2009 WWE Backlash – The Aftermath

What did we at FGB think about Backlash?

Alan

Show overall rating: Thumbs Up

Best Match: Christian vs. Jack Swagger
Worst Match: Randy Orton, Cody Rhodes, and Ted DiBiase Jr. vs. HHH, Shane McMahon, and Batista

The opener was my favourite thing on the show. But it wasn’t like it fell off the cliff or anything after that. Everything else was pretty good too. The only thing I wasn’t mad about was the 6 man tag (I don’t care about any of those guys anymore, even Randy who I LOVED three months ago). Steamboat/Y2J was fun, Kane/Punk was the best Kane single match in forever and Edge/Cena was a good brawl (although somewhat dragged down by the elaborate prop stuff that does nothing for me).

But yeah it’s all about Swagger tossing suckas around and Christian being the best babyface this side of El Generico.

Big D

Show overall rating: Thumbs Way Up

Best Match: Edge vs. John Cena
Worst Match: Kiss Cam (not necessarily a match)


Despite the greatness of Shawn Michaels vs. The Undertaker, Wrestlemania left a bad taste in people’s mouths. Coming into the Backlash PPV, WWE needed to accomplish two major things. Firstly, they needed to have an obvious better show (especially the main event). And secondly and perhaps MORE importantly – they needed to get people talking. WWE accomplished both with Backlash and exceeded all expectations and turned into a PPV that I consider MUST-see.

The opener with Christian and Swagger left me in awe. Not only was this the best match Jack Swagger has ever had, but also the best match that Christian has had in about five years. Swagger has IT. He’s smooth, quick, and apparently safe. I popped for a lot of the quick spots and transitions. I’m happy Christian won because the timing was perfect, but I fear we will be subjected to Christian vs. Koslov for the summer. God help us.

Ricky Steamboat once again impressed against Chris Jericho. Ricky Steamboat has that intangible IT factor. Ricky Steamboat is one of the only guys in this business who can get over one move (arm-drag) and pop everybody with it. While he obviously wasn’t as quick as he was in 1989, Steamer was at home in the ring and definitely did not look his age. Both guys worked hard and had an awesome old school wrestling match that told a story. This may be the last time we see Steamer (I hope not) and he didn’t embarrass himself.

Kane vs. CM Punk put me to sleep. Despite these guys trying hard to put on a match with psychology such as Punk working the arm and Kane using power moves, the match had no heat with me and went on too long. I liked the finish of Kane catching Punk’s leg and super-chokeslamming him for the win, but why? CM Punk jobs to KANE – the stalest character in the company? Are we going to see the same shit as we saw last year with Punk losing every match before he cashed in the case? Does ANYBODY actually still take CM Punk seriously? Do you really think he has a fucking zilch of a chance of getting over?

Hardy vs. Hardy sucked. I expected a much more violent match and instead they dicked around and did sloppy spots. Bottom line is, while Matt is a good worker and Jeff is a decent worker if carried – they don’t work well together. They just don’t have the same chemistry together as Bret and Owen. The finish, while it was creative, sort of bothered me. Matt mentioning that their mother was in Heaven really touched a personal nerve with me. I hate when dead people are used in pro wrestling angles – it’s slimy and makes me embarassed to be a wrestling fan. Also, why was Matt so afraid to take a legdrop? All of that build-up for some kind of death-defying spot and he does – a legdrop? Lame. I’m glad this is over.

I don’t want to talk about the Khali Kiss Cam. I took the biggest piss in the history of mankind during that one and still came back early. But the rest of the show being so awesome made up for it.

The 6-Man was interesting. I didn’t get Orton being taken out for the first 10 minutes. We speculated that he may have had IBS and had to take a dump – yes, I’m serious. I didn’t get why Orton was out. The match was boring in the middle, but the finishing sequence was really good. I was a little upset that Ted Jr. didn’t get enough of a spotlight and that he and Cody were basically treated like lackeys (which they are) and didn’t get any sort of spotlight. The finish with Orton doing an RKO followed by a punt was the finish that I wanted for Mania, so we got it 3 weeks late. Triple H doing a stretcher job while chants sung “Nananana Goodbye” was beautiful. I hope WWE got the picture.

Cena vs. Edge was the perfect match to end their feud. They had an awesome TLC match in 2006 as well as a horde of other good ones, but I don’t know if any match they had could top this one. The near-falls in this match were breathtaking. I thought it was over at least 3 or 4 times before the actual finish. One thing that stuck out to me was that they fought into the crowd, something that happened in every main event during the Attitude Era. I can’t even remember the last time they did that, but it worked big time! The finish with Big Show chokeslamming Cena through a spotlight was creative as hell, but perhaps a bit too WSX-ish.

So Rated RKO walks out of Backlash with the belts and I’m happy. Overall, this is a must-see show. If you didn’t catch it live (which I suspect most of you didn’t), pick up the DVD when it comes out. Best PPV from WWE since Summerslam 2008. I’m actually kind of excited to watch RAW tonight and see where the storylines end up. Please don’t screw this up WWE…

Duan

Show overall rating: Thumbs Up

Best Match: Christian vs. Jack Swagger
Worst Match: CM Punk vs. Kane

This show was far more enjoyable than it had any right to be. It was definitely one of WWE’s better efforts. Swagger vs. Christian was an excellent opener. Both guys have been really good lately and they work great together. Crowd reacted well to the title change and it came across as something of a big deal. That’s extremely rare for the ECW brand. I would be perfectly content with watching these guys wrestle on every show from now on.

The Steamboat match was decent. Jericho worked his ass off and The Dragon was able to hold up his end of the deal. It’s one of those things where it would have came off as an epic match had the audience been hot for it. They weren’t though, and it came off a little bit flat as result. If they are going to continue to use Steamboat, they should do so sparingly. Just keep him as a special attraction.

As D said the Hardys just don’t work well together. That’s largely why I was against splitting them up in the first place. I thought this was a very anticlimactic ending to the feud. The match just really wasn’t brutal enough to make the I Quit stipulation work. I’m sure they were restricted in what they could do because of the gimmick filled mainevent, but to me it just never came across as believable. I also felt that Matt’s dialogue at the end was rather tasteless.

The 6 man was much better than I was expecting. It dragged a bit at times, but I blame that solely on the creative team’s failure to build a compelling rivalry. What the guys did in the ring was perfectly acceptable. Hopefully putting the belt on Orton will help freshen things up a little bit. The HHH injury angle should make room for Randy to work with someone else briefly. That’s probably badly needed.

The main event was a damn fine brawl. My only compliant would be that they went a little overboard with the ten counts, and it made the match feel very long. They did manage to pull off some really dramatic near falls though.
I thought the finish looked awesome, and I think it was what the match needed. It had to be something really emphatic, and in my opinion it delivered.

After the most disappointing Wrestlemania in history, this show a huge step in the right direction.

GG

Show overall rating: Thumbs Up

Best Match: Edge vs. John Cena
Worst Match: CM Punk vs. Kane

I had a feeling going in that this was going to be a good show just based on the matches. I was not disappointed.

I think the 6-man match deserves some credit for actually have a tag match that was both old school and creative at the same time. When the hot tag came for HHH (though Shane could’ve waited another second), it was a real hot tag. That’s how you do it. I just thought the match was perfectly put together and while it won’t win any match of the year awards, it made me yearn for the days of great psychology.

Edge vs. Cena was really good and I was amazed that they were able to keep the crowd after the long night. The crowd was hot for nearly everything they did and the spot where Cena FU’d Edge into the crowd was awesome. The ending was kind of cheesy with the explosion, but I was ok with it.

I absolutely loved Jack Swagger vs. Christian. I think Swagger has a little bit of Brock Lesnar in him. He and Christian worked very well together and until the main event, it was my favorite match of the night. At the end, I kind of wished Swagger kept the title. What can you say about Ricky Steamboat? He worked a fine match with Jericho and it made me wonder who was the first ever wrestler to skin the cat.

The only draw backs to this show were the Punk vs. Kane match which was just there and the kiss cam segment. Hardy vs. Hardy was just average even though the crowd popped huge for the ending. My kids are big Jeff Hardy fans and they weren’t too excited throughout.

The show was great and everyone should go out of their way to find a copy of the show.

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