This will be the 15th iteration of Backlash and the first time we have seen this event in nearly two years after Stomping Grounds replaced it in 2019. One of the headliners of this PPV event will pit former tag-team partners, Edge and Randy Orton, against each other.
As many fans know, Edge returned after a nine-year hiatus at the 2020 Royal Rumble and eliminated several contestants, including Randy Orton. Orton has lost twice (Royal Rumble and Last Man Standing) to Edge since his return but threw down the gauntlet when he invited him to wrestle in a traditional head-to-head wrestling match. Edge accepted and now we have the makings of another explosive match between the former tag-team duo.
In other matches we have a WWE Championship showdown between Drew McIntyre and Bobby Lashley while Braun Strowman will battle tag-team duo John Morrison and The Miz in a handicap match for the WWE Universal Championship. In another main bout we see the current Women’s Raw Champion, Asuka, putting her title on the line against former champ, Nia Jax.
The Performance Center in Orlando was the eye of the hurricane for WWE action as RAW, SmackDown, 205 Live, and the Main Event episodes were all taped on Memorial Day. No fans were in attendance but to infuse some crowd electricity, several of the NXT developmental talents were used as audience members. It was a long day, but the trainees were happy to oblige as they have been in limbo over the past several weeks due to the COVID-19 pandemic gripping the nation.
Temperatures were checked before and during the tapings as a medical precaution for all concerned. In addition, a Plexiglas barrier was affixed to a taller ringside stanchion to create separation between the wrestlers and the audience. This could be standard operating procedure for future events when audiences are allowed back into the events.
The Rise of Apollo
One of the headline matches at WWE RAW this past Memorial Day was for the WWE United States Championship between reigning champ, Andrade, and challenger Apollo Crews. After 11 years in the game, six of which in the WWE, Crews finally got his reward when he launched a standing moonsault followed by a shooting star press for a stunning pin over Andrade to end his reign as US champ.
After the match, Apollo tweeted, “The grind never stops!!! And it won’t stop now!! Here’s where the hard work really begins! Thanks to anyone who has supported me since day 1! Let’s make this the first of many!!”
What’s Next for Apollo?
The United States Championship is the crowning achievement for Apollo Crews but what comes next for the new champ? The possibility of a rematch with Andrade is the most likely but far from a sure thing.
Angel Garza is another possibility as the former WWE Cruiserweight champ recently scored a big victory over Kevin Owens after failing in his bid for the RAW tag team title. A rematch with Owens is where many believe Garza will wind up in his next match but a compelling case could be made for a shot at the US title against Crews.
A crossover match is another possibility with SmackDown’s King Corbin. Crews and Corbin have crossed paths before in NXT when Corbin defeated Crews at TakeOver: London four years ago. This would be the perfect scenario for Corbin to lord his greatness over the previously vanquished Apollo and set the wheels in motion for a rematch.
As we all know, Crews was ousted from the Money in the Bank and AJ Styles won the Last Chance Gauntlet Match to take his spot in the tournament. The Phenomenal One is battling for the Intercontinental Championship and if he takes home the hardware, this could be another strong possibility as a crossover opponent for Apollo.
Although we are unsure of where Apollo’s path will take him, we do know that he has become a fan favorite, and rumors that he was going to become a heel have faded with his ascension to the title. Stay tuned for more WWE news and updates in the future.