It has been a week since Backlash, and thankfully this week’s Monday Night RAW and SmackDown LIVE focused more on the next WWE pay-per-view (PPV) Money in the Bank (MITB), versus the aftermath of the last. No doubt about it, Backlash was a train wreck, and while it’s easy to point the finger at one person, the WWE Universe collectively needs to stop blaming Roman Reigns for Backlash.
— Cageside Seats (@cagesideseats) May 7, 2018
Yes, he was a huge part of the main event that flopped. The live Backlash crowd was chanting Rusev Day, CM Punk, boring, and beat the traffic; as floods of fans left the building before the PPV’s main event match ended. But what really went wrong on Sunday? I believe it was a mix of a variety of things, moreover, not just one man, and the WWE Universe needs to stop blaming Roman Reigns for Backlash.
Because while he played a big role in why the main event sucked, he wasn’t the only reason the main event sucked. Let’s look at the obvious, shall we? I love both Roman Reigns and Samoa Joe and heading into Backlash, I never imagined their bout would end up being the flop it was. But truth be told, Samoa Joe is just as much to blame for a match flop as Roman. The main event started off well, with Joe’s attack on The Big Dog before the bell rang, and then slowly fizzled. Those chin locks by Joe in the middle of the ring, slowing the pace down significantly, and that’s in and around the time fans started their random chants. Why did the middle of the match decelerate so significantly, when the bout started off with such a bang? One has to wonder who the producer for this story was? According to reports, Michael Hayes.
But let’s rewind a bit. Prior to the main event, Backlash in itself wasn’t a grand slam winner. It started off with bang when Seth Rollins went toe-to-toe with The Miz, Carmella versus Charlotte was solid, but overall the PPV lacked luster. And it was too long. So, fans having to wait until 11 p.m. (EST) for their main event (when this is the general time PPVs wrap up) were more than restless and not really in a hyped-up mood once Roman Reigns and Joe stepped into the ring. The crowd was restless, tired, and done with Backlash’s crap at that point.
Moreover, probably the biggest strike against the Roman Reigns versus Samoa Joe was the fact that they closed the show. Amidst a storyline where Reigns is trying to prove that the ‘establishment’ (i.e. Vince) is out to get him, and Brock Lesnar is the favored superstar, Vince and the establishment placed a Roman Reigns match to close yet another PPV, over a WWE World Heavyweight Championship bout. That not only shows favoritism, it shows a lack of common sense: and the backlash against Roman (and Backlash) was accelerated even more. That move in itself annoyed the live crowd, at home crowd, and everyone in between. Where matches fall on the card, and bouts that precede the main event, set the tone for a PPV, and Backlash failed miserably on all accounts, other than the opener.
— ChanMan (@ChandranTheMan) May 7, 2018
— VINCE ISSA BITCH ??????? (@CAliGurl201) May 7, 2018
Therefore, as much as some of you want to, we cannot solely point the finger at Roman Reigns as the big reason that Backlash or its main event, failed. All the differing elements to the PPV, and match for that matter, are woven together and every player within the Backlash team had a part to play when it comes to the failure of Backlash and its close: from Roman Reigns, to Samoa Joe, Hayes, the team that decided this match should close over a high-level championship, to the WWE Creative team that didn’t produce enough of an anchor in this story to have fans invested in it.
But, what the WWE Universe has to stop doing is only blaming Roman Reigns for Backlash.