Mr. Tito’s PHAT WWE Backlash France Review with Match Thoughts and Show Grade

With the boss attending a wedding today, I took it upon myself to write the results of WWE Backlash France paid live event (PLE) today and I enjoyed it. Honestly, I believe that RED HOT French crowd actually made the show better than what it truly was, as their energy honestly carried most of the night and energized the workers. Overall, I’d strongly recommend this show because it may be the hottest crowd ever.

Before the show even started, Big E and CM Punk were EXCELLENT as pre-game co-hosts. They were so good, compared to the usual faces that the WWE had on the pre-game shows before 2024. Both have a future in doing this, especially CM Punk.

First match was Kevin Owens/Randy Orton vs. the Bloodline (Solo Sikoa & Tama Tonga). Supposed to be a regular tag match, but both teams went at it immediately before the match could start and then Smackdown GM Nick Aldis intervened and made it a “Street Fight”. Just a crazy tag team match with great work and just chaos throughout. One thing, though, is how is a former 10+ World Champion in Randy Orton out for like 5 minutes? It was Solo and Tama versus Kevin Owens for a good portion of this match, and the same can be said later for Naomi selling on the outside forever too. The REAL STORY, however, is that Tanga Loa, who is Tama Tonga’s brother, interfered and helped the Bloodline win here. Damn Haku’s boys have reset the Bloodline, though watching the past work of Loa’s, I hope that he’s learn something recently.

Bayley vs. Tiffany Stratton vs. Naomi was great and high energy… Bayley is a pro and kept things going, and Naomi helped with that veteran presence too. Tiffany Stratton is quite impressive, though you can see a little green stuff when she’s waiting for someone to hit a move… That said, it’s not as bad as what we’d see later with Jade. Tiffany just needs to learn a little timing and selling, but when she’s on the offensive side, she’s impressive. She’s so athletic and stronger than she looks. This is just Tiffany in her mid 20s, think about what just a few more years of experience will do.

Damian Priest vs. Jey Uso was crazy with the French fans… They were going bonkers for Jey here, from his entrance to anytime Jey was on offense. Non-stop heavy reactions for Jey. After the crazy reactions at Smackdown, I could have lived with a World Title switch here and then have an immediate rematch on RAW. Both guys did well here… Makes me wonder if Jey would win here if he pulled off a stronger Wrestlemania 40 match against his brother Jimmy?

Before the match, they had a backstage segment between the NEW Bloodline and Jey Uso… Just stare downs, but you can see we’re headed for a war. If this new Bloodline adds Jacob Fatu, oh man… And then a heel Rock leads them, oh my God!

And now the match where I was cringing… Jade Cargill needs more work, I’m sorry. Send her to NXT to work for a few years because she’s not ready. Psychology is off, too dependent on power moves, and I don’t think she’s physically strong versus looking like a bodybuilder. Bianca Belair is legitimately strong and lifts her opponents with ease. With Jade, there is a real struggle to lift someone for a power move. I don’t know if that’s just a lack of training or her muscles being more for looks rather than actual strength, but she was struggling and almost botched a few moves. Lucky for her, Asuka and Kairi Sane are smaller wrestlers. Then, you could see Jade just waiting for moves to happen rather than being more natural as a worker. AEW did her a disservice by poorly training her and now, the WWE is trying to do things on the fly with her. It’s not working, she needs more training. Gonna be a major carry-job when Jade turns heel on Bianca and they begin to work together.

Main event was strong between Cody Rhodes and AJ Styles. Just a nice, tight polished match between two very experienced workers. I thought both men gained so much adrenaline thanks to this hot French crowd. Good win for Cody, good losing effort for AJ Styles.

Two things that I want to comment on…

(1) So refreshing to watch a Paid Live Event during the afternoon rather than late at night. I enjoyed it much more earlier in the day.

(2) WWE has tapped into something with Europe getting a piece of the PLE pie. I don’t know about giving them the biggest WWE events (Wrestlemania, SummerSlam, Royal Rumble), but you have 9 other Pay Per Views to always consider.

These French fans were high energy all night long… They were like a rabid soccer crowd, as they created their own chants and everybody was quick to join in. I loved in between certain moves, they’d just applaud in unison. Amazing… Touring has higher expenses overseas, but I like some competition with big city United States fans. For example, New York area events have been as loud as they used to, so hopefully, more International events may cause United States fans to come out and prove which country or continent has the best WWE fans.

I also liked just having 5 matches within the 3 hours, nothing going over that timeframe. The format allowed each of the 5 matches to breathe and I believe it paid off.

LAST WORD: Overall, strong show with just some Jade Cargill issues to continually work out. Bloodline is rebounding, Tiffany Stratton gives WWE a major future superstar, and Cody has a strong PLE main event on his first defense. Not much to complain about here, [ A- ].

Congrats Virtue!

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