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Edge Defeats AJ Styles with Rhea Ripley's Help at WWE WrestleMania Backlash 2022

Mike Chiari@@mikechiariFeatured Columnist IVMay 9, 2022

Photo credit: WWE.com

AJ Styles suffered yet another loss to Edge on Sunday, this time at WWE WrestleMania Backlashβ€”and with a little help from Rhea Ripley.

The Phenomenal One was preparing to leap from the top rope when Damian Priest appeared on the ramp despite being banned from ringside.

The Archer of Infamy was attacked by Finn Balor, but a hooded figure emerged and pulled Styles from the top rope, allowing Edge to win by choking out his opponent.

The masked interloper then joined The Rated-R Superstar inside the ring and was revealed to be Ripley in a shock heel turn.

WWE @WWE

It's <a href="https://twitter.com/RheaRipley_WWE?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@RheaRipley_WWE</a>!!! <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/WMBacklash?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#WMBacklash</a> <a href="https://t.co/lvT4JtSVt8">pic.twitter.com/lvT4JtSVt8</a>

Bryan Alvarez @bryanalvarez

Edge beat AJ after interference from Damian Priest (you know, the guy who was banned from ringside) and Rhea Ripley, who has turned heel

Dave Meltzer @davemeltzerWON

Edge beat AJ Styles with a crossface choke. Styles was distracted by Rhea Ripley under a mask. Priest and Balor also got involved.

B/R Wrestling @BRWrestling

Rhea Ripley joins Judgement Day 😈<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/WMBacklash?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#WMBacklash</a> <a href="https://t.co/NlY429eYdU">pic.twitter.com/NlY429eYdU</a>

Edge and Styles were evenly matched when they first met last month at WrestleMania 38, but the tide turned in The Rated-R Superstar's favor when Priest made his presence felt and distracted The Phenomenal One.

That allowed Edge to pick up the victory on The Grandest Stage of Them All and marked the continuation of his turn to the dark side.

Weeks prior to WrestleMania, he called out the WWE locker room in hopes that someone would step up and challenge him to a WrestleMania match. Styles emerged, but he paid the price for it.

Edge turned heel by viciously attacking his new rival with a steel chair, and he started to develop a much more sinister character than he had portrayed at any point since his WWE return in 2020.

With that, The Rated-R Superstar showcased an aggressive in-ring style at AT&T Stadium in Dallas and that, coupled with Priest's interference, was enough to tip the scales in his favor.

Edge agreed to a rematch against Styles for WrestleMania Backlash, but he made life miserable for the two-time WWE champion leading up to it.

In addition to playing mind games with The Phenomenal One, he and Priest jumped him in the locker room to remind him that he was at a numbers disadvantage.

Even so, Styles was undeterred in his mission to get a win back and make The Ultimate Opportunist pay for what he put him through prior to and after WrestleMania.

Styles did gain some momentum on the final episode of Raw leading up to WrestleMania Backlash, as he beat Priest in a match to get him banned from ringside for the match against Edge.

Then, Balor saved Styles from a two-on-one attack at the hands of Edge and Priest, seemingly giving him a much-needed ally.

Styles' momentum didn't manifest itself into a win, though, as The Rated-R Superstar was again victorious and perhaps took another step toward the world title picture.

However, it was the emergence of Ripley as the latest member of Edge's heel faction that became the real story of Sunday's match.


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