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Updated 2021 WWE WrestleMania Backlash Match Card Ahead of PPV

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistMay 15, 2021

Photo credit: WWE.com

The fallout from WrestleMania 37 will come to a head Sunday when WWE stages the WrestleMania Backlash pay-per-view.

Most of the matches on the card have some type of link to April's marquee event, and they will mark the continuation or even the conclusion of some rivalries that took center stage at The Showcase of the Immortals.

Both of the top men's and women's titles in WWE will be on the line, with huge stars such as Roman Reigns, Bianca Belair, Drew McIntyre and Charlotte Flair competing in those highly anticipated bouts.

Here is a rundown of the WrestleMania Backlash card, along with deeper analysis of the top contests worth watching.

               

Where: Yuengling Center in Tampa, Florida

When: Sunday, May 16 at 7 p.m. ET (kickoff show starts at 6 p.m. ET)

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Watch: Peacock or traditional PPV

          

WrestleMania Backlash 2021 Card

  • Universal Championship: Roman Reigns (c) vs. Cesaro
  • WWE Championship: Bobby Lashley (c) vs. Drew McIntyre vs. Braun Strowman
  • SmackDown Women's Championship: Bianca Belair (c) vs. Bayley
  • Raw Women's Championship: Rhea Ripley (c) vs. Asuka vs. Charlotte Flair
  • SmackDown Tag Team Championship: The Dirty Dawgs (Dolph Ziggler and Robert Roode) (c) vs. Rey and Dominik Mysterio
  • Lumberjack match: Damian Priest vs. The Miz

           

Top Matches to Watch

Roman Reigns vs. Cesaro

Universal champion Roman Reigns has been the hottest thing in wrestling for the past several months, and all signs point to him headlining another PPV when he puts the title on the line against Cesaro at WrestleMania Backlash.

The Tribal Chief beat both Daniel Bryan and Edge to retain at WrestleMania 37, while The Swiss Superman scored the biggest win of his career with a victory over Seth Rollins.

Subsequently, Reigns beat Bryan in a title vs. career match on SmackDown, and Cesaro defeated Rollins again to become the No. 1 contender. As a result, Sunday will see him contest his first singles match for a world title in WWE.

Cesaro has been on the rise in recent months, and he has the look of a true threat to Reigns' run as universal champion. Unfortunately for the Swiss wrestler, it is unlikely he will only have to deal with The Head of the Table.

Jey Uso has been a constant presence in Reigns' matches, plus Jimmy Uso has returned from injury and could play a role as well. The latter has been reluctant to commit to being Reigns' lackey, though, which creates some uncertainty with regard to how he will influence the match.

Regardless of the outside interference, Reigns vs. Cesaro is a marquee contest that fans are itching to see, and there is no reason to believe it won't deliver at a high level.

              

Bianca Belair vs. Bayley

No person enjoyed a bigger star-making moment at WrestleMania 37 than Bianca Belair, who beat Sasha Banks for the SmackDown Women's Championship on Night 1 of the showpiece.

They had one of the best women's matches in WWE history—and likely the best women's match in the history of The Show of Shows—and they became the first women to compete in a WrestleMania main event in a one-on-one match.

Now that The EST of WWE is atop the SmackDown women's division, it is time for her first official defense, and it will come against the longest-reigning SmackDown women's champion of all time.

Bayley held the title for more than a year and established herself as the top heel in the women's division in that time, but she did not feature in a match at WrestleMania. It didn't take long for her to bounce back and return to the mix, though.

When Belair was getting built into a top contender for the SmackDown Women's Championship, The Role Model was her first big rival, as they faced each other in a couple of contests and even competed in an obstacle course.

Belair eliminated Bayley from the women's Royal Rumble match en route to winning the whole thing and earning a title shot against Banks at WrestleMania.

Bayley will be out for revenge at WrestleMania Backlash, while Belair will be attempting to prove she belongs at the top, which should make for a competitive and entertaining encounter.

               

Rhea Ripley vs. Asuka vs. Charlotte Flair

The other women's title match at WrestleMania Backlash will see Rhea Ripley put the Raw Women's Championship on the line against Asuka and Charlotte Flair in a Triple Threat match.

Ripley beat Asuka for the title in a singles match on Night 2 of WrestleMania 37, and since then, Charlotte has made her presence felt in the Raw women's division in a big way.

Like Bayley, The Queen was not on the WrestleMania card, and she has worked that into her character and storyline, using it as the catalyst for a full-on heel turn.

Charlotte wangled her way into the match at WrestleMania Backlash by speaking to Sonya Deville, which is something that didn't sit well with Ripley or Asuka. She also used her influence to force her opponents to have a singles match on Raw before the pay-per-view.

Given how The Queen seems to be in cahoots with Deville, it is fair to wonder whether the WWE official will somehow play a role in Sunday's contest.

That aspect, as well as the fact that three of the best female wrestlers in the world will be competing in a Triple Threat, will make the match a must-watch bout at WrestleMania Backlash.

             

Listen to Ring Rust Radio for all of the hot wrestling topics. Catch the latest episode in the player below (warning: some language NSFW).

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