Sometimes sleeping on a show can bring to light that it was much better than I previously thought. Backlash was not one of those shows. In the light of day, it was actually worse than I thought it was. I try hard to not be a jerk when I write about pro wrestling but when the WWE gives us a stinker like Backlash, it’s hard to not throw rotten cantelopes at it. What a travesty!
Time To Turn
After Bayley and Sasha had it out backstage, again, I was wondering if something big was going to happen between them in Bayley’s match, but no, they dropped the ball again. They have teased and taunted us with this possible feud, yet they had a huge opening in this match and couldn’t be bothered to take it. I’d love to say that they have a plan for this feud, but this is the WWE and they haven’t planned ahead for anything in a very long time.
Ruby won, as she needed to. Ruby needs to let the Riott Squad go so she can go after the Raw Women’s Championship. Ruby is too good to sit back and watch the world go by. This woman is talent personified. She has everything needed to be a top superstar – an interesting look, mad ring skills, and the charisma needed to get over on mic and off. She’s one of the two most recent superstars brought up from NXT who will light the way for the future, Ember Moon being the other. This was a decent match but with Bayley flailing around with her character, there was something hugely missing. I was annoyed that this was on the Kick-off, until I saw the actual match. Ruby was golden, but it wasn’t a PPV match.
Psych! (Produced by Tyson Kidd)
Miz is so great in the ring as well as on mic, as is Rollins, so we knew this could be a great match, and they surely delivered. I know a lot of people want fast-moving matches with lots of spots and excitement, but these two know how to pace a match and make it exciting, all without being too spotfest-y! The Figure-four leg lock told a great story that was full of tension and questions. Back and forth, over and over between them.
These two display great ring psychology in the ring but are so much better when they’re in the ring with someone else with the same great skills – like one another. This is a match that could main event WrestleMania if given a great build. Actually, these two should main event WrestleMania together. They are the type who give everything to the fans during the first hour of Raw, so they give everything plus more at PPVs like in this match. Imagine if they were given the time to really give their all with the hype of WrestleMania added to it? They could be epic! Both deserve another shot at the WrestleMania main event, so why not against each other? This match was dang near perfect, so why not build to something better than perfect!
In A Cup! (Produced by Sara Stock)
I love that Nia’s weight is announced. It makes us curvy girls feel better about ourselves. Not saying I don’t want to lose another 30lbs, but Nia makes me feel somewhat better about the extra weight I do carry.
The work these women gave us left me in awe. Their size difference is an obvious issue, but they know how to work together and Bliss didn’t look at all hindered by her size here. They followed a great match with another great match full of ring psychology – something too many of the womens’ matches have lacked, even recently. These two women left it all out there – physically as well as emotionally. I know that Nia is Rocky’s cousin, but Bliss talks so much smack during her matches that you’d think SHE was related to Rocky.
They put on an amazing match. The DD got very quiet during this match – that’s how I know. We were watching the match so closely that we were not chatting, which happens more and more often with the women than the men lately.
Lastly, Nia on mic after the match sealed everything beautifully. Further, it started an honest talk about bullies in the DD. The more we talk about bullies and bring them to light, the less power they have.
Jeff Is The Veteran (Produced by Arn Anderson)
The announcers talked about what a veteran of the ring Orton is. I know they’re treating Jeff’s time in TNA as if he was home on the sofa, but we know he wasn’t. He should have been on the sofa that night he faced Sting! Anyway, Jeff Hardy debuted on Raw, as a jobber, in 1998. Orton struggled to debut in 2002 as anything at all until Evolution. Speaking of 2002. I watched a match from 2002 this morning that had Rikishi tagging with Tajiri against Cena and Matt Hardy. Throughout the match the fans chanted, “We want Jeff!” For this match, we should have heard chants of, “We want Matt!” Right now Matt is the brother to watch because he really is that much better than Jeff these days.
So, nothing changed here, at all. Further, the match wasn’t really anything spectacular. It was an average match, nothing more than average. Orton and Jeff Hardy are really nothing more than average right now, and if the WWE wants us to care, these two need to stop being boring.
WWE Or Rusev Day Or Fashion Files? Nope, Glorious! (Produced by Scott Armstrong)
What a great segment! The best segment of the night! Normally I want PPVs to focus on the matches but this is one of the best segments I’ve seen on a PPV in a very long time! The WWE got so many guys out there for show bonuses, and it was fun! So much fun and so many superstars out there. They were all amazing and sold every bit of it. The only issue I had, even though he was having glorious fun out there, is that Roode needs to turn heel. Watching how much fun he had out there, I wouldn’t want him to not have that moment, but he needs to turn heel…and soon!
Chopped Liver Chest (Produced by Jamie Noble & Dean Malenko)
I know chops are a big part of matches, but Bryan hasn’t been in the ring for a long time, he needs some time to build up the toughness of his chest skin before he can be chopped the way he has been. His chest looked disgusting after the GRR, and will continue to look horrible until he toughens up the skin again.
I’m shocked that Bryan went over here. Neither could afford a loss here but I guess Bryan is untouchable these days. This is just what Cass didn’t need after his horrible soliloquies on SD since his return. The attack after the match helped Cass some, but he tapped out so quickly that it was pathetic. Botch said it was a jobber tap, and I agree. Only jobbers tap out that quickly, even after the forearms to Cass’ face on the mat. Of course Cass attacked after the match, but that attack can only go so far after that fast tap.
She’s A Screecher! (Produced by John Laurinaitis)
The best work in this match was what happened outside the ring early in the match. Their work outside the ring right after the match started was great, and Carmella’s submission on Charlotte looked great, otherwise this match BOMBED! Botch stated that Carmella was too much character and not enough work in the ring, that it was badly booked and produced. I couldn’t have said it any better myself.
The only other thing I want to address in this match was Carmella’s mouth. I’ve always loathed that the Knockouts were such screamers in the ring, but Carmella took it to a whole new level here. I understand being mouthy, if it’s part of your character, like Bliss earlier in the show, and even though Carmella is a screamer normally, her screeching in this match was so annoying that I have a bit of a headache and Stacy asked when the match was going to end, because he was really annoyed as well.
#LowBlowCity (Produced by Jamie Noble)
I have to thank The S.A.M. for the title of this match. I stated in the most recent Flush that I didn’t want to see Nakamura’s arm between AJ’s legs again, yet we got it. Not only that, but the double crotch kick to end the match was just lame. That being said, this was a great match until that point. I could watch those two go all night, but I have to wonder where they go from here. Some people are already getting bored with this feud. I’m not one of them, but I know there are people out there who feel this way, mostly because of all the non-endings they’ve had in their matches. To me, it shows how evenly matched they are, and that’s a great way to book these two amazing men.
Friends Again? (Produced by Mike Rotunda & D-Von Dudley [Devon Hughes])
Well, looks like there’s trouble in paradise! I don’t know what the plan is for KO and Sami, but I hope we don’t end up in another feud that goes nowhere. They work together so beautifully, but Sami got the short end of the stick last time. If they go there again, it feels lazy. These two are besties, and as I’ve always said, besties make for the best teams and feuds. I just worry if it’s not planned out well that we will be going through the same storyline with KO for the 3rd time in a row. All involved are better than that, and deserve better than that.
I’m not a Lashley fan. I wasn’t really a fan of him in the WWE, didn’t care for him in TNA, but his delayed vertical on KO was great! I know it was just one move, but it was lovely! With all of Sami’s complaining of vertigo, I’m hoping they’re going somewhere with this. So that move was great, but that was just one move of the match. Beyond that move the best of this match was between Sami and KO. Storyline-wise, it was great, as a match that was booked AFTER the WWE Championship Match, not so much.
The Fans Leave (Produced by Michael Hayes)
There are few matches that are good enough, or big enough, to main event over the WWE or Universal Championships. It’s not even the match, but the superstars in the match which would make it the main event over the Championships. Until recently Taker could main event over the straps. Before he retired, HBK could main event over the straps. Heck, depending on who he’s facing, even Trip could main event over the straps. During their time, Flair and Hogan could have done it easily. That being said, only facing Trip should Reigns main event a PPV. Now, I love Joe, and have loved Joe for many years, but that doesn’t mean he’s up there with the greats I just mentioned. Because of this I have to question why they ended Backlash with this match and not the WWE Championship Match.
“This is boring!” chants are not a good thing to hear when you’re in the main event of a PPV. This was horrible booking all the way around. Joe is better than Reigns will ever be. Joe is the Samoan to push hard and watch closely. True he’s not a member of the Anoa’i family, but he’s leaps and bounds better than Reigns, and has less time than Reigns. Joe isn’t a kid, has had a lot of wear and tear on his body, and should be pushed before his body gives out. Reigns has more time in the ring, so maybe it’s time for the Samoan loser (he has lost a lot lately) to step back and have someone else (Strowman) take the strap off Brock Lesnar and get the rub.
What a mess! What a terrible, gross, horrid mess! This PPV was worse than those we complained about the past couple years. I thought things were getting better after all the craziness and swerviness they gave us at WrestleMania. They started down a road that was a lot of fun, then they completely dropped the ball. This PPV was just a mess, and I think if we look at who booked each match, we can see who really gets it, who doesn’t, and who is only pandering to McMahon.