WWE WrestleMania Backlash 2022 Picks: Rhodes vs. Rollins, Flair vs. Rousey, MoreMay 8, 2022
WWE WrestleMania Backlash 2022 Picks: Rhodes vs. Rollins, Flair vs. Rousey, More
Perhaps WWE should rename WrestleMania Backlash something more honest, like WrestleMania Rerun.
A lineup comprised almost entirely of rematches that just happened a few weeks back with some meaningless filler is hardly worthy of being called a "premium" live event, but in today's age, it seems that's all the effort WWE is willing to put into things.
As such, this is hardly an event that seems can't-miss. If anything, it looks entirely skippable, with some rather straightforward results to come.
What exactly are those match outcomes? Let's run down the card and make our picks on who will win.
Happy Corbin vs. Madcap Moss
One of the few matches that didn't happen a few weeks ago, it's only natural for Happy Corbin and Madcap Moss to feud now that they've ended their partnership.
Moss is still trying to find himself as a babyface but has fully turned, apologizing to the fans for his past transgressions and seeking to make Corbin the butt of his future jokes.
Corbin, meanwhile, has bounced around between attempting to gaslight Moss into being his subordinate again or lashing out and even trying to destroy the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal trophy.
This is textbook stuff. Moss needs the win more, and Corbin, as the more seasoned performer and the heel, is better suited at continuing the feud after a loss. This feud either ends with Moss getting the win here and both of them moving on to something else, or Corbin seeks a rematch for an episode of SmackDown in the coming weeks or even the Hell in a Cell event.
It's far better for Moss to prove he doesn't need Corbin than to fall short, lose his momentum and come off as though he's made a mistake ditching his boss.
Prediction: Moss wins
AJ Styles vs. Edge
Edge already defeated AJ Styles at WrestleMania, but WWE's rationality for this feud to continue is that The Rated-R Superstar "didn't prove his point well enough" the first time.
That's a weak excuse to run it back. If anything, Styles should have been the one to look for revenge and instigate another shot at Edge.
The only gimmick is that Damian Priest is banned from ringside, but that doesn't make this any different than the previous match outside of the final few seconds.
If WWE wants this story to continue into Hell in a Cell, there's a good chance The Phenomenal One wins this to even things 1-1 with the rubber match to come next month. However, the big swerve could be that someone else interferes, costs Styles the match and joins Edge's faction, as it is only Priest who is banned from ringside and not someone like T-Bar or Ciampa.
Prediction: Styles wins
Bobby Lashley vs. Omos
Far simpler than Edge vs. Styles, the next chapter in the feud between Omos and Bobby Lashley is a softball. Now that Omos has MVP by his side, there is absolutely zero logic in Lashley winning this match.
He won at WrestleMania. Now, it's time for Omos to even the score. Not only is there already a clearly established size advantage for Omos, he has The All Mighty's former manager ringside to cause shenanigans.
MVP knows all of Lashley's weaknesses and can even interfere in the match, cause distractions or get physically involved, while the former two-time WWE champion is up against too many hurdles to jump over—particularly as one of them is 7'3".
Prediction: Omos wins
Cody Rhodes vs. Seth Rollins
Unlike the previous two rematches, Seth Rollins doesn't necessarily have to beat Cody Rhodes. There's still a 50 percent chance it happens, but WWE's priority might not be to keep this going another month.
Since returning, Rhodes has been positioned as something special. It's a smart strategy, capitalizing on the momentum of his jump from AEW. Had he been brought back as just another guy low on the pecking order, that would have dissuaded others from jumping ship to WWE in the future.
The longer Rhodes comes off as an absolute top-level talent, the better it is for WWE's perception of being a place worth going and not the low-morale company where you have a ceiling and can be cut from the roster at any minute.
Sometimes, it doesn't come down to a rubber match, and one person is just booked as the definitive better of the two. Rhodes could very well beat Rollins a second time and put this feud to bed, or even win a third match, if necessary.
If Rollins comes out on top, it will undoubtedly be because of some sort of heel tactics. Rhodes isn't losing clean.
Prediction: Rhodes wins
Six-Man Tag Team Match: Drew McIntyre and RK-Bro vs. The Bloodline
It's a shame dramatic shifts in creative aren't normally explained, as it would be interesting to find out why WWE bothered to set up a Winners Take All Tag Team Championship Unification match between RK-Bro and The Usos, just to change gears and turn this into a six-man tag.
More than likely, it was decided WWE didn't want to "waste" Roman Reigns defending the Undisputed WWE Universal Championship against Drew McIntyre on a do-nothing pay-per-view like this. That goes to show how little WWE values this event and how fans shouldn't let that be OK without letting WWE know in return how poorly that lack of effort comes off.
Now, this is more of a SmackDown television main event than something worth being excited about for a special event. It only exists to kill time and drag this story out.
The stakes have been lowered drastically. At most, the only thing to take away from this is that if Drew McIntyre's team gets the win, it will be used to justify his status as No. 1 contender for a future match against The Tribal Chief.
McIntyre vs. Reigns at Hell in a Cell should be a lock. Whether RK-Bro and The Usos have their previously scheduled title unification remains to be seen. But in order to get to any of that, the babyfaces have to win here.
Prediction: McIntyre and RK-Bro win
SmackDown Women's Championship I Quit Match: Charlotte Flair vs. Ronda Rousey
In yet another effort to stretch things out, WWE likely looked at the lineup for WrestleMania and some tentative plans for the coming months and figured it would be better to save Ronda Rousey's title win for this show so at least something happens here, and that it can play into the 1-1 dynamic with Charlotte Flair.
Technically, Rousey has a disqualification and tag team win over Flair, lost a Triple Threat to Becky Lynch and lost to The Queen a few weeks ago at WrestleMania 38. For the purposes of this story, though, WWE only wants fans to focus on the most recent outcome.
Since this is an I Quit match, that at least spices things up a bit, but it also spoils the finish. There is absolutely no way Rousey taps out. That would ruin her character, whereas Flair has already submitted numerous times in previous matches and even tapped out to Rousey when the referees weren't around.
The title will change hands here and these two will have their rubber match inside Hell in a Cell, where Rousey will retain, to spoil next month's premium live event.
Prediction: Rousey wins
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.