WWE WrestleMania Backlash 2021 Results: Reviewing Top Highlights and Low Points
While WrestleMania 37 wasn't perfect, WWE clearly wanted to keep some of the goodwill rolling by adding that name to the title of its next pay-per-view, WrestleMania Backlash.
Despite featuring quite a few feuds that were rematches or thinly veiled repeats, the amount of talent scheduled to perform Sunday gave this show more than enough potential to be worth the watch.
Cesaro against Roman Reigns, the Triple Threat matches for the WWE and Raw Women's Championships, and many other fights looked great on paper, but how good was their execution?
Were there more positives or negatives throughout the night? Was the event an overall success or a disappointment?
Presented in order of appearance, let's look back on the results of WrestleMania Backlash and pinpoint its highlights and low points.
Full Match Results
WWE WrestleMania Backlash Results
- Sheamus retained the United States Championship over Ricochet by pinfall.
- Rhea Ripley defeated Asuka and Charlotte Flair by pinfall to retain the Raw Women's Championship.
- Dominik and Rey Mysterio defeated Dolph Ziggler and Robert Roode by pinfall to win the SmackDown Tag Team Championship.
- Lumberjack match: Damian Priest defeated The Miz by pinfall.
- Bianca Belair defeated Bayley by pinfall to retain the SmackDown Women's Championship.
- Bobby Lashley defeated Braun Strowman and Drew McIntyre by pinfall to retain the WWE Championship.
- Roman Reigns defeated Cesaro by submission to retain the Universal Championship.
Highlight: United States Championship Open Challenge
As usual, most of the pre-show consisted of panel analysis, video packages and vignettes. However, United States champion Sheamus issued a non-title challenge in a fun bonus match.
It was only announced prior to the show's opening, and Ricochet ultimately came up short despite putting up a good fight. There were a handful of moments when it seemed he could score the upset, but it wasn't to be.
However, Ricochet getting the best of Sheamus after the match helps The One and Only back up the idea he might be worthy of a rematch; this time for the U.S. title.
This match likely won't matter much in the grand scheme of things, but within the bubble of this pay-per-view, it was a welcome surprise.
Highlight: Raw Women's Championship Triple Threat Match
Putting Raw's three top women in the same match was always going to be a recipe for success.
This was rock-solid action from start to finish. With no lulls in the attacks, everyone had moments to be on top.
Charlotte Flair's presence had some fans worrying that she would win and upset Rhea Ripley, spoiling her reign far earlier than any of us would imagine. Asuka's no slouch, either, and could not be counted out. But it was The Nightmare who stood tall.
Now that Ripley has defeated both multi-time champions, it is one more step toward undoing the damage done in her loss to The Queen at last year's WrestleMania.
Ripley has put The Empress of Tomorrow behind her and evaded The Queen, at least for now. This was the right call and a fun match to lead to that outcome.
Highlight: SmackDown Tag Team Championship Match
Earlier in the night, Dominik Mysterio was forced out of the match by an attack by The Dirty Dawgs. This resulted in a story in which Rey was forced to go at it alone for much of the contest.
Of course, Dominik's return evened the odds and the younger Mysterio scored the upset pin to capture the championship. And history was made for the first-ever father-son tag team champions in WWE.
It's a shame this didn't take place at WrestleMania 37 in front of a live crowd, but it's still good to see the company put the belts on the Mysterios.
Varying Thoughts: Lumberjack Match
There are two possible schools of thought to having zombies as lumberjacks as a promotional tie-in for the forthcoming film, Army of the Dead.
You can write it off as an advertising deal crossing over with Batista, who stars in the movie, and laugh it off. Or you can look at it as an embarrassment for how it comes off as goofy, particularly to casual audiences.
Whatever side you stand, you have more than enough of an argument to back up your opinion and have every right to condemn or praise this.
Middle of the Road: SmackDown Women's Championship Match
Bianca Belair and Bayley are great, but their match was just "fine." It wasn't bad but it wasn't so good that it was a highlight that stood out.
Bayley had her moments on top, but The EST of WWE fought back and nabbed a pin with the help of her hair, which came off too rushed to be a "wow" moment.
This gives off the impression WWE is stalling and will have them fight again at Hell in a Cell on June 20. If that happens, this match will have been for nothing other than to kill time before then.
Both are capable of better and did nothing bad enough to be criticized, but this isn't going to show up on any Match of the Year lists.
Middle of the Road: WWE Championship Triple Threat Match
If the SmackDown Women's Championship match wasn't a highlight worth raving about, neither was this.
The only real standout moment was Drew McIntyre throwing Bobby Lashley threw a section of the main stage. That type of spot with pyrotechnics is usually laughable, but this time, it was perfectly executed and looked believable.
Unfortunately, though, the rest of the match was a generic brawl. A few power moves took place, but they were nothing we haven't seen before.
The All Mighty keeping his title was the most obvious outcome, so the finish wasn't a talking point to break down in detail. This was simply a decent match.
Highlight: Universal Championship Match
While it's disappointing Cesaro wasn't able to win the Universal Championship, it was great to see him put up such a strong fight in his attempt to dethrone Roman Reigns.
WWE has never been above jobbing out a fan favorite just for heat or trolling the audience. This could have been one of those situations, with The Swiss Cyborg becoming a laughing stock in his first title match.
However, he gave it his all and had The Tribal Chief on the ropes on more than one occasion. Cesaro kept at it, throwing uppercuts and trying to balance power moves with agility and technical wrestling.
Ultimately, he fell to Reigns' guillotine and the referee's call, rather than tapping out. That's the best way he could have gone out to look strong.
And since The Tribal Chief didn't need outside interference or cheat, this win also helps his credibility to offset his bending of the rules in recent months.
Anthony Mango is the owner of the wrestling website Smark Out Moment and the host of the podcast show Smack Talk on YouTube, iTunes and Stitcher. You can follow him on Facebook and elsewhere for more.