Hello and welcome to another edition of Seanomaniac Wrestling Reviews, the only wrestling review series on the internet that repeats what Tamina says! WWE’s Backlash 2005 is our next stop, the Raw exclusive that comes after Wrestlemania. A pay per view that typically delivers, the big matches on tonight’s card include Shawn Michaels & Hulk Hogan vs Muhammad Hassan & Daivari, Edge vs Chris Benoit in a Last Man Standing Match and Batista defending his World Heavyweight Championship against Triple H. Backlash 2004 was a great show that delivered and then some, will 2005 be on par? Let’s find out!
Highlights of Hogan’s greatest moments with the fans screaming for one more match, Michaels wants to team with Hogan and we were given it, Hulkamania runs wild again! We move onto Triple H craving the championship, Triple H needs the title to survive. They make a big deal of Triple H not nailing Batista with The Pedigree, if Triple H can hit it tonight perhaps we will have a new world heavyweight champion. Good stuff, a strong promo package with the added nostalgia of Hogan for that extra punch.
(WWE Intercontinental Championship Match0 Shelton Benjamin © vs Chris Jericho
Jericho faces off with the rising star Benjamin, Jericho lost the championship to Benjamin at Taboo Tuesday while never having a rematch. Jericho would have to wait no longer as Benjamin puts the gold on the line. Benjamin takes the back, Jericho takes down Benjamin. Benjamin counters for a headscissors, Jericho flips over for a cover, two for Jericho. Benjamin backslides Jericho for two, armdrag into an armbar by Benjamin.
Jericho reverses the hold before Benjamin flips out and armdrags Jericho, slap form Y2J. Benjamin tackles Jericho, right hands by the champion. Lock-up and a knee by Jericho, forearms to the face. Chops by Jericho, Jericho lowers his head off an Irish whip. Kick by Benjamin, Benjamin has Jericho on the apron, Jericho gets caught as Benjamin looks for a sunset flip powerbomb but Jericho counters last second for a hurricanrana. Jericho drops Benjamin on the barricade, stiff kick to the ribs by Jericho. Suplex by Jericho, cocky pin for two. Reverse chinlock by Y2J, Benjamin wriggles free for a huge flying forearm. Benjamin is caught though as Jericho is up first for a low dropkick. Bottom rope choke by Jericho, chops in the corner.
Benjamin reverses an Irish whip, Jericho hits the turnbuckle and eats a Stinger splash, Benjamin connects with a back suplex. Chest slap by Benjamin, Jericho Irish whips Benjamin into the corner, modified bulldog. Jericho looks for The Lionsault but Benjamin springs up and pushes Jericho to the apron. Jericho shoves Benjamin away and climbs the top turnbuckle. Benjamin leaps to the top rope and superplexes Jericho, two for the champion. Flapjack by Benjamin for two, rear-naked choke with bodyscissors by Benjamin. Jericho escapes and both men are down after a clothesline spot. Benjamin misses a Stinger Splash, Jericho clotheslines Benjamin. Drop toehold by Y2J, Benjamin was playing possum in the middle ropes, Samoan drop by Benjamin.
Right hands by Benjamin, Jericho elbows Benjamin out of the corner. Running enzuigiri for two, Benjamin ducks a clothesline. Jericho throws Benjamin to the apron, Jericho thinks Benjamin is on the floor. Springboard bulldog by Benjamin for two, Oklahoma roll but Jericho counters for two. Walls of Jericho cannot be applied, catapult but Benjamin lands on his feet. T-Bone Suplex by Benjamin, Jericho reaches the ropes at two. Benjamin pins Jericho in the middle of the ring for another two.
Benjamin measures Jericho, Jericho blocks the t-bone. Jericho ducks The Dragon Whip for The Walls of Jericho, Benjamin reaches the ropes to survive the hold. Jericho stomps the champion, huge kick to the face by Benjamin. Two for Benjamin, Irish whip by Benjamin. Jericho holds onto the ropes, Benjamin cracks his head off the canvas. Jericho looks for The Lionsault, Benjamin blocks but Jericho applies The Walls of Jericho, Benjamin rolls out and jacknife covers Jericho for the win.
That was a good opening match, Jericho and Benjamin went out there and had the crowd eating out of their hands. The last five minutes or so were very action packed with reversals, near-falls and finishers all over the place. Benjamin shows again his crazy athleticism, leaping onto the top rope from the mat, Jericho wrestled a smart match that had the crowd popping at the right moments. Subtle hints at Y2J turning heel too, probably for the best. The heel side needed some fresh blood.
Winner: Shelton Benjamin over Chris Jericho via Jacknife Cover!
Coach interviews Edge
Edge mocks Benoit for losing the money in the bank match, Edge boldly predicts that he will be the last man standing at the end of the night.
(WWE World Tag Team Championship Turmoil Match) The Heart Throbs vs William Regal & Tajiri © vs La Resistance vs Hurricane & Rosey vs Simon Dean & Maven
Oh boy, the Raw tag team division scene. Not like things were much better on Smackdown, we begin the match with Regal and Romeo. Lock-up, shoulder block and side headlock takedown by Romeo. Regal takes down Romeo, armwringer by Romeo. Antonio is legal, Regal takes down Antonio beautifully. Tag to Tajiri, low dropkick and kicks to the arms by Tajiri. Hiptoss and stiff kick to the spine, weird cover by Tajiri. Butterfly suplex by Tajiri and standing moonsault for two, Romeo distracts Tajiri. Antonio takes control, tag to Romeo. Double clothesline for two, tag to Antonio. Back elbow for two, Tajiri fights off both Heart Throbs. Sunset flip out of the corner and the get the elimination.
The Heart Throbs have been eliminated!
Tajiri is jumped by Dean and Maven, leg drop by Dean for two. Tag to Maven, Maven kicks and elbows Tajiri before Dean is tagged into the match. Front chancery by Dean, Tajiri is clubbed down but Dean walks into a forearm by Regal. Maven sends Tajiri to the floor but Regal got the tag. Exploder suplex on Dean, high knee for Dean while Maven gets a back drop. The knee is enough to eliminate Simon Dean.
Simon Dean & Maven have been eliminated!
La Resistance jump Tajiri and Regal, spinning heel kick on Grenier. Low dropkick and tag to Regal, double hiptoss and kicks by the champion. Uppercuts by Regal, two for Regal. Tajiri tags in and kicks Grenier, leg drop for two. Regal is in, kick to the face. Grenier elbows his way out, tag to Conway. Conway gets cocky and is locked in The Regal Stretch, Tajiri elevates and kicks Grenier. Grenier blocks The Tarantula while Conway rolls up Regal for the elimination.
William Regal & Tajiri have been eliminated!
Here is Hurricane and Rosey, over the castle by Hurricane for two. Hurricane tries a headscissors out of the corner, Grenier shoves off Hurricane who crashes to the floor. Conway elbows the caped crusader, Grenier tags in Conway. Grenier tags back in, back elbow combination. Uranage by Grenier for two, scoop slam. Grenier climbs to the middle rope, Hurricane dodges the elbow. Tag to Rosey, headbutts and big boots all around. Powerslam on Grenier for two, Conway saves his partner. Hurricane eats a clothesline, La Resistance nail Rosey with Bonsoir for two. Rosey avoids Au Revoir, scoop slam to Conway and Hurricane tags in, Hurricane climbs Rosey’s shoulders for a splash, we have new champions.
It was a fun match, a lot of quick eliminations which leads to not a lot of story-telling but I found it fun, Raw’s tag team division still is lacking though when two of your teams are The Heart Throbs and Simon & Maven. You are scraping the bottom of the barrel with stuff like that but this match was fun, harmless stuff and new champions in the always popular Hurricane and his sidekick Rosey.
Winners: Hurricane & Rosey over La Resistance via Super Splash!
(Last Man Standing Match) Edge vs Chris Benoit
Chris Benoit was inches away from winning money in the bank but Benoit was thwarted by Edge who targeted Benoit’s injured arm and stole the win. Benoit came back with a vengeance and we have this match to settle the score with the only way to win being to knock down your opponent for a ten-count. Benoit sprints down and tackles Edge, snap suplex by Benoit. Benoit asks for a count, Edge breaks it very early. Chop and clubbing blows by Benoit, more chops by Benoit. Edge reverses an Irish whip and Benoit hits the turnbuckle hard. Big we want Matt chants, I see the Lita/Edge stuff was out in the open now.
Edge chokes Benoit with the rope, scoop slam by Edge. Edge measures for The Spear, Benoit trips Edge to avoid the spear. Back elbow by Benoit, Benoit clamps on The Crossface. Knees to the head by Benoit, Edge battles back and knocks down Benoit with a boot. Edge goes to the floor to pull out a trash can, Benoit baseball slides Edge. Edge sends Benoit into the barricade but Benoit elevates Edge into the crowd. In the ring, Benoit applies The Sharpshooter to Edge who taps like a little girl. Benoit breaks the hold to German suplex Edge around the ring, Edge falls to the floor in a heap.
Benoit nails a baseball slide, Benoit goes for a suicide dive but Edge cracks Benoit with a trash can lid. Benoit breaks the count, Edge stomps Benoit. Edge has a trash can in the ring, Edge places Benoit on the top turnbuckle. Edge superplexes Benoit onto the trash can, Benoit makes it up at nine. Edge boots Benoit and batters The Crippler with a trash can lid. Edge has a ladder, Benoit chops back at Edge. Edge clubs down Benoit and slams The Rabid Wolverine, Edge leans on the ladder and begins climbing. Benoit stirs, joining Edge and Benoit German suplexes Edge off the ladder. German suplex by Benoit, Benoit eyes up the ladder, Benoit has one goal in mind: Destroy Edge!
Benoit misses his Diving Headbutt, Edge staggers over to his briefcase. Benoit ducks the briefcase, applying The Crossface. Edge grabs his briefcase once more, Benoit clubs the shit out of Edge. More German suplexes, Edge blocks a third. Edgecution on the briefcase, Spear by Edge after Benoit answers the count at nine. Another Spear by Edge, Edge has the briefcase. Edge pulls a brick out of the briefcase making sure to drop it on the steel steps to show that it is the real deal. Benoit does not answer the count, Edge wins the match.
Very good match, you got the feeling that these two hated one another. Edge and Benoit took it to each other with a tonne of violence and big spots like the German suplex of the ladder, suicide dive into a trash can shot. Good stuff, liked that they incorporated the ladder and the briefcase into the match, it made sense to do so because that’s what the fight was over, the brick to the head was a surprise, I was sure the finish would use the briefcase but never did I expect Edge to use a brick, it was a slimey move and Edge continues to develop as a character. Also, Benoit looks like a champ, taking two Spears and getting up before it taking a brick to keep him down, that might be match of the night.
Winner: Edge over Chris Benoit via Brick Shot!
Divas and The Masterpiece
The Divas are talking about some calendar, Masters comes out and poses a lot before offering any woman in the crowd money to see if they can break his Masterlock. A bodybuilder named Melissa Coates, seems familiar to me. Masterlock shakes the shit out of the woman, not sure what they accomplished.
Kane W/ Lita vs Viscera W/ Trish Stratus
Before the match, Viscera asks Trish about getting freaky after the match. Anyways, Trish still hates Lita after defeating Lita at New Year’s Revolution following a freak injury to Lita. Lita stands by her man Kane in his battle against Viscera, Kane uppercuts Viscera to no effect. Clothesline by Viscera, Viscera misses a corner splash. Clothesline by Kane, Kane boots Viscera to the floor. Kane climbs to the top turnbuckle, diving clothesline by Kane. In the ring, Kane leg drops Viscera for two, clubbing blows by Kane. Viscera nails Kane with a huge spinning heel kick, Viscera shows Trish what he will do to her before attacking Kane with chops.
Scoop slam, Kane avoids the elbow though. Trish talks shit to Lita, Kane grabs Trish. Corner splash by Viscera, Samoan drop by Viscera for two. Uppercut by Kane, sidewalk slam by Viscera for two. Viscera lowers his head off an Irish whip, running DDT by Kane. Diving clothesline by Kane, Kane calls for The Chokeslam. Kane grabs the throat, Viscera fights out of the hold. Kane is clotheslined to the floor, Kane is leaning against the ringpost, Viscera shoves Lita out of the way, Kane dodges a splash from Viscera. Trish wants to hit Kane with a chair, Lita batters Trish’s face with her crutch.
Viscera stops a diving clothesline, baldo bomb by Viscera for a close two. Viscera grabs Lita, Viscera makes advances towards Lita. Kane boots Viscera, Kane grabs the throat and Kane Chokeslams Viscera all the way to hell. Trish gets on the mic and berates Viscera. Viscera snaps and slams Trish down.
It was a nothing match, Kane and Viscera were really small pawns in the story being told between Trish and Lita. Interested to see what happens next as Edge and Lita’s affair is out and the crowd are letting Lita have it for her ways. Anyways, this was a rather shitty match with Kane beating the piss out of Viscera.
Winner: Kane over Viscera via Chokeslam!
Shawn Michaels & Hulk Hogan vs Muhammad Hassan & Daivari
Hassan called Michaels a loser for being defeated by Kurt Angle at Wrestlemania, Michaels was assaulted by Hassan & Daivari which leads us to this match. Michaels needed a partner, Michaels reached out to the iconic Hulk Hogan who answered the call and is ready to whip some serious ass on Hassan & Daivari. Hogan and Hassan start, lock-up with Hogan shoving back Hassan. Lock-up, side headlock by Hogan. Shoulder block by Hogan, wristlock by Hogan. Hassan pushes Hogan back to the corner, knees by Hassan. Tag to Daivari, double beatdown. Hogan counters for a double clothesline, right hands to Hassan. Axe bomber by Hogan, tag to Michaels.
Double big boot, chop by Micheals. Irish whip by Hassan, Michaels blocks with a boot. Scoop slam by Michaels, Hassan dodges an elbow and in comes Daivari. Chops by Daivari, Michaels chops back. Irish whip to the corner and back body drop for Daivari, tag to Hogan. Double back elbow by Hogan & Michaels, Hoga sends Daivari into the barricade. Scoop slam and elbow drops by Hogan, tag to Michaels. Michaels lowers his head off an Irish whip, Daivari cannot capitalize as Michaels chops Daivari. Flying forearm and inverted atomic drop, right hand for Hassan as well as Daivari. Michaels climbs for his elbow drop, it connects. Michaels calls for Sweet Chin Music, Hogan knocks Hassan down but Hassan recovers to nail Michaels with a pipe in the spine.
Hogan saves Michaels, tag to Hassan who stomps Michaels. Back elbow, more elbow drops by Hassan. Tag to Daivari, the two put the boots to HBK. Hard Irish whip by Daivari, surfboard stretch by Daivari. Michaels wriggles free before Daivari pulls down Michaels by the hair. Tag to Hassan who applies a reverse chinlock, sleeper by Michaels but Hassan counters for a backbreaker. Camel Clutch by Hassan, Michaels electric chair drops his way out of the camel clutch. Hogan is screaming for the tag, Hogan gets the tag.
Right hands and noggin knockers for Hassan & Daivari. Big boot for Daivari, Hogan goes for the leg drop but Hassan cracks Hogan with the lead pipe. Hogan Hulks Up from the pipe shot, Daivari is a dead man. Right hands, big boot and Hassan grabs Hogan’s leg. Hogan decks Hassan, Sweet Chin Music on Daivari and Hogan covers for the win.
So weird to see Michaels playing second-fiddle to someone at this point to the career, Michaels was never really a follower but more of a leader, it comes off as so strange to me. Anyways, this was a standard tag team match made special by the fact that everyone wanted to be 10 again and Hulk Hogan was their God. Every time Hogan did something, it was magical. The poses, the hulk up, the big boot. The fans ate it all up, it was a fun match to watch.
Winners: Hogan & Michaels over Hassan & Daivari via Sweet Chin Music!
Triple H promo/Christian is here!
Triple H talks about his precious world championship, Triple H talks revenge and regaining his championship. After that, Christian comes in and raps to us all. That was weird, nobody interrupted Christian. I was waiting for someone to kick his ass, it never came.
(WWE World Heavyweight Championship Match) Batista © vs Triple H
Triple H talks about how Batista fears The Pedigree, the one move that can slay The Animal. It is a rematch for the championship, Batista was progressing well in his role as a top babyface. Batista just has to get through The Game, Flair distracts Batista and here comes Triple H. Triple H goes for The Pedigree, Batista slides out of it. The game tells Batista it was that close, lock-up. Batista shoves back Triple H, right hands by Batista. Triple H tries for The Pedigree again but Batista blocks for a Batista Bomb attempt. Triple H rolls out and Batista repeats the it was that close gesture.
Lock-up, Triple H backs Batista into the corner. Batista Irish whips Triple H to the opposite corner, back body drop by the champion. Right hands, Triple H tries The Pedigree again, Batista elevates Triple H to the floor. Batista is distracted by Flair once more, Triple H spinebusters Batista into the barricade. Batista is clotheslined to the floor by the challenger, Triple H is suplexed back to ringside. Triple H elbows the back of Batista, Batista elbows off Triple H. Batista Bomb attempt but Triple H backs Batista into the corner, Triple H drives his shoulders into Batista’s spine. Hard Irish whip by The Game, Flair backs Batista into the ring apron.
Batista fights out of the corner before a spinebuster plants The Animal in the canvas for two. Hard Irish whip by Triple H, Batista explodes out of the corner to clothesline Triple H. Sidewalk slam by Batista, The Game hits the floor. Triple H is sent into the steel steps, shoulder thrusts and a running powerslam by Batista. Flair is knocked down by Batista, Triple H has the championship. Batista looks for The Batista Bomb but Triple H cracks the champion with the belt. 1….2… Batista kicks out to survive, Batista fights back on his knees. Triple H looks for the pedigree, Batista back drops The Game.
Batista clotheslines the referee, Pedigree by Triple H. Flair drags in the referee, the referee is still not responsive. Here is a new referee, Pedigree is countered for a spinebuster. Two for Batista, Irish whip by Batista but Triple H counters for a facebuster, two for Triple H. Another Pedigree attempt, corner clotheslines by Batista. Triple H dick kicks the referee, Flair eats a clothesline. Batista blocks another Pedigree, catapult to the turnbuckle. Batista Bomb is blocked by a low blow, Triple H ten punches Batista but Batista counters for The Batista Bomb and the win.
Not a fan of this one folks, Batista was trying to find his feet as a babyface and he is getting there but it’s slow progress and it is not even Batista’s fault. The layout of this match did no favours for The Animal, the story being told was if Triple H nails The Pedigree, Triple H will win the match. Triple H is desperate for The Pedigree and will do anything to make sure it connects, that is a simple story and it can be very enjoyable and good. That does not happen with this one, every second move is a pedigree attempt, there was at least 8 attempts. That’s overkill, what also sucks was Batista desperately trying for The Batista Bomb in the same way. The referee bump was not really needed and after watching this match, I do not walk away feeling The Animal is unstoppable but rather The Animal got lucky, this is not good booking for your top star, something has to change.
Winner: Batista over Triple H via Batista Bomb!
That was WWE’s Backlash of 2005, a mostly good show with a lacklustre main event. The standout match was Benoit vs Edge for me, very physical battle with good story-telling, the tag title match and Kane vs Viscera was fine filler and breaks for the bigger matches of the night. Hogan’s match made us all feel like we were little kids again and the opening match was fun too. Only big complaint is the main event, Batista looked very average in the ring with The Game. The mystique, the monster, I did not see it in this match. We saw Batista survive a match with The Game with a match that had little meaning to it, it seems the wrong way to be booking your dominant champion.