The Swiss Superman stepped out for his first ever one-on-one world title match as he battled the Tribal Chief in the main event on Sunday night and he more than made good on the opportunity.
The contest was hyped up perfectly throughout the night, with the simmering tension between brothers Jimmy and Jey Uso providing a backdrop to what was to come.
When it came to the match itself in the main event, there were no bells and whistles as Cesaro and Roman told a fantastic story of a veteran finally getting his big chance.
Although the Head of the Table was always going to retain the Universal Title, there were plenty of times it felt like maybe, just maybe, the Swiss star was going to cause a massive upset.
Several times, he fought out of the Guillotine, showing his strength and heart as Reigns got pushed to the absolute limit.
In the end, it was a rarity for the champ as he retained without needing any outside help or interference, but Cesaro lost absolutely nothing here.
After the bell, Jey raced down to the ring and went on the attack as Roman and Paul Heyman looked on smiling.
It didn’t take long for Seth Rollins’ music to hit, and the SmackDown Saviour came round in a typically stunning suit, beaming before he took advantage and targeted his WrestleMania 37 opponent.
He battered his foe, focusing on the injured arm which he wrapped in a steal chair and sent into the turnbuckle, following that up with a huge stomp on the outside to stand tall as the show went off air.
Rey and Dominik win titles,
Rhea Ripley retained her Raw Women’s Title in a great Triple Threat with Charlotte Flair and Asuka.
All three superstars delivered to put on an exciting and fast-paced match which didn’t really let up, ending as the Empress of Tomorrow sent the Queen out of the ring only to get hit with a Riptide for the win.
The second match of the night saw Dominik and Rey Mysterio become the first father-son duo in WWE history to win the tag team titles.
Rey – sporting some great Batman-inspired ring gear – went at it alone for the bulk of the match after the Dirty Dawgs attacked Dominik backstage, but his son eventually came out to join the action.
In the end, a 619 left Bobby Roode flat on his back with Dominik hitting a high frog splash to capture the championships.
The Lumberjack Match between The Miz and Damian Priest took a bizarre and utterly pointless twist with some intrusive cross-promotion with Batista’s new Army of the Dead zombie film.
The undead around the ring – along with the post-apocalyptic Thunderdome visuals – looked great but provided an unnecessary and jarring distraction, totally overshadowing the Archer of Infamy’s eventual win despite some fun in-ring action hidden in there among the nonsense.
Thankfully, Bianca Belair and Bayley got things back on track with the EST of WWE retaining her SmackDown Women’s Title in a great bout.
The champion stunned the Role Model with a pinfall out of nowhere to hold onto the gold in her first defence after both stars had ample time to shine.
After the zombies, WWE could thankfully rely on Belair and Bayley to put on a fantastic display to get fans back into the action.
Up next, Bobby Lashley retained his WWE Title in a barnstormer of a Triple Threat match against Braun Strowman and Drew McIntyre.
The three heavyweights didn’t let up at any point here, battering each other in the ring and around the ThunderDome in the kind of bruising brawl everyone would have expected.
No one could have predicted the Monster Among Men hitting a somersault off the apron though, and the ending came after the All Mighty appeared to have been taken out of the action when Drew sent him through an LED board.
However, he popped up moments after McIntyre hit Strowman with a Claymore, dumping the Scot out of the ring and hitting Braun with a huge Spear to secure the win.
WWE WrestleMania Backlash results and grades
Raw Women’s Title: Rhea Ripley (c) beat Asuka and Charlotte Flair (A-)
SmackDown Tag Team Titles: Rey and Dominik Mysterio defeated Dirty Daws (c) (B+)
Lumberjack Match: Damian Priest pinned The Miz (D+)
WWE Title: Bobby Lashley defeated Braun Strowman and Drew McIntyre (A-)
Universal Title: Roman Reigns choked out Cesaro (A+)
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