WWE Backlash Preview & Predictions; AEW Sells Huge At Wembley + More Wrestling Notes

WWE Backlash Preview & Predictions; AEW Sells Huge At Wembley + More Wrestling Notes

- By Rob Pasbani

Columnist Rob Pasbani previews the big weekend of wrestling

WWE Backlash is in Puerto Rico tomorrow

WWE has a big Smackdown in Puerto Rico tonight along with WWE Backlash, their next premium live event tomorrow. The Puerto Rico crowd is probably going to go nuts for WWE and it will be a show to remember.

Interestingly, Fightful reports the original plan for the show was Bad Bunny in a tag match with Rey Mysterio teaming against Dominick and Damien Priest, but both WWE and Bad Bunny were confident in how Bunny was progressing as a wrestler to have him do a singles match. That means this is going to be great!

Here's the full card with my predictions:

  • Cody Rhodes vs. Brock Lesnar
    I have to think Cody needs the win here after losing last month, plus Brock is probably going away for a few months. Then again, Brock could win and if Cody wins the title, it sets up a perfect rematch. Still, I see Cody winning here.
  • Bad Bunny vs. Damian Priest (San Juan Street Fight)
    I am expecting a crazy street fight with interference from both Judgment Day and the LWO. In the end, I think Bad Bunny will do some crazy New Jack-like bump to win the match.
  • The Usos & Solo Sikoa vs. Kevin Owens, Sami Zayn, and Matt Riddle
    This match is going to be wild, and I sort of have a feeling that the crowd might cheer on the Usos. There is an angle going on with Solo possibly turning on the Usos that I imagine will play out here with KO, Sami and Riddle getting the win.
  • WWE United States title: Austin Theory (c) defends against Bronson Reed and Bobby Lashley
    I can see Austin squeezing by with a win, stealing a win from one of the monsters at the last second.
  • SmackDown Women’s Championship: Rhea Ripley (c) defends against Zelina Vega
    This seems like a hot match to open the show with but I can't see Rhea losing here.
  • Raw Women’s Champion Bianca Belair vs. IYO SKY
    This match might steal the show, but no way Bianca is losing.
  • Seth Rollins vs. Omos
    This match seemed to come out of nowhere. With Rollins the favorite to win the World Heavyweight Championship, you have to assume he's winning.

Here's the eventful press conference from this morning:


AEW Breaking Attendance Records with Wembley Stadium Show

Tickets went on sale for AEW's big London debut at Wembley Stadium and it can only be considered a huge success. Before the official on-sale happened this morning, AEW CEO Tony Khan revealed that over 50,000 tickets had been solid, already making the show 2.5x larger than any other show AEW has ever done.

There are conflicting, unofficial reports that that once the public onsale happened, AEW sold an addition 10 to 20 thousand tickets, bringing their total to somewhere between 60 and 70 thousand tickets sold, a huge achievement.

They have already surpassed the largest attendance WCW ever had at the Georgia Dome in 1999, at 40,000 and will easily surpass the total people at WWE Clash at the Castle last year (somewhere around 57,000).

When WWF SummerSlam took place in 1992, it drew 79,127 people, so AEW still has a ways to go to get to that number, but it's not impossible. The record for largest WrestleMania attendance was in 2016 at 79,800.

Even if AEW doesn't top those numbers, this is already a huge success with over $5 million in revenue already brought in. Huge congratulations are in order for the entire team.

What's on TV this weekend?

AEW Rampage airs at 6:30pm eastern on TNT tonight with the following card:

  • The Firm Deletion: Matt & Jeff Hardy, Hook, Isiah Kassidy vs. Ethan Page, Stokely Hathaway Big Bill & Lee Moriarty
  • Lucha Brothers (Penta El Zero Miedo & Rey Fenix) & El Hijo del Vikingo vs. Powerhouse Hobbs, QT Marshall & Aaron Solo
  • TBS Champion Jade Cargill in action
  • Mark Briscoe vs. Preston Vance

Smackdown is the final show before Backlash this Saturday, and has advertised:

  • Bad Bunny appearance
  • Cody Rhodes speaks
  • Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Karrion Kross
  • The OC vs. The Viking Raiders

WWE Backlash is this Saturday on Peacock, preview above.

New Squared Circle Pit with Emilio Sparks.

The Wrassle Rap host checks in with Knotfest’s Rob Pasbani to detail how the two worlds intersect, the banner he feels is underrated and much much more.

Wrasslerap host and podcast producer Emilio Sparks is Robert Pasbani’s guest on this edition of Squared Circle Pit. Emilio tells us all about how he got into wrestling, the Saturday morning killer lineups, the wrestling news telephone game, why Impact Wrestling is underrated, producing wrestling in Mexico and the wild Mexican crowds.

Sparks then goes into detail about how WaleMania formed and how it’s become the biggest party of WrestleMania weekend. Before the show ends, Rob and Emilio give some predictions for what’s happening this weekend at WWE Backlash.

Listen to the episode here or watch it below.


More Wrestling News

Triple H announced at the WWE Backlash press conference that the World Heavyweight Championship tournament will begin Monday on Raw. There will be two triple threat matches that night and the winner of each match will advance to the semifinals which will happen later that same night. The same thing will happen on Smackdown one week from today. The finalist from Raw and the finalist from Smackdown will compete at the end of the month at the Night of Champions PPV in Saudi Arabia.

With the launch of the upcoming new AEW Saturday TV show, rumored to be called Collision, it seems that AEW Dark and AEW Dark: Elevation have been shelved for the time being. Rampage will turn into a showcase similar to those shows, according to Dave Meltzer, officialy cementing its status as the modern AEW Sunday Night Heat.

Jon Moxley has been added to the Long Beach New Japan show on May 21st. Moxley will team with fellow Blackpool Combat Club member Wheeler Yuta, and longtime NJPW ally Shota Umino in a trios match against Kazuchika Okada, Tomohiro Ishii, and Rocky Romero. Mercedes Mone is also on the card.

Roman Reigns is being advertised for WWE Money in the Bank in June in London. He will also be on the Night of Champions PPV next month.

Saraya was interviewed by BBC Radio and when asked how she felt about a CM Punk return, she was very positive, saying "He's always been an absolute sweetheart to me. He's never once -- we’ve never had any conflict whatsoever. He’s been very helpful, given a lot of advice over the years, since basically near the beginning of when I was in WWE. He was kind of just on his way out, but I remember coming up on like live event loops and stuff and he was very, very nice. And then going into WWE Backstage, always very nice. And then coming into AEW, he had reached out to me and he's just like, 'If you need anything,' you know, he’s really awesome. I want whatever’s best for business. And I feel like, if people don’t like each other, you have to find that common ground in a professional setting, you know? Because I mean there's been people I don’t like over the years, but I’ve never let my personal feelings get in the way of business at the end of the day. If he was to come back, I feel like it would be great for AEW."

Here's an extended version of the hilarious segemnt on this week's AEW Dynamite where Jay Lethal's crew visited Mark Briscoe's farm.

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