|Guest columnist: Ian Challis
This year's Backlash PPV offering has been much maligned by us smarky smark
smark-smarks, and I guess, judging from the feedback I've seen so far,
already people are calling it a big fat dud. But Hell, I gotta job to
fulfil, and I'll do it whatever happens. This IS my column, and it IS my
opinion, after all.
Albert hits his second rope catapult and tags Pac. snap legdrop get two, and he hits the chinlock. D-Von fights out but eats another heel kick, and Pac tags Justin. He beats on D-Von and gets a Bossman slam. Tag to Albert, and he gets a double underhook suplex for two. Pac and Justin come in, and D-Von hits a double clothesline. Hot tag to Buh Buh, and he deals out slams for all. Buh Buh Bomb on Justin, and Pac takes a sidewalk slam for two. Heel miscommunication sees Albie splash Pac, and D-Von takes the big man to the floor. Wazzup Drop for Justin, Wardance, D-Von Get The Tables. JR once again puts over that fucking stupid name. Albert hits a bicycle kick on D-Von, however, and X-Pac and Justin hit X Marks The Spot (double superkick) for the pin at 8:00. Notice how Spike disappeared completely after that last segment? Post-match, Albie tries for a Baldo Bomb on Buh Buh through the table, but D-Von posts him. Spike hits the Dudley Dawg on Justin, and Pac gets 3D through the table. Play their music, because they just LOST. Decent opener to fire up the crowd.**
Regal surprises Jericho with a rollup for two, and Jericho comes back with some kicks and a clothesline. Regal catches him off the ropes and hits a catapult. Quasi-German suplex, and some more waving. Regal Stretch! Jericho grabs the ropes, and rolls through a waistlock to the Walls Of Jericho. Regal taps...And now the Duchess makes it "No Submissions". Oooohkay. Jericho loses his temper and goes for the good she-lady, and clobbers Regal when he tries to jump him. He nails Jericho with the Duchess' sceptre, and no it's no-DQ, obviously. That gets two in the ring, and the crowd is just dead. He hits a back elbow and waves some more. Double underhook suplex gets two. Jericho rolls out of a belly-to-back and hits an enzuiguri, putting both down. Slugfest, and Jericho stomps a mudhole in him. Clothesline and a low blow, as JR enforces the no-DQ aspect. He tosses Rega; and hits a baseball slide, sending Regal head-first into the Duchess' lap. His reaction is PRICELESS. Jericho clothesline, and finally gets his hands on the Duchess. He locks her in the Walls in the ring, but Regal smashes him with three chairshots for the pin at 12:36. Actually very watchable-even with the rules, when you've got a good match, you've got a good match.***1/4.
Angle goes for the leg again but Benoit chops his way out. Angle gets a chopblock to retake control. Benoit tries the crossface, and turns it into a cross armbreaker, to even the score at 8:04. Thirty-second rest period at 1-1.
Benoit stomps Angle and throws him shoulder-first into the ringpost. Wristlock takedown, and he goes back to the armbreaker. Angle makes the ropes, and Benoit gets a shoulderbreaker. Irish whip, and he chops the shoulder. Angle grabs the ropes and Benoit shoves the ref, allowing Angle to crack him with a chair and get the ankle lock to go up 2-1 at 10:20. Thirty-second rest period, and straight after Angle locks in the crossface for another submission at 11:04. Thirty-second rest period, and it's 3-1 to Angle.
Angle chokes Benoit and elbowdrops him across the apron. Belly-to-back, and stomps Benoit to the floor. He throws Benoit into the announcer's table, and takes him back in and pounds him. Benoit backdrops Angle to the floor, and Angle's down and out. Benoit works the shoulder on the floor, but Angle whips him into the steps to come back. He gets the ankle lock on the floor and Benoit taps, but again it doesn't count. Back inside, and Angle gets a cross armbreaker and works it. Benoit rolls into the ropes to break. Angle stomps him, and gets an abdominal stretch. Benoit reverses, and Angle armdrags him down. Benoit turns that into a cross-armbreaker, but Angle makes the ropes and stomps him. Benoit gets the Sharpshooter, which OF COURSE is alright because Benoit is using it and not the Rock. So no-one moan! Angle makes the ropes to big boos, and Benoit elbowdrops him. Angle gets a waistlock, but Benoit rolls through and puts on a NASTY, Sasukesque half crab for the tap out to make it 3-2 at 18:05. Thirty-second rest period.
Angle bails and Benoit follows and whomps him, until Angle catches him coming in and stomps him. He throws Benoit to the floor and keeps there by kicking through the ropes. Benoit finally gets back in and Angle hits a suplex. He tries the ankle lock, but Benoit grabs the ropes. They hit the floor and Angle gets another suplex. Back in and Angle beats on him in the corner, but Benoit gets a dragon screw and tries the ankle lock. Angle makes the ropes. Benoit misses a dropkic, and Angle hooks a sleeper with the leg grapevined. Benoit fights up, but Angle holds on and switches to a regular sleeper. Benoit jawbreaker puts both down. Angle up first, and he gets a pair of overhead belly-to-bellies, but Benoit reverses a whip and gets a pair of German suplexes. Angle blocks the third, so Benoit reverses to the ankle lock for the tap-out to even it all up at 27:51. Thirty-second rest period.
Benoit concentrates on the leg with chopblocks, and gets another German suplex, but Angle grabs the ropes and hits a donkey kick. He tries the ankle lock, but Benoit grabs the ropes, so Angle hits him again with a belly-to-back and gets the ankle lock. Benoit holds on for the last ten seconds, so we go into SUDDEN DEATH!
Angle hits another belly-to-belly, and goes for another, but Benoit shoves him off. Angle tries the sleeper-leg grapvine combo again and grabs the ropes for leverage, but Benoit rolls through to the crossface, and that's all she wrote at 32:25. Good, enjoyable match, but like I said last month, it ain't classic material.***Ž½
Last Man Standing Match: The Big Fat Motherfuckin' Show Vs. Shane McMahon: Shane finally has new, god-awful music. Really, really bad. He plays chase with the Show a bit and manages to nail him with a kendostick. Show grabs it eventually and clotheslines Shane's head off. He throws Shane back in and Shane gets a few chairshots, knocking him down with one to the head. Shane rolls outside and searches for some weapons, and comes up with that old fave the chloroform soaked rag. So why does everyone have a problem with this spot? Chloroform puts people down, for Christ's sake, and it's not like it does any permanent damage. Hell, how do you want Shane to put Show down? With freakin' powerbombs?
Shane gets the Show down, but Vince runs in and nails him with a chair to break it up, then leaves. Show hits the Final Shitty Cut Of Death, but breaks Rule 43D Of Wrestling: Never pick up a face when you have them down. Show chokeslams him, then picks him up AGAIN, this time putting him in the Torture Rack(??). Test runs in and hits the Big Boot to break it up, so Show beats him up down the aisle. Shane jumps Show with a sign, but Show grabs a pipe from somewhere, prompting Shane to climb the scaffold. Yes, Shane is climbing the scaffold. Test puts Show down on a big ol' "Air Circulator", and Shane LEAPS from the top of the scaffold, hitting Show with an elbowdrop! Well, would've been more impressive had Shane actually made contact, but hey, never mind. Test props Shane up with the boom mic, and Show gets counted down and out at 11:54. Eh, okay stuff, but strictly cliche city.** JR and Paul sell the bump like mad, just to really piss on the Show.
Triple Threat Match For European Title: Matt Hardy Vs. Christian Vs. Eddie Guerrero: They're all alone, surprisingly enough. Christian and Eddie jump Matt and whomp him to start, sending him to the floor, then Christian jumps Eddie. Flapjack, and a powerslam gets two. Eddie gets a rana off the ropes to come back and beats on Christian. Christian blocks a superplex and Matt goes up, so the heels try Doomsday Device, but Matt gets a victory roll on Eddie for two. He shoves Christian into Eddie, and Eddie hits a belly-to-back on Christian. Everyone's down, and Eddie tries the pig belly(my pet name for it-don't ask why)on Christian, but Matt sunset flips him to break it up. Eddie hits the floor, and Matt clotheslines Christian for two. Eddie pulls Matt out and they fight on the floor, and Christian baseball slides both. Matt gets his signature apron-springboard-DDT on Christian, but Eddie grabs him and suplexes him back in. Brainbuster gets two. Matt backdrops him and TAKES THE SHIRT OFF, then goes upstairs. Eddie follows and tries the rana, but Christian grabs Matt's leg and Eddie tumbles down. Christian tries a superplex and gets shoved down, and Matt hits a double flying clothesline. Christian accidentally crossbodies Eddie, and Matt throws him out and hits the dropshot on Eddie for two. Matt and Christian fight on the floor, and Edge runs in and spears Matt. Eddie tosses Christian, however, and covers Matt himself for two. Now Jeff's in, and he takes it to Edge, as Christian gets the Impaler on Eddie. Jeff sneaks in a swanton on Christian, and Matt hits him with the Twist Of Fate to retain at 6:52. Fun match, while it lasted. Dunno where it's leading, though-Fatal Fourway between the Hardys and Blondes?
Main Event, Triple Title Tag Team Match: The Undertaker/Kane Vs. Triple H/Stone Cold Steve Austin: Taker and Kane enter, and the heels scatter, then execute Larry Z's dreaded special, the Five Minute Stall Of Doom. The Brothers Dead finally kickstart it by attacking them in the aisle, then it gets started proper with Tripper and Kane in the ring. Taker and Austin follow and all four be clubberin', then Taker and Austin hit the floor. Taker throws Austin to Kane for a chokeslam, then Kane turns back to Trip. Trip comes back, but Kane clotheslines him and both tag out. Austin begs off, looking like he's crying, so Taker hits FOUR Irish whips. Austin begs off some more, so Taker stomps the Hell out of him. Kane gets in a shot for good measure. Tripper comes in, and Taker hits Old School on both. The Two Man nWo bail and try to walk, so Kane clobbers 'em and takes them back to the ring.
The heels beat down Taker on the inside and out, tagging in and out in rapid succession. Facebuster by Trip, but Taker comes back with his "scintillating" DDT. Austin gets the tag first and he knocks Kane off the apron, then hits a fucked-up Thesz press on Taker. BMF Elbow, and Taker gets the goozle, then gets it on Tripper as well. He clotheslines both men and Kane tags himself in. Sidewalk slam on Austin, Ric Flair top rope slam for Tripper. Stunner is blocked, and Austin gets a big boot. Austin manages a FUGLY armbar takedown, and the Heat(Segment) Is On. The Two Man Power Station work on it mercilessly, both in and out the ring, for around ten minutes, not using anything particularly exciting or recap-worthy. You know, armbar here, chairshot there, that sorta thing.
Tripper finally gets put down with the "Face Gets Boot Up When Heel Tries Top Rope Move" routine, and Austin comes in and gets suplexed. Trip in again, and he gets the Pedigree, but Taker breaks it up. Taker "sneaks" in and chokeslams Austin, and Kane gets two from it. Kane gets the enzuiguri on Tripper, and hot tag Undertaker! He's a big ol' American Badass o' fire, and he hits the Last Jacknife on Tripper, but OF COURSE the ref missed the tag. Austin Stuns Kane, and Taker chases him, effectively taking both out of the match. Tripper tries to hit Kane with an unidentified title belt, but Kane gets the big boot. Steph comes in, and she takes the same. Steph McMahon, Bump Machine. Well, maybe not. Vince runs in protest, sledge in hand, and Kane grabs him in the goozle. Tripper gets the sledge, however, and a coupla shots later we got NEW Tag Team Champeens at 25:03. Pretty much as good as expected.***.
Final Thought: Good God, what is WITH the I-Net? The WWF puts on less than a four-star main, and "SHIT! Look how AWFUL the WWF is right now?" Well, kiss my ass. This was a perfectly good show, with good-to-great wrestling, and I enjoyed it all the way. Nothing outright sucked, and there were some really, really good matches on top of that. Recommended, from where I sit. See you for the Judgment Day rants-Toodles!
Are you sassin' me? Eh, who cares. Send it to the new address if you wanna sass me, boy.
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