Sunday is Backlash, WWE's first true post-WrestleMania pay-per-view. With the roster shaken up, it will set the stage for the coming summer. The Road to WrestleMania is over, but the Road to SummerSlam begins on Sunday. To make the most of it, it's crucial to avoid major mistakes.
While Seth Rollins retaining the Intercontinental Championship is all but assured, the seven other matches are up in the air, each with consequences going forward. It's important to get them right.
#1: Bryan humbles Cass
Big Cass has surprised many people in recent weeks. He seems to have shown visible signs of improvement from his injury-shortened singles run last summer, where he starred in one of the worst feuds of 2017 alongside Enzo Amore and Big Show.
Now he's back, targeting the recently-cleared Daniel Bryan. In this, Cass convincingly laid out his motivations, irate that a larger-than-life figure like him should be overshadowed on his return by the average Daniel Bryan. WWE picked the right rivalry to get Cass heel heat and it's worked. How Cass is in the ring, though, will be the question on everyone's mind come Sunday. Has he made improvements there as well?
The best way to find out would be for he and Daniel Bryan to work a somewhat lengthy match where Bryan has a hard-fought, perhaps even fluke, win. Cass crushing Bryan tells us nothing, while Bryan losing so early feels too much like a letdown. While Daniel Bryan is a made man in WWE and won't be terribly affected by a loss, fans aren't excited about a long rivalry with Big Cass.
A win here that maybe extends the feud to Money in the Bank at the latest keeps Bryan warm for the eagerly anticipated rivalries with The Miz, Samoa Joe, Shinsuke Nakamura, and AJ Styles to come later. Meanwhile, Cass looking strong in defeat can frustrate him and allow him too develop his character further. The most important thing is that he hold his end of the match, not win it.