WWE Backlash 2020 airs this Sunday, June 14, live on WWE Network. The event features matches for the WWE, Universal, Raw Women’s, Women’s Tag Team, and United States Championships, as well as The Greatest Wrestling Match Ever™ between Edge and Randy Orton. Here’s the complete card as of publication, not taking into consideration that they’re definitely going to add two more matches between Friday afternoon and Sunday night..
WWE Backlash 2020 card:
1. The Greatest Wrestling Match Ever™: Randy Orton vs. Edge
2. Handicap Match for the Universal Championship: Braun Strowman (c) vs. The Miz and John Morrison
3. WWE Championship Match: Drew McIntyre (c) vs. Bobby Lashley
4. Women’s Tag Team Championship Match: Bayley and Sasha Banks (c) vs. Alexa Bliss and Nikki Cross vs. The IIconics
5. Raw Women’s Championship Match: Asuka (c) vs. Nia Jax
6. United States Championship Match: Apollo Crews (c) vs. Andrade
7. Jeff Hardy vs. Sheamus
As always, we’ve got your complete rundown of the card and analysis below, featuring predictions for all seven matches. Make sure to drop a comment and let us know who you think’s winning, and be here on Sunday night to see if you’re correct.
Here’s what we think will go down at Backlashley.
Jeff Hardy vs. Sheamus
What You Need To Know: In May of last year, Jeff Hardy got put on the disabled list by a knee surgery and spent his time away from work getting arrested for public intoxication and arrested for driving while intoxicated. Sheamus missed a lot of time as well thanks to spinal stenosis, but used his time away to obsessively work out and lose a bunch of weight. Sheamus returned without a lot of fanfare, just in time to watch Smackdown glorify Jeff Hardy with a series of inspirational vignettes. Feeling rightfully ignored, Sheamus decided to handle his rage the only way he knows how: by purportedly framing Hardy for DUI, getting Hardy thrown in jail for roughly an hour, and killing Elias.
What Will Happen: … unless he didn’t! The specifics of Hardy saying an eye witness saw someone with “red hair and red beard” fleeing the scene of the crime suggests Sheamus, but it could also suggest Sami Zayn, or a returning Erick Rowan with his hair grown out a little, or Rowan’s doppelganger from the Roman Reigns assault angle. Regardless, Hardy’s kind of owned all of their physical confrontations up until this point, sneak attacks aside, so I imagine he’ll ALMOST win — maybe a visual pin or something with the ref knocked out — but ultimately lose to give Ice Ice Sheamy a little love. He needs it. Sheamus, The Miz, and Kofi Kingston need to form a posse of 2000s-era guys who have done literally everything you can do in WWE but are still treated like mid-carders.
Emily Pratt – This storyline sucks and I can’t care about this match on any level. I’ll guess that Hardy wins, but this angle continues.
Raj Prashad – Picking Hardy to earn the win and get some form of comeuppance after getting set up by Sheamus.
Scott Heisel – I have Sling TV, which used to get along with Fox but not anymore, so now I don’t get to DVR Smackdown. The past two Fridays I’ve tuned in late due to factors beyond my control and missed the opening segments, so I’ve accidentally missed all the story beats in this apparent shitshow of an angle. (Thankfully I always manage to turn Smackdown on in time to see my beloved beef boy Otis and his sweet peach Mandy — Brandon be damned, these segments are *gold*, Jerry! Gold!) Anyway, stories involving Sheamus and automobiles usually suck (see also: stealing Alberto Del Rio’s car), but he is Triple H’s workout buddy, so I guess I’ll pick him to win even though I will literally be using this match to make popcorn in a wok on my stove. (Hot tip: Add the salt before popping, then coat the whole thing in nutritional yeast afterwards — thank me later!)
Elle Collins – f Sheamus really faked Jeff’s car accident, it would be nice to see Jeff get revenge and win here. It would be nice, but I don’t think it’s happening. I think Sheamus takes it.
United States Championship Match: Apollo Crews (c) vs. Andrade
What You Need To Know: Apollo Crews recently leveraged a friendship with Kevin Owens to put him into position to win the United States Championship from Andrade, and followed through with it. Now he’s being forced to defend his newly won championship against the previous champion in a rematch, which will be hard considering (1) winning a championship didn’t give him a character or personality yet, and (2) he just kinda hung KO up to dry on Monday and is probably getting pop-up powerbombed about it.
What Will Happen: Assumptions about where TV stories are going aside, this feels like one of those hastily thrown-together matches for pay-per-view mid-cards where you think there’s some hook to it, but there isn’t. It’ll just be a normal match with a normal Raw finish. Maybe Angel Garza shows up and costs Andrade the match, confirming that he’s the absolute last person you want on a team where people are supposed to get along. Picking Crews to retain, unless they really and truly don’t give a shit about him.
Emily Pratt – These two have had good matches before despite screwiness like Angel Garza explaining sex in the middle of one of them, so I’m guessing this will be the best match of the show. I’m hoping Crews retains and gets a longer moment in the sun and I’m about 80 percent sure that will happen.
Raj Prashad – There was a time when I fully expected Crews to be bundled into one of the waves of releases, but what a comeback he’s made over the last six months or so. I’ve got Crews keeping the belt here and hopefully Andrade finds his way into the main title picture.
Scott Heisel – Did Apollo Crews have new music on Monday? I could’ve sworn there were lyrics playing when the show came back from commercial and he was in the ring. You’re not gonna give the guy a new theme song only to have him job out on his first defense. Crews can’t lose!
Elle Collins – Even though this is Backlash, and it’s certainly possible that no titles change hands at all, I’m going to predict Andrade to win this match, because Apollo is honestly the only Champion that I think might lose. I could see these guys trading the belt back and forth, and I’m also not sure that Apollo has proven himself as a champion. I’d like it if he did, but that doesn’t necessarily mean he’ll get the chance to.
Raw Women’s Championship Match: Asuka (c) vs. Nia Jax
What You Need To Know: Asuka won the Raw Women’s Championship by retrieving the Money in the Bank briefcase in a match where a dozen wrestlers were asked to simultaneously fight their way up to the roof of an office building, get into a ring on top of the building, and climb up a ladder in the center of a ring on top of a building. Nia Jax, who was in that match but didn’t win it and can’t seem to wrestle anybody these days without endangering their real-life safety, believes (somehow) that this was the “easy way.” To show her frustrations, she beat up Asuka’s tag team partner during a recorder celebration and then genetically bonded that partner’s face to the ringside steps.
What Will Happen: I don’t actually think it will happen, don’t get me wrong, but my brain can’t stop guessing that Asuka loses the Raw Women’s Championship in the opener, but somehow ends up teaming with Charlotte Flair as a surprise fourth team in the Women’s Tag Team Championship match and winning to become the most recent of WWE’s beloved BUT CAN THEY CO-EXIST tag team champs that hate each other. In a better world where things go right sometimes and God’s not dead, Asuka just wins fairly easily and we pair her up with Ruby Riott, or Bianca Belair, or any of the number of talented women on the Raw roster who don’t come with the vibe and baggage of Jax’s character’s whole thing.
Emily Pratt – All the matches these two had in NXT were alright, so I think this one will also be alright and Asuka will retain.
Raj Prashad – Well, Asuka’s title reign isn’t off to the best start with another loss to Charlotte on Raw. Hopefully this isn’t representative of what’s to come. Regardless, picking Asuka to snag the win.
Scott Heisel – I suffer from Never Nia syndrome, which renders me completely unable to root for Nia Jax, even in total solitude. It is not recognized by the DSM-IV yet, but I have hope. Annual conferences are held for those affected.
Elle Collins – After Raw this week, it’s hard to believe Nia is Asuka’s opponent this weekend, rather than Charlotte. And honestly, that makes it seem impossible that Nia might win. If anybody takes that belt off of Asuka in the next few weeks, it’ll be Charlotte Flair (and hopefully she doesn’t either).
Women’s Tag Team Championship Match: Bayley and Sasha Banks (c) vs. Alexa Bliss and Nikki Cross vs. The IIconics
What You Need To Know: Alexa Bliss and Nikki Cross, who are good friends who had an iffy start to their relationship but nurtured each other and helped each other grow, lost the Women’s Tag Team Championship to Bayley and Sasha Banks, who are “good friends” in quotation marks whose entire relationship is defined by their early rivalries with one another and always seem like they’re a Malfunction at the Junction away from one betraying the other. Instead of a straight rematch, WWE blessed us by adding the IIconics, who are lifelong soulmates connected at the hearts by a shared love of over-the-top Australian obnoxiousness.
What Will Happen: See above. Can WWE resist randomly adding Asuka and Charlotte Flair to the match? I hope they do, and that the point of this is to put the Women’s Tag Team Championship belts back on Billie Kay and Peyton Royce as an apology for completely forgetting about them during their first title reign and then forgetting they even worked here for like a year.
Emily Pratt – I’ve been predicting Bayley retaining in order for us to eventually get Bayley vs. Banks Main Roster Edition for a while now, and now I’ll predict that Bayley and Sasha retain to make for a better breakup down the road. I think this is the second most promising match on the card behind the US title one.
Raj Prashad – Really loving Bayley two belts, but yet again just waiting for their fallout. Expecting them to hold onto the titles through Backlash though, at the very least.
Scott Heisel – Honestly, I’d be happy with any outcome in this match, as I think all three teams have been doing great work. Let’s give it to the IIconics, though, so they can start appearing on Wednesday nights as well. Maybe we can get the belts defended in NXT for once!
Elle Collins – While it would be sort of darkly funny if the IIconics won the titles in a multi-team match from Sasha and Bayley who’ve barely had a run with them AGAIN, I don’t see that actually happening. And Alexa and Nikki winning them back right after losing them would be even more ridiculous. The Sasha and Bayley story clearly has a ways to go, and for now they’re keeping those belts.
WWE Championship Match: Drew McIntyre (c) vs. Bobby Lashley
What You Need To Know: Bobby Lashley is a soft spoken, emotionally stunted weirdo in the body of a Super Soldier. Drew McIntyre used to be that, but learned that he’d be a lot better off if he worked out all the time and got really confidently aggressive about everything. Drew wants to bring out that same thing in Bobby, if only to have a good match with him and experience some kind of challenge. Meanwhile, Bobby’s trying to decide if he’d rather spend his 3-hour work week in the presence of a player-coach he likes, or a hot wife he hates.
What Will Happen: 3, 2, 1, Claymore. As much as the broken, nihilistic side of me wants to see MVP cause a distraction to set up McIntyre for a spear, there’d be no reasonable explanation for building a Drew McIntyre WWE Championship win around a two-night WrestleMania and then beginning and ending his first-ever title reign without ever letting him be champ in front of fans. I have surprisingly high hopes for this one, though, because Lashley needs to be portrayed like an elite assassin like a starving person needs a sandwich.
Emily Pratt – With Jinder on the shelf, what is there for Drew do to as champ? NOT have a 3MB themed feud? Not interested! Put the belt on Lashley and see how it goes.
Raj Prashad – Happy for Lashley to make his way back into the main event picture, but can’t imagine anyone taking the belt off McIntyre this early in his run. Going with the champ to retain.
Scott Heisel – Does anyone else find it weird that WWE brass think enough of Drew McIntyre to pull the trigger on him in both NXT and on the main roster, but that he’s never main evented a pay-per-view as champion? I know it’s a small sample size, but he only had one PPV defense in NXT and it wasn’t the main event, he didn’t main event Money In The Bank and he’s sure as shit not main eventing this card either with Orton/Edge at the top of it. Is Drew Mac becoming a new CM Punk, a champ that remains lodged in the upper mid-card while eras of Attitude and Ruthless Aggression continue to clog up the mains? Maybe I’m wrong. Anyway, I think Drew wins here but not without some really close near-falls that will set up Mac-Lash II at Extreme Rules next month. Maybe in a submissions-only match? Book that title change for July, Vince!
Elle Collins – Does anybody really think Bobby Lashley might win this? If anything, the goal of a match like this is to get Lashley to a point where maybe the next time he’s in a title match, the thought of him winning won’t seem laughable. But this time, Drew definitely retains.
Handicap Match for the Universal Championship: Braun Strowman (c) vs. The Miz and John Morrison
What You Need To Know: Braun Strowman made it into a WrestleMania main-event and won the Universal Championship on a random, last minute card change and then defended it against a haunted children’s show host who tried to brainwash him with a plastic sheep mask. He’s following up that story with the next logical feud: a handicap match against a couple of mildly successful Hollywood types who won’t stop trying to dunk on him and prank him.
What Will Happen: Brother, all I want from this pay-per-view is for John Morrison to steal the pin from Miz, become Universal Champion, refuse to share the Universal Championship like he’s apparently supposed to, and motivate Miz to get his shit together, hero up again, and stop him. I’d also be fine with them switching roles and having Miz be the one to go full chaotic evil, but what I’m getting at is that any combination of Miz and Morrison at the top of the card is better than the big, momentum-allergic sassbilly who thinks you could win the Universal Championship if you just got a better job and stopped complaining.
Sigh, Braun is winning. Of course he is. He’ll probably powerslam them both at the same time and pin them in a pile.
Emily Pratt – As with every handicap match I’ve ever watched, the true loser here will be me. The actual kayfabe losers will be Miz and Morrison because WWE is too cowardly to do LayCool But Men.
Raj Prashad – The last time Strowman was in a handicap title match, he lost the belt. While I’d imagine he handles Miz and Morrison with ease, I love to concept of Otis being involved here somehow. Going with Strowman to keep the belt, but who knows how this one ends.
Scott Heisel – Pulling for the heir to the Mr, Hero fortune and his ab-bedazzling buddy, only so WWE can reboot LayCool for a new audience. Miz-Mo, fo’ sho.
Elle Collins – I suppose you could have the tag team win the singles title, and then they could turn on each other and fight over it. I just don’t see it happening, though. Braun’s going to beat both of these guys and retain.
The Greatest Wrestling Match Ever™: Randy Orton vs. Edge
What You Need To Know: There have been a lot of wrestling matches in WWE’s storied, 40-60 year existence. Legendary names like Bret Hart, Ricky Steamboat, Macho Man Randy Savage, Daniel Bryan, and others have worked to continuously redefine the sport, and remind us that the technical brilliance of wrestling is the thing that keeps human beings returning to the concept of staged, organized combat as an endless fountain of art, emotion, and possibility. At Backlash, a snake man who has had maybe five good matches total in 20 years goes head-to-head with a guy who hasn’t had a straight-up one-on-one wrestling match in nine years, and it must be The Greatest Wrestling Match Ever™.
What Will Happen: Who cares, I’m just lucky to be alive during the era that experiences the greatest wrestling match ever. We’re going to drop B.C. and A.D. and start classifying historical events as having happened before Randy Orton vs. Edge, and after Randy Orton vs. Edge.
In all seriousness, I hope they give them 20 minute introductions, the bell rings, and Orton just immediately hits Edge in the face with a chair. Or kicks him in the dick. Something like that. The only justification for a month of incessantly promoting a Randy Orton match as THE GREATEST WRESTLING MATCH EVER, especially after their previous match was a 45 minute hardcore match at WrestleMania that ended with MASCULINE TEARS, is booking the payoff to be 10 whole seconds of condescending nonsense. This is setting itself up to be a real cultural event.
Emily Pratt – Time limit draw.
Raj Prashad – Ignoring the weird marketing for this match, Edge versus Orton is just fine and presumably can’t get as weird as their ‘Mania match. I’ve got Orton going over in this one as The Greatest Wrestling Match Ever Winner.
Scott Heisel – There we are, 59 minutes into what appears to be going to a 60-minute Broadway. Both men are physically spent, having wrestled the kind of match that makes Steamboat/Savage look like Melina/Alicia Fox. The PC crowd has been built into a true frenzy, ignoring Kevin Dunn-ordered responses to simply chant, “THIS IS AWESOME!” as Edge and Orton lay motionless on the mat, each trying to beat a 10-count before the ref calls the match. The two gladiators pull each other to their feet, delivering blow after blow in what feels like slow motion, winding up and connecting more with each strike. Tom Phillips has completely lost his voice calling every move, and has resorted to yipping like a dog at each connection of fist to face. Just then, Brock Lesnar hits the ring with a kendo stick and whacks both of them repeatedly, drawing blood early and not stopping until both men lay motionless, face down in the center of the ring. The match is thrown out. PC recruits are crying. Somehow, Brock Lesnar Guy is in the audience, but he’s on his phone and misses his close-up. Paul Heyman looks into the hard cam and deadpans, “You wanted Backlash, huh? That sure looks like a lot of backlashes to me.” Brock winks. FIN.
Elle Collins – I think Edge has to win here. What’s the point of bringing him back if you’re not going to have Randy Orton put him over? And anyway, no match that Randy Orton wins could ever be called the Greatest Wrestling Match Ever.
That’s what we think will happen when backs come to lashes at WWE Backlash pay-per-view®. Agree? Disagree? You know what to do. Drop down into the comments and let us know, and then make sure you’re here on Sunday night to find out if King Corbin still finds a way to throw a couple of dudes off the roof of the Performance Center. It could happen. See you then.