Friday, May 24, 2024

2024 WWE Backlash predictions, card, matches, PPV preview, expert picks, start time, date, location

WWE is taking Backlash to Lyon, France this Saturday. The card currently features only five matches, but four of those matches are championship bouts, with the other featuring some of the biggest stars in WWE.

In the main event, Cody Rhodes will make the first televised defense of the undisputed WWE championship he won from Roman Reigns at WrestleMania 40. Standing across from Rhodes will be multi-time former champion AJ Styles. Rhodes and Styles have traveled many of the same roads throughout their careers but have never faced each other in singles or tag competition.

Two other world titles are on the line at Backlash, with Damian Priest defending the world heavyweight championship against Jey Uso, who is still on the hunt for his first singles championship, and Bayley putting the WWE women’s championship on the line in a triple threat match with Naomi and Tiffany Stratton.

It should be an exciting night of action. Let’s take a look at who the CBS Sports experts feel will emerge victorious. The event streams live on Peacock at 1 p.m. ET on Saturday with a kickoff show beginning one hour before.

2024 WWE Backlash predictions

Undisputed WWE Championship — Cody Rhodes (c) vs. AJ Styles

There are times where you just have to accept that you’re getting a main event with an entirely predictable outcome. This is one of those cases. Rhodes just ended Reigns’ near-historic title run to “finish the story” of winning the championship Dusty Rhodes never did. He is not dropping the title a month later in the first televised defense of that title. Luckily, Rhodes and Styles are great wrestlers who should be able to produce a fantastic match. And it is rare to have two stars of this level who have never faced each other, so that adds an extra bit of fun to the whole thing. Cody Rhodes retains the title — Brent Brookhouse (also Shakiel Mahjouri)

Rhodes just won one of the biggest WrestleMania matches of all time in the culmination of a two-year journey to become world champion. Having him turn around and drop the title in his first defense would be lunacy. Cody Rhodes retains the title — Connor Casey

World Heavyweight Championship — Damian Priest (c) vs. Jey Uso

Priest is in much of the same spot as Rhodes, having just won the title at WrestleMania 40 and with even more need to build his legitimacy as a top-tier player. Uso simply isn’t a believable world champion but he’s a fine opponent to help Priest boost his resume. While I don’t expect Priest to have a lengthy run with the title, when he loses it, there will be a story to the match that goes beyond an opponent winning a four-way for a title shot. Damian Priest retains the title — Brookhouse (also Casey)

I could see a short reign for Preist if Uso still had his momentum from September. Don’t get me wrong, Uso is popular with the fans and could reignite at any moment; however, he’s not an undeniable world champ right now. Priest, 41, won’t get many runs at the top. Priest should look forward to a solid few months as champion operating under a more patient creative team and with Raw’s most popular main eventers sidelined. Damian Priest retains the title — Mahjouri

WWE Women’s Championship — Bayley (c) vs. Naomi vs. Tiffany Stratton

This match feels tailor-made to give Stratton her first chance to shine on pay-per-view without having her take the pin or dethrone Bayley just as her new championship reign begins. I expect Bayley retains but her program with Stratton will carry on. Bayley retains the title — Casey (also Brookhouse)

The recurring theme is that newly crowned champions will retain their belts. Nothing wrong with that. It’s simply the cost of producing so many “WrestleMania moments.” The triple threat itself should produce good action and the match is logically booked. Naomi never saw a clear conclusion to her title match against Bayley. Stratton is a growing thorn in her opponents’ side and a credible contender having previously beaten Naomi. Bayley likely retains her title with the match being a transition point from Naomi to Stratton as the top contender. The newly drafted presence of Nia Jax also looms large. Bayley retains the title — Mahjouri

WWE Women’s Tag Team Championship — The Kabuki Warriors (c) vs. Bianca Belair & Jade Cargill

WWE has huge expectations for Cargill. The AEW rookie amassed a 61-match undefeated streak in the young promotion yet is presented as an even bigger star in the WWE. Cargill’s presence is second to none in the women’s division but her union with Belair benefits both parties. Cargill is understandably rough around the edges. The partnership protects Cargill and validates her while giving Belair compelling work. The 2024 WWE Draft further solidified the outcome. Belair was drafted No. 1 overall to remind everyone where she sits in the pecking order. Damage CTRL was drafted to Raw to distance them from Bayley. That is only possible if The Kabuki Warriors lose their cross-brand titles. A dominant reign should follow for Belair and Cargill leading to a split and high-profile showdown. Bianca Belair and Jade Cargill win the titles — Mahjouri (also Brookhouse and Casey)

Randy Orton & Kevin Owens vs. The Bloodline (Solo Sikoa & Tama Tonga)

The Bloodline is off in a new direction. But for Sikoa to be taken seriously as the group’s new leader during Roman Reigns’ hiatus, he’ll need to start racking up some wins. Meanwhile, poor Orton has been jogging in place since his return from injury and could easily be slotted into a world championship program with Rhodes that carries SmackDown for months. Expect a Bloodline victory that leads to a split between the Owens & Orton makeshift tag team. The Bloodline wins — Casey (also Mahjouri)

The Bloodline story feels as though it will never end and that means the group needs to build some momentum after things did not go their way at WrestleMania. Sikoa is positioning himself as the shot caller of the group while Reigns is away and Tonga is a new player in the group. Those two men need this win to further establish those roles. Orton and Owens are bulletproof at this point. No loss is going to harm their standing, but it could set up their temporary alliance breaking up and moving them in more interesting directions. The Bloodline wins — Brookhouse

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