TJRWrestling WWE Backlash 2023 Preview

wwe backlash 2023 preview

It’s time for WWE Backlash with Cody Rhodes facing Brock Lesnar, two Women’s Title matches, a six-man tag team grudge match and more.

John: Backlash is a show with seven matches, some of which have been built up very well and others that are on the card without much of a build at all. I expect better from this booking team led by Triple H. You had four weeks to build this show since WrestleMania, so why are some matches poorly built? I don’t know what the excuse is. Maybe Vince McMahon interfered in some way. I have no idea at this point. I just think they could have done more to make us care more about Backlash.

I believe it’s going to be a very vocal crowd in San Juan, Puerto Rico since it’s their first PPV there in 18 years. When you have an atmosphere like that, I think the crowd is going to rabid for some of the big matches like Lesnar/Rhodes, Bunny/Priest and the six-man tag team match. I’m a bit worried about the other matches, but I also have confidence in the WWE roster to put on some good matches. With all of that said, I think the build has been poor and I expect better from this creative team.

Joining me for the preview are TJRWrestling writers Joel McIntyre, Matthew Fowler, Alex Podgorski, Kelly Dishnow, and Kristian Thompson.

Kristian: With WrestleMania in our rear-view mirror, this should feel like a big event but sadly it just doesn’t. With only 3 championships on the line, Roman Reigns absent again and weak or insufficient build, it doesn’t feel like a major PPV to me. Kudos to WWE for branching out to Puerto Rico, but I feel more anxious about Cody getting clobbered than I feel excited for the main event.

United States Championship: Austin Theory (c) vs. Bronson Reed vs. Bobby Lashley

Joel: I was thinking they were going to put the title on Reed here but after he was drafted to Raw and the Intercontinental Title is there, I’m leaning toward Theory retaining here. Lashley will likely be pushed into a program with Reigns sooner or later. The match should be good but Theory needs some momentum. It’s like beating Cena meant nothing.

Winner: Austin Theory

Matthew: I was lucky enough to attend Survivor Series last November, and Bobby Lashley, Seth Rollins and Austin Theory competed for the United States Championship on that show. Fast forward six months and Theory and Lashley are still competing over the title, with Bronson Reed playing the role of Rollins. With Reed being drafted to Raw alongside intercontinental champion Gunther, he clearly has no chance of winning here. Therefore I will go with Theory cheating and keeping the title here, so he and Lashley can continue there never ending feud on Smackdown.

Winner: Austin Theory

Alex: Austin Theory had such a huge career win at WrestleMania against John Cena that it doesn’t make sense cutting his legs from underneath him now. It’s clear they want to build him up, which is why he’ll win. And since Lashley’s being drafted to SmackDown for a possible main-event feud with Roman Reigns, he’ll probably be protected in this match as well. To that end, I predict that Theory will retain by some sort of shenanigans. Either he’ll cheat to win, or he’ll anger Lashley and Bronson to the point they lose their minds and beat each other into the ground and Theory steals the win. Either way, I don’t expect anything groundbreaking here.

Winner and STILL United States Champion: Austin Theory

Kelly: With the United States title going to Smackdown, there are only two likely outcomes. Either Theory retains or Lashley wins. Reed will look really good in this match and may be the one to take the fall. Lashley is likely in this just to give him something to do for the moment. I’ll pick Theory to retain since Reed was drafted to Raw and Lashley is likely the challenger to Roman Reigns.

Winner – Austin Theory

Kristian: This feels more like Theory was just tossed in there because he has history with Lashley, rather than a genuine feud for the championship. I have enjoyed Reed and Lashley’s interactions and another singles match between them would’ve been better. That being said, this will be one of the better matches on the show, and with Imperium and Gunther bringing the Intercontinental Championship to Raw, Theory will bring the US Title with him to SmackDown.

Winner and STILL US Champion: Austin Theory

John: I don’t see there being a title change here. The segment they did on Raw two weeks ago was pretty good with a three-way brawl, but then they followed it up with nothing. I found that to be strange. I think Theory is going to escape with the title similar to when he won the title at Survivor Series when Lashley hit Seth Rollins with a spear and Theory covered for the win. In this case, I think theory will pin Reed after Lashley does a move. I think WWE is going to want to keep Lashley strong since he might be a WWE Title opponent for Roman Reigns on Smackdown soon.

Winner: Austin Theory

Smackdown Women’s Championship: Rhea Ripley (c) vs. Zelina Vega

Joel: Zelina is getting this match obviously because of where they’re located. She’s not my first pick but It does tie into the rivalry between Judgment Day and the LWO so I guess I’m okay with it. Rhea will likely win this one pretty easily but its good that Zelina is getting time to shine.

Winner: Rhea Ripley

Matthew: If you are asking what exactly Zelina Vega did to earn a title shot, her family is originally from Puerto Rico. Vega was given this title shot despite not winning a singles match on television since 2021. WWE has made up for this since announcing the match however, as she was shown to clearly be worthy of a title shot by defeating Sonya Deville. Ripley wins easily in a pointless match.

Winner: Rhea Ripley

Alex: Even a blind man can see this one coming. Vega may be Puerto Rican, but that doesn’t magically grant her any increased chance of winning. After all, WWE under Vince has long made a point of making wrestlers lose in their hometowns, and since he still exerts a considerable degree of influence here, it’s not likely that Vega will win.

And if we take that fact out of consideration, there’s also the facts that Vega has done very little to prove she can beat Ripley and Ripley has continued to look dominant after her awesome match at WrestleMania. Vega isn’t in Ripley’s league right now, and no amount of cheering Puerto Ricans will change that.

Winner and STILL WWE United States Champion: Rhea Ripley

Kelly: Ripley has just been dominating as of late and I expect that to continue for the time being. The problem here is that Ripley is holding the wrong Women’s Championship. Ripley was drafted to Raw but will not drop the title to Smackdown’s Vega. Vega will look good in front of the Puerto Rican crowd but will not win.

Winner – Rhea Ripley

Kristian: This is a very underwhelming feud for Ripley’s first defence. The size difference is ridiculous and there’s 10 other women at least on SmackDown (soon to be Raw for Ripley) that would be realistic challengers. I understand that it fits in with the Judgement Day/LWO feud but Vega winning is just not fathomable.

Winner and STILL SmackDown Women’s Champion: Rhea Ripley

John: A weak build for Ripley’s first title defense and a weak opponent. That’s nothing against Zelina Vega, who is a talented performer, but she didn’t even win a match to earn this match. I think WWE was pretty lazy in picking her just because she has a Puerto Rican background. They should have done a multi-woman match or battle royal to have Vega earn the shot. Anyway, I expect Vega to get some offense in the match and maybe a nearfall or two, but Ripley should win this in about eight minutes or less. I don’t think it should go longer than that.

Winner: Rhea Ripley

Seth “Freakin” Rollins vs. Omos

Joel: Seth Rollins wins. That’s it. Book him better, WWE.

Winner: Seth Rollins

Matthew: Speaking of pointless matches with no build… Rollins better win here to make him a viable contender for the new World Heavyweight Championship, while Omos can go be a free agent so we can enjoy his amazing wrestling on both shows!

Winner: Seth “Freakin” Rollins

Alex: I’m guessing this match only exists to give Rollins something to do ahead of the tournament or series of matches or whatever gets planned for the new World Heavyweight Championship. With Reigns now SmackDown-exclusive, Rollins is a favorite to win the RAW brand’s world title. To convince more naysayers, I predict Rollins will overcome Omos here in a match similar to Omos’ match with Lesnar at WrestleMania, just longer. Rollins will take similar punishment and will sell longer, but he too will eventually rally back and win in a match that’ll go around ten minutes total.

Nothing too exciting but I’m sure it’ll do its job in convincing people that Rollins, in spite of his annoying wackiness, is a world champion-level performer.

Winner: Seth Rollins

Kelly: This is a puzzling match choice. Omos’s WrestleMania match turned out better than expected. Rollins should be able to get another good match out of Omos. I’m not quite sure why they are featuring him so much. We just need to keep this short like his Lesnar match.

Winner – Seth “Freakin” Rollins

Kristian: This was announced randomly after Raw one night and that’s just how it feels- a random match to give Rollins a bit of a push before he competes for the new championship at the Night of Champions event. I don’t think it will top Lesnar/Omos as a spectacle, but I’m sure Rollins has some plans for making it still an entertaining enough match.

Winner: Seth Rollins

John: There was a segment between them on Raw two weeks ago and then no interaction at all this week. Weird. I didn’t mind having MVP say that he picked this match for Omos, but once again I wonder why there was barely any attempt to build the match? Anyway, it should be like WrestleMania when Omos gets some offense for a few minutes, but then his opponent makes the comeback and wins. It should be The Stomp for Rollins to pick up the win. I think Rollins has to be a contender for the new World Heavyweight Title, so he must win here.

Winner Seth “Freakin” Rollins

Raw Women’s Championship: Bianca Belair (c) vs. IYO SKY

Joel: My heart says Iyo Sky but my brain says Bianca. I know she tied Becky Lynch for longest Women’s Title reign today so tomorrow will officially be the record. I can see Bianca holding the Title a little while longer, but I wouldn’t be mad if Iyo pulled off the upset here

Winner: Bianca Belair

Matthew: Unlike Zelina Vega, SKY at least won a match to earn her title shot. Nevertheless, does anyone actually think that SKY has a chance of winning the title here? This, like much of this card, feels like a random Raw match, and not a match that should be on a PLE.

Winner: Bianca Belair

Alex: Belair is still a dominant champion and SKY has done nothing to prove that she can beat her. I know that sounds generic and repetitive, but to be honest you could make that statement for pretty much any challenger in any division in WWE. Rarely does the company actually book a challenger doing something that convinces fans that the title might actually change hands. I haven’t seen SKY do anything earth-shattering as of late and to be honest this feud seems small against the backdrop of the wider Draft shake-up and how the champions will change shows.

This will probably go 12-15 minutes and will be a shorter version of Belair/Asuka. If you’ve noticed a theme here, that’s because there is: the more we go through this show, the more it’s coming across as a rushed rehash of WrestleMania with very little variation.

Winner and STILL RAW Women’s Champion: Bianca Belair

Kelly: The winner has a title swap segment with Rhea Ripley in their immediate future. This conundrum is one of the problems with the WWE Draft. I believe Belair will break Becky Lynch’s Raw Women’s Championship title reign record before this match happens, so we are okay there. I don’t see SKY as the one to topple Belair here. I think a SKY loss will further the Damage CTRL break up that really needs to happen. I just wish they had gotten separated in the draft to start over.

Winner – Bianca Belair

Kristian: This match result is as obvious as Ripley vs. Vega but I think the match quality will be much higher. There’s no reason for Belair to lose here and Sky is just one final challenger before Belair moves to SmackDown and has some fresher faces to battle, such as Charlotte Flair.

Winner AND STILL Raw Women’s Champion: Bianca Belair

John: I think they’ll have a competitive match with IYO SKY reminding people about how good she is before Belair comes back to put her away. The build has been okay, but not that great. I think from an athleticism standpoint they will match up well and I remember them having a terrific match on Raw in the past too, so they should be able to do that again. This might surprise some people with how good it is, but the result is not in doubt.

Winner: Bianca Belair

San Juan Street Fight: Bad Bunny vs. Damian Priest

Joel: I would rather see Bunny/Rey Mysterio and Priest/Dominik but I think this match will surprise people. They obviously have faith in Bad Bunny and the crowd will be hot for this match. Priest obviously knows what he’s doing so I have no doubt he will carry Bad Bunny through this match. LWO will likely get involved setting up the victory and loss for Damien Priest.

Winner: Bad Bunny

Matthew: Finally, we get to a match on this card that I am at least interested to see. My kids tell me that Bad Bunny is legitimately one of the biggest musical stars in the world, with the Puerto Rican crowd likely going crazy once he comes out. Bunny also has shown that he can be entertaining in the ring, with him likely holding his own against fellow Puerto Rican Priest. As for who wins, I see zero chance of Bunny losing in Puerto Rico. I will go with Bunny winning in a entertaining match.

Winner: Bad Bunny

Alex: Bad Bunny isn’t Logan Paul. I don’t care how popular he is or how much of a fan he is, his involvement as an in-ring performer is, to me, a net negative. He shouldn’t win, especially against a guy that towers over him and weighs about 100 pounds more than him. But given WWE’s obsession with pushing any “celebrity” that gives them the slightest hint of attention, I wouldn’t be surprised if this ends up being some kind of cheesy slaptick-style fight intended to get cheap laughs out of people.

Expect 15-20 minutes of stalling, weak weapons shots, bad action, and a ton of Canadian Destroyers. I’m not looking forward to this match, regardless of how loud a pop Bad Bunny gets.

Winner: Bad Bunny (unfortunately)

Kelly: This is a hard one to decide on. Bunny should win, given the story but Priest has been quite the standout in Judgment Day. It would not hurt my feelings if this was the main event. I would expect some additional activities from Judgment Day and the LWO throughout the match. Bunny was very impressive in his WrestleMania match and I’m sure he’ll do just fine here. Judgment Day has been presented as really strong but I’ll still pick Bunny to win since Ripley will likely win her match to keep Judgment Day strong. The LWO will also have the numbers advantage over Judgment Day and in this match, it’ll be the difference.

Winner – Bad Bunny

Kristian: Bad Bunny impressed me at WrestleMania two years ago as he teamed with Damian Priest, but now he’s facing off against him in a street fight. I think this will be one of the most entertaining matches on the card and I expect lots of ringside shenanigans and weapons. The LWO were drafted to SmackDown, whereas the Judgement Day will be on Raw so I see this as a feud-ender which means a win for the face is probable.

Winner: Bad Bunny

John: I couldn’t tell you the name a single Bad Bunny song, but I’m not the demographic you are going for, so I think it’s smart for WWE to use Bad Bunny in his home country of Puerto Rico. I am mildly surprised they went with a singles match instead of doing the tag team match with Rey Mysterio teaming with Bad Bunny and Dominik Mysterio teaming with Damian Priest. That shows a lot of faith in Bunny. Since it’s a Street Fight they can use weapons and have some fun spots in the match. Priest is probably losing, but it’s a match for him, so I’m happy for Damian because he’s a good performer.

Another point I need to make is that I think The Judgment Day will absolutely get involved to try to help Priest win since it’s a match with no disqualifications, but the LWO will be there to prevent it. I’ll go with the celebrity singer Bad Bunny for the win.

Winner: Bad Bunny

Sami Zayn, Kevin Owens & Matt Riddle vs. The Bloodline – Jey Uso, Jimmy Uso & Solo Sikoa

Joel: I feel like this feud has suffered a bit since the inclusion of Matt Riddle. Riddle’s a unique talent but he just doesn’t fit here. I’m glad Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens retained their tag titles. It seems as if we are headed for an implosion of The Bloodline so I think KO/Sami/Riddle win and I think Jey Uso takes the pinfall.

Winners: Sami Zayn, Kevin Owens & Matt Riddle

Matthew: The Bloodline storyline was one of the best storylines in wrestling history period, with Sami Zayn being one the most over stars in the last ten years of wrestling. Since WrestleMania the storyline has weakened however, especially with the absence of Roman Reigns. Riddle being added to this feud has not done much in my opinion, with all the superstars taking a slight step back from where they were a month ago. This should be the last match of this feud as well, as both sides will be on separate brands come Monday. As for who wins, I will go with the baby faces winning to make the crowd happy.

Winners: Sami Zayn, Kevin Owens and Matt Riddle

Alex: There is still plenty of residual hatred and intensity left in both Owens & Zayn and The Usos after WrestleMania. And now that Riddle has entered the fray, the Bloodline no longer have the numbers advantage. It’s an even match, one that the Bloodline should lose. They should lose because Riddle returned only recently and Owens & Zayn are champions who just retained their titles in a WrestleMania rematch. Having any of those three lose wouldn’t make sense. Meanwhile, there’s something to be gained of a dissention within the Bloodline story, even though it’s a little overplayed. It’s an easy story to tell: The three of them are cracking under the pressure while Reigns remains the only one that’s still winning and still unstoppable. That kind of story has merit; Riddle and the champions losing when a feud between them can’t happen because of the brand split does not.

Winners: Sami Zayn, Kevin Owens & Matt Riddle

Kelly: I’m looking forward to this match. One of the Usos will take the fall to keep the steam going for the Bloodline implosion. Solo will look dominate as usual but this will give him a protected loss by keeping him out of the decision. I’m glad that Owens and Zayn did not have to drop the tag titles (yet) with the Saudi show next. I’d be curious to see how the tag titles will be split unless they are going the Women’s Tag Title route and float between the shows. Zayn and Owens will be key to bringing down the Bloodline from within. This match is just the next step in that process.

Winners – Sami Zayn, Kevin Owens & Matt Riddle

Kristian: I think this feud has lost a little steam since their historic match at WrestleMania. Having the Tag Team Championship rematch on SmackDown, rather than a big event has made this match feel less exciting than maybe it should. They could’ve had the rematch on this card and then move the 6-man tag to another event down the track. It just feels like a Raw or SmackDown main event match to me. I’m sure it will be a really exciting encounter and I expect Zayn, Owens and Riddle to keep their momentum going. Maybe Riddle will get the pin on one of the Usos and he can be a contender for the new Raw Championship.

Winners: Sami Zayn, Kevin Owens & Matt Riddle

John: The babyfaces are on Raw after this while the heels are on Smackdown, so if the brand split actually has strict rules then we won’t see them in the same match together for a long time after this. I think the heels could win if WWE wants Solo Sikoa to look strong as usual. However, I think it’s better for the story if Riddle beats one of The Usos as some measure of revenge after Riddle was taken out by Solo back in December. This could be the match of the night depending on if they get a lot of time and I think they should get something like 20+ minutes. Zayn & Owens getting the upper hand on The Usos again makes for an interesting story just because it can lead to Roman Reigns being upset with The Usos constantly losing to Zayn & Owens.

Winners: Sami Zayn, Kevin Owens & Matt Riddle

wwe backlash 2023 cody rhodes brock lesnar

Cody Rhodes vs. Brock Lesnar

Joel: I still think Cody Rhodes should have beaten Reigns. This would’ve been a hell of a first Title defense. All that aside, this is still a huge match for Rhodes. If you would’ve told me when Brock returned in 2012 that eventually Lesnar/Rhodes would be a huge match, I would’ve asked you if you were high based on where Cody was at the time. He’s the top babyface on Raw. I think they are going to have him fight to get back to Reigns. I think it starts here.

Winner: Cody Rhodes

Matthew: Cody Rhodes has been killing it as a babyface, and is the most “over” wrestler in the company right now. Rhodes losing at WrestleMania honestly shocked me, along with a lot of wrestling fans. Personally I feel that Rhodes will still be the man to eventually defeat Roman Reigns, which means he cannot lose two big matches in a row. Therefore I will go with Rhodes winning here to regain his momentum, potentially leading to a Money in the Bank win next month.

Winner: Cody Rhodes

Alex: Cody has the same problem with Brock as he had with Roman: he’s done a lot of talking and not a lot of doing to prove he can overcome this mountain of a challenge. Even Omos, who is below average in the ring, got plenty of people to believe he could beat Lesnar when he threw him around in the ring. But Cody? He has done almost nothing to show that same sort of advantage or forward momentum over Lesnar.

This match puts both guys in something of a hard place. Cody might win, but I don’t think it’ll come across as genuine or earned. It’ll come off as artificial, as a consolation prize, as a small “thank you” for his effort in the WrestleMania main event. If Lesnar wins, what’s next for him? He’s a part-timer and Triple H made it abundantly clear that RAW’s new champion will be someone on the show regularly.

This is a bit of a conundrum for WWE, but the obvious pick for winner is Cody. Then again, I have a hard time seeing Cody beating Lesnar clean…though I would very much like to be proven wrong.

Winner: Cody Rhodes

Kelly: Here is your consolation prize, San Juan. Roman didn’t want to make the trip for this event that WWE has been hyping up as a really big deal. It’s still going to be a solid show but it just feels like Roman should have been here and make an eight man tag with one of the Usos eating the pin. Anyway, Lesnar will be a good challenge for Rhodes and they will deliver. I think Rhodes has to win here because the wait to Money in the Bank is too far to win a rematch. A Rhodes loss here could mean that Rhodes would be entering the Money in the Bank ladder match and possibly winning it. With Brock matches, it is hard to tell sometimes the direction they want to go when looking at them on paper.

Winner – Cody Rhodes

Kristian: I am torn between a Rhodes win and a Lesnar win here. After losing at WrestleMania, and blowing up the IWC with the match result, having Rhodes win here and move his focus back on to Roman Reigns makes the most sense to me. However, they seem set on rolling with Rhodes/Reigns as a long-term storyline so it wouldn’t shock me if they continue with Rhodes as the beat-down, sympathetic face here and losing again. Most people thought Rhodes would win at WrestleMania so to have him lose here as well would completely destroy any momentum he still has, however he is still getting great reactions with the live crowds. It’s hard to know which way the bookers will lean and that concerns me. Somehow, I think Lesnar (who has yet to explain his turn on Rhodes) will win and the bumpy Rhodes path of redemption will continue.

Winner: Brock Lesnar

John: I’m going with Cody, but I have to admit I leaned toward picking Brock. I get the feeling that this match is happening at Backlash and Night of Champions because that’s a Saudi Arabia show, so Brock will probably work that night too. I think Lesnar would then take a break until at least SummerSlam. Since I think they might get two PLE shows out of this feud, Lesnar winning here makes sense because then you can have Cody win the return match. However, I think it’s important for Cody to win this match and the next match. The story is that Cody lost to Roman Reigns at WrestleMania 39 and then the next night, Brock kicked Cody’s ass, so should that mean Cody loses again? I hope not. Lesnar matches are often short, but I think in this case it makes more sense for them to go more like 10-13 minutes or more, so if Brock is willing to do that then it should be fun to watch. I’m going to predict a Cody win leading to Lesnar kicking his ass again either after the match or on Raw in order to set up another match between then. That’s just my hunch.

Winner: Cody Rhodes


The Match I’m Looking Forward To The Most

Joel: Cody Rhodes vs Brock Lesnar.

Matthew: Cody Rhodes vs. Brock Lesnar.

Alex: Cody Rhodes vs Brock Lesnar.

Kelly: Sami Zayn, Kevin Owens & Matt Riddle vs. The Bloodline – Jey Uso, Jimmy Uso & Solo Sikoa

Kristian: Austin Theory vs. Bobby Lashley vs. Bronson Reed.

John: Cody Rhodes vs. Brock Lesnar.

The Match I Care About The Least

Joel: Omos vs. Seth Rollins.

Matthew: Omos vs. Seth Rollins.

Alex: Bad Bunny vs. Damian Priest.

Kelly: Omos vs. Seth Rollins.

Kristian: Either Women’s Championship match.

John: Rhea Ripley vs. Zelina Vega.

Longest Match

Joel: Sami Zayn, Kevin Owens & Matt Riddle vs. The Bloodline – Jey Uso, Jimmy Uso & Solo Sikoa

Matthew: Sami Zayn, Kevin Owens & Matt Riddle vs. The Bloodline – Jey Uso, Jimmy Uso & Solo Sikoa

Alex: Sami Zayn, Kevin Owens & Matt Riddle vs. The Bloodline (~25 minutes)

Kelly: Cody Rhodes vs. Brock Lesnar.

Kristian: Sami Zayn, Kevin Owens & Matt Riddle vs. The Bloodline – Jey Uso, Jimmy Uso & Solo Sikoa

John: Sami Zayn, Kevin Owens & Matt Riddle vs. The Bloodline – Jey Uso, Jimmy Uso & Solo Sikoa

Shortest Match

Joel: Omos vs. Seth Rollins.

Matthew: Omos vs. Seth Rollins.

Alex: Seth Rollins vs. Omos (10 minutes max)

Kelly: Omos vs. Seth Rollins.

Kristian: Omos vs. Seth Rollins.

John: Omos vs. Seth Rollins. If Omos is on a show, pick him for shortest match.

Excitement Level on a Scale of 1-10 (1 being low, 10 being high)

Joel: 6.5. The match quality will be good. Lesnar/Rhodes, Bloodline/KO/Sami/Riddle, Bianca/Iyo will all be great matches. The booking has been a little weak. Hopefully now that the draft is over, things will start to pick up. A lot of good talent not on this card. Make that happen next month, WWE. You have the talent. But I’m looking forward to the show and to see how some matches play out. Let’s hope WWE makes some right choices.

Matthew: 3. This is a forgettable show that is taking place right after a draft and right before a bigger Saudi Arabia show. Honestly, besides for the Bad Bunny/ Damien Priest and Lesnar/Rhodes matches, this card feels just like any normal, and not even very exciting, Monday Night Raw. Hopefully the build to Night of Champions and Money in the Bank will be more interesting, and lead to more compelling storylines.

Alex: 4 – The line-up for this show is weak. There’s nothing truly new here and the whole show comes across as a rushed and jumbles mess due to the Draft messing up booking, storylines, and rosters. I’m sure the local Puerto Ricans will be happy WWE’s coming to their home with a big show, but I’m still not that impressed with what’s going to be showcased.

Kelly: 8. I know people in Puerto Rico and they are big into WWE, so I know this PLE is going to be a big deal for them. The crowd should be hot all night.

Kristian: 6. With not many major championships on the line, as well as a host of stars off the card, my excitement for this show is probably lower than any of the PLEs over the last 6 months. Let’s hope some new and exciting feuds are built when the new roster line-ups take effect.

John: 6.75 – I think the match quality for some of the matches and the hot crowd will prevent this from being a bad show. However, I am disappointed by the weak effort that the WWE creative team made in terms of building some of the matches because a few of them have almost no backstory going into it. In a company where they have been telling stories better over the last eight months, the stories are weaker here. Anyway, I look forward to how they book the Cody-Brock finish, the six-man tag team match should be great and hopefully other matches surprise us by being better than most of us think they will be. I’ll always try to be optimistic.

In Closing

John: I’ll be back with a review of WWE Backlash on TJRWrestling.net on Saturday night, so check that out live or any time after it’s over. You can also tweet me @johnreport as well.

If you want to send an email, send it to me at mrjohncanton@gmail.com. Thanks for reading.