Its classic review time yet again here at Wrestling 101, and this month I decided to dust down the WWF Backlash archive and select the best Backlash PPV in its short 5 year history. Now I wanted to actually review Backlash 2000, in which the Rock took on Triple H in a good match, and Chris Benoit fought Chris Jericho is one of their classic matches from 2000, however , as usual things didn’t go to plan as I couldn’t find the Backlash 2000 tape anywhere, so you’ll have to do with Backlash 1999, which all in all, isn’t a bad PPV at all.
Length: (VHS) 166 mins
- Acolytes & Mideon vs. The Brood
- WWF Hardcore Championship Match: Hardcore Holly vs. Al Snow
- WWF Intercontinental Championship Match: The Godfather vs. Goldust
- The New Age Outlaws vs. Owen Hart & Jeff Jarrett
- Boiler Room Brawl Match: Big Show vs. Mankind
- Ken Shamrock vs. The Undertaker
- WWF Championship Match with special referee Shane McMahon.: Stone Cold Steve Austin vs. The Rock
The main event of the evening would feature Stone Cold Steve Austin defending his WWF Championship against The Rock in a rematch from Wrestlemania 15. Austin and Rock had been feuding for months, Rocky had “sold out” and he joined McMahon’s Corporation at Survivor Series 1998, throwing away the moniker of “People’s Champion” to become the “Corporate Champion”. Well While Rock was caught up in a excellent series of matches with Mick Foley, Austin was trying to get a shot at the WWF Championship, in order to do this he would have to win the Royal Rumble, however with assistance from his Corporation and The Rock, Vince McMahon managed to win the Royal Rumble, entitling him to a shot at the WWF Championship at Wrestlemania. However, McMahon put his shot at the gold up for grabs in a cage match with Steve Austin at the St. Valentines Day Massacre PPV, where The Big Show made his WWF debut, attacking Austin, but in the process throwing him out of the cage allowing Austin to win, and go onto Wrestlemania. In the months building up to Wrestlemania, McMahon’s corporation and Austin would be on a collision course, which would result in Austin defeating The Rock is a first class match up. So, this was the end? Far from it.
While Austin had the WWF Championship, he wanted something else, that something else being the Stone Cold Smoking Skull belt, which Austin had adopted as his own WWF Championship belt in 1998. Vince McMahon was willing to give Austin the belt as he was now pre occupied with The Undertaker, Shane wasn’t so willing, and he gave the belt to The Rock, this lead to many confrontations between Rock and Austin, one such moment saw Austin being ‘thrown’ off a bridge with his championship, others saw Austin in a monster truck crushing Rock’s car. All this would culminate in match at Backlash between Austin and Rock, not only would it be for the WWF Championship, but also for Steve Austin’s Smoking Skull belt, and if that wasn’t enough Shane McMahon was the self-appointed guest referee.
Also on the card, The Undertaker would face Ken Shamrock, and Triple H would take on long time running buddy X-Pac, plus many more matches on the card.
This was a typical WWF line of up of the era, nothing mind blowing, but nothing really bad. Of course the main event was going to steal the show, but there was quite a few matches on the card that looked fairly decent, lets have a look at the card from top to bottom, or bottom to top, which ever way you want.
Highs and Lows
Six man match up to kick us off, with Bradshaw, Faarooq and Mideon taking on Christian, Edge and Gangrel. It would seem this wouldn’t be exactly the most inspiring match to kick off a PPV, but to be fair it wasn’t all that bad at all. The match starts off with Christian and Mideon going toe to toe, or to be more accurate knee to knee. The match starts off slowly, but it soon picks up, until Bradshaw is tagged in the ring. Bradshaw pretty much demolishes Gangrel, and Edge. The match pretty much follows the pattern for the most part, with Mideon and The Acolytes showing all the offence, and The Brood struggling to fight back. As 100% guaranteed in all 6 man tag team matches, all hell breaks out , as all six men are in the ring, and start to brawl with one another. As Edge and Gangrel are outside the ring with Mideon and Faarooq, big Viscera comes down to the ring area and he attacks Edge, thus leaving Bradshaw and Christian in the ring together, Bradshaw does the usually run, and hits the Clothesline from Hell for the victory. The Ministry then enter the ring and celebrate their victory. Like I said, not a totally bad match, Edge, Christian and even Mideon saved the match from being totally crap, for an opening PPV bout, it was did resemble a TV match, rather than a match of PPV calibre.
Next up, its everyone favourite Smackdown superstar Bob Holly vs. Al Snow for the WWF’s Hardcore championship. This is a sort of rematch from the match the pair had at St. Valentines Day Massacre, which ended in the Mississippi river. Holly and Al begin in the ring, they do a little brawling and Al throws Holly to the ringside area. Snow goes after Holly where he gets whipped into the steel steps for his efforts. Both continue brawl, and Bob goes under the ring for a weapon, what does he come back with, a chair? A Table? A Barbed wire bat, nope, he has a bottle of water, yup, of all the weapons available, Holly gets a bottle of water. Holly proceeds to whack Snow with the water and the match goes into the crowd. After a few minutes of brawling the pair return to the ring side area, Al goes for a moonsault of the ring side barrier for a two count, then Al goes for the dreaded bottle of water, which at this point is half full. Back in the ring, Al Snow gets a hockey stick and beat Holly down with that, Al then gets a table and sets it up in the ring , Holly manages to recovery and goes after Snow, the pair make there way to the backstage area. A bit more brawling, with the usual, and the pair make their way to the production truck backstage. As the pair fight in the truck, Al manages to throw Holly out of the truck onto a near by car, and Al then lands a elbow on Holly for the 2 count. The pair eventually make it back to the ring, via a few car windows and some other wired objects. Back in the ring, Al Snow sets up Holly on that table from earlier on, he goes to the top turnbuckle but is knocked down by Holly. Holly then takes advantages and superplexes Al Snow through the table. However neither man get take advantage and pin the other guy, Al eventually makes it to his feet and then gets Head and delivers it straight to Bob Holly’s head for the pin, and the Hardcore Championship. Not a bad match at all, had some nice spots with the car and the production truck, and also the ending with the table was good. Overall this is a hardcore match which was very typical on the 1998 – 1999 period, nothing special, but nothing to shabby.
There once was a time when the WWF Intercontinental Championship belt was the stepping stone to the WWF World Championship belt, former champions included people such as Bret Hart, “Macho Man” Randy Savage and Shawn Michaels, these men all used the belt as a stepping stone to get the WWF World Championship. However the Intercontinental championship scene in 1999 was very different, as this particular match featured Goldust vs. The Godfather. While in their own right both men are not the worst grapplers in the world, and Goldust did have a reasonably successful title run earlier in on in his WWF career, neither should have been involved in the Intercontinental title scene during 1999, they were much more deserving guys on the roster who should have worn the title, but that’s another story. So the match, it wasn’t all that bad really. Most of the match was fundamentally sound, but it had some comical bits thrown in involving The Blue Meanie. The ending came when Goldust went to throw some powder in Godfathers face, however Godfather managed to avoid it and push the powder in Goldust’s face. While Dusty Junior was struggling to see, Meanie went to help him, but Goldust hammered him thinking he was Godfather. Goldust then proceeded to give The Blue Meanie the “Shattered Dreams”, Godfather then capitalised on this, kicked him the face and then hit the “Ho Train” , followed by the Death Valley Driver to get the victory. Not the worst match in the word, but considering it was the same title Randy Savage and Ricky Steamboat fought in over in 1987, the matches couldn’t have been further apart.
Next up a tag team match up featuring Owen Hart & Jeff Jarrett vs. The New Age Outlaws. The match starts off with Jarrett and Hart jumping Dogg & Gunn, however The Outlaws soon reverse it, and hammer away on Jarrett and Hart. The referee eventually gains control and Owen Hart and Billy Gunn are the two in the ring. The match “to and throws” between the two teams for the most part, both teams really work well together, and Owen and Jarrett are at the top of their game as usual. After lots of near falls and “heelish” antics by Jarrett and Owen, the ending came when Owen Hart had the Sharpshooter on Road Dogg and Billy Gunn managed to hit a version of the Fame Asser on Owen for the victory. Overall this was a fairly decent match and both teams worked very well.
Next match is a Boiler Room brawl featuring Mankind vs. The Big Show. Anyone who doesn’t the concept of a Boiler room brawl, basically you have to fight your opponent in the arena’s boiler room, and the first person to escape is declared the winner. This match was nothing more than a brawl, simple as that, the pair fought all over the boiler room, and they used everything from what looked like fibre wood, glass sheets, ladders and steel pipes. Big Show pretty much dominates the whole of the match, throwing Foley everywhere. Eventually Foley manages to take the advantage and he throws Show into some steel pipes and buries him underneath them, while he escapes through the door to win the match. After Foley wins the match, Big Bossman and Test attack Mick, but surprising The Big Show chases them off. Overall, I don’t think anyone thought this would be a excellent match, it was a decent and entertaining match, nothing more nothing less. Compared to the matches Foley had two months earlier with Rock , this match was terrible, but that’s down to two things, firstly Foley had busted his ass off for the company in his feud with The Rock, and secondly Big Show is no Rock.
Ok, Triple H vs. X Pac is up next, should be a good match. X Pac starts off fast paced and manages to control the match for the most part, he beats Triple H up a bit, until Triple H manages to gain control and beat down X-Pac. The match goes to the outside where the two brawl with one another, back in the ring, the match continues with both men gaining the advantage, X-Pac sets up Triple H for the Bronco Buster, but Chyna distracts X Pac and Hunter is able to escape. Triple H continues the beat down on X-Pac’s neck with the assistance of Chyna. The rest of the match follows this pattern, as Triple H and Chyna beat down on X-Pac, particularly focusing on his neck. X-Pac eventually manages to gain control and hits Triple H with the X-Factor, however the referee is down, so he can’t count the pin fall. Chyna gets in the ring and attacks, X-Pac, then she pulls Triple H over X-Pac so he can get the pin. However, the lights go out and Kane comes down to the ring, Kane enters the ring and chokeslams Chyna and Triple H and then sets them up in the corner for the Bronco Buster, before leaving the ring. While Kane leaves, X-Pac manages to rise to his feet and hit’s a Bronco Buster on both Chyna and Triple H. X-Pac goes for the pin on Triple H but Trips manages to get to his feet, he hit’s the Pedigree and the rest in history as Triple H wins the match. Overall this was decent enough match, it did get a little boring in the middle as Hunter seemingly applied sleeper after sleeper hold, overall though it was one of the better matches on the card.
The Undertaker vs. Ken Shamrock is up next, and let me tell you, I’m a pretty big Undertaker fan, don’t mind saying so, and as for Shamrock, he always seemed a pretty decent worker, but this match was one of the most boring matches I have ever seen, it was really hard to watch., and the crowd must have felt the same. The match was not a typical Undertaker match as he seemed to focus on the more mat based wrestling rather than his usual style. Taker and Shamrock exchanged submission maneuvers for the best part of the match, with Shamrock trying to “break” Taker’s leg. I’d also like to point out that I have nothing against good old mat based wrestling, when done properly, by the likes of Benoit and Kurt Angle, but not The Undertaker.
The ending came when Bradshaw ran down to the ring with a baseball bat, however Shamrock knocked Bradshaw down, match continues and Shamrock locks Undertaker in an arm bar, however Paul Bearer jumps on the apron and distracts Shamrock. Taker gets up, but Shamrock gives Taker a suplex and goes for a Tombstone of his own, however Taker reverses it and hit’s the Tombstone himself for the win. Just remember that in most cases when someone goes for a Tombstone on the Undertaker, you can guarantee that Taker will reverse the move and hit his own Tombstone.. After the match, Bradshaw goes in the ring and beats Shamrock down even further. Overall one of the most boring matches I have seen in a long time, Undertaker and Shamrock’s styles do not match at all, I wouldn’t say one man was particularly to blame, more due to the fact that there was no chemistry between the pair.
Main event time now, it’s a Wrestlemania rematch as Stone Cold Steve Austin takes of The Rock for the WWF Championship belt, but this time Shane McMahon is the special referee. The match was also a No DQ match, and if Steve Austin touched Shane McMahon he would lose the match, and his WWF Championship belt. Was this going to be a crap match, what do you think? Match starts off with Austin and Rock exchanging rights and left in the ring, the pair continue to wrestle until they make their way to the entrance area. Rock beats Austin down throwing Austin into the guardrail and then Rock throws Austin into a chain link fence, which is part of the stage set up. Both men back up and Austin hit’s a harsh looking suplex on Rock on the concrete floor. Austin then exchanges the favour from earlier on, and he throws Rock into the entrance staging. Both men continue brawling, and after several minutes of fighting the pair make their way back to the ringside area. Back in the ring the fight continues, and Rock is thrown out of the ring, and Austin then clotheslines him from the apron. Rock then manages to Rock Bottom Austin through the Spanish announce table. Austin gets back up, and goes to use a chair, but Shane stops him, brawling continues, and Rock sets Austin up on the announce table, Rock grabs a camera and starts to pan round to the crowd, only to be met with a double finger gesture from Austin, and a stunner to follow. Action eventually is back in the ring and Austin goes for the stunner only to be meant by Rock pushing him into Shane, Rock the hit’s the Rock bottom for a 2 count. Shane goes to the outside area, grabs the WWF Championship and heads in the ring to hit Austin with the belt, however Austin moves and Shane hits Rock, Austin goes for the cover, only to be met with Shane not wanting to count. Down comes Vince McMahon with super referee Earl Hebner, Vince lays his son Shane out with a punch to the face, while Austin delivers a Stunner and a title belt to the face of Rock for the victory. McMahon then throws Austin his smoking skull belt to end a great match. This match in my opinion was better than the match from Wrestlemania, although this was more of a brawl, it still exceeded their previous encounter and cemented Austin and Rock’s as the WWF number one players. This match alone raised the level of this card from mediocre to good.
Just before we go, we see the Undertaker kidnapping Stephanie, to begin the whole marriage malarkey.
This was a typical WWF PPV card of the era, the mid card matches were ok, but nothing special, and the main event saved the day. Looking at Undertaker’s match with Shamrock, it was really a clash of styles, it just didn’t work from the get go. Triple’s H match with X-Pac was pretty good, and helped cement Triple H as a heel, as I previously said, the main event stole the show, and gets a big thumbs up from me. Overall its certainly worth a look if you can managed to find a copy somewhere.