Implemented in 1999, still, at the time of the World Wrestling Federation (WWF), Backlash has been for several years the next pay-per-view to WrestleMania, ending up often hosting rematches for the matches that took place in the biggest event of the year. This logic will continue in 2021, as the name given to this edition indicates: WrestleMania Backlash. Usually held in late April, the PPV was exclusive to Raw three times (2004 to 2006) and twice to SmackDown (2016 and 2017). And between 2010 and 2015 it was inactive. So it’s worth checking out our list of the ten best fights in Backlash history, in chronological order.
No Holds Barred match for the WWF Championship
(Shane McMahon guest referee):
Stone Cold Steve Austin (c) vs. The Rock
It all started the year before, when Steve Austin became WWE Champion at WrestleMania XIV, something that displeased the company’s owner, Vince McMahon, who didn’t want to have a beer-loving rebel as the company’s main figure. So McMahon began to make Austin’s reign and life hell.
However, the WWF Championship was vacated in September after The Undertaker and Kane both settled in Austin at the same time during a handicap match at Breakdown: In Your House. The following month, Austin refereed a match between Kane and no contest . At Survivor SeriesUndertaker to determine the new champion, but ended up attacking both, causing the match to end in, The Rock won a tournament to determine the new champion after the McMahon family framed Austin in the semifinals and Mankind in the finals.
However, the 1999 Royal Rumble was already on the horizon and the McMahon family did their best to keep Austin from winning. First, he put him in a Buried Alive match against The Undertaker in which his presence dele in theRoyal Rumble match was at stake , but Stone Cold won at the Royal Rumble, Austin came in first and it was reported that whoever eliminated him would receive a $100,000 bounty, but Stone Cold survived most of the match until he was eliminated by Vince McMahon at the end.
On the following night’s Raw is War , McMahon handed the bounty to The Rock, who helped him eliminate Austin, and announced that he would not make use of the opportunity he had gained to fight for the title at WrestleMania XV. McMahon planned to choose The Rock’s opponent for the big event, but was interrupted by Commissioner Shawn Michaels, who informed him that WWF rules say that if the winner of the Royal Rumble to give up that opportunity, the title shot would be offered to the runner-up, which in this case was Steve Austin. Therefore, Austin used this mistake by McMahon to face him in the ring, in a match where the opportunity for the WWF Championship was at stake in a Steel Cage match. Despite interference from the Big Show, Austin did achieve victory.
At WrestleMania , but in the weeks that followed, both had memorable moments, with The Rock tossing Austin and the belt off a Detroit bridge into the river. The following week, as a joke, The Rock organized a funeral for Austin, but he used a monster truck. XV, Austin beat The Rock to win the title to crush The Rock’s limousine and hearse. During the Sunday Night Heat before Backlash, Shane McMahon announced that the Austin-The Rock match would have no disqualifications and announced that he would referee himself.
WWF Light Heavyweight Championship:
Dean Malenko (c) vs. Scotty 2 Hotty
On the March 13 edition of Raw is War , Dean Malenko beat Essa Rios to win the WWF Light Heavyweight Championship for the first time. However, Malenko, who was part of The Radicalz, came into conflict with Scotty 2 Hotty, who belonged to rival faction Too Cool and who became the new main contender for the Light Heavyweight Championship. Scotty won the title on the April 17 episode of Raw is War , but Malenko regained it on the 27th episode of SmackDown! . The fight between the two was scheduled for the 30th, at Backlash.
Kurt Angle vs. Edge
On the March 18 Monday Night Raw, the first after WrestleMania X8, Edge and Kane’s team beat Angle and Booker T’s after a Canadian settlement on the Olympic champion. Frustrated at having suffered the settlement, Angle commented on a match between Booker T and Edge on SmackDown! three days later and ended up interfering in the duel, costing Edge the defeat, in what was only the first of several attacks between them.
On the following Raw, Edge cost Kurt Angle the loss in an intercontinental title match against Rob Van Dam, on a night when both learned that they would be on the SmackDown roster. On the April 4th episode of Smackdown! , Edge and Angle finally faced each other, but the match ended in Angle’s disqualification, who attacked Edge with a chair. The following week, Edge challenged Kurt Angle to a match at Backlash.
Hardcore match for the WWE Intercontinental Championship :
Randy Orton (c) vs. Cactus Jack (Mick Foley)
It all started nearly a year earlier, when Mick Foley was honored on the June 23, 2003, Monday Night Raw. After the ceremony, Randy Orton and Ric Flair attacked him backstage and threw him down the stairs. Six months later, on the December 15 episode of Raw , Foley returned to television to replace Steve Austin as co- general manager and gave himself a shot at the intercontinental title held by Orton . However, Foley abandoned the match and did not face the Legend Killer after he spat in his face.
The following month, Foley entered the Royal Rumble match and eliminated Orton. before self-eliminating. The feud between the two continued, and on the March 1 episode of Raw, The Rock teamed up with Mick Foley to rejoin the Rock ‘n’ Sock Connection and challenge Orton and two other Evolution members, Batista and Ric Flair, to a handicap match at WrestleMania XX.
In the biggest event of the year, Evolution won after Orton landed an RKO and subsequent settlement on Foley. However, two weeks later Foley challenged Orton to a Hardcore match for the intercontinental title at Backlash and brought back his more violent alter-ego, Cactus Jack.
World Heavyweight Championship:
Chris Benoit (c) vs. Shawn Michaels vs. Triple H
At WrestleMania XX, Chris Benoit became world champion by defeating then-champion Triple H and Shawn Michaels in a triple threat match by making The Game fold via the Crippler Crossface . On the March 15 episode of Raw , Benoit and Shawn Michaels defeated Evolution ( Randy Orton , Ric Flair, and Batista) in a handicap match , with the new world champion forced Batista to fold via a Sharpshooter .
The following week, Triple H was drafted to SmackDown., which prompted Raw General Manager Eric Bischoff to announce that Chris Benoit would defend the World Heavyweight Championship against Shawn Michaels at Backlash. However, three days later, SmackDown General Manager Kurt Angle announced that Triple H was returned to Raw in exchange for The Dudley Boyz and Booker T.Accordingly, on the March 29 episode of Raw , Eric Bischoff added Triple H to the title match at Backlash, making it a triple threat match , that is, a re-edition of the main event of WrestleMania XX.
WWE Championship :
John Cena (c) vs. Edge vs. Triple H
At the 2006 Royal Rumble,John Cena regained the WWE Championship with a victory over Edge. At the same time, Triple H missed his goal of winning the Royal Rumble match, but went on to win a tournament that took place on Monday Night Raw , beating Big Show and Rob Van Dam in the finals, to become the main contender for the title at WrestleMania 22.
In the biggest event of the year , Cena defeated Triple H via STFU , who took Edge, who had just beaten Mick Foley impressively on pay-per-view. , to claim an opportunity.
The three then had a series of handicap matches that led to the two facing each other in a triple threat match at Backlash, as Triple H beat Cena after a Pedigree , Cena forced Edge to fold to STFU , and Edge beat Triple H after a Spear.
WWE Championship :
John Cena (c) vs. Edge vs. Randy Orton vs. Shawn Michaels
At the 2007 Royal Rumble,Shawn Michaels was one of the final two participants in the Royal Rumble match, but was eventually eliminated by The Undertaker . However, Michaels got a shot at the WWE Championship at WrestleMania 23 after defeating Randy Orton and Edge in a triple threat match . However, HBK was defeated in the biggest event of the year by John Cena , who made him fold with a STFU .
On the April 9 episode of Monday Night Raw , Shawn Michaels and Randy Orton faced off in a match to determine the new title contender, but the match ended in a no contest due to a double pinfall . That same night, Advocating Edge that he should be considered in the new lead candidate, prompting Honorary General Manager Michael Pena of the Make-Wish Foundation to announce a fatal four-way match for Backlash.
Last Man Standing match for the World Heavyweight Championship:
John Cena (c) vs. edge
In February 2009, at the No Way Out pay-per view , Edge lost his WWE Championship in the opening match, so he decided to attack Kofi Kingston, who was supposed to compete in an Elimination Chamber match for John Cena ‘s World Heavyweight Championship , and not only held the place of the Ghanaian as he won the title by eliminating Rey Mysterio in the last.
Weeks later, SmackDown General Manager Vickie Guerrero announced that husband Edge would defend his belt against Big Show at WrestleMania XXV. However, as both were getting ready to sign the fight contract, John Cena appeared and relieved in his ear that the duel should be cancelled.
The following week on Raw , Vickie announced to Edge and Big Show’s surprise that Cena would be added to the match and it was later revealed that Cena ‘s addition was related to blackmailing Vickie with footage of her cheating on Edge with Big Show.
At WrestleMania XXV, Cena regained the title, and on the following day’s Raw , Vickie Guerrero announced that the new champion would defend his World Heavyweight Championship against Edge in a Last Man Standing match at Backlash.
WWE World Championship :
Dean Ambrose (c) vs. AJ Styles
At SummerSlam, Dean Ambrose retained the title against Dolph Ziggler, while AJ Styles beat John Cena . On the following episode of SmackDown , Styles proclaimed himself the top contender for the WWE World Championship at Backlash , which motivated Ziggler to demand another title shot. All of this led to a match between Styles and Ziggler in which, if Ziggler won, it would turn the title match into a triple threat match . However, Styles won.
The following week, Styles interfered in a match between Ambrose and Baron Corbin, attacking the champion.A week later, Ambrose and Styles faced off, with thePhenomenal One hitting Ambrose with a low blow.
WWE Intercontinental Championship :
Seth Rollins (c) vs. The Miz
At WrestleMania 34, Seth Rollins defeated The Miz and Finn Bálor in a triple threat match to win the WWE Intercontinental Championship, which belonged to The Miz . On Monday Night Raw the following night, The Miz activated his rematch clause for Backlash . Until the pay-per-view, The Miz was transferred to SmackDown and Rollins retained the title against Miz, Bálor and Samoa Joe in a fatal four-way ladder match at the Greatest Royal Rumble.