Ruby Riott def. Bayley (Kickoff Match)
This was essentially a carbon copy of what we saw on Raw this past week when Riott took on Sasha Banks and used the numbers game to her advantage, except this wasn't as good of a match. Despite a few awkward spots, it was well-wrestled and all, but I found Riott vs. Banks to be a bit better as well as smoother. Unsurprisingly, Bayley was unable to overcome the odds. Does this mean Banks and Bayley will ultimately reunite to beat The Riott Squad, and thus neither one of them will turn heel on the other?
Intercontinental Champion Seth Rollins def. The Miz
You've probably heard it a million times by this point, but Rollins is on a hell of a roll right now. Miz has certainly improved his in-ring game himself, and together, they produced an exceptional opener for the event. Despite this match featuring the most obvious outcome on the entire show, it was easily the best as the audience bought into most of the nearfalls down the stretch. Miz working over Rollins' knee was terrific as well. Unfortunately, it was all downhill from here for this pay-per-view.
Raw Women's Champion Nia Jax def. Alexa Bliss
I'm sorry, but I simply can not take Bliss seriously as a legitimate threat against Jax. Their WrestleMania match was decent, and while the in-ring work here was fine, I can't say it did anything for me personally. It took Jax much longer to defeat Bliss than it probably should have, but if nothing else, Jax won in clean fashion, hopefully putting an end to not only this program but also Bliss' time in the title picture for now. By the way, any idea where Mickie James was?
United States Champion Jeff Hardy def. Randy Orton
Both Hardy and Orton are popular fan favorites, so the crowd didn't have an incentive to cheer one guy over the other in this match. They had nice chemistry and it was an entertaining outing on the whole, but there was no sense of urgency or intensity from either man. Then again, this feud barely got started prior to this pay-per-view, so I'd be open to this being the first of a few matches between them, as long Orton turns heel eventually (though I'm not holding my breath).
The New Day, Rusev Day, No Way Jose and Bobby Roode Interrupted Elias
I love Elias' "concerts" and the way he controlled the crowd in this segment was masterful, but this really was a waste of time. The show ended up going way overtime anyway, and given the card already had eight matches, this did not need to happen, but I assume it happened because Vince McMahon is a big proponent of the "sports entertainment" nonsense. If this is the type of trash we'll be getting on these dual-branded pay-per-views going forward, then I'm not exactly optimistic about the future of this concept.
Daniel Bryan def. Big Cass
This was Cass' opportunity to impress, but he ultimately underwhelmed in my opinion. He didn't have a bad showing per se, but when your opponent is one of the best in the world and the match is mediocre, there's something wrong there. It didn't help that Cass tapped out within seconds, destroying any shred of credibility he may have had as a singles star. The post-match attack on Bryan from Cass indicated that their rivalry will resume, but I'm not invested in the slightest.
SmackDown Women's Champion Carmella def. Charlotte Flair
To her credit, Carmella has held her own in this feud with Charlotte on the mic, but it was unknown whether she would deliver when it mattered most in their championship clash. Well, she didn't, and in fact, this was the worst match of the night. There was too much stalling and too much yelling from Carmella, and although she usually does a great job of eliciting genuine heat from fans, this was a poor performance. At the very least, Carmella kept the title.
WWE Champion AJ Styles vs. Shinsuke Nakamura in a No Disqualification Match Ended in a Draw
I immediately questioned why this match wasn't headlining the show considering there was nothing at stake in Roman Reigns vs. Samoa Joe, but it became clear once it ended why this didn't end the evening. Even with the stupid finish, I still say this should have been slotted as the main event, because it was a much better bout. Once again, it wasn't the instant classic many were hoping for from them at WrestleMania 34, Greatest Royal Rumble and here, but I thought it was their strongest encounter to date and the second half was especially enjoyable. I understood what they were going for and I'm fine with the rivalry continuing, but a draw in a matchup with no disqualifications? Really? The crowd crapped all over that and rightfully so.
Bobby Lashley and Braun Strowman def. Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn
Strowman and Lashley have defeated the duo of Owens and Zayn on countless occasions in the last month, so there was no reason for this match to take place. Sure enough, it was beyond pointless. Strowman is super over at the moment, but he gained nothing from this victory, and Lashley is just an afterthought. As for Owens and Zayn, I guess WWE wants us to believe that they'll be breaking up, but they've teased tension on and off for months and they remained friends, so I have no clue what to think.
Roman Reigns def. Samoa Joe
Reigns and Joe normally have quality matches, but this was not among them. The crowd was hot for Joe ambushing Reigns before the bell, but they weren't as kind to the match itself, which was a total letdown. Joe's restholds forced this to drag on and on and on, and it was bad enough that the pay-per-view was going into overtime. Reigns then went on to battle back and win in predictable fashion. I don't know if Vince will ever realize that he's hurting Reigns more than he's helping him with situations like this.
The build to Backlash was almost nonexistent due to the Superstar Shake-up rendering certain storylines irrelevant and WWE focusing far too much on Greatest Royal Rumble. Nevertheless, the execution of this event was awful. The show peaked with the awesome opening match, and sadly nothing else came close to topping it. Whether the finishes left me scratching my head or the action was disappointing, Backlash gets an automatic thumbs-down from me. Fingers crossed WWE will start to put actual effort into their pay-per-views now that the summer season is almost upon us.