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Biggest Takeaways from WWE WrestleMania Backlash 2022 Results

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    Credit: WWE.com

    What many considered a simple, uninteresting rehash of WrestleMania matches and uninteresting rivalries resulted, Sunday night, in the best premium live event of WWE’s 2022 to date, with a Match of the Year candidate, an interesting storyline development and a defining performance from a former world champion.

    The show also featured a brutal, hard-hitting I Quit Match for the SmackDown Women’s Championship that provided Ronda Rousey and Charlotte Flair the match they and their fans deserved, not to mention a fantastic six-man tag team main event won by the still-dominant Bloodline.

    What were the biggest takeaways from the extravaganza and why?

    Find out now with this recap of the overperforming WrestleMania Backlash broadcast. 

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    The best match of WrestleMania weekend saw Cody Rhodes make a triumphant return to WWE and defeat Seth Rollins in a genuine Match of the Year candidate. The American Nightmare and The Visionary ran it back Sunday night with a match every bit as good as the original and, in some regards, even better.

    Their match Sunday night built on the previous encounter, telling the story of two athletes who game-planned and studied for their opponent’s arsenals, reversing and countering throughout before Rhodes fought fire with fire and used the tights to score a rollup victory.

    The fans inside the Dunkin Donuts Center in Providence were red-hot for the match and rewarded the efforts of the opponents with thunderous ovations for key spots throughout.

    Rhodes winning in the manner he did almost certainly sets up a third showdown between the two. Rollins, driven to desperation by his inability to defeat Rhodes to this point, will likely campaign for one last match. Given the fact that Hell in a Cell is up next, live from Chicago on June 5, do not be surprised to see the top Raw stars do battle inside the titular steel structure.

    Whether their feud is hot enough or worthy of that particular gimmick match is a question for another time. Given the strength of their matches to this point, though, there is every reason to believe they would tear the house down and add a third, deserving Match of the Year candidate to their already impressive resume. 

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    Bobby Lashley and Omos delivered a match infinitely better than it had any right to be; a significant improvement over their underwhelming showing in Dallas. Much of that can be attributed to the best version of The Almighty we have seen yet.

    Five years ago, Lashley would not have been able to have a match as solid as he did against Omos. He was not as good, nor as comfortable as he is with his position in WWE as he is now. He was fresh off a lengthy run with Impact Wrestling, where he improved on his in-ring skills, but had still not developed into the wrestler he needed to be to achieve consistent excellence in a main event role.

    He found it during his run with MVP and The Hurt Business, developed his style, evolved as a performer and is thriving early in an unexpectedly strong babyface run.

    The crowd is behind him and his ability to feed off their energy, and his understanding of when to do what helped the battle of powerhouses against The Nigerian Giant achieve quality it simply would not have prior to this latest run. 

    Look no further than the spot that saw Omos break the Hurt Lock and the crowd break out in a chant of “Bobby” as he tried to fight his way back into the match. 

    It was Omos’ best match but it was a defining one for Lashley, who proved he is a top-tier performer and deserving of the screen time, exposure and accolades. 

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    Wrestling history is brimming with great factions and stables that have dominated different divisions. The Four Horsemen carried multiple titles in Jim Crockett Promotions in the 1980s, the New World Order replicated that success in the ’90s, as did Evolution in the 2000s. Today, The Bloodline has a stranglehold on the SmackDown brand and its titles.

    Rarely has a faction come along that was able to achieve success in the women’s division, too. 

    Enter Judgment Day and its newest member, Rhea Ripley, who pledged her allegiance to Edge after getting involved in the Hall of Famer’s match against AJ Styles Sunday night.

    The Nightmare’s alliance with Edge and Damian Priest may have been expected from the moment she turned heel on Liv Morgan but that does not erase the impact it will have on the Raw brand. Edge is a main event guy, someone who can carry the weight of a top-tier program against someone like Styles, Finn Balor or Cody Rhodes.

    Priest is the future, a guy who will learn from Edge and evolve into a main event star. Ripley can be for Judgment Day what those aforementioned factions have not had: a presence in the women’s division. She can oppose the likes of Morgan, Becky Lynch, Asuka, and Raw women’s champion Bianca Belair and ensure Judgment Day can have all-encompassing domination of the Raw brand.

    She fits the group’s dark, brooding aesthetic and more importantly, has that edge of danger about her that her peers in Judgment Day do. Given the fact that Belair is a babyface champion, switching to the dark side, quite literally, provides the Aussie greater opportunity to compete for the top prize on the brand.

    A prize she can use to help further establish Judgment Day as the premier threat to everyone’s favorite red brand acts.

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    Neither the build nor Ronda Rousey and Charlotte Flair’s first match at WrestleMania left fans all that excited about their I Quit Match for the SmackDown Women’s Championship Sunday night. Instead of underwhelming when everything else surrounding the feud seemed to be, Rowdy and The Queen delivered a fantastically brutal, violent match that put an exclamation point on their feud.

    Both women were left battered and bruised, the marks on their bodies reflective of a match that achieved the level of intensity fans and competitors alike deserved a month earlier on wrestling’s grandest stage.

    It was the first match where Rousey looked comfortable. Too often, she has looked uncertain or unsure, a performer still feeling things out after a triumphant return this past January. Her promos have been shaky and her in-ring work not much better, but expectations were high.

    Rousey entered the industry with a five-star Match of the Year with Kurt Angle vs. Stephanie McMahon and Triple H her first time out. She had one of the greatest rookie years in pro wrestling history. She became a victim of her own success and her struggle to live up to the standard she set had some rightfully criticizing her.

    Those criticisms should be tempered by her performance Sunday against, arguably, the best women’s wrestler in the world. 

    Rousey hanged in with Flair, delivering an appropriately physical match in which she finally silenced The Queen, ironically enough, but forcing her to scream, “I quit.”

    Where this leaves Flair is anyone’s guess but SmackDown belongs to The Baddest Woman on the Planet and a showdown with the recently returned Lacey Evans sure feels like the most obvious path for the new champion.

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