Posted by: Canadian Sports Chick | April 27, 2009

Backlash Delivers Where Wrestlemania Did Not

The Man and I went to watch Backlash at our local movie theater and it was definitely an experience we’ll be repeating, that’s for sure. It was interesting to hear the crowd’s response and get an idea of how other people feel about certain matches.

Christian vs. Jack Swagger for the ECW Championship
Christian got a huge roar from the crowd at the theater. Maybe it’s because he’s a Canadian boy, but he was definitely well liked. This was a great match. I found Jack Swagger’s match at No Way Out pretty bad, but he totally redeemed himself tonight, giving a completely solid match. Christian was fantastic and he just delivered an exciting performance. He deserves a good push, he really does. And at the end of the match, when he had his moment with Edge… The theater was going nuts. I know I’m dying to see an Edge/Christian reunion whether it be together or a feud and given the reaction they got after sharing only a moment together, I think the fans agree with me.

Chris Jericho vs. Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat
Steamboat got a decent reaction when he came in, but there were a couple odd cheers for Jericho as well (The Man being one of them). I thought it was a solid match, Steamboat’s awful figure four aside. I still don’t understand the point of the feud, but both Jericho and Steamboat did a good job of selling the match and Steamboat’s still in pretty fantastic shape given his age. Still, with a second Jericho victory, I hope this story line is now truly over.

CM Punk vs. Kane
Neither Punk or Kane got a lot of a reaction out of the crowd in the theater, which I have to admit surprised me a little. I’m also a little surprised Punk lost, since it was looking like he was going to get a solid push, but maybe that was just wistful thinking. Still, win or lose, he put on a great match. He and Kane worked well together and I think it did help make CM Punk look a little bit more like a serious contender. Sometimes, it’s not about winning, but showing what you’re made of and Punk did that tonight.

Jeff Hardy vs. Matt Hardy
The theater was completely silent for this one. I don’t think anyone really cared either way. I’m surprised it ended the way it did, not with Jeff winning (though I did predict Matt would win), but with Matt begging his brother for forgiveness. I do hope we get to see some fall-out from this match, if a reconciliation really was meant to happen. I do wonder why they built Matt up as such a heel and got him generating good heat if they were going to have him turn so quickly. Maybe they felt he didn’t have enough genuine heat, that without Jeff the heat would disappear. I was actually a little moved by his speech at the end and I do wonder what the repercussions of Jeff jumping off the letter on top of him are going to be.

The Khali Kiss Cam Segment
The crowd at the theater was eating this one up, laughing out loud the entire time. I’m actually enjoying the whole Santino/Santina thing. The bit with JR was especially funny as he kept bewilderingly insisting that he’s a happily married man. I’m wondering if they’re using this opportunity to turn Beth Phoenix face, since as I commented on my Smackdown recap, the two top divas on Raw are now both heels. She certainly came off as bewildered and sympathetic tonight and the blow from the Great Khali just added to that. I’m actually looking forward to Beth as a face and I think a feud between her and Maryse will be more interesting to watch than her matches with Melina have been.

Triple H, Batista, and Shane McMahon vs. Randy Orton, Ted DiBiase, and Cody Rhodes for the WWE Championship
Triple H got a huge reaction from the audience and Orton generated the only heat of the night, with people actually booing the screen. I am definitely surprised that no one turned tonight, since I was positive that someone who change sides tonight. I knew an Orton win was inevitable and tonight’s victory definitely solidified his position as the WWE’s top heel. I’m not sure what the point of having Triple H look like he was injured is, maybe he’s nursing a real life injury that we haven’t heard about, or maybe the WWE wants to take the emphasis off Triple H/Randy Orton towards Orton/Batista. Either way it was a gripping ending and it completed Orton’s revenge, he managed to win the title and take out every member of the McMahon family (except for Linda) along the way. Though, honestly, I still would have liked to see Rhodes and/or DiBiase turn on Orton given how badly he treats them, as one of the announcers said–Randy Orton only cares about Randy Orton.

John Cena vs. Edge for the World Heavy Weight Championship
Cena got a lackluster response, but Edge got a huge reaction, including loud cheers when he won. Maybe it’s that Canadian audience thing. In my opinion this was the best match in a night full of strong matches. Cena and Edge have really sold their feud and their match tonight just solidified it. They seemed to truly hate each other as they pushed themselves and their bodies to the limits. I thought it was a little cheesy that the Big Show, who’d only recently been fighting with Edge over the affections of Vickie Guerrero, interfered, but none the less I was glad to see an Edge victory.

I do have to wonder about both Triple H and John Cena being taken out on stretchers, especially if the WWE is going to try and sell serious injuries and lengthy recovery times since that leaves Raw down three of it’s top faces (with Shawn Michaels currently taking time off). I guess we’ll find out tomorrow night on Raw. All and all, I found Backlash much more enjoyable than Wrestlemania which is kind of sad, since Wrestlemania is supposed to be the greatest event of the year.

Where as the Orton/Triple H match at Wrestlemania was lackluster, tonight’s match was gripping and intense and it ended the way Wrestlemania should have–with an Orton victory and title win. To be proven as a strong heel, Orton needed to be given that push. The Cena/Edge match was also better tonight, because it was about the two of them, about their hatred of each other, instead of being some silly angle about the Big Show/Vickie/Edge triangle, with Cena just there in the background. Backlash definitely delivered a night full of amazing events and I’m eager to see what happens next.

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