Wednesday, June 17, 2020

WWE Backlash 2020

I'll be honest; I had no intention of watching this show. But hey, if the main event failed to live up to the hype and I didn't watch it, I wouldn't have been able to use the banner above... so I saw the show for some reason and did an audio thing afterwards, so much of what's here has already been mentioned there... but for the sake of the archives, I suppose...

Besides, there is a shitty match in this PPV.

Women's Tag Team Champions Sacha Banks and Bailey (or whatever, I don't care) defeated Alexa Bliss and Nikki Cross and the 2-Cons to retain the titles. This was a thing that happened; I wish I could say more, but there were so many goddamned camera cuts that I eventually stopped paying attention and went back to sleep. Not to mention... how long are they going to tease this Sasha/Bayley split before it happens? Wrestlemania 50? "Thank fuck I don't watch this shit anymore" is the first thing that came to mind and sadly, it wasn't the last. Fortunately, they're not the shittiest match on this card.

Sheamus defeated Jeff Hardy in a match that started off fine and then dragged on forever. In watching the recap video, where Jeff Hardy apparently drunk-drove a car into Elias and was arrested, only for it to be revealed that Sheamus set the whole thing up, and then Jeff Hardy does the pee test and throws it at Sheamus - a segment that various rasslin' sites had deemed controversial (and so did FOX, as they cut the bit from a west coast replay), but I had already seen a decade ago with Shawn Michaels and the McMahons... and then I thought to myself, "Thank fuck I don't watch this show anymore."

The match between RAW Women's champion Asuka and Nia Jax ended in a double countout when both ladies fought outside and... aw, shit. We're having another Nia Jax title shot, aren't we? Oh joy, because this was such a wonderful experience to sit through (he lied). Why don't you add Baby Flair to the mix while we're at it? We could use a little more banana nose in there.... they already did it, didn't they?

This was a complete waste of time. Poor Asuka tried, but even she couldn't get a good match out of Nia Jax, who remains one of the least convincing "monsters" I've seen. And the fact that we're getting another one of these stupid things? Awful. Shittiest Wrestling Match Ever.

Unfortunately, we can't change the banner, so... sorry, boys.

Blue Belt Champion Braun Strow-MAN defeated Miz and Morrison in a 2-on-1 handicap match to retain the title. Morrison and Miz had a music video that was awful - not in the hurt-my-brain sort of awful, but in the sort of "why am I watching this" awful. The match itself was... there, I guess. It wasn't good... it wasn't fun. Why the fuck am I watch this show again?

WWE Champion Drew McIntyre defeated Bobby Lashley to retain the title in what I thought was a pretty good hoss fight until the lousy finish where Drew shoved Lashley into Lana, who fall into MVP, who fell into pavement, who fell into the earth... bad finish. Great big dude match. Smart start to have Lashley incapacitate Drew in a full nelson to leave the champion at a disadvantage... but a shit finish that's probably going nowhere afterwards.

Then there's a Street Profits/Viking Raiders bit where they have a bunch of flashbacks to a bunch of stuff they did on RAW and the only thought that came to mind was, "Thank fuck I stopped watching this show years ago." There was supposed to be a tag match or something, I guess. I don't know... and then they team up to fight ninjas or something. This was a horrible waste of time, it wasn't funny, it wasn't entertaining, and it eventually gave me a headache. Why couldn't you do this like an old-school Attitude-era hardcore match where they have fight all over the place and make it no holds barred or something. At least, that would make sense and all the wacky shit wouldn't have been as bad.

Not even Samoa Joe on commentary could save this match... and for what it's worth, Joe was probably the only smart sounding one on commentary tonight, which probably means he's gonna get ruined in a month or so.

And so we get the "Greatest Match Evar!"

Randy Orton defeated Edge via punt to win the GREATEST SHITTIEST WRESTLING MATCH EVER! Well, I jest... but honestly, did you really think I wasn't going to play that card if it lived up to the hype?

Look, when it comes to the action in the ring, it was fine. In the best of circumstances, it looked to be a fine wrestling match. The greatest? No, not really; that match happened on Smackdown with AJ Styles and Daniel Bryan Danielson... and even joking aside, both Edge and Orton have had much better matches in their career, but this would've been a top-notch main event match. The problem was that for the few bits of good, there were layers upon layers of issues.

There are some bits that I liked; I liked that they brought in Charles Robinson (the only old zebra in the company, it seems) in the old-school ref outfit with the bowtie and baby-blue shirt. I liked the old-school MSG microphone just floating there and having pre-recorded introductions of the late great Howard Finkel introducing the two combatants. I liked that Edge and Orton made an effort in trying to have as good a wrestling match as they could, ignoring the expectations had by that one idiot who rolled the ball on this.

I don't like that the match ran longer than necessarily. Just like their I Quit match, this ran almost an hour and felt like it ran longer. It was fine at first, then it started to drag, and then by the time we got to the "kick out of a billion finishers" segment of the match, I had tuned out completely. I don't like the fact that they "enhanced" the audio with piped in crowd noise to make it seem louder than what the few NXT stand-ins could provide, which comes across as hokey and second-rate. I didn't like the billion camera cuts. I didn't care for the camera angles they used here. And I didn't care for the bits of bad acting you had in there.

Left to their own devices, this probably could've been a decent match had it been within the 20-30 minute range. I don't mind longer matches if you could justify it and they never really did. This is almost like that one Shawn vs. Hunter match from 2004 where they went longer than they needed to and the whole thing felt more self-indulgent than anything worthwhile, causing whatever story they were trying to tell to be lost in the shuffle. Some folks can pull off a nice, long 40+ minute match without making it seem like a chore and this, unfortunately, didn't get the job done.

Fine for what it is, but greatest wrestling match ever? Not by a long shot... and certainly not "8-stars" or whatever the fuck Bubba gave it. Not even if they filmed it in the Tokyo Dome.

And that was Backlash. Once you get past all the worthless drivel and get to Drew/Lashley, you start to get one good match, one... drizzling shit of a cinematic, and a convoluted, self-indulgent production that detracts from what could have been a perfectly fine (but not greatest evar) wrestling match between two veterans. Still, the hype got me to tune in, so I guess it did its job just fine, I suppose.

And now I'm done.

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