Bye Bye Backlash: The 10 Greatest Matches at the Defunct Pay Per View
WWF Backlash started in April 1999 as one of the final pay per views in the "In Your House" series. Starting in 2000, it became an annual event as the official post-Wrestlemania pay per view. Backlash was renowned for Wrestlemania rematches and extending feuds that seem to have reached their peak a month before.
Starting this month, it is being replaced by "Extreme Rules," a gimmick pay per view characterized by various forms of No Holds Barred/No Disqualification matches.
Backlash was a great event that will be missed by many, especially Shane McMahon, who was in the thick of all of Backlash's best matches.
In honor of Backlash, I have compiled a list of the event's 10 greatest and most memorable matches.
10: 2006 - Shelton Benjamin(c) vs Rob Van Dam
This match was both for Rob Van Dam's money in the bank contract and Shelton Benjamin's Intercontinental Championship. It was just just a great, fast paced match between two of the best in ring performers of all time. RVD won the title with a five star frog splash
9: 2003 - The Rock vs Bill Goldberg
This match in all honesty was overhyped and generally disappointed. It gets However, it ranks at No. 9 due to its sheer star power. It was a historic "dream" match between two legends on opposing sides of the Monday night wars.
Goldberg kicked out of the Rockbottom and the People's Elbow and beat Rock with two Spears and a Jackhammer. This was the second to last match in Rock's career and the first in Goldberg's WWE tenure. Though it wasn't the greatest bout ever, it will be remembered for a long time.
8: 2009 - John Cena (c) vs Edge
A brutal last man standing match for the world heavyweight championship. Edge had lost his title to Cena at Wrestlemania, and it seemed sure that "the champ" would retain.
The big swerve came when Big Show snuck up from behind Cena and chokeslammed him through a stage light. After taking that bump, Cena could not answer the 10 count and shockingly lost his title.
All three world title changed hands at Backlash 2009.
7: 2007 - John Cena (c) vs Randy Orton vs Edge vs Shawn Michaels
A fatal four-way match which seemed almost certain that Cena would lose. After beating HBK to retain the WWE title, many believed that Michaels would win this match by pinning either Edge or Orton.
The bout was great with creative spots, false finishes and a secession of moves and counters leading to a surprising ending.
Orton tried to RKO Edge and was pushed off into a near FU from Cena which he wriggled out of. Cena then blocked the RKO and pushed him into Edge's spear. Cena then FU'd Edge and walked into Sweet Chin Music from HBK. But the kick made Cena land on Orton and get the pinfall.
Though HBK came up short, he stole the show with a moonsault to all three other competitors.
6: 2004 - Randy Orton (c) vs Cactus Jack
Evolution had beaten the Rock and Sock Connection in a handicap match at Wrestlemania after Orton pinned Foley.
Foley came back at Backlash as Cactus Jack to fight Orton in a hardcore rematch. This time, the legend killer had to put his Intercontinental title on the line.
It was a match full of blood, barbed wires and thumb tacks. Though Orton predictably beat Cactus, this match really began his ascent to superstardom.
5: 2001 - Triple H (c) and Steve Austin(c) vs Brothers of Destruction(c)
This was an interesting fight between the Two Man Power trip and the Brothers of Destruction. WWF champion Steve Austin teamed with Intercontinental champion Triple H to face off against tag team team champions Kane and the Undertaker. All three titles were on the line.
All four guys brought the house down with a great performance. With some help from Vince McMahon, the power trip won when Triple H hit Kane with a sledgehammer.
4: 2006 - Vince McMahon and Shane McMahon vs Shawn Michaels (and God?)
Shawn Michaels beat Vince McMahon in a classic bout at Wrestlemania.
This led to a crazed McMahon to believe that Shawn Michaels was being helped by God. After going off the deep end, the chairman put himself in a tag team match with his son against Shawn Michaels, and HBK's partner, God.
The bout was as funny as it was controversial. Before the match, Vince ordered the referee to check God for foreign objects. It appeared that the team of Michaels and God was too much for the McMahons, when the Spirit Squad got involved and turned the bout into a 7-on-1 handicap match.
As usual, it was a great performance by Michaels and a very memorable bout.
3: 1999 - Steve Austin (c) vs The Rock
Austin, Rock, WWF title—Need I say anymore?
The Rock got his rematch against Austin after losing his title to The Rattlesnake at Wrestlemania. Shane McMahon was the special guest referee.
It was a classic Rock/Austin bout that changed the direction of every main event storyline in the company. Vince McMahon, worried about the Undertaker's Ministry, turned face by attacking his son and refusing to screw Austin. Austin beat Rock with a Stunner and a shot across the head with the title belt.
Immediately following the match, Undertaker kidnapped Stephanie McMahon in a classic segment ("Where to Stephanie!?)
The next week, Shane and Undertaker formed the Corporate Ministry and The Rock became a top face.
2: 2001 - Shane McMahon vs Big Show
This was a last man standing match. Very few people remember anything about the match except how it ended.
When Shane McMahon started climbing up the Backlash set, everyone expected Big Show would just drag him down, or maybe Shane would do a drop kick from a few feet.
What happened next was possibly the most memorable bump in the history of wrestling.
Test knocked out Big Show from behind and left him lying down by some sort of dumpster. Shane climbed up at least 50 feet high and looked down to see Test encouraging to jump. The boy wonder crossed himself and leaped down, knocking out both himself and Big Show.
I don't know how he actually pulled that off without killing himself or Big Show. This was the first time I ever watched wrestling and felt scared.
Fortunately, both of them were alright and Shane won the match.
I doubt anyone will ever top Shane's leap of faith in terms of sheer "wow!"
1: 2000 - Triple H (c) vs The Rock
In terms of buildup, fan reaction and psychology, this match was just the whole package.
Rock, the number 1 good guy, basically faced off against the entire McMahon-Helmsley faction in what was pretty much a giant handicap match.
With Shane McMahon as the guest referee, victory seemed to be impossible for The Great One. When Shane refused to count the pinfall, Rock hit a double Rockbottom on both him and Triple H through the announcers table.
The rest of the regime beat the hell out of Rocky until Stone Cold saved the day with a steel chair.
Then, Linda McMahon shoved her daugher and brought back face referee Earl Hebner. Rock hit a People's Elbow, Hebner counted to three, and Rock was the champion.
The fans literally hit the roof. When Rock won the title, it was one of the biggest pops ever.
After the match, Austin came back and the two attitude era heroes celebrated in the ring with a few beers.