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Sunday, May 7, 2017

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Eyes On WWE: Top 10 Backlash Matches

By @TrueGodImmortal 

WWE is bringing Backlash back for the 2nd straight year, once again for the Smackdown brand. Today, we wanted to take a look back at the history of the event, and rank the top 10 matches in the history of the PPV. There's a chance we might be adding another match to this list after this year's edition of the event (AJ vs KO will be a classic), but all in all, the top 10 matches of the event are set in stone. Let's take a look.

10. Shawn Michaels vs Randy Orton vs Edge vs John Cena
WWE Championship 
Backlash 2007

-During the long winded run of John Cena as WWE Champion, he would stumble across some great matches. Following his classic match with HBK at Wrestlemania 23 and an even better match with HBK at RAW in London, Cena was taken to the limit by these three competitors in a really good main event that saw Cena retain. This match is one of those slept on PPV matches that should get more credit.

9. Undertaker vs Batista 
World Heavyweight Championship 
Backlash 2007

-This match is one of the most fun yet indecisive matches thus far on the list. After Taker got a big win over Batista at Mania 23, the two would do battle in another contest, this time in a Last Man Standing match, and the result would be slightly different than their Mania bout. Batista and Taker pushed each other to the limit, literally, as their match ended in a draw with both men completely exhausted. It doesn't have a definitive end, but it did show that Taker and Batista could go toe to toe and give it all they have.

8. Stone Cold Steve Austin vs The Rock 
WWF Championship 
Backlash 1999

-The build for this match was fun. Austin had his Smoking Skull belt thrown in the river, Rock held a fake funeral for him, Austin got revenge, and whooped Rock's ass for it, and Shane McMahon appointed himself as the guest referee to stack the deck against Austin. Make no mistake, even with the deck stacked, Austin found a way to overcome, and he would walk away with the WWF Title and Smoking Skull belt in tow. A very solid match.

7. Edge vs John Cena vs Triple H
WWE Championship 
Backlash 2006

-I'm not very fond of this event in general, but I do enjoy this match. I thought Edge and Triple H did an amazing job and Cena was good in keeping up with them. The match got bloody after a certain point, and from there the intensity level rose completely. Cena would once again walk out of Backlash with his hand raised, winning the match in under 20 minutes. Despite the slightly shorter run time of the match, what Edge, Cena, and Triple H did in those 18 minutes was special.

6. Edge vs John Cena
World Heavyweight Championship  
Backlash 2009

-Another Last Man Standing match leads us to the final Backlash before a big hiatus. Cena had won the belt and went into Backlash with all the momentum behind him. Unfortunately for Cena, he was due for his 20th feud with Big Show, who showed up to help cost him the match and the title. Edge would win and walk away with the Championship once again.

5. Kurt Angle vs Chris Benoit 
Backlash 2001

-This was a 30 minute Ultimate Submission match and one of the more underrated matches in the history of the event. While this match isn't as good as their matches in 2002 or 2003, it's still a really great contest which allowed two submission specialists to try and one up the other. After spending 30 minutes in the ring, they would see the time run out with their score tied at 3 submissions a piece, and Sudden Death would come next, and that's when Benoit would gain the upper hand to win Ultimate Submission 4-3. This was a truly superb contest to watch and despite being slept on, it is one of the best.

4. Kurt Angle vs Edge 
Backlash 2002

-Edge was becoming a singles star. Angle was entering his in ring prime. The two met at the right time. This match was just a pleasure to watch and I like this better than their Judgment Day the month after. Edge proved he could hang toe to toe with Angle in the ring, and the action was fast paced a majority of the match, because Angle would end up stealing a victory here to continue the feud. This is a match that I could watch over and over.

3. Chris Benoit vs Shawn Michaels vs Triple H 
World Heavyweight Championship 
Backlash 2004

-After the legendary triple threat between these three at Wrestlemania, the Canadian crowd was fully behind Benoit in the rematch. While not as great as their Mania encounter, this match is really a great back and forth battle between three amazing workers. Of course, Benoit retains and wins the match in a fitting way, but this bout is easily one of the best matches to take place at the PPV.

2. Randy Orton vs Cactus Jack 
Intercontinental Championship 
Backlash 2004

-This is the match that made Orton a future megastar. His feud with Foley pushed him to newer heights. The two had great chemistry and this match took Orton from a face in Evolution to the true legend killer. Going 20 plus minutes with Foley and battling with barbed wire bats and thumbtacks, Orton showed his tenacity and toughness in a major victory that boosted his career instantly.

1. The Rock vs Triple H 
WWF Championship 
Backlash 2000

-This is one of the greatest matches in both men's careers. The thing about this match is that it carries the honor of featuring some of the biggest crowd reactions and the first official PPV appearance for Stone Cold Steve Austin in months. Austin was supposed to be in The Rock's corner, and while he wasn't there the whole time, he eventually showed up to help Rock when Vince, Shane, and company interfered. Austin would take out everyone with a steel chair, Rock would hit the People's Elbow and win the match to secure the WWF Title once again. Austin and Rock would drink beers to celebrate the victory. Of all the matches at Backlash, this is the most iconic.



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