WWE: Road to Backlash Becoming Clearer

Feb 21, 2019; Surprise, AZ, USA; Kansas City Royals center fielder Brian Goodwin (25) poses for a photo with the WWE World Heavyweight Championship during media day at Surprise Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Edge ended last week without accepting or declining Randy Orton’s challenge to a wrestling match at Backlash on June 14. WWE champion Drew McIntyre took on King Corbin as part of the Brand-Brand Invitational, and several superstars returned to the ring. 

Edge accepts Orton’s challenge

Charly Caruso opened the show by welcoming Orton to the ring and asking him to explain his challenge. Orton said wrestling is the “basis” of what the superstars do.

He added that he intends to prove that he is the superior wrestler compared to Edge. Orton said he saw “doubt” in his counterpart’s eyes the week prior. The Rated-R Superstar entered the ring and complemented Orton’s talents in the ring but said his life was handed to him. 

Edge detailed his lifelong love for wrestling and brought up beating Orton in 2004. Edge exclaimed that Orton did not love the sport as much as he did, and Orton interjected and demanded an answer to his challenge; Edge accepted. 

Seth Rollins has a revelation

Last week saw The Monday Night Messiah injure the right eye of Rey Mysterio during a tag team match. Rollins told Murphy he had a revelation, and the two entered the arena. 

Rollins said you have to “lose who you are to truly find yourself” and said he fell into a dark place after losing to McIntyre at Money in the Bank. Rollins said what happened to Mysterio was “unfortunate but necessary” in order for him to “be the leader he was meant to be.” 

What was expected to be an apology resulted in Rollins looking into the camera and saying “you’re welcome” to Mysterio. Humberto Carrillo entered the ring in defense of Mysterio, his idol. Rollins offered his disciple Murphy to take on Carrillo in a match.

Humberto Carrillo vs. Murphy

Carrillo began the impromptu match using his legs and the air to get out front of Murphy. He kicked Murphy off the ring apron and jumped onto him outside the ring. 

Carrillo was hit with a knee after getting distracted by an approaching Rollins. Murphy hit Murphy’s Law to put a quick end to the match. Aleister Black charged Murphy as the latter attempted a post-match beatdown of Carrillo.

Charlotte Flair vs. Ruby Riott

The NXT Champion has appeared across all three brands recently and addressed her upcoming Champion vs. Champion match with Bayley. Flair said she was the face of Raw and a mentor.

Flair asked Ruby Riott to come to the arena and the two got face-to-face ahead of their match. Flair tossed Riott from the ring and smacked the chest of her opponent. Riott countered Flair and landed a jump from a turnbuckle. 

Riott targeted the right wrist of Flair and the two rolled around the ring as Flair’s wrist was the subject of several holds. Flair caught a Riott Kick and locked in a Figure 4 to win the match. 

Asuka’s championship celebration

Kairi Sane introduced the newly-crowned Raw women’s champion to kick off the Era of the Empress. Sane offered her friend flowers and showed a slideshow of Asuka’s previous title reigns.

Nia Jax crashed the celebration and said there was nothing to celebrate. She said Asuka will soon be replaced by someone “far more worthy” of the championship. Asuka charged Jax and knocked her from the ring after deciding she heard enough.

R-Truth vs. Bobby Lashley

Truth said he did not want Lashley to put him in a full nelson. He said his “childhood hero” John Cena would not back down from a challenge and then put Tom Brady on notice as he wants the 24/7 Championship back.

Lashley was not amused by Truth’s attempt to bring Pretty Ricky into the arena. Truth was thrown into the barricade and slammed into the ringpost. Lashley hit a full nelson slam and submitted Truth with a full nelson to win the match. 

The IIconics vs. Alexa Bliss and Nikki Cross (t)

(Women’s tag team championship match)

The Ilconics return11ed to WWE last week and defeated the tag team champions in their first match. Royce expressed appreciation for their shot at the titles. 

Kay and Royce began the match with an attempted double team but Bliss slammed Royce to the mat. Two slaps and a dropkick from Bliss preceded a knee-slam to Kay’s chest. Cross entered the ring with quickness and aggression but was sent out of the ring by Kay. 

Bliss hit a Twisted Bliss for a two-count. Royce slammed Bliss into the ringpost three times and the referee disqualified The IIconics.  

Natalya vs. Shayna Baszler

(Submission match)

Natalya took exception to Baszler’s comments last week but could not back up her objection in her match. The two fought once more in a submission match. 

Baszler opened with a headlock and Natalya tried to counter with a Sharpshooter. Baszler countered with an ankle breaker and Natalya kicked her away. Baszler looked to execute her own Sharpshooter but Natalya’s experience allowed her to counter and execute the move herself. 

Baszler crawled out of the ring and Natalya executed a leg submission back inside. The two rolled around and Baszler applied a rear naked hold to which Natalya submit. 

KO Show

Kevin Owens returned to Raw for the first time since his WrestleMania moment. Owens said he has not been active recently due to being “pretty banged up.” 

Owens hosted the KO Show with Zelina Vega and her clients Andrade, Austin Theory and Angel Garza in order to check in on the group. Vega dispelled Owens’s hope for a “Jerry Springer show” and spoke of the highlights of her three clients. Vega questioned why Owens was on the apron, and Owens said it was because he had another guest.

Apollo Crews rushed the ring and targeted Andrade, who injured Crews’s knee several weeks ago. 

Kevin Owens and Apollo Crews vs. Andrade and Angel Garza

The KO Show quickly turned into a tag team match that saw the returns of Owens and Crews. Garza was beat down by his opponents in the opposing corner. Andrade turned the tables once he was tagged in and kicked Owens into a corner.

Crews hot-tagged and slammed Garza to the mat and knocked Andrade from his corner. Vega tried to provide a distraction, but it did not work out as Theory punched Garza after Crews moved. 

Crews slammed Garza to the mat and earned his team the victory. Andrade and Garza beat down Theory post-match. 

Aleister Black vs. Murphy

Black came to Carrillo’s defense earlier in the night, and the match began quickly upon Black’s entrance to the ring. Murphy was kicked from the ring and the two fought outside.

Black kicked the ringpost after Murphy moved away. Theory had not left the arena after the beatdown from Andrade and Garza, and Rollins walked over to him. Black looked to set up another kick to Murphy, but Rollins pointed to the ring and Theory entered and took out Black, ending the match. 

Murphy and Theory delivered a beatdown to Black as Rollins directed the two. Theory hit an ATL and Rollins hugged his seemingly new disciple. 

The Viking Raiders vs. The Street Profits

(Axe-throwing competition)

The Street Profits may have proven they are better at basketball than their opponents last week, but the Viking Raiders offered some evidence that they let the champions win. The two teams tried their hand at axe-throwing this week.

Each team had ten axes and only bullseyes counted. Dawkins had trouble hitting the board as the Viking Raiders got out to a 5-0 lead. The lead was extended to 10, and Ford missed four of his throws. The onlooking vikings chanted “smoke” as Ford nailed his last attempt. 

A police cruiser came to the group with an axe in the windshield and the officers demanded who did it. Dawkins hit the bullseye standing backwards, showing his ability came at the wrong time.

King Corbin vs. Drew McIntyre

Corbin and McIntyre were set to fight for the first time in the Brand-Brand Invitational. Before the two fought, Lashley and MVP entered the arena. 

MVP said the two have taken an interest in the match. Lashley said he was putting the champion on notice as he is coming after the title.

The two locked up at the outset and Corbin cornered the champion. McIntyre pushed Corbin from the ring and clotheslined him over the barricade. Corbin eluded McIntyre by rolling from the ring and eventually bumping him off the apron. 

Corbin countered McIntyre’s attempts to gain an upper hand, and Corbin slammed his opponent into the top of the ringpost. Corbin hit a superplex for a one-count. McIntyre hit an overhead belly-to-belly and an elbow from the top rope. Corbin slung McIntyre into the ringpost and slammed him to the mat, continuing to focus on the back. 

McIntyre hit a Futureshock DDT and Corbin hit Deep Six for a two-count. McIntyre hit a Glasgow Kiss and a Claymore to earn the victory. McIntyre looked onward to Lashley as the show closed.

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