The worst PPV of the year with almost every single match having an absolutely baffling booking decision behind it – we’ve got Backlash 2018 everybody!
Right, this is definitely the show that’s received the most mainstream attention due to it being a 2018 PPV from WWE. You all know how bad this show is but, just in case you forgot, I’m here to help! Just for you all to know, I’m gonna change the way I do these reviews for this show. As we all know the context and there’s very little to discuss regarding the presentation as, obviously, it’s WWE – you know what you’re getting.
SO. I’m going to run down the show, match by match, showing how terrible this show truly is. So let’s waste no further time and get straight into it.
Seth Rollins vs The Miz
Literally the only good thing on this show. And, not only that, a genuinely fantastic match. This was, sadly, towards the end of the incredible run that The Miz had been on for a couple of years. He was starting to lose steam that would come to a bloody wall when he met Shane McMahon but here; you can see how hot the crowd is.
Pair that with Seth Rollins in his ‘I’m going to get over by doing amazing wrestling’ phase and we all knew it was going to be fantastic. Seth retains his title which, in the context of the story and timeframe, made perfect sense coming off of WrestleMania and allowed both men to move onto different paths.
Brilliant. Now that’s out of the way though, onto the shite.
Alexa Bliss vs Nia Jax
It starts now. The whole Bliss vs Jax feud was.. .definitely interesting; with WWE going to that lovely ‘HAHAHA, NIA IS BIGGER THAN THE OTHER GIRLS’. To its credit, that definitely showcased who was the face in the storyline. Bliss was the evil bully who everyone wanted to see be defeated by the babyface champion, doing it for all of us.
But then the count-out issue happened. Nia and Alexa were brawling on the outside and the referee very quickly got confused. After reaching an ‘EIGHT’ count, he inexplicably just went… ‘ONE’. Like… what?! What are you doing?
Nia retains and cuts the most PR positive promo in the world after the match. Lovely.
Randy Orton vs Jeff Hardy
It’s a Randy Orton match. Jeff Hardy is one of my, if not my number one, favourites and is the reason I first got into wrestling. And I still hated this.
It was dull, filled with rest holds until Jeff eventually hits a combo of a Twist of Fate into the Swanton Bomb to retain.
… alright this was quality.
I don’t know what to call this segment but it was a laugh. It was absolutely pointless and felt like it was from a completely different show, but it was funny. All the comedy acts in WWE came out to annoy Elias, the best wrestler in the world (AND I WILL FIGHT ANYONE WHO DISAGREES), and it was just fun.
Something we would not experience for the rest of the night.
Daniel Bryan vs Big Cass
Here is the entire Wikipedia entry for this match, completely unedited:
‘In the fourth match, Daniel Bryan faced Big Cass. In the end, Bryan forced Cass to submit to the ‘Yes Lock’ for the win. After the match, Cass attacked Bryan with a big boot. ‘
That’s it. And that’s literally all that happened. It wasn’t really a match, it was a finish. Just remember as well, this is literal weeks into the return of Daniel Bryan. THE Daniel Bryan. One of the greatest of all time and the first singles match they give him back… is against a guy who wouldn’t even last another two months in the company.
For god’s sake.
Carmella vs Charlotte
Less than four weeks before this PPV, Charlotte was the first wrestler in WWE to defeat Asuka in a wrestling match by pinfall/submission. That’s really important to know because, at this show, Carmella defeated Charlotte completely clean in the middle of the ring.
Yes. That happened. Listen, I love Carmella. She’s fantastic at what she does and I have no issue with the result of the match. But clean? Seriously?
You couldn’t have had the chicken-shit heel cheat to win in some way? Like she did for so much of her reign? It just completely takes away from the huge achievement Charlotte had as she just… lost.
AJ Styles vs Shinsuke Nakamura
The world championship match, that had a no disqualification stipulation, ended up as a draw. A draw. AKA there was no winner. WHAT IS GOING ON?!
Seriously, I just don’t know what was happening at this point. It’s fair to say that the AJ Styles vs Shinsuke Nakamura feud in WWE didn’t exactly live up to the hype. Whilst many, including Styles himself in a recent interview, believe the reason to be over-hype and the obsession over their WrestleKingdom 10 match as the main cause of the let down.
Whereas, and go with me on this, I’d personally argue that centering the entire feud around kicks to the dick was probably the main cause of the deflation amongst fans. And that nicely connects, no pun intended, to the finish as both men hit a low blow and cannot meet the referee’s count of 10.
IT’S THE WORLD TITLE MATCH. With a stipulation that dictates there must be a winner. From both a booking and consumer perspective, it is absolutely baffling.
But hey, at least that’s the main event and we can all lea… what do you mean there’s another two matches?
Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn vs Braun Strowman and Bobby Lashley
I have no idea why this was on the show, NEVER MIND why it went on after the world title match.
Both men involved in the pinfall weren’t the legal men.
Roman Reigns vs Samoa Joe
Oooooookay, here we go.
Right. As soon as Shinsuke Nakamura’s music hit, the entirety of social media exploded as everyone realised that the WWE golden boy of the time would be in the main event of a PPV, despite not having a championship for himself or facing off against a champion.
Roman Reigns vs. Samoa Joe for nothing but a pinfall main evented this show and it makes no sense. Not only that, but the match was TERRIBLE. Reigns vs Joe, on paper, sounds incredible. Two big men with devastating strikes but also incredible speed would be a sight to see. But this was just rest hold… after rest hold… after rest hold… after A SUPERMAN PUNCH INTO A…
Oh, it’s another rest hold.
The crowd audibly turned on this. From chants starting at the usual ‘Boring’ and ‘CM Punk’ before eventually getting to ‘We Want Refunds’ and ‘Beat the Traffic’ ringing from the rafters.
The moment that summarises this match is when Reigns hits the spear and gets the win, the camera cuts to a section of the audience that just immediately gets up and leaves before we quickly go back to Roman’s face.
It was just an absolutely baffling decision and I genuinely feel for both men but especially Roman. It’s not his fault he was put in that position. But Christ, Vince didn’t do him any favours.
It’s just so bad.
It’s so bad. Don’t watch it.
Cheers, bye. See you next week.
You can find me on Twitter @McIverTheMark