On the Card: Ruthless Aggression #17 Backlash – April 29, 2007
The Ruthless Aggression Era was a time when the WWE roster was so huge and so varied that they had no way of continuing storylines each week on their two main shows – RAW and Smackdown – and so they created the draft where wrestlers and announcers would be drafted onto either one of the two shows. Smackdown wrestlers would not (usually) be able to appear on Raw or interact with Raw wrestlers and vice versa.
Ten years ago, on April 29, 2007, Backlash 2007 aired. It was a WWE PPV, as WWE had dropped Brand-named PPVs after No Way Out in February. Personally, the PPV came at a time where I had grown weary with professional wrestling, confused by the sheer number of wrestlers and unwilling to spend so much time per week watching hours of footage and trawling through shows, replays, promos and matches. I simply watched the PPVs. Over the next few weeks, I will review this PPV from the perspectives of a fan looking back at it after a decade as well as my original thoughts as a younger man watching it at the time.
WWE Backlash 2007
No tagline this time, but the posted is a brilliant parody of The Shining, with Edge looking through a smashed door with an evil grin on his face.
The PPV starts off with a video package showing us what happened at WrestleMania: Undertaker won, Vince got his head shaved and Cena beat Michaels. Vince gets his revenge against Bobby by putting his title on the line after beating him down.
Batista threatens Undertaker and Taker replies by wanting to steal Batista’s soul. Shawn and Cena fought, Cena won and Edge and Randy want a title as well. Three championships are on the line tonight… but also the women’s championship.
Raw, Smackdown and ECW present WWE Backlash! Big pyro hits as we are welcomed to the soled out Philips Arena, Atlanta, Georgia where 14,500 people are crammed in to see the ninth annual Backlash. 194,000 bought it at home, a pathetic drop from the 220,000 the year previous and the worst ratings in a PPV so far this year. Only ECW One Night Stand in June would have lower PPV buys. Our announce team are Jumpin’ Jim Ross, Jerry “The King” Lawler, Joey Styles, Tazz, Maggle Cole and Cunt JBL.
Jerking the curtain for the fifth PPV in a row are the Hardys.
(Note: Before the PPV began, there was a dark match that featured Carlito and Johnny Nitro. What? Why? Put… actually, there’s no one really you can put on the preshow because the rest of the matches are money.!)
Team Extreme rock down to the ring, tag team belts around their waists after winning it from Cena and Michaels the day after WrestleMania. Obviously their amazing match caused… dissention!
Lance Cade and Trevor Murdoch rock down, looking like a pair of hillbillies. Great. Remind me of the gosh-darned Godwinns.
World Tag Team Championship match: The Hardy Boyz (Matt and Jeff) (c) vs. Lance Cade and Trevor Murdoch.
I’ve changed up the titles of the matches. Putting champion first or in order of appearance.
Wait, why did the challengers appear second? This doesn’t make any sense!
Fat Matt starts off and our boy Lance Cade is ready in his red pants. Lance shoves Matt into the corner. Both men are put over by the announcers. Headlock into a pin and Lance tips Matt over for a pin attempt of his own. Irish whip, elbow to the face and the heel Cade hits Matt with a clenched fist, the bastard. Murdoch pops in and gets punched in the face. Matt has Lance in a headlock but the big man powers through and shoves Matt into the corner to tag in Murdoch. Lovely body slam and Jeff comes in to a big pop, but he tags out quickly.
Lovely double team on Murdoch and Jeff hits a Whispers in the Wind pin, causing Cade to pop in and Matt to throw him out. Matt gets on all fours and we see a lovely Poetry in Motion over the top rope and out of the ring. Very safe catch from the challengers. Matt goes to Bret’s rope and hits the axe-handle nothing, bulldog attempt from the corner and Lance comes back in. Big “Let’s go, Hardys!” chant rises. Matt is in the beat down portion of the match, but escapes after a Russian Leg Sweep and Jeff comes in to clear house. Good man, Jeff. Lance attempts a baseball slide but Lance drags him out. Cade attempts the pin but finds nothing. Lovely spinebuster-powerbomb and Matt helps out the pin. Lance does a lovely atomic-drop-leg-drop Murdoch holds Jeff while Lance hits him. Lovely clothesline and pin attempt.
Murdoch is in, attempts a suplex, rolls it up into a pin, Murdoch gives the big boot and Lance is back in. I just realised that the hard cam is in the wrong position, with the entrance to the right of the screen. I wonder why. Snapmare, lovely headlock and the crowd is building to the hot tag after Jeff hits the jawbreaker. Murdoch is in, though, hitting Jeff with a backdrop and there’s a revolving door of beating up Jeff until the hot tag builds. Jeff hits a reverse enziguri, Matt is knocked off the apron to big boos and Murdoch attempts a lovely axe-handle smash. Jeff counters it, goes for the hot tag and Matt is in, clearing house. Bulldog to Murdoch and pin attempt. A Poetry in Motion attempt but Lance pulls Murdoch to safety. Matt goes to hit the Twist of Fate, fails, hits a Side Effect and in the pin, Lance dives out of nowhere. Murdoch attempts a pin but Matt kicks out and JR says, “A damaged Matt Hardy,” a good decade before it’s popular.
Murdoch hits a lovely sunset flip pin and then has a tantrum when Matt kicks out. Jeff and Land are getting ready. Matt escapes a suplex, hits the Twist of Fate and as Lance pulls Matt out to hit him, Jeff hits the Swanton. Matt escapes Lance’s clutches and gets the pin.
Matt Hardy has pinned Trevor Murdoch to retain the World Tag Team titles in 14:18
Good opener, once again. I didn’t expect much from Trevor Murdoch or Lance Cade, but they did a good job. Match was slower paced and leading towards a huge spot that never really came. Enjoyable but forgettable.
I wish Matt and Jeff could go back to just hitting lads with tables and ladders and chairs.
Matt and Jeff celebrate. A sign in the crowd says, “Jeff, please Swonton [sic] Bomb me.” Replay of the ending. Almost a heelish move by the faces. Very cheeky. We actually get to hear the ending riff of the Hardy’s theme. The announcers put over the “huge rock concert” crowd for the Hardys.
Backstage, Umaga breathes heavily. Shane bigs him up. Shane does tell him, however, to listen to both Shane and Vince. Vince has a do-rag on to cover his bald head. Shane says, “Cool.” Vince is telling Shane that one of the two of them could be ECW champion. Vince says it should be Shane and then looks a bit annoyed. Shane returns and says that Vince deserves to be Champ considering Bobby shaved his head bald. Vince accepts this and Shane looks a bit miffed.
Back in the arena, Melina’s music hits. Jerry says, “Let me put my phone down… and grab my binoculars!” Once again, the champ is coming out first. What is with that? Melina is wearing a weird leopard print affair. She leg drops the apron.
Mickie James’ music hits and out she comes, waving to the crowd and getting little response.
WWE Women’s Championship match: Melina (c) vs. Mickie James.
Normally, the women’s match would be the piss-break match – and has been until quite recently when talented young women have been brought up – and here we have Mickie, who is quite good and passionate against Melina, who is a Diva and has not impressed in the ring recently.
Nice fireman’s carry from Mickie. JR says that this match might get out of order quickly due to their tempers and King says that we might see an actual wrestling match. JR says that he loves a wrestling match but also loves him a good catfight. The crowd chant for Mickie and she locks Melina up in a head scissors. Side headlock. Mickie checks her tits as Melina checks her eyes. She actually takes her contact out and then sucker punches Mickie. Great stuff. Mickie has Melina in the corner, lovely monkey flip, pin and nothing. Mickie goes top rope and Melina tosses her out. Ref starts the ten count and rolls in before the ref can count her out. Ref is very nice about making sure that the shoulders are down. Melina hits a tarantula on the ropes and JR says that it doesn’t matter if there’s a DQ – Melina keeps the championship either way. Melina goes top-rope and basically hangs Mickie from the turnbuckle. God damn.
Mickie fights back and the crowd pops. Melina sentons Mickie and JR quips: “That’s that you call ‘using all your assets’.” Mickie gives Melina a kick and both women get they gets kicked out to make a lovely double-split spot. Mickie dropkicks Melina twice. Long two-count. Mickie hits a great clothesline followed by another followed by a hair-pull and a fantastic sit-out neckbreaker. Close three count. Crowd are into this match now. Mickie hits a lovely crossbody and Melina replies with a reverse DDT for the pin.
Melina has pinned Mickie James to retain the Women’s title in 9:02.
Great women’s match. Great match regardless of gender.
Women can wrassle?!
On the Card will return on May 6 2017 with the second part of Backlash 2007.