a reviewer on DVD Talk, there is a page we go to where we can select DVDs to
review from a list of screener titles that HQ has recieved. After submitting my
last batch of reviews, I noticed that there were three WWE PPV titles on there:
Armageddon, Unforgiven and Backlash. Since i've become the de facto WWE reviewer
on the site (a title I don't mind one bit), I decided to select the three sight
unseen (believe it or not, it can become a chore at times..). Imagine my
surprise, after opening the screener shipment, to discover that Backlash
featured a match with Chris Benoit. Now, this wasn't his final PPV appearance
(that would be Judgment Day), but a wave of melancholy came over me as I
watched him put on a great match with MVP.
Anyways, the ninth annual Backlash PPV took place at the Philips Arena in Atlanta,
Georgia on April 29, 2007. It has a running time of two hours 41 minutes and was
the first PPV after Vince decided there would no longer be a brand "separation"
where PPVs were concerned. Here's the card:
- World Tag Team Championship Match [the
Hardys vs. Lance Cade & Trevor Murdoch] - As I write this, Jeff has
been teased with a shot at the WWE belt for a few months now and Matt has
been out after an appendectomy (along with a swift kick to the head from Randy
Orton). Needless to say, it was great to see them teaming against Cade and
Murdoch - another team woefully mishandled on RAW (as are most tag teams).
- Shane & Mr. McMahon pump up Umaga for their match
- Women's Championship Match [Melina vs. Mickie James] - I
spent the majority of this match wondering how hard it is for a competent
wrestler to carry a wrestler with "limited" wrestling skills. Well, that, and
thinking that Mickie is pretty darn cute and it's a damn shame she's not utilized
- Maria interviews Edge - The always-entertaining Edge is asked
about his previous victory against John Cena to become WWE Champion.
- the Condemned [Behind the scenes look at the fighting] - A 1½
minute promo for the Condemned.
- United States Championship Match [Chris Benoit vs. MVP] -
This WrestleMania rematch, like most Chris Benoit matches, was pretty damn
entertaining. It's just a damn shame.
- Todd Grisham interviews John Cena
- 2-On-1 Handicap Match For the ECW Heavyweight Championship [Bobby
Lashley vs. Umaga, Mr. McMahon & Shane McMahon] - At this point in
time, original ECW fans realize that the ECW they knew is long gone.
There might currently be a show on the air bearing the name ECW (on the SCI-FI
but it's a hollow shell of the promotion it once was. Joey Styles got it right "This
may be the darkest day in the long, historic history of ECW".
- the Condemned [the critics response] - A collection of quotes
from such esteemed critics as Ain't It Cool News and Maxim magazine.
- Umaga, Mr. McMahon & Shane McMahon celebrate victory - To add
salt to the wounds of any ECW fans out there watching this, Vince and Shane run
into ECW Originals Sandman, Tommy Dreamer, Rob Van Dam and Sabu backstage.
- Last Man Standing Match For the World Heavyweight Championship [Batista
vs. Undertaker] - This 33 minute match would've been more intense had
they not wasted close to 1/3 of it on Batista and Undertaker's entrances.
That aside, it wasn't that bad of a match - particularly when Taker slapped Batista on the SmackDown! announce table and did a leg drop off of the barricade. I also
enjoyed the conclusion of the match; where Taker starts to give Batista a tombstone piledriver, but Batista
gets out of it. He strikes back with a spear that carries both he and Taker off
the stage - part of which falls on them.
- Fatal 4-Way Match for the WWE Championship [John Cena vs. Shawn
Michaels vs. Edge vs. Randy Orton] - Though I like ½ of the performers
in this match (Edge & HBK), it didn't have as much spontaneity as i've come
to expect in
my Edge/Michaels matches. I suppose it was the few times it seemed as if the
participants were standing around and waiting for Shawn, and then Cena to
high-flying spots that bugged me. However, the fast-paced conclusion more than made up for it.
I also can't believe that only 6% of AT&T mobile voters voted for Edge, while a
whopping (and unbelievable) 50% voted for Cena. Were they taking Cena's in-ring
ability into account? Or was it predictability? Either way, the execution of the
finale kinda eased the pain a bit..
- Todd Grisham interviews Mr. Kennedy - Todd asks Kennedy why he didn't cash in his MItB case
- Rob Van Dam comments on Mr. McMahon becoming the ECW Heavyweight Champion
- I'd like to say that Rob is shooting from the hip. However, from what i've
seen about Vince, it wouldn't surprise me if he wrote these comments himself.
Backlash's picture was colorful and much sharper than the television
broadcast. It's also presented in the WWE's standard full frame 1.33:1 ratio.
Audio: The Dolby Digital 5.1 track was clear, with the majority of the sound
in the fronts and the center speaker and the slightest of ambience coming from
the rears. For those of you that habla the Ingles, there's also a Spanish track
Conclusion: After my initial surprise at the age of this PPV, I have to say
that I enjoyed it. It was great seeing the Hardys wrestle together (it always
is) and I also enjoyed watching MVP and Benoit wrestle. On the strength of those
two things, as well as the woefully underutilized Mickie James, I would
Recommend this DVD to WWE wrestling fans. Then again, considering the age of
this PPV, you probably already have it.