15th Jun2020

‘WWE Backlash 2020’ PPV Review

by Nathan Favel

Welcome to this review of Backlash 2020, right here on Nerdly. I’m Nathan Favel and Vince McMahon is a genius. Edge And Randy Orton are billed as having “The Greatest Wrestling Match Ever”. If this match is not the greatest wrestling match ever, then there will be backlash to that. What Pay Per View is this? …Backlash! If Backlash doesn’t deliver the greatest wrestling match ever, then there will be backlash, which is the name of the show and, therefore, is what is being promised to begin with. No matter what Vince does, he can’t lose! Vince is a genius, you dumb f—s! All hail the master-mind! HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!!!!!! Let the show begin!

Match #1: Apollo Crews def. Andrade – WWE United States Championship Match

The following is courtesy of wwe.com:

With a little help from Kevin Owens, Apollo Crews thwarted both Andrade and Angel Garza to remain United States Champion. Owens took a ringside seat for the seesaw battle, joining the commentary team before the bout. Crews fought out of Andrade’s hammerlock DDT attempt to hit a powerslam, standing moonsault and standing shooting star press all in succession, but Garza distracted the referee from counting the champion’s pinfall attempt. That’s when Owens took matters into his own hands, spiking the “Lethal Lothario” with a massive stunner on the outside. Meanwhile, Crews slipped out of another DDT attempt and planted Andrade with a spin-out powerbomb, pinning him and spoiling his chance to become a two-time United States Champion.

My Opinion: 3.4 out of 5 – This turned out quite well, with Crews really shining brightly as the champion. Andrade played the part of the vengeful challenger well and gave Crews plenty to work with. I’d like to see this feud continue.

Match #2: Bayley & Sasha Banks def. Alexa Bliss & Nikki Cross and The IIconics – Raw Women’s Tag Team Championship Match

The following is courtesy of wwe.com:

Bayley & Sasha Banks’ reign as Women’s Tag Team Champions nearly came to an end several times during a chaotic Triple Threat Tag Team Match, but they used their veteran ring savvy to hold onto the gold. Disorder ruled the bout as a product of the unique rules. Temporary alliances were formed but evaporated quickly. Nikki Cross’ much-needed tag brought Alexa Bliss into the ring to unleash Five Feet of Fury, mowing down each opponent one-by-one. Bliss duked it out with Banks on the apron until Peyton Royce connected with a crossbody on both that also took out the rest of the competitors, essentially resetting the bout. The IIconics ruled the ring momentarily until Royce felt the wrath of a combination facebuster from Bliss and Cross, who appeared poised to once again become champions when Bliss delivered Twisted Bliss to Royce. But Banks swooped in at the perfect time, rolling up Bliss to complete a Houdini-like escape and retain the titles.

My Opinion: 2.5 out of 5 – This was decent, but The IIconics kinda ruined the rhythm of the match (lack of skill, that’s all). The right team won and the belts are getting a boost.

Match #3: Sheamus def. Jeff Hardy

The following is courtesy of wwe.com:

Jeff Hardy hit a 250-pound speedbump on his comeback road at WWE Backlash, as Sheamus knocked off The Charismatic Enigma in an ultra-personal encounter. The Celtic Warrior wasn’t Hardy’s only opponent. He also had to fight off his temper after Sheamus had pushed all the right buttons in recent weeks, and Hardy nearly used the steel stairs as a weapon before deciding against what would have resulted in a disqualification. Taking control after dropping Hardy knee-first on top of the ring post, Sheamus poured on the physicality with high-impact blows, but Hardy demonstrated his trademark fortitude, refusing to stay down for a three-count and coming close to nabbing the win after hitting Whisper in the Wind. Sheamus continued the brutal assault, though, with Hardy’s state of exhaustion testing the official’s judgment at times. The Charismatic Enigma found second life when he sent Sheamus shoulder-first into the post before hitting a Twist of Fate and the Swanton Bomb, but Sheamus narrowly escaped a loss by draping his foot on the bottom rope just before the count of three. With the action spilling to the outside, Hardy tight-roped the barricade for an aerial attack, but Sheamus floored him with a massive Brogue Kick, then dragged him back into the ring for another one to put him away.

My Opinion: 3.4 out of 5 – This was a fun brawl that had some cool Hardy spots and a nice flow to it. The match wasn’t as intense as a true grudge match should be, but it did get the job done.

Match #4: Asuka and Nia Jax – Raw Women’s Championship Match (Double Count-Out)

The following is courtesy of wwe.com:

Asuka turned in a gritty performance against Nia Jax at WWE Backlash, but The Irresistible Force may have a claim to another opportunity at the Raw Women’s Championship following a double count-out. The Empress of Tomorrow found herself in unusual territory early and often, completely outmatched by Jax’s immense strength. Asuka attempted to target Jax’s arm early with maneuvers like an Octopus Stretch, but Jax responded each time by overpowering the champion and showcasing her physical dominance. That didn’t keep Asuka from demonstrating her will to win, kicking out after a massive powerbomb and evading a charging Jax to send her shoulder-first into the ring post. Asuka locked on an armbar on the outside of the ring until Jax swung her into the barricade, but the champion later caught Jax with a massive kick to the head. However, both the champion and her challenger were counted out, leaving their issue largely unsettled but keeping the Raw Women’s Title around Asuka’s waist.

My Opinion: 2.6 out of 5 – Asuka knocked the piss out of Nia in a clumsy match that disappointed outside of the champion getting to slap the mayonnaise out of her opponent.

Match #5: Braun Strowman def. The Miz & John Morrison – Handicap Match For The WWE Universal Championship

The following is courtesy of wwe.com:

Braun Strowman’s dominant run as Universal Champion continues, as a costly mistake by The Miz prevented the Dirt Sheet Duo from dethroning The Monster Among Men at WWE Backlash. Somehow finding a way to anger Strowman even more than they already had, Miz & John Morrison showcased their new music video for “Hey! Hey Hey,” which belittled The Universal Champion throughout. Both were less than eager to get in the ring with Strowman when the bell rang, though the duo eventually made use of quick tags and double-team offense to seize an advantage. After Miz & Morrison hit a combination of a Skull-Crushing Finale and a flying back stomp, Strowman may have been put away – if not for Miz pulling Morrison off of Strowman before the three-count. The A-Lister appeared to immediately regret his instinctive decision. The misstep proved disastrous, as Strowman took out Miz with a Chokeslam moments later before dropping Morrison with a massive Running Powerslam for the victory.

My Opinion: 2.2 out of 5 – This was…shit. I felt like Vince Russo booked this thing, bro. Prize fights should never feel like a chore, but this one did, because it was just a mess of goofy booking and convoluted action.

Match #6: Drew McIntyre def. Bobby Lashley – WWE World Championship Match

The following is courtesy of wwe.com:

Drew McIntyre delivered what may have been his gutsiest showing as WWE Champion at WWE Backlash to preserve his reign against a determined Bobby Lashley. Lashley began his onslaught before the bell, viciously locking in his vaunted Full Nelson. Three referees tried to pry Lashley away, but the hold wasn’t broken until the challenger chose to break it. Despite being shaken, McIntyre gave the official the go-ahead to start the bout. Lashley pummeled McIntyre as The King of Claymore Country struggled to find his bearings. The contest became more of a back-and-forth affair when the action spilled to the outside and McIntyre slammed a charging Lashley into the barricade. The WWE Champion found his second wind as the match progressed, even kicking out at one after a huge spinebuster. Lana’s late arrival at ringside preceded the end for Lashley’s title bid. With Lana perched on the apron, McIntyre’s headbutt sent Lashley into Lana, who then collided with MVP. Lashley ate a massive Claymore as soon as he turned around, becoming the latest to fall to the red-hot McIntyre.

My Opinion: 3.3 out of 5 – This was fun, but it lacked the urgency of a prize fight. Lashley was mean as Matlock, but McIntyre was as swift as a Taylor, so it all balanced out. It got more exciting towards the end, so at least we get a big finale.

Match #7: (Main Event) Randy Orton def. Edge

The following is courtesy of wwe.com:

After proclaiming to be the superior wrestler, Randy Orton proved he was right — albeit thanks to questionable methods — by defeating Edge in what may have been The Greatest Wrestling Match Ever at WWE Backlash. Orton, who had preyed on Edge’s in-ring insecurities in recent weeks, watered the seeds of doubt in Edge’s mind early on, sidestepping an arm drag attempt that seemed to psych out his foe. But after luring Orton outside with a game of possum, Edge took control and showed why he became known as The Ultimate Opportunist. Drawing blood from Orton after a series of headbutts, The Rated-R Superstar revealed a sadistic smile that became familiar to the WWE Universe so many years earlier. Of course, The Viper was plenty capable of matching Edge’s viciousness, throwing him into anything he could find at ringside, including repeatedly slamming him neck-first into the steel stairs. While Orton dismantled The Rated-R Superstar with his usual surgical precision for some time, Edge began to rally, and the heated rivals traded the best they had to offer. Edge blocked Orton’s attempt for Three Amigos before delivering it himself and countered The Apex Predator’s elevated DDT attempt before hitting his own Edgecution DDT. Not to be outdone, Orton later countered one of Edge’s many crossface attempts into an Olympic Slam. That was just the beginning of both digging into other Superstars’ bags of tricks. Borrowing from his friend Christian, Edge dropped The Viper with an Unprettier. Similarly, Orton channeled his mentor and rival Triple H with a devastating Pedigree, and Edge later followed suit with a Rock Bottom. Even a pair of RKOs — including one out of mid-air — weren’t enough to put Edge away. The Rated-R Superstar’s Spear didn’t keep Orton down either. Edge nearly locked in the “anti-venom” arm triangle, only for Orton to break free with what appeared to be a low blow. With Edge neutralized, The Viper blasted him with a Punt to the head before finally covering him for the three-count and telling the fallen Edge to go home to his wife and daughters.

My Opinion: 5 out of 5 – Well, I’ll be damned. The WWE has two 5-star matches in just a few days apart from one another (AJ Styles versus Daniel Bryan from SmackDown was the first). This went about forty-five minutes, was designed to be an epic and was wrestled that way. There was crowd piping and all that shit, but it didn’t hurt the match. There was an old-school effect to everything (Charles Robinson was dressed in classic doofus duds and Howard Finkel’s voice was used to announce the participants). Edge and Orton got rough early on and just stacked the deck against each other in a brutal, intense wrestling match that may not be the best ever, but it sure as hell is a classic.

News Of The Night:

  1. The Street Profits and The Viking Raiders fought before their Raw World Tag Team Championship match could take place (weird cinematic wrestling brawl with Akira Tozawa, ninjas and an alligator).

Final Verdict: 3.4/5

Several decent matches were out-shone by a 5-star classic to make this one-match show worth watching once.

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