Brett Mix’s WWE Backlash 2007 Review:
“This is the most intense fatal-fourway I’ve ever seen in my life!” -Jerry The King Lawler
-WWE Backlash 2007 took place on Sunday, April The 29th, 2007 from the Philips Arena in Atlanta, Georgia where 14, 500 fans took in the action!
-The main feud heading into Backlash on the Raw brand was between John Cena, Edge, Shawn Michaels and Randy Orton, with the four feuding over the WWE Championship. At the 2007 Royal Rumble in January, Michaels was one of the final two participants of the Royal Rumble match before getting eliminated by The Undertaker. On the February 5, 2007 edition of Raw, Michaels defeated Edge and Randy Orton in a Triple Threat match to become the number-one contender to the WWE Championship at WrestleMania 23. At WrestleMania 23, Cena defeated Michaels to retain the WWE Championship, forcing him to submit to the STFU. On the April 9th edition of Raw, a match between Michaels and Orton to determine the number-one contender ended in a no-contest after both men’s shoulders were on the mat while they were pinning one another. Later that night, during Edge’s talk show, The Cutting Edge, Edge claimed that Jonathan Coachman had named him the number-one contender. Honorary General Manager Michael Pena, from the Make-a-Wish Foundation, however, announced that Michaels, Orton, and Edge would face Cena for the title at Backlash in a Fatal Four-Way match!
-Joey Styles, Jerry Lawler, Jim Ross, JBL, Tazz, Michael Cole did the event.
-This was the 9th Annual Backlash PPV event.
-In a Dark Match before the event Carlito defeated Johnny Nitro at 6:21.
-Now onto the PPV……………
1) Opening Contest- The Hardy Boyz (Matt and Jeff) (c) vs Lance Cade and Trevor Murdoch for the WWE World Tag Team Championship
Cade and Murdoch the FORMER tag champs, JR points out Race trained Trevor Murdoch while HBK trained Lance Cade.
You can sort of see at times the resemblence between the trainers and trainees at times and I really like the team of Murdoch and Cade
I don`t like however the state of tag team wrestling since 2002 but I could go on about that FOREVER quite literally. I better just stick to the match.
It`s good to see two solid teams open up a PPV for the tag team titles here as the Hardy Boyz have been over at this point for a good 8 years even though a lot of those 8 they weren`t always together. Matt gets the better of Cade in the beginning of the match and the crowd in Atlanta are very vocal for the Hardy brothers. Cade then gets the upper hand with an elbow and a `legal` right hand to Matt. He goes for another but it`s blocked and Matt fights back sends him for an irish whip then takes him down with a Bret Hart like side headlock take-down. No one for my money applied that move better then The Hitman or Hennig and even Flair and Steamboat are up there in that category for North American workers anyway.
Matt scoop slams Murdoch and FINALLY Jeff Hardy enters the match with the hot tag and he continues dominating the challngers but it doesen`t last long with Jeff solo as he tags back in his bro for a touble team move on Murdoch and they hit it. More double team moves as Matt tags Jeff in almost immediately and that makes them such a strong tag team is the fast tags. Jeff with a whisper in the wind on Murdoch and Matt clotheslines the big man Cade over the top rope and the crowd go nuts! Jeff then flies over the top and levels down both men with a huge risk there!
A lot of good solid back and forth tag action in this opener and at times you legitmately thought that perhaps this was indeed Murdoch`s and Cade`s night to win back the tag team titles even though the Hardy Boyz did dominate the bulk of the tag contest, especially the first half. Murdoch and Cade definately got the better of this match in the second half controlling most of the pace there so when it looked like they had these titles in the bag there came a twist for the fans!
In the end The Hardys won the bout after Matt pinned Murdoch following a Twist of Fate and a Swanton Bomb from Jeff at 15:18, and they retained the titles to open the PPV!
Great opener, solid tag wrestling, awesome crowd, fun match!
2) Melina (c) vs Mickie James for the WWE Women`s Championship
There are certain matches that when you come across them you don`t know exactly what to say because you don`t know how you sell them to the reader properly at times. This is the case here for me. If you`ve followed by reviews you know that I don`t rate Ladies matches very high at all unless it`s Japanese Wrestling for the most part. I just don`t think they flow well, well this one proves that theory wrong.
Everything and I MEAN everything clicked here.
Wow, just wow.
Yes, I was fully aware both of these women were great workers before this match even happened but they shocked the hell out of me. So many brilliant spots, so many great stories told in such a little time, King and JR were even great on commentary. The reversals were crisp, the botches came rarely if ever and the moves were so expertly done and Melina even showed some great holds in this one while Mickie sold like a pro here in this contest.
Such a wondeful match and I LOVED IT!
Melina executed a Reverse DDT on James and pinned her to retain the WWE Women’s Championship at 9:02.
They literally could have gone on longer at that pace and no one would have complained. Simple phenominal for this match to go on as long as it did for a Women`s match especially with that pace.
I was mad it didn`t go longer because of how AMAZING the match was. Everything was so spot on here and even the crowd was into it considerably more then the your average Women`s match. Definately by far one of the best Ladies matches I`ve ever witnessed in my entire life.
Absolutely mind blowing.
Ladies deserve a ton of credit for this one and I could argue perhaps even going a quarter of a star even MORE up on this one but I won`t for now. This looks fine to me.
3) Chris Benoit (c) vs Montel Vontavious Porter for the WWE United States Championship
What a matchup we get here, wow.
You can tell the two have had some experience with each other by this point with how the moves are applied so smoothly and it really told a great story. MVP really held his own against a great like Benoit in his own home town with family at ring side. Chris looked a little funny, looked a little out of it which is understandable and MVP looked determined to take the title from him and he showed it in his face and in his body language, most importantly inside the ring.
He slapped on a lot of holds on the Champion throughout the match but this one definately went back and forth as Benoit got a ton of great offense in as well.
In the end, Benoit pinned MVP with an Inside Cradle to win the match and retain the WWE United States Championship at 13:10.
Kind of came out of no where but it fit the bill of how many reversals came in this one. It only made sense for the bout to end with a guy sneaking up on the other and pulling a win out of no where, it`s quite hillarious to see MVP`s face after this match has ended and Chris Benoit once again retains the title!
Benoit looked so fatigued, so damaged, it is almost like you could see it coming.
This bout is a wonderfully paced US title contest that shows the skill of MVP and the veteran in ring leadership of Chris Benoit. It was sad watching this for obvious reasons, it was in Atlanta, it was two months before you know what, and having to jear JBL say Benoit is a sure hall of famer not once but twice really hurt while watching him work his craft so expertly in the squared circle.
This was a great match when you look past that and will hold up real special for me.
The last Benoit Backlash appearance. A better match then Wrestlemania 23.
4) Team McMahon (Umaga, Vince McMahon and Shane McMahon) vs Bobby Lashley (c) in a 3 on 1 Handicapped Match for the ECW Championship
I`ll be honest when I say I wasn`t upset when I heard that Lashley left the WWE. Not that I watch very much if at all but I couldn`t stand the guy. This match on paper makes me want to throw up so it`s kind of a relief it was better then I expected.
Umaga comes out, then Shane-O, then Vinnie, then `BOBBY` himself, the then ECW Champion. Cool.
Lashley got dominated for a lot of this match which DID bring it down in some parts for me.
They DID have Lashley actually in control of some of the match in the early going that helped the match certainly because it got the fans involved in the action. Of course there`d be the typical methodical 3 on 1 beat down where they make it seem like an impossible come back for the person who is indeed “handicapped“ in the match.
Those parts are slow but not JBL-Cena from WM 21 beat down slow, rather Shane McMahon did a good job carrying that part against Lashley. He pulled the top rope down so Lashley fell over and Tazz points out how that is a smart move which obvioussly it was. Cheap shots here and there behind the officials back was a thing to be expected as Umaga threw Lashley into the steel steps. I mentioned Shane carrying some of the action and any time you have Shane carrying a match you know it isn`t exactly very great. Umaga`s offense on Lashley while decent was a little bland and repetitive sort of like vs Batista at WM 24. Shane at least did an impressive job when he attacked Lashley. The tags to Vince to see if he could do the impossible and WIN the ECW Title were pretty comical. Shane held an arm bar on Lashley and then drove the knee into his injured back from when he hit the steel steps which is smart by Shane-O-Mac, the boy wonder who usually ALWAYS comes up big in matches as we all know vs X-Pac, Test, Kane, Vince, Austin, Angle, Rock and others.
Funny part when Joey Styles calls Shane McMahon the demon seed.
This is the slow part of the match when he`s trying to wear down Lashley and the crowd was pretty bored with the idea of the match as it was so those slow parts weren`t very great to be honest. Either way the match wasn`t terrible and it`s definately watchable as there are no REAL slow stretches and nothing seems to OVERLY drag at any time and it was about as good as it could have been when looking at it on paper. For THAT I give the match credit.
what I didn`t like was the fact that the match even took place. The fans didn`t like Lashley, the ECW title didn`t really fit him and him putting it on the line here made no sense and then Vince winning was just icing on the “What The F***“ cake. Yeah it was an alright moment like when he won the 1999 Rumble or the title in the fall of 1999 but come on, this was kind of ridiculous. His bandana just made it all the worse and the looks of the fans faces said it all. HOWEVER, the backstage segment with the ECW Originals after this match when Vince showed off his newly won ECW title was quite hillarious to be honest.
I`m not going to spend to much time judging the booking decisions, rather I`m going to focus on this match as a whole and as un-interesting as it sounded on paper it actually delivered in a pretty entertaining way. It surprised me but not by much, basically because Shane always surprises me, he REALLY is great and should probably be a full time wrestler if he wanted, I wouldn`t mind it.
Vince McMahon won the ECW Title at 15:35 in this 3 on 1 match after Umaga hit a splash on Lashley. Everyone including Styles and Tazz are stunned. Shane`s reactions are pretty hillarious backstage and in the ring here in the aftermath.
Ultimately I think people give this match a higher rating then it probably deserves because they knew this was a GOOD PPV and didn`t want to ruin the streaks of good matches so they bump this matches rating up because of the surprise factor.
Not me, although I will give it a PRETTY good rating for what it was as this was overall a pretty entertaining match. (In Parts)
5) The Undertaker (c) vs Batista in a Last Man Standing match for the World Heavyweight Championship
This one helps add credibility to the already great list of Last Man Standing Matches.
Batista was the Champ going into WM 23 but obvioussly lost the title to The Undertaker who went 15-0 at Mania at that time.
So Taker who was the then Champion wasted no time attacking Batista.
That seems to be one of the great things about Taker these days is the fact he is so fast and makes everything look so real, you`d swear he was in his prime and it was 1997 and not 2008. This is probably looking like the 2nd best or maybe even BEST period of his career. His blows and quick strikes mixed in with old school and top notch brawling all is applied to the Animal early. Batista has a taped up kneee and Taker`s elbow looks to be taped up.
Big Dave`s strength is shown despite the injury and he slams Taker to the mat. The ref counts to 6 before Taker gets up. This is after all a LAST MAN STANDING match so that`s the rules, but I think JBL over did it a little when he called a Last Man Standing Match the most brutal match type in the WWE. I`m pretty sure that`s reserved for Hell in the Cell or MAYBE Elimination Chamber.
Taker gets back in control as he kicks at Dave`s knee on the outside which is smart, I was wondering if he`d show good psychology in this one or not and I imagine he would.
Nearing the end of the match, the two fought up the entrance ramp, where Batista delivered a spear to The Undertaker off the stage. Neither man was able to get to their feet before the referee counted to ten; as a result, the match was declared a no-contest and The Undertaker retained the title at 20:23.
It wouldn`t be before long where he`d lose it to Edge I believe on Smackdown in 2007 when he cashed in his newly won MITB because of injuries that Taker would lose the title. I didn`t watch much at this time but I believe that`s how it happened and Taker was hurt so it`s all good, he`s of course win back his title at WM 24 only to lose it just a couple of months later again. Those booking decisions I don`t like but that`s a different story certainly for a different day.
These Last Man Standing Matches ALWAYS seem to end in double count out and the fans never like it but when judging the match overall it was pretty great. Fast paced action that was both entralling and intense throughout the entire duration and what can you ask for more from these two, they already stole the show at WM 23 and nobody would have predicted that. The Chemistry was shown between these two in this feud and they literallly beat the hell out of each other in this match in the middle of the ring with both big men slugging it out exchanging the right hands.
One spot in specific in this classic gimmick match saw Taker give Tista a leg drop through the announce table! He usually does this on the ring apron but that was no doubt a sick spot in the match that got the fans talking for sure. With all the quality matches on the night the fans seemed pretty spoiled by this point. Taker seemed possessed the entire time to make sure everyone knew he was still on his game and This was indeed his yard and he was the big dog that ran it like he says. Tista threw Takker into the barricade before this spot and went to slam Taker through the table but Taker hit a back breaker on Batista. Undertaker the Champion then followed THAT UP by hitting Batista DIRECTLY in the forehead with the steel steps and even though it looked like a vicious shot (performed quite well) Tista goes under the apron to blade himself and now it`s a bloody war. Then came that leg drop and this match has reached the amazing status by this point.
This really was amazing because of not only the work but the pace this match saw, they probably even out did there Wrestlemania 23 match here but I`d have to re-watch or check the rating I gave that one to be sure. Some how Batista back in the ring hits a spear on Taker followed by THREE, yes three spine busters. Then after a little pause of Taker down he hits a choke slam but Batista answers the 10 count.
Pretty sure this is now the climax with both men fatigued, bloody and beaten up. Both guys waiting for the other to not answer the 10 count in typical LMS fashion. The Batista Bomb to Taker doeen`t do him in and then a chair shot by Tista to Taker might just do it. Batista takes no chances then goes for another bomb but Taker counters and scoops him back head first on the canvas. This one is REALLY going back and forth in the Climax and Taker signals for the Tombstone and hits it! Taker is also lying down with Tista to begin the count but it takes him just a few to finally get up but he does! Tista on adrenaline alone basically gets up and Taker can`t belive it as he boots him out of the ring. The two battle up the ramp way near the Backlash entrance as you get signs of Brock-Taker from Unforgiven 2002. As said Taker and Tista then jump off the ramp in such an awesome spot together where it looks like a tackle and they both fly off through a table and the ramp falls on them, things brake, semi-explode and Cole says “Holy Sh**“`. Nice spot that ends the match for sure but not the desired ending.
Still doesen`t take anything away from the full throttle action for over 20 minutes these two men endured.
An amazing match! I was very impressed what these two could do here again, and once again they passed expectations.
6) Main Event- John Cena (c) vs The “Heartbreak Kid” Shawn Michaels vs ” The Legend Killer “Randy Orton vs ” The Rated `R` Superstar ” Edge in a Fatal-Fourway match for the WWE Championship
Yes, the 6th match is the main event of Backlash 2007 but what a show this has been QUALITY wise so far and it`s capped off by an unbelieable main event here. Some people even consider this match to be the Match of 2007 and for good reason! I don`t imagine there was a lot of classics in 2007 and this one can definately be considered a fatal-fourway classic if not just a classic in it`s own right.
John Cena had a ton of haters here as always and by this point almost everyone wanted a new Champion whether it be Edge, HBK or Randy Orton. So when Cena ultimately retained like 50% of the voters suspected he would have in the pre-match poll some people were dissapointed. What people were NOT dissapointed in was the quality of this match! Much like the Smackdown! Main Event just before it the pace was incredible and it was near the same length and a face retained the title in the end.
Only this match inluded four guys so the pacing was EVEN better because it didn`t rely on just two guys going one on one. These guys all had an oppurtunity to shine and you LITERALLY couldn`t be bored, ever! Which obvioussly added that element of excitement to the match. Ken Kennedy threatened Edge with a MITB reminder before the match in a pretty entertaining interview but of course nothing came out of that and Cena retained the title. Even though I usually hate Cena it`s also worth nothing the pretty entertaining promo by Randy Oron and John Cena before the match where Orton and Cena talk about getting a little to “close“ with each other. Orton proposed to Cena that he and John should team up on HBK then settle it between the two of them to see who the better man was. A typical heel tactic before a fatal-fourway or Triple-Threat match.
I usually like single elimination in matches like this but when it`s the first pin or submission in a fatal fourway it adds a new element of suspense because you literally are on the edge of your seat as the first tap out, or pinfall wins the match. The best part is Cena didn`t have to be pinned. We all rememeber Kurt Angle in a triple-threat with these rules at Wrestlemania 2000 losing both the InterContinental and European titles to Jericho and Benoit without being pinned once!
The match started with the four guys in each corner staring down one another as JR and King built up the electric atmosphere wonerfully. Cena and HBK put on a classic match in London the week before this on Raw and they went face to face did the WM opponents doing a little trash talking as there is some Cena Sucks chants in the crowd. Orton and Cena then yell eat each other. Didn`t take long for Cena and HBK the faces to punch out the heels and former team `Rated Rko“and knock them out of the ring. When it was just Michaels and Cena he gives Cena `Ric Flair` like chops in the corner only for Cena to retaliate with his power and hit a fisherman suplex to the Showstopper. Cena then gets hit with a neck braker by Michaels. Edge and Orton FINALLY get back in the ring 10-15 seconds after being out and when they throw Cena out Edge and Orton have a little stare down which is intersting to say the least. Edge and Orton start slugging it out to see who is the better man and Orton gets the better of it as he hits a drop kick to Edge to the outside and Cena in lumberjack fashion like King points out hits Edge on the outside while he`s there.
Tons of action ont he outside makes this fourway fun as you literally do need to keep your eyes on everything. Edge throws Orton hard into the steps and JR says he`s not had a sweet introduction which is sort of humerous. Edge slams Cena hard on the ground. Michaels then retaliates with a slam of his own on Edge to the groung. As Cena and Edge are slowly getting to there feet Michaels climbs to the top and hits a back body moonsault on both of them from the top rope! Insane spot and he did literally throw caution to the wind and his knees hit Edge and Cena directly in the head. Michaels not long after this brilliant spot got Edge back in the ring and went to work but HBK got the better of it for the most part. Cena and Orton were still outside the ring and Edge and HBK hit each other with a double clothesline.
Cena from the top gets back in the ring by dropping his leg on top of HBK and Edge with a modified version of a Double `FameAsser` from the top on both guys. Orton and Cena then slug it out in the middle of the ring and Cena gets caught with a back body drop and the fans pop for Orton, the Cena haters do anyway. Orton stomps away on Cena as the fans get a preview of some of the Orton-Cena battles that would take place later in the year as I`ve heard (but barely seen as of yet) and the two work pretty good together, it`s strange to consider at one point people talked about these two together as a Mega Dream Match……… I never saw the appeal personally. Orton shows no respect for the Champion by perhaps sperating his shoulder according to JR by sending him into the ring post and then Michaels chops Ortn back in the ring hits him with a clothesline then nips up. Edge hits HBK with a spinning heel kick and near fall after near fall makes this NOW Climatic match feal special.
I`ve always said for Classic main event title matches you need to have some brilliant spots in the middle where it looks as if the match COULD end any time so that when it finally does end it feels like the Climax has lasted 10-15 minutes, it`s a simple formula really. Edge runs to the ropes where Cena is on the apron and hits him face first into the table. Orton then hits hard shots on Edge and Michaels. Orton pounds away on a hurt Michaels in the corner while Cena is still out of it on the outside. Rated RKO double team HBK inside the ring. They smile in typical HEEL fashion and then snap on a double boston crab! Very cool but who would be the champion if HBK taps out…..I get shades of Judgment Day 1998 here but HBK rarely taps anyway so there`s nothing to worry overly about.
Cena then while Edge and Orton had the double boston crab came out of no where and flipped over both of them grabbing there heads braking up the move. Super Cena to the rescure and he attacks all three guys. Cena with a suplex on Edge. Hits a five knuckle shuffle in embarassing fashion. It didn`t last long though because Michaels and Orton double teamed Cena on the outside in a weird team and King points out you can`t trust anyone in this match which is what makes these matches so exciting. As soon as Cena got shoved into the corner again, Orton was. Orton then on the announce table and Michaels has him in a powerbomb situation but Edge hits HBK with a shot to the back with a steel shair on Michaels bad back.
Hilarious when Randy gives Edge the thumbs up then Edge hits him with a steel chair and points to his brains as he`s smart. Edge then goes after Cena but he trips him and locks in the STFU, oh no…..Edge reaches for the ropes and thankfully gets it. Cena then tries it on Orton but it doesen`t work then Michaels gets back in the ring and he goes for a near fall and nips up again after it doesen`t work and the pace is amazingly fast and intense! Climax at its best! Michaels with an elbow from the top rope on Cena and is now tuning up the band for the Sweet chin Music. Edge interferes and HBK hit him with a slam and goes to the top and gives him an elbow drop. Orton gets up and HBK slams him and does the same thing to him that he did to the other two and HBK is exhausted with his bad back but Cena then doesen`t get the third elbow drop as Cena breaks it up and goes for the F-U on HBk from the top. Rated RKO drag them down and all four fall but Cena and HBK got the worst from that fall. Good spot.
Some more counters between Edge and Cena, and Orton gets involved.
More amazing action between the four that happens all vert fast, high impact moves like drop kicks, and ddt`s with near falls all add the suspense. King puts over the match big time and rightfully so.
Near the end of the match, Edge speared Orton after Cena reversed an RKO attempt by Orton. Cena then performed an FU on Edge, which was followed by Michaels executing Sweet Chin Music on Cena. When Cena fell, he landed on Orton and the referee counted the pinfall. Cena won the match and retained the WWE Championship at 19:21. Like I said not everyone liked that he won the match and retained the title (again) but he and everyone else in the match provided one for the fans to remember! What a match!
Great way to end the show!
Final Rating for WWE Backlash 2007 = 8/10
This show was excellent! You might think an 8/10 rating is relatively low for a show that features this much quality but that is not the case. This one rather just took place during a time where things weren’t very great in the company (and were about to only get worse unfortunately and we all know what I’m talking about there) and not all of the storylines clicked. (Lashley-McMahon’s as an example even if some enjoyed it) I think that the 6 matches all delivered with the exception of the McMahon’s matches for reasons stated above but EVEN that one had its moments to be fair! Anyways this show is great and one of the best Backlash`s ever from a bang for buck stand point and it`s a good watch. I`d call it a must own for fans who want to see good PPV`s. Great stuff for sure here, I really enjoyed this one, pick it up if you can! The Main Events were both four stars and as said almost everything else was entertaining, you really can`t go wrong and there`s no legit reason this shouldn`t be in your collection!