Monday, April 27, 2009

Backlash? More Like Wrestlemania Redux

Thank God for Backlash. After the disappointing show that was Wrestlemania, WWE pulled out all the stops in producing one of the best PPV's in years, last night. Righting all the wrongs, and missed chances of WWE's marquee event...

Edge and John Cena gave us a 28 minute match of the year (so far). After the superb build up on Raw and Smackdown (whatever happened to the draft?) over the last couple of weeks, fans could barely wait for the much anticipated bout.

The bout featured some incredible spots, the kind that we've come to expect in matches that Edge participates in. An FU/Attitude Adjustment on Edge from both the middle rope, and the announcers table were literally off the charts, as were the fans that Edge landed on. Lets hope the extras were well paid...

Cena was on the offense for pretty much most of the match-up, and no matter what he threw at Edge, he just kept getting up. DDT's, bulldogs, suplexes, punches, and chairs were all exchanged in a really physical battle, that put both guys over as the toughest of the tough in WWE at the moment.

With the fight on a knife edge, surprise surprise, Big Show ran interference . He was expected to by most quarters, but no one expected it to happen the way it did.

With Edge in position to receive another Attitude Adjustment, Big Show appeared on the ramp. He picked up Cena and choke-slammed him through a light fitting, creating a large ball of fire.

Cena did not get up.

And Edge won the last man standing. It was a really good end to the fight, both guys end up looking strong and now the path is in place for a Cena turn and eventually a fight with the Undertaker at next years Wrestlemania.

Randy Orton's trajectory towards being the new Stone Cold kept on track after he beat Triple H in the stipulation match. In the six-man tag if one of your partners was pinned, you lost the fight.

In such circumstances many predicted that Triple H would avoid being pinned so that he would still remain strong. But it was not to be so. Hunter went down after receiving an RKO followed by a punt, he then sold the injury well while Batista looked on with concern.

Triple H had Orton just where he wanted him before he decided to take a chair from Batista, and then turned into the initial RKO.

The seeds have been planted for Hunter to come back and feud with Orton and Batista after they finish their inevitable program.

The finish was exactly as Wrestlemania should have been, so WWE righted a few wrongs in this one. With Orton, brilliant as a heel, WWE have the best in the business in many a year. But the fans are starting to warm to him. WWE will either need to turn him or bring something even more despicable from his character.

When Hunter returns, expect Orton to be a face and Triple H to be the heel, a role he's more accustomed to. By and large, another excellent bout.

Matt and Jeff Hardy's feud came to an end last night. To me anyway, it seems too soon. If only the two boys were as good on the mic as they are in the ring, then this feud would have had more legs.

The bout at Wrestlemania was massively disappointing, much was expected from these two, especially when you consider their reputations.

Again last night failed to live up to all our expectations, but they did produce a really good finish.

Jeff placed a weakened and battered Matt on a table inside the ring, and then went on tie him to it. He then brought a ladder into the ring and got ready to finish off his brother.

Matt was brilliant here as he begged Jeff not to do it, "I’m sorry about the accidents." Jeff wasn’t listening to anyone at this stage, so Matt then attempted to save himself by saying "I quit". Jeff, hit a leg-drop off the ladder onto Matt anyway to gain the win and bring the curtains down on what could and should have been a classic feud. Pity.

Ricky the Dragon Steamboat defied his 56 years and put on a superb show with Chris Jericho. Before I go on, I have to say that anything that Jericho has been involved in over the last year or two has been pure gold. He's due a strap for his outstanding work in the ring and on the mic and there isn't a better mechanic operating in wrestling today, he could even get me over, yes he's that good.

But I digress, Steamboat got in a lot of offense, arm drags, skinning the cat, a high-cross body from the top rope, and a fantastic belly to back suplex from the top turnbuckle that had the crowd screaming for more.

And they did. Chanting "you've still got it" drew a wry smile from the WWE star of yesteryear. If his son, who is in developmental at the moment, has even an ounce of the hall of famer's class he could have a great future.

Again WWE booked the fight perfectly. You've got to wonder if Pat Patterson was sent on holiday around Wrestlemania or something and now he's back because these two put on another great show.

Steamboat took everything Jericho had to throw at him before he eventually fell to his second Walls of Jericho.

And although Chris Irvine left Steamboat in the ring to take the accolades while he made his way to the back grimacing and glaring, he must have been as high as a kite to have taken on his idol three times in the last month and to have put on great bouts every time.

Christian overcame Jack Swagger in the opening bout, and it was highly entertaining. The sneaky Christian, that we all know and love scored the win after he removed the padding from a turnbuckle, Swagger then ran into it and Christian hit his finisher to claim his first gold in five years, if you believe everything Todd Grisham had to say...

Again WWE cannot be faulted in the booking. Swagger is a star in the making, his range of moves and sheer athleticism mark him out as a huge talent, while Christian is perfect for the strap holder on what is fast becoming WWE's learning curve show.

The only fight I did not like or agree with was Kane going over CM Punk. I'm confused. WWE have given Punk the Money in the Bank match two years in a row, and after sabotaging him last year they've decided to hit the warp speed button and do it three weeks after Wrestlemania this year.

Sadly, I can see Punk becoming the first MITB winner not to win a title.

twitter / WillieGannon