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WWE Backlash 2023: Bad Bunny Steals the Show, Zelina Vega Is Overcome, Cody Rhodes Defeats Brock Lesnar in Odd Finish

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Bad Bunny punctuated his astounding global music career with an exclamation point, continuing to live out his childhood dreams by once again becoming part of the WWE Universe.  During the WWE’s first show in Puerto Rico in more than 18 years, the 2023 Backlash pay-per-view streamed on Peacock and had something for everybody.

Backlash was live from San Juan at the Coliseo de Puerto Rico Jose Miguel Agrelot in front of over 17,000 people, and this wrestling crowd was hot. It turned out to be one of the best in recent memory, which amped up the action even more with their involvement in all the matches through: vocal chants, singing, rooting for those they love, or booing those on their hit list. The sound was deafening and through the roof.  The introduction to the entire live-streamed event featured a narration from San Benito, himself.

Photo: WWE

Bad Bunny vs. Damian Priest

This marked Benito’s return to action in the WWE, fresh off headlining Coachella just a few weeks ago.  Previously, the music superstar appeared at the Royal Rumble, and in a tag team match at Wrestlemania in 2021.  Now, in what should have been the main event of the night (it was billed as part of a ‘Double Main Event” but went on third from last), Bunny would go up against his former friend and wrestling mentor, Judgement Day’s Damian Priest, also from Puerto Rico in a San Juan Street Fight Match.  This moment would mark San Benito’s first solo match and he more than lived up to the challenge.

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Tell us what other Grammy Award-winning artist would even dare to do this? Bad Bunny and his match was a showstopper. During his entrance to his music, San Benito came to the ring prepared with a shopping cart full of bats, sticks, folding chairs and chains.  As the match wore on, Bad Bunny astounded the crowd with his high-flying maneuvers, ability to take bumps through a table, no less, and his sheer in-ring talent.

Photo: WWE

Towards the end of the street fight (and so Bunny and Priest got a bit of break from beating each other to smithereens), came the runs-in. Judgement Days’s hated Dominik Mysterio and Finn Balor began their interference against Bunny only to be stopped by the LWO (Latino World Order) with Rey Mysterio Jr. and none other than Carlito … apple and all!  After Rey and Carlito cleared the ring, Dominik and Finn ran into Savio Vega on their way to the back, who leveled both of them out for good measure.

Back to the match, after hammering away at Priest’s leg, Bad Bunny put him in a figure-four before following it up with his signature move, “the Bunny Destroyer.”  In the end it was celebration time in San Juan as Bunny and the LWO celebrated his victory in the ring,

Photo: WWE

Bianca Belair vs. Iyo Sky

Current WWE Raw’s women champion Bianca Belair and her challenger, Iyo Sky, put on a ‘match of the year’ candidate in the opening bout of Backlash.  The red-hot crowd was clearly rooting on Sky, not the babyfaced, Belair. This played throughout the entire match as Sky took to the ‘skies’ numerous times showing her sheer athleticism, while Belair reminded us all of her insane power by lifting Iyo with one arm over her head. It seemed no matter how impressive Belair was, Sky had the crowed with her, and the champ was booed. Belair then tried to play into that by becoming a bit more of the aggressor for this match. When interference from Sky’s partners arrived in Damage CTRL (Bayley and Dakota Kai), it ultimately did not work. Bianca ultimately got the victory becoming the longest-reigning Raw champion in women’s division history. Now that Bianca is headed next week to the blue brand and Smackdown, will the creative team decide to have her turn heel after the reaction she received in San Juan? Stay tuned.

Photo: WWE

Cody Rhodes vs. Brock Lesnar

The final match of the night and part two of the billed “Double Main Event” featured ‘The American Nightmare’ and Cody Rhodes against the ‘Beast Incarnate,’ Brock Lesnar in a feud that has yet to be explained as to why it’s happening in the first place.  Why did Lesnar turn on Rhodes several weeks ago when they were about to be tag partners in a redemption match following Wrestlemania 39 against Roman Reigns and Solo Sikoa, and beat the crap out of him? If you thought you would get the answer at Backlash, you were wrong.  Instead, we got a head-scratching ending.

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Rhodes went on the attack to beat down Lesnar before the bell rang as retribution for the vicious attack he received from Brock week’s ago. When the bell did ring, the superstars went at it for awhile, with Cody hitting his signature moves the ‘Cody Cutter’ and the “Cross Rhodes” and Brock selling it all.  When Lesnar was thrown across the ring, his head hit an exposed turnbuckle, and he quickly became a bloody mess.  Rhodes wiped some of Lesnar’s blood on his chest for good measure and the match continued.

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However, because Lesnar was bleeding badly that had to be an unexpected turning point and it seemed like a quick finish was called. When Lesnar locked in the Kimura, all of a sudden, Rhodes rolled him over into a pin to get a quick victory.  Next, the entire pay-per-view ended with Rhodes retreating to the aisle to head to the back, while Lesnar is left in the ring bleeding.  In a video that surfaced after the match, Lesnar received a standing ovation from the crowd for several minutes to chants of ‘suplex city’.  This was a very odd and messy ending to an unexplained feud.

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Rhea Ripley vs. Zelina Vega

In the emotional highlight of the night, Zelina Vega who hails from Queens, New York but is of Puerto Rican descent, challenged WWE Smackdown women’s champion, Rhea Ripley.  This was to be Ripley’s first title defense since Wrestlemania 39 when she won the belt from Charlotte Flair.


When Vega made her entrance, she was draped in the Puerto Rican flag and her ring entire was the colors of the flag, as well. Vega’s family was also at ringside including her mother, stepfather and brother. When she was introduced and with the crowd was firmly behind her, Zelina was visibly overcome and moved to tears, making this a real-life moment that elevated Backlash 2023 even further.  WWE announcer, Michael Cole also revealed that Vega was dedicating this match to her late father, making this all the more hankie-inducing.

Ripley was dominating in the ring, and though Vega put on a good show and tried her best, the ‘Eradicator’ proved to be too much for her. The champ scored the pinfall. Afterwards, and alone in the ring, Zelina had one more heart-tugging moment when she was saluted by the fans before making her exit.

In other key moments and match-ups:

When the Usos and Solo Sikoa faced Matt Riddle, Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn, the breakdown of the ‘Bloodline’ continued, setting up trouble ahead between brothers, Jey Uso and Sikoa. Despite the tensions, Solo pinned Riddle for the victory.

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Seth “Freakin’ Rollins defeated the giant Omos with a massive stomp from the top rope.  Austin Theory retained his United States Championship over Bobby Lashley and Bronson Reed, with a clever finisher, taking advantage of Reed’s botched jump off the top rope, throwing Lashley out of the ring, and then securing the pin over Reed.

Photo: WWE

So, what did you think of the matches at WWE Backlash 2023? What was your favorite moment? What was disappointing? Let us know in the comment section and check out some of the highlights from the night below.


AEW ‘Double or Nothing’ 2023: MJF Retains, Takeshita Turns Heel, Kris Statlander and Toni Storm New Title Holders

Sunday’s AEW Double or Nothing live on pay-per-view emanating, once again, from Las Vegas, had a stacked double main event, which saved the show after a lackluster beginning.

There were some title changes, major spots, a heel turn, blood and guts and tables, that kept it entertaining for AEW wrestling fans.

Let’s break down some of the key matches:

MJF vs. Darby Allin vs Jack Perry vs, Sammy Guevera – The Four Pillars four-way for the AEW Championship

Photo: AEW

AEW has developed these four wrestlers and more into stars in their own right. When the bell rang, all four delivered high-flying maneuvers with clever storytelling along the way. Selling their in-ring personas, mixed with real-life emotion.

Guevera is still, to us, the one with the most exciting moves, while MJF stands as the complete package, getting the fans riled up, while showing his in-ring prowess. Allin is one of the hardest working wrestlers out there and ‘Jungle Boy’ Jack Perry has come so far.

In a key moment in the bout, when Perry had the championship belt in hand and could have ‘legally’ used it on Allin to secure the victory, in a moment of conflicted emotion, tossed it out of the ring.

That allowed MJF to eventually plant the world championship belt on Perry’s chest while Allin went for his signature ‘coffin drop’ off the top rope ring corner. However, Allin landed on the belt in pain. That opened the door for MJF to seize the opportunity to secure the win with a head-lock takeover to retain the title.

Tay Conti and Sammy Guevera Expecting a Baby


Before the match, Tay Conti and Guevera emerged on the entrance ramp.  Sammy brought along his old gimmick of poster boards with messages on them.  The surprise message was for all of AEW and the fans in attendance.  Conti and Guevera, who are married in real life, revealed that Conti is pregnant with their fist child!

The Blackpool Combat Club vs. The Elite – Anarchy in the Arena

Photo: AEW

Imagine a wrestling match all over the T-Mobile Arena going down while a band plays The Troggs, “Wild Thing” the entire time! That’s what happened during the capper to Double or Nothing.  AEW fans know that Jon Moxley’s entrance theme song is that track.  So, this year, why not play it live? The lead singer wore a disturbing black mask, where he eventually received a boot to the head from The Elite for his troubles of aligning himself with the BCC.

This match (if you can call it that) was literally all over the arena and in the parking lot.  Jon Moxley, Wheeler Yuta, Bryan Danielson and Claudio Castagnoli vs. Kenny Omega, ‘Hangman’ Adam Page, Matt Jackson and Nick Jackson brought out the barbed wire, forks, screwdrivers, tables, thumbtacks, and anything else you could find lying around the arena or under the ring, as weapons.

It finally came to a conclusion when Omega’s trader-of-a-former manager, Don Callis, distracted Kenny Omega and his new protégé Konosuke Takeshita emerged disguised as a camera man and kicked and attacked Omega.  Next, Yuta hit Omega with the actual screwdriver (the latest favorite weapon of the BCC) and pinned Kenny.

Now, questions remain. Are Callis and Takeshita aligned with the BCC? Why did Takeshita who was a fan favorite turn heel? With the Forbidden Door pay-per-view coming up shortly, it would seem this turn was to infuse a main event featuring Omega and a few of his friends! After the show went off the air Kenny previewed he may have one or two buddies on the way to help him out.

Jade Cargill vs. Taya Valkyrie – Jade Cargill vs. Kris Statlander

Photo: AEW

The best ring entrance of the night belonged to Cargill. The Women’s TBS Champion came down to the ring accompanied by a performance by Big Boss Vette of her track ‘Pretty Girls Walk’.  Along with her A.K.A. sorority sisters, Cargill also busted out some dance moves.

Putting her amazing 60-0 streak on the line, many thought Taya Valkyrie who has the size and the moves to give Cargill a run for her money, would win the title on her second attempt against Jade. That was not meant to be.  Cargill pinned Valkyrie. Then, getting too big for their britches, Jade’s manager, Mark Sterling took to the mic and offered up an open challenge.  Shocking everyone, Kris Statlander came out from the back and ran in the ring and quickly defeated Cargill to win the belt.  It should be noted, Statlander was out of commission from her ACL surgery, following a previous surgery on her other knee.  The crowd went nuts. Cargill was an outstanding champion though, by her own design.  What a great story to have Statlander comeback and win a title! She shared her emotions and emotional story during the AEW post show media scrum.

Toni Storm vs. Jamie Hayter

Photo: AEW

We kind of saw this one coming, did you? AEW Women’s champion, Jamie Hayter, was obviously hurt, so taking the belt off of her to heal up was the move … but, this also seem to be the move to have Hayter win back the belt in front of her hometown crowd in August when AEW has its first live show in London, England at Wembley Stadium.

In the storyline, Toni Storm, who previously held the belt as ‘interim champ” when she was a babyface, defeated Hayter. Her win comes with the help of her bff’s The Outcasts (Saraya and Ruby Soho).  During the post-show media scrum, Storm stayed in character, defiant, and related how this title reign will be much different than when she was more innocent and let people walk all over her.

Chris Jericho vs. Adam Cole


The worst match of the night, unfortunately, belonged to Chris Jericho and Adam Cole in their unsanctioned duel. The crowd was dead during it, the action just felt forced, Sabu’s appearance was useless, and all of it led to a fireball in the face to some guy in the back post-match, setting up a mixed tag match for Jericho and Saraya vs. Cole and Britt Baker D.M.D, this week on Wednesday’s AEW Dynamite.

In Other Bouts … 


Orange Cassidy finished off Swerve Stickland to retain his AEW International Championship in a 21-man battle royale,

FTR defeated Jeff Jarrett and Jay Lethal to retain the AEW Tag Team belts after special referee Mark Briscoe had enough of Double J’s antics.

The House of Black retained their Trios championship titles against the The Acclaimed and Billy Gunn.

Wardlow defeated Christian Cage to retain the TNT championship.

So, what did you think about the double main event at Double or Nothing 2023? What are your thoughts on who kept their titles and who was crowned new champs? What was the best and worst part of the PPV? Share your thoughts in the comment section below.

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The Bold and the Beautiful’s Scott Clifton Delivers the ‘Power Performance of the Week’

The character of The Bold and the Beautiful’s Liam Spencer (Scott Clifton) has been on the receiving end of plenty of shade over the years on social media, in part, due to his often seemingly wishy-washy back and forth nature when it comes to the loves of his life, Hope Logan (Annika Noelle) and Steffy Forrester (Jacqueline MacInnes Wood).

However, this past week on the CBS daytime drama series, in the more than capable hands of three-time Daytime Emmy winner Scott Clifton, you kind of found yourself rooting for Liam, when, after confronting his wife Hope on her feelings for Thomas (Matthew Atkinson), she out and out lied to him in an attempt to smooth over her now rocky marriage.

This past Friday’s episode, saw the continuation of the confrontation scene where Liam, drinking at the cabin, asks his wife for the truth. Does she have feelings for the one man he told her to stay away from?  This man also happens to be the man that kept their child, Beth, away from them for months (which he points out). Part of the problem is that Liam learned about Hope’s feelings for Thomas from Steffy, because she witnessed it.  When Liam asks Hope about her feelings, she gets defiant and says she is feeling ‘ambushed’ and tries to spin it; that this is all Steffy’s interpretation.


Liam says he truly wants to believe her, but Hope cannot seem to say the word he needs to her. Liam thinks she may be in denial. Hope says she finds it insulting that both he and Steffy know her feelings better than she does.

It is then Liam points out that the one thing that he asked her to do was to keep Thomas out of their lives. Hope goes on to say that her fashion line needs Thomas as a part of it. Liam can’t comprehend why Hope is not seeing that this is about their marriage, not her career.


At this point, and in emotional moments, Liam firmly and angrily tells Hope that he cannot have Thomas living rent free in his head anymore. Hope says he always trusts whatever everybody else says about her. Fed up with her denial, he asks again, if she has feelings for Thomas or not.


Hope, then in tears, tells her husband “No.”  She loves only him.  As she is telling these lies, Liam breaks down in tears.  They end up in an embrace, but the damage is done.  How can Liam not trust his gut on this? How can Hope go on denying her feelings for Thomas?

In this soap opera version of “Scenes from a Marriage”, acting counterpart to the always great, Annika Noelle, it was the levels of Scott Clifton’s performance that illustrated to us, once again, that when given the material, he rises to the occasion every single time. For these reasons, Michael Fairman TV gives the ‘Power Performance of the Week’ honors to Scott.

What did you think about the scenes between Liam and Hope? Do you agree with our pick for Scott’s work as ‘The Power Performance of the Week’? Comment below.

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WWE Night of Champions 2023: The ‘Bloodline’ Breaks Down as Roman Reigns is Left Shocked, Seth Rollins & Asuka Win Title Belts

The demise of the ‘Bloodline’ is now truly underway, after the closing bout at WWE Night of Champions streaming Saturday on Peacock.

The WWE returned to Jeddah, Saudi Arabia for this event which featured numerous titles on the lines and the crowning of the winner for the new WWE championship.

Let’s recap what went down for the triple main event.

Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens vs. Roman Reigns and Solo Sikoa 

The crowd was firmly behind Zayn and Owens, in particular because Sami is a wrestler of Syrian descent and he has never taken part in any of the WWE’s Saudi Arabian shows, due to the relationship between Syria and Saudi Arabia. With the tensions died down between the two countries, Zayn got the opportunity to wrestle in front of family and in the Middle East.  When his entrance music played, Sami entered dressed for the culture he was performing for in all white.

While the crowd was red hot for Zayn and Owens, they also jeered Roman Reigns who has now held the WWE Universal Championship for 1000 days. The uber-villain played right along with the fans, egging them on, as only he can.


As the teams went back and forth, the referee got knocked out, when Reigns speared him by mistake. With no official, the Usos appeared and went on the attack of Owens at ringside.  Later in the ring, the brothers and former tag champs, set Zayn up for a double superkick, but the kicks landed on their younger brother, Solo Sikoa, by mistake.  Not seeing what had fully transpired, The Tribal Chief was losing his temper and started pushing Jey and Jimmy around.

Fed up, Jimmy landed a superkick on Reigns which knocked him down to the mat. Jey was conflicted by the actions of his brother, but Jimmy landed a second superkick on Reigns.  That left Owens open to deliver a stunner to Sikoa. Then, Zayn followed it up with a Helluva kick.  A new referee showed up in time and counted 1, 2, 3 as Zayn pinned Sikoa.  As the Usos walked back up the ramp and backstage, Jimmy was trying to assure Jey, that they did the right thing, while Roman Reigns was left stunned as Sami and Kevin celebrated retaining their belts.  The storytelling in this match was brilliantly executed by all involved.

Seth ‘Freakin’ Rollins vs. AJ Styles


The finals of the new World Heavyweight Championship Tournament were on tap for the opener of Night of Champions featuring two of the best wrestlers in the world, Seth ‘Freakin’ Rollins and AJ Styles.  Who would win the new belt?

As Seth and AJ battled back and forth, ultimately it was the Visionary who was battling his ‘injured knee’ sustained in who hit Styles with a Pedigree before ultimately delivering a Stomp for the pin and the win. Triple H came to the ring and presented Rollins with the belt as the newest of champs for the organization.  If anyone deserves a belt around their waist it’s Rollins, who has not held a title for over four years. Just how this title will remain relevant is yet to be seen.

Cody Rhodes vs. Brock Lesnar


The third piece of the triple main event included the question of just how would Rhodes wrestle the ‘beast incarnate’ with one arm having supposedly been broken during a beatdown by Lesnar on RAW?

Throughout the match, Rhodes had his arm wrapped with a brace, which he eventually used to hit Lesnar with. However, in the end, as many predicted, the WWE creative team had to find a way in the storytelling to even up the series between Cody and Brook to 1 win each.  How did they do it?

Late in the match, Lesnar put Rhodes in a Kimura Lock. However, in the first attempt, Cody was able to escape it. The second time Brock applied it, Rhodes eventually passed out and the referee called for the bell and named Brock the winner. Look for the rubber match in this feud to be forthcoming.

Bianca Belair vs. Asuka


In their match at Wrestlemania 39, it was clear that Asuka was the crowd favorite, even though she was the heel going up against Belair. Now, in a rematch at Night of Champions, Asuka has become even more heinous with her ‘mist’ than ever before. Going into the match, Belair held the RAW Women’s Championship for a record 420 days, but her title reign was about to come to an end.

At first, Asuka tried to mist Belair in the face, but she missed her target. Avoiding that calamity, Belair continued to fight back, while Asuka played dirty.  Then in a clever move, Asuka blew the mist from her mouth on to her fingers, while the ref’s back was turned and she was on the ropes. When Bianca hoisted Asuka over her head, the challenger rubbed her misted-fingers in the champ’s eyes and down she went.  After kicking the EST in the head, Asuka was able to secure the pin, ending Belair’s incredible reign. While Asuka celebrated, Belair was left outside the ring with ‘stinging’ eyes, and no medical attention to help her.  Will we see a heel turn by Bianca Belair, coming out of Night of Champions? Stay tuned.

In other bouts …

Rhea Ripley defeated Natalya (on her birthday no less) which amounted to nothing more than a squash match.  Ripley showed her strength and easily won over the birthday girl in a few minutes to retain the Smackdown Women’s Championship.

Gunther retained his Intercontinental Championship defeating Mustafa Ali, as the crowd rooted for Ali who is of Pakistani and Indian descent.

Trish Stratus, with the help of Zoey Stark, got the victory over Becky Lynch.  Stratus reminded us of her in-ring skills, while this story has been hard to swallow. Adding Stark to the mix, gives Stratus a pal, so we can only assume she will tag team with Trish … or Stark will be the next to feud with “The Man” Becky Lynch.


Overall, nothing topped the final match of the night featuring Reigns, Zayn, and the Bloodline, for the pure theater of it all.

So, what did you think of WWE Night of Champions 2023? Share your thoughts and favorite matches via the comment section. But first, take a look at what went down when Jimmy Uso kicked Roman Reigns.

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