Lashley vs. McIntyre and WWE WrestleMania Backlash 2021 Match Card Predictions
WrestleMania Backlash is the next WWE pay-per-view coming our way, set for May 16. Tacking on “WrestleMania” to the event’s name seems like an attempt to piggyback off the popularity of the biggest show of the year. However, it may also be a sign this is WWE’s attempt to justify running repeat matches.
Repeating contests is a trend that has been magnified this past year. Everything is milked dry and overstays its welcome.
More often than not, copying and pasting what came before and acting like it’s not a big deal has been WWE’s modus operandi. Calling this show WrestleMania Backlash could be WWE’s justification for spending the next five weeks wasting time until there are as many rematches from April 10 and 11 as possible.
With that possible future in mind, what matches are likely to take place on the show? Let’s toss out some predictions for what WWE may have in mind for the lineup.
WWE Championship Match: Bobby Lashley vs. Drew McIntyre
1 OF 7
The first match confirmed for the show fits the carbon-copy theory. Drew McIntyre lost fair and square to Bobby Lashley at WrestleMania, yet The Scottish Warrior won a No. 1 contender’s match to earn another shot at the WWE title.
This is easier than setting up a new challenger, but it’s also uninspired and sets up a potential lose-lose scenario.
If The All Mighty retains again, it will harm McIntyre’s credibility, which didn’t take too much of a hit before. It will also feel like a waste of several weeks just to build to the same result.
But if Lashley loses, it will seem as though WWE held off on the big title win that should have taken place in front of fans rather than screens in an empty arena.
Hopefully, WWE has a plan for how to mitigate those problems and isn’t just booking this because it requires the least amount of thought.
Raw Women’s Championship Match: Rhea Ripley vs. Asuka vs. Charlotte Flair
2 OF 7
WWE clearly didn’t want to have Rhea Ripley against Asuka at WrestleMania. More likely, Charlotte Flair would have been factored in either to face Lacey Evans or Asuka if things had played out as intended.
To get around that or to get back to the original plan, The Queen has been immediately thrust between the new Raw women’s champion and The Empress of Tomorrow, stealing everyone’s thunder.
It’s now become less about Asuka trying to win back her title or The Nightmare establishing herself and more about whether Flair will swoop in, capture another championship and be positioned as more important than everyone else, no matter what damage it causes.
It’s highly unlikely Asuka vs. Ripley happens in singles capacity. Either Asuka gets taken out by the time this takes place, setting up Ripley vs. Flair, or it’s a Triple Threat wherein The Empress of Tomorrow will take the loss to protect the other two.
SmackDown Women’s Championship Match: Bianca Belair vs. Sasha Banks
3 OF 7
Running with the theme of rematches, Sasha Banks having another opportunity to face Bianca Belair and win back the SmackDown Women’s Championship seems like a no-brainer.
Those two were part of arguably the most magical moment of WrestleMania and had a fantastic match despite the atrocious storyline heading into it.
It’s only natural for The Boss to claim that was a fluke and that it wouldn’t happen a second time, while Belair has flat out said she’s ready and willing to do it again to disprove that notion.
Bayley has tried to put her name in the running, so there’s a chance she’s added to make this a Triple Threat, but that could always happen later beyond this event.
The EST of WWE is on a roll, and we can expect her to retain and move on to a new challenger for Money in the Bank in June.
Cesaro vs. Seth Rollins
4 OF 7
While Cesaro wanted to move on from WrestleMania and try his hand at winning the Universal Championship, Seth Rollins made it clear their feud is not over.
The Messiah interrupted The Swiss Cyborg’s match with Jey Uso on Friday’s SmackDown, and after attacking him, said he had gotten lucky one time and that they are not done with this story.
Given how many times WWE showed the clip of Cesaro’s UFO spin over an hour and a half, it’s safe to assume the company wants a rematch between these two and another moment like that. Either it happens on SmackDown or this feud gets stretched out until Backlash.
Intercontinental Championship Match: Apollo Crews vs. Big E
5 OF 7
If at first you don’t succeed, try and try again. Because apparently the seventh time is the charm.
After coming up short against Big E in six title shots this year, Apollo Crews finally won the Intercontinental Championship at WrestleMania.
Given how many matches WWE has had between these two in such a short time frame, as well as the title changing hands because of interference from Commander Azeez, we can assume an eighth match is in the pipeline.
The only reason it didn’t happen already on SmackDown, according to Crews, was that Big E wasn’t there.
Of course, they could still have this match on television rather than this pay-per-view. But then someone new would have to step up and become a challenger.
The only other option would be Kevin Owens, but the longer he continues to fight Sami Zayn, the less likely he starts to pursue the Intercontinental Championship anytime soon.
United States Championship: Sheamus vs. Keith Lee, Riddle or Damian Priest
6 OF 7
The top options who could challenge for the United States Championship should be Riddle, Damian Priest or Keith Lee.
Riddle is the safest pick since he’s the rematch. But WWE should at least put a modicum of effort into making sure not every single contest is one we have seen a few weeks back, so The Original Bro may be out of the title hunt by then.
Assuming Priest has stopped his feud with The Miz and John Morrison by then, The Archer of Infamy could win a No. 1 contender’s match in a few weeks to pivot to a rivalry with The Celtic Warrior. That would be the next step for his ascension on the roster.
But the best-case scenario is that Keith Lee is able to return to action and get the United States title opportunity he had rightfully earned but couldn’t cash in on. This would play into his previous contempt toward Sheamus and allow them to wrap that story, preferably with Lee winning the title.
Miscellaneous Possible Matches
7 OF 7
If Randy Orton is done with Bray Wyatt, those two need to go their separate ways. Since The Viper most recently clashed with Braun Strowman, who appears to be finished with Shane McMahon, this could mean The Monster Among Men and The Legend Killer will feud next.
The Fiend against Alexa Bliss in some sort of gimmicky spectacle of magical powers could be a thing if that’s the direction WWE wants to head in rather than separating the two for the time being.
If AJ Styles and Omos defend the Raw Tag Team Championship, a rematch against The New Day is uninspired. Perhaps The Viking Raiders, now back in action, are on the road toward being built back up to becoming No. 1 contenders.
It’s more likely to be on an episode of Raw than the pay-per-view, but WWE could also get a match out of Cedric Alexander and Shelton Benjamin against Mace and T-Bar after the latter two helped out Lashley and seemingly assumed spots as MVP’s new backup crew.
The card is always subject to change and enough time will pass that WWE could have entirely different ideas once May comes around, so we will just have to wait and see how this plays out.