Usually Backlash doesn’t offer much in terms of big time matches or title changes. WWE took that trend in a different direction Sunday as all three world champions were felled by their challengers with two of them being taken away on a stretcher as a result of the match. It was an up-and-down night that certainly ended with a bang.
Jim Ross billed the Last Man Standing match between John Cena and Edge as the final saga between the two men. With the World Heavyweight Championship at stake, the duo stared off in front of a raucous crowd before finally locking up.
Early on, each man tried for their finishing moves but the other was too quick and too fresh to even come close to being caught. A few minutes in and the crowd is already more into this match than the WWE Championship match, proving worthy of the main event slot.
Edge locks in a Sharpshooter, using the ropes for leverage before giving it up. Referee Charles Robinson starts counting and Cena pulls himself up on the apron using the ropes. The second he gets up, Edge knocks him off the apron and into the announce desk. Cena’s up at eight.
Edge sets Cena up in the crease of the steps and runs at him, but Cena moves out of the way and Edge goes shoulder-first into the steps. They are both using the steps as weapons, sending each other into them. Cena gets the upper-hand and sends Edge into the ring and then throws the bottom portion of the steps into the ring. He charges Edge, but Edge kicks him right in the face.
Edge then nails Cena with the steps and then sets the steps up in the corner with Cena behind them and dropkicks the steps.
Edge runs at Cena but Cena uses his own momentum to send him over the top and to the floor. Cena grabs the steps and chucks them at Edge on the outside, hitting the Rated-R Superstar in the face. Edge is up at eight.
They then go into the “boo/yay” punching streak. Then they lean on each other, totally out of it before knocking each other down. The double count ends at eight.
Cena goes for the Attitude Adjustment three times but Edge escapes each time and Edge hits a back suplex. Edge goes for the “You Can’t See Me” but as he turns, Cena hops up and hits a drop-toe hold into the STF. Edge taps, but that currency’s no good here. Cena holds on and then gets up and lets Robinson count. Edge is up at eight.
Cena goes for the Attitude Adjustment again, but Edge holds the ropes and explodes for a spear. Now both men are down.
Edge gets up and goes to the top rope, but Cena stops him and lifts him up and hits the Attitude Adjustment from the second turnbuckle. Cena is up at six while Edge makes it to his feet at nine. Cena cannot believe it.
Cena goes to the top rope but on his way down, Edge spears him out of the air. Cena gets up at eight but immediately collapses out of the ring. Edge goes to the outside and Edge starts clearing off the announce table. Cena counters Edge and lifts him up and hits the Attitude Adjustment into the crowd! Robinson hops into the crowd to count and Edge barely makes it back up at nine.
Now Edge hightails it into the crowd and all the way up to the concourse. They run around the concourse and then back into the arena. They end up near the bottom of the bowl and Cena hits a running bulldog onto some equipment boxes on the floor near the stage.
Edge gets up and nails Cena with a hard hat of all things. Now they’re on the stage and Edge hits a DDT onto the steel. Edge goes backstage and grabs a chair and hits Cena in the back with it. With Cena down, Edge hits a conchairto. Cena fights to get back up and he’s up with half a second to spare.
Edge goes to spear Cena off the stage but Cena lifts him up for the Attitude Adjustment. As he’s about to dump Edge off the stage, Big Show comes out from behind the stage and stops Cena. He grabs Cena and chokeslams him through a giant light off to the side of the stage. The light explodes and the back is actually on fire. There’ll be no getting up from that, folks, and Edge knows it.
Winner via pinfall AND NEW World Heavyweight Champion: Edge
Match rating: 9/10
Cena is loaded onto a backboard as the show goes off the air.
The next WWE pay-per-view is Judgment Day on May 17.
Michael Cole, Jim Ross and Jerry “The King” Lawler are our hosts for tonight’s broadcast, which is live from Providence, Rhode Island. This show is presented in WWEHD.
Match #1 – ECW Championship – (c) Jack Swagger (Perry, Okla.) vs. Christian (Toronto, Ontario)
Behind chants of “Let’s go Christian,” Captain Charisma gets off to a hot start, but Swagger puts a stop to that by press slamming Christian to the floor. From there, Swagger uses his amateur wrestling base to control Christian.
Swagger is all over Christian. He locked in a bearhug and followed that up with a backbreaker. Swagger goes for a Vader Bomb but Christian got the knees up. They go back and forth and Christian hits a flying sunset flip for two.
Swagger, though, rebounds with a single-leg takedown into a slam. Swagger tries for the gut-wrench powerbomb but Christian thwarts it before Swagger can get off the ground.
They go to the corner and Christian comes out with a tornado DDT for two. Swagger goes for a Samoan Drop but Christian counters and sends him to the outside. Swagger attacks when Christian tries to follow and tries to German suplex him off the apron. Of course, Christian holds on and it goes nowhere. Christian flips Swagger back into the ring and goes to the top but Swagger crotches him.
Swagger sends him down and hits a Vader Bomb from the top rope for two. Now they’re really going back and forth.
In a rest period, Swagger goes to remove a turnbuckle pad but the referee stops him. In the other corner, Christian easily flips a turnbuckle pad over and plays possum. Swagger charges and Christian moves with Swagger going head-first into the exposed steel. Christian catches him on the rebound with the Killswitch for the pin.
Winner via pinfall AND NEW ECW Champion: Christian
Match rating: 7.5/10
Christian heads backstage and is congratulated by the faces on the ECW roster when he excuses himself because he sees someone. That someone is Edge. Christian asks what happened with Edge. Says he used to be fun. Now he’s just a bitter, raving lunatic. Edge says one thing’s wrong with him: John Cena. He says Cena is the one who changed him into a bitter, raving lunatic. He says he’ll be fun again by the end of the night when he’s the World Heavyweight Champion and gets Cena out of his life forever.
Match #2 – Chris Jericho (Winnipeg, Manitoba) vs. Ricky Steamboat (Hawaii)
J.R. lets us know the last time Steamboat competed in a one-on-one match on pay-per-view was at the 1994 Bash at the Beach where he wrestled Steve Austin for the United States Championship.
All it takes is one arm-drag by Steamboat for the fans to fire up with the “You still got it” chant. And all it takes is one more arm-drag for Cole to yell out, “Vintage Steamboat!” This stuff is like clockwork.
Steamboat skins the cat but Jericho follows up with a clothesline that does send Steamboat to the floor. With Steamboat on the apron, Jericho hits a dropkick that drops the Hall of Famer.
Jericho works a headlock. Steamboat tries to push him off but Jericho hangs on. Steamboat tries a back suplex but again Jericho holds tight. Jericho finally gives it up and goes for a bulldog but Steamboat sends him flying onto the top rope. Steamboat follows him up to the top and hits a back suplex from the top rope! The move only nets him a two count, though.
Jericho charges right into a scoop slam for two. Steamboat sends him off the ropes but puts his head down and eats a boot to the face. Now Jericho gets the bulldog in and goes for the Lionsault but Steamboat jumps up and gets him in the electric chair. Jericho rolls through and slaps on the Walls of Jericho. Steamboat rolls through and locks in a Figure Four but Jericho gets to the rope.
Steamboat hits the flying crossbody for a long two. He goes for it again but Jericho catches him with the Codebreaker. Jericho is late making the cover, though, and Steamboat sneaks his foot onto the bottom rope.
Jericho goes for a slam but Steamboat rolls through for a small package for another near fall. Once released, Jericho almost immediately scoops the legs and locks in the Walls of Jericho again. This time, though, it’s in the middle of the ring and Steamboat has no choice but to tap.
Winner via submission: Chris Jericho
Match rating: 7.5/10
Santino Marella is backstage and pretends to be on the phone with Santina when Beth Phoenix and Rosa Mendez walk in. Beth tells him to admit he’s Santina and save himself the embarrassment with The Great Khali tonight. Santino challenges Beth to kiss Khali tonight. She says she’s not doing that. Nor is she kissing him anymore either. As Beth and Rosa walk away, all Santino can muster is that while they’re in bed he fakes all the “you-know-whats.”
Match #3 – Kane (Hell, Fire & Brimstone) vs. CM Punk (Chicago, Ill.)
You know, in this day of tri-branded pay-per-views and 10 billion titles, it is truly odd to see such a random mid-card match like this.
It’s a back-and-forth affair to start. Kane gains the upper-hand when Punk misses his running knee and runs right back out into a vicious clothesline. Kane goes for a chokeslam but Punk catches his arm in a straight armbreaker.
Kane goes to the top but Punk kicks him into the crotched position. Punk lifts Kane into GTS position from the top rope put Kane gets out. Punk shoves him into the corner and hits the running knee and bulldog but it goes nowhere.
Punk works an armbar but Kane gets out and hits the trademark sidewalk slam for two. Kane calls for the chokeslam but Punk hits two head kicks and some more strikes, including a slap but gets too wreckless when Kane won’t go down. Kane catches a kick and uses both arms for the chokeslam and the win.
Winner via pinfall: Kane
Match rating: 5/10
Match #5 – I Quit Match – Jeff Hardy (Cameron, N.C.) vs. Matt Hardy (Cameron, N.C.)
Jeff is really taking it to Matt early on. Jeff hits a legdrop from the top rope. The ref asks Matt if he wants to quit. Jeff goes to the top rope but Matt pushes him off, sending him flying into the barricade. Matt puts him up with his legs around the post and works them over. Matt brings him back into the ring and locks in the Figure Four. The move that has won World Championships cannot make Jeff Hardy say “I Quit.”
Jeff gets out but is quickly back in the Figure Four. He is asked if he wants to quit and responds with an emphatic no. The burial of the Figure Four continues. Matt locks on another leglock but again, Jeff won’t quit. Matt puts him in the Tree of Woe and pulls the head back and Jeff says no again. Matt lifts him to the top rope but is elbowed off. Hardy, on one leg, hits Whisper in the Wind.
Now it’s Jeff’s turn to work and he locks in the Texas Cloverleaf. Matt taps out but when he is asked if he wants to quit he says no. That makes no sense whatsoever. Tapping is quitting. Jeff lets go and hits the Twist of Fate and goes to the top and hits the Swanton Bomb.
Again, Matt refuses to quit. Jeff kicks him and hits another Swanton. Jeff rolls to the outside and looks under the ring and finds a table. Jeff sets it up but Matt slowly rolls to the outside. Matt strikes first and goes for the Twist of Fate but Jeff reverses it into a Twist of Fate of his own. Jeff throws Matt back into the ring and props him up on the table. He goes back to the outside and grabs a roll of duct tape and tapes Matt’s legs and arms together. Then he grabs a rope and completely ropes Matt to the table.
Then Jeff goes back out and grabs a ladder. The look on Matt’s face is classic. Matt pleads with Jeff but Jeff climbs the ladder. Matt asks for the mic and says he is sorry and that he loves him. They’re brothers! He says their mom wouldn’t want this, their dad’s at home sick. He wouldn’t like this. Jeff contemplates it and decides to go forward when Matt quits.
Winner via not quitting: Jeff Hardy
Match rating: 5/10
After Matt quits, Jeff gets off the ladder only to springboard off the ropes, over the top of the ladder and hit Matt with a legdrop through the table.
After the match, I check my Twitter and see an update from Joey Styles that reads: My wife and I tried this just last night. OMG! I had a hearty chuckle.
Todd Grisham is backstage with Randy Orton. Orton says he has a message for Batista. Orton says that all these years after Evolution that Batista is still doing Triple H’s dirty work. He tells Batista to not get disqualified. He says it’s amazing that after all these years it’s still all about The Game. For some people, anyway.
Next out is The Great Khali and it’s time for the long-anticipated Khali Kiss Cam with Santina Marella. Ranjin Singh tells Santina it’s time to come out. And after a few tense moments, Santina does indeed come out.
Santina says she’d love to kiss Khali, but she’s not who she says she is. She’s been trying to pass as something she’s not — a single girl. She’s in love with another man. She has such strong feelings for this man that if she kissed Khali, it’d betray everything she stood for. Khali wants to know who. Santina stutters and calls out J.R.’s name. Santina says ever since WrestleMania that J.R.’s been courting her, calling her his “little slobberknocker.”
Singh says Santina’s off the hook if she proves her love for J.R. by kissing him. J.R. says this is not happening. Cole says, “come on, Mr. BBQ man” and Ross asks Cole who fed him that line. Santina says she’s about to faint when Phoenix and Mendez head to the ring with a mic and a ref. Phoenix challenges Santina for her Miss WrestleMania crown right now.
Singh jumps in and The Great Khali wants to know how she could interrupt a tender moment with people in love. Beth then gets lippy with Khali. Beth says if Khali finds Santina attractive he’s the biggest idiot walking the face of the Earth and accentuates the point with a chest poke. Khali bops Beth on the head and pushes her down and out. Santina then tells the ref to call for the bell.
Match #6 – Miss WrestleMania – Beth Phoenix (Buffalo, N.Y.) vs. Santina Marella (Italy)
Santina immediately covers Phoenix.
Winner via pinfall AND STILL Miss WrestleMania: Santina Marella
Match rating: N/A
After the match, Khali rips Santina’s top off. She runs around screaming and trying to cover her chest.
Match #7 – 6-Man Tag Team Match for the WWE Championship – Shane McMahon (Greenwich, Conn.), Batista (Washington, DC) & (c) Triple H (Greenwich, Conn.) vs. Cody Rhodes (Charlotte, N.C.), Ted DiBiase (West Palm Beach, Fla.) & Randy Orton (St. Louis, MO)
It’s a brawl right away as Triple H attacks Orton and chases him to the back. Rhodes and DiBiase have no clue what to do without their cyborg leader. This shouldn’t last long considering I’ve seen these two get crushed by other people in this match the last few weeks.
The referee tells Priceless it’s going to be 3-on-2 and rings the bell. Batista and Rhodes start. Now it’s the face side utilizing hot tags. Aren’t the heels supposed to have a man-power advantage and use hot tags?
Rhodes tags DiBiase who runs into a clothesline on his way in. DiBiase and Rhodes are having no luck and all. Batista holds Rhodes up in a standing vertical suplex for about 10 seconds, but on his way up, Rhodes rakes the eyes and tags in DiBiase. They isolate Batista in their corner and send Batista off the ropes in hopes of a double team but he charges out with a double shoulderblock. He throws Rhodes out of the ring and hits the spinebuster on DiBiase. He calls for the Batista Bomb but DiBiase gets out and goes up the ramp.
Batista grabs him and goes to throw him back in when Orton comes out of nowhere to attack Batista and ram him into the post. Orton then runs to the apron for the tag and gets it and goes back to work on Batista, stomping away on The Animal.
Now we’re back to standard tag team formula with Legacy using quick tags and isolation.
Orton hits the second rope DDT but Batista kicks out at two. DiBiase comes in and Batista is able to escape but can’t get to Triple H, as DiBiase tags Orton in who cuts Batista off.
Orton works a Level 5 Randy Orton Chinlock on Batista, but Big Dave gets out. Orton gets to Rhodes and Batista finally gets to McMahon. Shane goes to the top rope and lands a big elbow drop but his pinfall is broken up by DiBiase, who drags Shane out of the ring. Orton grabs McMahon and throws him into the steel steps.
Orton gets the tag and brings Shane back in the ring where Legacy continues to work Shane-O-Mac over. Orton hits a beautiful standing dropkick on McMahon for two. Each time the action leaks to the other side of the ring, Legacy drags McMahon back to their corner. DiBiase locks in the Million Dollar Dream but Shane counters with a DDT. DiBiase tags Orton and a half-second later, McMahon tags Triple H, who makes his first appearance in the match.
Triple H is on fire. He hits a big spinebuster on Orton for two. DiBiase breaks up the pin and Batista takes him out. Triple H goes for the Pedigree but Rhodes hits a DDT on him. McMahon takes Rhodes to the outside and clotheslines Rhodes into the crowd. With the refs back turned, Rhodes hits both McMahon and Batista with a chair. Batista recovers and goes to hit Rhodes with the chair but Triple H stops his Pedigree attempt to grab the chair and save the DQ. He comes back and walks right into the RKO. Triple H kicks out and 2 7/8. It was so close the bell rings. But Orton goes to the corner and lines Triple H up and hits the punt and that’s all she wrote.
Winner via pinfall AND NEW WWE Champion: Randy Orton
Match rating: 8.5/10
After the match, Triple H still hasn’t moved. They put him in a neckbrace and load him on a stretcher to take him out.
Match #8 – Last Man Standing Match for the World Heavyweight Championship – (c) John Cena (West Newbury, Mass.) vs. Edge (Toronto, Ontario)
Match rating: 9/10
Overall rating: 7/10