Wednesday 31 May 2017

WWE Backlash 2004 Review

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Welcome and hello to another hard-hitting edition of Seanomaniac Wrestling Reviews, the only wrestling review series on the internet that bullies Bradshaw behind the scenes. It is WWE’s Backlash 2004, Backlash is a pay per view after Wrestlemania that typically delivers, the product is hot and fresh in the sense that Wrestlemania is barely a month old. We are in Canada, we are in Benoit’s hometown. The main event is a rematch from Wrestlemania, we also have the culmination of the Foley vs Orton feud, a lot of rematches from Wrestlemania. This should be a good show but will it live up to the prior Backlash pay per views? Let’s find out!

Opening Promo

It begins again, Benoit, Triple H and Shawn Michaels all talk about Wrestlemnaia and about how Backlash is a fresh start for each individual, it is good stuff and sets the tone for the night.

Shelton Benjamin vs Ric Flair

Benjamin was drafted to Raw and had beaten Triple H two weeks in a row, Flair looks for revenge. Benjamin and Flair start off testing one another, Flair struts and Benjamin slaps Flair. Benjamin shows off his incredible athleticism before Flair shoulder blocks Benjamin. Benjamin takes control with a dropkick and a back drop on the floor, Flair lures in Benjamin in the ring with an eye poke and a chop. Flair climbs to the top rope, Benjamin yanks down Flair. Clotheslines by Benjamin, Benjamin misses a dropkick as Flair holds onto the ropes. Benjamin counters the Figure four for a small package, two for Benjamin. Ten punches in the corner by Benjamin, Flair goes to the leg as Benjamin argues with the referee.

Flair stomps the leg multiple times, Figure Four by Flair. Benjamin screams in pain, Benjamin reverses the hold but Flair uses the ropes to correct his position. Chop by Flair for two, Flair grabs a chair from ringside. Referee takes away with the chair, slugfest between Benjamin and Flair. Enzuigiri by Benjamin, Dragon Whip by Benjamin. Rights and lefts by Benjamin, Flair flip to the floor. Benjamin suplexes Flair into the ring, Flair begs for mercy. Huge chop by Flair, Flair is on the top rope. Flair has brass knuckles, Benjamin Stinger Splashes Flair and the knuckles fly to the floor, Benjamin scores with a diving clothesline for the win.

A lot of fun in this match, the crowd is hot and different as we are in Canada. Flair was loved by the fans, they popped for the eye rakes and the antics. Benjamin showed a lot of fire too to stand toe to toe with Flair in a crowd that was cheering for The Nature Boy. While I may be unhappy about The World’s Greatest Tag Team splitting up, Benjamin has something special about him and I look forward to covering Benjamin’s rise as a superstar on Raw. Good way to kick off the show, no mistakes and all around fun.

Winner: Shelton Benjamin over Ric Flair via Flying Clothesline!

Randy Orton Promo

The Legend Killer proclaims that Mick Foley will be put out of his misery tonight, Todd Grisham asks if Orton is afraid of facing Cactus Jack, Orton says he has no fear going into the match.

The Coach vs Tajiri

Lock-up and armdrag by Coach? Coach is wrestling Tajiri? Tajiri kicks Coach in the leg hard, Coach powders to the floor. Tajiri kicks the ringpost as Coach dodges, Coach works the leg of Tajiri. Coach stomps Tajiri and talks trash, Tajiri kicks Coach in the face to escape a leg lock. Coach goes back to the leg, Coach climbs to the top rope, Tajiri kicks the ropes ad Coach is stuck upside down. Dropkick to the back of the head, Coach reaches the ropes. Handspring elbow by Tajiri, huge kick and Buzzsaw Rush by Tajiri. Coach blocks the monkey flip and almost steals the pin with feet on the ropes, Tajiri kicks out at two.

Tajiri applies The Tarantula, Coach has fantastic facials. Out of nowhere, Garrison Cade punches Tajiri in the face and The Coach rolls-up Tajiri for the win. This was trash, went far too long and was not funny enough to survive on that alone. DUD.

Winner: The Coach over Tajiri via Roll-Up!

Chris Jericho vs Christian & Trish Stratus (Handicap Match)

Trish Stratus would swerve the fans and Chris Jericho at Wrestlemania by siding with Christian. Christian had defeated Jericho and stolen his girlfriend, things were personal for Y2J. Watching this back, Trish was so much better as a heel, she was the perfect bitch. Christian and Jericho talk trash, Jericho decks Christian before chasing Trish, back elbow to Christian and a back body drop. Right hands by Jericho, slut chants to Trish. Suplex by Jericho, cocky pin for two. Jericho is distracted by Trish, Christian clubs Jericho. Christian tumbles to the floor, Trish looks on concerned. Springboard dropkick by Jericho, Trish stalks Jericho which distracts Jericho. Christian is caught red-handed by Jericho, huge right hand by Jericho.

Diving reverse elbow by Jericho for two, chops by Jericho. Trish clubs Jericho off an Irish whip, Christian suplexes Jericho onto the apron and clotheslines Jericho into the barricade. Christian chokes Jericho, tag to Trish. Trish slaps Jericho over and over, Trish measures for a Chick Kick. Its scores and Trish shuffles like Jericho, tag to Christian. Christian slaps Y2J, snapmare into a reverse chinlock. Jericho fires up for a Walls of Jericho attempt, Christian kicks off Jericho but Jericho bounces off the turnbuckle and Jericho’s head smacks off Christian’s nether regions. Trish wants the tag, Jericho rolls-up Christian for two. Clothesline by Jericho, shoulder block and a flashback neckbreaker for two.

 Jericho blocks the falling reverse DDT for a northern lights suplex, two for Jericho. Trish slaps Jericho from the apron when Jericho ends up in her corner, slingshot falling reverse DDT for two. Jericho is slapped by Christian but Christian runs into a Walls attempt, Trish saves Christian. Jericho spanks Trish, Christian nails The Unprettier. Tag to Trish, Trish covers and Jericho kicks out at two. Tag to Christian, Trish is clotheslined by Jericho and we have a double knockdown by Jericho and Christian. Slugfest, Christian wins the battle but Jericho nails a flying forearm.

 Drop toehold by Jericho, knee across the back. Modified bulldog, Christian blocks The Lionsault with his knees. Christian applies a Texas Cloverleaf, Jericho turns the hold into a Walls of Jericho, Trish runs into harm’s way and gets locked in The Walls of Jericho. Christian rolls-up Jericho for two, Jericho sets up Christian for the walls but changes it to a catapult. Christian runs into Trish and Jericho nails an enzuigiri for the win.

Another fun match, Christian and Trish were annoying heels, Trish took her time, taking cheap shots at Jericho but ended up getting what she deserves in the end. The clothesline was crazy though, I forgot how the women could be bumped around by the men. Anyways, a lot of fun with the crowd entertained throughout the match, Christian was such a prick, so good as his job while I love heel Trish, just so much more natural.

Winner: Chris Jericho over Christian and Trish Stratus via Enzuigiri!

Eugene stumbles into The Women’s Locker Room

Eugene stumbles in on Gail Kim in her underwear and a wigless Molly Holly, Regal saves his buddy Eugene while enjoying the view himself.

(WWE Women’s Championship Match) Victoria © vs Lita

Two fan favourites going at it in this match, Lita won a battle royal to earn this opportunity. Lita was injured while Victoria had her initial heel run on Raw so it is nice to see these two finally lock horns. They are both babyfaces and while Victoria is popular, this might be a mistake putting her in there with Lita. Anyways, the match begins with armdrags and firemen’s carries by both women, they have a stalemate and another lock-up, hard Irish whip by Victoria and a backslide for two. Cradle by Lita for two, sunset flip by Lita for two. Victoria reverses and we have a series of pins, scoop slam by Victoria. Booty shake moonsault by Victoria for two.

Reverse chinlock by Victoria, snap suplex for two. Romero special from Victoria, headscissors and monkey flip by Lita. Scoop slam and elbow by Lita for two, snap suplex with a kip-up by Lita. Headscissors by Lita, sleeper by Lita. Victoria edges her way towards the ropes, Victoria drop toeholds Lita into the ropes. Tilt-a-whirl sideslam by Victoria for two, Victoria climbs for a moonsault. Lita dodges the moonsault, jacknife cover by Lita for two. Reverse Twist of Fate by Lita for two, Victoria blocks a DDT. Small package by Victoria and the champion retains her title. After the match, Gail Kim and Molly Holly jump the babyfaces.

This was a good match for the women’s division. What I have found is a lot of what is considered the golden era is not living up to the billing that WWE gives it (No surprise there though, they are prone to exaggerating their own history) Anyways, this was a good match with Victoria being established as the top babyface by beating Lita and Trish being a heel. I look forward to more from Victoria, come on WWE do not let me down.

Winner: Victoria over Lita via Small Package!

(WWE Intercontinental Championship Match) Randy Orton © vs Cactus Jack (No Holds Barred Match)

Foley had tricked Orton into a hardcore style match with Evolution banned from ringside. Orton had teased, mocked and threatened Foley for months, Foley snapped and attacked at Royal Rumble. Orton walked away the winner at Wrestlemania but Orton might be trapped this time. There is no help, there is one mad man standing in the ring across from him, a man that is willing to do everything and anything to walk away the champion and the victor in this match. Orton walks to the ring with a trash can full of weapons, confident or at least he seems it on the outside.

Both men have barbed wire weapons, Orton’s barbed wire falls apart, Orton hides behind a trash can. Cactus Jack chases Orton as Orton runs around frantically, Orton drop toeholds Cactus Jack into the steel steps. They fight for the barbed wire, Cactus Jack pops Orton in the mouth. Orton smacks Cactus with the trash can four times, Cactus boots the can into Orton’s face. Cactus stomps Orton in the ring, choking the life out of the champion. Knee lift by Cactus, leg drop for a two count. Foot choke by Cactus, baseball slide by Cactus sends Orton to the floor. Neckbreaker on the floor by Cactus, Cactus climbs to the middle rope. Orton sees the elbow coming and scurries away to the top of the ramp.

Orton back drops Cactus on the ramp, two for Orton. Backslide by Orton for two, Cactus’ head smacks off the ramp for two. Uppercut by Orton, Orton has the barbed wire. Cactus saves his face from the barbed wire by low blowing Orton, clothesline by Cactus. Cactus has Socko, Cactus looks at the barbed wire. Cactus chooses the barbed wire, Orton is walloped in the face. Orton is bleeding, elbow drop with the barbed wire. Right hands by Cactus, knee to the face of Orton. Cactus has the barbed wire again, Cactus rakes it off the face of Orton, Orton screams out in pain, some great visuals here from the cameras. Cactus places the barbed wire on Orton’s private area and leg drops the barbed wire onto Orton’s crotch.

Cactus pulls out a gasoline can, Cactus plans on lighting the barbed wire. Bischoff comes out and says no fire, Cactus relents but Orton is not safe. Cooking tray to the head, Cactus pulls out a barbed wire board. Cactus is punching Orton before Orton pulls powder out of nowhere, wham into the face of Cactus. Orton slams Cactus onto the barbed wire board, two count for Orton. Orton puts the boots to Cactus, Orton places the board in the corner. Cactus is whipped into the board and dropkicked back into it for good measure. Orton pulls a bag of thumbtacks out, the crowd erupts in a “Aww” chants. Orton measures Cactus for an RKO on the tacks, it goes wrong as Cactus shoves Orton into the tacks.

Another great visual, roll-up for two. Orton begins walking to the back to escape, Cactus gives chase. Orton is hurled off the stage through some cables and wooden boxes, Orton is tended to by some trainers. Cactus dives off the stage with a huge elbow drop. Cover by Cactus and Orton kicks out at two! Stomps by Cactus, Double Arm DDT by Cactus and Orton kicks out again! Orton rolls to the floor and grabs the barbed wire bat, Cactus is hit in the face and the ribs. Across the back for good measure, Cactus goes for Socko. Mandible Claw, Orton uppercuts Cactus and nails a low blow. Orton lands an RKO, cover and Cactus kicks out. RKO on the barbed wire bat and Orton defeats Cactus Jack.

Tremendous match, one of the best of Randy Orton’s career. Foley came in and it was time for Orton to pay for all his sins. Orton took everything from Foley, barbed wire, stage bumps and thumbtacks. The fans ate up every spot, the blood, the weapon shots and the violence. Foley is one of the best ever talents for making others, Foley solidified Triple H, Foley got The Rock ready for Stone Cold Steve Austin and Foley made Orton on this night. This match put Orton on the map, in the fans eyes, Orton was a tough guy now and that was just incredible I could not say enough great things about this match.

Winner: Randy Orton over Cactus Jack via RKO!

La Resistance vs The Hurricane & Rosey

Lock-up, Conway and Hurricane begin. Top wristlock by Hurricane, side headlock by Hurricane, hiptoss by Conway. Another side headlock by   Hurricane, headscissors takedown by Hurricane. Rosey clotheslines Grenier, tag team manoeuvre by Hurricane and Rosey. Hurricane climbs the top rope, Grenier distracts Hurricane, Conway nails a swinging neckbreaker. Tag to Grenier, backbreaker for two. Hard Irish whip and bearhug by Grenier, Eugene is here at ringside. Rosey gets the tag, sideslam on Conway. Sidewalk slam on Grenier, Samoan drop on Conway. Grenier makes the save, double clothesline by Rosey.

Rosey misses a splash in the corner, Hurricane clotheslines Grenier to the floor. Hurricane dives onto La Resistance, Eugene begins climbing into the ring. Eugen runs the ropes over and over, Hurricane and Conway battle. William Regal gets away Eugene, Hurricane pins Conway with The Eye of The Hurricane. Well, it was very short and the fans cared more about Eugene than anyone else in the match. So, yeah… sucks to be those four men in the ring. DUD.

Winners: Hurricane & Rosey over La Resistance via The Eye of The Hurricane!

Edge vs Kane

Edge had broken his hand and is wearing a huge cast despite just returning to the ring. Edge cannot use the cast in this match, best part of this a promo package showing Jonny Nitro. Anyways, Edge was a fast rising star on Smackdown before his legitimate injury, how will Edge fair on the Raw brand? You screwed Bret chants for Earl Hebnar, made me laugh.

Edge punches Kane with his other hand, Kane corners Edge. Right hands by Edge, Kane throat tosses Edge. Kane works over the arm of Edge, elbows by Edge. Diving clothesline by Edge, Edge measures for a Spear. Kane catches Edge on the floor, Edge’s hand is slammed into the ringpost. Edge screams out in pain, Kane stomps on the hand. Kane stomps and slams the hand, knees to the hand. Top wristlock by Kane, Edge rakes the eyes to escape but Kane nails a sidewalk slam. Edge avoids an elbow, flying forearm by Edge.

Spinning heel kick by Edge, big boot by Kane. Kane shoves Edge off the top rope, Kane misses a clothesline from the top and Edge drills The Big Red Machine with an Edegcution. Kane sits up, Edge hits the referee by accident. Low blow, cast shot to the head and a Spear for the win.

That was rather dull too, it seems like the last two matches were there just to hold you over for the main event. Not much of a return for Edge and Kane’s monster push seems to have disappeared. Not exactly disappointing as it was so short, passable but barely.

Winner: Edge over Kane via Spear!

(WWE World Heavyweight Championship Match) Chris Benoit © vs Shawn Michaels vs Triple H

Fantastic promo, the imagery, the wrestlers talking about one another. Benoit captured the championship at Wrestlemania in a beautiful moment as Benoit’s dream was realized. A favourite of the fans, Benoit had done what seemed impossible at the start of the year. Now, we have a rematch between the three. In Benoit’s hometown, Chris’ kid and wife Nancy at ringside (God rest their souls). Benoit walks up to Triple H and Shawn Michaels parading his belt.

Benoit and Michaels double team Triple H, double back body drop to The Game. Michaels clotheslines Triple H to the floor, Michaels and Benoit chop one another in the corner. Neckbreaker by Michaels on Benoit, Michaels attacks the incoming Triple H, right hands by Michaels. High knee by Triple H, Triple H tosses Benoit to the floor. Michaels lands an inverted atomic drop on Triple H, right hands decks The Game. Triple H tries for a Pedigree, Michaels escapes and both Michaels & Triple H knock Benoit to the floor. Benoit recovers for German suplexes on Michaels and Triple H. Benoit chops both, back body drop on Triple H.

Michaels chops Benoit in the corner, Benoit throws Michaels to the floor. Triple H attempts a double axe handle, Benoit catches Triple H for The Crossface. Michaels interrupts so Benoit takes out Michaels on the floor, Triple H stops Benoit who is on the top rope. Triple H had Benoit for a superplex before Michaels smacks The Game in the back, Benoit crashes to the floor. Electric chair drop by Michaels on Triple H for two, Michaels chops Triple H. Triple H turns the tide with a facebuster, Benoit delivers a Diving Headbutt to Michaels but Triple H makes the save. Michaels forearms Benoit, Michaels hits the referee with a flying forearm by mistake.

Michaels is knocked to the outside, Benoit blocks a Pedigree attempt for an attempted Sharpshooter. Benoit applies the hold, Michaels tries to break it up but Benoit has The Crippler Crossface. Michaels applies the sharpshooter to Benoit in Canada, huge boos and out comes Earl Hebnar (Brilliant spot). Michaels turns his attention to Triple H, Triple H is floored with a right hand. Michaels chops Benoit, scoop slam is countered by Benoit for a Crossface. Michaels is going to tap but Triple H saves the match. Benoit eats a DDT from Triple H, two for The Game. Triple H stomps Benoit viciously in the corner, Benoit fires up with chops and right hands. Triple H tumbles to the floor, Michaels blocks a German suplex from Benoit, clothesline by Michaels for two.

Michaels tosses Benoit to the floor, Benoit and Triple H stand dazed on the floor, Michaels attempts a dive from the top rope. Benoit & Triple H dodge which leaves Michaels to crash through the announce table. Triple H rams Benoit into the ringpost and the steel steps, Triple H mounts Benoit and pummels the champion. Benoit is thrown shoulder first into the ringpost, Triple H does it again as Benoit holds his shoulder on the floor. Camel clutch by Triple H, right hands by Triple H in the corner. Ten punches by The Cerebral Assassin, Benoit counters as Triple H tastes the top turnbuckle from a flapjack by the champion. Facebuster off an Irish whip by Triple H, Triple H misses a clothesline and the German suplexes begin.

Benoit misses The Diving Headbutt, Pedigree by The Game. Triple H cannot capitalize immediately, Triple H slowly drapes an arm and Michaels makes the save. Triple H knocks down Michaels over and over but The Heartbreak Kid will not stay down. Flying forearm by Michaels, kip-up from Michaels. Scoop slam and huge elbow drop, Michaels measures for Sweet Chin Music. Benoit is on the apron, Michaels takes Benoit’s head off. Low blow by Triple H, all three men are down with Triple H crawling for the cover, Michaels kicks out at two. Pedigree is countered as Triple H is elevated over the top rope and down to the floor.

Triple H has his sledgehammer, huge shot to the spine of Michaels. Triple H waits for the killer blow, Benoit pulls Triple H to the floor. Triple H bounces Benoit’s head off the steel steps, Triple H looks for a Pedigree on the steel steps. Benoit counters for a catapult into the ringpost, Triple H spills out into the crowd. Benoit rolls into the ring, Michaels looks for Sweet Chin Music. Benoit trips Michaels for The Sharpshooter, Michaels is inches away from the ropes but Benoit drags back Michaels. Triple H crawls towards Michaels but there is nothing he can do, Benoit makes Michaels tap out in the middle of the ring.

Not on the same level as Wrestlemania but damn, that was a great match. An absolute war, the crowd was hot throughout the match. Amazing what can happen with a fresh face added to the mix on Raw, for so long I would dread the Raw pay per views with Triple H dominating and having mostly boring matches with over-booked nonsense everywhere. However, the quality has improved greatly since Royal Rumble, looking forward to more. And the sharpshooter spots were beyond perfect, the first with Michaels playing up The You Screwed Bret stuff and Earl Hebnar being the referee. And Michaels tapping out in Canada was such an awesome moment.

Winner: Chris Benoit over Shawn Michaels & Triple H via Sharpshooter!

That was WWE’s Backlash of 2004, a top tier B level pay per view in my eyes. This show was a breeze to go through with a lot of enjoyable matches. The handicap match, the opening match, the solid Women’s Championship match, Randy Orton being legitimized in the eyes of the fans, a hometown win for Benoit, cementing him as the top star of the brand and not a fluke or a one-hit wonder, it had a lot of good stuff on this show. There were slow moments, Coach vs Tajiri fell flat for me as the comedy was not very good and the two matches before the main event were so short and clearly filler but this show had so much good stuff, that it is hard to say I did not enjoy the whole thing. Thanks for eading and remember: There’s always another night!

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