THE GREATEST SHOW EVER… apparently.
Our third WWE pay per view of the pandemic era is upon us with WWE Backlash coming to us on Sunday 14th June. Emanating from the trusty WWE Performance Centre, it has had very little build to every match bar two: Bobby Lashley vs Drew McIntyre for the WWE Championship and Edge vs Randy Orton.
The latter seems to be the main event as it’s been plastered all over the promos for it. I can understand why this match has had so much focus – it’s Edge’s first feud since his return, but doing that has taken away from some of the other matches on the card. Let’s get into my predictions for Backlash 2020.
Jeff Hardy vs Sheamus
The storyline behind this is such a dodgy one considering Jeff’s personal problems but obviously he has given the green light for his issues to be used in a storyline. Both men had recently returned to the fold in WWE and neither have had a high-profile feud for them to get engrossed in. It’s a stereotypical feud between them; Sheamus acting as the heel who has no limits and Jeff is the resilient babyface who is the subject to the heel’s torment. It has taken a dodgy turn over the last couple of weeks with the DUI accusation, running over Elias and the urine test but both men have done brilliantly to portray the kind of character they wanted to get over.
The problem is, who would win this feud? Both men need a big win to get back towards the main event scene and to re-establish themselves in the Smackdown hierarchy. I predict that Sheamus will end up with the Intercontinental Championship as that is the one that has eluded him for his career, whilst I would love to see Jeff with any title once again. I’m going to pick Sheamus as the winner of this match. AJ Styles won the Intercontinental Championship this week and would love to see Sheamus use this feud to propel him towards the midcard strap.
Prediction – Sheamus
United States Title – Apollo Crews vs Andrade
90% of me feels like this match is a forgone conclusion considering Apollo Crews has only held the US Championship for about two weeks. However, it wouldn’t shock me in the slightest if Vince has gone cold on Apollo already and would put the title back round the waist of La Sombra. The way Andrade got himself into this match is extremely interesting and could lead to the finish. He participated in a triple threat against Kevin Owens and his pal, Angel Garza. There would be intense physicality between the clients of Zelina Vega, including her being knocked down, all created because of Andrade going for a pin on Owens. Andrade would pin Garza after the latter succumbed to a Stunner from Kevin Owens which would create obvious friction and tension between the clientele of Zelina.
I can see that Apollo would be in control before Angel attempts to get involved to seemingly aid Andrade before costing him the match, whether it’s accidental or on purpose. I want Andrade to lose this match for the one reason of him getting a full-on main event push. He is such a talented competitor and has already had matches with the WWE Champion. However, I would think better of taking Zelina away from Andrade – she is needed for the mouthpiece aspect. Either way, no matter what happens, I’m predicting Apollo Crews to retain his title.
Prediction – Apollo Crews
WWE Women’s Tag Team Titles – Iiconics vs Bayley & Sasha Banks vs Nikki Cross & Alexa Bliss
All I can say is the winner of this match better be… IICONIC! Bit of a spoiler to who I predict but the Iiconics have been brilliant since returning from their hiatus. Putting the titles back on Nikki and Alexa would be a stupid move considering they only lost them a week ago. Normally, I would pick the reigning champions considering Bayley and Sasha won them so recently but the dissention has been building between them for months and it would make perfect sense for Bayley to get too ahead of herself and cost them the championships, making Sasha walk out on her.
This will lead to the big SummerSlam match we’re all expecting between The Boss and the Role Model where I would like to see Sasha come out on top. With the stipulation set as a triple threat tag team match, you can expect some chaos but not including the Iiconics. If it’s the usual format of a WWE triple threat tag match, there are only two active competitors in the ring at one time. This would allow the Iiconics to hide on the apron and take their opportunity when it appears. Once again, I predict The Iiconics to pick up the win and their second Women’s Tag Team Championships.
Prediction – The Iiconics
RAW Tag Team Championship – The Street Profits vs The Viking Raiders
At last – a wrestling match.
After basketball, axe throwing, gold, bowling and a decathlon we get two of WWE’s better tag teams doing what they do best. The segments between these two have been so hit and miss, flirting between kinda funny to absolutely embarrassing. The decision to give Viking Raiders a more comedic side is an interesting one, because to be fair they have excelled here which is even more impressive when they are beside such a charismatic duo like Ford and Dawkins.
However, this match needs to show that once the bell rings, these two can go. No turkey legs, no dancing, just the levels of power, athleticism and skill they showed in their brief encounter in NXT.
I think Street Profits pick up the win and give them a marquee win and possibly lead them towards Murphy and Theory down the road.
Prediction: The Street Profits
RAW Women’s Championship – Asuka vs Nia Jax
I feel like we all know what’s going to happen with Asuka’s reign and it involves Charlotte somewhere down the line. If Nia was given the title here, I would be in complete and utter shock as she has proven countless times how much of an unsafe worker she can be through the injuries dished out to Asuka’s tag partner, Kairi Sane. Again, like Apollo Crews, Asuka only ‘won’ the title the night after Money in the Bank after Becky Lynch’s relinquishment. So, would it make any sense for Asuka to lose the title to Nia Jax when Asuka has been on the run of her career? Absolutely not.
Asuka has been the most entertaining thing about RAW in the last few months. Rumours are Charlotte is being put into the position to replace Becky as the face of RAW – why not Asuka? She’s currently the champion and is loved by all fans. I would expect the match between Asuka and Nia to be very back and forth; obviously Nia has the size and power advantage on her side but Asuka has proven in the past that she can compete with Nia. I’m not too sure how the ending will go, I don’t believe Asuka could get the Asuka Lock in on Nia, possibly a disqualification from a Charlotte run-in or Nia just flipping out. Either way, I am picking Asuka to retain her title.
Prediction – Asuka
WWE Universal Title – Braun Strowman vs The Miz & John Morrison
A handicap match for a singles title. Such a weird way of going at things in a match that has had a poor build to it. I can’t actually remember how this match was made, I had to go back and look because it came from left field. One minute, Miz and Morrison were Tag Team Champions, next minute they’re going after Braun. It stemmed from Otis’ appearance on Miz TV after Money in the Bank, he picked Braun as his partner in a tag match against Miz and Morrison and somehow, we got to this. Miz, Morrison and Braun engaged in a prank war because, well I don’t really know but it happened.
I can’t see any dissension between Miz and Morrison, they’ve been a sold unit since reuniting so I anticipate this is going to be the heels trying to wear down the Monster Among Men but will ultimately fail. I am predicting Braun Strowman to retain his title and hopefully, a little return of The Fiend post-match after Braun’s encounter with Bray Wyatt at Money in the Bank. Bray has been off TV for a few weeks following the birth of his second child, so would make perfect timing for that to return and this little feud to hot up once again.
Prediction – Braun Strowman
WWE Championship – Drew McIntyre vs Bobby Lashley
The build for this match has actually been very enjoyable. Drew is on the best form of his entire career and adding MVP as Lashley’s manager gives Lashley the thing he desperately needed; a mouth piece. This has allowed Lashley to flourish in his best role; a dominant and unstoppable monster. However, that monster has hit a wall in the form of the Sexy Scotsman, and no, I’m not talking about McIver. Since winning the WWE Championship from Brock Lesnar at Wrestlemania 36, McIntyre has taken the company on his shoulders and been the face of RAW. Lashley was floundering, having nothing feuds. Being paired with Lana did nothing for him, he was going unrecognised like he has for the entirety of his return to WWE.
Bring in MVP and the man is in the main event scene of the show within a week with a World Title match at a PPV coming up, Lashley now has the draw power from his partnership with MVP – he dominates whilst MVP talks trash. Despite the run of form Bobby has been on since his link up with MVP, Drew has only held the title two months and has done brilliantly with it so I will be predicting a win for Drew.
Prediction – Drew McIntyre
Edge vs Randy Orton
When it’s come out that both men are not keen on the tagline for this match, and essentially the whole show, why did WWE continue to market it? Edge has revealed he thought Vince was joking, I think everyone would react the same. It seems insane that this has all stemmed from Randy Orton being unhappy with his loss at Wrestlemania 36 and has received the length of build it has and we all just aren’t that bothered. If they billed this as simply ‘Edge vs Randy Orton’, brilliant. It’s a match between two of the very best.
We’ve seen every attempt from WWE to get hype around this match from legends putting in their thoughts and even Christian returning on RAW to berate Edge, a move as old as time. Reports have also released that this is the only pre-recorded match on the show, with the rest being aired live, giving Edge and Orton the chance to put the best match they possibly can. So, you can expect a good match between two utter professionals but the concept can be interpreted in many ways – we assume we are getting a mat based match but I would love to see a Spanish Fly from Orton.
I will predict Randy Orton to win this match, Edge won the first leading to a blow off match at SummerSlam.
Prediction: Randy Orton
A weird show, with weird build to it but it’s happening. We could see AJ Styles defending his newly won Intercontinental Championship as well as The New Day defending their Smackdown Tag Team Championships against Shinsuke Nakamura and Cesaro after the latter pairing pinned the champions yesterday. However, as I write this, nothing has been confirmed for the show and we are left with the above seven matches.
You can find the author of this article on Twitter @George_Geal_. Thanks for reading!