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Assorted April PPV Countdown: Backlash 2007

(2012 Scott sez:  Here’s where we wrap it up for another month, as I never did get around to watching Backlash 2006, and the show has traditionally become a skip for me since 2007 because I’m generally sick of WWE again after Wrestlemania.  Caliber Winfield offered me the chance to do a Scott sez job on his reviews of the missing shows, but I thought that it not only went against the spirit of the gimmick in the first place, but also would be cheating since I haven’t actually seen any of the shows outside whatever one had the six-man where Orton won the title from HHH and Cena put Edge through a giant spotlight like they were in a 50s Batman comic. 

Update on the laptop situation!  After weeks of my full-size Toshiba laptop blue-screening on me, which I attributed to the hard drive dying, I switched back to the netbook.  You may have noticed my rants and mailbag answers getting suddenly very concise because for us people with big hands it’s somewhat torturous to touchtype on a tiny keyboard like that.  And then the NETBOOK started randomly freezing up on me (apparently Acers have that issue, which would have been nice to know before I bought it), so I was like “fuck it, I’d rather have an unreliable shitbox with a full-sized keyboard on it”.  However, just for fun, I pulled the RAM out of the Toshiba laptop on the off-chance that it was faulty and causing my issues, and replaced it with 2GB of the seemingly millions of memory sticks I have scattered in my office, and BOOM, perfectly functional again.  You will note that I have typed two paragraphs on the subject without my fingers cramping up on me.  Hallelujah.) 

The SmarK Rant for WWE Backlash 2007

- Figured I might as well get this one done.

- Live from Atlanta City, New Georgia

- Your hosts are the usual gang of idiots.

RAW World tag titles: The Hardy Boyz v. The Cow Boyz

Matt starts with Lance Cade and takes him down with a headlock, as they work off that for a bit until Cade elbows him down. Matt takes them both down with hiptosses and goes back to his headlock, but gets pounded in the redneck corner for a bit. Over to Murdoch, but he gets slammed and double-teamed by the Hardyz, as Jeff dropkicks in for two. Double-team elbow gets two for two. Another double-team gets two for Jeff. Sadly, Jeff has stopped wearing hankies in his back pocket, thus robbing me of perfectly good material. The Hardyz clean house and Jeff hits the challengers with a tope con hilo, but Matt is busy updating his MySpace and doesn't add his own highspot. (I believe it was actually shortly after this that Matt, myself, and everyone else in the Western hemisphere abandoned Myspace for Facebook and never looked back.)  Back in, the yodelling elbowdrop gets two on Murdoch. Blind charge misses, however, and Murdoch gets a clothesline from behind and Matt is YOUR face-in-peril. Cade & Murdoch whip him into the corner and Cade goes for a powerbomb to follow up, but Matt gets Jeff back in, and he promptly lands on his head while trying a baseball slide. And NOW we have someone in peril. Into the ring, Cade gets a uranage into a powerbomb for two. Over to Murdoch who adds a sarcastic Matt yell before dropping a leg on Jeff for two. He blocks Jeff's attempt at a jawbreaker and kicks him down for two. Cade pounds him down and a short clothesline gets two. Murdoch with a suplex, but Jeff blocks into a small package for two, so Murdoch boots him down for two. Some double-teaming in the corner allows Murdoch to drop an elbow and Cade to hit the chinlock. Jeff quickly escapes with the jawbreaker, but Murdoch cuts off the tag. Backdrop suplex gets two. They take turns beating on Jeff's back, but he kicks out of it and tries for the tag...only to have Murdoch take out Matt and thus cut it off. Murdoch goes up and hits Jeff's foot, but no-sells it (ha! Good, I hate that spot), but Jeff gets the hot tag anyway. Bulldog for Murdoch gets two for Matt. The heels can't get their shit together and Matt gets the Side Effect for two, but Cade drops out of the heavens with a rather impressive flying elbow to break it up. Murdoch gets two off that. Had that been the Midnight Express, it would've been over. Sunset flip gets two. Matt comes back with the Twist of Fate, and Jeff sneaks in for the swanton, and that's all they need.

(The Hardy Boyz d. Cade & Murdoch, Matt pin Murdoch, 15:20, ***) The Hardyz are like pizza -- even when it's mediocre, it's generally pretty good. Unless Jeff is feeling REALLY unmotivated on a given night, the formula is pretty darn simple and they pull it off every time. Jeff's moveset and look are really showing their age, however, unlike Matt who freshened up his whole image with the heel turn.  (And then they reversed THAT again with their current TNA run, where Jeff still looks like a contender and Matt looked like a homeless guy dating a stripper.) 

Meanwhile, Shane gives Umaga a pep talk. Vince pledges to make Shane the ECW World champion tonight, but he won't hear of it.

WWE Women's title: Melina v. Mickie James.

Mickie takes her down with a fireman's carry and they trade wristlocks, but Mickie gets a monkey-flip for two. Mickie starts working a headlock and they reverse out of that, so we start again. Melina goes to the headlock this time and Melina reverses out, then fakes a lost contact and attacks from behind. That's the spirit! (Ah, the old lost contact lens spot, just like Gotch and Hackenschmidt used to do.)  Mickie monkey-flips her out of the corner for two and then pounds her down for two. Mickie decides to go up and Melina dumps her to the floor as a result. Gravity: Not just a good idea, it's the law. Back in, Melina gets the hairtoss for two. A nicely melodramatic choke on the ropes gets two. And then Melina really brings the goods by putting Mickie into a full-nelson...using her legs! Damn, I don't know why anyone didn't think of that before now. The leg power should be better and the leverage is a huge advantage. Mickie makes the ropes, and gets a cradle for two, but Melina chkes her out in the corner. Mickie slugs back, so Melina takes her down with a senton while ramming her head into the mat. That gets two. Mickie comes back and tries a high kick, but falls into the splits, so Melina tries kicking her and also does the splits. Yet another unique spot. They slug it out and Mickie gets two, but makes the comeback. Clotheslines and a hairtoss into a neckbreaker get two. Mickie goes up and a high cross gets two. Melina backs into the corner and catches her with a high kick, and an inverted DDT finishes.

(Melina d. Mickie James, inverted DDT -- pin, 9:02, ***) Holy cow, this was GOOD. Legitimately, not just the sliding pity scale I usually use for these matches. Lots of hard work and unique offense here. Good on ya, ladies, keep up the good work.  (This would have been mostly Mickie.  Although I’m sure it couldn’t top Alicia Fox v. Melina, but then what could?) 

Meanwhile, Mr Kennedy interrupts an Edge interview backstage and plants the seed of doubt into his mind about what might happen if he wins.

Meanwhile, Steve Austin apparently has a movie out. Could have fooled me. This special look actually makes the movie less appealing than the trailer did.

US title: Chris Benoit v. MVP

They fight for the lockup to start and MVP gives him a clean break, but shoots in for a leg anyway. Benoit takes him down with a facelock and they trade positions until Benoit powers him down and goes for the crossface. MVP makes the ropes and bails to escape. Back in, MVP takes him down with a headlock and they trade shots until Benoit reverses to a headscissors, and from there into the bridge and backslide for two from Benoit. Benoit keeps taking him down and tries the Sharpshooter, and MVP is caught in the middle of the ring. He makes the ropes before Benoit can sit down on it, however. Benoit pounds on him in the corner, but MVP comes back with a high kick to the back of the head for two. MVP goes to a neckvice, but Benoit ducks the kick this time, so MVP counters with an overhead belly to belly for two. Back to the neck hold, and he throws elbows to work on it, but Benoit has had ENOUGH and fires off the rolling germans. He goes for the top, but MVP quite smartly grabs onto his leg to keep him from heading up there. Benoit suplexes him as punishment, but it kept him from his goal, which is interesting. Because really it's much smarter to prevent someone from getting up there than it is to try to counter them once they're there. MVP manages a stungun for two. Benoit comes back with a crossface, but they're too close to the ropes again. Really, however, you're supposed to be IN the ropes, not reaching for them. Tommy Young would have totally kicked his arm away. (Referees today, am I right?)  MVP hooks Benoit in a crucifix submission, but gets caught using the ropes, so he switches to a high kick for two. Another try is countered to the german suplexes, and this time he's not stopping at three. We get five of them and Benoit goes for the top again, this time making sure that MVP can't stop him, but this time MVP counters with the knees. MVP uses a half-crab to follow up, but Benoit makes the ropes. He tries a suplex, but Benoit tries to counter to the crossface, and when MVP shifts his weight to block it, Benoit counters again to a small package to finish. Ha, he got Dean Malenko with that one 10 years ago, I think.

(Chris Benoit d. MVP, inside cradle -- pin, 13:09, ***1/2) They got time to tell their story, and it worked well. The announcers did a great job of telling that story, too, with MVP trying to counter Benoit's offense and finally getting beaten at his own game. Better than Wrestlemania, with a better finish to boot.   (This was such a strange feud, as we were all so sure that MVP was getting the title and he just kept losing the title matches before finally winning the damn thing.  Although they sure didn’t have much of a window of opportunity to get that belt off Benoit.  Had they changed their mind again and stuck with him as champion until June, you would not be seeing that US title today, I’m betting)

Meanwhile, John Cena insinuates that Randy Orton may be a homosexual. Orton doesn't say much to help his case. Walking punchline Ron Simmons is luckily there to finish.

ECW "World" title: Bobby Lashley v. Vince McMahon, Shane McMahon & Umaga

Shane decides to start for Team McMahon, and quickly gets pounded in the corner as a result. Spinebuster and Shane bails as the announcers note that Shane is a former European and Hardcore champion, as though those titles ever meant anything.  (I would like to once again rage about Shane never getting his comeuppance for the Euro title win in 1999.  He never even had to lose it in the ring, he just forgot about the belt and eventually gave it to Mideon as an offhand thing.)  Umaga comes in to try and Lashley hammers on him as well, but Umaga fires back and stomps him down. Lashley jumps over him in the corner, however, and clotheslines him to the floor. He gets rid of Shane as well and you can cut the tension with a knife, as everyone (except those watching the show and those in the arena) want to see Vince v. Lashley! Shane comes back in and gets suplexed and Lashley continues slugging on Umaga, but Shane trips him up and out of the ring. Umaga sends him into the post and we head back in, as Umaga uses the BACKRAKES OF DEATH. Shane goes to work on the arm with a Fujiwara armbar and a kind of half-assed cross-armbreaker. Lashley powers out of that and gets two. Back to Umaga, who goes to a bearhug and then into a samoan drop. The strategy is kind of all over the place here. Shane drops an elbow and now goes to the back, and it's a camel clutch to use up more time. Comeback time for Lashley, who backdrops Shane and gets a torture rack into a backbreaker for two. Powerslam gets two, but Vince breaks it up and it's the epic showdown we've all been waiting for! And now finally the heels get smart and triple-team Lashley, as Shane hits him with the belt while Vince distracts the ref. And then Vince tags himself in and gets two. Lashley rolls him up for two. Back to Umaga, who adds a flying splash, and Vince tags back in again and gets two again. So Umaga gets sent up again and hits another flying splash, and that one is enough.

(Vince McMahon, Shane McMahon & Umaga d. Bobby Lashley, Vince pin Lashley, 15:44, **) Not actively bad the way that the Lashley-Umaga singles matches had been, but just overly long and lacking the anarchic goofiness that Vince's best work has. I'm sure Shane Douglas is rolling over in his grave at Vince winning the ECW title, but to the rest of the world it's really not that big of a deal.

Meanwhile, the new champion and his son go taunt the ECW Originals, who all stand around like shmucks.  (What a stupid storyline this whole thing was.) 

Smackdown World title, Last Man Standing: The Undertaker v. Batista

Taker charges in with a boot and an elbow to start, but Batista catches him with an elbow and slugs away. Taker gets the flying clothesline and goes old school, but Batista catches him with a sloppy powerslam for the first count attempt. Taker is up, so Batista chases him to the floor and they brawl out there. Taker smartly throws a kick at the taped leg of Batista, and when that works quite well he stays on it. Batista gets to the apron, where Taker kicks him in the head and then guillotines him, and Batista is up at 8. Batista sends him into the stairs and they head back in, but Batista tries to go up and gets caught as a result. Taker brings him down with a superplex, and there's something you don't see from him every match. Both guys are up at 7, but Batista less so. They exchange punches and Batista catches him with a clothesline, but Taker is up at 8. Another clothesline, and Taker is up at 4. Slam and legdrop from Batista is a 6. Taker tosses him to break up the momentum and gets the announce table ready, but Batista manages to whip him into the railing. That gets 6. Batista wants the powerslam, but Taker reverses to a backbreaker and now Batista is forced to take the 7 count. Stairs to the head for some blood and a 5. UT pounds on the cut and finally gets back to that table, putting him through it with a legdrop. That only gets 9, however. Taker is none too happy with this, and they head back into the ring again. Corner clotheslines from Taker and Snake Eyes, but Batista has a rush and spears him instead of selling it. That gets a 7, and Batista hits him with a spinebuster right away. Taker gets up, so he gives him another one, then picks him up for a third. That's good for a 9. Demon bomb, but Taker powers him into the corner to break and chokeslams him. Both guys are down, and it's 9. Taker slugs away in the corner, but with a touch of irony gets powerbombed, mimicking all the times he's done that to opponents. Taker is up at 9 after the crowd freaks out a little bit, so Batista grabs a chair and simply hits him with it. Well, that works. No count, as he follows with another try at the powerbomb, but it backfires as Taker backdrops out of it. Tombstone follows, but while it's good for a pin in a normal match, it doesn't keep Batista down for 10. He exits stage right to buy some time and they brawl up the ramp and slug it out on the entranceway. Batista spears him through the crash pad and the stage falls over, and both guys are counted down and out as a result.

(Undertaker draw Batista, double countout, 20:24, ****) Silly finish, to be sure, but the match was super-intense and instead of the boring standing around that plagues most matches of this type, it had the guys hitting power moves and then recovering quickly for another one. How Scott books the finish: Batista powerbombs Undertaker, but Undertaker hits him in the head with a chair on the way down, and there's your double countout.

RAW World title: John Cena v. Edge v. Randy Orton v. Shawn Michaels

Four-way trashtalk to start and the faces clean house, but Shawn immediately turns on Cena and throws chops in the corner. Cena comes back with a fisherman's suplex for two, but Shawn gets a neckbreaker and Team RKO storms back in and dumps them. Edge and Orton slug it out, and Orton dropkicks him to the floor, where Cena adds a cheapshot and sends him back in. Edge gets tripped up by Shawn, but Cena comes over for the brawl and Edge baseball slides everyone. Shawn slams him on the floor and heads up for a moonsault onto the rest of the gang. Back in, it's Edge and Shawn, who clothesline each other. Cena also comes back in, via the top, with a legdrop onto both of them in a neat spot. That gets two. Orton catches Cena with a lariat and stomps on everyone, then gets rid of Edge and Shawn and goes after Cena. Backbreaker gets two. Garvin Stomp and kneedrop get two. Cena comes back and slugs away in the corner, but charges and hits the post and he's out again. This brings Shawn back in, and he throws chops at Orton and gets the flying forearm, only to walk into a leg lariat from Edge that gets two. Orton rolls Shawn up for two. Edge and Orton decide to stop and collaborate, whipping Shawn into the corner and stomping away on him. Cena crawls up and they launch him into the table to get rid of him again for a while. Rated RKO take turns on Shawn in the corner and get a double backdrop, and it's a double boston crab. Not sure how that would work if Shawn decided to tap. Cena breaks it up and starts throwing shoulderblocks, and that gets rid of Shawn. Backdrop suplex for Edge and the five knuckle shuffle follows, but now Shawn and Orton team up and pull Cena out of the ring and into the post. Shawn sends Orton into the post too, just because you can't trust him. He tries to piledrive Orton through the table, but Edge saves with a chair, and then turns on his own partner as well. Treachery RULES. Back in, Edge charges with the chair, but gets caught in the STFU as a result. It'd be really great if Cena could actually learn that move someday. (2012 Scott sez:  Nope, he still sucks at it.)  Edge makes the ropes, so Cena catches the returning Orton instead. Shawn saves and cradles Cena for two, then gets the forearm and makes the comeback with atomic drops on everyone. Edge and Orton get the heave-ho, and Shawn goes up, but has to stop and take out Edge. Flying elbow for Edge instead, and another one for Orton seems likely to follow, but Cena follows him up and tries an FU off the top. Edge and Orton team up to bring them both down and it's a four-way car wreck. Edge tries the FU on Edge, but Shawn breaks it up, so Orton hits Shawn with the RKO. Edge DDTs Cena for two. Edge tries to spear Cena, but runs into Orton, and Cena FU's Edge, but Shawn superkicks Cena...who falls onto Orton to finish. Whew. Now THAT was a finish.

(John Cena d. Edge, Randy Orton & Shawn Michaels, Cena pin Orton, 19:16, ****1/4) I would have preferred to see a four-corners format so we could have done away with the silly "One guy gets tossed to the floor and lays there for four minutes" thing, but all the different little stories told and the reversal sequences made for a tremendously entertaining match that I almost wanted to stop recapping and watch a lot of times, which is a good sign.  (Why didn’t they just do Rated RKO v. Cena & Michaels, though?  They were the wacky feuding tag team champs at this point, weren’t they?) 

The Pulse:

Best top-to-bottom PPV from the WWE in a LONG time, with only one bad match and a whole lot of good-to-great ones. Strongly recommended.  (Can’t really remember this one.  Sounds pretty good.  I’ll take this guy’s word for it, I guess) 


  1. I watched this one a few months after it happened on WWE 24/7 and remember being into it. I still get bummed out at Bobby Lashley: ECW Champion. I know WWECW was awful, but I actually enjoyed the first sixth months or so. Sure, it was never going to be the old company, but each week we got an hour of solid wrestling with minimal backstage b.s. There were actually a number of memorable matches for me, RVD/Holly, Big Show/Flair, Punk's debut, Big Show/Batista with the rabid crowd reaction, etc... I was sad when they put all their chips on Lashley of all people and it all started going downhill. 

  2. I was hoping for the 06 edition as it's the only PPV I got to attend.

  3. Pretty sure Rated RKO faced Cena/Michaels at least a few times on various editions of RAW.  This was in that weird era from late 2005 to mid-2007 when Orton was put in high profile matches and treated as a top star but he literally lost every single time.  It was one of the odder burials I'd ever seen.  I don't think Edge did a single job when Rated RKO lost during this period.

  4. At the time I actually thought Vince McMahon, ECW Champion was rather entertaining, and was even happy when he had a successful PPV title defense and another month.

    The only problem was who they decided to roll it off to; if they had someone new come out of nowhere and beat him it would have gotten them at least minor notice. Setting it up for an extended Lashley feud was stupid for a few reasons: even though he's buff enough to make his head look tiny, nobody buys aging Vince against Black Brock the way they did Austin or HHH or Hogan; and finally because there was no real reason except "that Trump match didn't really succeed at getting Lashley over." That should have been a warning.

  5. I honestly wish they did one more Cena/Michaels on PPV just to end the feud properly. Instead we got Cena/Khali at the next PPV.

  6.  This was a CRIMINALLY underrated show with a pretty solid card from top to bottom and what I feel was a ***** main event. Best WWE show of 07 in my opinion.

  7. Back in the days when I was a mark (which ended just yesterday, and will probably start again tomorrow), I hated the "heel grabs the ropes, ref knocks it away leading to a face pinfall" spot, because it looked like the ref was favoring the babyface.  Of course, Tommy Young was the only ref who ever got that spot over.

  8. I own this show and completely forgot that I did until reading about Melina vs. James. My first thought was "Oh yeah, this is the one with the stuff where stuff happens!" And now, five years later, absolutely nothing that happened here is important.

    My one recollection of this show is I'm sure I bought it after June that year and couldn't bring myself to watch the Benoit-MVP match. Five years later I think I'm finally over it.

  9. "because for us people with big hands it’s somewhat torturous to touchtype on a tiny keyboard like that.  And then the NETBOOK started randomly freezing up on me (apparently Acers have that issue, which would have been nice to know before I bought it)"  Yeah I know zero about computers and bought an Acer because of the price and I have the same problem both with the keyboard and the freezing. I tried to upgrade the ram and this thing blue screened me after four months of no problems. I had to remove the ram and go back to the what it came with. Not a stellar piece of machinery but it gets the job done I guess.

  10. Hadn't RKO already IMPLODDDDDDDED at this point?  It never happened on PPV.

  11. This was definitely the best show of 2007 and one of the best non-WrestleMania PPVs WWE has ever done.

  12. Isn't weird how the WWE will go through a slump, but somehow the stars will align and a great PPV will somehow emerge from left field, once in a blue moon (see also: Vengeance 2003)

  13.  I for one would love to see a Scott Sez on Caliber's reviews. The differences of opinion would be a comedy goldmine alone. I'm willing to bet with the right show, we could actually get a split between 4+ stars from Caliber and Hot Pokers Up The Ass from Scott.

  14. I agree with you entirely about the full nelson with the legsbeing a great spot. It's safe and it looks great, and if they gave it to a wrestler with a working neck who could bridge up with it, it could get over huge in the same way the anklelock did.

  15. That, and people were STILL hot for RVD.


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