March 17, 2013
Jared Doucet

The Crater Review:
Backlash 2006

The video package highlights the “tag team match” between Shawn Michaels and God against Vince and Shane McMahon then the triple threat match for the WWE title. The fireworks go off in the Rupp Arena in Lexington, KY as JR and King are calling the action for RAW’s Backlash.

Opening match: Carlito vs Chris Masters
Chris Masters’ music hits and he has the chance to beat his former tag team partner, Carlito. At Wrestlemania, these two challenged Kane and Big Show for the World Tag Team titles but ended up losing because of some miscommunication. The next night, Carlito turned on Chris Masters but what was funny was that the WWE didn’t know who to fully turn face: Carlito or Masters (it seemed that way anyway)? However, the fans sided big time with Carlito and 2 weeks prior, Carlito spit some apple into Matt Stryker’s face but fell victim to the Master Lock. Carlito’s music hits and he has the chance to take out the Masterpiece. Carlito got pretty popular around this point as he became one of the more over mid-card guys on the roster. These two talk some shit to each other, getting in each other’s faces, but the fans are into Carlito as they chant his name so Carlito slaps Masters but Masters gets the early advantage with right hands. Masters chokes Carlito with his shirt but Carlito comes back with a dropkick to the knee then drives Masters’ face into the mat for 2. Carlito lands some shots but Masters comes back with a back drop for 2 then Masters clubs him across the back to continue to overpower Carlito but Carlito punts him then slips out of a military press slam, MASTER LOCK ON MASTERS!!! However, Masters easily breaks it and Carlito begs off before low bridging the top rope, PLANCHA BY CARLITO!!! Carlito mounts him in the corner for the 10 punches then gets an elbow up on a charge but Masters goes for a powerbomb and Carlito tries to fight out of it, BUCKLE BOMB!!! Masters gets 2 on a cover as the fans think Masters sucks as he chokes Carlito over the middle rope then hits the running body attack in the ropes before dropping the leg for 2. Masters drags Carlito around the ring by his fro then grabs a neck crank but Carlito fights out of it but Masters catches him with a back elbow for 2. Masters goes back to the neck crank then hits a neckbreaker to continue the assault on the neck (to soften up for the Master Lock) and gets 2 before flooring Carlito with a clothesline then just beats the crap out of Carlito with hard right hands on the mat. Snake Eyes by Masters and he calls for the Master Lock but Carlito slips out of it and pulls him into a pin for 2 then hits a springboard back elbow to build up some momentum. Carlito grabs his apple and he throws the apple into the air so he can dropkick Masters in the knee again before landing some shots then begins a flurry of offense before he slips out of a neckbreaker to hit a dropkick, 1-2……..um….Chris? You’re supposed to kick out there, buddy. The fans get on Masters’ ass after that but he sends Carlito sternum first to the buckles then clubs him in the back before climbing up but Carlito knocks him off the ropes, MOONSAULT PRESS!! 1-2-NO!!! Oh, so he can’t kick out of a dropkick but a moonsault press and he’s fine? Masters goes for the Master Lock but Carlito slips out so Masters pulls him up and goes for it again but Carlito sends him head first into the top buckle, BACKSTABBER!!! CARLITO PUTS HIS FEET ON THE ROPES!!! 1-2-3 AND CARLITO GETS THE WIN AT 9:58!!!

Crater rating: 7.0 out of 10. Aside from Masters taking a nap, this was a good and hot opener to kick off the show. No wonder WWE fired him, he couldn’t kick out of a dropkick! I kid but this was actually it for Masters since this was one of his last PPV matches (I can probably count on one hand how many PPV matches he’s had since) since he became a running joke in the WWE but the smarks kind of sympathized with Masters due to the cruel punishment. He left for several months to go to rehab because of addiction to painkillers and ended up coming back looking like Randy Orton’s long lost brother (no bullshit, they looked so much alike when Masters was slimmed down) but then the WWE decided to have Masters regain his muscle mass and feud with Carlito again at the beginning of 2007 and would finally have the Master Lock broken by Bobby Lashley in early 2007 so he was released (because of the roids). They would bring back and stick him on Superstars, where he was leaner, and held a job for 2 years before being fired again for being too small. Masters’ run in the WWE was sad because of the fact that the WWE completely buried this guy, who could have been something big, but instead they wasted him. This match here was pretty good but the crowd took a huge liking to Carlito so they decided to shift the feud in his favor, thus giving Masters the dick. Carlito did a good job of connecting well with the crowd as he was getting cheered for cheating, added more high flying moves to his repertoire and came out looking cooler and he would remain face for over a year until he would turn heel but then run into bad times due to lack of motivation. This is a cautionary match, IMO, because it’s between two young wrestlers who never got to reach major heights in the WWE after such great beginnings but at the match is a good one.

We go to Maria’s fine ass and she gets it wrong that Masters beat Carlito and she asks the fans who will win the triple threat match and judging by the fans, Triple H is winning. They show us recordings of all these fans picking winners then we go back to Maria where Lita shows up to talk trash. Maria gets in a good jab at Lita but Lita tells her to shut up before saying that she’ll be laughing when Edge wins the title because they’ll be having a private sex celebration because she actually gets some, unlike the fans (she ain’t lying).

Match 2: Ric Flair vs Umaga w/Armando Alejandro Estrada
Armando Alejandro Estrada is already in the ring to present the Samoan Bulldozer, Umaga. Umaga’s music hits and he’s looking to take out the legendary Ric Flair. Umaga was Eddie Fatu, who was Jamal in 3 Minute Warning back in 2002, and he had been wrestling in All Japan, honing his skills, after he was released from the WWE. Many fans, at the time, had fun saying that Umaga was a rip off of Samoa Joe but Joe himself thought the gimmick was cool. This is Umaga’s PPV debut as the character but his first PPV match since Survivor Series 2002. 4 weeks prior, Umaga put a huge beating on Ric Flair when he made his debut. Ric Flair’s music hits and he’s looking to take out the Samoan Bulldozer. At least Jamal had lost weight for the role.

These two don’t wait to get the fight started but Umaga easily overpowers Flair then sends him inside to start the match officially and Umaga continues to hammer away on Flair. Flair, however, thumbs him in the eye, LOW BLOW!!! Flair lands some rights, lefts and chops before hitting another low blow from behind but Umaga takes him down with one punch after Flair couldn’t do it with all of that. Flair’s slumped in the corner but he avoids the running butt attack by slipping outside then lands some chops but Umaga nails him so Flair avoids a charge and Umaga runs face first into the post. They get back inside as Flair starts targeting Umaga’s leg and finally takes Umaga down with a chop block and he goes for the Figure Four but Umaga kicks him into the corner and he hangs Flair in the tree of woe so he can hit the flying headbutt! Running ass attack by Umaga then he goes to the middle rope to land another flying headbutt, SAMOAN SPIKE!!! 1-2-3 AND UMAGA GETS THE WIN AT 3:29!! Umaga celebrates the win with Estrada.

Crater rating: 4.5 out of 10. The match was short but it did its job of showing that Umaga was a force to be reckoned with by taking out the legendary Ric Flair. Well, welcome back, Jamal! What many people don’t realize was how much of a hidden gem the WWE had with Umaga since Fatu was not only athletic as hell for a big man, he really threw himself into the role and had some underrated matches. This was the start of that as they introduced him the best way possible by having Umaga destroy Flair to show that he means business but it was a step down for Flair, who had been on a comeback trail at the time, so it was kind of sad to watch him get jobbed out like this. The match was the usual jobber match with the added exception of the jobber being Ric Flair but that doesn’t make the match any better since Umaga pretty dominated Flair every step of the way. 2006 would be a big year for Umaga as he would have some very solid matches throughout the year and would get a ton of wins over a lot of top guys before getting a title shot and while I wouldn’t say it would go downhill for him, he wouldn’t find this 2006 success again.

We go backstage where Vince shows off the guns until Shane walks up and asks him if he’s ready to take out HBK. Vince corrects him that it’s a tag team match against HBK and God and he tells Shane to handle Shawn while he’ll take out God. He says that there’s nothing God can do that he can’t do and he gives Shane an example by pouring water on the floor and walking on it. He picks up some bread and fish for another bible story as he breaks bread then tells Shane to wait and bread and fish start flying at them then Vince tells Shane that it’s an omen. Shane then notices that his water got turned into wine. Yea…..this was beyond ridiculous.

Match 3: Women’s title match: Mickie James © Trish Stratus
We get a video that shows how Mickie James beat Trish Stratus for the Women’s title with the Mick Kick. The night after, Mickie decided to play more mind games with Trish by coming out dressed as Trish and even dying her hair blond during a tag match. However, Trish got revenge the next week when Mickie beat Maria in a match for the Women’s title but Trish came out dressed like Mickie (brunette hair and all) and planted a kiss on Mickie (which is hotter: Mickie acting like Trish or Trish acting like Mickie?). Things got even stranger when Trish tied up her old “boyfriend” and had him in the ring and asked if Mickie really was Trish, she’d be upset about her boyfriend so Mickie decides to save her “boyfriend” but eats a spinebuster. After that, she accused the boyfriend of cheating on her then gave him the Mick Kick so it’s been a weird buildup to the match. The music of the Women’s champion, Mickie James, hits and she comes out dressed in her usual attire and Mickie looks hot both as a blond and even more as a brunette. Trish Stratus’ music hits and can she regain the Women’s title against Mickie James? Trish was back to being a blond.

Mickie’s quite cautious to start and they finally lock up with some fans chanting for Mickie and Trish trips Mickie up into a pin for 2 then blows Mickie a little kiss. Trish follows up with the Ma-Trish into the headscissors (nice) then lands some forearms before coming back with a flying clothesline then a dropkick. Mickie ducks the Chick Kick, PUMP KICK BY TRISH!! Trish gets on the apron, LOU THESZ PRESS OFF THE APRON BY TRISH (unlike Lita, Trish actually landed safely)!! Trish continues to land some forearm shots before splashing Mickie in the corner then mounting her for some right hands but Mickie grabs her AND SHOVES HER OFF THE TOP ROPE TO THE FLOOR!!! Trish actually tried to catch herself by putting one hand on the apron but that ended up being a mistake since she did a front cartwheel and legit separated her shoulder! Mickie gets some near falls back inside before zeroing in on the injured shoulder then slams her face off the mat. Mickie mounts Trish to start choking her with something AND THE REFEREE GETS TO FIVE AND MICKIE JAMES HAS BEEN DISQUALIFIED TO GIVE TRISH STRATUS THE WIN AT 4:06 BUT MICKIE JAMES RETAINS THE WOMEN’S TITLE!! Mickie can’t believe it and the fans don’t like that at all and Trish is pissed afterwards as Mickie screams that it’s her belt (Trish is holding her right arm by her side the entire time).

Crater rating: 4.5 out of 10. This match started off pretty good but an injury and a horrible finish cut this off before it could get better. Man, that sucks for Trish. Many people were waiting up for the rubber match between these two because their matches at NYR and Mania were both well received (me included) so people did not want to see this feud end but sadly, it happened. The match started off pretty good as Trish was finally getting the advantages with the mind games and threw Mickie off her game but then Mickie dumped Trish to the floor and that’s where disaster struck. Trish ended up dislocating her shoulder on that but she was only out for a couple of weeks before returning but then she wouldn’t be back for long since she would end up preparing for her retirement later in the year (and a wedding as well). The ending to this match sucked since, like the Lita match with Trish at NYR 2005, Mickie could’ve hit the Mick Kick or something but instead they go for a shitty ass finish where nothing is solved at all. Mickie would end up becoming a tweener character for a while until Trish would end up retiring, making her the new babyface and once Lita would retire right after that, Mickie would become the top diva in the company but they were still ways away for that. Anyway, this is a match that could’ve been great but thanks to circumstances out of their power, it sucked.

Maria finally corrects her snafu by announcing that it was Carlito who won before introducing HBK. She says that Vince told her to ask him if God’s going to show up. Shawn says that the Lord is always with him and that he expects HBK to use his abilities to take out the McMahons in this Handicap match because Vince couldn’t hang with him at Wrestlemania. He says that he might even have Vince crying out to God after this is all over then tells Vince that he has two words for him (this was when they were really pushing the D-X reunion).

Match 4: Winner Take All match for the Money In The Bank briefcase and the Intercontinental title: Rob Van Dam (Mr. MITB) vs Shelton Benjamin (IC champion)
The music of the Intercontinental champion, Shelton Benjamin, hits and he’s looking to become not only the IC champion but Mr. MITB as well. At Wrestlemania, Shelton Benjamin once again stole the show with another amazing performance in the MITB ladder match but it was RVD who ended up leaving Chicago with the briefcase and one year contract for a title shot. Benjamin challenged RVD to put up the briefcase but RVD said he would only if Benjamin put up the IC title and the next week, both men wrestled in Pick Your Poison matches where Benjamin had RVD face all five members of the Spirit Squad and lose while RVD’s choice to face Benjamin was none other than his former tag team partner, the returning Charlie Haas, who ended up beating Benjamin. Rob Van Dam’s music hits and can he win the IC title for the 5th or will he lose his MITB briefcase? This was RVD’s first singles match on PPV since Armageddon 2003 (no, I’m serious). This was considered a dream match at the time and it’s not hard to fault that. ECW chants to start this one as Benjamin easily outwrestles RVD on the mat then works a wrist lock but RVD kips up and grabs his own so Benjamin springs off the ropes into a backflip then arm drags RVD to a stalemate. Benjamin rams his knee into RVD’s gut before grabbing a headlock then lands a shoulder tackle before going into a rope run sequence that ends with RVD rolling Benjamin up with his legs for 2, lands two arm drags then Benjamin ducks a leaping spin kick before crawling to the corner. RVD tells Benjamin who he is as RVD’s bleeding slightly from his eye from the early lock up so they lock up again with Benjamin forcing RVD to the buckles but Benjamin doesn’t break clean as he kicks RVD in the gut but RVD comes back with a spin kick of his own to send Benjamin to the floor and he kicks the steps in anger. They tie up then Benjamin takes over with hard shots but RVD comes back with a back roll then hits the spinning dropkick before building up a flurry of offense but Benjamin slides out of the ring to avoid Rolling Thunder, PLANCHA BY RVD!! RVD drives his shoulder into Benjamin’s gut but Benjamin gets a knee up, SUNSET FLIP POWERBOMB TO THE FLOOR BY BENJAMIN!!!!! Benjamin made RVD go SPLAT on that! Benjamin gets 2 back inside then starts working over RVD’s lower back with knees then a running body attack against the ropes for 2. Chin lock by Benjamin and RVD tries to fight out of it but Benjamin jerks him down by his hair then chokes him over the middle rope. Benjamin goes to the apron to hit a running knee lift for 2 before landing a backbreaker then going back to the chin lock. Benjamin beats the crap out of RVD then pulls back with a modified Camel Clutch before landing a series of body slams to the injured lower back of RVD. Benjamin goes back to the chin lock but RVD fights back then fights out of the T-Bone slam before kicking Benjamin down, ROLLING THUNDER COUNTERED WITH THE SAMOAN DROP FOR 2!!! That was pretty cool. Benjamin grabs a reverse bearhug then sits RVD on the top rope to land a right hand then follows up with some slaps but RVD fights him off with right hands BUT BENJAMIN LEAPS TO THE TOP ROPE AND HITS A SUPERPLEX FOR 2!!! Chin lock with a body scissors by Benjamin but RVD fights out of it and holds onto the ropes to avoid a dropkick then kicks Benjamin right in the face. RVD avoids the Stinger Splash then lands a flurry of offense and he gets an elbow up on a charge, SPRINGBOARD MARTIAL ARTS KICK!!! Running wheel kick by RVD, ROLLING THUNDER GETS 2!! RVD floats out of a slam then slams Benjamin down, SPLIT LEGGED MOONSAULT GETS 2!!! RVD drives his shoulder into Benjamin’s gut but Benjamin lands on his feet on a monkey flip but RVD comes back with the step over heel kick then goes up top, FIVE STAR FROG SPLASH MISSES!!!! Benjamin SPIKES RVD with the DDT and gets 2 when RVD gets his foot on the ropes so Benjamin tries two more times but only gets near falls so RVD bails to the floor as Benjamin follows out but RVD drop toeholds him into the barricade. Benjamin grabs the MITB briefcase then avoids a baseball slide, KNOCKOUT ROUNDHOUSE KICK!!! Benjamin goes up top then shows off his balance by just bouncing up and down on the top rope and hits a crossbody but RVD rolls through for 2, ducks the Dragon Whip and plants Benjamin with the hurricanrana! Benjamin has the briefcase and he knocks RVD into the referee but RVD grabs it, VAN DAMINATOR!!! FIVE STAR FROG SPLASH!!! 1-2-3 AND ROB VAN DAM GETS THE WIN AT 18:42 TO BECOME THE NEW INTERCONTINENTAL CHAMPION!!! RVD’s now both IC champ and Mr. MITB.

Crater rating: 8.0 out of 10. This was a great little WWE match but it wasn’t the classic that people were possibly thinking it was going to be. Well, RVD’s back! I know, personally, this was a match I was looking forward to since both guys wrestle similar styles and could put on one hell of a contest if given the chance. The match met expectations but didn’t surpass them since the opening feeling out process was a little slow and the middle section had too many chin locks instead of focused back work (not that RVD would sell it) but the rest of it was great stuff. This was another attempt at a coming out party for Benjamin but the WWE wouldn’t run with it since Benjamin would spend the rest of the year stuck in the mid card not even reteaming him with Charlie Haas would help matters. Benjamin would always be “coulda been” kind of guy since he had the amazing athleticism and put on a hell of a match but he lacked the promo skills and I’m guessing that main event breakout look. RVD would actually have his best year in the WWE in 2006 since 2002 because he would actually have a chance to showcase himself as a main event guy and would actually carry the ECW brand on his shoulders the entire year but an arrest for marijuana possession and a loss of interest ending up costing RVD his job as he would ditch the WWE in 2007 to take time off but it’s not that I blame him though; RVD got out of the WWE on his terms while he was still healthy then would go to TNA to work their lighter schedule. This match wasn’t as good as Benjamin’s previous Backlash battle with Jericho but it’s still better than a lot of matches you’d see in the WWE at the time when wrestling took at a backseat to stupid skits involving Vince McMahon and God.

We get the video package of the upcoming Kane/Big Show match. Todd Grisham is with Big Show and Show says that he’s done everything he can to help Kane and says so what to Kane having a movie coming out because he was in “The Waterboy.” He says that everybody has problems and says that it was probably because his goldfish died or his puppy ran away but Kane crossed the line and it’s an eye for an eye. Lillian decides to do announcing from the floor to avoid Kane.

Match 5: Big Show vs Kane
The fireworks go off and Kane’s music hits and he’s going to take on the Big Show. This thing started when these two teamed up to become the World Tag Team champions and were an impressive team. However, the night after Wrestlemania, they defended the titles against the Spirit Squad but the Spirit Squad used their strength in numbers to beat Kane and Big Show for the titles. Kane started getting stalked by May 19th, the date his movie “See No Evil” would be released in theaters and it was haunting Kane and in their rematch, Kane got them DQ’d as he snapped and gave the Spirit Squad Chokeslams then gave one to the referee before giving Big Show the Chokeslam. Kane decided to scare Lillian Garcia, yelling at her about what she said about May 19th but Show came out to confront him as he threw Lillian to the floor and Kane proceeded to choke out Show but Show planted Kane with the Chokeslam. Backstage, Show kept saying May 19th so Kane beat the crap out of Show and busted up his eye and these two former Tag Team champions will fight. Big Show’s music hits and he’s looking for revenge against Kane. What’s funny is that the two teams who fought for the World tag belts at Mania both broke up and fought on this show…..how’s that for “great” booking?

Kane uses the referee to distract Show so he can start by hitting right hands but he runs into a military press slam!! Show lands a headbutt and some chops but Kane gets a boot up on a charge then he goes after Show’s eye but Show hammers away on Kane’s elbow and he lifts Kane up by the arm and knocks him down as Show tries to add arm psychology into this match. Kane bails to the floor but that doesn’t last long as he’s sent back inside but Kane does ram Show’s head into the post and Show takes an eternity to get back in. Kane puts the boots to Show then he starts targeting Show’s arm since both men want to negate the Chokeslam and Kane tries to take Show down and eventually does with a hard clothesline for 2. Show slams Kane but Kane avoids an elbow drop and Kane goes back to Show’s arm then grabs an arm bar to slow things down some more. Show goes for the Chokeslam but Kane breaks the grip before grabbing a key lock but Show eventually throws him off so Kane goes up top but Show catches him coming down and hits the Fallaway Slam! Show comes back with a flurry of offense before calling for the Chokeslam but Kane horribly counters with the DDT for 2. Show lands a big boot before dropping the leg (was everybody copying Hogan at this point) as JR says this has not been a pretty match (you don’t say!) and Show lands a powerslam for 2. Show tries to stick his finger in Kane’s eye but Kane pokes him in the eye to get out of it and boots Show to the floor and Kane follows to the floor but all of a sudden, the lights go down and the “voices” haunt Kane by keep saying May 19th and that he remembers what happened on that day. Kane’s going nuts on the mat as Show cautiously walks over to check on him while Kane keeps punching himself in the head and stuff so Show grabs a chair, CHAIR SHOT TO THE HEAD!!! That shuts the voices up as Show looks like he didn’t want to do it while Kane sits up with an ugly smile on his face and I guess the match ends in a no contest (to boos) at 9:10 (no bell and I ended the match at the chair shot)!

Crater rating: 4.0 out of 10. This doesn’t reek of suckness that their KOTR ’99 match does and I give them points for trying but the ending was beyond ridiculous. I wonder if Gangrel was ever thought of to be the one behind voices since they sound like the beginning of his entrance. You know…..when someone hears voices in their heads….it’s usually where they live…in the person’s head; the entire audience should not be able to hear the voices. The match wasn’t horrible (I’ve seen worse) and I liked how both men tried to target each other’s choking arm to negate the Chokeslam and while the action wasn’t always great (it was downright sloppy at times), the ending was just fucking ridiculous. This sadly would keep going for another couple of months with Kane, once again, stuck in a frontrunner for worst angle of the year and yet, he continued to be over with the crowds too. Show wouldn’t do much until ECW would come into play and that’s where he would end up dominating ECW as a roster member and their champion and that’s not exactly a good thing. Still, this match is Wrestlecrap personified and should be treated as such.

We go back to Vince’s locker room and Candice Michelle walks in with a chest cold and she asks, since he’s God, if he can heal her and she has to correct him that it’s a chest cold and naturally we get to watch the 60-plus Vince McMahon grope a woman way out of his league. He pretty much “heals” her, to the point where she flats out has a porn level orgasm. Shane comes in to stop Vince while Candice is still recovering from his “healing.” JR’s so pissed that the glasses have to come off for him to understand this. *sigh* No wonder people hated RAW in 2006.

Match 6: No Holds Barred match: Shawn Michaels & God vs Vince & Shane McMahon
The video package for this match shows what happened at Wrestlemania when HBK faced Vince McMahon in a No Holds Barred match and Shawn had to “sacrifice his soul” to beat Vince McMahon bloody. Vince blamed God for Shawn winning then Vince made this match and he decided to create his own religion, McMahonism. Vince and Shane took a stroll into a church to continue the bullshit and over the course of the weeks, Shawn kept getting attacked left and right until “God” stepped in to stop Vince from using a chair on Shawn and while this video package is great, the angle was ridiculous. Shane McMahon’s music hits and he’s looking to end Shawn Michaels’ career with his daddy, Vince. Vince McMahon’s music hits and he’s looking to destroy Shawn Michaels and we know this because he’s added extra power to his power strut. Vince grabs the microphone to introduce Shawn Michaels’ tag team partner and he runs through some of God’s name and some heavenly music plays as a spotlight goes down the aisle but Vince tells them to stop the music because they are doing things his way and he decides to play some dancing music for God’s entrance. Vince’s having a good ol’ time in the ring as God finally enters the ring and he tells the referee to check God out for any foreign objects and he ends up slapping the referee because he doesn’t comply. Vince says never mind and tells God to bring it because it’s now No Holds Barred. Shawn Michaels’ music hits and he hopes to finally end this feud with the McMahons once and for all. Vince says that before the match begins, Vince tells Shawn that he and God are going to hell.

Shawn slaps Vince out of the ring to start then takes Shane out with a back drop, PLANCHA ON VINCE!!! Shawn lands some right hands to Vince’s head then gets back in the ring to land some shots on Shane then clotheslines him out of the ring, skins the cat back in, SOMERSAULT PLANCHA!!! Shawn lands some shots on Shane as they fight up the aisle but Shane fights back with knee lifts then lands some of those jabs of his to knock Shawn off his feet. Shane wants a piledriver off the stage but Shawn back drops out of it as Vince shows up with a chair but Shawn cuts that off and nails some shots before sending Shane HARD into the Backlash set THEN HITS A RUNNING CROSSBODY ON VINCE TO SEND BOTH MEN CRASHING OFF THE STAGE TO THE FLOOR!!!! Vince is done as Shawn makes his way back up the steps BUT WALKS INTO A HARD CHAIR SHOT FROM SHANE!!! Shawn’s busted open as Shane went to check on his daddy and Shane keeps kicking Shawn down the ramp as the blood from Shawn’s face stains Shane’s shirt and Shane whips Shawn into the post! Shane lands some jabs and body blows THEN ARM DRAGS SHAWN HARD INTO THE BARRICADE!!! Shane gets back inside with Shawn and talks trash to him as Vince makes his way back to ringside and Shane continues to pepper Shawn with jabs in the buckles. Back suplex by Shane then goes up top but the Leap of Faith Elbow drop misses and Shawn starts fighting back with right hands and chops but Shane plants him with the Floatover DDT. Vince tags in and he takes off his belt to take Shawn to the woodshed by whipping him like a government mule then Shane tosses Vince a garbage can and he cracks it off Shawn’s head. Vince calls for a mike so he can talk shit to “God” and asks him what he’s going to do about it and he asks where the hell is God going and apparently God is “leaving” and has “forsaken” Shawn Michaels. Vince tells him that he’s going to knock his teeth down his throat but Shawn catches Vince’s weak attempt at the super kick and unloads with a flurry on both men and hits a running forearm (not a flying one) and Shawn does kip up and Shane has a chair but Shawn ducks AND VINCE GETS CRACKED HARD WITH THE CHAIR!!! Shawn opens up with right hands on Shane then lands the flying forearm on Shane and goes into his five moves of doom, ending with the Picture Perfect Elbow. Shawn starts tuning up the band, SWEET CHIN MUSIC ON SHANE!!! SWEET CHIN MUSIC ON VINCE!!! The crowd starts a D-X chant as Shawn pulls two tables out and sets Shane up on one then Vince up on the other before pulling a ladder out (and taking his time doing it). He sets up this huge ladder and starts climbing but the Spirit Squad run out AND SHAWN DIVES OFF THE LADDER ON TOP OF THE SPIRIT SQUAD!!!! Shawn starts fighting them off but the numbers game eventually take over and they all beat the crap out of Shawn by putting the boots to him. They pull the McMahons off the tables then set up house in the ring, HIGH SPIRITS THROUGH THE TABLE!!!! Shawn got some height on that too! They drag Vince over to cover Shawn, 1-2-3 AND VINCE AND SHANE MCMAHON GET THE WIN AT 19:58!!! JR says that’s bullshit and King says that it’s the father, the son and the Holy Spirit Squad.

Crater rating: 7.0 out of 10. This wasn’t as one sided as Wrestlemania and there are some good spots but the entire thing left a bad taste in everybody’s mouth and there was too much spot, set up, spot, set up going on. Well, Vince has beaten Shawn Michaels and God! The good thing about this feud (the entirety of it) was that the matches were usually pretty fun to watch on PPV, even today, but the feud was downright ridiculous and was nothing but a throwback to the Attitude Era where they decided to create controversy. The whole night centering around Vince and God was stupid since it not only was controversial, it was full of bad taste and horrible so called comedy. I laughed at Vince making fun of God and stuff like that but it was more in a way of “this is so stupid but it’s touching the funny bone” kind of way and you just have to accept the stupidity of it (although I did chuckle at the heavenly music and Vince telling the referee to check God for foreign objects). The match started off hot with Shawn throwing all kinds of caution into the wind and busting out things that we didn’t think he would try after the back injury years prior but Shawn really went above and beyond the call of duty here with some major bumps in this one. The controlling portion with the McMahons wasn’t boring but the fact that Vince had to stop the match to let everybody know that God had left the building was ridiculous and the final couple of minutes had some great spots but had WAY too much time setting up spots. This would actually continue with Triple H finally seeing the neon green light and they would reform D-X to take on the McMahons and while it was all fun in a kiddy sense, D-X’s reunion wasn’t the greatest in the world and the feud with the McMahons began to get boring but this match, while it’s full of bad taste, isn’t bad at all.

Todd Grisham introduces John Cena as the most “controversial WWE champion in history” (how is he controversial? Ok, so the fans don’t like him but he doesn’t care because he fights for the ones who do love him, blah blah blah but that doesn’t make him controversial) and Cena just smiles at the fans booing him and Grisham brings that up like an idiot. Grisham brings up the history of the three involved in the Triple Threat match but Cena says that he’s still walking out as the WWE champion and that no one wants to see Edge walk out as champion but there are fans that want to see Triple H to walk out as champion (he’s the most over). The fans hate that Cena says that he’s going to retain the WWE title (like truly hate it, haha).

Since there’s only 6 matches on the card, it’s time for some time consuming bullshit. Matt Striker’s music hits and he makes his way out for an edition of the Classroom with Matt Striker (yes, this was the updated version of Dean Douglas but Striker wasn’t as good and I wonder what Shane Douglas thought about it). Striker says that there is a miracle and that there is an intelligent person in Kentucky and even though Kentucky is famous for chicken, illegally recruited basketball players (haha) but it’s not famous for being educated. He has some good news for them: he’s going to be their teacher. He found one of the smartest men to come from Kentucky and he welcomes Eugene to the ring and Eugene does come out. Basically, Striker makes fun of Eugene but Eugene resorts to poop and boogers then takes Striker out with the Stunner. This was about 10 minutes and it was 10 minutes too long.

Main Event: Triple Threat match for the WWE title: John Cena © vs Triple H vs Edge w/Lita
The video package for this match starts off by showing how John Cena made Triple H tap out at Wrestlemania 22 to retain the WWE title and on the same night, Edge beat Mick Foley in a Hardcore match by hitting spearing Foley off the apron through a flaming table. Triple H said, the next night, that he underestimated Cena and that it won’t happen again so he wanted another shot but Edge came out to tell Triple H to go to the back of the line but Triple H brought up that he took out Mick Foley six years ago so it doesn’t mean shit. Over the course of three weeks, these three have fought each other in handicap matches with each one getting a win to set up this huge main event. Edge’s music hits and he comes out with Lita and Edge has the chance to win the WWE title for the 2nd time in his career. Triple H’s music hits and he gets a nice ovation and he has the chance to win the WWE title for the first time since 2002 but also an 11 time World champion (both WWE and World title). The music of the WWE champion, John Cena, hits to a mixed reaction and can he retain the title against two of his toughest challengers? The champion has retained the title at the past two Backlash PPVs so can it be three in a row?

Edge wants Cena and Triple H to start since he goes to the floor so Cena and Triple H slug it out to start with Cena winning and he lands a pair of flying shoulder tackles (to boos) then hits the Fisherman’s suplex for 2 that Edge breaks up. Triple H comes back with an inverted atomic drop and they continue to slug it out until Triple H cuts him off with the High Knee for 2 that Edge breaks up again. Edge gets on the apron as Cena and Triple H continue to slug it out (to yay and boo chants) but they both realize Edge is on the apron and decide to pull his ass into the ring the hard way so they can volley him back and forth then Cena clotheslines Edge out of the ring. Cena bounces Edge’s head off the announce table then Triple H does it so these two decide to play a game of “anything you can do, I can do better” and uses Edge’s head on the announce table as the example. Triple H blindsides Cena then chucks him out of the ring and Edge pulls Triple H head first into the middle buckle then sends him to the apron with a right hand before putting the boots to Triple H. Edge wants to suplex Triple H back inside but Cena trips Triple H up to make him bounce his face off the apron (and hanging Edge on the top rope in the process) before hitting a splash off the top on Edge for 2. Protobomb by Cena to boos then goes for the Five Knuckle Shuffle but Lita low bridges the top rope and Triple H sends Cena into the steps. Triple H unloads with right hands on Edge then hits the facebuster and a hard clothesline for 2 then continues to work Edge over but Edge gets a boot up on a charge, SPINEBUSTER GETS 2!!! Edge slips out of a suplex, EDGE-A-MATIC GETS 2!!! Triple H catches Edge in the sleeper but Edge shoves him off and catches Triple H now in the sleeper then Cena comes in AND LIFTS BOTH OF THEM UP FOR THE FU!!!! Edge slips off AND SPEARS CENA TO MAKE CENA HIT A SAMOAN DROP ON TRIPLE H!!!! Edge takes over on Triple H on the floor and catapults him face first into the post to bust Triple H open badly then Edge bounces Triple H’s face off the Spanish announce table then gets on the table, EDGE-A-CUTION ON THE TABLE THAT DOESN’T BREAK!!! Edge goes up top to hit the missile dropkick on Cena for 2 before nailing some right hands to beat Cena down in the corner then spears Cena into the buckles! Cena counters the Edge-A-Cution, STFU!!! Edge looks like he’s about to tap but Triple H grabs Edge’s arm to make him not tap out THEN NAILS CENA IN THE HEAD WITH THE MICROPHONE!!! Triple H has a chair AND MURDERS EDGE WITH A CHAIR SHOT TO SEND HIM INTO THE FIRST ROW!!!! Cena drop toeholds Triple H, STFU TO A BLOODY TRIPLE H!!!!! TRIPLE H’S FIGHTING THE HOLD AS THE CROWD BOOS THE FACT THAT THE MATCH IS ABOUT TO END!!! Triple H starts fading and his arm drops twice BUT NOT THRICE!!! Triple H starts muscling over to the ropes AND FINALLY GETS THE ROPES!!! Triple H slips out of the FU but Cena slips out of the Pedigree, STFU AGAIN!!! Edge goes up top so Cena breaks the hold to fight with Edge and the referee accidentally gets knocked down as Cena looks for a Super FU but Triple H lifts Cena onto his shoulders in the electric chair, TOWER OF DOOM!!!! Lita slides in with a chair and goes for a chair shot, SPINEBUSTER TO LITA!!!! Triple H throws the chair down then goes outside to pull out his best friend, the sledgehammer, and he gets ready to hit Cena, SPEAR BY EDGE!!! Edge now has the sledgehammer but Cena ducks the shot and lifts Edge up for the FU but Triple H low blows Cena and Edge gets dumped to the floor so Triple H goes for the Pedigree, JACKKNIFE PIN!!! 1-2-3 AND JOHN CENA GETS THE WIN AT 17:36 TO RETAIN THE WWE TITLE!!! Triple H blindsides Cena and has the sledgehammer AND NAILS THE REFEREE WITH IT!!!! HE NAILS EDGE WITH IT!!! HE NAILS CENA WITH IT!!!! Triple H tells Cena to suck it to end the show.

Crater rating: 8.5 out of 10. That was probably the best triple threat match on PPV since the HBK/Benoit/HHH days in 2004. I think Triple H was mad about losing to Cena again. This wasn’t an amazing triple threat match but it was fun as hell to watch since these guys had some nice triple threat spots, the pace never slowed and there was always a reason as to why there was a guy on the floor instead of them just “selling” something to major. I liked how Edge started the match from the apron and just let Triple H and Cena beat the crap out of each other because it fits with Edge’s character but the match truly picked up when Cena lifted both men up for the FU (which would have been awesome to see by the way) and it never looked back. After that, everybody played their parts perfectly: Edge was the ultimate opportunist (God damn it, Cole), Cena did everything he could to retain the title, Triple H wanted to pin Cena and even Lita played her part well. The shot of a blood soaked Triple H not wanting to tap out to Cena’s STFU doesn’t do what it did in terms for Austin at WM 13 and wasn’t even as good as when he did it himself in Benoit’s Crossface at Mania 20 but it was still a pretty cool moment to see and Cena using a Jackknife pin to beat Triple H meant that Triple H would be out of the running for a title shot so he could focus on the revitalization of D-X while Cena and Edge tore it up for the title. Speaking of Cena, this was on his lesser years as far as fan support is concerned since everybody pretty much started to grow tired of him and this was only a year into his giant push. I think people just weren’t taking Cena seriously enough as a great worker at this point and didn’t believe that he could truly beat Triple H twice, beat Angle all those times and beat Edge, who were all better workers than him. Plus, Cena might not be the most “controversial” champion of all time but he’s probably the worst booked top guy since they continued to have him be the underdog in everything so how can we cheer for a guy who’s big thing is to get his ass kicked and come back with to hit one move and win? His feud with Edge would actually show that Cena could work with somebody who wanted to work with him and it’s remembered to this day as one of Cena’s greatest, if not THE greatest, feuds that he’s ever had and that means Edge played his part perfectly since the feud did wonders for him and showed that the WWE had a new main event heel on their hands. As for Triple H, he would reteam with Shawn Michaels to form D-X and join in on the feud with the McMahons that would eat up most of the year and while Triple H would continue to dominate RAW, at least the WWE title picture felt fresh again.

43.5/70=62

According to the rating, I have given Backlash 2006 a 62, a C+, a 6.0 out of 10 and it’s a solid show. This one has two great matches and two good ones but there’s a lot of crap on here so it’s hard to recommend. Wrestling wise, this show is just fine since Carlito/Masters is a solid opener (minus Masters napping), Benjamin/RVD is pretty damn good, the “tag team match” is fun in a sick way and the main event is awesome stuff but everything else on the card should be skipped. The backstage segments were fucking horrible with all the Vince bullshit taking up way too much time on this card to the point that it wasn’t even funny anymore, the Eugene/Striker segment was way too goddamn long and was probably written by a fucking five year old, the Kane/Big Show match was beyond retarded, Flair got squashed and Trish got injured to close out the rest of the stupidity. RAW would have a difficult year since it would focus solely on the D-X/McMahons feud and the Edge/Cena so everything else in between would suffer from lack of build due to how much time these two feuds consumed on a daily basis. There would still be good stuff on PPV, sure, but the TV product would suffer due to the fact that they went back to the Attitude Era way of booking a RAW: short matches, all segments. Still, Backlash is usually a reliable PPV and this was one of the worst ones in memory but it’s still better than some of the things Smackdown was doing the past two years and that’s a good thing.

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