One More Match… One More Match… the tagline for 2005 Backlash event. The immortal Hulk Hogan will team up with Shawn Michaels to defend America. Whilst Batista looks to cement his World championship victory over the Game at WrestleMania; in a rematch with Triple H. Jim Ross and Jerry Lawler present the Raw exclusive PPV event, coming live from Manchester, New Hampshire, as the seventh annual Backlash takes place. Get ready for the WWE Backlash 2005 review
Intercontinental Championship Match
Chris Jericho vs Shelton Benjamin (c)
Our first match sees Chris Jericho challenge Shelton Benjamin for the Intercontinental Championship. Amazingly, and completely forgotten about Benjamin has held the title since October’s Taboo Tuesday when he beat Chris Jericho. Much empathise is made on how Jericho can extend his record of 7 IC title reigns.
One key wow moment see’s Jericho on the top rope, only for Shelton to run and jump to the top rope; incredible stuff, reversing Jericho’s momentum into a superplex. Loving the chemistry between these two guys, Benjamin is explosive whilst Jericho is on fire. Shelton hits a stunning T-Bone suplex on Jericho, who is able to break the count with a rope break. Jericho reverses Shelton into the Walls of Jericho, Benjamin crawls to the rope to keep the match going. Chris plants Shelton to the matt, goes for the Lionsualt, Benjamin counters with the knees, several fall reversals allows Shelton to secure the three count. Jericho is frustrated, and avoids an interview with Todd Grisham. A very solid opening match.
Winner: Shelton Benjamin
Match Rating: 4 out of 5
Backstage, the Coach is with Mr Money In The Bank, Edge. Edge reminds the world how he prevented Benoit from winning at WrestleMania. We are getting ready for Last Man Standing match. Completely forgot about this feud, I expect a good match up!
World Tag Team Championship
Five Team Elimination Turmoil Match
Heart Throps (Romeo & Antonio) vs Tajiri & William Regal (c)
I loved the Heart Throps theme song! Always blasted it out when I had a chance, these guys didn’t last long. Our first match up in the turmoil sees a rematch from Raw (in Birmingham UK, my first WWE show). The champions will have to survive four teams to retain their titles. Romeo and Antonio get a great start, showing strong offence on Tajiri in the opening of the match. However Tajiri is able to reverse Romeo into a three count… great PPV debut guys see you soon.
Tajiri & William Regal (c) vs Simon Dean and Maven
Just as the Simon System music hits, I immediately assume the Spirit Squad arrived a year too early. Maven is teaming with Simon Dean? Seriously guys, this is the downside of the brand split random guys teaming with no real substance; least they are purple co-ordinated. Regal is finally entered into the match, a hard elbow into Simon Dean to eliminate Dean & Maven
Tajrii & William Regal (c) vs La Resistance (Rob Conway & Sylvain Grenier)
The French tag team come storming to the ring, attacking Regal and Tajiri who have fallen ring side. They get quick offence in the match, until Regal takes control once again. Tajiri hit spider rack, only for Conway to roll up William Regal for the three count. With one more team remaining we have new tag team champions… who will it be?
La Resistance vs Hurrican & Rosey
Ah Rosey the Super Hero In Training… subtle language abbreviations. La Resistance keeps the momentum breaking down Hurricane. Rosey gets the tag and uses his weight advantage to secure the momentum, almost picking up the win with a big slam. Hurricane & Rosey use the top rope super jump (I will go with that name…) to pick up the win and become Tag Team Champions
Winners Hurricane & Rosey to become new World Tag Team Champions
I am not a massive fan of gauntlet matches, so many matches and never enough time to make them have justice, several teams looked really weak as a result. Obviously the championships looked strong winner the first three matches. Overall enjoyable filler none-the-less.
Match rating 2 out 5
Last Man Standing Match
Edge vs Chris Benoit
Such a clever way to turn a multi-man ladder match into a heated feud. During WrestleMania’s Money In The Bank match, Edge traps Benoits arm between a ladder. Severe damaging his arm. Benoit, sells the injury brilliantly as he tries to reach for the briefcase. Only for Edge to plant a chair into Chris’ arm, allowing Edge to make history. Up next is the last man standing match, this should be a good match.
The tension between these men are felt from the get-go, with the action spilling out of the ring and into the crowd quickly. Benoit is able to take advantage knocking Edge down with a dustbin lid. Several offences from inside the ring, Edge takes a couple of 8 counts to get to his feet. Benoit decides to take a flying headbut dive from through the ropes, only for Edge to hit Chris square in the head with a dustbin lid. Both men climb to the top of the turnbuckle, Edge hits a devastating superplex onto a trash can below, ouch!
The historic ladder enters the match, poetic justice from WrestleMania. Edge decides to climb the ladder; Benoit isn’t sleeping and hits a huge German suplex from the ladder, knocking both men down. Another German Suplex to Edge; Benoit sees the light, climbing the ladder to hit a diving headbutt only to miss. Edge opts to use the briefcase on Benoit, only to be reversed into a crippler cross face. Edge taps, however that doesn’t end the match. Benoit holds on to the submission, Edge is dazed. Both men get up, Benoit hits multiple reverse Belly to Belly Suplexes. “Edge must be Suplex drunk”, thank you JR!
Edge hits the spear on Benoit, who gets up. A second spear on Benoit, who gets up again. Edge then goes for the briefcase, who reveals a brick. Edge plants the brick onto Chris’ head knocking Benoit out for the 10 count. Post match, Chris is dazed, JR eludes to a possible concussion… if only he know.
I really enjoyable Last Man Standing match, not your conventional blood bath heavy weapon use match. More a clever use of psychology and cementing Edge as the opportunist.
Match Rating: 4 out of 5
In the ring, Jerry Lawler reveals the 2005 Diva’s Swim Suit magazine; introducing five divas to the ring. Each in term showcase their favourite photo. If I am honest I skipped this, until Chris Masters interrupts. Masters issues an open masterlock challenge, picking out a shorty. Turns out the person he picks is a female bodybuilder; Masters pulls the horrible line you put the man into Manchester. $3000 stays with Masters tonight as he destroys the poor Melisa.
Kane vs Viscera
How did Trish and Lita get mixed up in this… really not looking forward to this. Big men matches rarely rise to the occasion. The action spills outside, with Lita distracting Vis. Trish goes after Kane with a chair, only to be hit square in the face with a crutch. Big V goes after Lita, Kane then hits Vis with a chokeslam for the win.
Match rating: 2 out of 5
Trish and Lita make this match, otherwise a pretty poor match. Post match Trish says it how it is to Vis. Trish gets bear hugged and then body splashed for good measure, Trish is taken out on a stretcher.
Muhammad Hussan & Davari vs Hulk Hogan and Shawn Michaels
It’s time for one more match, the Immortal Hulk Hogan teams with Shawn Michaels. Wow the crowd erupts for the new Hall Of Famer, 21 years ago he captured the WWE Championship from the Iron Shiek. On reflection this match made sense and thankfully his last run in WWE and nicely set up his clash with Michaels at Summerslam.
It is only fitting that Shawn Michaels gets beaten up in this match, only to build up to the big save from the Hulkster. Davari and Hassan take control, being cheeky natural heels. Using a lead pipe behind the referees back to get the advantage. Even getting a near fall on Hogan, only for the Hulkster to Hulk up. Several distractions later, finally move into the “Dream” teams favour. Shawn Michaels hits Sweet Chin Music allowing Hogan to pin Davari for the victory.
Winners: Hulk Hogan and Shawn Michaels
Match Rating: 2 out of 5.
For a spectacle side of things, this had lots of natural hype to see Hogan compete one more time. Surprisingly the whole match including entrances lasted 35 minutes. It was okay, but obviously used a tool to fuel Hogan vs Michaels.
Before the main event we are treated to Christian entering the ring, who addresses his Peeps, saying this might be the last time you see him on a Raw PPV. He then talks about the other main eventers aiming a battle rap to John Cena. Christian proclaims he will champions because that’s how he rolls.
World Heavyweight Championship Match
Triple H vs Batista (c)
The build up video for Batista Triple H II wasn’t massively inspiring. The whole story is based on Batista winning the title and being a marked man. Triple H is lost without the belt. What is good is the importance of the Pedigree; so much empathism on Triple H hitting his finisher. It’s Game Over if his hits that move, something which is meaningless today.
Main Event Time
Nature Boy Ric Flair comes to the ring and introduces Triple H to the ring. Batista then comes to the ring. A slow start to the match, Triple H tries a couple of times to lock in the Pedigree, Batista even manages to launch Triple H over the top rope. HHH regains momentum with a spine-buster to the security rail.
As expected, Ric Flair gets involved, chopping Batista behind the referees back. This happens on several occasions. The Animal gets Batista ready to hit the Batista bomb, Natch distracts the ref and throws the belt in the ring. Triple H counters the bomb hitting Batista with the belt. The Game is livid with the 2 count, so the ref gets knocked out. The Game hits a Pedigree, but there is no referee! A second ref comes to the ring, but to no luck. The Game decides to spaghetti walk, only to low blow the referee. Flair gets involved again, Triple H hits another low blow on Batista. He is getting desperate to win. HHH throws Batista into the corner, starts hitting the hard punches of Batista, only for the Animal to counter into a Batista Bomb. A slow moving referee counts the three count. Batista is sstill the World Heavyweight Champion.
Not a bad main event, I liked how the finishing moves meant something. Plenty of near executions and counters of the Pedigree. The ending was a bit sketchy, too many ref bumps and cheating. However exactly to HHH’s character at the time.
Match Rating 3 out of 5
Backlash 2005 Review Overview
Despite attending the Raw building up to Backlash, I don’t think I have ever seen the show before. It was okay, some good matches but plenty of passable filler. The last man standing match, for it’s time was a disappointment, but really good in the “PG” expectations. The main event was to be expected, nothing special but worth the watch.
Backlash 2005 rating 3 out of 5