As expected, the underhanded Orton used questionable tactics to get the better of the Canadian, a low blow ultimately aiding him in his quest to level matters, with Edge having won their first outing at WrestleMania in April.
The hyperbolic billing of the clash – the tagline added weeks before the show – had left plenty of fans concerned that the two veterans would be left with too much to do but, all considered, they pulled off quite the effort.
Lasting almost 45 minutes, the show’s main event – which had been taped several weeks ago – was littered with high spots, Spears and RKOs. Still, it was suitably fitting that Orton needed a back-door route to victory, having lauded his natural wrestling ability in the build-up. A low blow enabled him to use the Punt at the climax of the match.
What was perhaps a bigger story after the bout was a number of reports that Edge suffered a serious injury after the match. It’s said the former world champion sustained a torn tricep during the encounter, although he managed to continue to the contest’s conclusion.
While WWE has yet to confirm the injury officially, it would be one that could keep the Rated-R Superstar – who had only completed a remarkable comeback after nine years’ retirement in January – out for several months.
Elsewhere at Backlash, Bobby Lashley’s hopes of becoming WWE Champion were dashed by his ‘wife’ Lana. Lashley had champ Drew McIntyre in serious trouble during their match before Lana arrived at ringside.
After knocking Lana off the apron, Lashley was nailed with a Claymore Kick by McIntyre, who picked up the win to continue his reign at the top of WWE’s Raw roster.
Despite the best efforts of both The Miz and John Morrison, Universal Champion Braun Strowman had a decidedly more comfortable night defending his Universal Championship, despite facing two opponents in the same match.
Strowman chokeslammed Miz before nailing Morrison with a running powerslam to retain and bring to an end a brief but entertaining challenge to the gold from the two good friends.
Asuka’s run as Raw Women’s Champion had looked in some peril thanks to the challenge of Nia Jax, and there was no clear winner at Backlash, with the two counted out of their match, meaning they’ll almost certainly go at it again in the coming weeks.
One of the most decisive wins on the night was Sheamus’ victory over Jeff Hardy. Despite the Irishman’s attempts to undermine Hardy’s credibility in recent weeks – with WWE using the popular star’s real-life addiction issues as part of their storyline – Hardy had been mainly getting the last laugh in their encounters.
Sheamus was left laughing loudest at Backlash, however, punishing Hardy for large spells of their match before connecting with two Brogue Kicks to seal the win.
Meanwhile, the WWE Women’s Tag Team Championships stayed firmly in the grasp of Sasha Banks and Bayley as they snuck a win in a triple-threat match. It looked as though Alexa Bliss and Nikki Cross had done enough to regain the gold after having The IIconics beat, but after a Twisted Bliss on Peyton Royce, Bayley stole the pinfall to win the match for her team.
The night’s other match, on the Kick-off Show, saw Apollo Crews retain his United States Championship by beating Andrade.
WWE Backlash full results
Randy Orton defeated Edge
Universal Championship Handicap Match: Braun Strowman (c) defeated The Miz & John Morrison
WWE Championship: Drew McIntyre (c) defeated Bobby Lashley
Women’s Tag Team Championship Triple Threat: Bayley & Sasha Banks (c) defeated Alexa Bliss & Nikki Cross and The IIconics
Sheamus defeated Jeff Hardy
Raw Women’s Championship: Asuka (c) vs. Nia Jax ended as a countout draw
United States Championship: Apollo Crews (c) defeated Andrade