Backlash 2009: The First Time Cena Got Blown Up

Backlash 2009
Date: April 26, 2009
Location: Dunkin’ Donuts Center, Providence, Rhode Island
Attendance: 8,357
Commentators: Jim Ross, Michael Cole, Jerry Lawler

Back with the final chronological Backlash before we jump back to 2006 to close out WWE PPVs. The main events tonight are Edge vs. Cena in a last man standing match and Legacy vs. HHH/Shane/Batista for the other world title which is one of those “whoever gets the pin gets the title” deals. I remember really liking this show so hopefully it’s still good. Let’s get to it.

The opening video is about Wrestlemania and how this is just a replay of the main matches from there. It worked last year so hopefully it does here too. The Hardys fight again tonight too.

ECW Title: Jack Swagger vs. Christian

Christian recently returned and is getting his title match here after winning an overly complicated competition. Swagger takes him down but Christian comes back with right hands and a jumping back elbow for two. Swagger is like screw that and picks Christian up and launches him to the floor. Back inside and Swagger wraps him up on the mat. That gets shifted to a bearhug and the Canadian is in trouble.

Christian breaks it up with some forearms but Swagger gets behind him into a gutbuster for two. Back to that body vice on the mat which plays into Swagger being an All-American wrestler. The Canadian escapes and hits the pendulum kick in the corner but Swagger drills him again. Vader Bomb hits knees but Christian’s tornado DDT is countered as well. Sunset flip gets a VERY close two for the challenger.

Gutwrench powerbomb is countered but Christian’s ribs are getting really banged up now. Swagger puts him on the middle rope and this time the tornado DDT connects, getting two. Jack hits a belly to belly to put Christian down again and they head to the floor. Swagger BLASTS him with a right hand and tries a German off the apron but Christian holds the rope.

Back inside Christian goes up top but gets backdropped down. A top rope Vader Bomb gets two but an Oklahoma Stampede is countered into a rollup for two. The second attempt at the Stampede gets two so they both take off buckle pads. Swagger goes into one first and the Unprettier gets the pin and the title.

Rating: B-. This was the right kind of match for an opener with Christian having to fight from behind until he caught Swagger using his own tricks. Christian would dominate ECW for the next ten months or so until it was replaced by NXT while Swagger would move over to the main shows and become world champion in a questionable move.

Christian celebrates in the back but stops to go talk to Edge. Edge says this must make Christian think he’s better than he is now because Edge doesn’t have a title. Christian wants to know what changed Edge and Edge says it was Cena. That’s why he’s not fun anymore.

Chris Jericho vs. Ricky Steamboat

This should be a treat. The story here is that Jericho went on an anti-legend kick in the past few months until he beat three of them (Piper, Snuka and Steamboat) at Mania. The thing is Steamboat, who might have wrestled one match in 15 years, stole the show and looked like he could still go out there and wrestle for 45 minutes and beat half the guys on the roster. He was 56-57 at this point, so he wanted one last match, one on one with Jericho.

Steamboat takes him down to the mat and Jericho has to get to the rope to escape. Ricky goes to the floor and makes Jericho miss him a few times before hitting a dive over the top and out onto the Canadian. Back in and there’s the armdrag into the armbar. The fans tell Steamboat that he still has it. Jericho gets up but walks right back into the armdrag/bar again. They slug it out and Steamboat is knocked over the top but he skins the cat, because he’s that awesome.

Jericho clotheslines him to the floor and springboard dropkicks him right back down. Off to a chinlock but Steamboat fights out and hits another armdrag. Back to the chinlock as Jericho talks trash. That’s one of the things I’ve always liked about him: he keeps things from getting completely dull during a usually dull part of the match. Back up and Steamboat shoves off the bulldog and Jericho gets caught on the ropes.

Steamboat goes all the way to the back for a belly to back suplex but the delayed cover only gets two. Some chops get another two count as does a powerslam. Jericho comes back with a running enziguri for two and the bulldog puts Steamboat down. The Lionsault is broken up but Jericho reverses the reversal into the Walls. Steamboat slips out from under them but can’t remember how to put on the figure four. That’s where the match gets kind of sad.

Jericho escapes and charges into the post, allowing the top rope crossbody to get two. Ricky goes up again but dives into the Codebreaker….for two. We get the WM 3 ending with the small package out of the slam for two, but Jericho slaps on the Walls and cranks hard for the tap. That’s one of the only times (if not the only time) I can remember Steamboat submitting.

Rating: C+. This is a really hard one to grade. Steamboat tried as hard as he could, but at the end of the day he’s nearing 60 and had wrestled two matches in almost fifteen years. Now don’t get me wrong: Steamboat DID NOT look awful out there, but he looked old. It’s sad to see him when you know what he used to be capable of, but all things considered, this was a solid performance. It’s VERY good that it was the last time too, because it would have gotten bad if he had kept going. The match was fun but it didn’t blow me away like the Mania performance did.

Steamboat gets a standing ovation post match, which he deserves.

Santino runs into Beth in the back and talks to “Santina” on the phone, who says she’s coming. Oh geez I forgot about this. Santino won’t admit he’s Santina and says Beth is the delusional one. Beth breaks up with him.

Kane vs. CM Punk

Punk won MITB and Kane isn’t happy about it. Punk holds him off with some kicks but has to stick and move against the monster. Kane charges into a boot and gets caught in an arm hold over the ropes. Punk dropkicks him to the floor but his dive is caught in a chokeslam position. He fights up to the apron and hits a clothesline down onto Kane to take over again. Kane sends Punk rib first into the post and baseball slides into them, giving him his first advantage.

Off to a bodyscissors as it occurs to me how boring matches can become when there’s no story to them. The reviews of them become boring too because there’s nothing to say here other than the play by play. I don’t like doing them like that but there’s nothing else to do as there’s no story to this at all. Punk elbows out of it but charges into a clothesline. Punk hits a backbreaker to stay on the back which is the same kind of boring match stuff that I was talking about. The wrestling is fine but it’s the same stuff we’ve seen a million times and there’s no reason to care about it because of a lack of a story.

Chokeslam is countered into a DDT on the arm and Punk follows up with kicks to the leg. Well of course he does. Punk hooks a kind of crucifix hold on the arm in the corner but the knee in the corner is countered by a kick to the face. Kane goes up for the clothesline but Punk hits a running enziguri. The GTS is countered but there’s the bulldog and knee. Scratch that, reverse it. You get the idea I’m sure. Punk tries the springboard clothesline but jumps into an uppercut. Kane gets caught in a Fujiwara Armbar but he comes back with a side slam. Punk fires off the strikes but walks into a two arm chokeslam for the pin.

Rating: C-. Nothing to see here as they were totally going through the motions. The match wasn’t bad or anything but there was nothing interesting to it at all. This was there to fill in about fifteen minutes total of PPV time which was fine, but this was nothing you couldn’t see weekly on Smackdown. I was expecting a bit more too.

We recap the battle of the Hardys. Matt went crazy on Jeff after losing the ECW Title and was revealed to be the guy that was causing all kinds of problems for Jeff and ultimately the world title. They had a match at Mania where Matt went insane and got the pin. Then Matt won a stretcher match on Smackdown so tonight it’s an I Quit match. The problem at the end of the day was that people didn’t really want to see these two guys fight. This gets the music video treatment.

Matt Hardy vs. Jeff Hardy

I Quit rules remember. Jeff goes off on him in the corner and hits a seated dropkick to send Matt to the floor. Jeff hits a dive and the referee asks if they want to quit. Yeah they’ll quit a minute into the match, sure. With a running start, Jeff hits Poetry in Motion off the steps. Back in and Jeff hits the slingshot dropkick in the corner. A middle rope legdrop hits Matt and it’s off to a chinlock. The lack of covers is always a bit hard to get used to in these matches.

Matt rams him into the buckle to break the hold but can’t do much to follow up. Jeff goes up but gets shoved to the floor in a great crash. Matt wraps Jeff’s leg around the post and we get the first ask with the mic. Jeff says no both times so Matt bends the knee around the post. Matt puts on a figure four and Jeff still won’t quit. Jerry thinks Matt is going after the knee. You can’t buy this kind of analysis people!

Jeff escapes but gets put right back in it again. That doesn’t work so Matt hooks a seated half crab but Jeff still won’t quit. Matt puts him in the Tree of Woe and bends Jeff’s head back but Jeff won’t quit. Instead of holding him there longer, Matt rants and probably posts a YouTube video about it. He puts Jeff on top but his belly to back superplex is countered into a crossbody.

Jeff hooks a standing Texas Cloverleaf and Matt taps but won’t say he quits. They botch a Twist of Fate so the second attempt works a bit better. Matt still won’t quit so Jeff gets a table. Matt rolls to the floor but Jeff follows with the Twist to take him down again. Back in the ring now and Jeff puts him on the table.

Before he does anything though, Jeff grabs some tape from under the ring and ties Matt’s hands and feet together. Now he gets a rope and ties Matt to the table. Matt still won’t quit so Jeff gets a ladder. Jeff climbs said ladder but Matt begs for mercy. He says Mom and Dad wouldn’t like it and that he loves Jeff. Matt quits to prevent Jeff from jumping.

Rating: C. This was a fun match but the ending hurt it badly. With all the stuff that Matt has been through over the years, he quits to avoid a legdrop through the table? The match was just ok up to that point but at the end of the day like I said earlier, I don’t think people were really that interested in seeing these guys fight. This ended the feud, which is probably best for everyone involved.

Jeff jumps on him anyway.

Orton talks about Batista and how he (Orton) wants the title. He tries to manipulate Dave into believing that HHH is using him.

Here’s Great Khali because he wants to kiss Santina. This isn’t going to end well at all. Ok so there was a battle royal at Mania for the title of Miss Wrestlemania. Santino wore a dress and said he was his own twin sister and won the battle royal. Beth said that it was Santino in drag but he wouldn’t admit it. Khali fell for Santina and wants to kiss her so Santino is in a tight spot. This is one of the dumbest stories I can remember in a very long time, so of course it went on for months.

After Singh says Khali wants Santina, here “she” comes to Billy and Chuck’s old music. Santina says she can’t kiss Khali because she’s not who she says she is. She isn’t single because she’s in love with another man. That man is…..JR. Oh give me a break. From what I can tell, this was another unplanned shot at JR. JR gets annoyed when Santina says he calls her his little slobberknocker. Khali apologizes but wants to see proof of their love in the form of a kiss.

Santina says she’s about to faint and here’s Beth to complain about how stupid this is. She challenges Santina for the crown RIGHT NOW. Khali complains about what’s going on here so Beth explains the whole cross dressing thing to him. She says all of the women in Punjab must be ugly. Either that or Khali is a big idiot. He chops her and the bell rings, giving Santina a win in three seconds. This is one of the dumbest angles I have ever seen and I had almost completely forgotten it. Khali rips Santina’s top off for no apparent reason.

We recap Legacy vs. Batista/HHH/Shane. Orton has basically declared war on the McMahons, having punted Vince and attacked/kissed Stephanie. Shane is the only one left and Batista has been brought in to help with HHH to counteract Legacy. Orton injured Batista and this is his return feud.

Raw World Title: Randy Orton/Legacy vs. Batista/HHH/Shane McMahon

Only Orton can win the title and it can be by pin, submission, countout or DQ. HHH is champion coming in. Legacy is Ted DiBiase and Cody Rhodes in case you’re a young’un. HHH goes right after Orton and they head to the floor. The other four are kind of staring at each other. This is all before the bell. Orton has run off somewhere as HHH comes back to clear the ring. The bell finally rings and there’s no Orton.

Batista starts with Rhodes and destroys him in the corner with the shoulder blocks. He shouts that DiBiase is next and it’s off to Shane who drops a middle rope elbow. Shane works on the arm and it’s off to the champ. HHH fires off right hands and a crotch chop in whatever order you would like to think it was in. DiBiase comes in and is clotheslined down. Shane comes in to play Bret in a Hart Attack for two.

Big Dave comes in again as does Cody. Legacy has had no offense so far at all. There’s a delayed vertical suplex to Rhodes but Cody rakes the eyes and brings in Ted. Legacy gets in some basic offense in the corner as they double team a bit. Batista shrugs that off and hits the spinebuster on DiBiase but Ted bails to the floor before the Bomb can hit. We’re over five minutes into this and Orton hasn’t been seen for any of the actual match.

DiBiase and Batista go up the aisle a bit but it’s more Ted running than anything else. They head back to the ring and here’s Orton to jump Big Dave, sending him into the post. He gets the tag (which wasn’t seen) and goes off on Batista. The fans are into the match now, probably because they knew nothing was going to happen without Randy there. Batista gets beaten down in the corner as the tag is made to Cody.

Legacy and Orton work over Batista on the floor and Orton hits the Elevated DDT for two. Back to DiBiase who hooks a Million Dollar Chinlock. Big Dave comes back with a belly to back suplex but he still can’t make the tag. This is looking like it’s going to be a long match given how early Batista is getting beaten down. Randy comes back in and things slow down again. Even JR is thinking he’s going too slowly.

Off to another chinlock which is pretty quickly broken. Batista comes out of nowhere with a freaking flying headbutt of all things. Hot tag brings in Shane who cleans house. Neckbreaker gets two on Rhodes. They head to the floor and Shane pulls the top off of the table but Cody heads back in. The top rope elbow gets two as DiBiase makes the save. Orton sends Shane into the steps and we go into heel control segment #2.

Randy is legal now but he brings Ted back in for fear of being interesting. Shane gets worked over on the floor a bit more and it’s back to Cody again. Legacy keeps tagging in quickly as it’s back to Orton who pulls Shane back into the wrong corner. He dropkicks Shane down and DiBiase comes in for some elbow drops. It’s amazing that this is the peak of DiBiase’s career to this point, especially when it was him who everyone thought he was the star of Legacy.

Cody hooks a front facelock which lasts about a full minute before Shane suplexes him out of it. Back to DiBiase who keeps Shane in the ring even longer. There’s the Million Dollar Dream but Shane escapes. There’s the double tag to Orton and HHH with the Game pounding away in the corner. Legacy gets thrown to the floor and there’s a spinebuster to Orton for two.

Everything breaks down and Cody blasts Shane with a chair. Batista gets hit in the throat with it too as the Pedigree and RKO are both countered. HHH has to take the chair away from Batista to avoid the DQ, but he walks into the RKO for two. The bell rings but it has to be waived off. The Punt gives Orton the title.

Rating: B-. This was a bit of a mess but after the mess that was the main event of Mania, it was definitely the right idea to bring in four other people. Orton would feud with Batista for awhile until Big Dave got hurt (again) before feuding with Cena to end the year. HHH would feud with Orton and Legacy for awhile before hooking up with Shawn again for another DX reunion.

HHH gets taken out on a stretcher.

We recap Edge vs. Cena, which is a rematch from the triple threat three weeks ago minus Big Show. That’s the match with the double AA to both guys in the mind blowing spot of the match. Cena took the title from Edge and tonight is Edge’s rematch in a last man standing match. The theme of the video is that Edge has had Cena’s number over the years and it’s really well made.

Smackdown World Title: Edge vs. John Cena

The brand of the titles is pretty much a guess at this point as they were moving around a lot at this time. Cena is defending and this is last man standing in case you forgot what you read about 20 seconds ago. Cena took a Conchairto on Raw so he’s a bit messed up in the cranium. This is billed as the last match between the two. I’m sure. Edge avoids the bulldog to start and it’s a standoff.

The challenger bails to the floor but misses the spear back in. Edge takes over by pounding on him in the corner before walking into a release fisherman’s suplex. An Edge-O-Matic puts Cena down as we focus on the back of Cena’s head. Edge wins a slugout and puts Cena down with another shot to the head. A flapjack puts Cena down again and we get a logical sleeper. Edge puts him down and finally lets go but Cena is up at seven.

Cena comes back with the shoulder blocks but Edge breaks up the Shuffle. There’s a Sharpshooter of all things but Cena gets up again. Edge knocks him off the apron and into the table as we get to the more wild part of the match. That shot only gets another seven so Edge loads up the steps. The spear that Edge tries hits the steps though and Cena gets a breather. At six though Edge comes back and sends him into the steps again, putting the champ down.

Now Edge goes into the steps again as this is feeling like it’s on a loop. After another eight count Cena picks up the steps and puts them in the ring albeit with some difficulty. Edge gets in another shot to the head and Cena is down again. The Canadian crushes Cena in the corner with the steps and dropkicks them into his body but both guys are down as a result. Back up and Cena launches Edge to the floor. We’re about twelve minutes into this and it hasn’t been all that great so far.

Things pick up a bit with Cena picking up the steps and throwing them over the top rope and right onto Edge’s head. Edge is up at eight and Cena is getting fired up. Back in the ring and they slug it out some more with a double punch putting both guys down. Back up and three AA’s, an Edgecution and an Edge-O-Matic are all broken up before Edge hits a belly to back suplex to take over.

He brags too much though and Edge gets caught in the STF. He taps but it doesn’t matter. As with any submission hold, Cena lets go early (I wonder if he did that with Mickie….allegedly) and Edge is up at 8. The AA is broken up again and Edge spears him down. Edge goes up top and Cena FINALLY hits the AA off the ropes but it doesn’t finish things either. Cena goes up but dives into another spear. Now this is getting better.

The spear only gets nine and Edge is stunned. Both guys are barely able to stand at this point. Scratch that as Cena collapses and falls to the floor. Edge won’t let the referee count and tries the Edgecution on the table, but Cena counters and hits an AA into the crowd. That wouldn’t really do a ton of damage in theory but the landing would, as the fans mostly caught Edge. It gets another nine and Edge is up, although he’s leaning on the barricade. Cena is stunned.

Edge is like screw this and runs off into the crowd with Cena chasing him up the stairs. They head into the concourse and Cena catches up with him, only to head right back into the arena. They go back down some different stairs and Cena bulldogs him onto the equipment area. Edge pops up and hits Cena with something metal as they go to the stage.

An Edgecution (the inverted DDT in case you don’t remember what that move is) on the steel puts Cena down for nine. Edge goes into the back and comes back with a chair. Gee that’s kind of lame now. He gives Cena a Conchairto on the stage….for eight. Edge’s spear is caught in the AA and here’s Big Show to chokeslam Cena through an exploding spotlight, giving Edge the title.

Rating: A-. This is one of those matches that really is better when you watched it live. I remember wondering what they could POSSIBLY do to end this and then Big Show came out to blow stuff up. They had to do something like that given all of the stuff they had done so far and the explosion filled that role pretty well. The first ten minutes are just ok but after that it kicks into gear in a hurry. Great match here.

Cena is taken out on a stretcher as Edge watches from the stage. People were BEGGING for Punk to cash in here but that wouldn’t be for a few more months.

Overall Rating: B. Another good show here with a solid main event. These Wrestlemania repeat shows are usually good despite having the same matches for a lot of the time. This one wasn’t quite as good as the previous year’s show but it was still a very solid entry with mostly satisfying matches, other than a few questionable ones here and there. Oh and the Santino stuff was freaking stupid. Other than that, good stuff though.

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