Hello and welcome to another edition of Seanomaniac Wrestling Reviews, the only wrestling review series on the internet that is never gonna give you up! It’s WWE Backlash 2008, the dust has settled from Wrestlemania. Orton defends his WWE Championship in a fatal four way with Triple H, John Cena and JBL. Edge has his rematch for the World Heavyweight Championship after The Deadman defeated The Rated R Superstar at the grandest stage of them all. Big Show looks to rebound against Great Khali and Matt Hardy has his chance at defeating MVP. There’s a lot of good on this card but will Backlash be a smash hit? Let’s find out!
(WWE United States Championship Match) Matt Hardy vs MVP©
A match that was almost a year in the making, MVP had dethroned Benoit and reigned as champion without challenge until a rivalry formed with Matt Hardy. Both men hated one another but they were tag partners and tag champions until MVP took out Hardy. Hardy returned at Wrestlemania to cost MVP the opportunity of becoming Mr. Money in The Bank. It comes to an end tonight though, we will finally see who is the better man.
Lock-up, MVP shoots for the knee of Hardy. Good start, the knee has been injured, makes sense story-line wise. Irish whip to the corner, Hardy nails MVP hard with right hands. MVP bails to the outside, Hardy is in hot pursuit. Hiptoss by Hardy, elbow for two. Side headlock takedown by Hardy, MVP backs Hardy to the corner. Cheap shot by MVP, Hardy is whipped to the corner. Boot to the face, elbow drop from the middle rope. MVP recovers for a back suplex, MVP places Hardy on the top rope. Hardy fights back, Hardy misses a moonsault as MVP puts his knees up.
Snapmare and knee to the ribs, stretch from the champion. Hardy battles back, MVP pulls down Hardy by the hair. Abdominal stretch by the champion, MVP grabs the ropes behind the referee’s back, the stretch is countered for a Samoan drop. Forearms by Hardy, belly to belly suplex by MVP. Elbow drops to the ribs, two for MVP. Gorilla press slam but Hardy explodes with a clothesline, both men are down. Hardy mounts a comeback, clothesline and bulldog. Two for Hardy, side effect is blocked. MVP flapjacks Hardy, playmaker is blocked for a Side Effect for a close two.
Hardy climbs to the top rope, MVP dropkicks Hardy down. MVP looks for the superplex, super side effect from Hardy. Two for Hardy, backslide using the ropes by MVP for two. Twist of Fate is stopped, MVP backs Hardy into the corner. Shining Black by MVP, Hardy rolls out to the floor. Boots to the head by MVP, Hardy is looking dazed. Player’s Boot misses, Twist of Fate by Hardy and we have a new champion!
The crowd makes this match, this match had the backstory, plenty of backstory and this finish is such a satisfying climax to the feud. Anyways, MVP works the hell out of the ribs, I like the little things MVP did with using the ropes on the stretch, letting his emotions cost him the match and shooting for the injured knee at the start of the match. Hardy hangs in there and the crowd pops huge for all his offence, great start to the pay per view.
Winner: Matt Hardy over MVP via Twist of Fate!
(ECW World Heavyweight Championship Match) Chavo Guerrero vs Kane ©
Chavo looks for revenge after being slaughtered in twenty four seconds, Chavo looks for the knee of Kane, Kane out-powers Chavo. Snapmare and low dropkick, Chavo looks for the weak knee but Kane chokes Chavo over his back, Gory-style. Uppercuts from Kane, military press slam from Kane. Hard Irish whip, Chavo drop toeholds Kane and works the knee. Chavo tries whipping Kane, it does not go well as Kane throws Chavo to the floor. Chavo out-quicks Kane, axe handle off the apron fails as Kane throws Chavo into the ring apron. Kane tries his signature clothesline off the top, Chavo pushes Kane to the floor and Kane tweaks the knee.
Chavo kicks the knee of Kane, Chavo slingshots onto the knee of Kane. Chavo pulls away the referee as Bam Neely slams Kane’s knee into the ringpost. Kane kicks off Chavo, Chavo kicks the knee and pummels Kane in the face. Chavo gets caught for an electric chair drop, Kane plays possum and suckers in Chavo. Clotheslines from Kane, sidewalk slam for two. Chavo slips out of the tombstone, back drop by Kane. Kane climbs, diving clothesline connects for The Big Red Machine. Chavo rolls to the apron, hotshot by Chavo. Crossbody by Chavo into a DDT, two for Chavo.
Chavo is frustrated, Chavo channels his inner Latino Heat. Three Amigos fails, Chavo chop blocks Kane after escaping a suplex, Chavo climbs high. Kane grabs Chavo by the throat, eye rake by Chavo. Chavo nails The Frog Splash but no, Kane counters for a Chokeslam and Kane retains his championship.
Solid but a little boring in parts, I thought more would have been made of Kane’s knee, I thought Bam Neely should have turned the tide as the big enforcer but Neely does absolutely nothing when it comes to the match, a waste of space at ringside. Chavo does his best and I buy into the story of Kane will kill Chavo when he grabs him but the action in between was just not hitting that sweet spot for me. Overall, solid but could be better!
Winner: Kane over Chavo Guerrero via Chokeslam!
Big Show vs The Great Khali
Oh my goodness who booked this? This should be.. hmmmm… interesting. They stall to begin with a nice staredown, some shoving. Punches by Khali, Irish whip and Show ducks, right hands by both men. Boot and headbutt by Show, headbutt by Khali. Chops now, short-arm clothesline by Khali. Clothesline by Khali, multiple stomps by Khali. Elbows in the corner, Show battles back. Khali clotheslines Show to the floor, crossface by Khali. Show tries slamming Khali, Khali falls on Show. Two for Khali, shoulder claw by Khali.
Headbutt by Show, Khali chops down Show for two. Stretch from Khali, Show backs Khali in the corner, slam by Show. Two for Show, Khali elbows Show away. Right hand and boot by Khali, Show blocks the Khali bomb. Chokeslam by Show and this match is over mercifully.
A hard earned victory? More like a hard match to watch! Sweet Jesus, that had so many rest-holds and plodding action that just keeps going, it went way too long and there was so much nothing going on in between that I almost stopped watching the pay per view, I felt I needed a break after sitting through this snorefest.
Winner: Big Show over The Great Khali via Chokeslam!
Batista vs Shawn Michaels (Chris Jericho Is The Special Guest Referee)
At Wrestlemania, Shawn Michaels retired Ric Flair. A sad day for many a WWE Fan but Batista took it personally as Batista viewed Ric Flair as his mentor from their days in Evolution. Batista looks to take out his frustrations on The Heartbreak Kid, Chris Jericho is the special referee for this match which adds that extra factor to the match. Chris Jericho has been stirring the pot between the two, Jericho’s big mouth is causing all sorts of issues.
Batista elbows away HBK, Michaels dodges and punches The Animal. Both men attempt their big moves, Michaels rolls away avoiding the deathblow from The Animal. We reset, HBK goes for the legs. Batista powers HBK to the corner, Jericho asks for a clean break. Michaels tees off on Batista, Irish whip and corner clothesline by Batista. Batista chokes Michaels with his boot, corner clothesline does not connect this time. Boot by HBK, chop block. Michaels counters a spinebuster for a short-arm scissors, HBK knee drops the arm of The Animal.
HBK sits in the hold for quite some time before Batista powers up, HBK arm scissors Batista to the floor, HBK shoves Batista arm first into the steel ringpost. More knee drops in the ring, hammerlock from Michaels. Rings of Saturn from Michaels, Batista shakes off Michaels before Michaels locks in the cross armbreaker using the ropes. Double axe handle by HBK, kimura lock from Michaels. Samoan drop by Batista, chops from Michaels. Batista reverses an Irish whip, Michaels does his flip and Batista nails his clothesline. Spear to the corner, shoulder thrusts from Batista.
Running powerslam for two, Batista Bomb is countered for a crossface. HBK covers for two, right back into the crossface. Batista reaches the ropes, Jericho pulls off Michaels, tension is ramped up. Sidewalk slam by Batista for two, Michaels ducks a clothesline and nails his flying forearm. Kip-up into a Spear from Batista, two for The Animal. Michaels knocks Batista away, elbow drop by Michaels connects. Sweet Chin Music is blocked for a spinebuster, Batista bomb is avoided but Michaels clutches his knee, something is wrong with HBK. Jericho shoves away Batista, Batista walks into Sweet Chin Music and Michaels wins the match.
Not a big fan of this match, the arm work really went nowhere after all that build up, seemed awkward at times with it looking like Michaels was putting Batista in and out of the holds. Faking the injury seeds are well planted though, Jericho sells it as if to say you have been fooled Batista, Michaels has nothing wrong with that knee, HBK is after pulling a fast one over The Animal. So, the match was rather boring but the story-telling afterwards is some fine stuff.
Winner: Shawn Michaels over Batista via Sweet Chin Music!
Team Beth Phoenix (Beth Phoenix/Victoria/Melina/Jillian/Layla/Natalya) vs Team Mickie James (Mickie James/Michelle McCool/Ashley/Cherry/Kelly Kelly/Maria)
Beth and Michelle start, Beth shoves down Michelle. Dropkick by Michelle, belly to belly does not work, knee by Beth. Kicks by Michelle, uppercut by Michelle. Powerslam by Beth, choke from Beth. In comes Melina, mat-slam by Melina. Muta Lock by Melina, Michelle bridges out but gets smacked down. Michelle nails a dropkick, in comes Mickie James.
Natalya and Mickie James neckbreakers Natalya for one, Natalya nails a knee and drags down Mickie. Cherry is bumped off the apron, scoop slam by Victoria who misses a moonsault. Enzuigiri by Mickie, Cherry and Natalya brawl which leads to a brawl between every Diva. Mickie tags Ashley, in comes Jillian. Hurricanrana for one, Beth nails Ashley from the apron. Jillian takes control, in comes Beth. Cobra clutch from Beth, Ashley is slammed to the mat.
Glam Slam is blocked, Beth rams into Layla by mistake. Ashley cannot tag out, Mickie is knocked off the apron. MickieDT on Beth, Victoria nails Widow’s Peak on Mickie. Michelle Big Boots Victoria, tonnes of finishes all around. Beth is left alone with Ashley in the ring, Fisherman Buster from Beth equals the demise of Ashley.
Passable, every woman on the card which is nice for a pay day for all involved but the substance is lacking in this one, good to see Beth continuing to be a dominate force on the roster though, Mickie is your one babyface who stands a chance at this time, let’s hope they build it to the match!
Winners: Team Beth over Team Mickie via Fisherman Buster!
(WWE World Heavyweight Championship Match) The Undertaker © vs Edge
Edge lost his championship to Taker at Wrestlemania and now Edge wishes for his chance at redemption. Edge keeps his distance from Taker, it is all about speed for Edge. Lock-up, Taker shoves Edge to the floor. Edge is starting to realize this is not a good idea to go toe to toe with The Deadman. Shoulder block by Taker, Edge backs away again. Taker backs Edge into the corner, right hands by Taker. Boot by Edge, clothesline and forearms by The Rated R Superstar. Taker pulls Edge to the corner, rights and left floor Edge. Foot choke by Taker, Taker continues to pummel Edge but Edge turns the tide with some rights and a nice baseball slide.
Edge tries an apron crossbody, Taker catches the challenger and Edge bounces off the ringpost. Edge is whipped into the barricade, Edge is dropped across the ring apron. Boot from Taker, apron leg drop from The Deadman. Taker winces in pain though, Edge smirks in the ring as there is the opening: Taker’s back is hurting and hurting bad. Leg drop by Taker for two, snake eyes is countered for an Edge O Matic for one, Edge stomps all over the lower back of The Deadman. Spear to the back, two for Edge. Bodyscissors from Edge, Taker escapes by battering Edge with right hands.
Dropkick by Edge to the back as Taker misses a big clothesline, baseball slide to the spine. Taker is on the floor, camel clutch by Edge. Taker powers up and drops Edge down to the mat with a thud, Taker lands a big boot. Both men trade blows, Taker is in control. Irish whip to the corner, corner clothesline. Edge dodges one clothesline, snake eyes and big boot by Taker for two. Taker attempts old school but Edge boots Taker, Edge tries a top rope hurricanrana. Taker shoves off Edge, Edge hits the mat. Taker climbs to the top rope, Taker misses a top rope elbow drop, Edge crawls into the cover for two.
Edge has the championship, Edge drops the championship. Hotshot on Taker, Taker grabs Edge for the chokeslam, countered for a Russian legsweep for two. Edge climbs to the top rope, Chokeslam by Taker down to the canvas. Two for Taker as Edge places his foot on the ropes, Edge holds onto the ropes to stop a tombstone, Edge rams Taker into the exposed turnbuckle, Hawkins comes in and nails Taker in the back of the head with the championship, Edge crawls into the cover but Taker kicks out at two. Edge tries spear but eats a DDT, two for Taker.
Taker wants chokeslam, Ryder is here. Edge is shoved into Ryder, The Last Ride is countered for a sunset flip but Taker has Hell’s Gate. Edge is locked in Hell’s Gate, Edge is fading and fading fast. Edge has no choice, Taker retains his World Championship.
This was a decent match from the two, the back work never seemed to lead to an actual opening for Edge, I thought the championship to the back of the head was great, Hawkins was perfect on the timing for that but this match never seemed to kick into that next level, preventing the match from being something special like the previous month’s match. The crowd also seemed to be dead for most of the match which is a shame, they could have kicked this match into the next level.
Winner: The Undertaker over Edge via Hell’s Gate!
(WWE Championship Match) Randy Orton © vs Triple H vs John Cena vs JBL (Elimination Fatal Four Way Match)
JBL boots down Orton to begin the match, it seems that Orton has made enemies with everyone in the ring before JBL goes after Cena. Rights and lefts by JBL, Triple H begins to hammer JBL. Suplex, Cena clotheslines Triple H. Cena is bumped into the announce table, Orton and JBL decide to beat down Triple H. The heels work over The Game who continues to take punishment, Triple H nails a double clothesline, Triple H punches JBL to the floor. Orton and Triple H remain in the ring, Orton meets the ringpost. JBL pulls out Triple H, the two brawl on the floor. JBL meets the steel steps, JBL blocks a pedigree as Triple H smashes his head off the ramp.
Cena and Orton battle in the ring, Orton misses a corner clothesline. Throwback by Cena, Kobashi-style leg drop by Cena. STF on Orton, JBL thinks about saving Orton before laughing in Orton’s face. JBL talks trash for too long as Triple H applies a crossface, Orton mocks JBL before Cena pushes Orton into everyone. Cena is flung over the top rope, JBL boots Orton for two. Orton is whipped to the corner, boot by Orton to JBL. Clothesline and JBL is down, Orton climbs to the top rope, JBL crotches the champion. Tower of doom spot with JBL and Orton taking most of the pain, Cena and Triple H unsuccessfully pin JBL and Orton.
Triple H and Cena trade blows, Cena nails his shoulder blocks on The Game. Big slam by Cena, five knuckle shuffle is stopped as Triple H nails a massive spinebuster. Pedigree is prevented, Cena FUs JBL. Cena backdrops Triple H to the floor, Cena applies the STFU on JBL. JBL is forced to tap out, JBL is the first man eliminated but Cena never sees The Punt from Orton as The Legend Killer kicks off the head of Cena, Cena and JBL have been eliminated.
We are down to two, Triple H pummels Orton. Suplex and knee drop, two for The Game. Orton regains control on the outside, Triple H tastes the steel steps. Orton identifies the lower back as the weak spot of The Game, Triple H is wheezing in the corner, screams of pain are constant as Orton hammers his knees into the spine of The Game. Knees to the ribs by Orton, Triple H continues to take abuse from the champion, Triple H mounts a comeback with rights but Orton nails his backbreaker. Orton applies a sleeper to The Game, bodyscissors for added effect. Triple H avoids the RKO, Orton crashes off the canvas.
Another slugfest, high knee from The Game. Corner clothesline by the challenger, knee facebuster, Two for Triple H, Orton and Triple H spill out to the floor. Orton suckers in The Game who smacks off the barricade, Orton has Triple H on the steel steps, the piledriver is blocked as Triple H pulls down Orton. Spinebuster by The Game, pedigree is blocked. Backdrop by Orton, Orton is shoved into the referee, RKO out of nowhere from Orton. Two for Orton, Orton could not capitalise in time. The Punt is dodged, Pedigree is countered. RKO is countered, Pedigree by The Game and Triple H is your champion!
Well if you are going to do two eliminations back to back, almost simultaneously why would you even make this a fatal four way? I just did not understand the logic behind that considering Triple H vs Orton went about fifteen minutes after Cena and JBL were eliminated. I am in love with Orton’s character, Orton has been fantastic in growing in his role as WWE Champion but the title is taken off him in this match and I cannot see a reason why, Orton was so far ahead of everyone else on the RAW roster, why would you take the championship from Orton?
Winner: Triple H over Randy Orton via Pedigree!
That was WWE’s Backlash 2008, a mixed bag of a show which is strange considering WWE was right in the thick of Wrestlemania season so the show and feuds should have been over like rover but there are a few things missing. The show starts well with the culmination of the Hardy vs MVP feud, it was stretched out for months but somehow remained hot and when Hardy finally beat MVP, it was an awesome moment for everyone. Michaels vs Batista was compelling storyline wise with the added twist of Jericho and the fact that Batista wanted to murder Michaels for retiring his mentor Ric Flair.
The Divas match was simply there on a card, no real storyline advancements there while Chavo Guerrero never seemed to have a hope in hell against Kane which was disappointing because Chavo had been built up on the ECW brand and to be shown as so little compared to Kane was another nail in the coffin for that brand. Taker and Edge never went beyond second gear for me, they can bring it, we saw that at Wrestlemania but tonight was not their night while the main event just irked me the way it was booked and the way things look moving forward but we shall see, I could be wrong. Thanks for stopping by and remember: There’s always another night!