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    Tuesday, May 18, 2021

    The Smark Henry Pay-Per-Review: WrestleMania Backlash

    Roman Reigns and Cesaro on WWE WrestleMania Backlash

    I love NXT Takeovers because they're highly focused on the wrestling and nothing else—but if there's anything I hate about them, it's how Triple H and co. encourage each match to be the main event. I try not to be a traditionalist as much I can, but even when the wrestling is great, I still need the main event to be the only main event. There are ways to get around this on the bookers' and agents' part, and at this point I really believe they push that style to continue racking up smart fan cred.

    Which is why I paid close attention to how WrestleMania Backlash would play out. With six main card matches spread across three hours, I figured this is the closest approximation the main roster would have of a Takeover-style program. At the end of it all, I have to say: I actually prefer how the main roster did it more than NXT.

    Yes, there were lowlights. There were, after all, zombies crawling all over what should've been the final nail in the repetitive coffin that was the Damian Priest vs. the Miz feud. The less said about that, the better; chalk it up to a necessary advertisement spot that big companies have to do in order to be a little more mainstream than yesterday.

    But for everything else, the setup was perfect—each match had time to play its entire story out, and no one story was the same. The women and men of RAW redeemed themselves for one night after a lackluster build, even if it meant going back to the same well on Monday. Bianca Belair finally beat Bayley. The Mysterios proved to be the ultimate underdogs. SmackDown built an undeniable new star. Almost every one of those things (again, except the zombie match) earned their worth to be on a PPV. On this aspect, WWE knew what they were doing.

    NXT may have the better wrestling, but I can honestly say that WrestleMania Backlash was less exhausting to sit through. As always, WWE main roster PPVs encapsulate the best of what the product could offer: elite-level wrestling without a lot of the baggage of the weekly soap opera they have to thread to get to these points. Too bad not every show could be a PPV. But then again, if they were, a night like this wouldn't be special.

    WrestleMania Backlash Rating: A-

    Match of the Night

    For the second straight month, Roman Reigns is your match of the night, proving that he is indeed the Head of the Table. Now, this wasn't the Cesaro banger everyone was expecting where he would be swinging the Tribal Chief around like a practice dummy—in fact, it was the Cesaro marathon his character needed to show that he could hang in the main event scene. He wasn't going to win, and everyone knew that, but he needed to lose strongly. That's exactly what he did here. A new main event star is born.

    Photo from WWE

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    Item Reviewed: The Smark Henry Pay-Per-Review: WrestleMania Backlash Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Romeo Moran
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