Welcome to In Your Head! Wrestling podcast, news and community!
Welcome to In Your Head! Wrestling podcast, news and community!
Tonight the WWE presents us with Backlash. The night may well bring some of RAW?s storylines to an end, and will almost certainly add fuel to the fire of others. Up for grabs are the WWE Championship, the Intercontinental Championship, The Money In The Bank Contract, and the Women?s Championship. The WWE has put a lot of prizes on the table tonight, lets see who will claim them.
The show opens with the familiar voice of Jim Ross, who is joined by Jerry Lawler. The two make up the announce team that will be calling the show, and after introducing themselves they take us straight to the first match of the night.
Match 1 ? Chris Masters vs. Carlito
I was hoping for fireworks from this match. It has been built up quite nicely, and both men know each other well enough to put on an excellent show. Although they didn?t live up to my expectations, they did put on a solid show. They worked an a medium but consistently paced match that primary featured striking, with Masters usually having the upper hand. While Carlito?s excellent selling of Masters power moves stood out in the contest, unfortunately nothing else did. The match ended in a rather anti-climatic fashion, as Carlito pinned Masters with the help of the ropes after hitting the Back Cracker. I consider this an average but solid match, and certainly a safe way to start the show.
We then go backstage where Maria introduces a clip of fans announcing their predictions of tonight?s main event Tipple H vs. Cena vs. Edge. Her segment is interrupted by Lita who drops by to insult the crowd and assure us that Edge is certain to win tonight.
We go back to the ring where Armondo Alejandro Estrada does the announce work for Umaga.
Match 2 ? Umaga vs. Rick Flair
In what was practically a squash, Umaga dominates Flair for the majority of this match. With the exception of a brief period at the beginning, Umaga controlled this match by way of a medium paced strike fest. In the end Umaga?s Thumb Spike to the throat of Flair got him the win. This was a decent match, but the fact the Flair never really held his own against Umaga felt a little strange. Flair got jobbed out tonight, plain and simple.
Next we get a promo from Vince and Shane about their upcoming match with HBK. They make several joking biblical references, after which a video packages detailing the feud between Micky James and Trish Stratus is played.
Match 3 ? Micky James vs. Trish Stratus (WWE Woman?s Championship match)
This was one of the matches I?d been looking forward to. Both women dropped their imitation gimmicks and came out in their normal dress and appearance. They worked a very fast paced match at the beginning, highlighted by some innovative offense from Trish. Though the beginning of the match was what I expected, the rest was not. The pace slowed down greatly with Micky grounding Trish, and eventually choking her out with a necklace; forcing the ref to disqualify her and give Trish the win. Though I realize that the WWE wants to drag this feud out longer, they could have come up with a better ending for this match, as it was it left me very disappointed. Though it started out as a very good match, the abrupt ending robbed it of it?s luster.
It?s backstage again where Maria interviews HBK. He gives a generic ?I shall overcome? speech and we are taken back to the ring.
Match 4 ? Shelton Benjamin vs. RVD (IC Title and Money In The Bank Match)
With both the IC title and the Money In The Bank contract on the line, this was the second most important match of the night, and it?s near twenty minute time span showed the WWE understood this. I must say both men worked much slower than I would have expected. That having been said, this match never seemed to drag or slow down too much. They used a nice combination of wrestling and brawling to keep things interesting, and had Benjamin dominate for the majority of the contest. The end of the match brought so many false finishes that it seemed to make the outcome of the match even more uncertain. Eventually RVD hit the 5 Star Frog Slash to win the title, as well as retain the Money In The Bank contract. This match was long, and I think a faster pace would have made it better, however the two put on a very entertaining show which finished very strong.
A video package showing the demise of the Big Show and Kane tag team is run, followed by Todd interviewing Big Show. Through the use of bad acting, Big Show informs us that he is out for revenge tonight.
Match 5 Kane vs. Big Show
Sadly, this match was about what I expected, slow, plodding and minimally entertaining. The non stop punches and kicks seemed to wear down the enthusiasm of the fans as well, as they were at their quietest during this match up. In an effort to spice things up, near the end of the match the lights went red and the May 19th ?voices? came back into Kane?s head bringing the match to a screeching halt. Seeing Kane tormented by the voices Big Show decides to help Kane by hitting over the head with a chair. This treatment worked and the ?voices? stopped and the lighting went back to normal. What didn?t go back to normal was the match. Big Show wasn?t disqualified, and the match didn?t actually end, Big Show and the ref just left the ring. The whole episode just seemed goofy and silly. They should have skipped this match all together and given Trish and Micky some more time.
In an effort to prove that the WWE knows know bounds when it comes to goofy and silly, Candace approaches Vince backstage and asks him to lay hands on her ?chest? in order to cure her cold. What followed was a sea of bad acting so torturous that I won?t even attempt to describe it. We are rescued from the scene by a video reel showing the evolution of the McMahon/HBK feud.
Match 6 ? Vince and Shane McMahon vs. HBK
After Vince introduces God into the area, and begins to taunt him, HBK hits the ring and the match is underway. As expected the match was a brawl from start to finish. Considering the limited skills of the McMahons I though the match went very well. HBK got in some very nice high spots including a dive from a ladder to the floor. A late staged rally by HBK was broken up by the Spirit Squad, allowing Vince to get the pin and ending the match. This one went as well as it possibly could considering the participants, and was enjoyable to watch.
Once again we go backstage for Todd?s interview of John Cena. In a nice promo Cena recounts the events of the last few weeks and predicts his victory in the main event.
It?s then back to ring side for a segment with Matt Striker. Matt does a comedy routine with Eugene based on the ever popular comedic principles of poop and buggers. Though mildly amusing I couldn?t help but think where is a diva pillow fight match when you need one? The segment is followed by a Cena, Edge, Triple H video package.
Match 7 ? Edge w/Lita vs. Triple H vs. John Cena
When your in the main event of a PPV you are expected to turn in a first rate performance, something all thee participants obviously know. The three gave a very good performance though, most of the match focused on Cena and Triple H. Triple H bled like a stuck pig for this one, and by the end of the night his entire face was red with blood. The match was primarily filled with high impact moves, and was driven by fast paced action. Though I would have liked to have seen Edge play a bigger role, this was by any measure a very entertaining contest. The end came when Cena reversed Triple H?s finisher and rolled him up for a pin. There was not time for celebration however as Triple H quickly grabbed his trusty sledgehammer and leveled everyone in the ring. Though he lost, the way the match ended and the large amount of time spent following Triple H around the arena after the match made a few things clear. Edge is insignificant, Cena may have the belt, but the belt means nothing, and Triple H is the top man on RAW, title or not.
There were a few gems scattered throughout the show tonight, though not all of them were as polished as they could have been. Still the big matches of the night did feel big, and it?s big matches that sell PPVs. I imagine the main event will be the draw for most, however I?m sure many will be just as happy with the HBK vs. the McMahons, RVD vs. Benjamin and perhaps even Trish vs. Micky. Overall I?d say this was a solid PPV with the big matches carrying the brunt of the load, making it a worthwhile purchase.
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