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WWE Backlash 2023 Full Review, Reactions, Match Ratings, Results

WWE Backlash 2023 Full Review, Reactions, Match Ratings, Results

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The 2023 Backlash was the 18th Backlash professional wrestling pay-per-view (PPV) and livestreaming event produced by WWE. The event took place on Saturday, May 6, 2023, at the Coliseo de Puerto Rico José Miguel Agrelot in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

A total of seven matches took place at the event, including the previously mentioned Bad Bunny match. In the main event, Cody Rhodes emerged victorious over Brock Lesnar. Other noteworthy matches saw The Bloodline (comprised of Jey Uso, Jimmy Uso, and Solo Sikoa) defeat Kevin Owens, Sami Zayn, and Matt Riddle in a thrilling six-man tag team match. Additionally, Rhea Ripley successfully defended her SmackDown Women's Championship against Zelina Vega, who hails from Puerto Rico. The opening bout saw Bianca Belair retain her Raw Women's Championship by defeating Iyo Sky.

Bianca Belair Vs IYO SKY: Raw Women’s Championship

In an electrifying match that kept the crowd on the edge of their seats, Bianca Belair successfully defended her Raw Women's Championship against IYO SKY. Despite Belair receiving a thunderous ovation upon entering the arena, the audience showered her with boos during her offense, as if she were the polarizing John Cena, while cheering on SKY's maneuvers.

SKY initially dominated the bout, but Belair came back with an array of impressive moves, including a backbreaker, dropkicks, and a delayed vertical suplex. In a remarkable display of strength, Belair hoisted SKY up with a one-arm press slam before dropping her to the mat. However, a slight mistiming caused SKY to land awkwardly on her face. Undeterred, Belair proceeded to execute a moonsault, narrowly missing the three count.

SKY missed a charge, allowing Belair to send her crashing into the turnbuckle with her previously injured arm. SKY retaliated with a springboard dropkick, setting the stage for a series of thrilling maneuvers that had the audience roaring in approval. Belair attempted a 450 splash, but SKY managed to get her knees up just in time. SKY then applied a crossface, but Belair managed to counter out of it.

The two continued to trade counters, with SKY executing a facebuster for a nearfall, followed by double knees in the corner. SKY blocked a second KOD attempt and tossed Belair out of the ring. A daring move by SKY saw her execute a moonsault off the top rope, drawing a two count inside the ring.

Belair countered with an avalanche powerbomb, which nearly earned her a pinfall victory. However, Bayley and Dakota Kai made their presence felt, causing a distraction that allowed SKY to seize the advantage momentarily. SKY attempted a roll-up, which appeared to be a three count to the raucous crowd, but was only a very close nearfall. In a heated moment, Belair used SKY's body to knock Kai off the apron, allowing her to recover.

As SKY ascended the top rope to deliver a moonsault, Bayley held Belair down by the braid, prompting the referee to intervene. A moment of hesitation by SKY proved costly, as Belair managed to avoid the moonsault and deliver a devastating KOD, securing the hard-fought victory.

WINNER: Bianca Belair via pinfall


Seth Rollins Vs Omos (w/MVP)

Prior to the commencement of the match, Seth Rollins was caught off guard by a sudden boot to the face from Omos while reveling in the crowd's enthusiastic rendition of his theme song. The official checked on Rollins before the bell rang, but Omos wasted no time in sending Rollins crashing to the mat with a powerful shoulder tackle.

Rollins attempted to rally back by posting Omos and launching himself off the ropes with a suicide dive, but the gargantuan Omos barely flinched. Despite this, Rollins persisted with a series of well-executed kicks and a dropkick to Omos' legs, bringing the towering figure down to one knee. A swift thrust kick from Rollins followed, but Omos demonstrated his immense strength by countering a Pedigree with a forceful back body drop.

Rollins persevered, managing to stun Omos with a tornado DDT and a subsequent frog splash, but to no avail as Omos kicked out at one. Continuing to rain down blows upon Omos, Rollins found himself thwarted in his attempts to deliver a curb stomp, as Omos remained unmoved, akin to Bobby Lashley's tenacity in previous bouts. Omos retaliated with a devastating chokeslam, but only garnered a two count.

As the match progressed, Rollins kicked his game into high gear, nailing Omos with a stomp after MVP distracted the official, who was subsequently superkicked off the apron by Rollins. Another stomp from Rollins almost secured the victory, but to his surprise, Omos kicked out. Undeterred, Rollins ascended the turnbuckles and connected with a stomp from the top rope, finally pinning Omos for the three count. The audience was jubilant as Rollins emerged victorious.

Overall, the match was adequate, with Rollins displaying great skill and perseverance, though perhaps slightly prolonged.

WINNER: Seth Rollins via pinfall


Triple Threat Match: Austin Theory Vs Bronson Reed Vs Bobby Lashley: United States Championship

Lashley was relentlessly pummeling Theory until the latter and Reed forged an alliance to try and overpower Lashley. However, their coalition was short-lived as Reed took down Theory with a body block, exposing the fragility of their partnership. Lashley then ensnared Theory in the Hurt Lock, but Theory was able to utilize the ropes as a lifeline to break free.

Seizing the opportunity, Reed crushed Lashley with Tsunami, yet Theory thwarted his teammate's victory by interrupting the count. Undeterred, Theory executed a rolling blockbuster on Reed and hoisted the hefty wrestler on his shoulders, only for Reed to slip away before Theory could unleash his A-Town Down finishing move. Reed then hit a thunderous powerslam and attempted a moonsault, but Theory anticipated the maneuver and evaded it, allowing Lashley to spear Reed out of nowhere. With Lashley momentarily dazed, Theory tossed him out of the ring and swiftly rolled up Reed for the three-count, securing the win.

WINNER: Austin Theory via pinfall


Rhea Ripley Vs Zelina Vega: SmackDown Women’s Championship

When Vega was introduced, the crowd erupted into a thunderous ovation, leaving her practically in tears. She made a stunning entrance, sporting Puerto Rican flag-themed gear with a magnificent flag cape. Ripley, on the other hand, donned a white outfit with purple lining.

Before the match, Vega's mother, Monique, presented her with a chancla, which she promptly hurled at Ripley. However, Ripley quickly took control of the match, despite Vega's attempts to fight back with forearms, buoyed by the crowd's cheers. A resounding headbutt from Ripley halted Vega's momentum, but she managed to stun Ripley with a DDT.

Vega followed up with a spectacular 619 and a Meteora that earned her a close nearfall. Not one to be defeated easily, Ripley retaliated with a fierce kick to Vega's head and executed a Rip-tide, securing the decisive pinfall win.

WINNER: Rhea Ripley via pinfall


San Juan Street Fight: Bad Bunny Vs Damian Priest

Undoubtedly, the WWE street fight between Priest and Bad Bunny was a spectacle to behold. At the onset, Priest attempted to outmaneuver Bad Bunny, but the latter stunned the audience with a magnificent Michinoku Driver only a minute into the match, almost garnering a two-count. Afterward, Bad Bunny seized a kendo stick, but Priest promptly interrupted him, snapping the stick in half and delivering a thunderous slam.

Despite Bad Bunny's several attempts to mount a comeback, Priest comfortably subdued him, capping it off with his signature South of Heaven finishing move. Although Priest could have claimed the victory less than five minutes into the match, he inexplicably pulled Bad Bunny up at the last moment. With the crowd egging him on, Bad Bunny launched an assault on Priest with kendo stick shots and a tornado DDT, eventually scaling the ropes and delivering a flying crossbody to the outside. The pop from the audience was immense as Bad Bunny smacked Priest with trash can lids and connected with a falcon arrow for a near-fall.

As Priest noticed that he was bleeding, Bad Bunny invited him back into the ring, and Priest seemingly attempted to leave but abruptly turned around, landing a brutal kick on Bad Bunny. Priest used the kendo stick given to him by Savio Vega to pummel Bad Bunny, and the audience chanted his name in support. The fight eventually spilled into the crowd, where Priest delivered a falcon arrow off some high equipment boxes, sending Bad Bunny through tables.

Afterward, Adam Pearce and other officials rushed to Bad Bunny's aid, but Priest ignored them and carried Bad Bunny back to ringside. Priest tried to land a roundhouse kick, but Bad Bunny evaded it, and Priest inadvertently kicked the ring post. With Bad Bunny seizing the upper hand, he pummeled Priest's injured leg with the kendo stick and then slammed it into the post. Priest beseeched the referee for mercy as Bad Bunny smacked his knee against the post with a steel chair. As Bad Bunny prepared to deliver a final chair shot, Priest begged him off, only to be met with a swift low blow from Bad Bunny.

Dominik Mysterio and Finn Bálor then emerged from backstage to attack Bad Bunny, with Carlito arriving to his theme music, inciting the crowd. In a chaotic melee, Rey Mysterio joined the fray, but he was knocked down, while Vega entered the ring to pummel Bálor and Dom. The LWO then appeared to put the boots to Dom, as Bálor fled. Vega dropped Bálor with a roundhouse kick and also took down Dom. As Dom and Bálor scampered off, Bad Bunny locked Priest in a figure four, and Priest tried to counter with a chokeslam, but Bad Bunny transitioned it into a cradle, securing a two-count.

With Priest charging forward, he collided with a steel chair, allowing Bad Bunny to execute a sliced bread #2 for a near-fall. Bad Bunny finished Priest off with a Canadian Destroyer for the well-deserved pinfall victory. The crowd erupted into a frenzy, marking the end of a truly epic match.

WINNER: Bad Bunny via pinfall


Six-man tag team match: Solo Sikoa, Jimmy Uso & Jey Uso Vs Matt Riddle & Tag Team Champions Kevin Owens & Sami Zayn

The match was indeed riveting, with Sikoa almost executing the infamous Samoan Spike on Jey Uso, leaving the crowd in awe. The babyface team exhibited their dominance over the Usos, but it was not long before Sikoa tagged himself in to take on Zayn. The Bloodline then took control of the bout, leaving Zayn's partners incapacitated.

After dropping Sikoa with a spectacular tornado DDT, Zayn tagged in Riddle who unleashed a flurry of attacks on the Usos before stunning the Bloodline with a breathtaking dive. However, Jimmy Uso countered with a devastating superkick, which resulted in a near-fall for Riddle. Riddle then executed a powerful superplex on Jimmy, followed by Owens' stunning senton bomb, but it still wasn't enough to put the Usos away. Owens managed to dodge Jimmy's superkick, causing him to inadvertently strike Jey. Owens then went for a senton, but Jey had his knees up, leading to a series of superkick trades between Owens and Jey.

Suddenly, Jey accused Zayn of trying to ruin their family and went for a running hip attack, only to be interrupted by Sikoa. Before Sikoa could execute his move, Jey tagged himself back in by striking Sikoa in the chest, which triggered a reaction from the audience.

Zayn then delivered a Helluva Kick to Sikoa after Jey ducked, but Sikoa broke up the pinfall. Sikoa then appeared to turn on Jey, but Riddle prevented him with a fierce knee strike. Jimmy then hurled Riddle out of the ring, Owens responded with a superkick on Jimmy, and Sikoa leveled Owens with a Samoan spike. Sikoa sensed someone approaching him and prepared to unleash his Samoan Spike. It was none other than Jey Uso, who did not resist but instead challenged Sikoa to hit him. Zayn intervened before things got out of hand.

Riddle subsequently tagged in and gave Jey the Bro Derek, but Sikoa had secretly tagged himself in and promptly leveled Riddle with a devastating Samoan Spike, sealing the win for his team. Overall, the match was a display of impressive athleticism and skill, leaving the audience on the edge of their seats.

WINNERS: The Bloodline


Cody Rhodes Vs Brock Lesnar

As Lesnar made his entrance, Rhodes ambushed him with the steel steps and a steel chair, unleashing a brutal assault. Despite the attack, the match began, and Rhodes opened with a swift Disaster Kick. However, Lesnar swiftly caught Rhodes' Cody Cutter attempt and responded with a thunderous German suplex. Rhodes attempted to regain control, but Lesnar slammed him with a fallaway suplex and continued to dominate with an array of suplexes.

As Lesnar hit another German suplex, Rhodes inadvertently tore off a turnbuckle cover. The chants of "Suplex City" and "Let's go Cody" reverberated throughout the arena. However, Rhodes seized an opportunity and evaded Lesnar's charge, sending him face-first into the exposed buckle. The impact resulted in Lesnar profusely bleeding, and his entire face was soon drenched in blood.

Rhodes capitalized on Lesnar's disorientation, landing a cutter and a Disaster Kick. He unleashed a flurry of blows on Lesnar, the blood from Lesnar's face coating Rhodes' midsection. Rhodes then executed a Cody Cutter and consecutively delivered Cross Rhodes, earning a close nearfall.

Lesnar thwarted Rhodes' next Cross Rhodes attempt, landing an F5 for a nearfall. The referee had a handful of towels to tend to Lesnar's bloodied face, but perhaps instructed to proceed with the match, the referee kicked them aside and continued the action. With a bloody face, Lesnar applied a Kimura Lock on Rhodes, but Rhodes counterattacked with a sudden cradle, leading to a shocking pinfall victory.

WINNER: Cody Rhodes


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