VINE VOICEon 22 May 2011
Backlash 2009 is something of a monument in WWE's pay-per-view history. Or rather, it was. This would be the final Backlash event WWE would put on before deciding to change most of their pay-per-view names and themes. In this case, the theme of Backlash of repercussions and fallout from WrestleMania would give way to Extreme Rules (now the format for the April pay-per-view since 2010).
Of course, what helps lessen the sadness, is that the Backlash event goes out with a real big bang. It's an absolutely excellent card from start to finish, with the consistency that any essential show has throughout. A brilliant opener, strong undercard and thrilling main-events can be found on this DVD. And all disappointments from the average WrestleMania 25 are made up for in kind here. So fans who felt let down (apart from Undertaker vs. Shawn Michaels obviously) can expect to see the show that they deserve.
ECW Championship Match
Jack Swagger (Champion) vs. Christian
Here, Captain Charisma had come home, much to our delight. And in this great opening bout, he performs with typical flourish. Swagger combines his amateur background and considerable power to great effect, resulting in a clash of styles that's nice to behold. Fine chemistry and solid action throughout make this a charm. The outcome is pleasing also. (8/10)
Chris Jericho vs. Ricky "The Dragon" Steamboat
One of the best things about WrestleMania 25 was The Dragon's comeback performance. After that, we just had to see the Hall of Famer get back in the ring one last time, and again, Ricky wrestles like he never went away. Chris Jericho is the perfect opponent for Steamboat's last hurrah and the result is a gem, with crisp moves and wonderful storytelling. The overall result can't be rated TOO highly, but it's nevertheless a marvellous sight. (7/10)
Kane vs. CM Punk
I got the feeling that this contest between the 2009 Money in the Bank winner and the `runner-up' was just thrown onto the card to give them both something to do in the meantime. So for this to be yet another really good bout is a happy surprise indeed. Punk displays some nice offence and counters here, and Kane shows that he can still go with the right opponent. A strong finish and the knowledge that both wrestlers would go on to achieve world title glory provide such satisfaction. (7/10)
"I Quit" Match
Jeff Hardy vs. Matt Hardy
This type of bout can be so difficult to pull off successfully due to the stipulation. Of course, there have been some legendary successes (i.e. Flair vs. Funk, Rock vs. Mankind and Cena vs. JBL) and although the Hardys don't quite mirror any of those, they provide a rewarding pay-off to their feud. The brothers perform at the level we normally expect, but there's also some great psychology (from Matt in particular) and intensity here. The final moments and the breathtaking climax are classic stuff, making this superior to their WrestleMania collision. (8/10)
Great Khali Kiss Cam with "Santina" Marella.
Why? Just why? An absolutely pointless, tasteless segment involving Khali and the most ridiculous gimmick that came from the abominable Diva battle royal at WrestleMania. The fact that Beth Phoenix had to endure this and the `match' that followed was disrespectful to her. Inexcusable. (0/10)
6-Man Tag Team Match for the WWE Championship
Triple H (Champion), Batista & Shane McMahon vs. Randy Orton, Cody Rhodes & Ted DiBiase
The main-event for WrestleMania 25 was SUCH a letdown. After weeks of perfect build-up, the end result was completely dead (thanks to poor match-booking). Thankfully, that's not the case here. This is a wild title affair, with some great action and great performances from all involved. Orton's storyline here received the natural conclusion it deserved, which makes things even better. The chilling aftermath will be remembered for a long time. (8/10)
Last Man Standing World Heavyweight Championship Match
John Cena (Champion) vs. Edge
The whole feud between Cena and Edge has been one of the greatest rivalries in recent memory, solidifying the main-event credentials of both athletes. Alas, all good things must come to an end, but the rivalry receives the endgame it so richly deserves. The two put on an absolutely hellacious match-up, perhaps their greatest outing together. The crowd is so hot, and the two reward the fans with a back-and-forth war of attrition that spills out all over the arena. Maybe Big Show's involvement was unnecessary, but the incredible conclusion has to be seen to be believed. Match-of-the-night and an awesome way to end an awesome show. (9/10)
Disregarding the tedious Khali Kiss Cam angle, WWE Backlash 2009 is excellent bordering on near-perfect. The match-quality ranges from very good to classic, with every bout having something worth watching. With so many satisfying results and this marking the end of an era, you really can't afford to overlook this.
Again, the number of extras is pitiful on WWE pay-per-view DVD releases (there's only one exclusive focusing on the aftermath of the six-man tag), but the value is to be found in the show itself. And there IS such value to be found here, much more than the three-disc set of WrestleMania. And of course, this is cheaper. It's a no-brainer really.