WWE WrestleMania Backlash is set to go down on Sunday from Yuengling Center in Tampa. As the name implies, the event features a partial focus on fallout from April’s WrestleMania event.
With the final Raw and SmackDown events ahead of the event done, WWE has only confirmed six fights for the event. Headlining bouts include Bobby Lashley defending the WWE championship in a triple threat match against Drew McIntyre and Braun Strowman as well as a universal title match between champion Roman Reigns and Cesaro.
WrestleMania Backlash begins at 7 p.m. ET on Sunday, May 16 and a kickoff show one hour prior to the main card at 6 p.m. The action will stream live on Peacock for both the kickoff show and main card. CBS Sports will be with you the entire way on Sunday with live results, highlights and analysis.
For now, let’s take a look at how we believe WrestleMania Backlash will play out this Sunday.
2021 WrestleMania Backlash predictions
WWE Championship: Bobby Lashley (c) vs. Drew McIntyre vs. Braun Strowman
Strowman’s inclusion provides a lot of outs to keep the issues between Lashley and McIntyre as the focus on Raw without either man having to get a clean finish of the other. There’s not much of a chance Strowman gets the win here and a very large chance that he’s the man who eats the pin. It feels like the right time to switch the belt to McIntyre would have been at WrestleMania, where Lashley picked up a clean victory. Lashley winning by pinning Strowman doesn’t do much to advance any issues with McIntyre since he already holds the clean win over McIntyre. What does drive the issues between the two forward would be McIntyre lifting the title by pinning Strowman rather than Lashley. Pick: Drew McIntyre wins the title
SmackDown Women’s Championship: Bianca Belair (c) vs. Bayley
There’s no real drama to who gets the win here. Bayley had a long run carrying the SmackDown women’s division before the title transferred to Sasha Banks and eventually to Belair when Belair beat Banks at WrestleMania. Belair’s title reign is not going to end at Backlash, but Bayley gives her a solid, credible opponent to continue to build her own legacy as champion. Pick: Bianca Belair retains the title
Raw Women’s Championship: Rhea Ripley (c) vs. Asuka vs. Charlotte Flair
Similar to the situation with Belair, it simply feels too early to derail Ripley’s title reign. Flair and Asuka have had plenty of time in the sun — though both women obviously have years and years of success ahead of them — and should be in the same role as Bayley against Belair, simply helping elevate the new champion. This likely didn’t need to be a triple threat given the other top title on Raw also is being decided in the same style of match. Flair likely avoids being the woman to take the pin here, unless Alexa Bliss somehow involves herself in the match. Pick: Rhea Ripley retains the title
Universal Championship: Roman Reigns (c) vs. Cesaro
Everyone has waited for years to see if Cesaro will finally get “his time” as a world champion and now he gets a major platform where he has to battle the most dominant champion in the company to reach the mountaintop. It’s hard to believe WWE will actually pull the trigger on putting the belt on Cesaro, though it would be an incredible moment. If Cesaro does get the win, however, it feels like there’d be a little more build than the Backlash match has gotten. That sets up Reigns to score a cheap win — possibly aided by the Usos — to drive another month of build to a rematch. Pick: Roman Reigns retains the title
SmackDown Tag Team Championship: Robert Roode & Dolph Ziggler (c) vs. Rey & Dominik Mysterio
The entire selling point of the match is seeing if the Mysterios can pull off becoming the first father and son tag champions in WWE history. Few title reigns have been as forgettable as the run of Roode and Ziggler, who have only defended the titles twice since winning the belts on Jan. 6. It’s hard to imagine WWE suddenly giving any weight to Roode and Ziggler now when they can have an easy bit of history with a win by the Mysterios. Pick: The Mysterios win the titles
Damian Priest vs. The Miz
Priest got a boost in profile by teaming with Bad Bunny to beat Miz and John Morrison at WrestleMania. Miz doesn’t need a victory in this match, where Priest getting the win helps cement that he’s truly a player aside from being the B-side in a celebrity-driven tag team. Pick: Damien Priest wins