May 18, 2024

WrestleMania Backlash stays true to its name this weekend with plenty of rematches from WWE’s marquee event in April. Charlotte Flair and Ronda Rousey up the ante in an “I Quit” match. Also on the card, Cody Rhodes and Seth Rollins relive the former’s triumphant return following a six-year stint away from the company on Sunday night in Providence, Rhode Island.

There are more WrestleMania rematches at Sunday’s follow-up event, but one of the most anticipated bookings is entirely new. The Usos and RK-Bro have seriously elevated WWE’s often neglected tag team division with their commitment to a champions vs. champions storyline. Jey and Jimmy Uso continue to perform at the top of their game, while Randy Orton spits venom on the microphone and Riddle shines between the ropes. Undisputed champion Roman Reigns tossed himself into the fray only to be met by Drew McIntyre. The Bloodline has been impeccable as a trio until now. The union between McIntyre and RK-Bro has loosened The Bloodline’s grip over the WWE as their six-man tag team match quickly approaches.

Let’s take a closer look at who our CBS Sports experts predict will come out on top at WWE WrestleMania Backlash, which begins at 8 p.m. ET and streams live on Peacock following a kickoff show one hour earlier.

2022 WWE WrestleMania Backlash predictions

SmackDown Women’s Championship — Charlotte Flair (c) vs. Ronda Rousey (“I Quit” Match)

WWE waited a month longer than anticipated to make the move, but there seems to be little doubt Rousey will get the win here. Rousey’s return has flopped with a sizable portion of the fans and the feud with Flair hasn’t helped, but WWE wants to get a belt back on the former UFC champion and they picked the kind of match where she can get it done even as Flair utilizes underhanded tactics to try to hold onto her title. The question becomes will Flair vs. Rousey happen again inside Hell in a Cell? Pick: Ronda Rousey wins the title — Brent Brookhouse

It was a pleasant surprise to see Flair go over Rousey at WrestleMania 38, albeit by nefarious means. Many predicted Rousey’s triumphant return at the Royal Rumble in January to translate into an immediate title run. That outcome may have only been delayed by a month, but Flair got a major moment closing out WrestleMania as a consequence. The “I Quit” stipulation lends well to both women’s submission arsenals. It is tough to imagine former UFC champion Rousey uttering those dreaded words to the dastardly Flair. Give Rousey the nod and book the rubber match. Pick: Ronda Rousey wins the title — Shakiel Mahjouri

RK-Bro & Drew McIntyre vs. The Usos & Roman Reigns

As of the time this will go to print, there are no titles on the line in this match. That could well change and the match could be for the tag belts or some sort of “winner take all” scenario. If no titles are on the line, it seems an obvious choice to have RK-Bro and Drew McIntyre win to set up the team to challenge in title matches in the near future. It’s hard to see Reigns losing if his belt is on the line, even if a six-man tag with all belts up for grabs allows for a cheap out to have McIntyre pin an Uso and break up Reigns’ status as undisputed champion. Still, I believe this is a setup for a longer play than any titles changing hands or the tag belts being unified. Pick: RK-Bro & Drew McIntyre win — Brookhouse

RK-Bro vs. The Usos remains one of the best feuds actively being presented in either AEW or WWE. Orton, in particular, has taken to the microphone with serious conviction and made the tag team titles feel as important as they have in a long time. Riddle has delivered great television matches with both Jimmy and Jey. Injecting Reigns and McIntyre into the storyline had a lot of promise at first. Reigns was the one who demanded The Usos unify the Raw and SmackDown tag team titles, much like he did with the WWE and universal championships. With The Usos constantly falling short to RK-Bro, Reigns would take matters into his own hands to assure The Bloodline’s continued dominance. That forecast is in doubt as it appears that no titles will be contended for in this six-man tag match. A shame, but the match should be solid. If WWE is going to stretch out RK-Bro vs. The Usos and Reigns vs. McIntyre to another event, expect the good guys to take the nod. The Bloodline will get it back next time. Pick: RK-Bro & Drew McIntyre win — Mahjouri

Cody Rhodes vs. Seth Rollins

There’s the right thing to do and the WWE thing. The right thing is to have Rhodes win again. If you want him to come back as a star, he needs to be winning matches. WWE loves to utilize 50/50 booking, however, which would indicate Rollins gets the win here to even things up. There is a bit of good that could come from a 1-1 series if WWE puts Rhodes and Rollins in Hell in a Cell, where both men, masters of “the big match,” could truly shine. For better or worse, I expect Rollins to sneak out of Backlash with a win. Pick: Seth Rollins wins — Brookhouse

WWE appears committed to pushing Rhodes to the top. He was given an elaborate, star-making entrance for his long-rumored return to the company at WrestleMania. Rollins is a tremendous performer between the ropes, despite my distaste for his villainous cackling and cartoonish facial expressions. In a perfect world, Rollins would not take two straight losses. Rhodes has too much momentum behind him and anything but a victory should be considered a major setback. Give the son of the son of a plumber his victory and let’s keep chugging along. Pick: Cody Rhodes wins — Mahjouri

AJ Styles vs. Edge (Damian Priest is banned from ringside)

As already mentioned in Rhodes vs. Rollins, WWE loves their 50/50 booking and Styles ate the loss at WrestleMania after being distracted by the simple presence of Damian Priest — the question of why the greatest pro wrestlers in the world are always so easily distracted is one for another time. Styles managed to beat Priest on Raw, getting him banned from ringside. Styles probably gets the win here to even it up unless WWE is so in love with Edge’s high school drama club theatrics in this heel persona that they just want to have him run wild, possibly by introducing a third member into his alliance. Pick: AJ Styles wins — Brookhouse

Edge’s Judgement Day faction works in theory. It calls back to his time in The Brood and can be a fitting home aesthetically for Damian Priest, as well as other potential initiates like Rhea Ripley. The presentation, thus far, has been far too hokey. It would be nice to give Styles his retribution after taking the fall at WrestleMania, but it feels like WWE has invested too much in Edge’s clan to erase it all right now. Damian Priest is banned from ringside so the door is wide open to officially introduce a third member. A shame for Styles, one of WWE’s most reliable top-level performers. Rip the Band-Aid off, give Edge and his cronies the win and move on. At least Finn Balor possibly aligning with Styles is interesting. Pick: Edge wins — Mahjouri

Bobby Lashley vs. Omos

Omos is a wrestler in the wrong era. Yes, he’s had a nice run in WWE, but in the days of the territories, he’d be the attraction, moving from promotion to promotion and feuding with top stars or winning battle royals and rolling out of town. Even in the days of John Cena on top, Omos would have been a valuable one or two-month feud for the Superman champion. Instead, he’s a guy who will probably be around for a little while longer and WWE will run out of ideas for him and he’ll slowly fade away. Either way, his alliance with MVP — which is brilliant — only works if he gets the win against Lashley at Backlash. Pick: Omos wins — Brookhouse

This one is a tough call. Lashley defeating Omos at WrestleMania was the right call. Lashley was coming off a recent stint as WWE champion and far too experienced at a high level to lose to a relatively fresh Omos. Having MVP betray Lashley to groom the WWE’s next almighty force is an interesting caveat. If MVP can shape Omos into what Lashley is, that would do wonders for MVP’s brand. He would arguably be WWE’s most successful manager of the modern era not named Paul Heyman. Logically, it is a stretch for Omos to meaningful close the competitive gap to Lashley in just one month — with or without MVP’s support. Now, MVP cheating his former client out a win? That is totally believable. Omos takes the victory with an assist by MVP. Pick: Omos wins — Mahjouri

Happy Corbin vs. Madcap Moss

How much better would this match be if it were Baron Corbin vs. Riddick Moss? Either way, there’s a bit of charm to Corbin vs. Moss as something of a 90s WWE midcard throwback, the kind of feud that’d be blown off in a pay-per-view blindfold match second in the show’s running order. Corbin has become a reliable worker and is nearly bulletproof as WWE’s “plug-him-in heel,” able to be thrown at any given babyface no matter how rarely he ever comes out on top of a feud. WWE has some belief in Moss but this is the rare spot where Corbin can be given a “Premium Live Event” victory. Expect him to cheat his way to victory, teaching his former friend a valuable lesson. Pick: Happy Corbin wins — Brookhouse

You would really hope that WWE is committed to elevating Moss after booking him to win the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal last month. Well, five of the other seven superstars (Cesaro, Big Show, Mojo Rawley, Matt Hardy and Braun Strowman) are no longer with the company. The promotion generally books Corbin quite strongly, having him only fall to top superstars. The split between Moss and Corbin feels like a multi-match program, for better or worse. Chances are Corbin takes the W on Sunday night and we see a rerun at the next major event. Pick: Happy Corbin wins — Mahjouri

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