4/26 Powell's WWE Backlash pay-per-view report: John Cena vs. Edge for the World Hvt. Title, Triple H, Batista, and Shane McMahon vs. Legacy, Ricky Steamboat vs. Chris Jericho, Matt Hardy vs. Jeff Hardy
Apr 26, 2009 - 10:00 PM
By Jason Powell
Aired live on pay-per-view
The show opened with a video that recapped the various feuds that will play out tonight... Jim Ross introduced the show from ringside. He's on commentary with Jerry Lawler and Michael Cole...
Powell's POV: Same setup as WrestleMania. I'd like it more if they bumped Cole and inserted Matt Striker.
1. Christian defeated Jack Swagger to win the ECW Title in 11:00. Lawler said he proudly considers himself a Peep. Ross said Lawler is definitely a peeper. Funny. At 1:20, Swagger pressed Christian over his head in the corner of the ring and tossed him over the ring post to the floor.
At 5:40, Christian hit the fulcrum kick in the corner, but Swagger came right back with a clothesline. Christian fired up and hit a sunset flip off the second rope for a good near fall at 6:45. Swagger went for his finisher, but Christian blocked it. Christian hit a DDT for another good near fall that the crowd counted along with.
At 10:30, both wrestlers untied opposite turnbuckle pads. The referee caught Swagger, who then turned his attention to Christian. As the referee was tying one turnbuckle, Christian slammed Swagger into the other exposed turnbuckle, hit his Killswitch finisher, and scored the pin. Afterward, Christian quickly tried to tie the turnbuckle pad on again...
Powell's POV: Very good opening match with good crisp work from both wrestlers. I thought they'd keep the belt on Swagger, but I'm happy they came up with a finish that he can complain about. Great start to the pay-per-view.
A Greatest of the '90s DVD ad aired...
Backstage, Christian celebrated with the ECW locker room. You know, Tommy Dreamer, Finlay, and Evan Bourne. He stopped celebrating and looked across the room. Christian walked over to Edge, who jawed at him about winning a championship. Edge said he'd do the same in a couple hours. Christian wondered why Edge was so upset and why he changed.
Edge said it was all attributable to Cena. He said he was once a fun person until he encountered Cena. He said he's now a bitter, raving lunatic. He said he'll be a fun guy again when he becomes the World Hvt. Champion and gets rid of Cena forever...
Powell's POV: Finally! Very nice backstage segment. It's about time.
2. Chris Jericho defeated Ricky Steamboat in 12:30. Ross noted that Steamboat's last pay-per-view match was 15 years ago against Steve Austin at Bash at the Beach. Ross also spoke about Steamboat's feud with Ric Flair. The Dragon performed a couple of deep armdrags. The live crowd chanted, "You still got it."
Lawler brought up Ricky Steamboat's WrestleMania 3 match. Randy Savage's name was actually mentioned at one point. Maybe Vince is going to the bathroom and isn't producing the announcers. Steamboat skinned the cat at 3:00, but Jericho knocked him to ringside and then used the second turnbuckle in the corner to springboard into a dropkick.
At 7:00, Steamboat and Jericho fought on the ropes in the corner. Steamboat hit a belly-to-back suplex on Jericho off the top rope. At 8:30, Steamboat hit a scoop slam for a good near fall. Jericho came back with a big kick and followed up with a running bulldog. Jericho flashed a cocky look at the crowd. He went for the Lionsault, but Steamboat caught him. Jericho slipped out and applied the Walls of Jericho.
Ross said he never saw Steamboat submit throughout his career. The Dragon escaped the hold and applied the figure four. Jericho rolled over and reached the ropes to break it. At 11:10, Steamboat hit the cross body block off the top rope for a great near fall. Steamboat went up top for another move, but jumped right into the Codebreaker. Jericho covered him, but Steamboat got his foot on the bottom rope.
Jericho picked up Steamboat for a slam, but Ricky caught him with an inside cradle for a great near fall and play on the WrestleMania 3 finish. Jericho came right back by locking Steamboat in the Walls of Jericho and got the submission win. Afterward, Steamboat raised his hand and received a nice ovation from the live crowd...
Powell's POV: Another very good match. Steamboat definitely still has it. All three announcers did a really nice job of creating a nostalgic feel by talking about how they never thought they'd see some of Steamboat's signature moves. The live crowd enjoyed it, but they didn't exactly blow the roof off the building during the match. Some fans were passionate, but others didn't seem to care. Screw them. That was a real treat.
Backstage, Beth Phoenix told Santino Marella he should admit that he's really Santina. Santino denied it...
3. Kane beat C.M. Punk in 9:25. At 6:00, Kane went for the chokeslam, and Punk turned it into a shoulderbreaker move. It was similar to the finish they botched on Raw a couple times, only minus the DDT. At 7:20, Punk hit the high knee and followed up with a bulldog. Kane came back and worked over Punk's shoulder. Late in the match, Punk went for a high kick only to be caught with a chokeslam. Kane made the cover and scored the pin...
Powell's POV: I don't get it. Punk is the Money in the Bank guy. The announcers tried to put over his impressive performance. The fans might pop for Kane, but I don't get the sense they see losing to him in a noble effort as a good thing, which is what they tried to get across. Who knows, maybe they were tearing Punk down before he cashes in later tonight.
A video recapped the Hardy vs. Hardy feud...
4. Jeff Hardy defeated Matt Hardy in an "I Quit" match in 19:05. Lawler put the stipulation over by saying that it means more than a pin or a submission (even though a submission is pretty much the same thing). Lawler also noted that Jeff wasn't wearing face paint. He said it was because he was too focussed on the match to sit in front a mirror and apply the paint. Nice explanation. Cole brought up the fire that destroyed Jeff's home. He noted that the fire took the love of Jeff's life - his dog. I'm sure his girlfriend is loving that one.
Jeff took a bump from the ring to the floor and came up holding his knee. Matt worked over the knee for the next few minutes. Matt applied the figure four. The referee asked Jeff if he wanted to quit and stuck the mic in his face. Jeff yelled no. Jeff flipped it over to put Matt in the submission spot, but he also told the referee no. Matt continued to work over Jeff's knee. There was some type of commotion in the building that caused the fans to look away from the ring momentarily, but the announcers never acknowledged it.
Matt got upset and screamed at his brother to quit. He continued to work over Jeff's bad leg. Jeff came back and caught Matt in a Texas Cloverleaf. Matt cried out no, yet tapped the mat repeatedly. Jeff hit a Swanton. Matt wouldn't quit. Jeff hit a second Swanton on his brother.
Jeff headed to ringside and retrieved a table. He set it up in the ring, but Matt rolled to ringside. Jeff followed. Matt went for the Twist of Fate, but Jeff avoided it and then hit his own Twist of Fate on the floor. Jeff brought Matt back inside the ring and placed him on a table. Jeff went to ringside and grabbed a roll of duct tape.
Jeff tied Matt's wrists together and then tied him to the table with rope. Jeff pulled a ladder from underneath the ring and set it up inside the ring. Jeff took his shirt off and threw it to the crowd. Matt pleaded with Jeff. "I'm sorry I killed your dog," Matt said as Jeff climbed the ladder.
The referee put the mic in front of Matt's mouth. "I'm sorry about everything," Matt said. "We're brothers. Don't listen to them (the fans). Matt loves you. Matt and Jeff Hardy. The Hardy Boys. We can do it all again. Jeff, our moment wouldn't want this. She's in heaven looking down on us and she wouldn't want this. Our dad is at home sick and he wouldn't want this."
Matt continued to plead with his brother, who was still standing at the top of the ladder. Matt finally yelled that he quit. Jeff leapt off the ladder and legdropped Matt through the table. Jeff stood over his fallen brother and then began playing to the live crowd. Jeff limped backstage as Cole spoke about the destroyed Hardy family.
Powell's POV: The final minutes were a lot of fun. The live crowd is tough to please. They just kind of sat back and waited for the high spots. Good effort from both men and I liked the way Matt targeted Jeff's knee. Matt was easy to hate when he begged Jeff and brought up his late mother and sick father. He came across like a sleazy heel.
Backstage, Todd Grisham interviewed Randy Orton, who said with a smirk on his face that Batista should be careful not to get disqualified...
Great Khali and Runjin Singh came out for the big kiss segment. Runjin did all the talking and said there was love in the air. He called for Santina Marella to come out. Santino, er, Santina walked out looking upset. Santina said she would love to kiss Khali, but she's not exactly who she says she is.
"I've been trying to pass as something I'm not," Santina said. "A single girl. You see, I'm in love with another man. I have such strong feelings for this man that to kiss the Great Khali would betray everything I stand for." Runjin said Khali wanted to know who. Santina looked around trying to find someone. "It's J.R.," she said. Santina said spoke about how much she loves J.R.
"Well, good for you," Ross said on commentary. "I'm happily married." Runjin said Khali understands and doesn't want to break up a happy couple. Runjin said Santina doesn't have to kiss Khali as long as he proves his love by kissing Ross. "That ain't gonna happen, I assure you." Cole referred to Ross as "Mr. Bar-B-Q Man." Ross snapped, "Mr. Bar-B-Q Man? I wonder who fed you that line." Nice!
Beth Phoenix came out with Rosa Mendes and said she wanted a match with Santina. She said Santina isn't the real Miss WrestleMania. Beth tore into Khali by saying that the women in Punjab are either all ugly or Khali is the biggest idiot alive today. Khali chopped Beth over the head while smiling. She wobbled around the ring and then Khali pushed her down. Santina called for the bell. The referee agreed. Santina covered Beth and pinned her.
Santina celebrated. Khali backed her into a corner and removed her bra. Santina covered her chest and ran screamed while running backstage. Cole and Lawler continued to mock Ross by asking if he really called Santina his "Little Slobberknocker"...
Powell's POV: Horrible segment. The only line that got any laughs from the live crowd was Santina saying, "I'm pretty," when Beth was lashing out at Khali. Vince McMahon and Brian Gewirtz just can't get enough of needling Ross. Grow up, boys. Please tell me that this is the last time we'll see Santina.
A video hyped the six-man tag match...
5. Randy Orton, Cody Rhodes, and Ted DiBiase defeated Triple H, Batista, and Shane McMahon in a six-man tag to win the WWE Title for Randy Orton in 22:45. The rules are that Orton wins the title if any member of his team pins any member of Hunter's team, or if a member of Hunter's team is counted out or disqualified. There's a sign in the front row that reads, "The Vag Fart Baqueefsta." Ouch. If they watched South Park they'd know that queefs are not funny.
The babyfaces made separate entrances. The heels came out New England Patriots style and spared us the Priceless entrance music. Hunter charged at Orton and tackled him. Orton ran out of the ring and Hunter chased him. They fought to the top of the stage (well, Hunter beat his ass) and then Orton disappeared backstage. Hunter came back to the ring and the referee called for the bell to start the match.
Batista beat up Cody to start the match. Shane tagged in and they hit the Demolition finishing move on Cody. Nice! Later, Batista was working over DiBiase at ringside, Orton ran out and attacked him from behind around 6:00. The heels took turns working over Batista. Orton DDT'd him off the ropes a couple minutes later. He licked his lips (really) and then kissed Batista as if he were Stephanie (not really).
Batista finally came back with a suplex on DiBiase at 9:30. He went for a tag, but DiBiase tagged in Orton, who cut him off at the last possible second. At 11:00, Batista rolled to the corner and tagged in Super Shane, who beat up the heels. Shane hit a top rope elbow drop on DiBiase at 12:00 for a near fall. Orton grabbed Shane and threw him at the ring steps.
Orton spent the next few minutes working over Shane and drilled him with a nice drop kick at 15:00. Cody tagged in and worked over Shane as well. "They got six guys, they could speed this up a little," said my pay-per-view watching buddy at the 18:00 mark. No shit. Finally, at 19:45, Shane made the hot tag to Hunter, who got a big pop when he entered the match.
Hunter beat up Orton and then threw both of his minions out of the ring. Hunter hit his signature spots on Orton. He went for the Pedigree, but Cody ran in and DDT'd Hunter. No, really! Shane quickly cleared Cody from the ring. However, Cody came back and took out Shane with a chairshot. Cody also nailed Batista with a chair. Super Cody!
Meanwhile in the ring, Hunter and Orton both struggled to their feet. Randy went for the RKO at 22:00, but Hunter blocked it. Hunter went for the Pedigree, but he spotted Batista winding up for a chair and stopped him to avoid the DQ. Orton hit the RKO on Hunter for a great near fall. Orton came right back with a boot to Hunter's head and got the 1-2-3 to win the title.
After the match, the agents and trainers came out to put Hunter on a stretcher. A small, yet vocal group of cans sang the goodbye song as Batista and Shane knelt over Hunter. The announcers spoke somberly as they said the kick could be career ending. They noted that Batista was out four months. Hunter was eventually stretchered out of the arena...
Powell's POV: The live crowd was pro-Hunter when he tagged into the match, but that didn't stop them from counting along with the pin and then cheering the title change. Hunter got the Jeff Jarrett treatment from that group of fans. Jarrett was serenaded with a louder version of the sang song when he did a stretcher job after losing his last singles match with Kurt Angle on TNA pay-per-view. The match was slow for long stretches of time when the babyfaces sold, but the finish was hot and the people were into it.
An ad aired for WWE Judgment Day on May 17... At ringside, the announcers continued to speak somberly as they spoke about Triple H. Lawler said there's a risk and reward and we just saw what happens when things go wrong. Ross said Orton has been waiting five years for that opportunity. Cole said something, but I try to zone him out. Fortunately, Lawler cut him off and said this could destroy the McMahon family...
Powell's POV: How does this destroy the McMahon family? It's not like Hunter is the bread winner. Here's hoping Hunter takes a few months off to freshen up the act while selling the punt kick.
A video hyped the Edge vs. John Cena match...
6. Edge defeated John Cena in a Last Man Standing match to win the World Hvt. Championship in 28:25. The same people who sang to Hunter were yelling, "Cena sucks." At least I assume that's the case because the chants were about the same volume. Edge locked Cena in a sleeper hold. Cole said it was good strategy because it could take out Edge. Lawler, the wrestler, responded by saying he never thought about that.
At 7:15, Cena did the "You Can't See Me" bit. He received some boos, but more people chanted along. Edge kicked him in the head to break it up. Edge applied the Sharpshooter and used the ropes for leverage, which is legal in this match. There were dueling "Let's Go Edge" and "Let's Go Cena" chants as the referee counted Cena, who made it back to his feet by five only to have Edge knocked him to ringside.
At 12:15, Cena picked up the ring steps and tried to throw them inside the ring. He struggled to get them over the top rope for a few embarrassing seconds before finally getting them into the ring. Edge used the steps to his advantage a short time later by kicking them into Cena in the corner.
Cena came back with a back body drop that sent Edge to ringside. Cena picked up the steps and threw them at Edge just as he got back to his feet. Later, the fans chanted "Yay" for Edge and "Boo" for Cena as the two wrestlers traded punches in the ring. At 16:30, Cena went for his FU finisher, but Edge countered with a suplex.
Edge stood over Cena and did the "You Can't See Me" routine. Cena reached up and twisted Edge into the STF. Edge tapped out, but the announcers pointed out that taps mean nothing during the match. Cena released the hold. The ref counted to seven and Edge got back to his feet. Cena went for the Attitude Adjustment again, but Edge grabbed the ropes to avoid the hold and then followed up with a spear.
At 19:20, Cena hoisted Edge onto his shoulders while standing on the second rope and hit the Attitude Adjustment. Once Edge got back to his feet, Cena went for a move off the second rope, but Edge speared him. Cena made it back to his feet only to tumble through the ropes to ringside.
Edge followed Cena to ringside and set up the announcers' table. He went for a move, but Cena turned it into the Attitude Adjustment that flipped Edge onto a group of fans at ringside (the fans were plants because there aren't that many grown men who wear Cena t-shirts, but a cool move nonetheless).
Cena chased Edge through the crowd and eventually bulldogged him off the stairs onto a bunch of cases near the stage. Edge got back to his feet again. They fought onto the stage, where Edge DDT'd Cena onto the steel grating. Nice spot. Cena eventually got up. Edge ran backstage and returned with a chair that he struck Cena's back and then hit a second chairshot to the head.
Cena made it back to his feet. Edge went for the spear, but Cena hoisted him up for the Attitude Adjustment. Big Show came out and grabbed Cena by the throat. Show threw Cena threw a spotlight that was positioned next to the stage. Cool explosion when Cena went through the spotlight. The referee counted to 10, and Edge became the new World Hvt. Champion.
Edge celebrated on the stage with his title belt as agents checked on Cena. Christian, Finlay, Shad from Cryme Tyme, and other wrestlers came out in street clothes to check on Cena and put over the injury angle. The trainer was putting Cena in a neck collar when they replayed the chokeslam a few times. Great looking stunt with the pyro flash. Back live, Cena was placed onto a stretcher as Edge's music played. Edge's music stopped playing. He stood on the stage with the belt as Cena was strapped onto the stretcher to close the show...
Powell's POV: Very cool stunt and a fun brawl. The live crowd was into the match and were split in their reaction. They popped heavily for the spotlight stunt. That would have had major impact had it been a debuting wrestler rather than same old Big Show, but it was still a cool spot that I didn't see coming. Overall, a strong and very newsworthy show. I'll have a lot more to say about it tonight in Dot Net Member Audio, and in tomorrow's WWE Backlash Hitlist. Thanks for watching along with me tonight.