Date: April 25, 2008
Location: Greensboro Coliseum, Greensboro, North Carolina
Commentators: Michael Cole, Jonathan Coachman
It’s the go home show for Backlash and most of the show is set. We should be in for little more than a table setting show this week, as all WWE needs to do is hype up the pay per view a bit more. Undertaker isn’t going to be happy with Edge for helping to take out Kane on ECW, so vengeance may be required. For tonight though, he gets to defend the World Title against Batista. Let’s get to it.
We open with a recap of Undertaker’s issues with Edge/Vickie Guerrero/La Familia, setting up tonight’s title match against Batista.
Here is La Familia to get things going. Edge praises Vickie Guerrero for everything she has done to get them here like the eye roll inducing villain that he is. Vickie announces that Undertaker vs. Batista is now No DQ, meaning they can beat each other up even more. Cue CM Punk to interrupt, with Edge mocking him for the King Of The Ring loss.
Punk holds up the Money In The Bank briefcase and says it’s a better way to the top than sleeping with the boss. He teases cashing in tonight, which doesn’t sit well with Edge. Not that it matters as Punk can beat Edge too, so Vickie makes the match for tonight. Edge promises to bankrupt Punk tonight. Good promo from Punk, as Edge seemed to remember the power of the briefcase.
The Miz vs. Shannon Moore
John Morrison is on commentary and Jimmy Wang Yang is here with Moore. Miz grabs a headlock takeover to start as Morrison goes on a rant about….saving the Earth? Anyway, Moore comes back with a headscissors but Miz pulls pulls him off the middle rope for a crash. A camel clutch keeps Moore in trouble and a hard clothesline takes him down again. The cobra clutch goes on but Moore fights up, only to get knocked right back down. The Reality Check is loaded up but Moore reverses into a backslide for the fast pin.
Rating: C-. Not much to this one as the feud between these teams continue, despite Miz and Morrison beating them multiple times already. I still like the Moore/Yang team, just for the sake of throwing two people together to see if they can get somewhere. If there was an actual tag division around here, it might make more of a difference, but this is about as much as you can expect right now.
We look at the Presidential candidates addressing Raw this week. Still a fairly cool moment.
Cherry vs. Natalya Neidhart
Michelle McCool and Victoria are here too. Natalya takes her down without much trouble to start and we’re in the chinlock fifteen seconds in. A series of slams drop Cherry again and Natalya slaps her in the face a few times. Cherry slaps back but Natalya goes to the leg to take over. A leglock has Cherry in trouble but she’s back up with a bulldog for two. That’s enough for Natalya, who grabs the Sharpshooter for the tap.
Rating: C-. Cherry is another of the long list of women who don’t exactly shine in the ring but since Deuce N Domino are nothing these days, what else is she supposed to do? Putting her in the ring as a punching bag works well enough for a short match, but she is going to need to be able to do more than slap and bulldog to matter much. Then again, it isn’t like the women’s wrestling on Smackdown matters in any meaningful way, so Cherry might not have many worries.
Video on Big Show vs. Great Khali.
Here is Matt Hardy for a chat with Michael Cole. We look at MVP injuring Matt’s knee five months ago but Matt says his knee is 100%. At Backlash, MVP is going to find out what kind of a threat Hardy is…but here is MVP to interrupt. MVP has Cole leave and accuses Matt of distorting the facts. Matt says MVP is scared but MVP isn’t having that. The reality is that he has accomplished more in a few months than Matt has in his entire career (that’s a stretch). MVP holds up the belt and then kicks Matt in the knee/hits him in the head with the belt, leaving Matt looking….I guess you could say confused?
WWE had a Reading Challenge for Wrestlemania. Nothing wrong with that.
Edge vs. CM Punk
Punk shoves Edge into the corner to start but Edge is right back with a hammerlock. That’s reversed into a cradle for one and Punk cranks on the arm as well. Back up and Edge kicks away at Punk’s ribs but Punk is right back on the arm. Punk goes up top but gets knocked out to the floor as we take a break.
Back with Edge working on a bodyscissors until Punk catapults him into the corner. They hit stereo crossbodies for a double knockdown but Edge rolls through a middle rope crossbody for two. The GTS doesn’t work so Punk settles for the knee into the corner into the bulldog back out of it.
Edge’s Edge-O-Matic gets two more but Punk scores with the springboard clothesline. Another GTS attempt is countered into the Edgecution for two but Punk is back up for the GTS. Edge rolls outside before the cover though and Punk is frustrated. He’s also distracted by an interfering Zack Ryder, allowing Edge to hit a spear for the pin.
Rating: B-. These two were having the main event style match and it got some time to make it better. What matters more in the bigger picture though is having Punk not only rubbing elbows with but being a threat to beat main eventers. He is on the way up from ECW and into the bigger picture and having matches like this will help that transition more than anything else. They even made it clear that Edge was beaten and only survived due to the luck of falling out of the ring in a nice touch. Good match here, and it should help Punk in the long run.
We look at William Regal winning the King Of The Ring. William Regal looking mostly insane while sitting on the throne is a great visual.
Vladimir Kozlov vs. Marty Garner
Kozlov easily takes him over with a headlock before headbutting Garner down with ease. The reverse DDT gives Kozlov the fast pin in another squash.
We look at Undertaker’s introduction of the triangle choke, which has been quite devastating.
Batista goes to see Vickie Guerrero and promises to win the title back tonight. Then he’ll hurt Edge on Backlash.
We look at the Hilary Clinton vs. Barack Obama match on Raw, with Umaga saving us from what I’m assuming was Vince McMahon’s fever dream come to life.
Smackdown World Title: Batista vs. Undertaker
Undertaker is defending and this is No DQ. We get the Big Match Intros (the Big Gold Belt being held up as the prize is always cool) and Undertaker starts in on the arm. With that broken up, Undertaker is right back on the arm before Batista hits a spear. Undertaker is fine enough to go for the triangle choke before Batista can get up but the quick escape sends us to a break.
Back with Undertaker hitting the apron legdrop but Old School is broken up. Undertaker breaks up a superplex attempt and now Old School can connect. A quick spinebuster (or powerbomb according to Cole) gives Batista two but the Batista Bomb is countered with a backdrop. Batista blocks the chokeslam and a powerslam gets two more. Undertaker is back up with a chokeslam for two of his own but another spear cuts him down.
For some reason Batista rains down right hands in the corner, earning himself the Last Ride for another near fall. The steps are brought in (as I remember this is No DQ) but Batista spinebusters him onto said steps. The Batista Bomb is loaded up…and Shawn Michaels runs in with Sweet Chin Music to drop Batista. Undertaker Tombstones him for the pin to retain.
Rating: B. Mostly unnecessary stipulation aside, this did feel like an important match and that is always appreciated. These two have great chemistry together and they beat the fire out of each other until Shawn came in for the storyline advancing ending. Good main event here, as two monsters beating on each other for a long time is rather nice to see, especially on free TV.
Overall Rating: B-. The two big matches carried the show, especially with the first two shorter matches not exactly working. Backlash is feeling like a very top heavy show, but the three or so matches on top of the card should be more than enough to carry things. Good enough show here, and I’m wanting to see Backlash so we can call it a success too.
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