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
• 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
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.