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A decent card, save for one match.
on 15 August 2011
So here we have the first Pay-Per-View after Wrestlemania 21, and as always with the WWE the creative team is a bit worn out and not really focusing completely. I also think that this event acts as both a proponent of removing brand-exclusive Pay-Per-Views and as a reason to keep them. There are some matches on the card clearly there to take up space, yet they are some of the better matches of the night. Maybe hiring a proper creative team would be a better idea? But I digress, onto the reviewing:
Intercontinental Championship: Shelton Benjamin vs Chris Jericho
Here we have two of my favourite workers in the WWE at the time, both with such a varied range. Opening the show is a great spot for them, and well deserved. And this is match of the night, despite the lack of support from the creative team or announcers. The crowd are into it, the spots varied and we get a good length match from two great workers. Both men deserve main event spots and major pushes.
Tag Team Turmoil for World Tag-Team Title: William Regal & Tajiri vs Heart Throbs vs Simon Dean & Maven vs La Resistance vs Hurricane and Rosey.
Remember I was talking about filler matches that were actually pretty good? That's what we have here. Looking at the teams, onlt the first and last teams actually belong on a WWE PPV, the rest are usually jobbing teams from Heat and Raw if they're lucky. However, the competitors are really given a chance to shine here, and they do deliver. Tajiri and Regal are two phonomenal wrestlers who just never fit the WWE mould, so we get some good action from them, although I would have liked to see more shoot-style from Regal. The announcers do well at selling the unlikely chances of retaining the title in what is essentially a gauntlet match for teams and put the teams over fairly well too. Heart Throbs have a terrible gimmick and nothing special on the wrestling front, but they can sell and ahve a few good moves, elevating their time above watchable. Maven is an out-and-out jobber, as it Dean, but they both have enough skill to make the exchanges entertaining. And of course Hurricane and Rosey are always entertaining to watch and were getting a push so we get some great competition when they're in the ring. Overall, a better-than-expected match, but could be better.
Last Man Standing: Chris Benoit vs Edge
I have to question booking two gimmick matches next to one another in the undercard, as I feel this would have been much better served to separate the undercard from the main card. It's certainly good enough to have a better spot. In Edge and Benoit we have two great wrestlers who are also adept at hard-hitting matches. And that's what we get here, with Edge showing why he's always so entertaining to watch in a hardcore style (vs Mick Foley, anyone?) and benoit proving he can adapt and will do a lot for the business. Edge proves himself as a top contender here, and deserves the push he eventually gets to headlining a show. Some great spots, with trash cans, ladders and other weapons all involved and a remarkable lack of botches.
Kane w/ Lita vs Viscera w/ Trish Stratus:
OK, so this match does have a storyline, but it's rubbish. Monster matches have neverr been my cup of tea, and thid exchange does nothing to change that. Viscera is surprisingly agile considering he looks like the Michelin Man, but that's not saying much at all. They should have taken this off the card and given the last man standing or intercontinental title matches another five or ten minutes each. That said, it's not a bad match, just standard fare that you could watch on Raw any week you chose. Who actually thinks we enjoy these matches is beyond me, but we must allow Vince his delusions.
Shawn Michaels & Hulk Hogan vs Muhammad Hassan & Daivari:
The most overrated wrestler of the 80s and 90s steps in the ring with an incredible wrestler in HBK. Going against an incredibly stereotypical team, but they both can wrestle. If you liked Hogasn before, then you won't be dissappointed, as all the trademarks are here. Thankfully, Hogan can only perform in short bursts, so Michaels gets a fair bit of action too, and it is of course these moments that make the match entertaining. I can't help but think WWE wasted Hassan & Daivari though. A good match, provided you can tolerate the predictable Hogan.
World Heavyweight Championship: Batista vs Triple H
After a great clash at Wrestlemania we get the return match that promises to be good. I do have to hand it to the WWE here, the atmosphere and story leading up to the match is well concieved - realistic yet exciting. It is the worst of their trilogy, but that doesn't make it a bad match. A good back and forth, if a somewhat contrived ending (who doesn't love a ref bump? Oh yeah, me.) constructs a good match that serves well to set up their great final match. Hats off to the WWE here, we have a good main event that also has a well told story. Hopefully they'll keep it up.
In concluding, Backlash isn't Pay-Per-View of the year by any means, but it is a more-than-competant example of why the WWE does still have life left in it in 2005. If you like the WWE, then buy it. I doubt you'll be dissappointed.