Saturday, January 20, 2007

WWE Backlash ‘04

1. Shelton Benjamin vs. Ric Flair – 5
Shelton and Ric didn’t work together flawlessly, but I still felt this was a pretty solid opener. To this day, Benjamin’s still learning a lot in the ring, and becoming a better performer. Here, a battle weary veteran, the legendary and lumpy Flair, led the youngster to a decent bout. The finish, coming after a less than spectacular top-rope clothesline by Shelton, was pretty weak; but the crowd seemed to enjoy this.

2. Jonathan Coachman vs. Tajiri - 2
Coachman showed that he could wrestle, or at least a little bit. Coming from an athletic background, he managed to not look too bad, nailing a few decent takeovers and armdrags. The crowd couldn’t care less, though; plus, the finish, featuring interference by borderline bottom dweller Lance Cade, was poor.

3. Chris Jericho vs. Christian and Trish Stratus – Handicap Match - 5
This was an average match, at best, but more built around story than action. Jericho did take a decent bump to the floor, though, and did what he could to make this one worth watching. Christian just doesn’t have enough skill, in my opinion, to be a top-level heel, or face, for that matter. Trish didn’t do much, outside of bounce around a lot, for maximum cleavage fun.

4. Victoria vs. Lita - 4
A pretty slow-paced woman’s match, but better than a lot of what we got in 2006. They actually gave it a little bit of time, and although the strikes, like most WWE women’s matches, were incredibly weak, it wasn’t an altogether bad effort. Lita tried to roll out of the way of a top-rope Victoria moonsault, but didn’t move quickly enough, and Victoria ended up landing face first on Lita’s legs. Victoria also did her little jiggle, which looks like Electro is fingering her, before a standing moonsault.

5. Mick Foley vs. Randy Orton – No Holds Barred Match - 8
This was pretty solid for a wild WWE brawl. Both guys bled a lot, used barbwire, chairs, tables, and thumbtacks. Orton earned a lot of people’s respect, after taking a shirtless bump into the thousands of thumbtacks. The end, Foley being pinned after taking an RKO on a barbwire baseball bat, was kind of anticlimactic following such a thrilling build-up. Still, this is one of the more chaotic matches in recent WWE history.

6. The Hurricane and Rosey vs. La Resistance - 3
An unmemorable tag match, that was sadly void of any ingenuity or creativity. I’d rather watch Le Resistance stick French bread up Rosey’s chapped asshole.

7. Kane vs. Edge - 3
This was Edge’s big return match, and boy, did it ever immediately put me to sleep. Kane’s so ridiculously predictable and unappealing.

8. Triple H vs. Shawn Michaels vs. Chris Benoit - 8
This was a really good main event, and especially important, as it took place in Benoit’s hometown, so the crowd was extremely hot. Triple H’s contributions were nil, and Michaels, as he sometimes does, had a dumb hollow look on his face, and didn’t perform nearly to the level he’s capable of. Benoit worked hard, though; still, this could have been a lot better. I’d have rated it a little lower, but thought the finish, seeing Michaels cleanly submit to Benoit, was a great ending, and gave the raucous crowd exactly what they wanted for once.

9. Val Venis vs. Matt Hardy - 4
This was a DVD bonus match, from Sunday Night Heat; and, while I like both of these guys, this was wrestled as a Sunday Night Heat match, and nothing more. That is to say, these two have a potentially great match in them, but we were given an eight-minute, moderately enjoyable, yet safe, match.

Overall, I thought this was a pretty solid pay-per-view, and subsequently DVD. I was really enjoying myself watching the first-half of the show, but man, after Orton and Foley’s massacre, things started taking a turn for the suck real suddenly. When this show originally aired, I watched it in a sweltering hot living room, in some godforsaken hellhole neighborhood; I remembered falling asleep during the handicap match, Orton’s big bump, and not much else. So, it was nice to give it another chance on DVD. The bonus features are pretty forgettable, mostly bad pre- and post-match promos, notably a Foley interview, complete with bloody face. I had a bloody face, too; after reading Foley’s novel Scooter.

1 comment:

Jessie said...

yes, i remember seeing this in the sweltering sauna called james' living room; ...but there are two matches that are bonified classics on here...i need to reexamine this myself.