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Terrific stuff...that's tarnished by the tedious and tasteless,
This review is from: Wwe - Backlash 2006 [DVD] (DVD)Throughout its history, Backlash was known for being a wild party, dealing with hellacious fallouts from WrestleMania and there being plenty of brilliant action for WWE fans to sink their teeth into.
But as my fellow Amazon reviewer has stated, the 2006 event is one of the strangest shows WWE has put on in recent memory. In fact, it's downright insane, with a lot of the angles ranging from monotonous to crude (i.e. "God" being injected into the HBK/McMahon feud, the "May 19th" voices in Kane's head, Matt Striker and Eugene etc).
Yet even though Backlash 2006 has the dubious distinction of being the maddest, most ridiculous event in the show's history...it's also (bizarrely) one of the best, because of the card boasting some really strong matches.
Carlito vs. Chris Masters
A fine opener featuring two (then) promising rising stars. A full babyface-turn was on the horizon for Carlito, but because of the split-up between the former tag partners, he was still behaving quite heelishly here against Masters. Heel vs. heel match-ups are difficult to pull off, but these two succeeded in winning fashion, putting together an entertaining contest that you can't help but enjoy. (7/10)
Ric Flair vs. Umaga (w/Armando Alejandro Estrada)
Ah, Umaga (RIP). How I miss him, and Armando for that matter. I didn't think the act would ever succeed and I'm so glad I was proven wrong. Alas, the former Jamal was still in the early days of his new gimmick, and not yet over with the fans. Despite this clash against the Nature Boy being hugely dull, it demonstrated Umaga's ability to work a match and began to establish the Samoan Bulldozer as one to watch in the foreseeable future. (4/10)
WWE Women's Championship Match
Mickie James (Champion) vs. Trish Stratus
I cannot praise the efforts of these two legends enough. Their run together was arguably the best in all of women's wrestling, everything from the storyline to their matches. And this was shaping up to be as classic as their WrestleMania 22 bout...until Trish legitimately injured her shoulder, ending things prematurely. A great, great shame. (5/10)
Winner Takes All Match
Shelton Benjamin (Intercontinental Champion) vs. Rob Van Dam (Mr. Money in the Bank)
I had wanted to see this match for a long, long time. Simply because both these guys are among the most spectacular, awe-inspiring pioneers I've ever seen in wrestling. And although the anticipated showdown doesn't quite match expectations, the result is nevertheless excellent. The structure is flawed and the chemistry doesn't gel as well as it should, but RVD and Shelton still put on a great, innovative match full of wicked, outstanding spots. One-to-watch. (9/10)
Big Show vs. Kane
Whenever you have a successful team that splits, you will inevitably see the former partners square off. And right away, I must say all this was stupid and pointless. One of the most devastating tag teams made to look inferior to the BLOODY SPIRIT SQUAD is bad enough, but for this slow, inexcusable snorefest to be just used as a means to promote See No Evil was outrageous. The red lighting and voices over the PA system just made me shake my head in disbelief. (3/10)
After that, I thought things couldn't possibly sink any lower. How wrong I was...
Shawn Michaels & "God" vs. Mr. McMahon & Shane McMahon.
THE MERE IDEA...of Shawn teaming up with "God" against the McMahons...was one the stupidest, most pointless, most tasteless things I have EVER seen in my life. Vince had definitely lost the plot at this point, and this is something I would've expected RUSSO to come up with, NOT McMahon! Amazingly though, despite all the absurd segments throughout the night, the actual match is GREAT because of you-know-who. Ever the pro, Shawn just tears the house down AS USUAL (kudos to Shane for his contribution). Terrible ending makes the "God" angle all the more vile, but we can be thankful for at least the action. And to HBK. (8/10)
WWE Championship Triple-Threat Match
John Cena (Champion) vs. Triple H vs. Edge (w/Lita)
This is one of those memorable tussles that will have you on the edge of your seat. Cena and Edge were really starting to shine as main-eventers and Triple H was ideal in helping to get them over. It's wild, bloody and absolutely chaotic, with all three men working hard to give you (and the crowd) an outstanding triple-threat. Match of the night. (9/10)
Several special features to check out here. Stay away from the hideous McMahon church visit segment from Raw, and instead watch a menacing post-match interview with Triple H and a load of segments focusing on Joey Styles (from both Backlash and the night after on Raw). These are the highlights of the extras, because it all foreshadowed the impending revival of ECW and put Joey in the spotlight. A great conversation with RVD, a great altercation with Jerry Lawler and an awe-inspiring promo from Styles as he quits Raw, emphasize just how magnificent his voice and passion are. Why Styles isn't allowed to commentate for WWE TODAY, I don't have a clue.
WWE Backlash 2006 has a lot of unfortunate content that leaves a bad taste in your mouth. Mercifully though, there's a lot of excellent stuff that WILL take the taste away and leave you feeling satisfied. The main-event and Winner-Takes-All match are the ones to buy this DVD for, as is HBK vs. McMahons (for all the hideous stuff surrounding it.) A few duds, but ones that can be overlooked.
All in all, this is an event that will appeal to most fans. Just keep in mind what you're letting yourself in for.