While walking down the steps exiting the Dunkin Donuts Center in Providence, R.I. last night following the conclusion of one of the more entertaining pay-per-views in recent memory, a plethora of pleasing thoughts flowed through my mind ranging from joy and happiness to relief and fulfillment.
Backlash produced a card of six matches (plus one typical dark match between Kofi Kingston and Dolph Ziggler, with Kofi getting the win via Trouble in Paradise) that were overall a great success.
ECW Championship Match: Christian def. ECW Champion Jack Swagger to Become the New ECW Champion
Pros: Let's start with the ending and the highlight of the match: Captain Charisma finally getting some gold (even though its more like silver)!
Many downgrade the ECW title, but in the Poll Issue of PWI magazine, the ECW Championship is considered more prestigious than the Intercontinental and Ring of Honor World Title.
This match, just like the previous matches with Swagger and Christian, was well-performed with no visible botches.
No surprise that Swagger controlled the majority of the match, and the crowd was really into it and well behind the Instant Classic.
Nice to see Christian fight fire with fire by removing the turnbuckle to help lead up to the Killswitch for the pin and the win.
Cons: The only problem I can find was that with Swagger controlling about 70 percent of the match, Christian was not able to get in a majority of his best moves such as the Diving Headbutt.
Chris Jericho def. Ricky "The Dragon" Steamboat
Pros: I originally did not think that Steamboat could go a full match, but boy was I wrong. The "You Still Got It" chants were definitely well-deserved by Steamboat who gave it his all.
Most importantly, Y2J did a great job in pacing the match in order for keep Steamboat from tiring by slowing it down when it seemed that Steamboat may need a second or two to catch his breath.
Cons: A little disheartening to see Ricky get his foot on the rope following a devastating Y2J Codebreaker (which was slightly botched).
Although this kept the fans into the match, it was a bit of a slap in the face to all the active wrestlers who have fallen to a single Codebreaker, such as CM Punk or Jeff Hardy.
The only other negative aspect of the match was Ricky's terribly botched attempt at a Figure-Four.
He initially tried to cross over Y2J's leg, then changed his mind, ultimately resulting in a terrible-looking Figure Four.
Kane def. CM Punk
Pros: The match was well-paced with both stars getting in an equal amount of offense. I was pleased to see the WWE allow some of Punk's technical skills to shine through his various counters of Kane's chokeslam attempts.
This match was far better than the one these two put on RAW recently, and had a legitimate finish with Kane countering Punk's offense with a Chokeslam.
Cons: The match itself did not have any legitimate build-up worthy of garnering a spot on a PPV, thus the crowd wasn't very into it. Slightly saddened that Punk didn't get the "W" in this one, due to the fact that he will be one of this company's biggest stars for the next 10 years, and he does not even get a win over a guy who does not mind putting others over.
Jeff Hardy def. Matt Hardy in an "I Quit" Match
Pros: The two consecutive Swanton Bombs by Jeff and the Twist of Fate on the outside were well-executed, and the Whisper in the Wind that Jeff hit was one of the best he's done in a while.
I was also surprised at the impressive use of submission moves by the brothers since neither is noted for their submission abilities. Jeff tying Matt on that table and hitting that leg drop was devastating.
Cons: I had high hopes for this match and expected to see a great number of dangerous spots and weapon usage; nevertheless, I was utterly disappointed.
Compared to the devastation witnessed in the Mankind vs. Rock or Cena vs. JBL "I Quit" matches this was nothing. Other than the leg drop off the ladder, there were no other "Oh My God" moments that left me breathless or shocked.
Randy Orton, Ted DiBiase, and Cody Rhodes def. WWE Champion Triple H, Batista, and Shane McMahon with Randy Orton becoming the New WWE Champion
Pros: Finally...Finally...Finally...The Age of Orton is off life support and the top superstar in the WWE is FINALLY the WWE Champion once again.
Ironically, it occurs at the exact same PPV that Orton lost his title in a terrific fatal-four-way to none other than Triple H one year ago.
Legacy's performance during this match reigned supreme and I think this match proved to many of the doubters that this stable is one to be noticed.
Many would have been disappointed if the pinfall did not involve Orton or Triple H so having Triple H kick out of an RKO kept him looking strong and led to a devastating Punt that sealed the deal.
Triple H ripping the chair out of Batista's hands, which ultimately led to the RKO by Orton could potentially lead to another Triple H-Batista feud.
Although this has been done before, since Batista is incapable of putting on a good match with 90 percent of the people in the WWE, Triple H is one of a few individuals that can carry Batista through a series of matches.
Cons: Shane McMahon and Batista in general were disappointing and were far too involved in the match. Also, having Orton run away early on is no way to treat the top heel in the business.
Although this match was better than the Triple H-Orton WM25 matchup, the pace was a bit slow for the match of this caliber and really only picked up when Orton and Triple H faced off. But, the ending was amazing and I am not one to complain.
Edge def. World Heavyweight Champion John Cena in a Last Man Standing Match to Become the New World Heavyweight Champion
Pros: WOW! The best match of the night, and one of the top matches of the year so far. Although the match did not have as much weapon usage as most Last Man Standing matches, Edge and Cena easily made up for it with creativity and story-telling.
Even though the top spot occured when Big Show Chokeslammed Cena into the spotlight setting off an explosion, many other notable spots were present including: Cena hitting an Attitude Adjuster off the top rope, an Attitude Adjuster into the crowd, Edge spearing a leaping Cena, fighting through the Providence crowd literally five or ten feet in front of me, Cena with a bulldog on Edge into a 10+ foot fall to the ground, and the con-chair-to on the entrance ramp.
Edge winning was phenomenal as all the Super-Cena lovers were devastated. The "YEA-BOO" chants when Edge and Cena traded punches was great and the kids were clueless.
Cons: Would have liked to see some bloodshed in this match, but I guess with the PG rating, blood is now a relatively rare occurrence in the WWE.
I would have much preferred to see Edge spear Cena into that spotlight, with both men down until Edge made it up at the count of nine, but I guess this sets up a Big Show-Cena feud (which I am not exactly looking forward to).
The ringing in my ears from the screams of the annoying little Cena fans behind me is still aggravating but I am eased by the fact that they left in tears when Edge won. A terrific end to a terrific PPV.