World Wrestling Entertainment

Roman Reigns vs. Cesaro and other predictions for WWE WrestleMania Backlash

BY Ryan Satin • May 15

By Ryan Satin
FOX Sports WWE Analyst

WrestleMania Backlash is on Sunday, so I’m back (no pun intended) with a fresh set of predictions to dissect.

As made clear in the name, WrestleMania Backlash will focus on the fallout from WWE’s biggest event of the year and (as of this writing) is set to include five separate title matches – including Bobby Lashley defending the WWE Championship and Roman Reigns defending the Universal Championship.

The show begins at 7 p.m. ET and streams live on the Peacock app in the United States.

Now that everyone is up to speed, here are my predictions for each match.

Damian Priest vs. The Miz w/ John Morrison – Lumberjack Match

The best call, in my opinion, is to have Damian Priest win in a decisive fashion here so that all three Superstars can move into new stories after having gained a lot out of this program. Priest started his main roster run in a big way, The Miz and Morrison got a marquee match at WrestleMania and Bad Bunny was able to bring some new eyeballs to WWE while simultaneously living out his dream.

Win, win, win.

Unfortunately, I can’t help but think WWE will instead have Miz eke out a victory via underhanded tactics here to even the score after losing to Priest twice already on Raw.

PREDICTION: The Miz wins by interference from Morrison

Bianca Belair (c) vs. Bayley – SmackDown Women’s Championship

This match feels a lot easier to predict since Bianca’s SmackDown Women’s title reign has barely even begun.

Taking the title off Belair this soon would be a major disappointment, even it was for Bayley – who has been one of the highlights of WWE TV over the past year – so I don’t think that's going to happen.

Winner aside, though, I expect this to be a good match.

Bayley is one of the best wrestlers on SmackDown and Bianca is a can’t-miss performer. These two have also shown in the past that they have great chemistry in the ring together, so I expect that to be on full display again on Sunday.

PREDICTION: Bianca Belair retains

Dolph Ziggler and Bobby Roode (c) vs. Rey and Dominik Mysterio – SmackDown Tag Team Championship 

It’s only a matter of time before The Mysterios win the SmackDown tag team titles, but my gut tells me they hold off on this moment happening until live crowds return again.

With so many people being vaccinated, businesses opening back up and crowds returning in other sports, it just feels like we’re on the precipice of WWE fans returning full-time as well.

Because of that, I think The Dirty Dawgs end up winning this match in cheap fashion by holding the tights (or something to that effect).

PREDICTION: The Dirty Dawgs retain

Rhea Ripley (c) vs. Asuka vs. Charlotte Flair – Raw Women’s Championship

Similar to Bianca Belair, it’s WAY too early to take the Raw Women’s Championship off of Rhea Ripley. 

That being said, however, you can never rule out Charlotte Flair.

She’s been getting a huge push on WWE TV again, and Sonya Deville seems to not-so-sneakily be helping her in the current storyline, so this could always be used to screw Rhea out of the title and make her chase again.

The other x-factor to think about here is Alexa Bliss. 

She seems to be targeting someone in the women’s division and my gut tells me it’s Charlotte Flair. If that’s the case, it’s possible Alexa gets involved in this match to target Charlotte with some kind of mind attack from Lilly that ultimately helps Rhea win.

PREDICTION: Rhea Ripley retains with spooky assistance from Alexa Bliss

Bobby Lashley (c) vs. Braun Strowman vs. Drew McIntyre – WWE Championship

I see no reason to take the title off of Bobby Lashley at this point. He’s been doing a great job as champion on Raw and there’s still more mileage in him against other opponents.

The most likely outcome, from my perspective, is Lashley defeating Braun Strowman to retain the title in order to leave the door open for a WrestleMania rematch between Bobby and Drew at SummerSlam in August.

That way Lashley can avoid McIntyre for a few months by forcing him to work his way back up to a title match, while Drew racks up wins against some new competition.

It would also make sense for Drew to regain the title at SummerSlam if fans are back for that show.

PREDICTION: Lashley retains via submission 

Roman Reigns (c) vs. Cesaro – WWE Universal Championship

This match is the hardest for me to predict at WrestleMania Backlash and the main reason for that is Jimmy Uso.

My best guess is that the Usos will feud with each other for the next few pay-per-views before "The Right Hand Man" convinces his brother it’s not worth fighting anymore and the duo reunites as a heel team at SummerSlam.

But how will Jimmy factor into the finish of Cesaro vs. Reigns?

I predict that a ringside argument between The Usos distracts Cesaro long enough for "The Head of the Table" to score a win, but hopefully in a way that gives "The Swiss Cyborg" enough of an excuse to ask for a rematch at the next pay-per-view.

If they want to continue building Cesaro up as a main event player, his first Universal title program can’t be a one-and-done type deal should he lose.

He needs a program with Reigns that takes place over the course of a few months, just like Kevin Owens recently received, to reposition his character on TV as a top guy.

PREDICTION: Roman retains via accidental distraction from Jimmy Uso

Do you agree with these picks? Hit me up on Twitter @RyanSatin and let me know.

Ryan Satin is a WWE analyst for FOX Sports. Satin previously appeared on FS1's "WWE Backstage" and founded Pro Wrestling Sheet, where he broke countless news stories as editor-in-chief.


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