Aleister Black def. Seth Rollins
The "retirement ceremony" Rollins held before this bout for Rey Mysterio was well done as Rollins continues to kill it in this role. I was underwhelmed by the original encounter between Black and Rollins a few months ago, but this was a vast improvement. They were given a ton of time, kept the pace consistent throughout, and produced an exciting affair. I assumed Rollins would win, so Black scoring the victory was a pleasant surprise. Throw in the nicely-executed post-match angle and this was a terrific piece of business all around.
United States Champion Apollo Crews vs. Kevin Owens Ended in a No Contest; Crews and Owens def. Andrade and Angel Garza
Crews handpicked Owens as his opponent here, to which Owens said he felt Crews was showing him pity because of how he was beaten by Garza last week. I really hope that doesn't mean Owens is on the verge of turning heel again because it'd be way too soon for that. The match itself was excellent while it lasted, though I could have done without the subsequent tag team matchup. Andrade and Garza didn't need the loss. I know they're telling a story with Andrade losing lately, but Garza is fresh off a win over Owens and shouldn't have been beaten so quickly. On the bright side, Crews didn't suffer a non-title loss like Andrade did while he was champion.
Billie Kay def. WWE Women's Tag Team Champion Nikki Cross
The only thing I care less about than a match with The IIconics is a match with one of them on their own. Peyton Royce is pretty good to her credit, but I have yet to see Kay involved in anything above average. This was perfectly fine and certainly could have been worse, but it also didn't make me want to see The IIconics get another shot at the WWE Women's Tag Team Championship. I'm honestly more excited for Sasha Banks and Bayley vs. Cross and Alexa Bliss for the titles on Friday's SmackDown.
Rey Mysterio Offered an Update on His Eye Injury
No, Mysterio isn't retiring, but they are strongly teasing it. Personally, I'm digging the story they're telling with him, and while I don't at all think he's actually done, I'm interested to see where this leads. It looks like Dominic is going to get involved and potentially team with his dad against Rollins' faction eventually, which could be a lot of fun. It would make sense if Dominic has been training at the Performance Center as has been rumored because he appears to be in awesome shapes.
Nia Jax def. KAiri Sane
I realize Jax is feuding with Sane's friend Asuka at the moment, but I'm stunned WWE would book these two against each other after Sane was nearly injured the last time they faced off. It's not like they work that well together, either. I guess the idea is for Jax to look more dominant because Sane is much smaller than her, but considering Sane was apparently injured again here, this probably shouldn't have happened. I fear for anyone who has to step in the ring with Jax at this point.
NXT Women's Champion Charlotte Flair def. Raw Women's Champion Asuka by Count-Out (Non-Title)
I hate champion vs .champion matches most of the time since one of the champions has to take a loss, so I was glad they went with a count-out finish here. They never cease to have quality matches together and the action was top-notch. Jax distracted Asuka long enough from the stage to cost her the victory, furthering their feud in the process. As I've said before, there's no point to Flair being NXT Women's Champion if she's going to be on Raw every week, anyway.
WWE Champion Drew McIntyre def. MVP (Non-Title)
I'm all in on the pairing of Bobby Lashley and MVP, but this nonsense with Lana needs to end. She adds nothing to the act or angle and I wish Lashley would just "divorce" her already. As for McIntyre vs. MVP, I can't say I'm shocked it was as short as it was since their last match was a mere minute long. Lashley didn't finalize his split with Lana as I was hoping him to, but he did lock in the full nelson on McIntyre afterward to maintain momentum ahead of Backlash.
I have been super into the stuff with The Street Profits and The Viking Raiders up to this point, but I thought the bowling game they had on this show was entertaining. Randy Orton knocked it out of the park with his promo, too. The rest of the show was solid with a heavy focus on building Backlash up and progressing the key storylines. The in-ring action was a bit better than usual on the whole and the three hours didn't seem to drag, so there's no way I'm giving this episode anything less than a thumbs-up.
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