Mega Powers Running Wild!

The legendary 'Macho man' Randy Savage teams up with 'The Immortal' Hulk Hogan to take on Ted Dibiase and Andre The Giant in the first ever WWF Summerslam!

Shawn Micahels vs. Mankind

The Heartbreak Kid defends the WWF Championship against Mankind in a thrilling main event at WWF In Your House: Mind Games.

The Birth of the nWo

From Hulk Hogan's shocking turn at WCW Bash at the Beach 1996 to the addition of Ted Dibiase, THe Giant Syxx and more, relive the very beginning of the New World Order.

Austin 3:16 Says I Just Kicked Your Ass

It's one of the most famous promos of all time; Stone Cold Steve Austin wins the 1996 King of The Ring and serves notice on all the WWF superstars. Check it out in our complete review

Wrestlemania 12 Review

The boyhood dream comes true as Shawn Michaels battles champion Bret 'The Hitman' Hart in a classic 1-hour iron man match. Plus, Diesel vs. Undertaker and more.

WCW Fall Brawl 1996 Review

Was Sting in cahoots with the New World Order? Would Lex Luger be able to get along with the Four Horsemen as they faced the nWo in War Games? Find out in this review

Showing posts with label Backlash. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Backlash. Show all posts

Thursday, 15 October 2020

PPV REVIEW: WWF Backlash 2001

WWE / WWF Backlash 2001 - Event Poster
April 29, 2001,
Allstate Arena, Rosemont, Illinois

A month prior to Backlash 2001, the World Wrestling Federation had presented Wrestlemania X-Seven, an event that would go down in history as arguably the greatest Wrestlemania event of all time. 

That incredible show was the peak of a tremendous run of great shows for the company, with the quality of their in-ring product as good as it had ever been.

Still, a lot had changed in the few weeks since 'Mania.

Once sworn rivals hell-bent on homicide, Steve Austin and Triple H were now on the same page, a whole host of ECW stars were integrating themselves into the roster, and the creative clusterf**k that was The Invasion was drawing ever closer.

With all that going on, could the WWF keep up their hot streak and deliver a show every bit as awesome as Wrestlemania 17?

Let's head down to the Allstate Arena in Rosemont, Illinois to find out.







No Power. No Gold. Know Power. No Gold

WWE / WWF Backlash 2001 - Paul Heyman and Jim Ross called the event
Once upon a time, Triple H had arranged for Stone Cold Steve Austin to be run over by a car at Survivor Series 1999.

A year later, Austin got his revenge by carrying out the attempted murder of The Game at Survivor Series 2000.

Now, the two were a tag team because that’s how pro wrestling logic works.

Tonight, as our compelling opening video told us, the two would take on The Undertaker and Kane.

This was a pretty good video that played up the Two Man Power Trip aspect of the whole story while glossing over the whole part about Austin and HHH literally trying to kill each other prior to teaming up.

Then, after the obligatory pyro, crowd shots and a greeting from announcers Jim Ross and Paul Heyman, it was on with the show.

The Dudley Boyz (D-Von Dudley, Bubba Ray Dudley, and Spike Dudley) vs. The X-Factor (X-Pac, Albert and Justin Credible)

WWE / WWF Backlash 2001 - The Dudleyz faced The X-Factor
Throughout tonight’s opening contest, JR constantly tried to get ‘the wizards of the wicked wood,’ over as a new nickname for The Dudleyz. It sounded ridiculous and it’s no surprise that name didn’t stick.

When he wasn’t coming up with goofy names, Ross joined Heyman in calling what was a pretty decent match.

Were this any other bunch of wrestlers, this may not have gone down so well, but The Dudley Boyz were so insanely over that everything they did elicited a huge response from the live audience.

Combine that with the fact that all six men turned up motivated and ready for action and what you had here was a solid opener that came to a close with a win for The X-Factor.
Your Winners: The X-Factor

Post-match, The Dudleyz got their revenge by putting X-Pac through a table.

Speaking of which, here’s something that I’ve noticed on the last several PPVs:

Every time Bubba Ray and D-Von Dudley did the whole ‘D-Von! Get the tables!!’ bit, the tables were never actually got. The other team always stopped them from either setting up the table or putting somebody through it. As such, the table either never came into play at all or else did so only in the post-match shenanigans.

Speaking of shenanigans:

Meanwhile, Backstage...

WWE / WWF Backlash 2001 - William Regal greets The Duchess of Queensbury backstage
‘The Duchess of Queensbury’ (a woman in a pompadour) arrived in a limousine with two close protection officers. William Regal was delighted to see her.

Across the arena, Kurt Angle told Lillian Garcia that he owned Chris Benoit and would take him out in their upcoming Ultimate Submission match.

Back in the arena, the announcers told us that Jerry Lynn had defeated Crash Holly for the Light Heavyweight Championship earlier on Heat.

World Wrestling Federation Hardcore Championship
WWF Hardcore Champion Rhyno vs. Raven

Taking the WWF Hardcore division to another level, Rhyno and Raven gave us an awesome brawl that was way better than expected.

In one sense, this was every hardcore match you’ve seen from this time period; the two littered the ring with garbage weapons and proceeded to beat the crap out each other with them.

Yet they did so with such an intensity and with such stiffness that it made the whole thing an exciting match to watch.

After the better part of ten minutes, Rhyno murdered babyface Raven with a gore to retain his belt.
Your Winner and Still Hardcore Champion: Rhyno

WWE / WWF Backlash 2001 - Michael Cole tries to interview Shane 'The Pain' McMahon
Up next, we were taken back to Smackdown where Shane McMahon read an awesome fairytale called ‘Shane & The Beanstalk’ about his rivalry with his dad and, more specifically, his Dad’s hired goon, The Big Show.

Live in the arena, Michael Cole tried to get an interview with Shane but Stephanie McMahon interrupted and tried to get Shane to call off his Last Man Standing match with Show.

Naturally, Shane O’ Mac refused.

More Backstage Buffoonery

Kevin Kelly had better luck than Michael Cole in getting an interview. He interrupted WWF Champion Stone Cold Steve Austin who was strong-arming Debra as they made their way into the arena.

Given the accusations of Austin’s real-life domestic abuse against Debra, that looked pretty uncomfortable.

Anyway, The Texas Rattlesnake told Kelly that there was no way he was losing the WWF title tonight as long as HHH did his part.

Elsewhere, Jonathan Coachman tried to ask the Duchess of Queensberry what the rules were to the match named after her.

Before she could answer, however, William Regal interrupted, thus keeping up the long-standing joke in wrestling that the rules for such a match don’t actually exist.

Duchess of Queensberry Rules Match
William Regal vs. Chris Jericho

WWE / WWF Backlash 2001 - The Duchess of Motherflippin' Queensbury
These two had met in a decent match at Wrestlemania 17. Since then, Chris Jericho besmirched Regal by peeing in his tea, leading to this match.

Needless to say, this was a quality match even if the whole Duchess of Queensberry stuff did get a little silly.

With Her Majesty herself looking on (even though Her Royal Highness would have been the correct title) Jericho and Regal put on a wrestling clinic for the first half of the match until Y2J looked to get the win with the Lionsault.

Before he could make the cover, however, the Duchess declared that the time had expired on Round 1.

Jericho then made Regal tap to the Walls of Jericho, but she declared that you couldn’t win by submission. Next, Regal blasted his opponent with the Duchess’s scepter, causing her to make it a No DQ match.

Having finally had enough, Jericho threw Her Ladyship into the ring and put the Walls on her, but Commissioner Regal came in, destroyed him with a chair and that was that.

Again, the whole ‘making up the rules on the fly’ stuff got a bit much, but this was otherwise a very good performance.
Your Winner: William Regal

WWE / WWF Backlash 2001 - Vince McMahon orders Big Show to destroy Shane
Backstage, Vince McMahon made Big Show promise that he’d hold nothing back against Shane McMahon. Show promised and the two shook hands, both laughing maniacally as this somewhat awkward and slightly cringe-inducing segment came to an end.

We then got a video package featuring shots of Chris Benoit and Kurt Angle making most of the roster tap out, followed by a quick shot of Krispin Wah himself warming up backstage.

He and Angle would go head to head next.

30-Minute Ultimate Submission Match
Kurt Angle vs. Chris Benoit

WWE / WWF Backlash 2001 - Kurt Angle faced Chris Benoit in an Ultimate Submission iron man match
In case you’re unsure, an Ultimate Submission match was basically a submission-based iron man match.

Before the bell, Angle got himself some heat by insulting Chicago’s most famous figures and promising to make Benoit squeal like a pig.

The match eventually got underway and turned out to be every bit as good as you probably expected.

Regardless of whatever happened away from the ring, Benoit and Angle were two masters of their craft. Here, they proved it by delivering a masterclass of professional wrestling that remained captivating from start to finish.

The two held nothing back as they wrestled each other to a 3-3 draw in the allotted half hour.

Harkening back to Bret Hart vs. Shawn Michaels at Wrestlemania 12, the match then went into overtime with sudden death rules applying.

A few more minutes of action followed before Benoit slapped Angle in the crossface to take home the 4-3 victory.
Your Winner: Chris Benoit

Backstage, HHH and Stephanie McMahon were watching Undertaker and Kane have a heated discussion on a television monitor.

The Game thought that The Brothers of Destruction were trying to come up with an excuse for losing to him and Austin, but Steph was more concerned with insisting that her brother Shane was living in a fairytale.

Last Man Standing Match
The Big Show vs. Shane McMahon

WWE / WWF Backlash 2001 - Big Show faced Shane McMahon in a Last Man Standing match
If the last match has been as good as expected, this one was certainly better than expected.

Shane and Show had last met on PPV in a street fight back at Judgement Day 2000. That had been OK but a little underwhelming.

This was much better.

Early on, Shane knocked Show out with chloroform, only for Vince to run in and destroy his own son with a chair.

The match continued to the point that Big Show was just toying with Shane O’Mac, letting the referee count him up to right before picking up the WCW owner and chokeslamming him again.

It was at this point that Test put in an appearance, and this is where things got really good.

(I bet that sentence has never been written before).

Test and Show brawled to the entrance. Shane followed and ended up climbing to the top of the structure around the entrance while Test planted Big Show.

Then, in typical Shane McMahon fashion, he plummeted fifty feet to his doom, crash landing on his opponent.

Test helped his former almost-brother-in-law to his feet and this utterly enthralling bit of entertainment was done.
Your Winner: Shane McMahon

WWE / WWF Backlash 2001 - Grandmaster Sexay gets weird on Steve Blackman
Backstage, Vince wrote off Shane and declared that Triple H was his only son.

Meanwhile, over at WWF New York, Steve Blackman started to tell Jim Ross that despite having issues with Shane in the past, he hoped he was OK after that match.

‘I never thought I’d see him do something like that,’ said Blackman, referring to McMahon’s epic leap of faith. That’s funny because Shane pulled an almost identical stunt in their match at Summerslam 2000.

Before he could get much further, Grandmaster Sexay turned up and had a seizure in Blackman’s face.

World Wrestling Federation European Championship Triple Threat Match
WWF European Champion Matt Hardy vs. Christian vs. Eddie Guerrero

Although this kind of felt like filler, it was at least pretty entertaining filler.

All three men worked hard to deliver a fast-paced stormer of a match, but who knows how much better it could have been if they’d been given more time to shine.

Edge ran in towards the finish to try and help Christian win, but Jeff Hardy then put in an appearance to even the score.

That allowed Matt Hardy to hit Eddie Guerrero with the match-winning Twist of Fate.
Your Winner and Still European Champion: Matt Hardy

Afterward, we got the eight-thousandth replay of Shane’s big fall.

All Titles on the Line
WWF Intercontinental Champion Triple H (w/ Stephanie McMahon) & WWF Champion Stone Cold Steve Austin WWF Tag Team Champions Kane & The Undertaker

WWE / WWF Backlash 2001 - Steve Austin pleads with The Undertaker
The last time all the titles were on the line was back at In Your House 3: Triple Header when Intercontinental Champion Shawn Michaels and WWF Champion Diesel faced WWF Tag Team Champion Yokozuna and British Bulldog, with the Bulldog standing in for Owen Hart.

Speaking of Michaels, Jim Ross reminded us that if The Game won tonight, he’d be only the second man in history besides HBK to win the WWF title, European Championship, Intercontinental title, and tag team titles.

There were times when it felt as though this really long match was never going to end and there were times when it was so good that you didn’t really want it to end.

At one point, Kane played face-in-peril for six years and it really started to drag, but then just like that the whole thing picked up again and the match got utterly compelling.

Towards the finish, Undertaker and Austin went for a walk through the crowd. Stephanie McMahon tried to help her man but got Kane’s foot in her face.

That brought out Vince McMahon and a sledgehammer. Hunter used it and one three count later we had new tag team champions.
Your Winners and NEW tag team champions: Triple H & Stone Cold Steve Austin

Afterward, the new champions celebrated their hard-fought victory as Backlash 2001 came to a close.







I may be wrong, but I’m willing to state that Backlash was a fairly flawless show.

Every match was good in its own way, with the Benoit/Angle submission match really standing out as match of the night.

Coming on the back of one of the best Wrestlemanias ever, this was a great time to be a fan.




Other reviews of 2001 pro wrestling events: 
More Backlash Reviews:
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Thursday, 23 January 2020

PPV REVIEW: WWF Backlash 2000

WWF Backlash 2000 - Event poster
April 30, 2000,
MCI Center in Washington, D.C

For a decade between 1999 and 2009, WWF/WWE Backlash was the one night of the year when all the fall out from that year's Wrestlemania would finally be settled.

Which is just as well given just how much fall out there had been in the wake of Wrestlemania 2000.

Having betrayed The Rock at the aforementioned 'Mania, Vince McMahon had now joined forces with his daughter Stephanie and her husband, WWF Champion Triple H, despite waging an all-out war with Hunter back at WWF Armageddon 1999.

With D-Generation-X now playing the role of HHH's lackeys, the unified McMahon-Helmsley Faction ( boring name if ever there was one) were now fully at war with The Great One, who had earned a rematch for the title on tonight's show.

Just to make things more interesting, Stone Cold Steve Austin -last seen getting mowed down at Survivor Series 1999- had recently made his return and was now inexplicably in The Rock's corner for tonight's show.

Could The Brahma Bull trust The Texas Rattlesnake?

Would the McMahon-Helmsley Faction be able to keep the belt around Hunter's waist?

Let's find out as we head to the MCI Center in Washington D.C for WWF Backlash 2000.





All Hell Breaks Loose

WWF Backlash 2000 - Jim Ross and Jerry 'The King' Lawler hosted the event
We began tonight's show with the obligatory opening video package recapping everything we've just discussed.

The video also featured an Austin in which he claimed that while he may physically be in The Rock's corner, the only side he was really on was his own.

Cue intense pyro, a crowd with a thousand times more energy and enthusiasm than you'd find at today's WWE shows, and a greeting from none other than Jim Ross and Jerry 'The King' Lawler.

Debra is Your Special Guest Ring Announcer

Much like her real-life partner, Steve Austin, Debra hadn't been seen since the previous year's Survivor Series.

Tonight, she and her puppies made their long-awaited return to the World Wrestling Federation, much to the delight of the perpetually horny Jerry Lawler.

At this point in her career, she was in the same position that Sunny was in before her ill-advised partnership with the LOD. That is, creative wanted her on camera, but since she couldn't actually wrestle, they had to scramble around to find her stuff to do.

Much as they did with Sunny, they put Debra in a Special Guest Ring Announcer role for our upcoming contest.

World Wrestling Federation Tag Team Championship
WWF Tag Team Champions Edge & Christian vs. D-Generation-X (Road Dogg & X-Pac w/ Torri)

WWF Backlash 2000 - X-Pac w/ Tori
I could be wrong, but I swear that Debra introduced the Road Dogg as "Go-Go Jesse James."

Sadly, a helicopter did not appear out of Roadie's helmet, nor did rollerskates pop up from his shoes.

Talk about disappointing.

Speaking of disappointing, I kind of felt bad for X-Pac and Road Dogg - their titantron featured lots of shots of Triple H and lots of shots of Run DMC (who sang the updated DX theme), but not one shot of them.

Fortunately, the one thing that didn't disappoint was this match.

After Roadie got the crowd worked up, he and X-Pac locked up with a tag team championship team who were INSANELY over.

Despite slowly transitioning into a heel role, Edge and Christian got a huge ovation as they battled their more experienced rivals in a very enjoyable opener.

Usually, when you got Road Dogg in a tag team match, he played face-in-peril for half a century and sucked the life out of everything, but as a heel, he was in a much better position to contribute towards a very good bout.

After a lot of back-and-forth action and a red hot finishing sequence, Christian took one step closer to being a true heel by blasting X-Pac with the ring bell behind the referee's back.

A three-count later and this one was over.
Your Winners and Still WWF Tag Team Champions: Edge & Christian

Post-match, a dazed-looking X-Pac sported a nasty gusher on his forehead.

Meanwhile, out in the back, The Rock arrived at the venue.

World Wrestling Federation Light Heavyweight Championship
WWF Light Heavyweight Champion Dean Malenko vs. Scotty 2 Hotty

WWF Backlash 2000 - Scotty 2 Hotty challenged Dean Malenko for the Light Heavyweight Championship
If I was Scotty 2 Hotty, I would definitely rank this Light Heavyweight Championship match up there as a career highlight.

Given how popular the whole Too Cool schtick was with the dancing and the ridiculous but stupidly over Worm, it's easy to forget that Scott Taylor was a good wrestler in his own right.

Here, he proved that in a long and dramatic war with Dean Malenko that had the crowds on the edge of their seat from start to finish.

The two had recently traded the title back and forth, with Scotty beating The Ice Man for it on Raw before Malenko stole it back on the following week's Smackdown thanks to a ropes-assisted pin.

Here, Dean was once again a step ahead of his opponent, spending a large portion of the match working over Taylor's knee and generally getting the better of him at every turn.

Despite this, the Too Cool member more than held his own and came close to winning with several gripping near falls.

In the end, however, Malenko reversed a superplex into a beautiful top rope DDT to put an end to what was a surprisingly awesome match.
Your Winner and Still WWF Light Heavyweight Champion: Dean Malenko

Out in the back, Vince McMahon was hanging out with Hunter, Stephanie, and The Stooges.

Shane McMahon, the referee for tonight's main event, stopped by to show off his new referee's shirt while Vince double-checked that Pat Patterson and Gerald Briscoe were really on board with his evil plan.

All the while, Stephanie flashed her legs, which was just about the only thing this writer could focus on.

Big Boss Man & Bull Buchanan vs. The Acolytes (Farooq & Bradshaw)

WWF Backlash 2000 - The Acolytes faced Bull Buchanan and Big Boss Man
After two thrilling matches that really got the crowd worked up, Backlash 2000 needed something that could slow the pace down and allow the D.C faithful to catch their breath.

This was the perfect match for it.

On the face of it, Big Boss Man & Bull Buchanan vs. Farooq & Bradshaw was a perfectly serviceable tag team match.

All four men played their roles well and Buchanan in particular with some impressive athleticism for a man of his size.

Yet as solid as this might have been, it never felt like anything more than filler, or a way to deliberately cool down the crowd.

After a decent all-round effort, Buchanan jumped off the top rope and hit Bradshaw with the match-winning scissor kick.
Your Winners: Bull Buchanan & Big Boss Man

Out in the back, The Hardyz agreed that even though they were brothers, they would have no problem fighting each other in the upcoming hardcore title match should the need arise.

Across the way, Hardcore Holly told Crash Holly that even though they were cousins, he would have no problem beating his ass all over the arena.

The younger Holly tried to convince Cousin Bob to work together, but got a wicked slap across the face for making such a suggestion.

World Wrestling Federation Hardcore Championship Six-Man Match
WWF Hardcore Champion Crash Holly vs. Tazz vs. Matt Hardy vs. Jeff Hardy vs. Bob Holly vs. Perry Saturn

WWF Backlash 2000 - Crash Holly defended the WWF Hardcore title
This was a lot of fun with a brilliant story.

Poor Crash Holly got his ass handed to him from start to finish. All five of his opponents took turns to beat him, body slam him, suplex and generally kick his head in, yet whenever anybody tried to pin the defending champion, another competitor broke it up.

Though the match started to drag a little towards the end, it was a good effort with a finish that made this writer laugh out loud.

After spending most of the match being dead, Crash got put in the Tazzmission, but Perry Saturn came in and blasted Tazz with the largest stop sign in the world.

Before the former Eliminator could capitalize, however, he was dragged to the outside.

Tazz and Crash both lay dead in the middle of the ring, then Crash got in what was literally his only offensive move of the entire match - draping an arm over a fallen Tazz to retain his title.
Your Winner and Still WWF Hardcore Champion: Crash Holly

Out in the back, Shane McMahon promised interviewer Johnathan Coachman that he would be an impartial referee in the upcoming Rock/Triple H match.

R.I.P Paul Wight's Career

In the 14 months since he had made his WWF debut at St. Valentine's Day Massacre, In Your House, The Big Show Paul Wight had never truly been presented as the kind of credible main event threat that a man of his stature and status should have been.

Putting the final nail in the coffin of his credibility, Show had gone from headlining Wrestlemania 2000 into a terrible angle where he dressed up as midcarders like Val Venis and Godfather and pretended to be them.

At one point, Show was so wrapped up in pretending to be a Scotsman that he cost himself and Kurt Angle a random shot at the WWF tag team titles.

Naturally, this angered the Olympic Gold Medalist, who vowed to beat some sense into the former Giant when the two met on tonight's show.

Kurt Angle vs. The Showster (Big Show)

WWF Backlash 2000 - Big Show dressed up as Hulk Hogan to become The Showster
As was his tradition, Kurt Angle came out talking smack about how he was the greatest thing since sliced bread and how he was going to wipe the floor with his opponent.

Offering a response, The Big Show came down doing his best Hulk Hogan impression, complete with wig and Real American blaring through the PA.

Credit where it's due,  Show's impression was spot on as he took to the microphone to go through the whole "Whatcha gonna do, brother?" routine.

Once the bell rang, Show stayed in character, no-selling Angle's offense, Hulking up and planting him with the Leg Drop of Doom for a near fall.

The crowds ate it up and a loud Hogan! Hogan! chant broke out through the arena.

"There's more people chanting for Hogan than there has been in years," said Jim Ross, a man who could never resist getting in a cheap pop at the competition.

Angle mounted a comeback, but eventually, Big Show snapped out of his silliness, dismantled the Olympic athlete in the corner then put him away with a chokeslam, ending the match in less than three minutes.

OK, so this was tremendous fun and Big Show was hilarious, but I'd still rather see him be utilized as the monster that he was.
Your Winner: The Big Show

Prior to the next contest, we got a look back at the rivalry between The Dudley Boyz and T & A.

Honestly, it was the kind of rivalry that could have only existed in the Attitude Era.

WWF Backlash 2000 - Michael Cole interviews Trish Stratus
As the story went, Bubba Ray Dudley had some kind of fetish for putting women through tables. Over the previous weeks, he had slammed Terri Runnels, Mae Young, and Lita through the wood, but every time he tried to do the same to Trish Stratus, she would either flirt with him or kiss him, sending Bubba into some kind of trance.

Trish had flaunted this by writing around on a table in her undies talking about how much tables made her horny.

I bet she was great fun at Ikea.

She was fun here too, as she gave a backstage interview to Michael Cole while Test and Albert stood by.

Trish teased Cole while talking about how she had the ability to make men lose their minds.

As a perfect example of her hypnotic powers, Bubba Ray was seen staring at the Trish/Cole interview on a TV screen, completely in a trance.

Of course, he was snapped out of it by Devon Dudley, who gave his half-brother a good talking to before tonight's match.

WWF Backlash 2000 - future NWA owner Billy Corgan was in the crowd Despite All His Rage, He Is Still Just a Fan of T & A

Before the competitors made their way out, we were shown Billy Corgan and Smashing Pumpkins sitting at ringside.

This all makes a lot of sense now.

Corgan was such a big fan of Test and Albert that, fifteen years later, he would try to buy the wrestling company named after them.

The Dudley Boyz (Bubba Ray & D'Von Dudley) vs. T & A (Test & Albert w/ Trish Stratus)

Like the earlier Acolytes/Boss Man & Buchanan bout, this was a straight-up big man brawl, but it worked brilliantly.

WWF Backlash 2000 - Bubba Ray Dudley glares at Trish Stratus
Though it was far from the best tag team match of all time, both teams played to their strengths to keep this at an acceptable level from start to finish.

After a decent ten minute outing, Trish shook her sexy self against the ring ropes to distract Bubba Ray, allowing her men to attack and pick up the three count.
Your Winners: T &A

Post-match, The Dudleyz battered Test and Albert. Trish tried to kiss her way out of getting put through the wood, but this time it didn't work, allowing Bubba to finally get what he wanted, drilling Trish through a table.

I have to say that all of the other times he did this with women, it looked like he fully protected them, but not this time. Man, he slammed Trish hard through that table.

That said, even though they had to stretcher her out of there, I'm sure Trish didn't actually mind. After all, she loved her some table.

Latino Heat is Back from Prom

With Trish firmly on the stretcher, a bunch of referees and Sgt. Slaughter escorted her backstage into a waiting ambulance. This was a perfect excuse to take a camera backstage in time to catch Eddie Guerrero and Chyna arriving back from Eddie's prom.

Apparently, Latino Heat had just completed his GED and had been to prom to celebrate with The Ninth Wonder of the World.

Jack Doan ran up to tell Eddie that his match was next, and if he didn't get to the ring immediately, he'd have to forfeit his European title.

Not wanting that to happen, Eddie shrugged his shoulders and drove his car to the ring, the first instance of a gimmick that would become his trademark for the rest of his career.

World Wrestling Federation European Championship
WWF European Champion Eddie Guerrero (w/ Chyna) vs. Essa Rios (w/ Lita)

WWF Backlash 2000 - Eddie Guerrero & Chyna
As Eddie was stripping out of his tuxedo (he wrestled in suit pants and a bow tie, which looked awesome), a video played which informed us how this match came about.

It started when Chyna admitted that, following months of trying to woo her, Eddie's Latino heat had proven too much for her to handle.

Then, the pair had somehow gotten tangled up with former Light Heavyweight Champion Essa Rios and his manager, Lita, leading to a tag team match pitting Eddie and Essa against The Dudleyz.

Lita ended up costing the team the match, causing Chyna to toss her to The Dudleyz for the table spot mentioned earlier and, ultimately, causing tonight's match.

I won't lie, I was excited about this one. Although he mainly competed on Sunday Night Heat, I had a soft spot for Essa Rios back in 1999 - 2000, and I was wondering if he'd ever show up on one of these PPV events.

Thankfully, this one didn't disappoint.

Clocking in at just shy of nine minutes, this was a fast-paced, high-flying affair with plenty of captivating spots that did more than enough to keep this fan entertained.

An exceptional effort on both men's part, this very enjoyable bout ended with Eddie lifting Essa up for a Gory Special but then spinning him around and planting him with a neckbreaker instead.
Your Winner and Still WWF European Champion: Eddie Guerrero

WWF Backlash 2000 - Eddie Guerrero & Chyna
Afterward, Essa dropkicked Eddie into Chyna, allowing Lita to strip Chyna out of her prom dress and down to her underwear.

Jerry Lawler nearly had a braineurysm, yelling "BRA AND PANTIES! BRA AND PANTIES!" so excitedly that you'd be forgiven for thinking it was the first time the then-50 year-old had ever seen such things.

Chyna was mortified at first.

Then she lightened up and posed for the crowd, much to the delight of Latino Heat.

Stone Cold May Not Show Up

Out in the back, Jonathan Coachman interviewed Triple H, who said nothing interesting but did remind us that he was The Game.

Turning his attention to Vince McMahon, Coach asked the Chairman what his 'big surprise' was going to be for tonight.

Vince couldn't say, but did allude to the fact that Stone Cold Steve Austin hadn't arrived yet, and insinuated that he may have had something to do with Austin suffering from 'transportation issues' that would prevent him from appearing.

Chris Benoit Has Emotions

Elsewhere in the arena, Michael Cole interviewed WWF Intercontinental Champion Chris Benoit about his upcoming match with Chris Jericho.

"Chris Jericho likes to compare me to a robot," said Benoit. "But the difference between me and a robot is that I have emotions, and tonight I'm going to express my emotions all over Chris Jericho."

Right you are then.

World Wrestling Federation Intercontinental Championship
WWF Intercontinental Champion Chris Benoit vs. Chris Jericho

WWF Backlash 2000 - Chris Jericho puts the Walls of Jericho on Krispin Wah
Before the two locked up, Jericho cut a promo on "Chris Ben-oyt," likening him to a politician and promising to beat him up. Though it may not have been Jericho's finest moment on the mic, he was, naturally, very entertaining.

Then the bell sounded, and the two had their first PPV singles since WCW Fall Brawl 1996.

Four years after that encounter, the two held nothing back to deliver an incredible match which, up to this point in the show, stood out as Match of the Night.

That's really saying something when you consider just how high the bar had been set by some of the earlier matches on this show, but trust me, this was excellent.

Working pretty stiff, the two traded strikes, submissions, and the occasional aerial move. They chopped one another, they chain wrestled one another, and they even gave us a wicked brawl on the outside.

Almost everything about this match was perfect, apart from the finish.

Referee Tim White got knocked down, so The Crippler picked up his IC belt and smashed Jericho in the face with it. He dragged White over and got the nearest of near falls, then scaled the ropes for his patented head butt.

However, as Benoit came into landing, Jericho smashed him in the face with the belt, prompting White to call for the bell.
Your Winner via Disqualification and Still WWF Intercontinental Champion: Chris Benoit

Man, that was awesome. Even the DQ finish wasn't so bad when you consider it gave the two Canadians a perfectly valid excuse to do battle again further down the line.

The Wrath of Jericho

One person who wasn't happy with the finish was Y2J himself. After the bell, Jericho snapped and slapped Tim White in the Walls of Jericho, prompting a gaggle of officials to rush to his rescue.

Jericho looked like a maniacal man possessed here. White looked like he'd never even seen the Walls of Jericho, selling the move awkwardly and unconvincingly. Still, I suppose we should cut him some slack since he wasn't actually a trained performer.

Austin 3:16 Said I Just Wrecked Your Bus

WWF Backlash 2000 - Michael Cole interviews The Rock
Before the main event, we got another look back at the rivalry between The Rock and WWF Champion Stone Cold Steve Austin.

The video package recalled everything we discussed at the start of this review, though there were two details I forgot to mention:

1: The reason why Stone Cold was in The Rock's corner is that Linda McMahon -the only babyface member of the McMahon clan- had decreed it so.
2: After being teased for weeks, Austin finally made his return on the pre-Backlash Smackdown and used a crane to drop something heavy on DX's tour bus, prompting Michael Cole to yell "Austin 3:16 says I just wrecked your bus!"

Speaking of Cole, he was standing by with The Rock for a pre-match promo.

The Great One guaran-damn-teed to make history with Triple H tonight and walk out of Washington D.C as our new WWF Champion if our noses were capable of detecting what The Rock had in the oven.

World Wrestling Federation Championship
WWF Champion Triple H (w/ WWF Women's Champion Stephanie McMahon & Vince McMahon) vs. The Rock (w/ Stone Cold Steve Austin)

Special guest referee: Shane McMahon

WWF Backlash 2000 - The Rock beat HHH for the WWF Championship
The WWF Champion was the first to arrive on the scene, his 'My Time' theme music blaring through the PA with its anti-McMahon lyrics while Vince himself stood next to The Game.

Brandishing a copy of the night's event program, Vince brought our attention to the old 'Card Subject to Change' caveat, earning a rousing chorus of boos for announcing that Stone Cold Steve Austin wouldn't be there after all.

The boos may have been loud, but it's not as though anybody took the news seriously.

Every time The Rock was in trouble -and he was in trouble *a lot* in this match- the fans chanted not for him but for Austin.

Was it any good?

Yes, absolutely.

Triple H and The Rock always worked well together, and while the first half of this match wasn't quite on par with their excellent Summerslam 1998 encounter, it was still a very good effort, with Hunter gaining the advantage thanks to biased officiating and McMahon interference.

Then the whole thing spilled to the outside, and things took a dramatic turn from "very good" to "all-out awesome."

Referee Shane McMahon tried to prevent The Rock from blasting Hunter with a Rock Bottom on the ever ill-fated Spanish announce table, so Rocky just grabbed Shane and killed both men with a  wicked double rock bottom.

With Shane totally out of it, Vince gave up any pretense of this being a fair fight by joining Hunter in the ring and blasting Rock with the title.

WWF Backlash 2000 - The Rock and Stone Cold celebrate with a beer
At one point, Patterson and Briscoe came out in referees shirts to make the cover following a Triple H pedigree. When The Great One kicked out, The Stooges put the boot to him and held him in place ready for a Triple H chair shot.

Inevitably, the glass shattered and Stone Cold Steve Austin stormed to ringside, taking out both Stooges, Shane, Vince, and Triple H with vicious chair shots before storming off as Linda McMahon walked stoically to the ring with Earl Hebner in tow.

HHH had recently fired Hebner, but it seemed as though Linda had reinstated him.

The place went crazy as Rock hit the People's Elbow, then Hebner took about five years to get in the ring and put himself in the right position to count the match-winning pinfall.
Your Winner and NEW WWF Champion: The Rock

Finishing what had been an almost perfect main event, Steve Austin came back to the ring in his Stone Cold pickup truck, towing the damaged remains of the DX bus with him.

He shared a beer with the new champion, and that was all she wrote for what had been one of the best WWF PPVs in years, if not of all time.






I don't make such a statement lightly, either.

I've seen a lot of disappointing, underwhelming, and just plain terrible wrestling shows lately, so WWF Backlash 2000 was truly a breath of fresh air.

Though some matches were better than others, practically everything on this show delivered in one way or another.

The opening tag team match was explosive, the hardcore match was crazy good fun, Benoit and Jericho put on a classic and Malenko/Taylor and Guerrero/Rios all proved mighty enjoyable. The main event was, naturally, on another level, not necessarily in terms of technical wrestling action, but certainly in terms of drama, suspense and compelling action.

Overall, this was an awesome show that I highly recommend you check out.




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Thursday, 25 April 2019

PPV REVIEW: WWF Backlash 1999 - In Your House 28

WWF / WWE Backlash 1999 - Event poster
April 25, 1999, 
Providence Civic Center, Providence, Rhode Island

One month after defeating The Rock in the main event of Wrestlemania 15, World Wrestling Federation Champion Stone Cold Steve Austin looked set to defend that title at Backlash, a show which had a certain unique significance to it. 

For tonight's show would be the last WWF PPV promoted under the In Hour House banner.

The concept of In Your House had started four years ago, back in May 1995, as a means of countering World Championship Wrestling's increased pay per view schedule with their own, lower-cost, two hour PPV specials.

But a lot -nay, everything- had changed since then.

The cartoony New Generation Era led by Big Daddy Cool Diesel back at In Your House 1 had given way to the gritty and risque product known -and often loved- as the Attitude Era.

As the company had evolved slowly from the former to the latter, the In Your House brand itself had seen its own significance eroded.







The first couple of events had been numbered only, such as In Your House 1, In Your House 2, with subtitles (such as In Your House 6: Rage in the Cage) being added later. Then, from In Your House 7: Good Friends, Better Enemies, the subtitles became official before they took over completely from Ground Zero: In Your House onwards.

Yet while the brand itself was still fairly prominent even as far back as Ground Zero, it was barely mentioned from around the time of 1998's Unforgiven. Quite often, you had to get a magnifying glass out and squint real hard if you wanted to see the In Your House name on any of the series' events from that point on, so it was no surprise that, after Backlash, the company would decide to do away with it altogether.

For now though, let's go In Your House one last time as the World Wrestling Federation presents Backlash: In Your House 28.

Rock and Austin are More Similar Than You Think

WWE / WWF Backlash 1999 - Jerry 'The King' Lawler and Jim Ross hosted the event
Remember that awesome voice over guy who did so many of the company's video packages back in the day?

He was at his best as tonight's show got underway, talking over a dramatic video package to tell us that while Steve Austin and The Rock may appear to have nothing more in common than a mutual hatred of one another, they were actually pretty similar because they were both charismatic superstars committed to winning.

After the usual pyro and crowd-panning, we next went to Jim Ross and Jerry 'The King' Lawler.

The former told us that earlier, on Sunday Night Heat, Shane McMahon had made Rock vs. Austin's Wrestlemania 15 rematch a No Disqualification match, with the added caveat that if Austin put his hands on McMahon (who was serving as the special referee), then he would lose the title.

With that out of the way, it was onto our opening match.

The Brood (Edge, Christian, and Gangrel) vs. The Ministry of Darkness (Farooq, Bradshaw, and Mideon) 

WWE / WWF - Backlash 1999 - The Ministry of Darkness vs. The BroodThe Brood had recently been excommunicated from The Ministry of Darkness following a series of events that started when Christian, unable to withstand Ken Shamrock's ankle lock any longer, told The World's Most Dangerous Man where The Undertaker was keeping Stephanie McMahon, who he had kidnapped.

Christian was then subject to flogging and was going to be "crucified" on The Undertaker's symbol until Edge and Gangrel realized they'd had enough and attacked.

That all led us tonight's opening contest, a rather dull, overly-long affair which, despite the occasional flash of action from The Brood, mostly failed to excite.

The Ministry spent the bulk of the match in control, which certainly didn't help the pace. After a while, Edge, Christian, and Gangrel took over and began flying about the place, only for Viscera to run down and squash Christian against the ring apron.

Back in the ring, Bradshaw then levelled the future Captain Charisma with a Clothesline From Hell, and that was all she wrote.
Your Winners: The Ministry of Darkness

Out in the back, we saw The Rock making his way into the arena, dragging Austin's Smoking Skull belt along the floor.

Apparently, somebody in the company was paying attention to WCW, who seemed to run the "challenger steals the champ's title belt" angle every other month.

From there, we were reminded of the rivalry between Hardcore Holly and Al Snow, including the time they battled in the Mississippi River back at St. Valentine's Day Massacre: In Your House.

The two would meet in the next match

World Wrestling Federation Hardcore Championship
WWF Hardcore Champion Hardcore Holly vs. Al Snow (w/ Head)

WWE / WWF - Backlash 1999 - Al Snow vs Hardcore Holly for the WWF Hardcore Championship
Outside of that memorable outing at St. Valentine's Day Massacre, Snow and Holly had been working together in some capacity or another for a while now, so it was no surprise that they'd managed to take their unique contribution to the World Wrestling Federation's violent variety show and turn it into something of an art-form.

Setting the blueprint for many of the WWF-style hardcore matches that would follow in the years to come, Snow and Holly battled in the ring, around the ring and, inevitably, backstage.

Though it was fairly tame in comparison with some hardcore/garbage matches offered by other promotions, the two former JOB Squad teammates put on a match that was mostly very entertaining.

I say mostly because at one point the two brawled outside of the arena where it was so dark and poorly lit that it was actually hard to see what was going on. There was even a moment when Holly pushed Snow off a wall and into a dumpster below then dived in after him. It would have looked pretty good if you could actually see what was going on.

After that, they brawled back into the backstage area, ignoring Sgt. Slaughter who was just standing around with a stack of papers, and back into the ring for the climactic finish.

A top rope superplex through a table took both men out, but it was Al Snow who picked up the win by grabbing Head and blasting his opponent with it.
Your Winner and NEW WWF Hardcore Champion: Al Snow

WWE / WWF - Backlash 1999 - The Undertaker addresses his Ministry of Darkess
Out in the back, Stone Cold Steve Austin arrived and walked past a couple of vending machines.

Elsewhere in the arena, The Undertaker told his Ministry that he was pleased with their victory over The Brood, but now there was more work to do as they prepared for "a tragedy."

"What tragedy?" begged JR afterward. "What tragedy could he be talking about?"

Clearly, this was something we were supposed to pay attention to.

World Wrestling Federation Intercontinental Championship
WWF Intercontinental Champion The Godfather (w/ The Hos) vs. Goldust (w/ The Blue Meanie)

Prior to the match, The Blue Meanie did his best Sable impression ("this is for all the men who want to be me and the girls who came to see me, are you ready for the grind?") before The Godfather teased coming out sans-hos, much to the chagrin of the live crowd.

Alas, the Intercontinental Champion didn't disappoint, eventually bringing out his ladies of the night so that we could all get aboard the ho train and ride it into our second title match of the evening.

WWE / WWF - Backlash 1999 - The Blue Meanie accompanied Goldust to the ring
A short match, this one was played mostly for laughs. Goldust attempted to throw powder into his opponent's eyes, but Godfather hit first, causing the powder to shower Goldust and "blind him."

As the challenger, his sight impaired, staggered around the ring looking for Godfather, Godfather himself directed him towards The Blue Meanie, then stood by laughing as Goldust hit Shattered Dreams on his...whatever Blue Meanie was to him.

Following another comedy spot in which Meanie ended up headbutting Goldie in the balls, Godfather hit the Death Valley Driver for the win.

For a short comedy match, that was actually pretty entertaining, though the best part of the whole thing was this gem from JR.

King: "Which one is your favorite ho, Jr?"
JR: "I'll have you know I'm a happily married man with a wife back home...I'll tell you later."
Your Winner and Still Intercontinental Champion: The Godfather

Post-match, Godfather celebrated with his hos before we cut to a couple of WWF commercials.

The version we're watching today is an original VHS recorded from TV the night that Backlash aired. Our first commercial offered to sell us Stone Cold's autograph plus an official piece of the ring mat from Wrestlemania 15 for only $79.

The second commercial was for a brand new, prime time show called Smackdown, which would be airing that coming Thursday on UPN.

Back in the arena, Jim Ross told us that the winner of the next match would face the tag team champions on that "two-hour special."

WWE / WWF - Backlash 1999 - Michael Cole interviews Al Snow backstage
Is Head the Hardcore Champion?

Out in the men's bathroom, Michael Cole tried to get a word with Al Snow, who was sat in front of some urinals with Head and the Hardcore title.

Cole tried to get an interview with the new Hardcore Champion, but Snow was more concerned with talking to Head who -via Snow- seemed to insinuate that because Al had pinned Hardcore Holly with the same hand that he was holding Head in, that basically made Head the champion.


Number One Contendership for the Tag Team Titles
The New Age Outlaws (Road Dogg Jesse James & Bad Ass Billy Gunn) vs. Jeff Jarrett & Owen Hart (w/ Debra)

Wearing almost nothing, Debra looked sensational here, so sensational in fact that Road Dogg tried everything to encourage the blonde beauty to get her puppies out.

WWE / WWF - Backlash 1999 - Jeff Jarrett with Debra
Of course, she wanted to, but Jeff Jarrett refused to let her, so, instead, Road Dogg had his partner Billy Gunn show his ass. I don't know about you, but I wouldn't exactly consider Bad Bum Billy Gunn's bad bum as a consolation prize for lack of Debra boobage.

Neither would Owen Hart or Jeff Jarrett, apparently.

The two immediately attacked the New Age Outlaws from behind, and thus began what turned out to be a very entertaining match.

In there with two pros like Owen and Jeff, The Outlaws had a better match than usual, though to be honest, it wouldn't have mattered:

The fans were more concerned with chanting at Debra to show her puppies than with anything going on in the ring which was a shame because they missed a pretty decent match.

After some fun action, Road Dogg and Mr. Ass picked up the win to earn a tag team title shot on the pilot episode/"two hour special" of Smackdown.
Your Winners: The New Age Outlaws

Post-match, the Outlaws celebrated and Roadie once again had his partner strip down to his thong. The less said about that, the better.

The McMahons are at War

WWE / WWF - Backlash 1999 - Michael Cole interviews Shane McMahon
Out in the back, Shane McMahon told Michael Cole that he no longer considered Vince McMahon to be his father, but that if Stone Cold could pin Austin tonight then he (Shane) would make the three count in the name of his grandfather, Vince McMahon Sr.

Offering a retort, McMahon Sr.-with Stephanie in tow- called the whole thing surreal and hoped that his son wouldn't make as big a mistake as he'd made recently on Raw.

Neither clip was all that entertaining, but at least it served a purpose.

Boiler Room Brawl
The Big Show vs. Mankind

Heading to the boiler room for the first time since Summerslam 1996, Mankind this time took on The Big Show in a match that was very different from the original Boiler Room Brawl he'd had with The Undertaker three years earlier.

WWE / WWF - Backlash 1999 - The Big Show puts Mankind in a shopping cart in their Boiler Room Brawl
For one thing, this boiler room was actually very well lit and at times barely looked like a boiler room at all. For another, all you had to do to win was leave the boiler room, whereas, in the original one, you had to make it all the way back to the ring (and get the Undertaker's urn).

Like a more violent version of the earlier hardcore match, this weapons-filled stunt fest was pretty entertaining for what it was. A couple of spots imparticular, such as Mankind smashing a random pane of glass over Big Show's head and cutting his own hand to bits in the process, were sickening yet perversely enjoyable to watch, though there didn't really feel as though there was much to this one.

It was basically the two men walking from one spot to the next until it all just kind of ended. OK, so the part with Mankind leaving a trail of bloody handprints as he crawled out of the door did look like something straight out of a horror movie, but the whole thing was over rather quickly and seemed to lack a certain something.
Your Winner: Mankind

The moment Mick walked through the door he was immediately attacked by The Big Boss Man and Test. Big Show got up and chased off Boss Man (leading to that memorably terrible feud) while Foley gave Test some Mr. Socko.

X-Pac Needs Putting in his Place

WWE / WWF - Backlash 1999 - HHH and Chyna had a message for X-Pac
Elsewhere in the arena, Michael Cole interviewed Chyna and Triple H. Chyna warned X-Pac that there was a hierarchy and that Pac needed putting in his place, while Hunter added that he made X-Pac's ass and could just as easily break it.

The Aftermath of War 

Out in the back, a beaten-up Big Show was seen being tended to by the WWF's head doctor, Fran├žois Petit.

According to the Mortal Kombat star, Show had a dislocated thumb and required many stitches.

Meanwhile, Mankind took us on a tour of the locker room, pointing out all the broken furniture and evidence of the violent carnage that had gone on just moments before and reminding us what a war we'd just witnessed.

I've never seen anything like that before or since, but it was pretty compelling stuff.

X-Pac vs. Triple H (w/ Chyna)

Triple H and Chyna came to the ring to the sound of a weird theme that sounded like a demo version of something not quite finished. It sounded odd and ill-suited to him, which is probably why he didn't use it for very long.


Meanwhile, Jim Ross told us that this match could potentially steal the show.

It didn't. It was too long and too focussed on selling X-Pac's previous neck injury to steal the show, but it was still good fun in an old-school, slow-paced kind of way.

OK, so it dragged a lot in the middle -I mean, they really, really hammed up the neck thing for as long as possible- but otherwise, it was a solid effort with a very good finish.

After a ref bump, Chyna took down X-Pac only for the lights to go out, signalling the appearance of Kane.

The man betrayed by Chyna back at Mania planted both her and Hunter with chokeslams, propped them up in separate corners, and then left. Obviously, that was the cue for X-Pac to get up and hit a couple of Bronco Busters, but that wasn't enough to win the match.

Hunter recovered from his bronco, hit a pedigree, and took another step towards becoming a bonafide main eventer.
Your Winner: Triple H

As he and Chyna made their way backstage with that weird theme music, Jim Ross told us that if we sent in our cable bill proving we'd bought the pay per view, they'd send us a free WWF Attitude hat.

I must admit, I kind of want one of those.

Another commercial aired for the "Network Special" of WWF Smackdown, and then it was onto our next match.

Ken Shamrock vs. The Undertaker (w/ Paul Bearer)

WWE / WWF - Backlash 1999 - The Undertaker faced Ken Shamock in a leg lock of doom challenge
If you like matches that are basically 20 minutes of leg holds, you'll love this one.

If you're not, you might be like this writer and bored to tears with it.

Though I certainly get what they were going for and understand why the match played out the way it did, it just wasn't very interesting. Then again, I'm the sort of guy who finds MMA really boring, so maybe this one just wasn't for me.

Anyway, after getting his legs attacked by Shamrock for the better part of what felt like a thousand years, Undertaker hit a tombstone and put this one to an end.
Your Winner: The Undertaker

Afterward, Bradshaw (who had tried to interfere earlier in the match) attacked Shamrock with a baseball bat and beat him up a bit.

We then cut to a video package in which The Undertaker, surrounded by flames and the darkness of hell, called himself The Purity of Evil as a way to sell next month's Over the Edge.

Man is that ever going to be a difficult show to review when I get to it.

Keeping Stephanie Safe

Outside the arena, Vince McMahon put Stephanie in a limo surrounded by armed guards, telling the henchmen to look after his daughter and that he'd be right back after the next match.

No Holds Barred World Wrestling Federation Championship Match
WWF Champion Stone Cold Steve Austin vs. The Rock

Special Guest Referee: Shane McMahon

WWE / WWF - Backlash 1999 - Steve Austin beats up The Rock
Whether they were duking it out for the Intercontinental Championship back at D-Generation-X: In Your House or squaring off in the main event of Wrestlemania 15, Rock and Austin always worked well together, and this was no exception.

With the No Holds Barred stipulation giving them the creative freedom to brawl all over the arena (just not backstage), the Attitude Era's two biggest stars gave us a hugely entertaining brawl that may have just been their best match yet.

The Rock dominated for the most part, yet Austin was always right there with a comeback, keeping himself in the fight and the crowds on the edge of their seat.

Towards the finish, special referee Shane McMahon went to hit Austin with the title belt. The Rattlesnake ducked and The Rock took the full front of the blow. Austin covered, but McMahon would only count to two before flipping Austin off and heading the lockerroom.

Not that he'd get very far.

Vince McMahon, brandishing the Smoking Skull title that Shane had earlier ordered an assistant to take backstage, came and knocked Shane out cold with it, then sent Earl Hebner in as a replacement referee.

One title shot to The Rock's head later, and Stone Cold retained the title.
Your Winner and Still WWF Champion: Stone Cold Steve Austin

As Austin celebrated his big win, we cut backstage where The Ministry of Darkness began to approach the limousine that Stephanie McMahon was in. One of the guards ordered the car to drive away, taking Steph to safety. As the car pulled out and Steph questioned why they weren't waiting for her dad, the driver turned around, revealing himself to be none other than The Undertaker.

With a maniacal laugh, 'Taker looked straight at Steph (or rather, straight at the camera that served as her point of view) and uttered that memorably cheesy line:

"Where to, Stephanie?"







All in all, I guess it's fair to say that the In Your House series of PPV events ended on a high note. With a thrilling main event, an entertaining tag team contest, and everything that wasn't the Taker/Shamrock Leg Lock Special ranging from decent to very enjoyable, Backlash was a solid B+ show with an A* headline.

OK, so that bit with Undertaker and Stephanie at the end was kinda silly, let's not pull down a whole show for one little segment.

One sad point, however, is that this was the last time we'd see Owen Hart wrestle on pay per view. I'm not kidding, I am really, really not looking forward to reviewing Over The Edge.



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Retro Pro Wrestling

New reviews of classic WWF/WWE events recalling every moment from Wrestlemania 1 - 30. You'll also find reviews of WCW, ECW, TNA and the occasional indie event, along with a look at old school magazines, merchandise and more.