The WWE Universal Title will be on the line at WWE’s next pay-per-view WrestleMania Backlash on Sunday, May 16. Cesaro will get his first opportunity at the biggest prize on Smackdown when he steps up to challenge the dominant champion Roman Reigns, who has held that title for 250 days.
Cesaro official earned his title shot on Smackdown last night when he was told that if he could beat Seth Rollins then he would get the title shot. Cesaro did get the win after Rollins had issues with Jey & Jimmy Uso at ringside, so the match was made official after that.
Here is what WWE.com had to say about the Reigns/Cesaro match:
Cesaro will finally get an opportunity to swing Universal Champion Roman Reigns out of his spot at the head of the table when The Swiss Superman challenges The Big Dog at WrestleMania Backlash.
The freakishly strong Cesaro has arguably never looked better. Not only has he scored several high-profile victories on SmackDown in recent months, including a huge win over Daniel Bryan, but he put the exclamation point on his ascension with a victory over Seth Rollins at WrestleMania.
Despite Cesaro’s achievements, Universal Champion Roman Reigns hasn’t acknowledged him with any level of respect and flat out refused to give him a title match. Bryan saw the injustice in the titleholder’s actions and publicly championed for Cesaro, a move that led Reigns to defeat The Leader of the “Yes!” Movement in a title match to bar him from SmackDown forever.
During a Throwback episode of the blue brand the following week, visiting General Manager Theodore Long made it clear that if Cesaro could defeat Seth Rollins again, he would finally earn his Universal Title Match at WrestleMania Backlash. After a returning Jimmy Uso hit Rollins with a Superkick, Cesaro hit the Neutralizer and made his title match official at the May 16 pay-per-view.
Like him or hate him, there is no denying that Reigns stands at the top of his game, ruling over SmackDown with an iron fist as well as an earth-shattering Spear that will so often follow. Can Cesaro finally overcome the incomparable Head of the Table? Find out at WrestleMania Backlash, Sunday, May 16, beginning at 7 ET/4 PT, exclusively on Peacock in the United States and WWE Network everywhere else.
Here’s a post-Smackdown interview with Cesaro where he talks about how he thinks he’s going to win the Universal Title.
TJR Thoughts: Cesaro is one of my favorite wrestlers in WWE, but I don’t think he’s going to win the Universal Title. I think the long title reign of Roman Reigns is going to continue. It should be an outstanding match too.
The lineup for WrestleMania Backlash on Sunday, May 16 looks like this:
WWE 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 Championships: Dolph Ziggler & Robert Roode (c) vs. Rey & Dominik Mysterio
Most WWE PPVs in this pandemic era have six or seven matches on the three-hour show, so there may only be one or two more matches added to the show.
You can watch WrestleMania Backlash on Sunday, May 16, beginning at 7 ET/4 PT, exclusively on Peacock in the United States and WWE Network everywhere else.