PPV Review: Backlash 2009
Match No. 1—ECW Title Match
After being ignored for the better part of a month, ECW Champion Jack Swagger proved how good he really is and how capable he is at handling superstars like John Cena and now Christian.
Usually, it seems like the ECW Title match opens the pay-per-view and is often seen as a throwaway match. But in this case, the match really got the fans excited about the rest of the card.
Christian finally got some more attention from the WWE and captured the ECW Title. The finish gave Swagger something to complain about and, wisely on the WWE's part, didn't make him look weak.
It was also smart on WWE's part to show the longer celebration, which made the title seem a bit more important. We also got the long-awaited interaction between Christian and Edge backstage.
It wasn't a happy confontation either, which makes me hope for a feud in the near future.
Match No. 2—Jericho vs. Steamboat
How awesome is it that a 56-year-old WWE Hall-of-Famer can get a bigger pop and look better in the ring than most of the heavily pushed young guys right now?
This is the match that should've been at WrestleMania XXV. Steamboat and Jericho have some really great chemistry, and even though he lost, Steamboat came out on top.
He seemes to be one of the "old timers" who is always seen as a good guy, a "clean" guy, and that perception had a lot to do with how good he looked at Backlash.
Jericho rightly won the match and will continue to look good, not because he won, but because he makes all of these older guys look good. For me personally, this was the match of the night.
Match No. 3—CM Punk vs. Kane
It was nice to see Kane actually win a match, especially at a pay-per-view, but it served no purpose. At least not yet.
Punk is the two-time winner of the "Money in the Bank" ladder match, and he pretty much got punked out here. It was actually a good match, and highlighted the many moves in Punks arsenal he tried to use to combat the "Big Red Machine."
I think this match was better served to be held off so that a bit more of a feud can be built up, especially after Punk cashes in his case. I thought he'd do it tonight, but it looks more so to be when Judgement Day is in his hometown.
The crowd was surprisingly not behind Punk, and I think it's something the WWE should pay attention to. He was a major fan-favorite this time last year, but the WWE dropped the ball.
Thanks to the Internet, many of us fans know what Punk is like as a heel, and I think it's time for a turn. Kane is a fan-favorite, heel or not, and if done right, Punk can be turned by using him.
This was a good match, but a bit pointless.
Match No. 4—I Quit Match
This match was good in that it ended the feud between the Jeff and Matt Hardy, but it showed how much the ball was dropped.
This match was better than their WrestleMania match in that more items were used and it didn't feel as rushed. It was a good move for Matt to get on the mic and bring up their deceased mother and sick father. It played upon him being a bit of a lazy heel who'd do or say anything to get out of a situation.
It's still unclear what exactly will happen between the two. Matt should capitalize on the opportunity now laid before him on RAW, with both Triple H and John Cena likely to be out for some time, leaving him among the top tier of heels and stars in general.
Jeff can move on to getting back into a feud with Edge since it was interrupted. Hopefully, Punk as a heel will cash in on his title shot, beat Edge, and then feud with Hardy as I think they'd put on some exciting matches.
Kiss Cam Segment
As a diva fan, or fan in general, I was extremely disappointed this was even on the pay-per-view. The show was doing really well just being nothing but matches, and this weak segment brought down the quality of the whole pay-per-view.
As a Diva fan, I'd rather see a Diva match, even if it's a tag match. This "Santina" thing is not over with fans, even though Santino has been for some time. The gimmick in general is played out, and the crowd was really dead for the whole thing.
The only part that got any pop was when Beth Phoenix challenged for the Miss WrestleMania crown. She should've been the rightful winner anyway.
Khali's involvement was pointless, but was made interesting thanks to Beth's solid mic skills. Hopefully, the WWE will let her talk more as she's one of few divas who has any personality when they speak.
If anything, this whole waste of time hopefully serves as the end of Glamarella.
Match No. 5—Six-Man Tag Team Match for the WWE Championship
It was very nice to see Cody Rhodes and Ted DiBiase work the majority of this match and not get buried. Hopefully, it's a sign that the WWE is going to let them work main even matches and be on main event status.
The star of the match, of course, is the true future of the WWE, Randy Orton. He continued to play up his sneaky heel persona, capitalizing on every moment the referee's back was turned.
Orton consistently gets a mixed reaction from the crowd, although the crowd at Backlash was more behind him, despite everything he's done. Like Chris Jericho, Orton is definitely a Stone Cold-type heel that fans cheer.
I was expecting a heel turn from either Batista or Shane since it's been teased, but it should happen soon enough. I personally enjoy seeing Orton's RKO come out of nowhere, and the fans did too.
It's wise that Triple H is going to take some time off now, as even in a stretcher, his stale face character was getting, "Na-Na-Na Goodbye" and "Please Retire" chants.
It should be a sign to Vince McMahon and Triple H that the fans are turning on them once again, especially if they cheer a heel who "beat up" the entire McMahon family, including Stephanie.
Triple H's time off is well-timed, and hopefully he will come back as something different. Unfortunately, this means Orton will most likely move on to feud with Batista again, which I can seriously do without.
I thought Punk would cash in on Orton during the pay-per-view, since Orton is the reason Punk lost the title in the first place. But, the WWE isn't always known for continuity.
RAW is lacking in established faces that the fans would be behind, so I'd like to see Kofi Kingston get a main event push as he's proven he's over with the fans and is definitely entertaining.
Match No. 6—Last Man Standing
From some of my other articles, it's obvious I'm not a fan of Cena.
I'm definitely one of those "mark" fans (REAL fans) who can't stand the sight of him. But I've got to say Cena earned some respect from me at Backlash.
I think it's mainly due to Edge being his opponent, who always makes Cena look really good, and seems to bring out the most attitude from him.
The spots in this match were nicely done. From the Attitude Adjustment off the ropes (which reminded me of a Shinsuke Nakamura/Hiroshi Tanahashi spot from last year), to the Attitude Adjustment into the crowd (onto planted fans, but still nicely done), Cena copied Edge in throwing everything he could at him.
It was nice to hear the fans cheering for Edge as well, as he has been such an established star, and really the only permanent heel. But the fans obviously were behind what he was doing.
Cena finally coming out of that "WWE poster boy shell" and also got the fans behind him, who before the match were chanting "Cena sucks" and booed his entrance.
It's time for another Cena heel turn and I think he could finally get the fans completely behind him if he did. The most talked-about superstars like Stone Cold and the Rock, got over not as poster boys but as vicious heels, and it'd be wise for Cena to do the same.
Now we get to the end of the match, the big spot.
I have to admit, I was not expecting The Big Show of all people to come out. It once again played upon Edge doing anything possible to win, and I have a feeling, especially with being on different shows, that Edge "gave up" Vickie to The Big Show.
The spot into the lights was pretty crazy, but perfectly done. It obviously wasn't completely believable since Cena wasn't bleeding from every orifice, but he sold being out of it with perfection, like Triple H did earlier in the night.
I think myself and the crowd were waiting for Punk, but it was good it didn't happen last night, as it would've taken away from the shock of Cena going through the spotlight.
In case you missed it, Christian ended up running out to help Cena and gave Edge a subtle glance. Along with their interaction earlier in the show, hopefully this spelled the beginning of a summer-long feud.
All in all, Backlash seemed to be the "original" WrestleMania card. Christian and Kane both won (both of them were the MITB favorites).
Jericho versus Steamboat was better without the other legends who only served to interfere in the WrestleMania match. Jeff Hardy beat his brother, and Orton and Edge won the titles.
To me, with the exception of Shawn Michaels versus 'Taker on the card, WrestleMania XXV was not as good as Backlash.
This was a very nice pay-per-view follow-up that hopefully sets up new feuds, and revisits old ones.
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