May 7 (UPI) — WWE Superstars from both Raw and Smackdown collided at Backlash Sunday, an event that continued to deal with the fallout from WrestleMania in April.
Backlash, a co-branded show, represents how WWE events will be moving forward with both Raw and Smackdown matches taking place on the same night. Cross-promotional matches are also a possibility.
Intercontinental Champion Seth Rollins from Raw, kicked things off by defending his title against Smackdown’s The Miz, the man he defeated for the championship at WrestleMania. The highly-competitive match started to favor The Miz once Rollins banged his knee against the ring post while attempting a Revolution Knee.
The Miz, seeing his opportunity, took advantage and placed Rollins into the Figure-Four Leglock. Rollins was able to rally out of the submission by reversing it, and then later, survive two separate Skull-Crushing Finales from The A-Lister despite his bad knee.
Rollins earned the victory following multiple pinning attempts from both men once he found an opening to deliver the Curb Stomp for the three count.
Also at Backlash, Smackdown’s Daniel Bryan and Big Cass finally met in the ring to settle their differences after the seven-footer has spent weeks mocking and attacking The Yes Man.
Bryan, at first able to avoid Big Cass’s attacks, eventually felt the wrath of the giant as he used his height and weight advantage to full effect. Big Cass, confident that he was going to win, took his eyes off the prize for too long as he missed Bryan with the Big Boot. This gave Bryan the chance to place Big Cass into the Yes Lock for the victory.
Big Cass, angry at tapping out to Bryan, angrily attacked Bryan afterwards and eventually delivered the Big Boot.
In the main event, Raw’s Roman Reigns took on Smackdown’s Samoa Joe in a hard-hitting contest that pushed The Big Dog to his limit.
Joe, before the referee officially started the match, viciously assaulted Reigns and slammed him through an announcer’s table. The Samoan Submission Machine the continued to dominate the match as he picked apart a depleted Reigns.
Joe was able to lock in his Coquina Clutch after multiple attempts which appeared to put Reigns asleep and nearly ended the match. Reigns, after awaking and breaking the Coquina Clutch by grabbing the ropes, was able to nail Joe with a Spear during a failed Muscle Buster attempt near the turnbuckle. The last-ditch effort was enough for Reigns to earn the victory.
Other moments from Backlash included Ruby Riott defeating Bayley during the Kickoff Match; Raw Women’s Champion Nia Jax successfully defending her title against Alexa Bliss; United States Champion Jeff Hardy successfully defending his title against Randy Orton; Elias’ performance being interrupted by The New Day, Rusev, Aiden English and No Way Jose, among others; Smackdown Women’s Champion Carmella successfully defending her title against Charlotte Flair; Braun Strowman and Bobby Lashley defeating Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn; and WWE Champion AJ Styles retaining his title after his match against Shinsuke Nakamura ended in a No Contest.