WWE Backlash 2007 Reaction
By Nicholas Jason Lopez
Fresh off the thriller that was WWE WrestleMania 23, that year’s Backlash had plenty to offer itself.
Let’s start with the Last Man Standing Match for the World Heavyweight Championship between Champion The Undertaker and Batista that actually stole the show.
That would’ve been the main event if you ask us.
There were other moments that you probably didn’t realize happened here – Vince McMahon was crowned ECW World Champion (eye-roll), WWE Women’s Champion Melina and Mickie James traded fists while in splits and a Batista spear literally brought the stage down.
This made us realize that 2007 maybe wasn’t so bad after all, as veterans like Shawn Michaels and The Undertaker delivered gutsy performances.
Now, let’s get to the nooks and crannies of “WrestleMania 23: The Important Stuff Part II.”
– The opening video recapped WrestleMania 23 in all its glory – Undertaker was new Champion with a 15-0 undefeated streak and WWE Champion John Cena defeated Michaels on the big stage. Now, it was time for “Backlash,” also known as revenge? They hyped up the ECW Championship 3-On-1 Handicap Match, the Taker-Batista Last Man Standing and the main event Fatal Four-Way for the WWE Championship between Cena, Michaels, Orton and Edge. “Three titles… one night.” That was followed by various voices that said “Backlash.” How about that. Generic, but effective.
– This is the WWE Network version, so we’re already slightly disappointed that there’s a lack of a real theme song. They dubbed in the ECW Hardcore TV music they used on WWE 24/7 On Demand. Anyways, this show comes from Atlanta, Georgia as we see the announce teams for each respective brand – Jim Ross/Jerry Lawler (Raw), Joey Styles/Tazz (ECW) and Michael Cole/JBL (SmackDown) and we get random factoids from JR like: 1) This is the first tri-branded Backlash and 2) This is the ninth-ever Backlash event. Well, howdy doody to that.
– The WWE World Tag Team Championship match between Champions The Hardy Boyz and Trevor Murdoch/Lance Cade was apparently the Hardys’ first defense of the belts in seven years on a Pay-Per-View. Love JR for that knowledge. We always thought Cade/Murdoch were underrated as a team, but they had time to shine here. If you want a modern comparison, think of The Revival as a more amped-up version of what Cade/Murdoch started. This was Atlanta, so the Hardys were uber over. Lawler referred to Jeff as “unconventional.” Whoever thought that the roles would switch just nine years later? Jeff leaped off Matt’s back and executed a double elbow drop over the top rope to their opponents below. Cade did a nice sit-out powerbomb on Jeff, which saw the pinfall attempt broken up by Matt. Great commentary by JR, who declared that teamwork set the tone for this psychology-heavy bout. There was excellent drama in the build-up for the hot tag to Matt. Murdoch was struck with the Side Effect, but Cade broke up the pin with a mighty leap from the top rope. Murdoch did a Canadian Destroyer, but nowhere near as crisp as Impact Wrestling’s Petey Williams. Jeff (illegal man) hit the Swanton Bomb on Murdoch out of sight of the Referee. Cade had the right idea to pull Matt out of the ring, but couldn’t hold him for long. Matt covered Murdoch for the win. That was better than we expected. This crowd was hot for the Hardys. Matt did a simple clap and the crowd reacted as if a Top 40 artist had come out for an encore performance.
– Backstage, Umaga was being pepped up by Shane, who urged him to follow the McMahon lead. There were pants aplenty from Umaga, as you’d imagine. Heavy breaths, not actual pants. You get the idea. Vince appeared on camera next, black doo-rag and all. He basked in the probability that a McMahon would be ECW World Heavyweight Champion and pushed for Shane to be it. Shane was too humbled and instead wanted the honor to go to his Dad. What a son. Anyways, any McMahon in possession of an ECW World Title would be atrocious to professional wrestling and pure mockery. Let’s see where it goes.
– The WWE Women’s Championship match between Champion Melina (seductive entrance and all despite some stumbles) and Mickie James wasn’t so bad on paper. Lawler had his comments focused more on sexuality than athleticism, but these two were seasoned vets for the time. James did a monkey flip over. Melina feigned an eye injury to sneak in a cheap shot and later shoved James off the top rope to the floor. She did some odd leg submission that even JR struggled to correctly call. King called this match a classic. Sigh. Why do they even try. This however, might be notable for the spot where both ladies traded fists while in a split leg position. That never happened before. James came up just short on a couple of pinfall attempts. Melina hit a reverse DDT to get the victory. We’ll give them both credit. That was good for what was considered bathroom break material at the time.
– Backstage, Maria (ditzy reporter gimmick) interviewed Edge, whose facial expressions mocked her while she spoke. Hilarious. His agenda was that he had the easiest path to a third Title reign since Michaels and Cena destroyed each other six days prior. Maria opened up a note that she said was given to her by someone to ask him, which was about how he won his first Championship. He recalled the story of New Year’s Revolution 2006 where he cashed in on a tired Cena. Edge questioned who wanted her to ask him that and she pointed behind him to Mr. Kennedy, Mr. Money In The Bank. He tapped the briefcase and used Edge’s words against him to tease that he could cash in on a “tired winner.” The dynamic between them was well-done, like two smug douchebags who had to deal with each other.
– The WWE United States Championship match between Champion Chris Benoit and MVP began with MVP’s “breakthrough entrance” and we forgot how elaborate it used to be. Wonder how much it cost. Of course, this match was less than two months before the infamous Benoit double murder-suicide that would forever tarnish what was then a legendary career. That said, it haunts us to hear JBL refer to him as a “future Hall Of Famer.” We can safely assume that’s out of the question. Anyways, let’s turn our attention to the action because these two were actually in a decent feud. JBL sold MVP’s credibility in how he emphasized how he stood toe-to-toe with a ring veteran. MVP did a Benoit-esque “throwing” German suplex. We remember the “Power Ranger” chants. Ha. It should be noted that Benoit isn’t directly named on the show, but rather that “MVP Competes In An United States Championship Match.” We dig the vibe of this feud though, as it elevates MVP to the level of an in-ring technician that had Benoit well-scouted. Benoit went for the flying headbutt, but came down on MVP’s knees. MVP followed up with the single-leg Boston crab, but Benoit reached the ropes. A small package by Benoit caught MVP off-guard to end the match. Some people soured on the finish since it went against the story, but it actually works here that MVP would lose when he least expects it. Anyways, best match of the night so far as Benoit retains.
– Backstage, Todd Grisham interviewed Cena, as boos were audible from the crowd. Orton stepped in to the shot and plugged their similarities in being “young, handsome and talented.” He proposed an alliance where they took out the others to then see who was better between them. Cena turned it around to make it sound like something gay. Orton didn’t help when he yelled that “he’d be on top later.” Ron Simmons stood behind him, a “Damn” moment if there ever was one. Still, it was a little sad that the seriousness of the Fatal Four-Way was reduced to homophobic humor.
– The 3-On-1 Handicap match for the ECW Championship match between Champion Bobby Lashley and Vince/Shane/Umaga had the evening’s first video package. Basically, Vince was angry he was shaved bald at Mania and looked to get revenge with the theft of the ECW World Title. It was no secret that Lashley was the “Baby Cena” at the time, which all resulted in a meh push as the fans rejected him mostly. In recent time though, Lashley has come into his own as a great talker and character for Impact Wrestling. The crowd did get loud when Umaga/Shane were each tossed out of the ring. A lot of this bout put us to sleep, despite Lashley’s selected power spots. There was a tease spot where Vince almost pinned Lashley, but he kicked out. Umaga did a top rope splash, which saw Vince try again, all for a two. After another splash, Vince finally pinned Lashley, which meant he was now ECW Champion. If there ever was a low moment for the brand, this was it.
– The Last Man Standing Match for the World Heavyweight Championship between Champion Undertaker and Batista had a background of their thriller Mania match and Batista’s sarcastic congratulations with the demand of a rematch. Luckily, this was at a time when Taker could have these physical battles and who was better at that style than Batista? Props for Taker’s signature apron leg drop. He busted Batista open with steel steps to the face. He did a leg drop off the barricade through the announce table. Nice. Batista was up by 9. Batista Bomb. Good sell by Taker to work the count to get up by 9. Tombstone Piledriver. Undoubtedly, this is the match of the show. Batista was up by 9. They battled their way to the stage where Batista eventually speared Taker off the stage and onto the fireworks pyrotechnics display, which caused three pillars on the set to crash onto the stage. We now realize this was “that show.” Double countout, which meant Taker retained. Still a great effort. We wonder if those pillars were supposed to come down since the Referee had to legitimately scatter out of the way. You also have to feel for Batista, who pretty much executed the move to end the bout, but in turn, lost. Guess it’s a way to make an excuse for another match.
– The Fatal Four-Way Match for the WWE Championship between Edge, Champion Cena, Michaels and Orton had a pre-match poll where Cena was “predicted” by 50% of the fans to win. Fixed as hell. The video package lacked the punch since it had the dubbed-in house music in the background. We’d also say maybe Orton was least likely to win, while Michaels beat Cena six days prior in England in what many people still consider the best match in Raw history. Good dynamic to begin as alliances were teased, fists were thrown and each man wanted the lone advantage. HBK did a moonsault off the top rope on all three men. Cena did a top rope leg drop that landed on both Michaels/Edge. Team Rated-RKO reunited seemingly as Michaels was worked over and Cena was sent off the apron into the announce table headfirst. Orton/Edge held on opposite ends of a double Boston Crab while JR logically brought up the confusion that would come up if Michaels submitted. Cena emerged from nowhere with a flip over double bulldog. That was sort of cool. Edge hit Orton in the head with a chair, which ended their reunion. Cena applied an STFU on Edge, who barely got to the rope. Obligatory tower of doom spot. Orton landed an RKO on Michaels as he was literally about to hit Sweet Chin Music. Edge speared Orton, but was knocked out with an FU by Cena. Left standing, Michaels hit SCM on Cena, but inadvertently knocked him on top of Orton, which served as the pinfall to win the match. That was cleverly done, but didn’t make Cena look strong by any means, rather lucky. You could argue Michaels will get another chance in the future, but we feel bad for him more than anything. They sold his frustration with Cena nicely to end things.
- WWE World Tag Team Championship – The Hardy Boyz (Champions) def. Trevor Murdoch/Lance Cade via pinfall to retain
- WWE Women’s Championship – Melina (Champion) def. Mickie James via pinfall to retain
- WWE United States Championship – Chris Benoit (Champion) def. MVP via pinfall to retain
- ECW Championship – 3-On-1 Handicap Match – Vince McMahon/Shane McMahon/Umaga def. Bobby Lashley (Champion); Vince McMahon becomes new Champion
- World Heavyweight Championship – Last Man Standing Match – Batista and The Undertaker to a double countout; Undertaker retains
- WWE Championship – Fatal Four-Way – John Cena (Champion) def. Shawn Michaels, Randy Orton and Edge via pinfall to retain
Posted on March 4, 2018, in Throwback PPVs, WWE and tagged Backlash, Batista, Bobby Lashley, Chris Benoit, ECW, Edge, JBL, Jerry Lawler, Jim Ross, Joey Styles, John Cena, Lance Cade, Maria, Melina, Michael Cole, Mickie James, Mr. Kennedy, MVP, Randy Orton, Raw, Shane McMahon, Shawn Michaels, Smackdown, Tazz, The Hardy Boyz, The Undertaker, Todd Grisham, Trevor Murdoch, Umaga, Vince McMahon. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.