WWE Backlash 2023 from Coliseo de Puerto Rico in San Juan advertised international superstar and hometown hero Bad Bunny against fellow Puerto Rican native Damian Priest.
Backlash also advertised Cody Rhodes vs. 45-year-old Brock Lesnar in a grudge match and a random pairing of Seth Rollins vs. Omos. Despite this match not having a story, and Rollins’ character being limited to conducting singalongs to his theme music, Seth Rollins remains the inexplicable betting favorite to win the new WWE World Heavyweight Championship.
Last week’s broadcast of SmackDown drew 2.473 million viewers.
WWE Backlash 2023 Results | May 6, 2023
- Bianca Belair def. Iyo Sky | WWE Raw Women’s Championship
- Seth Rollins def. Omos
- Austin Theory def. Bronson Reed and Bobby Lashley | US Championship
- Rhea Ripley def. Zelina Vega | WWE SmackDown Women’s Championship
- Bad Bunny def. Damian Priest | San Juan Street Fight
- The Usos and Solo Sikoa def. Sami Zayn, Matt Riddle and Kevin Owens
- Cody Rhodes def. Brock Lesnar
- WWE SmackDown Venue: Coliseo de Puerto Rico
- WWE SmackDown Tickets Distributed: 17,944 (sold out for a paid show)
- Available Tickets: 0
WWE Backlash 2023 Winners and Grades
Bianca Belair Def. Iyo Sky
This crowd was completely behind Iyo Sky. Early in the match, Bianca Belair had this look on her face as if to say “okay, I guess I’m a heel tonight.
WWE needs to use some of these reactions for when they have to pipe them in on Raw and SmackDown in the future.
Bianca Belair had another impressive one-armed slam on Sky that received a great reaction before Belair was booed all over again.
Bianca Belair seemed to be in legitimate trouble, but Bayley was caught holding Bianca’s hair and it was enough of a delay for Belair to recover and win the match with a KOD.
Bianca Belair vs. Iyo Sky Grade: A
Seth Rollins Def. Omos
WWE turned the music off prematurely so Puerto Rican can sing along and it made for a far better atmosphere than even the heated atmosphere when his song started. Omos attacked Rollins in during the singalong, sparking immense heat.
Omos was brilliant antagonizing this crowd as he showed tons of personality as a heel.
Rollins’ first stomp was unsuccessful as Omos’ neck was simply too powerful. Omos then kicked out of not one, but two, stomps. Rollins ultimately scaled to the top rope and hit a top-rope stomp, which did the trick.
Omos vs. Seth Rollins Grade: B+
Austin Theory Def. Bronson Reed And Bobby Lashley
Michael Cole teased that Bobby Lashley will be going after Roman Reigns on SmackDown.
The crowd was alternating between chants of “Bobby” and another Spanish-language chant that may have been NSFW.
Bronson Reed hits a Vader Bomb to the outside on a standing Bobby Lashley that looked very impressive. Almost too impressive, but Bobby Lashley seemed to be okay after.
The finishing sequence saw Bronson Reed miss a moonsault, only for Lashley to spear Reed. Theory stole the pinfall after dumping Lashley to the outside.
U.S. Title Triple Threat Grade: B-
Rhea Ripley Def. Zelina Vega
Zelina dressed in all white for the special occasion, with a “Mami” dog collar around her neck, a huge departure from her typical all-black gear. Similar to last night, fans showered her with “Mami” chants as she tried her best to play the heel.
Zelina Vega walked out with full Puerto Rican regalia with her family at ringside. Her reception was the biggest of the night to this point, which is saying a lot, and Zelina was very emotional.
Fans came unglued when Vega borrowed her mother’s chancla.
After a flurry of offense filled with hope spots, Ripley pulled out a Riptide after one kick as Michael Cole remarked “Rhea Ripley is done playing games!”
Rhea Ripley vs. Zelina Vega Grade: B-
Bad Bunny Def. Damian Priest
Damian Priest or Bad Bunny was set to become the second Puerto Rican to lose in their home country in back-to-back matches. WWE is getting too comfortable beating people in their home countries.
Possibly in solidarity with Judgment Day member Rhea Ripley, Damian Priest wore all white gear.
The pop for Bad Bunny was in a different league as fans sang his new theme song, 2017’s Chambea.
Priest had Bad Bunny beaten with a South of Heaven, but let up after two as he looked to exact more damage. From there, Bad Bunny hit Priest with a flurry of weapons followed by a dive and a modified Falcon Arrow.
In a tremendous spot, Priest hit a Broken Arrow on Bad Bunny off a road case and through a table.
After Dominik (also in white gear) and Finn Balor hit the ring, Corey Graves hilariously remarked “I think Kendall Jenner is about to be back on the market.”
Carlito hit the ring to a Hulk Hogan-like pop that might have even rivaled Bad Bunny. Savio Vega walked out to add to the calvary alongside LWO. This felt like the Puerto Rican version of DX vs. NWO at WrestleMania 31.
Bad Bunny ultimately won with several chair shots and two Bunny Destroyers.
Bad Bunny vs. Damian Priest Grade: A+
The Usos And Solo Sikoa Def. Riddle, Zayn And Owens
Following Bad Bunny in Puerto Rico, this was the first time fans showed any hint of fatigue, but even a slightly fatigued Coliseo de Puerto Rico is better than 99% of venues.
Jimmy accidentally super kicked Jey Uso as WWE continued to tease tensions within the Bloodline.
Solo Sikoa aggressively tagged himself in while Jey Uso was looking to finish Sami Zayn off. Jey immediately tagged back in to an enormous response. Solo later teased a Samoan Spike on Jey, who yelled “I’m your brother! Not him!”
Usos vs. Riddle, Zayn and Owens Grade: B
Cody Rhodes Def. Brock Lesnar
Brock Lesnar launched into a barrage of suplexes on Cody Rhodes early in the match as fans chanted “suplex city.” But as the onslaught continued, fans changed their tune to “let’s go Cody!”
Rhodes didn’t seem to comfortable taking Lesnar’s first couple of stiff suplexes. It wasn’t quite like Lashley, but a couple of the landings were awkward.
Michael Cole was counting the number of Lesnar suplexes, which never bodes well for his opponents.
Lesnar was surprisingly busted open after his head hit an exposed turnbuckle. A bloody Lesnar then kicked out of two Cross Rhodes’. Rhodes responded by kicking out of an F5.
Rhodes beat Lesnar with a pinning combination while trapped in the Kimura.