Case Number 16779: Small Claims Court

WWE: BACKLASH 2009

WWE // 2009 // 176 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge Franck Tabouring (Retired) // July 9th, 2009

The Charge

It's time to face the backlash!

The Case

Now that WrestleMania 25 is over, it's time for the stars of Raw, Smackdown, and ECW to suffer the backlash. A lot is at stake for some of wrestling's top athletes, and here's what WWE: Backlash 2009 has to offer:

* Christian vs. Jack Swagger in an ECW Championship Match
Backlash kicks off with an intense ECW Championship Match between crowd-pleaser Christian and title holder Jack Swagger, who both display great athleticism as they offer fans an entertaining 10-minute battle. Christian launches into the fight with some impressive high-risk maneuvers, while Swagger occasionally pulls off decent counterattacks. The result isn't necessarily that surprising, but the wrestling action is well-coordinated and varied. It's a solid PPV opener.

* Chris Jericho vs. Ricky "The Dragon" Steamboat
I still don't know what WWE's writers were thinking when they had Chris Jericho picking fights with some of wrestling's greatest, but the feud he's been involved in for weeks now is a tad too ridiculous for my taste. Much to my surprise, however, this matchup between Jericho and Ricky Steamboat isn't all that bad. Steamboat is in great shape and dominates the first part of the match, showing fans he's still got what it takes to compete inside the ring. Clocking in at 16 minutes, this one is a little too long, with Jericho occasionally trying to slow it down via a series of submission holds. Again, the end of this matchup isn't that intense. Then again, it could've been a lot worse.

* Kane vs. CM Punk
Kane and CM Punk battle it out in another regular match, and although it's not as entertaining as I expected, I appreciate Kane's and Punk's efforts to give the crowd an overall solid show. Punk in particular delivers some strong kicks and high-risk moves that boost the action, while Kane stays more on the defensive side. This 9-minute match is not better than its predecessors, but it's not necessarily that bad either.

* Jeff Hardy vs. Matt Hardy in a "I Quit Match"
The Hardy brothers have been feuding for quite some time now as well, and this battle doesn't mark their first encounter inside the ring. This time though, there won't be a winner until one of the two actually says "I quit." Clocking in at 20 minutes, this matchup is neither impressive nor boring. The Hardys' confrontation at WrestleMania 25 was already pretty intense, and although they do deliver some high-risk moves and nice dives here and there, this showdown isn't that surprising. Especially the final part of the match drags on way too much. This one isn't boring, but it could've been a tad more exciting.

* Triple H, Batista & Shane McMahon vs. Randy Orton, Cody Rhodes & Ted DiBiase in a 6-Man Tag Team Match for the WWE Championship
A 6-Man Tag Team Match between some of WWE's top superstars should be quite interesting, and indeed, this WWE Championship Match ends up delivering the goods. While Batista starts off having fun with DiBiase and Rhodes, the match turns a little more serious once Orton and Triple H get in on the action. Shane McMahon also manages to pull off some impressive dives and fast-paced moves during this 24-minute wrestling match. As a title match preceding the main event, this one offers fans plenty of entertainment and surprises.

* John Cena vs. Edge in a Last Man Standing Match for the World Heavyweight Championship
Last Man Standing matches are known for their duration, and Cena's match against Edge runs for a total of 30 minutes. Even though I expected this battle to drag a bit because of the referee's numerous counts, it actually turned out to be a rather enjoyable experience. Cena and Edge do a great job at displaying the true power behind their moves, and they work together quite well. WWE writers could have thought of something more inventive to wrap this one up, but we do get to see some crazy stunts here and there during this final matchup. It could've been a whole lot worse.

As far as the DVD's technical aspects are concerned, I have no complaints. As usual, the disc carries a decent transfer with a solid enough picture quality for a show broadcast live on television. The audio transfer does the job as well, and a Spanish commentary track is also included.

The only extra on the DVD is a short backstage clip following the 6-Man Tag Team Match. Besides plenty of ridiculous theatrics, there's really nothing to look for here. Disappointing indeed.

Surprisingly, WWE: Backlash 2009 is a solid pay-per-view. Most of the matches are highly entertaining and well-coordinated, and the WWE superstars usually manage to put on an excellent show without overdoing it.

The Verdict

Not guilty.

Review content copyright © 2009 Franck Tabouring; Site layout and review format copyright © 1998 - 2014 HipClick Designs LLC

Scales of Justice
Judgment: 88

Perp Profile
Studio: WWE
Video Formats:
* Full Frame

Audio Formats:
* Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround (English)
* Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (Spanish)

Subtitles:
* None

Running Time: 176 Minutes
Release Year: 2009
MPAA Rating: Not Rated

Distinguishing Marks
* Backstage Clip

Accomplices
* IMDb
http://us.imdb.com/title/tt1412366/combined

* Official Site
http://www.wwe.com/shows/backlash/