Tuesday 27 December 2016

WWF Backlash 2002 Review

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Welcome one and all to another bone-chilling edition of the only wrestling review series on the internet that gives The Yeti nightmares: Seaonmaniac Wrestling Reviews. I have fired up the time machine once more and it looks like I am back in 2002. The dust had cleared from Wrestlemania, Triple H stood atop the WWF mountain but Hulkamaniac was running wild brother…. Wait a minute Hulkamania in 2002?..... Hulk Hogan in the main event for the WWF championship in 2002?.... Oh yes, it did happen, Hogan had turned face at Wrestlemania after his classic with The Rock and it seemed The Hulkster could do no wrong as fan support (or politics) showed that Hulk Hogan could have one more championship run in him. The brand split has also taken place and this show allows us a glimpse at the new WWF. We also have Stone Cold Steve Austin vs The Undertaker for the number one contendership to The Undisputed Championship and that’s without mentioning the likes of RVD, Eddie Guerrero, Ric Flair, Kurt Angle and many, many, more.

Opening Promo

All about Hogan and Triple H, Triple H has to take down his childhood icon while Hogan is alive and kicking for all of his fans. Solid stuff from WWF, Hogan wants the belt to cement himself as the best of all-time while Triple H needs to win to make sure his journey to the top was not a waste. Good ol’ Backlash with the hook stage design which every fan remembers vividly. JR and The King Jerry Lawler welcome us to the action.

(WWF Cruiserweight Championship Match) Tajiri W/ Torrie Wilson vs Billy Kidman ©

Tajiri had begun his heel turn as The Japanese Buzzsaw began to mistreat his girlfriend Torrie who was dressed in Japanese attire for this pay per view. Kidman and Tajiri trade holds with Kidman gaining control until Tajiri trips Kidman into the turnbuckle. Kidman counters Tajiri with a boot, Tajiri blocks a hurricanrana and turns into a catapult. Kidman lands on the top rope and nails  a missile dropkick. Tajiri powders to the floor and lures in Kidman who smashes into the guard rail. Scoop slam and a knee drop, Tajiri chokes Kidman across the bottom rope. Martial arts kick to the face of Kidman, snapmare and reverse chinlock by Tajiri.

Kidman fires up, hurricanrana by Kidman but Tajiri puts the breaks on Kidman. Tilt-a-whirl backbreaker by Tajiri, tree of woe for Kidman and Tajiri runs full-speed and dropkicks the champion. Tajiri works the back with knees to the champion, Kidman battles out of a submission hold but Kidman is at Tajiri’s mercy at this time. Double stomp to the lower back, Kidman blocks The Tarantula at first but Tajiri lures Kidman in for a Tarantula. Tajiri breaks the hold. Kidman reverses an Irish whip, Tajiri looks for the handspring elbow but Kidman nails a dropkick to the back of Tajiri’s head. Cover and a two count, Kidman looks for a back suplex and Tajiri slips out the back and nails a spinning heel kick. German suplex with a Delphin Special pin, two count for Tajiri.

Massive martial arts kick by Tajiri to the head, two count for the challenger. Tajiri looks for a powerbomb which Kidman counters into a facebuster. Two count for the champion who signals for The Shooting Star Press, Tajiri dodges the Shooting Star, Buzzsaw Kick by Tajiri for a two. Crowd comes alive for Kidman, Tajiri props Kidman onto the top rope. Massive top rope spinebuster by Kidman, two count for the champion. Kidman looks for a powerbomb but Tajiri sprays the mist on Kidman and picks up the win.

A fantastic, little opener. Feels like a throwback to a WCW openers from the late 90s where the cruiserweights would steal the show more times than not. Tajiri and Kidman come in and the last couple minutes were very exciting with nearfalls and false finishes where I bought into the match being over. Kidman looks gutsy in defeat as her survived Tajiri’s best moves and Tajiri did cheat to win so Kidman looks good and Tajiri also looks good coming out of the match as a cheating, psychotic, controlling boyfriend and heel.

Winner: Tajiri over Kidman via Mist!

Scott Hall W/ X-Pac vs Bradshaw

With Hogan turning babyface, The NWO responded with recruiting former member X-Pac who was formerly known as Syxx. The brand split had left Bradshaw without his partner Faarooq but it seems Bradshaw was benefiting with a rub by working with the likes of Austin and Kane against the likes of Hall and Nash. X-Pac comes to the ring wearing Kane’s mask, Kane would be absent from the WWF until the summer so we never did get a payoff to this angle as The NWO was gone by the summer.

Hall and X-Pac look to corner Bradshaw and out comes Faarooq to watch his buddy’s back. Hall throws his toothpick at Bradshaw and Bradshaw begins beating on The Bad Guy. Clubbing blows from Bradshaw and DDT, Hall powders and runs into Faarooq. Faarooq knocks down X-Pac and Hall, Bradshaw continues to tee off on Hall. Snap suplex and a two count for Bradshaw, Hall begins to get in some offence as Bradshaw argues with the referee. Hall chokes Bradshaw with the ropes, X-Pac takes cheap shots and Hall presses the advantage. Bradshaw bursts out of the corner with a shoulder block, Bradshaw knocks down Hall with elbows. Corner clothesline by Bradshaw, Clothesline From Hell by Bradshaw on the rebound. X-Pac puts Hall’s foot on the ropes.

X-Pac is eventually nailed by Bradshaw and Faarooq but Hall manages to escape with the win by low blowing Bradshaw and rolling-up the big Bradshaw. Match was bowling shoe ugly but that is not always a bad thing. Bradshaw works a stiff style and it looks very believable. Hall took a major beating in this match and did not a whole lot in this match. It was fine, nothing less and nothing more.

Winner: Hall over Bradshaw via roll-up!

(WWF Women’s Championship Match) Trish Stratus vs Jazz ©

Trish won this opportunity by beating Molly Holly and Molly Holly comes out before the champion to disrespect Trish Stratus. I do love Molly’s character from this time period, Molly decks Trish before her match with Jazz. Trish begins to fight back but Molly sends Trish flying into the steel steps. Enter Jazz, the killing machine, Jazz goes right after the ribs of Trish. Story of the match has been established. Jazz is going to break Trish’s back. Jazz nails a rolling firemen’s carry, Trish looks for a knockdown but Jazz begins jabbing Trish. Trish blocks the final punch and tees off, Chick Kick connects for a two count. Chop by Trish, make it two. Trish kicks and punches Jazz in the corner, Jazz shoves off Trish but Trish nails her handstand headscissors, double clothesline by Trish. Trish lowers her head off an Irish whip and Jazz kicks Trish in her face. Sit-out powerbomb by Jazz, two count for the champion.

Jazz drapes Trish across the bottom rope, Jazz chokes the challenger with her boot. Jazz misses a stinger splash, Trish goes for a backslide and gets a two count. Jazz counters Stratusfaction with a back suplex, dragonscrew legwhip by Jazz into a Boston Crab. Jazz drags back Trish and transitions into The STF, Trish has to tapout with the pain being too much. This is how I feel the first match between the two should have went, Jazz had the injury advantage and would toy with Trish which would lead to Trish surprising Jazz with it looking like Trish having a chance to win. That did not happen though, Jazz crushed Trish through this match but you have the injury by Molly playing into the storyline. The match was good, more time would have been nicer and maybe a moment where Trish looked like winning.

Winner: Jazz over Trish via STF!

Brock Lesnar W/ Paul Heyman vs Jeff Hardy

We get a creepy promo where Paul Heyman is holding onto one of Lita’s thongs. Heyman gets a slap for his antics and Heyman tells Brock Lesnar to destroy Matt Hardy. Matt Hardy is laid out on the top of the stage with an F-5. Jeff is fighting for his brother’s honour, Lesnar had debuted after Wrestlemania and put the wrestling world on notice as this raw, rookie destroyed everything in his path. It will be so much fun to cover Lesnar’s initial run with the company as many feel it was underrated so, I shall be the judge on that!

Let it be known that Lesnar’s first theme is as lame as lame can be, it is that bad. Jeff jumps on Brock but Brock shoves Jeff to the floor, Brock is in pursuit but Jeff dropkicks Brock. Jeff tries a plancha but Brock catches Jeff, Brock is ready to ram Jeff into the ringpost but Jeff slides out and Brock hits his head hrad. Crossbody by Jeff gets a one count and Brock goes to work, Brock shoulder thrusts and belly to belly suplexes Jeff. Second overhead throw, series of gutbusters by Brock. Brock Irish whips Jeff hard into the turnbuckle, Jeff counters an Irish whip into The Whisper in The Wind. Jawbreaker and leg drop to the nuts by Jeff, Jeff nails The Swanton and Lesnar powers out of Jeff’s finisher. Jeff grabs a chair, Lesnar hoists up Jeff in mid-shot and Brock lays out Jeff with an F-5. Lesnar powerbombs Jeff into oblivion twice, Lesnar powerbombs Jeff for a third time and the referee calls for the bell as Jeff cannot continue, TKO finish for Lesnar.

Dominating performance and a great introduction to Brock Lesnar for the fans, massive, agile, athletic and can sell, Brock Lesnar is the man. Impressive pay per view match for The Next Big Thing. I am a fan of The TKO finish, use it sparingly and it can super effective as it was on this night. Jeff Hardy is a great wrestler for this type of match as Jeff throws himself around the ring like a ragdoll.

Winner: Brock Lesnar over Jeff Hardy via TKO!

Edge vs Kurt Angle

Edge and Kurt Angle were trading assaults week after week, the match gets a promo package so this match seems like a very highstakes match, I like this aspect because it makes the match seem like a big deal. This was also the beginning of the crowd chanting “You Suck” to Kurt Angle’s theme song. Edge was beginning to find his feet at a singles star thanks to successful booking throughout 2001 and this feels like another huge test for the young Canadian. You also have the history between these two who were former friends who tag teamed throughout 2000.

Kurt Angle shoulder blocks Edge but runs into a couple of right hands, forearm smashes by Edge. Edge runs into an elbow but Angle runs into a dropkick. Flapjack by Edge and Edge clotheslines Angle to the floor, Angle takes a breather before luring Edge to the floor. Edge continues beating on Angle until we re-enter the ring, Angle stomps all over Edge. Spinning heel kick by Edge but Angle answers back with a German suplex and a Woo that the fans eat up. Chops in the corner by Angle, Edge returns the favour. Edge attempts a right hand but Angle cuts off Edge with an overhead belly to belly suplex. Huge knockdown by Angle, Angle nails a snap suplex. Two count for The Olympic Hero, Angle applies a reverse chinlock. Edge survives the hold and battles back to his feet.

Angle puts down Edge with a German suplex, Edge blocks the second and nails Angle with a belly to belly suplex. Slugfest in the middle of the ring, flying forearm by Angle. Back body drop by Edge, Edgecution for a two count! Angle goes low, Edge slides out of the back suplex and nails a facebuster for another two count. Edge climbs to the top rope but quicker than a cat, Angle effortlessly runs up the ropes and nails a belly to belly suplex. Angle goes for The Ankle Lock, Edge kicks off Angle. German suplex by Angle, three to be exact. Two count for Angle, Angle looks for The Angle Slam, Edge slides out and nails a German suplex on Angle. Edge elevates Angle to the floor, Edge nails a crossbody from the top rope to the floor. Missile dropkick in the ring by Edge for a two count, Edgecution is blocked, Edge O Matic is blocked and Angle nails The Angle Slam for a two count.

Angle pulls down the straps and applies The Ankle Lock, Edge crawls and crawls. Edge rolls The Ankle Lock into a victory roll pin, awesome counter which gets a two count. Angle is pissed now, Angle grabs a chair from ringside, Angle misses Edge and hits the top rope. The chair smacks Angle in the face and Edge nails an Edge O Matic. Two count, this match has the crowd standing on their feet. Edge kicks down Angle, Edge looks for The Spear. Angle kicks Edge in the face and nails The Angle Slam, Angle puts away Edge with The Angle Slam.

Great back and forth match, these two can go and Angle was a machine by this point. Edge showed the WWF fans that he did belong with the top tier talent of the WWF, so many nearfalls that had the fans going nuts and in the end, Angle goes over after outsmarting Edge in a way that does not make Edge look like a fool, a common problem for today’s babyfaces. Very good match and their matches as part of The Smackdown Six shall be fun to rewatch!

Winner: Kurt Angle over Edge via Angle Slam!

Chris Jericho Promo

I did find it weird that Jericho was nowhere to be seen on the card, I am guessing an injury but then again, Jericho was playing second-fiddle to Hogan who was feuding with Triple H for the championship. Jericho rips on the fans, the pay per view and Hogan. Jericho leaves in a huff and maybe the future plans were for Hogan vs Jericho somewhere down the line?

(WWF Intercontinental Championship Match) Eddie Guerrero vs Rob Van Dam ©

Eddie Guerrero is back! Latino Heat had returned after Wrestlemania with many fans happy to see the return of Eddie Guerrero. Eddie Guerrero is facing off against RVD, one of the most popular men on the roster. This should be a good match but nothing is ever sure in wrestling.

Guerrero sucker punches RVD but RVD comes back strong with a huge spinkick, forearm shots by Van Dam. Monkey flip and spinning heel kick by the champion, two count for RVD. Eddie grabs the leg of RVD and dragonscrew legwhips RVD. Guerrero eats some shoulder thrusts from RVD before teeing off on the champion in the corner. RVD kicks back Guerrero, standing moonsault by RVD. Cover and a two count for RVD, more forearms by RVD. Floatover suplex by RVD for two, scoop slam. RVD goes to the top rope but Guerrero crotches the champion, Guerrero was looking for a top rope superplex but RVD hotshots Eddie on the rope. Diving thrustkick from RVD, Rolling Thunder by RVD for two, Guerrero slides out of a suplex for an O Connor roll, two count for the challenger.

RVD kicks Guerrero to the floor and lands a moonsault from the apron, RVD places Guerrero on the barricade and nails his leg drop on Guerrero. Cover by RVD in the ring, Guerrero kicks out at two. Guerrero blocks Rolling Thunder with his knees, tilt-a-whirl backbreaker by Guerrero. Nice back suplex by Guerrero, two count for the challenger. Drop toehold by Guerrero into a Romero Special, Guerrero applies The Gory Special. RVD rolls out of The Gory Special so Guerrero clothesline the bejesus out of RVD. Leaping calf kick from Guerrero, Guerrero nails a tope atomico for a two count. Guerrero decides it is time for The Frog Splash, RVD enzuigiris Guerrero and crotches the challenger. Beautiful sunset powerbomb by Guerrero, two count for the challenger. Guerrero elbows RVD and sets up for a powerbomb.

Step-over spinning heel kick by RVD, Guerrero grabs the belt, RVD hits the referee by mistake. Guerrero neckbreakers RVD on the belt, Frog Splash by Guerrero and Guerrero is your new champion!

Not the match I expected from these two, it was still good. Not a fan of the finish for the simple reason that this is the third match in a row where a weapon shot has been teased before the finish. Angle and Jeff attempted to use steel chairs and I thought Eddie was going to do the same thing before he grabbed the belt, it is just bad booking in my opinion when the same concept is used three matches in a row Not the wrestlers’ faults but the producers/agents. Guerrero looks to be great shape after his rehab and he wins a championship in his pay per view return match. Viva La Raza!

Winner: Eddie Guerrero over RVD via Frog Splash!

(Number One Contender’s Match for Undisputed Championship) Stone Cold Steve Austin vs The Undertaker (Ric Flair = Special Guest Referee)

Undertaker and Flair are no strangers to one another, Undertaker asked Flair to be the number one contender as did Austin. Austin and Undertaker had both attacked Flair so Flair was hesitant in giving either man a chance at the championship. Undertaker and Austin did prove they deserved their opportunity so Flair made himself the referee with the stipulation of if either man lays a hand on Flair, they lose their championship opportunity if they win and be suspended.

Tense stare-down between these two tough sons of bitches, lock-up and Taker has control with a side headlock. Big shoulder block by Undertaker, Austin slips to the outside. Another lock-up, Austin has the side headlock. Shoulder block does not knock Undertaker, Austin begins doing press ups? Third lock-up, Undertaker has the side headlock, clothesline by Austin that knocks Undertaker. Austin asks Taker for a test of strength before flipping off The American Badass. They seems more like a comedy match than a real number one contender’s match. Seconds later, Austin is throwing armdrags and drop toeholds. Austin begins working the arm of Big Evil, knees into the arm of The Deadman. Taker is back on his feet and teeing off on Austin, Austin turns the tide and chops Taker. Irish whip by Austin, Taker blocks with the boot. Clothesline by Taker and Taker is wrenching the arm of Austin. Old School by Taker, Austin kicks out at two. Lou Thesz Press by Austin, massive elbow for a two count. Austin clotheslines Taker to the floor, Taker lands on his feet and drags out The Rattlesnake. Austin and Taker chop one another, Austin rams Taker’s head into the announce table. Undertaker boots Austin and gains control, control changes as Austin smacks Taker into the crowd. Austin attempts a piledriver on the floor but Taker counters and Austin is slammed onto the floor.

Austin is rammed into Taker’s motorcycle. The NWO have appeared onstage, Taker rams Austin into the steel steps. Undertaker knocks down Austin with a hard right hand, choke by Taker. The NWO edge closer and closer to the ring, Taker drops forearms and knees into Austin’s head. Taker drops a huge leg across Austin’s neck. Taker attacks the legs of Austin. Leg grapevine hold by Taker, Austin crawls to the ropes. Austin begins fighting back but Taker smacks the leg of The Rattlesnake and clotheslines Austin. Taker wrenches away at Austin. Taker presses the advantage with more holds targeting Austin’s neck. Austin fires back, goes for the Stunner but Taker shoves off Austin and clothesline The Bionic Redneck. Austin fires up on Taker, Taker cuts off Austin with a huge leaping clothesline. Taker chokes Austin on the mat, Taker unties the top rope turnbuckle. Austin reverses an Irish whip and sends Taker into the exposed turnbuckle, double knockdown.

Austin starts throwing bombs at Taker, Austin stomps a mudhole in Taker and walks that son of a bitch dry. Irish whip by Austin, Taker elbows Austin and goes for The Tombstone. Austin slides out and shoves Taker into Flair, Stunner by Austin on Taker but there is no referee. Taker low blows Austin with Flair down, Chokeslam by Taker. Austin kicks out at two of the Chokeslam, Taker grabs a steel chair. Flair takes away the chair, Austin low blows Taker but Taker big boots Austin. Another two count for Big Evil, spinebuster by Austin. Two count for Austin, Austin looks for The Stunner. Undertaker shoves Austin into Flair and Taker flattens Austin with a chair shot. Flair revives and counts but Taker only gets a two count. Taker looks to apply his dragon sleeper, Austin counters for a clothesline and locks in the sleeper on Taker. Taker powers out of the hold.

Taker has the chair, Austin dodges and unloads on Taker. Austin grabs the chair and Flair tries to take the chair off Austin. Austin eats a big boot from Taker, Taker pins Austin and Austin’s foot is on the ropes. Flair does not see Austin’s foot on the ropes and your winner is The Undertaker. Austin Stunners Taker after the match and that’s all folks!

Ok, I hated this match. I know that is hard to believe but this was a long and hard match to watch ladies and gentlemen. First, you have Austin vs Undertaker, two legends and two people who have all the ability to have phenomenal matches. Yet, these two have never had the tremendous match with one another, something is off and the chemistry just does not appear to be there. Secondly, you have the pacing of the match which was slow to begin with but then, it never picked up when they got into the nitty gritty. The fans responded to the match by sitting on their hands, sitting on their hands for an Austin match! I almost could not believe that this is what we got when Austin fought Undertaker. Lastly, you have The NWO appear for no reason other than watch the match, they did not get involved with the finish, they just stood in the rampway. You had two referee bumps which led to two false finishes, one bump is cheap enough but two? And no finish from either? Taker grabs a chair from ringside, the fourth time in the night this has happened! It did make me laugh that it was the same chair three times but come on, do they expect no one to notice that there are using the same spot time and time again?

The finish plays into the story of whether Flair intentionally ignored Austin’s foot for his past assaults or Flair made an honest mistake. However, that match sucked so much life out of me for this pay per view, I could not care for anything between Flair and Austin. Now that I have got that out of my system, let’s keep this train running…

Winner: Undertaker over Austin via Shenanigans!

Flair and Coach

Coach shows Flair the footage of Austin’s foot on the ropes and replies with a simple yet effective “Shit”. Flair knows that he screwed up and Austin will have some interesting words for Flair on Raw.

(WWF Tag Team Championship Match) Billy & Chuck © W/ Rico vs Al Snow & Maven

Consequences of the brand split? Vince wanted to separate all the tag teams. Faarooq and Bradshaw, Bubba and D-Von and soon Matt and Jeff. This meant we had matches like this, Al Snow and Maven battling the tag team champions.

Billy & Chuck try to jump the challengers but the challengers get the better of the champions, Snow & Maven’s advantage does not last as Billy & Chuck beat down on the rookie Maven. Maven takes a beating for about a minute before Snow gets the hot tag, back body drop to Chuck. Ten punches on Billy,  Snow is whipped into the ropes and Chuck gets in a cheap shot, swinging neckbreaker by Billy on Snow. Tag to Chuck, Snow walks into a belly to belly suplex. Tag to Billy, Billy misses a stinger splash. Chuck tries to save Billy but Snow drop toeholds Chuck into Billy’s balls. Tag to Maven who cleans house.

Maven walks into a FameAsser, Snow drags Maven out of the ring, Snow runs into a Superkick from Chuck. Rico is in the ring and Rico nails Chuck with a spinning heel kick. Spinebuster by Snow on Billy, Maven is climbing to the top rope. Crossbody by Maven gets a two count, Rico distracts Snow and Maven. Snow gives chase to Rico, and Chuck wallops Maven with a Superkick. Billy crawls in for the cover and the champions retain.

Fine match, quick and does it job as to serve as a breather between the big matches and the main event. Rico and his feminine like tag team were very entertaining despite the facts that they were supposed to be heels based solely on the fact that they were seen as gay. This would not fly in today’s overly-sensitive world but I think this could be a good thing that this would not be allowed anymore.

Winners: Billy & Chuck over Snow & Maven via Superkick!

(WWF Undisputed Championship Match) Hulk Hogan vs Triple H ©

Hulk Hogan turned face after his match against The Rock at Wrestlemania, Hogan’s reception from the fans was something nobody could have anticipated, Hogan was over like rover and it was like it was 1987 all over again brother. So, here is Hogan challenging for the championship for one more feel good run against Triple H, the hero babyface who came back from a severe injury to become champion. Yet, Triple H is easily the heel in this match. It is hard to feel bad for Triple H with the amount of power he holds in the company but this is a rare example of Triple H being out politicked by The Hulkster. Hogan had convinced Vince that there was one run left in Hogan and Hogan is going to go over Triple H, the young lion.

Lock-up, Triple H shoves off Hogan, Triple H shoves off Hogan for a second time. Third lock-up and Hogan shoves off Triple H, cue the poses and Triple H pouting like a child. Triple H looks for a test of strength, Hogan seems to be in control but Triple H fires back with his own power. Hogan fights back with Triple H taking the low road by elbowing Hogan right in the face, side headlock by Hogan and a massive shoulder block. More posing and Triple H looking like he found out the tooth fairy does not exist. We lock-up once more and Triple H backs Hogan into the corner, bitch slap from Triple H. Kick to the ribs of Hogan and Triple H stomps all over Hogan. Triple H chokes Hogan and taunts Hogan. Irish whip by Hogan, back body drop and two clotheslines. Right hands from Hogan, chops in the corner and ten punches on The Game. Hogan lowers his head off an Irish whip and eats a kick from the champion but Hogan recovers to elevate Triple H to the floor. Triple H rakes the eyes of Hogan, Hogan blocks a suplex on the floor and suplexes Triple H on the floor, that looks like it sucks.

Triple H regains control with an eye rake, chops by Triple H. Hard Irish whip by Triple H, Triple H looks for The Pedigree. Hogan reverses and catapults Triple H into the top turnbuckle, schoolboy by Hogan brings a two count. Corner clothesline by Hogan, cutter by Hogan. Right hands from Hogan, Triple H slides out of a scoop slam and chop blocks Hogan. Triple H begins working the leg to huge boos from the crowd. Hogan counters a figure four leglock but Triple H is working the leg of Hogan to perfection. Hogan shoves off Triple H but Triple H lays into Hogan with huge right hands and more choking. Figure four by Triple H, Triple H uses the ropes for extra leverage. Hogan reverses the hold and Triple H breaks his grip.

Sleeper by Triple H, Hogan survives the onslaught and back suplexes Triple H. Double axe handle by Hogan, big boot and a leg drop by Hogan. Jericho is here, Jericho lays out the referee and whacks Hogan with the chair. Triple H gets up and goes after Jericho, facebuster and clothesline to Jericho. Hogan hulks up, big boot and a leg drop but Triple H dodges the leg drop. Triple H nails The Pedigree, cover and Taker bumps the referee. Taker has a chair, shot to Triple H in the face. Undertaker pulls Hogan for the pin but Hogan refuses Taker’s help. Taker is knocked down but Hogan leg drops Triple H for the win!

The match as a whole was ok, Triple H did his best to make Hogan look good without showing the weaknesses of the aging Hulkster. The story they told, I am not a fan of for a few reasons. The match was built as Hogan’s last shot at a championship, it is babyface vs babyface and Triple H takes shortcuts, goes after Hogan’s injured leg and cheats… Why would I want to cheer this man after this match? Jericho’s interference was pointless, it did not play into the finish and had no impact on the finish. Jericho did not pull Triple H on top of Hogan so I could not even say Triple H refused Jericho’s help. Undertaker comes down and plays into the finish as Undertaker felt Hogan would be easier to beat than Triple H. I understand Taker’s motive completely but Jericho interferes for the simple reason that he is not on the show. Would it not make more sense for Jericho to cost Triple H the match? The man who robbed of his titles? No, Jericho wallops Hogan with the chair.

And what a redemption story for Triple H right? Wins the rumble, win the title and loses his first title defence. To make matters worse, Triple H shakes Hogan’s hand after the match like “Fair play, you were the better man and won fair and square” So, I am just meant to ignore the two run-ins?

Winner: Hulk Hogan over Triple H via Undertaker Chair Shot!

My final thoughts on Backlash 2002 was that it was a good show with a lacklustre ending. The brand split had made it possible for more stars to break out and have standout performances, it also would give more time to develop characters and flesh out storylines and there are little glimpses into this brad split future on this card. You have the cruiserweight division on Smackdown with a paranoid Tajiri as champion, you have the beginning of a women’s division on Raw with Trish as the main babyface and the likes of Ovroy, Molly Holly and Jazz. You have a mid-card filled with the likes of Edge, Angle, Guerrero and RVD who can all have great matches when they want to so the first half of this pay per view, I have to say, I really enjoyed a lot of the matches.

The second half of the pay per view was a big disappointment for me, Austin vs Undertaker was not the match I was looking for, the referee bumps, the NWO just standing there and the slow pace of the match made me want to watch something else. Austin’s babyface run after The Invasion Storyline has been a big disappointment for me, I feel like I am watching a man who’s passion for the business is gone and who knows his days as the man are coming to an end, it makes me sad watching Austin like this. The main event was slow, had more interference and Triple H working the match like an utter heel which is not a good image for someone who is meant to be your young, top babyface. Hogan was almost immobile by this point in his career and this match could not match the atmosphere and electricity of the Wrestlemania match Would I recommend this pay per view? It has Hogan’s final WWF world championship win so there’s that combined with some entertaining mid-card matches as well as a great match from Edge so I’d say check it out!

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