Brett Mix’s- WWE Backlash 2004 Review:
“I am proud to announce to the City of Edmonton that today is Chris Benoit Day” –Mayor of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada 2004
-WWE Backlash 2004 was a wrestling (PPV) event produced by the WWE. The event took place on Sunday, April the the the 18th, 2004 in front of 13,000 fans at Rexall Place in Edmonton, Alberta Canada.
-This was the sixth annual Backlash PPV event by the company.
-The biggest storyline for Backlash 2004 was over the World Title which Chris Benoit won in a triple threat main event at Wrestlemania 20 over the then Champion HHH and challenger HBK. He would defend the title in his hometown in a re-match in this Backlash Main Event.
-This was a Raw brand PPV.
-Val Venis defeated Matt Hardy at 7:56 on Sunday Night Heat before the PPV.
-Jim Ross and Jerry Lawler did commentary for the event.
Now onto the PPV…..
1) Opening Contest- Shelton Benjamin vs Ric Flair
Shelton Benjamin opened up Backlash and behind the broadcast booth single signs spelling out the letters B-E-N-O-I-T as it was in the hometown of the World Champion. My birth city pretty much also, I was born in a small town called St. Albert twenty minutes from Edmonton.
But here is where Benoit grew up and calls home.
We begin with Shelton Benjamin and Nature Boy Ric Flair.
A guy who may be the best athlete in the WWE taking on a well-aged Flair. Flair was back in ring-shape compared to say 2001 or 2002 but come on, are we supposed to believe he could compete with Shelton Benjamin here, I am just not sure…
Flair would definitely have to resort to heel tactics like he used for the majority of his career to win this one, or at least stand a chance. That is why he is called the dirtiest player in the game.
Shelton Benjamin with a single leg take-down on Flair and then he grabs the ropes and chopping Shelton Benjamin. Flair with a thumb to the eye and then goes to the top wherehe knows it will not work and Shelton Benjamin catches him slamming him down.
Shelton Benjamin with a clothesline and then another. Shelton Benjamin missed a dropkickon Flair as he hung onto the ropes as a desperation move.
Flair looking for a figure four, but Shelton into a roll-up got a two. Shelton gets Flair int he corner.
Fans are lively in Canada like always to begin this PPV. Flair grabbed the knee of Shelton Benjamin and then dropped it off the top rope, Flair knows a variety of ways to soften up knees, he did that expertly over the years to set up for his signature figure four.
Flair has the figure four, Shelton Benjamin was booed by half the crowd surprisingly and he reversed it but Flair got right back up. Flair went for a chair on the outside and the official Keota took it away.
Flair hit shops while the crowd Wooood, Shelton hit striking blows and an inziguri and Flair performs a face-flop to the delight of Edmonton. Shelton Benjamin with great velocity send Flair to the corner and he swung upside down and now Shelton suplexed the Nature Boy back into the ring. Flair chops Shelton. Flair goes to the top again but this time Flair gives Shelton a shot and now a Splash by Shelton. Flair might of had knucks but Shelton with a clothesline off the top.
In the end at 9:29 Shelton Benjamin got the win.
This opener was pretty fun and it did not seem near ten minutes.
2) Jonathan Coachman vs Tajiri
Jonathan Coachman many people wondered, why is he in a singles match on a PPV.
Even I did.
But this one actually came off better then remembered.
The Coach begins by working on the legs of Tajiri. Coach drops his body-weight down onto Tajiri. The nose of the Coach now worked over by Tajiri who Ross and Lawler thought was going to finish this match a lot quicker.
Coach pulls himself up.
Some fans chant boring although it is not. There is nothing really wrong with what is going on here and Coach from the top loses his balance.
Tajiri hammering on Coach hung upside down in the turnbuckle then a baseball slide kick and Tajiri almost got a three count.
Coach with a thumb to the eye gaining him some time and Tajiri springboards back, hamstring off the ropes to the elbow.
Tajiri with a a couple of kicks up high, Coachman paying his dues here. Tajiri goes to roll up Coach and Coash used the ropes for a win, but he thinks he had won.
Coach charged into a Tarantula.
Tajiri now setting up for a thrust kick but Cade swung Tajiri off the top rope.
In the end at 6:25 Jonathan Coachman got the upset.
Cade another wrestler gone before his time.
This match was fairly entertaining in spots.
3) Y2J Chris Jericho vs Christian and Trish Stratus in an Intergender Handicap Match
So Christian and Trish showed there real colors at Wrestlemania 20.
Lawler and Ross are hilarious as Trish is in love with Trish and JR says Lawler is not aware she even has feet.
Chris Jericho facing the odds here. Jericho with the crowd on his side.
Chris Jericho shoves Christian down, Trish slaps Chris Jericho and then runs around the ring. Jericho and Christian had a pretty great singles match at Wrestlemania 20 and they begin things here.
Chris Jericho with a vertical suplex to Christian, then Trish distracted him. Christian from behind was able to throw him out of the ring. Jericho then uses some signature moves to throw Christian to the mat gaining a nearfall.
Trish got bumped into by Christian and she fell to the floor.
They bring up the hilarious one dollar CANADIAN bet.
Fans chant for puppies.
This time Christian knocks Jericho off the ring apron. Chris Jericho sent into the ring and stomps on Jericho.
Christian slaps on his chest and Trish is proud.
Trish tags in and slaps Chris Jericho as Edmonton chants Sl*t! Trish then gets ready for a chick kick to Jericho and nails it expertly.
King says she likes it rough and Ross says he has heard. Hilarious.
Christian then comes in slapping Jericho to almost toy with him. Christian with a snapmare into a chinlock with the right knee focusing on the spine.
Christian caught by Jericho off the ropes looking for the walls he is sent back to the turnbuckle by Christian and then he lands head into groin on Christian.
Trish looks worried for Christian and his family jewels.
More Sl*t chants from the Edmontonians. Jericho chopping Christian and runs right through him with a clothesline, a shoulder block and a head-lock take-down followed by a two.
Christian sent Jericho into the corner looking for an un-prettier, but Chris Jericho countered with a Northern Light Suplex. Jericho chops Jericho he lands up top kicks Christian in the face but Trish slapped Jericho.
Christian off the top plants Jericho into the mat and got a two.
Good pacing here, it has certainly picked up.
Jericho gets into position to slap on the Walls again. Jericho has Trish now that she walks in. Jericho sets her down and spanks her.
Christian with an un-prettier. Christian tags in Trish and she only got a two. Christian walks in and tries himself but back to the drawing board. Fans chant Y2J and she takes her head off with a clothesline.
Christian retaliates by taking off the head of Chris Jericho.
All three competitors down.
Jericho with a running bulldog, a Lionsault well scouted by Christian with her knees.
Lawler wants to help out Trish. Christian with a Texas Clover-leaf on Jericho. Jericho used to being in this move with battles in WCW. Jericho counters resourcefully and gets the Walls, but then drops him as Trish comes in. Jericho has the walls and a low-blow by Christian, then a two.
Christian went for an un-prettier, Jericho catapolted Christian into Trish.
A running inziguri into Christian.
In the end at 11:12 Chris Jericho beat the 3 time Babe of the Year and the CLB.
This match was great. A lot of good material here.
4) Victoria (c) vs Lita for the WWE Womens Championship
Lita the challenger here.
The crowd is usually dead for these matches, especially on PPV when they get double the time, lets see if Edmonton changes that considering we have two fine female workers in this match for the title.
This was a time when the Diva division actually had some credibility.
Victoria as the reigning Champion.
Lita sent down and then Victoria uses the left arm to take Lita down. Lita with a head-scissors on Victoria.
Victoria rolls up and the two ladies bridge out. An arm-drag takedown by Victoria. Both ladies clap each others hands due to them being babyfaces.
Fans boo because it not the 1980s. Lita selling the back as she falls to the floor.
Victoria with a backslide after sending Lita into the corner. Lita rolls up Victoria and then a nearfall. Lita sunset flip and Victoria counters, both ladies counter over and over and then a loud 2…..being yelled by the Canadian crowd.
Victoria does her little shake and a standing moonsault onto Lita.
A reverse chinlock by Victoria.
Victoria stretching the arms back of Lita now in a surfboard-like move.
Victoria with a suplex to Lita then a nearfall.
Victoria grabs Lita by the legs and stretches her back torking the legs of Lita and holding her arms back with Victoria laying on her back. Victoria clobbers the back of Lita.
Victoria scoops up Lita and she went for a torture rack or a Samoan drop but Lita hit a hurricanrana and a monkey flip into a clothesline and a scoop slam.
Lita drives the elbow into Victoria.
A two. Ligta with a front facelock and a snap suplex. Lita kicks up and irishwhipped into the ropes Lita hit another hurricanrana on Victoria.
Lita caught Victoria in a sleeper hold now.
Lita drags her head down to the mat for extra tork but Victoria caught the ropes and then Victoria sent Lita into the ropes.
Victoria picks up Lita and drops her with a side-walk slam! Just a two. Victoria rolls Lita to the corner and off the top rope Victoria misses a moonsault just barely. Lita then with a unique pinning combo and a bridge.
A neck-breaker by Lita and then Victoria kicks out some-how from a modified Twist of Fate.
Lita kicks Victoria and then Victoria counters trying to use her strength advantage for a backslide, and an inside cradle by Lita, then Victoria with one and she got her.
In the end at 7:22 Victoria retained her title.
This match was a very good one for the Divas.
5) Randy Orton (c) vs Cactus Jack in a Hardcore match for the WWE Intercontinental Championship
While there is no doubt Randy Orton helped give the IC title back some much needed prestige with his lengthy reign as Champion in 04, this bout was personal and not so much about the title itself.
This was about the feud and the hardcore match that would settle it.
At Wrestlemania 20 Orton scored a huge pinfall victory over Foley in what currently stands as the final match in the career of The Rock as of this writing in 2011.
Coming into Backlash Orton had no idea what was in store for him here in the world of Mick and his hardcore friends, and by friends I mean weapons.
He would soon find out in this classic.
Randy Orton comes out with a can and poses with all the momentum he had in 2004 with the awesome pyro behind him. Orton had a lot of fans but obviously not as much as Foley. Orton making his Backlash debut.
Cactus comes out to a great pop, Foley said he was never as proud of his abilities in the ring until Mind Games with Shawn Michaels, UNTIL THIS MATCH.
He was so proud of what he accomplished with Randy that this became his favourite match. Probably because Foley was out of the game so long and helped develop a new star and put him over at not only Mania but in his own hardcore environment.
Here comes Cactus Jack and the bell rings.
Excellent build here and the crowd was ready for this one.
Cactus Jack wasted no time and hit barbie on the trash-can Orton held in front of him for support.
Orton ran around the ring and hit a drop toe-hold to Foley right into the steps. Orton holds up the barbedwire covered 2X4.
Fans chant for Foley as he caught Orton in the jaw. Orton with a huge head shot to Foley with the can. Orton with a third, Foley is in trouble.
Randy charged towards Foley with the trash-can and
Foley at his lightest weight since 1989, at 272 pounds. Me writing this am at my most in my life at 221, and not very much fat so I am happy about that. Yes, it is possible to do strength-training and write long reviews at the same time, but it is not easy.
Foley hit a swinging neck-breaker outside the ring.
Foley went to the top rope and was going to deliver a flying elbow but Orton got out of the way. Now up on the ramp Orton hit a side suplex on the entrance ramp with the skull of Cactus Jack smacking the steel.
Cactus Jack now put into a back-slide by Orton on the ramp and Cactus Jack kicks out of that pinning predicament.
Orton grabbed Mick by the skull and slammed his head against the ramp and the thud was heard and even felt by some folks. Orton with a bunch of Forearm shots and Foley is bounced off the steps with his head-first.
Orton throws Foley into the ring grabbing barbie.
Randy Orton hits Cactus Jack with a barbed-wire 2 X 4.
Orton tries to grate it into the face of Cactus Jack.
Cactus pulls it aside and hits Orton with a low-blow. Cactus Jack pulls a Sock out of his tights and grabs the bat. He puts Socko away and instead hits Orton in the face with a bat. Orton is busted open.
Orton is bloodied.
Cactus Jack then dropped knees on the back of Orton and delivered right-hands. Mick Foley with hard rights to the head of Orton.
Bang Bang and Cactus Jack rams his knees into the face of a bloodied Randy Orton in the corner of the ring.
Cactus Jack now grating the head of Orton with the bat.
Orton trying to escape the ring and Foley tears more of Orton in the head. Cactus Jack rips off his shirt and now he puts the barbedwire-bat in the groin of Orton and drops the leg on Orton and the fans in Edmonton love that.
Foley grabs the bat and puts gasoline on the bat. Bischoff comes out and warns him that the show will be over if he lights it on fire.
Cactus Jack grabs a pan and hits Orton in the head. Now there is a barbed-wire table under the ring. Cactus Jack with hard right-hands and Orton puts a cloud of smoke in his face and then powerslammed into the barbedwire table. It sticks into Cactus Jack and Orton gets the two.
Orton clobbered Foley but he reversed the irish-whip into the barbed-wire and his arms are bloodied. Orton dropkicked Foley into the wire.
Fans chanting Foley and Orton grabs a large bag of tacks.
Tacks are spread among the canvas.
Orton goes for an RKO but Foley reverses it and side suplexres Orton onto hundreds of tacks.
His face told the story. He tries taking them out of his hands and back. Cactus Jack chases him up the ramp.
King hilariously says he just witnesses the passion of Randy Orton. Cactus Jack then sent Orton flying off the entrance ramp onto tables by the floor.
Cactus Jack told to stop the match but he drops a big elbow off the ramp but somehow Orton kicked out. Fans boo.
Enough time had gone by for him to gain some recovery time in amazing fashion.
Both men bloodied and battered battle to the ring, Foley ddts Orton and that still is not enough to put away Orton.
Foley sets up the table in the corner of the ring and the bat hits Foley.
Cactus Jack puts the Claw with socko onto Orton and he goes down to one knee, the IC Champ fading away down to one knee. Orton caught him with a jaw-shot, and a low-blow to a bloodied Cactus Jack.
Randy Orton then caught in the claw again an instead he counters with an RKO.
Orton goes to pin Foley and somehow Cactus Jack amazingly kicks out! Keota counted and got a tack in his hand, Cactus Jack then hit with another RKO on the barbed-wire bat and Orton wins.
In the end at 23:03 Orton got the 1, 2, 3…
This match was phenominal, one of the very best in both mens career and by all means a Classic!
6) Rosey and The Hurricane vs La Resistance (Sylvain Grenier and Robert Conway)
Sylvain Grenier and Conway come out from Quebec so they gain heel heat.
Rosey and Hurricane with good team-work, unfortunately for these four they had to follow that Hardcore Classic, which resulted in of course a dead crowd.
An innovative jaw-breaker to Hurricane by Conway.
Sylvain Grenier suplexes Hurricane.
Eugene comes to the ring now.
Rosey suplexes both members of La Resistance. Hurricane flies through the air onto the other team.
Eugene comes in the ring and bounces off both ropes while the match continued.
Hurricane drops Conway while Regal takes Eugene to the back.
In the end at 5:02 Rosey and Hurricane get the win.
This match was tv quality.
7) Edge vs Kane
Edge making his first PPV match appearance in a year and a half since the 2003 Royal Rumble here.
These two never really had chemistry together I have often felt.
Either way the bell rings and despite some early offense by Edge, Kane corners him.
Edge quickly counters with a clothesline off the top.
Edge looked for a spear on Kane, he went out of the ring, and Edge hits a baseball slide. Edge then sends Kane into the ring-post. Edge removes the tv monitors and puts them on the floor. Kane hits an uppercut.
Now Kane on the broken hand slams Edge by it onto the steps.
King does not believe Edge has a broken arm.
You screwed Bret chants at Earl.
Kane drops his knee on Edge.
Kane torking the hand of Edge in the corner under then turnbuckle.
Fans chant We Want Bret. Kane drops his knee into Edge on his broken arm and Edge barely kicks out. Kane then punches at the arm of Edge and Kane then with an arm-ringer.
A pretty slow, boring match.
Edge tries to come back and uses the cast but he is stopped by Hebner, Kane hits him. Kane goes for a flying clothesline off the top and Edge meets him up there.
Kane pushes Edge to the mat. Kane flies off the top and misses a clothesline. Edge hits a ddt.
Edge then hits a Spear out of no where after a cast shot to the head of Kane behind the back of Hebner.
King asking for a suspension.
In the end at 6:25 Edge got the victory over Kane by
This match was slow, it told a story but it was just so boring that I could care less. Edge was rusty and Kane was Kane.
8 ) Main Event- Chris Benoit (c) vs Shawn Michaels vs Triple H in a Triple Threat match for the World Heavyweight Championship
Everyone knows the Classic these three had at Mania.
I like how the beginning of this one was different, they could of went the safe bet but the fact they changed up the beginning routine in this triple-threat to tell a different story was solid.
Michaels and Benoit teamed up on HHH and then they got in a chopping war.
Benoit, who gets a god-like pop in Edmonton obviously hits Germans on The Game, and he chops down HHH and HBK to size.
Benoit works so quick, no one could do it in the ring like he could. No one.
It is matches like this that prove that fact. Shawn Michaels irishwhipped into the corner and bumps hard upside down, down onto the floor.
HHH off the top gets reversed into the Crossface. Shawn Michaels onto the apron and Benoit saw him taking him off with a clubbing forearm shot and then on the outside sent him into the barricade.
Benoit, so mart knowing Shawn Michaels had a weak lower back as he sent him into the barricade again. Ross is intelligent enough to point that out on the broadcast as well.
Hunter has Benoit up top.
Fans chant Lets go Benoit even louder then MSG did at WM 20 obviously.
Hunter up top headbutts Benoit and goes for a huge Superplex off the top rope and Michaels hits a double axe-handle to HHH and Benoit is dropped to the floor. HBK hits HHH with an electric chair move on top of him falling back to the mat hart.
Shawn Michaels covers the game and he kicks out.
Shawn Michaels is getting a negative chant but almost everybody legit hated on HHH so no one cheered the offense from either. Benoit with a huge headbutt off the top. The Game is tossed through the ropes to the floor. Benoit tries to hit a German Suplex to Shawn.
Benoit going for the Sharpshooter on HHH and he has it to a huge pop in Alberta obviously.
Benoit had the Crossface on Michaels.
Shawn Michaels had come in to break up the Sharpshooter but no referee.
Chris Benoit gripping but no official and Benoit realizes it. I like Benoit always yelling Ref, what the hells the matter with you whenever one is down.
Shawn puts a Sharpshooter on Benoit and Hebner comes to the ring trying to re-act Montreal.
Huge You Screwed Bret chant and Michaels stops the offense on Benoit and he has a chance to put him in the Crossface again and Hunter broke up the move.
Hunter has Benoit and Shawn down. HHH has a YOU TAPPED out chant towards him. Hunter continues to kick at Benoit.
Jim Ross brings up the name of the legendary AWA promoter Vern Gagne and Lawler hilariously asks him Vern Gagne…and Ross and King are just golden together.
I love when Lawler pretends he knows nothing about older names in the business when he had such a history with them.
HHH with a camel clutch on Benoit, Lawler also calls HHH the future of the business, that made me laugh as well.
Michaels gets his chances and has a stand-off with Hunter and no one in Edmonton seems to care. Shawn Michaels goes through a table!
Benoit and Hunter slug it out and Benoit is taken out.
Triple H pedigrees Chris Benoit.
All of the sudden Shawn Michaels is up.
A flying forearm by Shawn Michaels to HHH and kicks up to boos, hilarious again.
Benoit has his name chanted while he is down.
Shawn Michaels with a powerslam to Hunter and off the top taking a chance with a flying elbow drop. Shawn Michaels goes for the Sweet Chin Music as the fans boo. Benoit gets up on the apron ans is kicked in the face down.
HHH hits a low-blow to HBK. Hunter crawls over to Shawn and gets a nearfall.
HHH hits Shawn in the Spine with a Sledge Hammer which gets a good pop. The lesser of two evils I guess. Benoit pulls Hunter out of the ring as he had time to rest. Hunter sent the face of Benoit into the steel steps.
HHH tried to Piledrive Benoit onto the steel steps and Benoit reversed it dramatically by catapolting Hunter into the ring post, and he flies over the barricade out of the ring.
On the inside Shawn Michaels tunes up the band and then goes for a super kick and Benoit slaps on the Sharpshooter.
Shawn Michaels taps!
Michaels got closer to the ropes but he could not get there in time as Benoit got it in mid-ring.
HHH close to HBK but Benoit wins.
In the end at 30:08 Chris Benoit the defending Chamopion made Shawn Michaels tap out to the Sharpshooter to the roar of approval of his hometown fans and family sitting ringside.
An emotional moment for fans of Benoit or Canadians in general speaking as a Canadian and Albertan myself. Seeing his family cheer for him having this emotional moment is very tough now for obvious reasons but this was just another special main event here.
These three just produce magic and what an ending to have HBK tap out to the Sharpshooter in Canada. Whoever thought of that ending should of got a raise. The pop was epic.
This match was hard to follow the Classic Five Star Wrestlemania 20 triple-threat, but it ended up being one of the best PPV re-matches of all time.
Final Rating for WWE Backlash 2004 = 7.5/10
This show had two all time Classic encounters for the IC title and World title. The rest of the card was pretty mediocre but enjoyable at times with a hot crowd. This was a fun event to watch and anyone should get it if they can find it, if they are comfortable with Benoit material that is. I enjoy this event.