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Cesaro to challenge for Universal title at WWE WrestleMania Backlash


Cesaro is getting his shot at Roman Reigns' Universal Championship.

Reigns will defend the Universal Championship against Cesaro at WrestleMania Backlash. It will be Cesaro's first one-on-one shot for a WWE World title.

Cesaro getting the Universal title shot was confirmed when he defeated Seth Rollins on tonight's Throwback edition of SmackDown. Before Cesaro and Rollins' match, Teddy Long made an appearance and announced that Cesaro would challenge Reigns at WrestleMania Backlash if he defeated Rollins. Cesaro pinned Rollins after hitting the Neutralizer.

Rollins argued with The Usos when they tried to get involved in his match against Cesaro. Jimmy Uso, who returned to WWE television earlier on tonight's show, then dropped Rollins with a superkick. Cesaro hit a plancha on Jimmy, threw Rollins back in the ring, and hit the Neutralizer to get the win.

Reigns talked down to Jimmy Uso for messing things up after Cesaro defeated Rollins. Jimmy told Reigns that Reigns wasn't going to talk to him the way that he talks to his brother Jey. Jimmy said he's nobody's bitch.

Cesaro had interrupted Reigns, The Usos, and Paul Heyman in the opening segment of tonight's SmackDown. Heyman started the show by eulogizing the career of Daniel Bryan and giving it a 10-bell salute. After Cesaro interrupted, Rollins ambushed Cesaro and started brawling with him. Rollins also threw Cesaro into the steel steps before their match after Reigns knocked Cesaro out of the ring.

Cesaro also defeated Rollins when they faced off at WrestleMania 37 last month.

On SmackDown two weeks ago, Reigns told Cesaro that he would never give him a shot at the Universal Championship. Reigns said Cesaro isn't on his level.

Reigns retained the Universal Championship against Daniel Bryan in the main event of last week's SmackDown. As a stipulation of the match, Bryan has been banished from SmackDown. Reigns laid out Bryan with a con-chair-to after the match as Cesaro was forced to watch on. Cesaro had tried to make the save for Bryan, but he was attacked by Jey Uso and tied up in the ropes.

WrestleMania Backlash is taking place on Sunday, May 16. Here's the updated card for the pay-per-view:

  • Universal Champion Roman Reigns defends against Cesaro
  • WWE Champion Bobby Lashley defends against Drew McIntyre and Braun Strowman in a triple threat match
  • SmackDown Women's Champion Bianca Belair defends against Bayley
  • Raw Women's Champion Rhea Ripley defends against Asuka and Charlotte Flair in a triple threat match
  • SmackDown Tag Team Champions Dolph Ziggler & Robert Roode defend against Rey & Dominik Mysterio