WWE BACKLASH FRANCE
MAY 4, 2024
LDLC ARENA
DÉCINES-CHARPIEU, LYON, FRANCE

Watch: Peacock

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Suit Williams: You can read Suit’s long-form previews and reviews of wrestling from around the world here at Voices of Wrestling. You can also find his weekly reviews of AEW Collision over at F4WOnline. Check out his brand-new wrestling blog Williams Watches Wrestling, where he’ll engage in watch projects and review requests. Follow Suit on all social media platforms @SuitWilliams.

Welcome to the Renaissance Era! The Triple H Era of WWE begins the same way the last two years of WWE have gone, with an incredibly dull-looking B-show that mostly exists as a content dump for Peacock. But hey, Netflix is about to shell out $500 million a year for this content, so what do I know?

At the very least, they learned from last year’s Backlash and gussied this thing up by giving it to an international market. Last year’s Backlash in Puerto Rico – highlighted by a legitimately great Damian Priest vs. Bad Bunny match – was the WWE show of the year by a margin, thanks to the nuclear Puerto Rican crowd. Backlash rolls into France this year, where I’m sure the crowd will be far more avant-garde. I’m expecting a lot of berets and those long, skinny cigarette holders in this crowd tonight. Yes, I’m an overweight American, why do you ask?

KEVIN OWENS & RANDY ORTON VS. SOLO SIKOA & TAMA TONGA

The newest chapter of the Never-Ending Story sees Tama Tonga enter the frame, teaming with Solo Sikoa to go up against Kevin Owens & Randy Orton. With Roman Reigns taking his quarterly leave of absence and Rocky Claus going back to the North Pole until next March, Solo Sikoa kicked off a hostile takeover of the Bloodline by replacing NO YEET Uso with Tama Tonga. They left Kevin Owens in a bloody heap to make their first mark and look to get their first major win as a group. This would be Sikoa’s first win since beating John Cena at a Saudi show in October, the match that led to Cena’s interference in the WrestleMania main event. Owens and Orton are the sacrificial lambs to the new toys, but it will be interesting to see if Tama Tonga hits Orton with the Gun Stun to finish this one off. By the way, the over/under on Orton bumps in this match is 4.5, and I’m hammering the under. Prediction: Solo Sikoa & Tama Tonga

WWE WOMEN’S TITLE TRIPLE THREAT MATCH
BAYLEY © VS. NAOMI VS. TIFFANY STRATTON

Oh boy. Aunt Pam and her rickety knees roll into France to defend her title against Naomi and Tiffany Stratton. Bayley wanted to give Naomi a title shot for helping out with Damage CTRL, but Stratton kept butting in. Now we have a triple threat for the PLE. Have you watched a three-way match in this company before? You can put this match together then. The babyfaces will team up on the heel, the babyfaces will wrestle, and the heel will steal the pin. It’s the same fucking thing every fucking time. Prediction: Tiffany Stratton

WWE WOMEN’S TAG TEAM TITLE MATCH
THE KABUKI WARRIORS (ASUKA & KAIRI SANE) © VS. BIANCA BELAIR & JADE CARGILL

Jade Cargill rolls into her third match in WWE, teaming with Bianca Belair to take on the Kabuki Warriors for the prestigious Women’s Tag Team Titles. This is the runoff of the Wrestlemania match, and I expect the finish to be the same. Keep your eyes out for any Cargill/Kairi Sane interactions, as there’s true trainwreck potential there. I dunno if it’s age, time catching up with her, or her not giving a damn anymore, but Kairi Sane is the shits now. Prediction: Bianca Belair & Jade Cargill

WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT TITLE MATCH
DAMIAN PRIEST © VS. JEY USO

Seth Rollins spent the last year shredding his body up to try and make this World Heavyweight Title the “workrate title.” One month after losing it, the title match on PPV is Damian Priest vs. Jey Uso. YEET, one month after stinking up the joint with NO YEET in one of the worst Wrestlemania matches in history, is rewarded with a title shot against Damian Priest, who was feuding with R-Truth in the lead-up to Wrestlemania. No wonder people see this as a silver medal. Don’t expect anything special here, as Jey Uso has shit the bed every time he’s been given a shot in the main events. A V1 defense for Priest. Prediction: Damian Priest

WWE TITLE MATCH
CODY RHODES © VS. AJ STYLES

AJ Styles won a tournament, getting his win back over LA Knight in the process, to get this title shot. Uhh, that’s about it. Cody wins, ***1/2, on to Cincinnati. Prediction: Cody Rhodes