WWE Backlash Results 2023: Cody Rhodes escaped Backlash with a win over Brock Lesnar. Bad Bunny, flanked by Lucha libre and Puerto Rican legends, stood tall over his rival Damian Priest. The passionate San Juan crowd was enthusiastic from start to finish on Saturday, elevating every match presented at WWE’s first major Puerto Rican show in 18 years.
After Lesnar dashed Rhodes’ hopes of an undisputed championship rematch against Roman Reigns, Rhodes exacted his revenge in a climactic and gory match. This modern-day showdown against Lesnar was a spectacle of athleticism, strategy, and sheer ruthlessness that saw Rhodes emerge victorious over the beast.
Bad Bunny once again proved he’s not afraid to put in the work and threw himself into the ring as a true WWE superstar. The San Juan Street Fight between Bad Bunny and Damian Priest was pure entertainment, complete with fan service, weapons, and an impressive high spot.
WWE Backlash Results 2023
1. Raw Women’s Championship — Bianca Belair (c) vs. Iyo Sky:
The audience in San Juan erupted into frenzied cheers of “Iyo Sky” as the two women engaged. To everyone’s surprise and dismay, the crowd relentlessly booed the usually beloved champion while cheering every move the challenger made. Sky, representing Damage CTRL, gained the upper hand, mercilessly targeting Belair’s arm and leaving her at a disadvantage. Though Belair tried to regain her momentum, Sky persisted in her assault, disrupting the champion’s offense time and again, and ultimately scoring the match’s first near fall with a double stomp to the chest. But Belair was not defeated yet- she deftly warded off Sky’s attempted head scissors, counterattacking with a devastating backbreaker.
The opener was an absolute knockout, and it’s difficult to imagine anything topping it. Sky’s performance was nothing short of groundbreaking; her chemistry with Belair was simply undeniable, and the atmosphere was electrifying. The sky may have lost the match, but she gained so much respect in defeat. As for Belair, she became the longest-reigning women’s champion in modern-era history. In the end, it was truly a victory for everyone involved.
Belair def. Sky to retain the Raw women’s WWE championship.
2. Rollins def. Omos via pinfall.
Seth Rollins vs. Omos: Rollins had a tough time overcoming the towering size of Omos for most of the match. Despite his efforts to weaken the giant’s frame with sleepers and leg chops, Omos remained immovable. Meanwhile, MVP taunted Rollins from ringside as Omos effortlessly tossed him around like a ragdoll.
But Rollins soon found an opportunity and, with all his might, drove Omos headfirst into the mat with a DDT. In a comedic twist, Rollins then attempted to stomp on Omos, only to be met with resistance from the behemoth’s seemingly invincible body.
With persistence, Rollins landed the decisive blow in a second, aerial stomp that sealed the victory against the seemingly unbeatable Omos. Although the match was brief, the contrast between the two wrestlers’ styles made it captivating and enjoyable. Even those who doubt Omos’ abilities cannot deny his ability to entertain in PPV matches.
3. United States Championship — Austin Theory (c) vs. Bobby Lashley vs. Bronson Reed:
Theory def. Reed and Lashley via pinfall to retain the U.S. championship.
Lashley pounced on Reed and Theory right out of the gate, having been previously ambushed by the troublemaking duo on Raw. Sadly, Lashley’s apprehensions proved accurate as Theory undercut him and Reed battered him with a gut-busting splash. They swiftly united to pummel Lashley in the corner with a flurry of coordinated strikes. However, the partnership was short-lived as Reed blindsided Theory with a brutal body check, giving Lashley a much-needed opening to regroup and take both rivals down.
4. Ripley def. Vega to retain the SmackDown women’s championship.
SmackDown Women’s Championship –– Rhea Ripley (c) vs. Zelina Vega:
Amidst fellow Puerto Ricans, Vega was warmly welcomed when she challenged for the title. Her family was ringside to cheer her on and show their support. During her introduction at the event, announcer Samantha Irvin moved Vega to tears. She then threw her shoe to Ripley, but that only spurred the champ who dominated the early parts of the bout and taunted the crowd relentlessly. With powerful blows and slams, Ripley bullied Vega, while the crowd voiced their disapproval with loud boos. Throughout the match, she was stretched and teased by the champ with a modified Gory Special.
In a match between two female wrestlers, Vega’s formidable strikes took Ripley by surprise, shutting down her speed advantage. Vega soared through the air, smoothly executing a 619 – a nod to Rey Mysterio – and a high-flying Frog Splash inspired by Eddie Guerrero. The crowd cheered on as Vega nearly pinned her opponent. But, in the end, Ripley’s capoeira-style kick proved too much, and she delivered the decisive Riptide for the three count.
Despite being cast mainly as a manager, Vega received boisterous applause from the Puerto Rican audience as Ripley left the ring. Although the match may not have been as long as the other bouts of the night, it was likely a sound decision to preserve Ripley’s imposing demeanor. It’s always gratifying to see other deserving wrestlers given a chance to shine, and we anticipate that Vega will emerge in the limelight again soon.
5. Bad Bunny def. Priest via pinfall
Bad Bunny vs. Damian Priest (San Juan Street Fight): The intense roar of the crowd as Bad Bunny took the stage shook the very foundations of the arena. With every word he sang, the fans sang along in unison, their voices blending with the rapper’s beats to create a mesmerizing energy.
A smile crept onto Bad Bunny’s face as he leaned into the Street Fight stipulation, confidently pushing a loaded shopping cart of weapons towards the ring.
Both former friends locked eyes, neither willing to back down. It only took one shove from Priest to send Bad Bunny tumbling over the ropes. Wolfishly, Priest played with his prey, condescendingly patting Bad Bunny’s cheek.
But Bad Bunny was not one to suffer fools gladly. With a quick slap and a Michinoku Driver, he proved himself a formidable opponent. As the Grammy-winner retreated ringside to retrieve a kendo stick, Priest snatched the bamboo sword and snapped it in half.
Priest continued to toy with Bad Bunny, relishing in his own strength. But the playful cat-and-mouse game eventually came to an end, and Priest landed a match-ending South of Heaven chokeslam. For a moment, it seemed like the end of the road for Bad Bunny.
But in a last act of defiance, even as the ref counted to three, Bad Bunny lifted his shoulders off the mat – a sign of true resilience in the face of defeat.
The match may have gone a tad too long by five minutes, but it was an absolute blast. While not necessarily an athlete like Logan Paul, Bad Bunny has been a lifelong fan who clearly understands the ins and outs of putting together a match. Additionally, he never hesitated to take part in big spots. It was refreshing to see the reception Vega and Carlito received: a genuine delight. Sure, it was a delightfully overbooked mess, but the abundant fan service made it all worth it.
6. The Bloodline def. Riddle, Owens, and Zayn
Matt Riddle, Kevin Owens, and Sami Zayn vs. The Bloodline (Solo Sikoa and The Usos):
The tag champs and Riddle dominated The Usos for much of the match, but Jimmy Uso remained the glue holding the trio together. After enduring an extended beatdown, Sami Zayn finally managed to tag in. Riddle then took over, laying out each member of The Bloodline before knocking all three down at once with a springboard Floating Bro maneuver at ringside. Meanwhile, Owens, who had been laid out by Jey Uso earlier, recovered and stepped in for Riddle. When Jimmy Uso accidentally clipped his own brother with a superkick, Owens capitalized with a pop-up powerbomb on Jey Uso for the near fall.
The match culminated after Sikoa, unbeknownst to the legal man Riddle, swiftly tagged himself in and delivered a crushing Samoan Spike for the decisive pinfall. With victory firmly in his grasp, he locked eyes with Jey Uso, the tension between them palpable. Meanwhile, Jimmy Uso, perhaps unaware of the transgression, acted as peacemaker between his brothers, sporting a broad grin on his face.
The six-man tag was an exciting and refreshing wrinkle to the on-going storyline, evidenced by the natural chemistry and plentiful reserves of talent showcased by the participants. Sikoa emerged as the standout performer, outshining his elder siblings, with his growing confidence only serving to exacerbate his impatience.
7. Rhodes def. Lesnar via pinfall
Cody Rhodes vs. Brock Lesnar: Rhodes had been eagerly waiting for the chance to face Lesnar and he made sure to make an impact as soon as possible. Even before the match began, Rhodes took down Lesnar with a daring suicide dive. He continued to land blows on Lesnar with whatever objects he could find, from tables to steel chairs, and even metal steps. Finally, the bell rang to signal the start of the match and both superstars entered the ring. Rhodes gave it his all with a pair of devastating Disaster Kicks that brought Lesnar to one knee, but he misjudged his next move and paid the price. Just as he was about to attempt a third consecutive kick, Lesnar expertly seized the opportunity and hurled Rhodes across the ring with a formidable German suplex. From there, the former UFC heavyweight champion demonstrated his raw strength by manhandling Rhodes with an array of powerful suplexes.
Rhodes was finally able to gain an advantage against Lesnar after he drove face-first into an exposed turnbuckle, which caused a deep gash. Rhodes capitalized on the situation by delivering a disaster kick followed by multiple closed fists to Lesnar’s forehead, further exacerbating the wound and causing Lesnar’s face to be painted red. Despite the damage, Lesnar kicked out after Rhodes administered a Cody Cutter and two consecutive Cross Rhodes, eliciting a shocked reaction from Rhodes. The crimson-masked Lesnar locked Rhodes in a kimura hold, bringing him close to submission. However, Rhodes used all his remaining strength to get up and pin Lesnar’s shoulders to the mat for a three-count. Although the ending may rub some the wrong way, it was sudden and strategic, which protected Lesnar’s character. Additionally, the match was far more engaging and captivating than most of Lesnar’s recent bouts.