Two New Matches Announced for Backlash 2023, Updated Card
Monday’s WWE RAW show in Chicago, Illinois featured two new matches officially added to the card of WWE’s Backlash 2023 event on May 6th in San Juan, Puerto Rico.
The first new match announced was a RAW Women’s Championship match of IYO SKY vs. Bianca Belair (c). This match was initially announced prior to the start of the show and as the result of SKY recently winning a #1 Contender’s match for Belair’s title.
The second and final match announced was a Street Fight match of Damian Priest vs. Bad Bunny. During Priest’s match with Rey Mysterio for the main event of the show, Bad Bunny was seen arriving at the venue in a brief split-screen video moment. Following Priest’s disqualification loss due to the usage of an illegal chair weapon, Bad Bunny ran out and brawled with Priest. Bad Bunny then grabbed a microphone informing Priest that he would no longer be hosting Backlash 2023 and instead challenged Priest to a Street Fight match at the event. This match was later made official by WWE.
Updated card for WWE Backlash 2023:
- SmackDown Women’s Championship – Zelina Vega vs. Rhea Ripley (c)
- RAW Women’s Championship – IYO SKY vs. Bianca Belair (c)
- WWE United States Championship Triple Threat match – Bronson Reed vs. Bobby Lashley vs. Austin Theory (c)
- Street Fight – Damian Priest vs. Bad Bunny
- Matt Riddle Kevin Owens, & Sami Zayn vs. The Bloodline (Solo Sikoa & The Usos (Jimmy & Jey Uso)
- Cody Rhodes vs. Brock Lesnar
- Seth Rollins vs. Omos
The Dyad Comments on Being Denied Their WWE Releases & Contracts Set to Expire This October
As noted before, The Dyad’s Jagger Reid and Rip Fowler recently requested their releases from WWE. While it was initially believed that their releases were granted, it is currently believed that their requests had been denied instead.
Reid and Fowler recently provided an update on Twitter confirming that their releases were not granted by WWE officials. Reid and Fowler also stated that their contracts with WWE are currently set to expire this October and will be leaving the company afterwards.
As of today, WWE has denied my request for my release.— James Drake (@JamesDrake_GYV) April 25, 2023
I want to thank you all for your support throughout my career, I'll never take that for granted.
My contract with WWE expires on 14th October 2023.
I'm excited to share our next chapter, once we are free agents.
Today WWE have denied our release, which was requested on April 3rd.— Rip Fowler (@RipFowlerWWE) April 25, 2023
On 15th Oct '23 we will be free agents again.
I personally want to thank all of our fans for your continued support, it means a lot to both of us especially during times like these! We'll see you on the 16th!
Rumored Current Plans for WWE Draft 2023
As noted before, WWE recently announced that this year’s WWE Draft will be starting on the April 28th episode of SmackDown and conclude on the May 1st episode of RAW. This upcoming Draft is currently rumored to include at least five talents from WWE’s NXT brand being called up to the main roster and drafted to their RAW and SmackDown brands.
PWInsider’s Mike Johnson reported that his sources stated that WWE officials are currently planning for the Bloodline to remain as a whole group on SmackDown and for Cody Rhodes to remain on RAW for talent who will not be moving to new brands.
In regards to brand changes, it was reported that Judgement Day (Rhea Ripley, Dominick Mysterio, Damien Priest, & Finn Balor) and Austin Theory are currently planned to be moving to Smackdown while Imperium (Gunther, Ludwig Kaiser, & Giovanni Vinci) are currently planned to be moving to RAW.
Besides Pretty Deadly, Ilja Dragunov, Cameron Grimes, and Zoey Stark, Johnson reported that NXT talents Tyler Bate and Bron Breakker are also currently planned to be called up and drafted to either RAW or SmackDown.