Bleacher Report's WWE Staff Predictions for WrestleMania Backlash 2021

The Doctor Chris Mueller@@BR_DoctorFeatured ColumnistMay 14, 2021

Bleacher Report's WWE Staff Predictions for WrestleMania Backlash 2021

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    Credit: WWE.com

    If two nights of WrestleMania 37 wasn't enough for you, WWE has added the 'Mania label to this year's Backlash pay-per-view.

    The company has had more than a month to build this event, but thanks to repetitive feuds and rematches, the level of excitement is low. The good news is WWE doesn't have to do much to ensure the show exceeds its buildup.

    Here is a look at the card for Sunday's show, according to WWE.com:

    • Bobby Lashley vs. Braun Strowman vs. Drew McIntyre (WWE Championship)
    • Roman Reigns vs. Cesaro (Universal Championship)
    • Bianca Belair vs. Bayley (SmackDown Women's Championship)
    • Rhea Ripley vs. Asuka vs. Charlotte (Raw Women's Championship)
    • The Dirty Dawgz vs. The Mysterios (SmackDown Tag Team Championships)
    • Damian Priest vs. The Miz (Lumberjack match)

    Let's see how the Bleacher Report staff members think everything will go down. Here's our lineup of contributors:

Jeff J

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    Belair vs. Bayley

    Q: How would you book this match if you were in charge? 

    Funnily enough, I would book this like Sasha Banks vs. Bayley: showcase The EST of WWE's athletic ability and charisma while letting Bayley's technique and brilliant heel work shine in a mix of high spots and mat work.

    I would start off with The Role Model being the slimy heel trying to troll her way out of conflict and playing a whole bunch of mind tricks. Once those fail and she's forced to wrestle, it becomes a classic. 

    Belair retains, of course.

                                 

    Dirty Dawgs vs. the Mysterios

    Q: What do you want to see happen in this match?

    Let Rey and Dominik Mysterio win and make history as the only father-son team to claim the tag titles. It’s only right.

Graham Matthews

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    Strowman vs. McIntyre vs. Lashley

    Q: Who else would you like to see step up and challenge for the WWE title after this feud is over? 

    Perhaps the biggest issue with Raw right now is that there aren't many, if any, credible challengers to the WWE Championship beyond McIntyre, Lashley and Strowman. If there are, they're probably busy doing something else (Randy Orton and AJ Styles) or aren't around at all (Bray Wyatt and Keith Lee).

    Brock Lesnar vs. Lashley seems inevitable, and I'd, unfortunately, keep an eye on Jinder Mahal stepping up at some point as well.

                                    

    Charlotte vs. Asuka vs. Ripley

    Q: Is Charlotte right? Is she the measuring stick of the women’s division? 

    She is absolutely right. Whether people like her or not, she maintains a presence in the title picture because she's just that good.

    Several women have gotten their biggest breaks against her, and she's had many memorable matches. Her booking can be questionable, but she's more than earned the spot she's in.

Erik Beaston

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    The Miz vs. Priest

    Q: Who would be the best rival for Priest after this feud is over? 

    Sheamus, if only because Priest doesn't have any clear path and The Celtic Warrior doesn't have much in the way of quality competition for his United States title at the moment.

    The idea of the two just clubbing the hell out of each other in physical battles for the title is appealing and could help elevate the former.

                               

    Reigns vs. Cesaro

    Q: Do you truly feel Cesaro is ready to be the face of a WWE brand?

    In my opinion, there is not a better wrestler in the world than Cesaro. He is an extraordinary talent who can get both himself and his opponent over in any given match. At this moment, though, he isn't quite ready to be the face of a WWE brand.

    The build has been solid to this point, but he will get more out of coming oh-so-close to winning the title and losing due to interference than if he won outright.

    Avoid the unnecessary backlash (pun intended) and let Cesaro's title reign come about organically.

Chris Mueller

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    Reigns vs. Cesaro

    Q: Do you truly feel Cesaro is ready to be the face of a WWE brand?

    Yes, but only because WWE doesn't need to put the entire company on the shoulders of one Superstar anymore.

    With two top titles, management can afford to use one to test the waters with The Swiss Superman. If he proves himself, more gold will come in the future; if not, WWE can put him right back in the midcard scene. 

                                     

    Strowman vs. McIntyre vs. Lashley

    Q: Who else would you like to see step up and challenge for the WWE title after this feud is over? 

    One thing to remember is WWE doesn't have to book someone to win the title just because they challenge for it.

    Superstars such as Cedric Alexander, John Morrison, Keith Lee and Ricochet can produce great matches even if they aren't booked to win. Out of those four, The Limitless One would be the name I would like to see get a shot at a show like SummerSlam. 

Predictions

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    All respondents' predictions are represented by their initials next to their choices.

    • Strowman vs. McIntyre vs. Lashley (EB, JJ, GM, CM)
    • Charlotte vs. Asuka vs. Ripley (EB, JJ, GM, CM)
    • Reigns (EB, JJ, GM, CM) vs. Cesaro
    • Belair (EB, JJ, GM, CM) vs. Bayley
    • Dirty Dawgs (GM) vs. Mysterios (EB, JJ, CM)
    • The Miz vs. Priest (EB, JJ, GM, CM)
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