By Jason Powell, Prowrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
WWE Backlash Kickoff Show
Aired live on May 6, 2018 on WWE Network and social media
Newark, New Jersey at Prudential Center
-Renee Young and the pre-show panel of Booker T, Peter Rosenberg, and David Otunga checked in from their usual spot.
-Charly Caruso checked in from backstage. Raw general manager Kurt Angle and Smackdown general manager Paige will join her later to answer the very worst of the questions that fans submit via social media.
-The first video focussed on Roman Reigns and Samoa Joe. The panel discussed whether Reigns should have been declared the winner of the cage match against Brock Lesnar.
-The next video focussed on Daniel Bryan’s return and his feud with Big Cass. Rosenberg said he doesn’t know if there’s ever been such a big size difference in a WWE pay-per-view match.
-Backstage, Curtis Axel and Bo Dallas looked over a list of potential wrestlers to glom onto. The Miz entered the room and said, “Daddy’s home.” He said he knew they were destined to be his Miztourage on the set of The Marine 5 when they smashed catering trays in the face of a couple of stagehands. Miz said he’s happy the band is back together again an implied they would help him in their match against Seth Rollins. Dallas and Axel declined with Dallas saying, “We’re not the supporting cast in your story anymore”…
Powell’s POV: My guess remains that Axel and Dallas end up with Elias if they are attached to someone.
-A video package focussed on the Smackdown Women’s Championship match. The panel discussed the match until they were interrupted by Peyton Royce and Billie Kay. They boasted about handing Asuka a loss in her first match on Smackdown Live. They mocked Rosenberg for having a Brooklyn accent. After the Iiconics left, Rosenberg compared Carmella to Floyd Mayweather Jr. by saying she is all about the money and she gets things done whether you like the way she does it or not.
-Backstage, Bayley told Sasha Banks that she’s done fighting with her. She invited Banks to be in her corner for her match against Ruby Riott. Banks was upset because Bayley wasn’t in her corner when she had to face a member of Riott Squad. Bayley said she was trying to give Banks a chance to get revenge. Banks told her she could spin it however she wants but she would be on her own tonight…
-The hosts discussed the Braun Strowman and Bobby Lashley vs. Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn match.
-A video package focussed on the Raw Women’s Championship match.
-Angle and Paige stood backstage together and answered fan questions what were read to them by Young and company. Angle listed Daniel Bryan as his dream opponent. They spoke about being unbiased and answered questions about potential show steaming matches on Backlash.
1. Bayley vs. Ruby Riott (w/Sarah Logan, Liv Morgan). Michael Cole, Corey Graves, and Jonathan Coachman were on commentary for the match. Sasha Banks was shown watching the match on a backstage monitor. Logan distracted Bayley, allowing Riott to trip her up heading into a commercial break.
Riott remained on the offensive coming out of the break. Logan hit Bayley with a cheap shot while the referee was distracted by Riott. Bayley came back with a springboard cross body block for a two count. At 8:45, Bayley performed a clunky huracanrana through the ropes on Logan. The broadcast team covered by saying she was having trouble maintaining her balance due to a move that Riott performed earlier.
Bayley followed up with a top rope elbow drop for a two count. Bayley knocked Morgan off the apron, but then Riott caught Bayley with a kick. Riott followed up with a Riott Kick and pinned Bayley…
Ruby Riott defeated Bayley in 10:10.
The broadcast team ran through the Backlash lineup to close out the pre-show…
Join me for live coverage of WWE Backlash in a separate story on the main page.
The Pro Wrestling Boom Podcast with Jason Powell features Kenny Herzog discussing his journalism career, his new Outside Interference podcast, doing a feature story on CM Punk, pro wrestling in the pandemic, WWE talk on Retribution, The Hurt Business, Roman Reigns as a heel, and much more...