WWE: The Best Post-WrestleMania PPV Matches
Let me quickly explain the criteria for this article.
First, by post-WrestleMania, I’m referring to the PPV that follows WrestleMania. Secondly, it has to be a new feud and not a rematch from WrestleMania. Third, it has to be one of the main-event feuds and not just one of the matches on the undercard. Finally, this list will cover from 1995 to the present.
I chose 1995 because that was the first year that WWE started their In Your House events and WWE expanded to monthly PPV’s.
Enough of the explanations-let’s get to the matches.
In Your House: Good Friends, Better Enemies-Shawn Michaels vs. Diesel
This was Shawn Michaels’ first title defense after winning the title from Bret Hart in the Iron Man Match.
The title of this In Your House was Good Friends, Better Enemies and it was referencing the long history between HBK and Diesel.
At this point it was no secret that Diesel was leaving the company for greener pastures and WCW so his job at this point was to put over his opponents-much like he did at WrestleMania the previous month against The Undertaker.
On his way out of the company, Diesel put on a great no holds barred match with one of his best friends and in the process gave HBK a legitimate, credibility-building win.
Backlash 2001: Stone Cold & Triple H vs. Kane and the Undertaker
Austin had just turned heel by associating with Vince McMahon at WrestleMania 17.
Many fans, however, were still not buying the heel turn. WWE tried everything to get the fans to boo Austin. Austin stunnered Lita, attacked his close friend Jim Ross and then was paired with former adversary Triple H.
Austin was the WWE Champion, Triple H would win the I-C Title and so the main event of Backlash was set-a battle for all the titles as The Brothers of Destruction were the tag team champions.
At the conclusion of the PPV, the Two-Man Power Trip were officially the most dominant men on the roster as they held the three major titles
Backlash 2002: Triple H vs. Hulk Hogan-Unified Title Match
The crowds at WrestleMania 18 and at the Raw following the big event turned Hogan face by giving him massive positive reactions.
Triple H had become unified champion by defeating Chris Jericho, also at WrestleMania. The Game was set to rule the world and have a long reign as the top dog-or so it seemed.
Triple H was instead cut off at the knees and less than a month after he won the title, The Game dropped the title to the Hulkster.
Backlash 2003: The Rock vs. Goldberg
This was a dream match-up that many were anticipating. With The Rock on his way out of the company, however, the match did not live up to its potential.
This was Goldberg’s first match with the WWE and one of The Rock’s final singles matches with the company.
The Rock had finally defeated old-time rival Steve Austin the previous month at WrestleMania in what would be Austin’s last match.
Well, since Rock was also leaving, he also found himself doing the job here.
Check out the special features on the DVD as a humble Rock says farewell to the fans in attendance.
Backlash 2003: Brock Lesnar vs. John Cena-WWE Championship Match
This match took place on the same card as the Goldberg-Rock match.
While the Rock-Goldberg match was the main-event, this forgotten match was for the WWE Championship and it was Cena’s first ever WWE title match.
In the tournament to determine the number one contender, Cena pinned Eddie Guerrero, The Undertaker and Chris Benoit. Not too bad for a then, still unproven Cena.
Cena would dominate the match, as there was only so much an injured Brock could do, but Cena would look impressive in defeat.
After the loss, however, Cena would drop back down to the lower mid-card and not get another push until several months later.
Backlash 2005: Shawn Michaels & Hulk Hogan vs. Muhammad Hassan & Daivari
Muhammad Hassan and Daivari amounted to nothing in WWE so the match doesn’t mean too much anymore, however, it was great to see the iconic Hogan and HBK tag team.
Following WrestleMania, Hassan and Daivari taunted Michaels for tapping out to Kurt Angle and still being treated like a hero.
The taunts would then turn to beatings and HBK wanted to face both men. Eric Bischoff would not allow that and forced HBK to find a partner.
This is where Hogan came in. At the time, there were still plenty of, ‘One More Match’ chants for Hogan. Michaels convinced Hogan to team with him to take on Hassan and his lackey.
The match wasn’t a technical classic, however, it was fun and very entertaining for nostalgic reasons.
Backlash 2008: Shawn Michaels vs. Batista
We had seen this match previously at the 2003 Armageddon as HBK came out on top.
This time it was more personal as Michaels had just retired Batista’s mentor, Ric Flair. Michaels was feeling a lot of backlash (no pun intended) overall from several people for retiring one of the biggest legends ever.
Michaels faked the knee injury during the match and as Batista showed some sympathy, he became a victim of sweet chin music as HBK once again picked up the win against the animal.
The feud would not end here as the two would then face off at Extreme Rules. This match-up would also set-up the awesome HBK-Jericho feud.
Extreme Rules 2010: Jack Swagger vs. Randy Orton-World Title Match
Remember when Jack Swagger mattered? Well, if you blinked you probably missed it.
This was Swagger’s first major title defense following his title win against Chris Jericho. WWE has still trying to sell Swagger as a credible champion so they placed him against their apex predator.
Many questions were posed, namely, would they put Swagger over cleanly? Well, a Swagger Bomb later, and the question was answered as Swagger did go over.
Orton would move onto feuding with Edge while Swagger’s reign and credibility would be destroyed by The Big Show.
Well, this year’s main event will be the triple threat for the WWE Championship.
Since Cena and Miz wrestled in the main-event of WrestleMania last month, it won’t be fresh but could still be pretty great.
The one to look out for will be the ladder match between Alberto Del Rio and Christian for the vacant World Title. A star will certainly be born and finally move on to the next level.