The Real Winners and Losers from 2020 WWE Backlash
WWE Backlash 2020 made a big promise. The company told the WWE Universe that they would witness The Greatest Wrestling Match Ever. Even if they delivered on a strong match, that bar was impossible to leap over.
Edge and Randy Orton put in one of the best efforts of their careers, but it was always going to be difficult for them to hit that incredible mark. What was worse was that The Rated-R Superstar was injured, stopping his comeback early.
Drew McIntyre faced a truly motivated Bobby Lashley, but MVP could not stop Lana from distracting The All Mighty. The WWE champion won, but Lashley proved he was worthy of a main event run soon.
Braun Strowman refused to be stopped by The Miz and John Morrison, defeating them both in an embarrassing handicap match.
Asuka was unable to put away her latest rival Nia Jax. This competitive Raw Women's Championship clash ended in a double count out that hardly helped either woman.
The women's tag team division put on another surprise showstealer to open the show. Sasha Banks and Bayley have already added so much to the division as champions.
This night overdelivered in many ways, but it was also a ridiculous showcase that may have been worse for most wrestlers than it needed to be.
Randy Orton and Edge went to war in a physical contest where The Viper was bloodied early. With amplified crowd noises and a variety of camera angles, this match was amplified to the point of absurdity. However, the overall work in the match was some of the best of both men's careers.
The Rated-R Superstar kicked out of the RKO. Edge planted The Apex Predator with a pair of Spears, only for a nearfall. Edge hopped into an RKO but still kicked out again. A low blow and a punt kick finally sealed the victory for Orton. Edge reportedly suffered a torn tricep during the clash, according to F4Wonline.com.
Edge's feud with Randy Orton was built on The Rated-R Superstar proving he was ready to get back to wrestling. While he and The Viper had a good match together that was wildly overproduced, the underlying point fell through when Edge got injured in his second singles match back.
Luckily, it was not a neck injury. However, a torn tricep could keep him out for the rest of 2020. A year that was supposed to be Edge's true return has gone wrong quickly.
Even if The Rated-R Superstar's neck is able to hold up, he likely needed more time to get back to ring shape. Rushing into his second singles match was a mistake, especially with both contests going long. Orton may be safe, but he still cannot save Edge from himself.
The Greatest Wrestling Match Ever left a solid impression even if its label will fade. Hopefully, the report is incorrect, and Edge is able to come back to wrestling before the end of the year. His momentum has rarely ever been higher.
Winner: The Women's Tag Team Division
In an exciting triple threat opener, Sasha Banks and Bayley stopped any doubts about their friendship by retaining their WWE Women's Tag Team Championships. The Boss rolled up Alexa Bliss to steal the victory from the former champion.
Banks and Bayley won the titles in a great tag title match, and they followed up with another really good contest. These were the two best matches in the women's tag team division all year.
The Role Model and The Boss won the titles on a whim, and they did not waste the opportunity. The match quality from the champs has elevated the division and the championships. It is great to see what the division can be again.
The women's tag division fell apart when Banks and Bayley lost the titles. Asuka and Kairi Sane raised the expectations for the titles when they won them, but they spent too little of their reign defending. It is time to get back to basics.
It feels like the division is being revitalized one step at a time. The champions will fight Tegan Nox and Shotzi Blackheart on WWE NXT. As long as the black-and-gold brand continues to get involved, Banks and Bayley could be the best thing to ever happen to the WWE Women's Tag Team Championships.
Asuka tried to take out Nia Jax immediately, but The Irresistible Force refused to stay down. She fought out of The Empress of Tomorrow's best offense. Asuka sent her to the outside where the two were counted out together. After the bell, The Empress hit Jax with diving double knees off the apron.
Once again, Asuka has not been able to gain definitive victories. She technically never defeated the last champion Becky Lynch. She just cashed in the Money in the Bank briefcase, an accolade she won in a frantic silly building climb.
The Empress needs legitimate title wins. Jax is not a big enough threat to be treated like this. This was the time to let the Raw women's champion get a clear dominant win. The Irresistible Force could have easily suffered the loss.
Jax vs. Asuka was fine, but it hardly built excitement for a rematch. The lack of chemistry between the two led to a flat title defense with repeated, half-hearted counters.
Hopefully, WWE Extreme Rules ends with Asuka taking out The Irresistible Force definitively. Until that point, Asuka will remain a questionable champion.
Losers: The Miz and John Morrison
The Miz and John Morrison had a strong strategy in this match, but their own egos got in the way. As The Shaman of Sexy nearly took the pinfall, The A-Lister pulled him off. The tag team never got another chance as The Monster Among Men steamrolled them both.
This was about as expected. Miz and Morrison got most of the offense without ever really feeling like threats. The dissension between the team barely got in the way. It was important for Miz to mess up once just to sell the story, even if Strowman would have absolutely kicked out.
The former SmackDown tag team champions were embarrassed after another cringe-filled music video aired ahead of time. It is difficult to recover from a contest like this.
This went exactly as expected. Strowman has always made tag teams look terrible. He squashes everyone in his way, especially those who are supposed to be unstoppable together. Hopefully, a real challenger steps up to The Monster Among Men next.
At this point, the only real challenger on SmackDown would be Bray Wyatt, who should be back soon and ready to bring in The Fiend to take down the WWE universal champion.
Winner: Bobby Lashley
Bobby Lashley caught Drew McIntyre with a full nelson before the bell, leaving the WWE champion dazed. The All Mighty battered the Scottish Superstar repeatedly, but he refused to stay down, often kicking out at one. Lana got on the apron, and McIntyre knocked Lashley into his wife followed by a Claymore to win.
While the ending was embarrassing, the overall title match was a great showcase of what Lashley can do at his best. The All Mighty dominated while allowing McIntyre to fight back legitimately. It was a personal physical clash that would be fun to revisit.
This will be the final straw for Lashley and Lana. From this point on, he should not have to deal with The Ravishing Russian in major contests, just focusing on MVP's guidance. This should only help The All Mighty become a top guy again.
McIntyre should run with the WWE Championship for the long term. He is great and working well with a variety of opponents. However, Lashley's work recently alongside MVP cannot be ignored.
He is certainly on the rise to a major championship. This performance only solidifies the need to put an immediate focus on The All Mighty.