This Sunday marks the 10th WWE Backlash pay-per-view in company history. Backlash will continue its tradition of featuring WrestleMania rematches and continued storylines. Sunday will also mark the final big event before the WWE Draft results are instituted. To say that this year’s WWE Backlash show looks like a mixed bag is an understatement to say the least.
The main-event features three guys that have opposed each other on more than one Backlash. As a matter of a fact, the captains of the opposing main-event teams wrestled each other last year. Not much has changed since last year’s event. The show features a solid undercard and what has to be considered one of the weakest main-events of the year. With that said, let’s break down WWE Backlash.
WWE Championship Match: Triple H, Batista, and Shane McMahon vs. The Legacy. Triple H’s WWE title is on the line in this match. Should anyone from Randy Orton’s team pin anyone from Triple H’s team, Orton will be the new champion. This stipulation sounds like something off a bad TNA show. The stipulation doesn’t make much sense, but they needed something to shine this bad boy.
I do like multi-partner main-events whether they are six, eight, or even ten man teams. I find those matches usually move at a faster pace. Guys can go full throttle for a longer period of time since they can tag out. Most of the time, these matches are usually pretty exciting. Unfortunately I don’t get that Chris Matthews’ tingly feeling when I think about this one.
I think at this point someone is turning on Triple H this Sunday. I have predicted this for months. I was honestly quite surprised it didn’t happen at WrestleMania. Shane McMahon would be the likely candidate. On the other hand, Triple H-Batista has been talked about for almost two years. Either way, I don’t see Triple H leaving the match on Sunday with the title.
Shane McMahon is really the buzz kill on this one. Shane may have the honor of having the most ridiculous looking punches in pro wrestling. Considering that his father and sister often give wrestlers advice on how to throw a punch that says something. I have gotten to the point where I just turn off the television when I see him run out. He has all of the makings of a great chicken-style heel, yet he is playing babyface. I don’t get it.
Batista looks bigger than ever since returning from his injury. I have always liked Batista and felt he was quite underrated. I think this is a great spot for him to shine. I think his speed is still a little off, but otherwise he looks great. Triple H is dying a slow death since this angle hit its full stride. It is quite remarkable how fast the fans have jumped off of his bandwagon. I wouldn’t even be surprised to see Stephanie join the Legacy at some point in order for Triple H to get all of his heat back.
I predict a crazy match with a lot of action. I think this one will be very good, yet I am just not all that interested. Randy Orton has done everything and anything to become the top heel in the company. I think Orton gets his title back, yet doesn’t score the pin on Sunday. I think a pinfall to either Rhodes or DiBiase would do good things for them. Regardless, I expect a Legacy victory and a new champion.
WWE Heavyweight Championship: Edge vs. John Cena…Last Man Standing Match. This is a rematch from WrestleMania, sans the Big Show. I think the stipulation really helps this one out a lot. I think the stipulation throws a new wrinkle onto an old match. I think this one has potential to steal the show.
Edge’s streak of great matches came to an end at WrestleMania. Edge seems like a guy that takes great pride in having great matches. I think he will be ready to go all out on Sunday. Cena and Edge are more of a main-event than the actual main-event in a lot of fan’s eyes. I am actually a little excited about this one.
Cena and Edge have done a really good job of building to this match. The angles on RAW and SmackDown have been really good. The Vickie Guerrero component is working here. I like the fact that she hasn’t been an overly huge component into the match. Unlike Triple H and Orton, I think this is the finale of this feud.
I’d expect the usual stuff you get with a Last Man Standing Match. I’d expect the table-breaking, the chairs, and yes the announcer’s table to be involved. I think this one will feature a ton of action. I am going with Edge to regain the title. SmackDown is without a champion right now. Unless CM Punk cashes in his Money in the Bank Match immediately thereafter and beats Cena, I’d expect an Edge win. Two titles changing hands on one night be a bit much, but in this case I wouldn’t mind seeing it.
Chris Jericho vs. Ricky Steamboat. This one kind of came out of left field. I wrote a lengthy piece on Steamboat earlier in the week. Steamboat will continue his miracle comeback on Sunday against Jericho. If this match is anything like the last few minutes of their WrestleMania encounter, it should be good.
I don’t know what to make of this match right now. Is this too much of a good thing for Steamboat? Steamboat looked fantastic at WrestleMania, but I think people are overhyping his match on RAW the following night. I love the guy but for God’s sake, he couldn’t get past the knee on a dropkick. I think some people were watching it with rose colored glasses if you ask me.
This one is a real Catch 22. On the one hand, Jericho really should go out there and demolish Steamboat. Jericho is one of the biggest superstars in the WWE. Jericho ran through the competition and beat guys like Batista and Shawn Michaels earlier in the year. Theoretically, he shouldn’t struggle with a guy at Steamboat’s age. The WWE has featured Steamboat in a few home videos, but can the teenage fans really appreciate him as a quality opponent?
On the other hand, why bring Steamboat back if you are going to just job him out? I don’t expect him to get demolished at Backlash. I expect this to be a competitive match. We will find out without question how much Steamboat has left in the tank. If I were the other wrestlers, I’d look over my shoulder. They don’t want to take a backseat to the Dragon for the second big show in a row. Either way, I see a Jericho win and the end of the feud.
Jeff Hardy vs. Matt Hardy…I-Quit Match. This is the only one true rematch of the same two guys from WrestleMania. These two brothers went out there at WrestleMania and had a very good match. I found it a bit disappointing in spots, but that is just my taste. This looks to be the end of another great feud in the WWE.
I-Quit Matches are a funny thing. There have been many attempts, but only a few really good ones. The Starrcade 85 and Clash X I-Quit Matches still hold up today as arguably the best of the bunch. These can be tricky matches because the idea is to slowly cause enough pain in your opponent to make him quit. In this day of fast-paced wrestling, I worry that the WWE audience won’t have the patience for something like this on Sunday.
Matt has rolled over Jeff in the series. Jeff leaving has to be having some kind of impact on the way that this one has played out. I don’t see the point of putting Jeff over if he is out the door in a few months. Matt could really benefit here from a win and a fresh start on RAW. I expect a match much different from their WrestleMania battle. I look for Matt to take the win and maybe, just maybe a possible handshake at the end.
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