Sasha Banks and Bayley def. The IIconics and BlissCross to retain the WWE Women’s Tag Team Championships: A solid opener you kick off the show. It was one of those matches where you had to keep your eyes glued to the screen because the action was fast and often. A new or possibly something I’ve never seen before but in this tornado style tag match each team has one legal participant and you could only tag the other member of your team instead of who was available before. Bliss saw an opening and hit Royce with the Twisted Bliss moonsault but the chaos of the match allowed Sasha to swoop in, steal the win, and keep the Tag Titles for her and Bayley. Grade: 3/5
Sheamus def. Jeff Hardy: I liked Jeff’s strategy to kick off the match. Hardy would attack the leg Sheamus uses to plant for a Brogue Kick. Despite a less than 100% leg base Sheamus controlled most of the match. Hardy showed a lot of resilience, took the match to the outside, but that’s where it went downhill. Jeff used the barricade to tight walk into a leaping attack but Sheamus caught Hardy with a Brogue Kick. Sheamus puts Hardy back in the ring and hits a second Brogue to pick up the win. Solid work from both men, I’m interested in Jeff’s mental state after picking up this loss. Grade: 3/5
Asuka vs. Nia Jax ends in a Double Countout: This was a crappy ending to an otherwise really good match. Nia has one style and its brawl and maul. Asuka used Nia’s momentum to turn Nia’s offense into Asuka’s submission offense. This was like a martial arts fight where the smaller fighter uses quickness against the bigger final boss. It was well done. My guess is this leads to a No DQ gimmick match for Extreme Rules. Grade: 3/5
Braun Strowman def. Miz and Morrison to retain the Universal Championship: For me, this match would have been better suited as the main event on SmackDown rather than a PPV. The match wasn’t bad, it just didn’t fit a PPV quality match. A bonafide tag team winning the Universal Championship? Who believes that? Grade: 2/5
Drew McIntyre def. Bobby Lashley to retain the WWE Championship: This match was a straight-up fight. Before the bell even rang Lashley locked in the Full Nelson for a good three minutes or so. From there both men just beat the hell out of each other from corner to corner. The match was picking up steam when Lana, Lashley’s problematic wife, makes an appearance. Lana distracts Bobby who turns right into a Claymore Kick from McIntyre who keeps the WWE Championship. I liked this match. I may not like the Lashley/Lana pairing but this was brilliant because Lashley doesn’t look like a loser after a loss. All the heat is on Lana for ruining Lashley’s big opportunity. Hopefully, we see more Lashley/McIntyre down the line.
We were supposed to see the Street Profits vs. the Viking Raiders in a match for the Raw Tag Team Championships but we ended up seeing all four men just brawling around the PC, smashing Braun Strowman’s beautiful car, to sparring with Akira Tozawa and ninjas. On bikes. It was nuts.
We close out the show with what was being booked as “the greatest wrestling match ever” between Edge and Randy Orton. The match went about 45 minutes complete with a Howard Finkel voice-over introduction, referee Charles Robinson in old school referee gear, piped-in audio crowds. Did all of that help it become the greatest wrestling match ever? No. Did it end up becoming the greatest wrestling match ever? Nope. But it was a damn good match. The part I enjoyed the most was Randy systematically taking Edge apart via his surgically repaired neck. The way Edge sold each blow to his head made everything so much more believable. Orton would sometimes die things to test Edge’s ring rust. Orton would stop before taking a blow or trip Edge as he ran the ropes, all good stuff for the sake of storytelling. Down the stretch Edge had things in hand. After both men dished everything they could including multiple finishers taken from legends of the WWE past. It was when Edge would make another attempt at his new submission the Anti-Venom where Orton saw the opportunity to go low behind the referee’s back. Orton would go on to hit Edge with a sick punt straight out of his Legend Killer days to secure the victory. Again, this wasn’t the greatest wrestling match ever but it was a damn fine wrestling match. Hell, if this was the match we would’ve gotten at WrestleMania instead of the Last Man Standing match it would have been praised beyond belief. Great match, fun, different things that didn’t hinder the performance. Grade: 3.5/5
Overall, I thought Backlash was a solid show. It was easy to sit through and every match and something positive to take away from it.
What were your thoughts on the show?