WWE Backlash is an event that has been around, in essence, since 1999. It initially began its pay per view journey as an In Your House event, although despite not being recognised as a stand alone event, it was still positioned as the follow-up WrestleMania show in late April which would eventually become its trademark.
Following a few years of existence Backlash soon became a Raw-exclusive event following the brand extension, and SmackDown superstars were only part of the show in the year where it became dual-branded. Following the second brand split a few years back, however, SmackDown Live assumed control of the PPV name in 2016 and 2017.
In the 2018 edition, which will take place on May 6th, both WWE Raw and SmackDown Live superstars will compete on the show, which will mark the first non-Big Four event in which that happens since the aforementioned 2016 brand split.
Providence, Rhode Island – 2 – 1999, 2009
Rosemont, Illinois – 2 – 2001, 2017
Washington, D.C. – 1 – 2000
Kansas City, Missouri – 1 – 2002
Worcester, Massachusetts – 1 – 2003
Edmonton, Alberta – 1 – 2004
Manchester, New Hampshire – 1 – 2005
Lexington, Kentucky – 1 – 2006
Atlanta, Georgia – 1 – 2007
Baltimore, Maryland – 1 – 2008
Richmond, Virginia – 1 – 2016
Newark, New Jersey – 1 – 2018
WWE Backlash 1999: Stone Cold Steve Austin vs. The Rock – WWF Championship
WWE Backlash 2000: Triple H vs. The Rock – WWF Championship
WWE Backlash 2001: Stone Cold & Triple H vs. Kane & The Undertaker – WWF, IC & Tag Team Championships
WWE Backlash 2002: Triple H vs. Hollywood Hulk Hogan – WWF Undisputed Championship
WWE Backlash 2003: Goldberg vs. The Rock – Grudge Match
WWE Backlash 2004: Chris Benoit vs. Triple H vs. Shawn Michaels – World Heavyweight Championship
WWE Backlash 2005: Batista vs. Triple H – World Heavyweight Championship
WWE Backlash 2006: John Cena vs. Edge vs. Triple H – WWE Championship
WWE Backlash 2007: John Cena vs. Shawn Michaels vs. Randy Orton vs. Edge – WWE Championship
WWE Backlash 2008: Randy Orton vs. Triple H vs. JBL vs. John Cena – WWE Championship
WWE Backlash 2009: John Cena vs. Edge – World Heavyweight Championship
WWE Backlash 2016: Dean Ambrose vs. AJ Styles – WWE Championship
WWE Backlash 2017: Randy Orton vs. Jinder Mahal – WWE Championship
WWE Backlash 2018: Roman Reigns vs. Samoa Joe - Singles Match
Despite being put on the shelf for a few years prior to Raw and SmackDown Live receiving two separate rosters again, it seems as if Backlash is here to stay this time around. It’s a show that has a steep history in World Wrestling Entertainment, as it signifies the pay per view ‘season premiere’ of sorts in the wake of WrestleMania.
With this year being a dual branded event it’ll be interesting to see what kind of matches WWE puts on, and it’ll be a big indicator as to whether or not having both brands on the same show is going to work out throughout 2018.
In terms of predicting the card for the Newark show, it seems as if Seth Rollins challenging Roman Reigns for the Universal Championship has a strong likelihood of happening when you look at the trajectory of both men. With that being said, another option could be for Reigns to defend the title against Braun Strowman – that is, if he manages to overcome The Beast Incarnate in New Orleans.
Over on SmackDown Live we wouldn’t be surprised to see one of two things happen with the WWE Championship: either Shinsuke Nakamura defends his newly won belt against former champion AJ Styles, or Randy Orton steps up as The King of Strong Style’s first major opponent since capturing the strap.
It'd also be interesting to see whether or not Ronda Rousey competes on this card, or whether she’ll choose to take a back seat and opt for a Brock Lesnar kind of schedule. Either way, Asuka vs Charlotte Flair vs Becky Lynch and Nia Jax vs Alexa Bliss sound like two fascinating match-ups, but of course, we’ll have to wait and see how WrestleMania 34 unfolds.
One final idea for Backlash would be to have the returning Jeff Hardy go one on one with his brother Woken Matt Hardy, who we’d like to see turn heel on The Charismatic Engima on the grandest stage of them all.
Whatever the case may be Backlash will always have an illustrious history and intriguing future, and you can go back and watch every past edition of the show on the WWE Network.