Backlash 2007: I’m Not Here Anymore. I’m Over There. The Ending Sequence Blew Me Away

Backlash 2007
Date: April 29, 2007
Location: Phillips Arena, Atlanta, Georgia
Attendance: 14,500
Commentators: Jim Ross, Jerry Lawler, Michael Cole, Taz, John Bradshaw Layfield, Joey Styles

It’s the final show in this set of WWE reviews as I jump over Backlash 2006 because I’m saving it for the final review in the series. The main event here is a fourway for the belt as well as Undertaker vs. Batista II in a last man standing match. ECW is around now too and we get Vince/Umaga/Shane vs. Lashley for the ECW Title in what I’m sure will be riveting TV. Let’s get to it.

The opening video is about how everything began at Wrestlemania but everything continues tonight.

Raw Tag Titles: Hardy Boys vs. Lance Cade/Trevor Murdoch

The Hardys are defending. We’re back to co-branded shows here so everyone is here tonight. Matt and Cade get us going. The fans are all behind the Hardys here of course, even though Cade knocks Matt down in the corner. Matt comes back with some hiptosses for both guys before taking Cade down with a headlock. Lawler makes the always stupid statement that they’re the same height on the mat.

Off to Murdoch who is quickly slammed down as well. Jeff comes in to a quick pop and things speed up. The Hardys clear the ring and Jeff hits Poetry In Motion over the top and out to the floor. Back in and Matt hits a middle rope elbow on Murdoch for two. Matt’s bulldog is countered though and the challenges take over. Cade comes in for a powerbomb attempt but gets caught in a Russian legsweep which lets Jeff get the tag.

Jeff cleans house, probably finding Cade’s drugs in the process. He misses a dropkick through the ropes though and crashes to the floor, changing the momentum again. Sitout Rock Bottom gets two for Cade. Murdoch comes in and blocks Jeff’s jawbreaker and hits a neckbreaker for two. A big boot puts Jeff down for two. Cade and Murdoch were pretty talented in the ring, but they were just boring at the end of the day. That and the lack of competition is why they’re not remembered that well at all.

The challengers keep double teaming but it’s Cade that gets caught in the jawbreaker, proving that Murdoch is more of a ring technician than his partner. Murdoch also breaks up the hot tag and hits a suplex for two. Jeff mule kicks Cade down but Murdoch breaks up the tag again. Man when that tag hits the roof is going to come off. Murdoch sets for the jump off the middle rope for the sake of jumping into boots, but he blocks the boots, bringing a smile to my face. Jeff makes the tag almost immediately thereafter and the pop isn’t as great as I was expecting.

Matt also cleans house (probably looking for drugs as well), destroying everything in sight. Cade is sent to the floor but the Twist to Murdoch is countered. Side Effect gets two instead as Cade makes the save. Murdoch hits a standing sunset flip bomb for two on Matt. Trevor’s fireman’s carry is countered into the Twist and Swanton, allowing Matt to get the pin to retain.

Rating: B-. This was formula tag wrestling and it worked pretty well. The Hardy reunion didn’t do anything great but it gave both guys something to do for awhile and brought some credibility back to the belts for about ten seconds. Jeff would go on to bigger things of course, moving into the main event scene by the end of the year while Matt would move into the Smackdown midcard.

Umaga gets a pep talk from the McMahons. Shane says he’s ready. Vince says Shane should be ECW Champion but Shane says Vince should get the title instead. Vince likes the idea.

Women’s Title: Melina vs. Mickie James

Melina is defending. Mickie is getting her return match here and is looking very bouncy tonight. They head to the mat to start with Mickie hitting a monkey flip for one. Off to a headlock by the challenger which is reversed into one by Melina. Mickie escapes that with ease so Melina pounds away as she can’t win a wrestling match here. Mickie mounts her (lucky) and pounds away as well.

James goes up top but gets sent out to the floor to give Melina control. She chokes Mickie in the ropes and then hooks a full nelson with her legs. Now it’s a choke in the corner but Mickie escapes. And never mind as Melina comes off with a seated senton to take over again immediately. That gets two so Mickie tries her spin kick. That fails also as Melina counters, sending Mickie down into the splits. James hooks Melina’s legs and they slug it out with both girls in a splits position.

Mickie makes her comeback with forearms and hair tosses. She’s very fired up here and it looks like a good comeback instead of the usual lame Divas offense. Mickie’s rana out of the corner is countered as Melina sends her to the apron. She pops back up and hits a top rope cross body for two. Back to the corner and Melina hits a kick to the head followed by a reverse DDT to retain.

Rating: C+. This was one of the best Divas match I’ve seen in YEARS. Mickie was awesome as was Melina, but most importantly of all: this was treated like a match between two women, rather than a Divas match if that makes sense. The match wasn’t treated like anything different, which is the best thing they could do with the Divas anymore. Also it got time, which helped a lot.

Edge is in the back and says he liked Cena and Michaels having an hour long match on Raw. Maria has a note asking how Edge won his first title, which he says was by cashing in MITB. Mr. Kennedy pops up as the guy that asked him. He’s also the current Mr. MITB and implies he’ll cash in tonight.

Video on The Condemned.

US Title: MVP vs. Chris Benoit

Benoit is defending here and is announced as being from Atlanta for a good reaction. These two had an impromptu match on Smackdown where MVP walked out. A quick Crossface attempt sends MVP to the floor and things slow down. Back in the ring MVP takes over with a headlock on the mat. Benoit bridges up into a backslide for two and then hits a belly to back suplex to break the hold.

The Sharpshooter goes on and MVP is in trouble. He makes the rope before sending Benoit into the corner. A boot to the back of the head takes Benoit down and it’s off to a cravate. Benoit fights out with elbows but walks into an overhead belly to belly for two. Back to the chinlock as the fans chant that MVP is a Power Ranger. Back up and MVP misses a clothesline, allowing the Canadian to hit Rolling Germans on the American.

He goes up for the Swan Dive but MVP hooks his foot before he can get up top. MVP sends him into the corner, further jarring the neck and getting two. Benoit gets a quick Crossface but MVP grabs the ropes. Back to the neck lock but MVP gets caught using the ropes. A big kick to the head puts Benoit down but he snaps off more Rolling Germans to take over. He tries the Swan Dive but it hits knees to change momentum again. MVP hooks a half crab for some reason but it’s broken pretty quickly. Out of nowhere Benoit reverses a suplex into a small package to retain.

Rating: C+. The constant neck holds got repetitive but the match itself was pretty good. MVP would get the title the next month in a 2/3 falls match and would hold the title for almost a year. Benoit wouldn’t live through the end of summer of course, and it’s scary to think that he was in the ring as a champion so close to the end of his life.

Cena says nothing before Orton pops up and talks about how similar they are. He wants an alliance tonight but Cena makes gay jokes. Ron Simmons appears, next.

We recap the ECW Title match but there isn’t much to say here. Lashley beat Umaga at Wrestlemania to have Vince’s head shaved. You know this isn’t cool with Vince so tonight it’s about revenge.

ECW Title: Vince McMahon/Shane McMahon/Umaga vs. Bobby Lashley

Lashley is champion and whoever gets the fall is champion. Shane starts us out and is promptly destroyed. Lashley throws him around and suplexes him down before throwing him to the floor. Bobby wants Vince but Shane staggers back in instead. Off to Umaga who is sent into the corner but Lashley charges into a boot to the face. Well foot tape to the face but you get the idea.

Bobby sends him into the corner again and hits some clotheslines including a big one to send him over the top rope and out to the floor. Down goes Shane so there’s only Vince left on the apron. Instead Shane gets back in and takes a delayed vertical suplex. Umaga tries a headbutt but it hits the Boy Wonder by mistake. Shane finally does something effective by pulling the top rope down to send Bobby out to the floor.

Umaga sends Lashley into the steps as we continue the filler until Vince comes in. Lashley is in trouble but Vince still doesn’t want the tag. Shane puts on a Fujiwara Armbar followed by a hammerlock with knees. Off to a cross armbreaker/triangle choke hybrid which Lashley can’t quite power out of. Scratch that as he hits a kind of powerbomb for two. Back to the Samoan for a headbutt followed by a bearhug.

Bobby escapes for a second but gets caught in a Samoan Drop to put him down again. Shane hooks a camel clutch for longer than should be humanly possible to survive. Lashley gets out of that too with pure power and hits a Torture Rack backbreaker (Shock Treatment ala Abyss) to Shane. Umaga gets speared and it’s a Dominator to Shane but Vince finally comes in for the save. In the confusion Shane gets a belt shot in for two from Vince. Vince is ticked off now and brings in Umaga for a top rope splash. That gets two for Vince as well so Umaga does the exact same thing again to give Vince the title.

Rating: C. This was fine I guess but it would start a huge ordeal with ECW fans saying that Vince was killing the legacy of ECW. You know, because it was SO healthy after guys like Big Show was champion and we got a single ECW Rules match a week if we were lucky and guys like Matt Striker and Elijah Burke and Mike Knox and Test were featured on the show every week. Lashley would get the title back in a month or so before the title fell into the midcard level it would stay at until it was axed.

Vince and company celebrate for awhile before heading to the back and laughing at the ECW Originals.

We recap Taker vs. Batista, which is just another rematch, but this time it’s Last Man Standing. The Mania match was good so hopefully this is too.

Smackdown World Title: Batista vs. Undertaker

Undertaker is defending here. Apparently he’s never lost a last man standing match. I wouldn’t have guessed that. He also might have a bad right arm coming into this. The chokeslam is broken up but the flying clothesline takes Batista down. Old School hits and Batista is in trouble early. Big Dave comes back with something called a powerslam for about four.

Out to the floor and Batista sends him into the barricade to take over. Scratch that as he gets sent into the steps, but Taker’s arm isn’t holding up that well. Batista has a bunch of tape on his leg so Taker has a target as well, making the arm not as much of a handicap. Taker puts him on the apron and drops the leg for a five count or so. Now Undertaker gets sent into the steps but no one can follow up.

They head back into the ring with Batista going up, only to get dropped by an uppercut. A superplex puts Batista down but Undertaker can’t get up either. Batista gets a seven count and they slug it out. A big clothesline puts Taker down for eight, followed by a slam and legdrop from Batista for about six. Taker sends him out to the floor and starts setting up the announce table. Batista avoids the pain though by sending Undertaker into the barricade.

Big Dave sets for a powerslam through the announce table but gets caught in a Russian legsweep, sending him into the barricade for about seven. Undertaker hits him in the face with the steps and Batista barely makes it to his feet. It’s table time with Batista being placed on the table as Undertaker walks the barricade for a legdrop through Batista and the table. That looked pretty awesome but it only gets nine. Something, probably the steps, busted Batista open.

They head back in and Batista hits a spear out of nowhere, getting an eight. Batista snaps and hits three spinebusters but that gets nine as well. The Bomb is countered and Undertaker hits a chokeslam to put both guys down but Batista is up at nine to keep things going. Taker channels his inner idiot and pounds away in the corner, and he deserves the Batista Bomb that he gets.

That still doesn’t end it so Batista cracks him with a chair. Taker backdrops him onto the chair, followed by the Tombstone which STILL only gets nine. The look on Taker’s face is great. They head back to the floor and Taker punches him up the ramp. Batista pounds away at him but the Bomb attempt is countered. Taker tries to throw him off the stage but Batista escapes and spears him off the stage into the electrical equipment, causing an explosion. The match ends in a draw as no one can get up in time.

Rating: B. The ending was a cop out and got booed out of the building, but the rest of it was pretty good. It wasn’t a masterpiece or anything and it really became a rehash of the match at Mania, although with a counting system instead of pins or submissions. Still though it was entertaining and felt like a big time match. They would have even more matches that were good too, so this was a good second match in the series.

Cena dominates the texting poll of who will win, getting 50% of four options. Shawn got 34%, meaning that Edge and Orton combined for 16%.

Music video recaps the main event. Cena is defending against Shawn, Edge and Orton. Shawn was his opponent at Mania and Edge/Orton are here because DX is injured so they have no one to face.

Raw World Title: John Cena vs. Shawn Michaels vs. Edge vs. Randy Orton

One fall to a finish. This is coming off the one hour match between Shawn and Cena on Raw. Shawn talks trash to Cena to start and it turns into a four way argument. Rated RKO yells at the other two until the other two hammer Rated RKO to the floor. Shawn immediately chops Cena into the corner. John comes back with a release fisherman’s suplex for two.

The other two come in and have a staredown of their own. They slug it out with Orton dropkicking Edge to the floor. Cena throws him back in and this time it’s Orton going to the floor, only to be beaten up by Shawn on the other side of the ring. All four head outside now and it’s only Edge on his feet. Shawn slams him down and goes into the ring for a moonsault onto all three guys. That always looks great.

Shawn and Edge get back into the ring but they clothesline each other. Cena comes back in and hits a double top rope Fameasser to take both guys down, getting two on Edge out of it. He goes to cover Shawn but Orton takes his head off with a clothesline. Orton throws out the guys with long hair and hits the backbreaker on Cena for two. A knee drop gets the same and Orton sends Cena shoulder first into the post.

Cena goes to the floor and it’s Shawn taking his place. Forearm and nip up follow but Edge spin wheel kicks him down for two. Orton is mad at Edge now but they team up to put down both guys. Cena gets sent into the table and it’s 2-1 on Shawn in the ring. They both grab a leg and put on what I guess you would call a double half crab. With Shawn in trouble, Cena comes in to take out both guys and save Shawn.

Cena cleans house and hits various signature moves on various opponents. Edge takes the Protoplex and Shuffle after everyone else has been shouldered out. Shawn Orton pull Cena out to the floor and send him into the post, followed by Shawn putting Orton into the same post. Shawn loads up a piledriver onto the table to Orton but Edge cracks him with a chair to break up it. Orton gives him a thumbs up and takes a chair shot for his efforts.

Edge comes into the ring and tries to use the chair on Cena but gets caught in the STF instead. Edge makes the rope and Orton comes in to replace him in the same hold. Shawn comes back in and almost gets caught in the STF but instead it’s a small package on Cena for two. Shawn clears out the ring other than Cena who takes the top rope elbow for two. He loads up the superkick but has to dodge an Edge spear. Edge goes down and the top rope elbow hits him as well.

Orton comes in for the same move but Cena breaks it up before Shawn can jump. Cena tries an FU on Shawn off the top but gets caught in a double electric chair drop off the top with Shawn crashing even harder. Edge and John are the only ones left in the ring but all three of the FU attempts fail. Orton and Shawn come back and it’s an RKO for Michaels. That gets two as Cena saves, as does the Edgecution on Cena. Everyone but Shawn tries finishers on everyone but only Edge hits a spear on Orton. Cena FU’s Edge and gets superkicked onto Randy for the pin. That was a great finish!

Rating: B+. I was really getting into this at the end and Cena getting superkicked down into the pin was a great way to keep everyone looking strong. The ending was so fast that I gave up trying to keep up with everything that was happening. It didn’t come off as a huge main event but at the same time it wasn’t supposed to. Very good stuff here though and everyone came off looking great.

Shawn yells at Cena to end the show.

Overall Rating: A-. DANG this was a solid show. When you have six matches on the card and no filler, it means the matches all get time and are able to develop. Also when the worst match is a good one, it’s hard to call it anything but great. The ending to the main event had me glued to the screen, which is saying a lot when I already knew who was pinning who to win it. This was a great show and well worth checking out.

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