Backlash 2003

| Date: April 27, 2003
| Venue: Worcester Centrum | City: Worcester, Massachusetts
| Attendance: 10, 000 | Buys: 345, 000

| tweet me: @BastionBlogger

Backlash is always the pay per view that marks the start of the new WWE year following Wrestlemania. Sadly this one has the lowest buys of any Backlash PPV up to now marking the end of the Attitude Era and Invasion years. Brock Lesnar will be defending the WWE Championship tonight against the winner of a tournament. The tournament featured Chris Benoit, A-Train, Rhyno, Big Show, John Cena, Eddie Guerrero, The Undertaker and Rey Mysterio but after it came down to Chris Benoit and John Cena, it was Cena that would earn the shot at Lesnar. Cena has been cutting raps on Brock since Lesnar injured Cena, F5ing him into a ringpost. Cena busted Lesnar open last week on Smackdown with a helping hand from his steel chain. Tonight Cena gets his shot at the WWE Championship.

wCw franchise players Goldberg debuted on Raw the night after Wrestlemania, interrupting The Rock and spearing him in the middle of the ring. Goldberg challenged The Rock to a match at Backlash, a challenge that The Rock initially rejected but would later accept. The Rock mocked Goldberg by bringing back Gillberg for a night but tonight it will be two of the greatest superstars in wrestling history one on one for the very first time as Goldberg makes his WWE debut. Kevin Nash made his return to the WWE by getting in the middle of the on-going war between Triple H and Shawn Michaels. Nash wants everyone to be friends but when Triple H attacked Nash with a sledgehammer, clearly he couldn’t be trusted. A 6 man tag match has been made for Backlash with Triple H and buddy Ric Flair joining forced with Chris Jericho to take on the man Chris Jericho fought at Wrestlemania, Shawn Michaels, his best friend Kevin Nash and the man that fought Triple H at Wrestlemania, Booker T.

At Wrestlemania 19 Trish Stratus regained the Women’s Championship when she pinned Victoria in a triple threat match. One woman involved in that match but not the finish was Jazz. Jazz has recently taken on Teddy Long as her manager and tonight Jazz gets a shot at Women’s Championship. Both sets of tag team championships will be on the line. Smackdowns WWE Tag Team Champions Team Angle will defend their titles against Los Guerreros as Eddie and Chavo use their re-match clause. Raws World Tag Team Champions Rob Van Dam and Kane defend against the newest members of the Bischoff Administration, The Dudley Boyz. Not only that but Chief Morley will serve as the special guest referee as the deck continues to be stacked against RVD and Kane.

Also tonight, The Big Show take son Rey Mysterio. This match is based around Rey Mysterio being a thorn in Big Shows side for a number of weeks. Also representing Smackdown, Sean O’Haire takes on Rikishi. Rowdy Roddy Piper has taken Sean O’Haire under his wing as of late and the evil pair attacked Rikishi with a coconut, much like Piper did to Rikishi’s family member Jimmy “Superfly” Snuka all those years ago. So let’s get to it.

On Heat prior to the show, Scott Steiner defeated Rico.

A video package kicks us off focusing on Goldberg and The Rock. There’s a little bit of history on both men stylised in a nice package. It’s also nice to hear commentary from Bobby Heenan, albeit from wCw. Jonathan Coachman then welcomes us for the very first time, he’s joined on commentary by Jerry “The King” Lawler.  Coach then throws over to Michael Cole and Tazz who introduce the opening match.

Team Angle (Shelton Benjamin & Charlie Haas) (c) vs. Los Guerreros (Eddie & Chavo Guerrero Jr)

This is a first 2 on 2 tag team match between these two teams. Eddie Guerrero has a 2-1 record at Backlash and it is his fourth consecutive title match at Backlash pay per views. The other three men make their Backlash debuts. Team Angle walk out with a big picture of their captain, the injured Kurt Angle. Eddie Guerrero and Charlie Haas kick things off and there’s some chain wrestling between the two to kick things off. Eddie knocks down Haas for the first near fall of the night. Eddie tags out to Chavo who doesn’t quite get the reaction that his uncle Eddie does. Haas tags out to Benjamin and there’s more wrestling between the two. Chavo looks a little out of his depth trying to wrestle Shelton.

There’s some quick tags between the Guerrero’s as they double team Shelton. This is the first of four title matches tonight. Haas pinned Chavo to retain the tag team titles at Wrestlemania. Eddie takes a cheap shot on Benjamin and Haas isn’t happy about it. I like these two teams as they come across as proper units as opposed to two men thrown together. Chavo throws Benjamin out of the ring allowing Eddie to lay into one half of the tag team champions. It’s interesting that despite being the strong babyfaces in this match, Eddie and Chavo are working as heels. Eddie hits a senton on Benjamin for a two count. Eddie hits a side suplex but Benjamin tags out to Haas who lays into Eddie. Shelton is back in as the momentum shifts and he hits a suplex on Eddie for a two count. Benjamin then throws Eddie out of the ring so Haas can lay into him.

Team Angle hit their trademark double team move for a two count. Haas then applies a sleeper to Eddie. Eddie gets out of it with a back suplex and both men are down. Haas stops Eddie from making a tag with a sweet double leg takedown. Benjamin is then in the ring and applies a chinlock to Eddie. Shelton tags in Haas who applies a backbreaker to Eddie. Eddie gets out of it with a leg scissors and finally tags in Chavo. Chavo takes down both men with lefts, rights and dropkicks before hitting a suplex on Haas for a near fall. Benjamin then hits a powerbomb on Chavo but Eddie comes in off the top with a dropkick on Shelton. Eddie hits 3 consecutive suplexes on Haas and Chavo covers him but Haas gets his shoulder up.

Chavo hits a dropkick on Haas and Eddie then comes in off the top with the frog splash! Eddie isn’t the legal man though! Chavo crawls over and covers Haas but Haas gets his shoulder up because Benjamin is a second too late pulling Chavo out of the ring. In the ring Chavo attempts a suplex on Haas but Haas lands on top of Chavo and Benjamin holds down Chavo’s feet to get the three count! It was a bit of a scrappy end but Team Angle leave with the tag team titles tonight. Eddie launches Chavo out of the ring on top of Team Angle after the bell and Los Guerreros take off with the WWE Tag Team titles! Eddie and Chavo drive out of the building with the belts!

Rating: 6.25/10

Test is backstage trying it on with Torrie Wilson. Torrie says what part of no doesn’t he understand. Test calls Torrie a tease, she tells him to leave her alone and then Test plants a kiss on her! Sable is shown watching as Torrie storms off.

Rowdy Roddy Piper’s music hits and out walks Piper with a basket of coconuts! That must mean O’Haire and Rikishi are up next. Piper introduces his protegé, the new Millenium wrestler, Sean O’Haire.

Rikishi vs. Sean O’Haire

This first meeting between these two men is a Backlash debut for both which is pretty unbelievable considering Rikishi has been around for over 10 years. Rikishi goes after Piper after marching to the ring allowing Sean O’Haire to dive off the stairs but Rikishi ducks it and throws O’Haire into the steps and then into the ring. Rikishi hits a Samoan Drop on O’Haire but Piper is up on the apron. O’Haire takes advantage with a kick to the face and whilst O’Haire distracts the referee, Piper lays into Rikishi with right hands. O’Haire hits a couple of clotheslines on Rikishi for a near fall. Sean then applies a chinlock. It’s been a long time since Rikishi has been on pay per view. And O’Haire hasn’t been on pay per view for nearly two years. His only previous pay per view match was tagging with Chuck Palumbo in a losing effort to the APA.

Sean O’Haire hits a short running knee to the face of Rikishi for a near fall. The crowd seem in to something that’s not in the ring. Rikishi reverses an Irish whip and then hits a couple of big splashes in the corner. O’Haire falls to the mat and Rikishi marches over to stink face him but O’Haire kicks him away. Piper climbs in the ring with a coconut which leads to an odd spot with both Rikishi and Sean O’Haire kicking each other in the face. Piper steps out of the ring and then back in with the coconut. He then hands the coconut to the referee and Rikishi grabs it out of the referees hand and smashes Piper in the face with it! Sean O’Haire scoops Rikishi up onto his shoulders and hits him with a modified death valley driver! And that’s enough for the three! Sean O’Haire wins. Piper was a bit of a mess in this match, his timing for pretty much everything he did was miles off. Big win for Sean O’Haire though!

Rating: 3.75/10

Stacy Keibler is backstage when Sable shows up and tells her that Torrie is after Stacy’s boyfriend Test. Sable then tells Stacy that she saw Torrie kiss Test. Sable is stirring the shit!

Rob Van Dam and Kane are backstage getting ready for their match. Van Dam isn’t happy that Chief Morley has made himself guest referee for their match tonight. Kane says that they’ll take the Dudley Boyz and Chief Morley down with them tonight.

Rob Van Dam & Kane (c) vs. The Dudley Boyz (Bubba Ray & D-Von) – World Tag Team Championship Match

The World Tag Team Championships have been based around three teams this year, RVD & Kane, The Dudley Boyz and Lance Storm & William Regal/Chief Morley. This is the first 2 v 2 PPV match between these teams though. At Backlash PPVs, The Dudley Boyz are 0-2, Kane is 0-1 and Rob Van Dam is 0-1. Bubba Ray attacks Van Dam as the bell rings and then lays into him with knees and right hands. There’s plenty of reversals from both men until they stand off. RVD hits a spinning heel kick for a two count and Van Dam loses the advantage as Bubba Ray hits him with a clothesline. Bubba Ray tags in D-Von who hits some right hands but soon gets caught with a roundhouse kick and a legdrop. Van Dam tags in Kane who hits a legdrop and an elbow. D-Von pokes Kane in the eye and then hits some right hands but soon runs into a big boot.

D-Von gets back into it with a boot and clothesline before tagging in his half brother Bubba Ray. Kane takes back the advantage hitting elbows and right hands but D-Von takes a cheap shot to give The Dudley Boyz the advantage. Kane hits a spinebuster for a near fall. So far Chief Morley has been calling it down the middle. Van Dam is tagged in and he backflips his way around the ring before hitting Bubba Ray with a dropkick and an asai moonsault for a two count. Bubba Ray gets back into it with a sidewalk slam before cheap shotting Kane. That means Kane tries to get in the ring and the Dudley Boyz hit the wassup drop. D-Von tags in and hits a reverse spinning elbow for a two count before applying a chinlock to Van Dam. D-Von tags in Bubba Ray who continues the pressure on the neck of Van Dam. RVD gets out of it and kicks Bubba Ray in the face which allows him to tag in Kane.

D-Von also tags in but Kane takes down both Dudley Boyz with clotheslines and sidewalk slams. Kane gets a near fall on D-Von and then takes down both challengers with boots and clotheslines. Kane tags in RVD who comes in off the top, taking D-Von down with a kick. Van Dam then hits rolling thunder on Bubba Ray but misses with a monkey flip on D-Von. D-Von hits RVD with a neckbreaker but gets caught with a clothesline off the top from Kane. Chief Morley then hits a low blow on Kane! Bubba Ray pins Kane but only gets a 2 count. Morley then accidentally clotheslines Bubba Ray after Van Dam ducks the arm. D-Von isn’t happy and he lays into Morley! Lance Storm then comes in to help out Morley but Bubba Ray takes him out. Morley lays into Bubba Ray but The Dudley Boyz hit him with the 3D!

Kane hits a clothesline on Bubba Ray before disposing of D-Von. Van Dam then goes up top and hits the 5 star from splash on Bubba Ray! Another referee comes in as RVD makes the cover and he counts the 3! Kane and Rob Van Dam retain their World Tag Team Titles!

Rating: 6.5/10

Stacy Keibler is backstage and she marches into the women’s locker room. Torrie says that Test kissed her and Stacy goes for her! Half the women hold back Stacy and the other half encourage the fight!

Trish Stratus (c) vs. Jazz – Women’s Championship Match

This is the third singles pay per view match between these two ladies. Trish beat Jazz at the 2002 Royal Rumble event but Jazz beat Trish at the 2002 Backlash event. That is the only previous match these girls have had at Backlash. This is Trish Stratus’ 20th pay per view match which is the all time record along with Chyna for a woman. Jazz is now managed by Teddy Long. Trish is carrying an injury that Jazz gave her. Trish and Jazz go toe to toe in what is the rubber match between these two ladies. Trish does well to take down Jazz and roll her up in the early going. Jazz goes for Trish’s back, hitting her with a backbreaker. Trish takes Jazz down with a clothesline for a two count. Jazz then goes right back to work on Trish’s back. Jazz then hits the bitch slam which I believe is her finisher.

No pinfall attempt from Jazz. This is the only match on this card that we’ve seen on PPV before. Trish manages to hit a slam but Jazz goes right back to work on Stratus’s back and ribs. Jazz then takes off the turnbuckle cover and the referee is out of position as Trish rolls up Jazz. Trish hits some forearms but gets caught with a boot. Jazz goes up top but Trish handsprings into her hurricanrana but Jazz counters it and grabs onto Trish’s leg before dropping her to the mat with a single crab. Trish manages to reverse it into a Boston crab and then an STF but Jazz gets to the ropes. Trish hits some chops and then the chick kick but it’s only enough for a two count. Jazz hits a jawbreaker and a dropkick to take Trish down and then covers her for 2. Trish hits Stratusfaction from nowhere and covers Jazz but Teddy Long throws his shoe at her! Teddy Long blames a fan and Jazz rolls up Trish, hanging on to the rope as she does and she gets the 3! Jazz wins the Women’s title tonight! She may have cheated but she got the job done.

Rating: 5/10

Booker T, Shawn Michaels and Kevin Nash are all backstage. All 3 men say they’re ready tonight but Kevin Nash asks for them to save Triple H for him.

There’s some footage next showing how Rey Mysterio has been a thorn in The Big Show’s side.

Rey Mysterio vs. The Big Show

It’s a first time PPV meeting between these two men and Rey Mysterio goes into this one looking for his first ever pay per view victory. Big Show has a 1-2 record at Backlash PPV’s having previous beaten Kurt Angle but lost to Mankind and Shane McMahon. Mysterio is reluctant to get in the ring and unusually the bell rings with Rey outside the ring. Rey plays a bit of cat and mouse with Big Show, running away and then hitting a springboard dropkick as the big man tried to get into the ring. Big Show soon catches Mysterio and throws him across the ring. Big show pulls Mysterio up into the ring by his head and then slams him down to the mat. This is definitely a match od power vs. speed. It’s Big Show’s 6th PPV in a row, a consecutive record at the moment also held by Triple H and Chris Jericho when they wrestle later.

Big Show holds Mysterio high above his head and then throws him to the mat but Mysterio lands on his feet. Mysterio grabs a chair from under the ring and smashes it into Big Shows face! The referee doesn’t see it because Big Show had pushes him away. Mysterio then hits a seated senton for a two count before hitting Big Show with 3 different variations of the 619! He then goes for the west coast pop but Big Show catches him and chokeslams him into the mat! Big Show pins Mysterio and gets the 3! I’m surprised at this result, although Mysterio was the under-dog, I thought he would get the win. Mysterio continues to look for his first PPV win. Mysterio gets put on a stretcher but Big Show comes back, picks up the stretcher and swings Rey Mysterio into the ringpost. Mysterio is strapped up and lands right on his face. That looked painful.

Rating: 4/10

Lilian Garcia is backstage with Triple H, Ric Flair and Chris Jericho. Triple H is confident with his team tonight. Jericho tells “Vivian” that tonight he has the chance to make Shawn Michaels tap out tonight. Ric Flair tells Booker T that he has to deal with the Nature boy tonight.

Stacy and Torrie are still slapping each other around backstage. Torrie throws Stacy into some boxes and Scott Steiner comes out to check on her. Test then shows up and he’s not happy.

There’s a VT next for John Cena and Brock Lesnar who are up next.

Brock Lesnar (c) vs. John Cena – WWE Championship Match

This first PPV match between these two men marks a year since Lesnar made his debut. Brock beat Jeff Hardy at last years event. This is the fourth and final title match of the evening and with Cena being such a rookie, I can’t see him taking the title tonight. Cena attacks Lesnar from behind and then lays into him with elbows. Brock makes a comeback with knee shots, two consecutive backbreakers and a fallaway slam. Brock has a bandage on from where Cena busted him open on Smackdown last week. Lesnar hits a couple of suplexes and then gets a near fall. Brock applies a front facelock and then a fishermans suplex. Over the past 4 weeks Cena has beaten Eddie Guerrero, The Undertaker, Chris Benoit and Rhyno.

Brock hits Cena with a press slam and then clotheslines him out of the ring. The WWE Champion then launches Cena into the announce desk before throwing him into the ring. Cena then leaves the ring and grabs a chair but Brock gets to him before he can use it. Cena then reverses an Irish whip to throw Brock into the ring steps busting him wide open. Back in the ring and Cena gets a near fall before hitting a suplex for another near fall. Cena runs into Brocks elbow but then hits him with a shoulder charge to knock Lesnar onto the apron. Lesnars face is covered in blood now. Cena hits a legdrop on Brock who is draped over the middle rope. Outside the ring and Cena throws Brock into the ringpost and then back into the ring for a near fall. I like that they’re giving somebody new a chance in the main event. Cena applies a sleeper.

Brock gets out of the sleeper with a snapmare but Cena is right back into it with a boot and a DDT for a near fall. Cena races at Brock but the champion catches him with a spinebuster and both men are down. Cena hits a jawbreaker and a clothesline for a two count. Cena applies a sleeper again and the crowd seem to be behind Cena at this point. Lesnar stands up with Cena on his back and then rams him into the corner of the ring to force him off. Brock starts a comeback, hitting clotheslines and powerslams. He then shoulder charges Cena in the corner and takes him down with a powerslam for a near fall. There are a lot of boo’s for Lesnar in this match. Maybe it’s time for a Lesnar heel turn. Cena low blows Lesnar and the referee doesn’t see it. Cena then hits sort of a neckbreaker/stunner move for a two count.

Lesnar forces Cena into the corner but that allows Cena to grab a steel chain. The referee sees it and takes it off him which is enough for Lesnar to hit Cena with an F5! Brock is slow to cover Cena but he does so and gets the 3 count! Lesnar retains his WWE Championship tonight!

Rating: 6.75/10

Next up is a VT for the 6 man tag match that mainly focuses on Triple H, Shawn Michaels and Kevin Nash.

Shawn Michaels, Kevin Nash & Booker T vs. Triple H, Ric Flair & Chris Jericho

This is Kevin Nash’s first WWE PPV match since In Your House: Good Friends, Better Enemies, 7 years ago. That night Nash lost to Shawn Michaels. Nash, Michaels and Flair make their Backlash PPV debuts tonight. Booker T has new music, he also makes his Backlash debut tonight. Triple H is the only man to have fought on all 5 Backlash PPVs, he has a current record of 2-2. He’s also main evented the last 3 Backlash PPVs. Jericho has a 0-2 record at Backlash events. This match should lead to new feuds over the coming months. All 6 of these men have been in World/WWE Championship matches at Wrestlemania. Booker T being the only man not to have been in a WWE title match at Wrestlemania. This is the 150th WWE PPV, the last PPV Kevin Nash fought on was the 55th.

Kevin Nash and Triple H look to start the match but Triple H tags out to Jericho so Nash tags out to Shawn Michaels. Michaels knocks Jericho down first and then rolls Jericho up for the first near fall of the night. The two men then exchange multiple pinfalls. Michaels attempts a dropkick but Jericho catches him and tries for the walls of Jericho but Michaels manages to counter it. Michaels tags in Kevin Nash who got injured in the last match he wrestled in. Nash knocks down Jericho and then throws him out of the ring. Nash wants Triple H but Jericho attacks Nash before Triple H can get in the ring. Nash hits Jericho with a big boot and then tags in Booker T. Booker T has been pretty quiet in the programme and he hits a spinebuster on Jericho for a near fall. Booker hits some chops and right hands before getting caught with an elbow. Jericho comes off the middle rope but Booker catches him and hits him with a flapjack.

Jericho tags in Triple H but Booker T hits a big roundhouse on Triple H. Triple H hits a knee to the face on Booker and then lays into him with right hands. Booker T manages to fight off Triple H as well as Ric Flair and Chris Jericho but Triple H then hits booker with a spinebuster. Triple h tags in Ric Flair who misses with an elbow drop. Booker tags in Shawn Michaels who hits a back body drop on Flair before back dropping Jericho and hitting Triple H with an atomic drop. Michaels hits his trademark flying forearm on Flair and then sweet chin music! Before Michaels can make the pin though, Triple H hits him with a Pedigree! Jericho tags in and lays into Michaels before tagging in Triple H. Triple H hits a high knee on Michaels for a two count.

Ric Flair comes in and hits Michaels with some chops and then tries to get the figure four locked on but Michaels rolls him up for a two count. Jericho tags back in and hits a side suplex on Michaels before applying a chinlock. Shawn gets out of it but gets caught an a knee to the gut. Triple H tags in and wraps Shawn Michaels knee around the ring post. Ric Flair tags in and continues to go to work on Michaels knee. Flair and Michaels exchange chops and right hands until Michaels takes Flair down with an enzeguri. Both men get to their feet and Michaels takes down Flair with a shoulderblock. Flair tags in Triple H and Shawn Michaels tags in Kevin Nash! Nash lays into Triple H with forearms and elbows. Nash then slams Flair and Jericho, throwing around the whole team. Nash hits Triple H with a sidewalks slam but Ric Flair breaks up the pinfall attempt.

All hell has broken loose now and Booker T throws Flair into the barricade. Nash throws Jericho across the ring but Triple H sets Kevin up for the Pedigree! Kev counters it and sets Triple H up for the Jackknife but Jericho hits him with a dropkick. Booker T hits Jericho with his trademark scissors kick and then hits Flair with a kick. Booker then gives us a Backlash spin-er-oonie! He disposes of Jericho and heads outside to lay in some chops. Shawn Michaels and Flair go at it in the ring whilst Triple H and Kevin Nash battle in the entrance way. Michaels throws Flair off the top and then sets up for sweet chin music but Jericho gets in the ring and hits HBK with a bulldog. Flair then locks on the figure four! Michaels isn’t the legal man though, Kevin Nash is. Jericho hits the lionsault on Michaels whilst he’s tied up in the figure four.

Nash looks to Jackknife Triple H into the announcers table but instead breaks up the figure four in the ring. Nash then throws Jericho into the referee whilst spinning around with Jericho between his legs. Nash hits the Jackknife on Jericho! But Triple H is then in the ring and smashes Kevin Nash with a sledgehammer! Triple H hooks the leg and the referee slides back in and counts the 3! Triple H wins the match for his team!

Rating: 7/10

There’s a VT next for The Rock and Goldberg.

Terri Runnels is backstage with The Rock. The Rock cuts one of his classic promos like only The Rock can.

Goldberg vs. The Rock

This is a pay per view debut for Goldberg. It’s The Rock’s third Backlash PPV, he’s previously lost to Stone Cold Steve Austin in 1999 and beaten Triple H in 2000. He’s headlined every Backlash PPV he’s been a part of. The Rock is reluctant to get into the ring but there’s plenty of “Rocky” chants when he does get back in. The “Goldberg” chants then ring through. The Rock has beaten Hulk Hogan and Stone Cold Steve Austin on the last 2 PPVs. The bell finally rings and Goldberg throws The Rock across the ring. Goldberg then throws The Rock out of the ring. The Rock gets back in the ring and slaps Goldberg in the face. Goldberg grins and knocks The Rock back down and then back out of the ring again.

The Rock gets back into the ring and knocks Goldberg down with a clothesline. But Goldberg from nowhere knocks The Rock down with a Rock Bottom! Goldberg then gets in position for the spear but The Rock gets out of the way and Goldberg goes crashing to the outside of the ring. Rocky throws Goldberg back into the ring and then locks in the Sharpshooter! Goldberg gets to the ropes so The Rock breaks the hold and then shoves referee Earl Hebner away and plants Goldberg with a low blow. The Rock sets up for Rock Bottom but Goldberg hits him with a Spear out of nowhere! Goldberg has an injured shoulder though and takes a long time to get up. He knocks The Rock back down with a powerslam for a near fall. Both men get back up to their feet where The Rock hits a spear on Goldberg!

The Rock hits Rock Bottom on Goldberg and covers the newcomer but Goldberg kicks out. Quite a lot of boo’s when Goldberg kicked out. The Rock then hits a spinebuster and follows it up with the People’s Elbow! But again Goldberg kicks out of the pinfall. More boo’s when Goldberg kicked out. Both men get up to their feet and Goldberg hits The Rock with a Spear! A “Goldberg sucks” chant is now quite prominent. Goldberg hits another impressive looking Spear! More boo’s. Goldberg picks up The Rock and hits him with the Jackhammer! That’s enough for the three! Goldberg wins in his debut match in the WWE.

Rating: 7/10

And that was Backlash 2003. I think the show missed the likes of Matt Hardy, The Undertaker, Chris Benoit, Rhyno, the injured Kurt Angle and even the likes of Hulk Hogan and Steve Austin who wrestled at Wrestlemania. Backlash did give good exposure for future stars like John Cena, Sean O’Haire and Rey Mysterio though. The opening match was decent enough and Team Angle retained their tag team championships against Los Guerrero’s. I think Los Guerrero’s either need to leave the division or win the titles back. I don’t like them jobbing out to the champs every pay per view. Although if they were to split, Chavo would get lose in the shuffle. They either need to win the belts or go to Raw. It was a decent enough opener, just like in the Attitude Era when The Hardy Boyz used to open a lot of pay per views.

Sean O’Haire beat Rikishi in a pretty poor match but it gave O’Haire a rub. I really like O’Haire, he’s got a great gimmick and look and could be a really big star if given the opportunity. It’s nice to see Rikishi back on pay per view, although he’s pretty much just there to put the new stars over nowadays. Rob Van Dam and Kane then defeated the Dudley Boyz to retain their tag team championships. It seems as though the Dudley Boyz have left the Bischoff Administration but it hasn’t bought them any success. I like how the tag team division has been based around three teams, they’ve kept a storyline going for four or five months now and kept it interesting. I’m not sure where Rob Van Dam and Kane go next but there is a new tag team set to debut soon.

Jazz beat Trish Stratus for the Women’s Championship which I was surprised about. Trish only won her title last month at Wrestlemania but Jazz won tonight with a bit of help from Teddy Long. The Women’s division is a little sparse at the moment with the focus only being on three women at the moment. Maybe there needs to be a brand draft in order to get the likes of Torrie Wilson and Nidia in the Women’s title division. Big Show beat Rey Mysterio which I was also surprised about. Mysterio is yet to win on pay per view after 8 months since his debut. Maybe they’re pushing Big Show back towards the WWE title, not that anybody wants to see that. Mysterio is starting to look weak, he needs to get some big wins under his belt. What happened after the bell looked pretty brutal, with Mysterio landing on his face, unable to get his hands up.

Brock Lesnar retained his WWE Championship against John Cena in a routine first PPV defence. This did give Cena a big rub though and if pushed correctly over the next few months, he could find himself back in the title hunt with a genuine chance. I’m not sure where either men go from here but Cena has definitely elevated up the card. Good match between these two. The 6 man match was decent enough, with all 6 men getting a good showing. I would have liked to have seen the World Championship defended but this was decent enough. I was surprised Triple H pinned Kevin Nash as I was assuming these two would main event the next pay per view. It would have made way more sense for Kevin Nash to pin Triple H. Maybe that isn’t the direction they’re going in?

Then in the main event, Goldberg beat The Rock. It was definitely the right call and gives Goldberg some good momentum going forward. The crowd turned on Goldberg though like they did Steiner. There is definitely money in a Triple H/Goldberg feud down the road but maybe they’ll hold off until Summerslam. Goldberg and The Rock was decent enough, more of a spectacle though.

Overall Rating: 57.8/100 (ranked joint 71st out of 150)

Match Of The Night: Goldberg vs. The Rock/Nash, Michaels & Booker vs. Triple H, Flair & Jericho
Worst Match Of The Night: Rikishi vs. Sean O’Haire
Surprise Of The Night: Jazz wins the Women’s Championship
Worst Booking Of The Night: Triple H pinning Nash
Superstar Of The Night: Goldberg
Backlash 2003 Will Be Remembered For: The in-ring debut of Goldberg


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