Even though it feels like WrestleMania just happened, it's time for another WWE PPV. This time it's BACKLASH. One of the more redundant events of the WWE calendar year... primarily used for WrestleMania rematches and rehashes. This is a show I'd like to see fall off the schedule to be honest. Over the past couple of weeks since WrestleMania, we've been treated to not a whole lot besides fallout. WrestleMania, from how I understood it... was supposed to be the "blow-off" event. Where long building feuds reach their climax and give the fans the pay-off they'd been waiting so long to receive. Instead, we're given a paid-show full of rematches and rehashes three-weeks later.
Before moving to the current "monthly pay-per-view" format, over a decade ago... there was something the WWF/E ran after WrestleMania called the "WrestleMania Revenge Tour", a (untelevised) house show circuit featuring the rematches, and TV would move forward into the "new" WWF/E year. Since adopting the monthly PPV format, it's near impossible to book (and advertise) BACKLASH as anything but rematches, or else they'd run the risk of giving away the results of their biggest show of the year.
Anyhoo, that all being said... I'll get it out of the way, and say I won't be watching this one. It's not even worth the $10 they charge to watch it at O'Sullivans. I'll probably read the results as it's ongoing, but that's about it. Let's get on to the matches...
WWE Title Match:
Triple H (c) & Batista & Shane McMahon vs. Randy Orton & Cody Rhodes & Ted DiBiase
(WrestleMania Match - HHH v Orton)
This one's a bit of an oddity. It's as though the WWE took a page out of the TNA playbook. The rules of this match are - If ANY member of Orton's team pins ANY member of HHH's team, Randy will then become the WWE Champion. With this in place, I can only see Triple H losing the belt without dropping the fall. This bout has discension written all over it, as a member of Legacy could gain the pinfall, but not be awarded the title. With Ted DiBiase's movie (The Marine 2) due to come out in the near future, I see him picking up the pin on either Shane or Batista... which will mean he "won" the WWE title FOR Orton.
World Heavyweight Title:
Last Man Standing Match
John Cena (C) vs. Edge
(WrestleMania Match - Edge v Cena v Big Show)
I really don't see how Edge could lose this match... being as though the recent draft made it so SmackDown! was left without a World title (which is getting really old... for the past 3 drafts one of the shows has been left w/o their title). Cena and Edge generally have great chemistry together, and with the Last Man Standing stipulation added, it should be great fun.
Chris Jericho vs. Ricky "The Dragon" Steamboat
(WrestleMania Match - Jericho v Steamboat/Piper/Snuka)
Ricky Steamboat showed the world that he's still better than 75% of the active wrestling world at WrestleMania 25. The next night on Raw, Steamer was part of an incredibly fun 10-Man tag, where again, he stole the show. If I *were* to buy this show, THIS would be the match I'd buy it for. I couldn't hazard a guess for this one, as both endings could work. I'd like to see Steamboat win, just because.
"I Quit" Match
Matt Hardy vs. Jeff Hardy
(WrestleMania Match - Hardy v Hardy)
This match may play out a bit oddly. Recent Internet rumors are claiming that Jeff Hardy has given his notice that he will not be re-upping with the WWE when his contract expires this July. If that IS the case, I figure Matt will win thi match, and pretty much put Jeff out of the picture. Of course, this bit of news could have been released with this timing to swerve the Internet community. I'm really not sure. They've pulled several work-shoot angles with the Hardy's of late... so it wouldn't terribly surprise me if this were another case of that. Rumors aside, I still pick Matt for the win, as it appears as though he's being groomed to be a top heel on Raw.
CM Punk vs. Kane
(WrestleMania Match - Both were in Money in the Bank, though it's not terribly relevant...)
Not even too sure why this match is happening on PPV. Both CM Punk and Kane were recently drafted to SmackDown! from Raw. They had a match on Raw a week later... and somehow that brings us here. CM Punk is currently holding the Money in the Bank briefcase, though I don't think that it's on the line in this match. I expect Punk to win, as he works his way back up the card to be in position to cash in the briefcase at Judgment Day (which I believe is in his hometown of Chicago).
ECW Title Match:
Jack Swagger (c) v Christian
(WrestleMania Match - Whoa! This one's NEW!)
Both of these men have had some excellent offerings in losing efforts of late, Christian in the Money-in-the-Bank Match at WrestleMania, and Swagger in a match against John Cena on Draft Night. The ECW title, as a result has been somewhat elevated to a place of at least modest prestige. I think Christian will win this one in a very hard-fought matchup. This match will be great for both men, as well as the title.
Well, that's all they've announced for this show as of this writing. With SmackDown! still to air tonight, there may be more. There's also a "Khali Kiss-cam" bit set to happen between the Great Khali and Santina Marella. This bit is one I'd usually deride, though with Khali and Santino being on top of their comedic game, it could be rather humorous.
All in all, a skippable show, in my opinion. Nothing we won't be able to see elsewhere, save Jericho/Steamboat. I guess we'll see how it pans out.