WWE returns to Puerto Rico in a big way. Three-time Grammy-winner Bad Bunny was announced as host for Backlash in his home of Puerto Rico for a stacked event featuring Cody Rhodes, Brock Lesnar, Sami Zayn and The Bloodline. However, Bad Bunny will now be in action as he faces The Judgement Day’s Damian Priest in a San Juan Street Fight.
Backlash marks WWE’s first major event in Puerto Rico since the company traveled to Puerto Rico for the now-defunct New Year’s Revolution event in 2005. Arguably the biggest match announced for the card is a first-time meeting between Rhodes and Lesnar. Lesnar shockingly turned on Rhodes to conclude the first Raw after WrestleMania 39. The betrayal delayed Rhodes’ attempts to secure a rematch against Roman Reigns for the undisputed WWE universal championship.
Plus, both women’s titles are on the line when Rhea Ripley looks to defend the SmackDown championship against Zelina Vega and Bianca Belair puts the Raw championship at stake against IYO SKY. And the United States championship is up for grabs when Austin Theory takes on both Bobby Lashley and Bronson Reed in a triple threat match.
Take a look below at the complete match card for the 2023 Backlash.
2023 WWE Elimination Chamber matches
Cody Rhodes vs. Brock Lesnar: A dream tag team was a nightmare in reality. Lesnar offered to help Rhodes map a route back to the world championship in a tag team match against Reigns and Sikoa. Shockingly, Lesnar turned on Rhodes in the main event and laid him out. Authority figure Adam Pearce made a match between Rhodes and Lesnar official for Backlash after Rhodes issued a challenge to the former WWE and UFC heavyweight champion.
Sami Zayn, Kevin Owens and Riddle vs. The Bloodline (Jey Uso, Jimmy Uso and Solo Sikoa): The Bloodline are feeling the pressure and Reigns’ patience is wavering. Zayn and Owens put an end to The Usos’ historic undisputed tag team championship reign at WrestleMania 39. In the aftermath of the grand showcase, Riddle returned from injury and aided the new champs to level the playing field against The Bloodline. A big six-man tag team match was booked between the warring parties.
United States Championship — Austin Theory (c) vs. Bobby Lashley vs. Bronson Reed: There is nothing quite like two behemoths physically colliding in the center of the ring. A feud between Lashley and Reed has been teased for weeks and fans got a taste of what they could produce during the closing stretch of the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal. WWE appears to be doubling down on a meeting between the gargantuan athletes at Backlash. Theory found himself wedged between the two behemoths after it was announced that he would defend his U.S. title against both men in a triple threat.
Raw Women’s Championship — Bianca Belair (c) vs. IYO SKY: This story has felt more like a Damage CTRL tale than one involving Belair. SKY earned her shot at the title by winning a triple threat, an opportunity she received after SKY and Dakota Kai confronted Damage CTRL leader Bayley to ask why Bayley should receive another opportunity to face Belair, who has defeated her at every turn.
SmackDown Women’s Championship — Rhea Ripley (c) vs. Zelina Vega: Vega approached Pearce and requested a title shot against Ripley amid LWO’s ongoing feud with The Judgement Day. Vega expressed her determination to compete in Puerto Rico as the only Puerto Rican woman on the roster. The two recently tangoed in a mixed tag team match.
Seth Rollins vs. Omos: WWE announced a completely unexpected match between Rollins and Omos for Backlash. There have been no recent interactions between the pair on WWE programming and the booking came from left field. The match was announced on the April 21 episode of SmackDown.
Bad Bunny vs. Damian Priest (San Juan Street Fight): Bunny and Priest teamed together at WrestleMania 37 but Priest has since turned heel as one of the featured members of The Judgement Day. As Bunny has supported Rey Mysterio against his son and Judgement Day member, Dominik Mysterio, it led to several confrontations between Bunny and Priest. Priest has put Bunny through a table and Bunny retaliated with a kendo stick attack before making the street fight official.