again she moved Kay to the corner, and lifted her up. This time though, Kay fought back and sent Baszler down with kick to the face. Kay then dropped down from the turnbuckle and smashed Baszler with a big boot sending her to the mat in a crumpled heap. The crowd counted along 8... 9...10 and erupted as Billie Kay was anointed the new WWE Raw Women’s Champion, having won a lot of people over with her performance.
Match #6 - Braun Strowman O def. The Miz X
[WWE Universal Championship Steel Cage Match]
Braun Strowman Becomes the First WWE Universal Champion
As soon as the bell rang, The Miz attempted to climb the cage. Strowman was having none of this however, and grabbed Miz and forced him down before delivering a Sidewalk Slam for good measure. Braun then attempted a Big Boot to a rebounding Miz who had just enough about him to slide under Strowman's massive frame and scramble up the cage. Strowman once again grabbed Miz, but he was able to send Braun to the mat with a jumping Blockbuster from the cage.
Sensing opportunity, Miz climbed again, but Strowman was able to get up and stop him in the nick of time, this time ramming one of Miz’s legs into the steel. Miz fought back from a headlock by taking out one of Braun’s legs and with him on one knee, he spiked the Monster with a DDT and a Skull Crushing Finale.
With Strowman down again, Miz saw his chance and started up the cage. Unfortunately for him, Braun was able to catch him at the top and bring him crashing back into the ring. With Miz on the mat, it was Braun’s chance to climb the cage; no mean feat for a 340 pound monster! Miz desperately scaled the cage wall to catch him.
With both men seated atop the cage wall, they traded blows until Braun got the upper hand, smashing Miz’s head into the truss. Strowman then showed amazing balance to stand up and grab the dazed Miz. Next, a highlight for the ages happened when The Monster Among Men picked up Miz above his head... AND PRESS SLAMMED HIM DOWN TO THE RING FROM AROUND 25 FEET. The whole arena was stunned. Immediately the medical staff rushed to the ring as Strowman climbed down the outside of the ring to the floor to claim the WWE Universal Championship.
The PPV ended with The Miz being stretchered to the back. No news is available yet on his condition.