Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
Announcers: Jim Ross, Jerry “The King” Lawler
Ring Announcer: Lillian Garcia
We get an awesome opening video package highlighting tonight's main event which is a rematch from WrestleMania XX. This event is taking place in Chris Benoit's hometown and April 18th has been deemed "Chris Benoit Day".
Shelton Benjamin vs. Ric Flair (World Tag Team champ)
Ric Flair is one half of the World Tag Team champions with Batista. Shelton was recently drafted to Raw where he picked up a couple wins over Triple H. Funny moment during the entrances where Flair demands the ref hold the ropes when he enters the ring and the ref pulls the middle rope up like Flair is actually going to go between the bottom and middle rope. Flair looks at him like he's an idiot and corrects him. Flair begins with his classic hold out the hands and then slick his hair back taunt and Benjamin takes him down for it. Flair retreats. "Woooo" chants from the crowd. Benjamin tries some mat work and Flair is having it and retreats to the ropes. Benjamin does the same taunt to Flair. They trade shoves and slaps and Flair does the flop!! Flair lights up Benjamin in the corner with chops and sends him to the other corner when he jumps to the turnbuckle and lands it on his feet unbeknownst to Flair. They run the ropes before Benjamin take Flair out with a drop kick. A clothesline sends Flair to the outside and Benjamin goes out after him. Flair takes a back body drop on the floor. Benjamin breaks the count and sends Flair back inside where Flair begs off then thumbs him in the eye. Flair takes control of the match. Flair goes to the top life he often does only to be thrown off by Benjamin. Shelton takes Flair down with some clotheslines but misses a drop kick. The figure four is countered into a roll up but only for a 2 count. Benjamin mounts Flair in the corner and delivers some punches but breaks on the refs count allowing Flair to target the knee. Flair does some good work on Benjamin's knee before locking in the figure four! Benjamin eventually reverses the pressure but Flair reverses right back upon rolling into the ropes for a break. Thunderous chop by Flair for a near fall. Flair goes out, grabs a chair, and brings it in the ring but the ref almost immediately disposes of it. They trade right hands and chops in the middle of the ring. Flair grabs the knee and lets out a "Wooo" only to eat an enziguri from Benjamin. Benjamin is really selling the knee. Benjamin hits his vintage heel kick. Benjamin sends Flair into the corner and Flair does his trademark flip onto the apron but then slips off the apron and falls to the floor. Benjamin brings him back in with a suplex and Flair begs off only to lure Benjamin in before hitting another big chop. Flair heads to the top again where he appears to have brass knucks! Shelton splashes him in the corner! Shelton goes to the top and hits a clothesline off the top for the win! This was solid opener and helped to continue Shelton's feud with Evolution. Good way to kick off the show.
W: Shelton Benjamin via pin @ 9:29 (***)
Todd Grisham is backstage to interview Randy Orton. Shelton Benjamin doesn't impress Orton. Orton has been the longest reigning Intercontinental champion of the last seven years. Orton says that he will put Foley out of his misery once and for all.
Jonathan Coachman vs. Tajiri
Tajiri hit Coach with the mist a few weeks ago so Coach cost Tajiri a match which led to this match. Coach surprisingly hits a a nice arm drag to start. Tajiri hits a few kicks and Coach bails to the outside. Tajiri goes for a kick outside but Coach moves and he kicks the ring post. Coach wraps Tajiri's leg around the ring post. Near fall for Coach. Coach continues to work on the injured leg. Tajiri does reverse a leg lock into a sort of single leg crab but Coach immediately gets to the ropes. Coach goes back to work on the leg. Tajiri manages to get a sunset flip for a near fall. Leg lock again by Coach. He uses the ropes for an advantage. Tajiri escapes when he kicks Coach in the face. Coach goes to the top but gets racked by Tajiri on the top turnbuckle. Coach falls into a reverse tree of woe. Tajiri runs and kicks Coach in the back causing him to go face first into the middle turnbuckle! Near fall! Tajiri hits a nice handspring back elbow followed by a low drop kick to the face. More kicks by Tajiri. Coach cuts him off and tries to stack Tajiri up for a pin and use the ropes for leverage but the ref catches him. Coach thinks he won and when he realizes he didn't, he charges at Tajiri only to end up in the tarantula! Tajiri breaks on the refs four count but the ref is distracted by Coach which allows Garrison Cade to nail Tajiri who falls into a roll up allowing Coach to win!
W: Jonathan Coachman via pin @ 6:26 (*1/2)
We see Triple H arriving to the arena.
Christian & Trish Stratus vs. Chris Jericho
Jericho fought Christian at WrestleMania where Trish turned on Jericho. We start with Jericho and Christian. Christian shoves Jericho so Jericho blasts him with a right hand and then Jericho chases Trish outside the ring. Christian tries to attack Jericho when Trish leads him back into the ring but Christian eats an elbow to the face. Back body drop by Jericho sends Christian up in the lights. Jericho beats down Christian and hits a nice delayed standing vertical suplex. A nonchalant cover gets a 2 count. Jericho is distracted by Trish and Christian takes advantage until Jericho sends him to the outside. A springboard drop kick by Jericho knocks Christian off the apron. "Y2J" chants from the crowd. Trish tries to distract Jericho but it doesn't work. Back in the ring, Jericho hits a flying back elbow from the top rope for a near fall. Jericho tries to send Christian into the ropes but Christian reverses and Jericho inadvertently knocks Trish off the apron. Christian suplexes Jericho onto the top rope and then knocks Jericho off and into the barricade. Christian drops Jericho on the barricade before throwing him back inside where he continues the beat down. Christian finally tags Trish in! She hits a few slaps followed by a Chick kick. Jericho grabs her leg and she immediately tags back out. Christian continues to wear down Jericho. Jericho capitalizes on a miscue and goes for the Walls of Jericho but Christian kicks him into the corner but Jericho falls back onto Christian headbutting his groin. Roll up by Jericho for a near fall. Jericho begins building momentum. Another near fall by Jericho. Christian sends Jericho into the corner sternum first Bret Hart style. Jericho avoids a reverse DDT and hits a Northern lights suplex for a near fall. Christian sends Jericho into the corner but Jericho goes up to the second rope where Trish decks him allowing Christian to hit an elevated reverse DDT! 2 count and Christian is frustrated. Jericho goes for the Walls but Trish comes in. Jericho puts Trish over his knee and spanks her. Unprettier by Christian!! He tags Trish in to make the cover! Kick out!! Christian tags himself back in and Jericho kicks out again! Trish runs in and eats a hell of a clothesline! Jericho and Christian are both down now. Back up, they trade blows until Jericho drops a leg on Christian who was draped over the middle rope. Modified bulldog by Jericho. He attempts a Lionsault by Christian gets his knees up. Cloverleaf by Christian. Jericho escapes and goes for the Walls. In comes Trish and he gets her in the Walls! Christian rolls him up for a near fall. Christian goes for another Unprettier but Jericho reverses and sets up for the Walls but instead slingshots Christian into the corner where he takes out Trish! Running enziguri by Jericho and it's over!! This was fun and entertaining handicap match where the heels got their comeuppance.
W: Chris Jericho via pin @ 11:14 (***1/4)
Eugene is backstage looking at the newest divas magazine and wonders into the women's locker room. Gail Kim freaks out and screams which brings Molly Holly without her wig. Eugene touches her shaved head and he screams. William Regal comes in to escort Eugene out.
WWE Women's Championship Match
Victoria (champ) vs. Lita
Lita won a battle royal on Raw to earn this opportunity. Both women are faces going into the match. Lita takes down Victoria a couple times to begin the match. Victoria's turn as she takes Lita down and into a head lock. Pins by both get near falls. They shake hands. They tie up and fall to the outside where the both take hard falls! Slowly, they get back in the ring. A nice exchange of pinning combinations sees both gain near falls. Slam by Victoria and a standing moonsault for a 2 count. Victoria uses a reverse chin lock and surfboard submission until Lita gets to her feet where Victoria suplexes her for a near fall. Victoria locks in a Mexican surfboard but it's short lived. Victoria gets Lita up on her shoulders but Lita counters with a head scissors and starts to build some momentum. Lita has Victoria reeling after a nice string of offensive maneuvers. Lita takes her down to the mat with a sleeper but she makes it to the ropes. Lita charges in but Victoria hangs her up on the ropes. Victoria gets Lita on her shoulders again but this time connects with a tilt-a-whirl side slam for a 2 count. Victoria goes up top where she pretty much misses a moonsault. She barely caught part of Lita's legs. Jackknife cover by Lita for 2. Lita hits a reverse Twist of Fate but it looks rather ugly. Near fall. Lita attempts Twist of Fate but Victoria tries to counter with a back slide. Lita stops that and flips Victoria over her back but she lands on her feet and gets the win with an inside cradle!! They tried hard but the crowd just didn't seem to be into it.
W: Victoria via pin @ 7:23 (**1/2)
After that match, Molly Holly and Gail Kim attack Victoria and Lita.
No Holds Barred Match for the WWE Intercontinental Championship
Evolution is banned from ringside
Randy Orton (champ) vs. Mick Foley
Orton is out first with the worst looking barbed wire two by four I've ever seen and a trash can full of some other items. Mick Foley comes out in Cactus Jack attire with Barbie which is a baseball bat wrapped in barbed wire. Foley immediately chases Orton around the ring trying to hit him with Barbie but is unsuccesful. Orton uses a drop toe hold to send Foley into the steps. Orton tries to use Barbie on Foley but Foley blocks it. Orton nails Foley in the head with a trash can multiple times. Foley stops him with a boot to the face returns the favor using the trash can on Orton. Back in the ring, Foley beats down Orton. Foley gains a near fall. Foley uses a baseball slide to kick Orton out of the ring to the floor and then slides out of the ring and hits a swinging neck breaker on Orton on the floor. Foley goes to the top turnbuckle to set up something but Orton crawls up the ramp to avoid it. Orton catches Foley coming in and back suplexes him on the ramp. Near fall. Orton does back slide for a near fall on the ramp which looks really out of place. Orton picks up Foley and throws him backwards and Foley's head smacks off the ramp. They battle back inside the ring. Orton gets Barbie and tries to rake it across Foley's face but Foley low blows him. Foley takes control and pulls out Socko! He's about to use it but notices Barbie on the ground. He picks up Barbie and holds both up and the crowd cheers for Barbie so he takes Socko off and throws it on the mat. Barbie to the face of Orton!! He's busted!!! To the face again!! Foley targets Orton's head now and beats him down in the corner before hitting his patent running knee to the face. Foley rakes the barbed wire across Orton's head. Orton crawls to the middle rope facing the hard camera and Foley rakes Barbie across his head again and then proceeds to rip Orton's shirt off. Foley puts Barbie between Orton's legs and leg drops it!! The crowd loves it! Foley goes to the outside to grab a gas can and a lighter. He goes to light Barbie but Eric Bischoff is out!! He tells Foley that if he lights it, the Fire Marshall will shut down Backlash and the fans will go home as they crowd boos!! Foley throws Barbie outside the ring but then hits Orton in the face with a wicked cookie sheet shot. Foley goes back outside and pulls a piece of plywood from under the ring that's probably two feet by four feet and covered in barbed wire. He puts it in the ring. "Holy shit" chants from the crowd. Foley tries to knock Orton on the barbed wire plywood but Orton throws a white powder in his face to blind him allowing Orton to slam Foley onto it!! Foley rolls through it and it looks painful as hell. Near fall by Orton. Orton pounds on Foley and sets the plywood up in the corner. He tries to Irish whip Foley into the barbed wire and Foley reverses but Orton re-reverses and sends Foley into it. A drop kick by Orton follows to send Foley into it again. Then Orton throws it down on him. Orton pulls a big back out of a box in the corner and it's full of tacks!! He pours them all over the mat. There must be thousands! Orton attempts to RKO Foley on the tacks but Foley pushes Orton off of him ONTO THE TACKS!!! Damn!! There are tacks in his shoulders, back, arms, butt, everywhere!! Orton is shaking in pain and the look on his face is iconic!! JR says he looks like a human pin cushion. Foley covers for a 2 count! Orton rolls out of the ring and heads up the ramp as he pulls tacks out of his hands. Foley follows him and attacks. They briefly fight backstage but come back quickly. Foley throws Orton off of the stage!!! The crowd is going crazy!! JR says Orton went for a death ride. EMTs are out to check on Orton while a couple refs keeps Foley back. Foley knocks down the refs and then dives off the stage onto Orton!!! More "Holy shit" chants. 1..2..NO!! Orton kicked out! Foley picks Orton up and takes him back to the ring. Orton doesn't have near as many tacks in his back now but there are still some. Double arm DDT by Foley but Orton kicks out at 2. Foley sets up the plywood and then goes after Orton on the outside but Orton hits him in the face with Barbie and now Foley is busted open!! Orton hits Foley with Barbie a few more times and it rips Foley's t-shirt when it catches on his back. Orton goes to use Barbie again but Foley catches him with Socko! Orton drops to his knees. Uppercuts by Orton to temporary break it but Foley locks it in again. RKO OUTTA NOWHERE!!! 1...2...Foley kicks out!! Side note, the ref got a tack in his hand when he hit the mat to count. Orton moves Barbie into position and hits another RKO onto Barbie and it's over!! Wow!! This was violent and amazing! This is the best Orton match to date and a must watch match for sure. Just as Foley made Triple H a star in early 2000, he helped make Orton a star here. Flair and Batista come out to help Orton to the back.
W: Randy Orton via pin @ 23:04 (****1/2)
John Cena talks about his new Word Life DVD.
Jerry Lawler ask JR if he believes in Orton now and JR says Orton is tougher than a $2 steak.
Triple H praises Randy Orton backstage. Todd Grisham asks Triple H what his chances are tonight and Triple H says you shouldn't bet against him.
La Resistance vs. The Hurricane & Rosey
Workers around the ring are still trying to clean up tacks from the previous match as JR is still in shock that Foley lost. This match was made earlier in the night on Heat. Lawler predicts Hurricane will win. The match starts with Hurricane and Rob Conway. They tie up and after exchange Conway gets the better of Hurricane. Another tie up and about the same thing but this time Hurricane gets the better of it. Commentary is ignoring this match and still talking about Orton/Foley. Sylvan Grenier attempts to run in but Rosey also comes in and makes sure that doesn't happen. Rosey helps Hurricane clean house and some good double team gains a near fall. Hurricane goes to the top but Grenier distracts him allowing Conway to deliver a hanging swinging neck breaker that looks pretty sweet. JR is still talking about Foley and how he was in a boiler room brawl at the every first Backlash in 1999 (he defeated Big Show then in case you're wondering). Grenier is in for La Resistance and works over Hurricane gaining a couple near falls. Eugene makes his way out to the ring like commentary needed something else to talk about besides this match. Rosey is in now as Eugene parades around the ring. Rosey is cleaning house. Eugene uses La Resistance's flags to play hide and seek. Everyone ends up on the outside and Hurricane goes to the top and takes out everyone with a flying cross body. Hurricane throws Conway back in the ring as Eugene gets in to run the ropes. Hurricane looks at Eugene like what are you doing. Hurricane loses his mask somehow and Rosey pulls Grenier off the apron. William Regal is out now to try to get Eugene out of the ring. Hurricane hits Eye of the Hurricane on Conway for the win. This was a mess and the definition of a cool off filler match. It was unnecessary and was just there to give the crowd a break. Commentary and the crowd didn't care so why should we. Eugene celebrated with Hurricane and Rosey after.
W: The Hurricane & Rosey via pin @ 5:03 (*)
We see a video of Shawn Michaels arriving earlier today.
Kane vs. Edge
Edge will lose and be suspended if he uses his cast as a weapon
This is Edge's first match in 14 months as he was out of action due to neck surgery. Somewhere along the line he broke his hand. Johnny Nitro, better known presently as John Morrison (he was Eric Bischoff's lackey at the time), told Edge he would lose and be suspended if he used it as a weapon. Earl Hebner is the ref and the crowd chants "You screwed Bret!" at him. Edge avoids some right hands from Kane and lands a few of his own. JR compares Kane to players in the upcoming NFL draft. Edge mounts Kane and delivers a few punches until Kane grabs him by the throat and slams him. Kane takes control now and works on Edge's broken hand. Kane charges at Edge in the corner but eats a back elbow. Edge hits shoulder block from the second rope and goes for a spear but Kane rolls out of the ring. They brawl on the outside where Edge throws Kane into the ring post then tears up the announce table but nothing comes of it. Edge breaks the count and comes back out but Kane catches him with an uppercut and slams the broken hands into the steps then around the ring post. Back in the ring, Kane keeps working on the broken hand. After some work on the hand, Kane gains a near fall. More "You screwed Bret" chants towards Earl. Kane's work on the hand is boring. Edge begins to fight back but walks into a side walk slam. Kane misses a leg drop and Edge mounts some offense. Edge calls for a cast shot and Earl tells him he'll lose if he uses it then Edge walks into a big boot from Kane. Kane goes to the top turnbuckle but Edge cuts him off. Kane pushes Edge off but then misses a flying clothesline. Impaler DDT by Edge!! Kane sits up! Edge sets up for a spear by Kane moves out of the way and Earl dives out of the ring to avoid it as well. Kane loads up Edge for a choke slam but Edge low blows him! Cast shot to the head!! Earl is still on the outside. SPEAR by Edge!! Earl gets back in to count the 3!! I think I expected better from these two and I know they're capable of better. I think Edge was rusty but it makes sense given how long he was out of action.
W: Edge via pin @ 6:26 (**1/2)
A Judgment Day advertisement airs featuring a preview of Eddie Guerrero vs. JBL.
We see an awesome video package for the main event.
The Final Encounter
Triple Threat Match for the World Heavyweight Championship
Triple H vs. Shawn Michaels vs. Chris Benoit (champ)
Unlike WrestleMania XX, Shawn Michaels appears to be the heel here and Triple H is more of a tweener since they're in Canada. The crowd erupts for Benoit since he's the hometown kid. It's sad to watch this back and see Benoit's wife, Nancy, his kids, and parents sitting in the front row. Commentary wants to know if lightning will strike twice for Benoit. JR lets us know that if Triple H wins tonight, he'll tie Verne Gagne and The Rock with 9 World titles. I love that Benoit gets in the ring and holds the title in each guys face. Triple H talks trash to start so Benoit and Michaels team up on him. Michaels clotheslines Triple H out of the ring and trades chops with Benoit. The crowd "Wooos" with each one. Benoit gains the advantage and takes Michaels down. Michaels reverses with a swinging neck breakers and Triple H is back in now. Michaels and Triple H trade blows until Triple connects with a high knee. Triple H throws Benoit out of the ring. "You tapped out" chants by the crowd referring to WrestleMania. Benoit gets on the apron to try to get back in the ring but Michaels knocks him back to the floor. Michaels comes off the ropes and Triple H sets him up for the Pedigree but Michaels senses it and escapes. Benoit is back on the apron again and both Michaels and Triple H knock him to the floor as the crowd boos. A pissed Benoit gets back in the ring and hits a German on Michaels. German to Triple H! He goes for another German on Michaels but it's blocked and Benoit ducks a clothesline by Triple H. Benoit lights them both up with chops. More "Wooos!" Benoit sends Michaels to the corner with a hard Irish whip that sends him up and out of the ring. Triple H jumps off the top and Benoit catches him in the crossface!! I'm not even sure what Triple H was attempting. Benoit sees Michaels getting on the apron so he breaks the hold in order to go knock Michaels off the apron much like Michaels did to him earlier. Benoit follows Michaels outside and throws Michaels into the barricade multiple times. Benoit goes to the top turnbuckle but Triple H cuts him off and sets him up for a superplex. Michaels is back in and nails Triple H in the back but Benoit falls all the way to the floor! Michaels hits an electric chair on Triple H for a near fall. Michaels lights up Triple H with a couple chops but then lowers his head and Triple H makes him pay with a face buster. Benoit goes back to the top and hits a diving head butt on Michaels. Shades of the Dynamite Kid as JR says. Benoit gets a 2 count as Triple H breaks it up. Triple H and Benoit trade blows and Benoit throws him out of the ring. Michaels goes for a flying forearm but Benoit ducks and Michaels takes out referee Mike Chioda who falls to the outside. Benoit knocks Michaels out of the ring. Triple H comes back in and attempts a Pedigree on Benoit but it's reversed and Benoit tries a Sharpshooter but Triple H kicks him away. Benoit tries it again and gets it locked in! Michaels tries to break it up but Benoit catches him in the crossface!! Benoit breaks the hold when he realizes there is no referee. He tries to revive Chioda but no luck. Michaels locks Benoit in the Sharpshooter!! Here comes Earl Hebner!! The crowd boos like crazy because it looks like Montreal all over again!! Triple H breaks it up. Michaels with an inside cradle on Benoit for a near fall. "You screwed Bret!" chants directed at Shawn and Earl. The crowd noise is deafening! Benoit gets the crossface on Michaels but Triple H makes the save. "Let's Go Benoit" chants now. Triple H DDTs Benoit and all men are down. Triple H beats on Benoit as they crowd chants "You tapped out!" Benoit fights back and sends Triple H into the corner and he flips over and lands on the outside. Michaels avoids a German and gets a near fall after a clothesline. More "You screwed Bret!" chants. Michaels throws Benoit to the outside in front of the announcers table where Triple H also is. Michaels goes to the top turnbuckle and attempts a flying cross body but Triple H and Benoit both move and Michaels crashes and burns through the announce table!! Triple H throws Benoit into the ring post and then into the steps. Mike Chioda is being carried out. Back in the ring, Triple H is pounding Benoit with right hands. Triple sends Benoit into the ring post shoulder first twice. He falls out of the ring the second time. Triple H puts him back in the ring as the crowd chants "Asshole!" Triple H locks Benoit in a camel clutch. Benoit fights back and the crowd is solidly behind him. Triple H mounts Benoit in the corner for punches but Benoit drops Triple H's face on the turnbuckle for snake eyes. Triple H catches Benoit with a face buster but Benoit hits a German! Another German! The trifecta!! Benoit calls for the head butt. He misses it!! PEDIGREE by Triple H on Benoit!!! 1...2...Michaels breaks it up!!! Triple H keeps knocking Michaels down but he keeps getting back up. Benoit is down on the apron. Flying forearm by Michaels on Triple H and he nips up. Michaels puts Triple H down with a scoop slam and follows that with an elbow from the top. Michaels is tuning up the band for Triple H!! Boos from the crowd! Both men are stirring now. SWEET CHIN MUSIC ON BENOIT!!! Low blow on Michaels by Triple H! Near fall! Triple H sets Michaels up for a Pedigree but Michaels back drops him to the floor. Triple H grabs a sledge hammer from under the ring, He hits Michaels in the back with it!! Triple H measures shot for another sledge hammer shot but Benoit pulls Triple H out of the ring. Triple H bounces Benoit's face off the steps and now Triple H rearranges them to setup Benoit up for a Pedigree on the steps. Benoit reverses the Pedigree and catapults Triple H into ring post! Triple H falls back over the barricade and into the crowd. Benoit crawls back in the ring as Michaels is tuning up the band again! Benoit catches Michaels' leg! SHARPSHOOTER ON MICHAELS!! He's trying to fight it and makes it to the ropes! Benoit pulls Michaels back to the center of the ring!! Michaels is still fighting as Triple H crawls up on the apron. Triple H almost makes the save and MICHAELS TAPS OUT!!! This was beautiful! I'd argue this was just as good as the WrestleMania XX triple threat and Michaels tapping out in Canada was nice retribution for Canadian fans given Michaels history. The crowd was electric for this! This match is worth going out of your way to see!
W: Chris Benoit via submission @ 30:10 (****1/2)
Overall Rating: 8.5/10
This is arguably the best Backlash event there ever was. While there are a couple of bad matches, at least they were kept short. The only thing I really didn't care for was Hurricane/Rosey vs. La Resistance. The handicap match was fun and better than I expected it to be. The reason this show is must watch is because of the Intercontinental Championship match and the main event! A star making performance by Randy Orton and easily his best match to date and Foley was more than up for the task of making Orton look like a star. The main event had a lot to live up to after WrestleMania XX but it did just that and I'd say it's just as good. The match still had the perfect story with the perfect wrestlers in the perfect environment and they all knocked it out of the park!