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Ring Crew Reviews: WWE Backlash 2007

July 6, 2010 | Posted by Jack Bramma
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Ring Crew Reviews: WWE Backlash 2007  

DVD Packaging: We have some stock Backlash imagery in the background, but the majority of the cover is taken up by promo stills of Batista, UT, Orton, HBK, Cena, Edge, Bobby Lashley, Umaga, Vince and Shane.

DVD Presentation: The main DVD menu is more or less the same as the DVD cover art background. The center is a video package that focuses on the fatal four-way for the WWE Championship with laterally scrolling text with each wrestler’s nickname. Then the montage shifts into focusing on Undertaker-Batista. The menu music is some Jim Johnston number. The PPV theme of Daughtry’s “There and Back Again” is nowhere to be found.

Relevant Storylines: The Hardyz are teaming up for the last time ever… again. Batista wants a rematch against UT. Orton’s got his eye on Cena. HBK’s got his eye on Cena. Edge has got his eye on the belt. Kennedy has got his eye on all of them.

Scheduled Card:
1. Team Championship: Lance Cade and Trevor Murdoch vs. The Hardy Boyz (c).
2. WWE Women’s Championship: Mickie James vs. Melina (c).
3. United States Championship: MVP vs. Chris Benoit (c).
4. Three-on-One Handicap Match for the ECW Championship: Vince McMahon, Shane McMahon, and Umaga vs. Bobby Lashley (c).
5. Last Man Standing Match for the World Heavyweight Championship: Batista vs. Undertaker (c).
6. Fatal-4-Way Match for the WWE Championship: Edge vs. Randy Orton vs. Shawn Michaels vs. John Cena (c).

• Opening video package this time around is pretty damn good. It makes the Batista-UT feud seem suitably vicious but professional. Also, for the fatal four way portion, the footage is more long lenses and wide shots to make the material seem cinematic. Good package.

• On commentary tonight, we have King and JR for RAW, Taz and Joey Styles for ECW, and Cole and JBL for Smackdown. Cole has the pedophile goatee going. He looks like an evil magician or the Ferdnand Mondego.

World Tag Team Championship: Lance Cade and Trevor Murdoch vs. The Hardy Boyz (c). I refuse to call them Team Extreme. Monster pop for the Hardyz at their music. Champs out first? Whatever. According to JR, Cade was trained by HBK (knew that) and Murdoch was trained by Harley Race (didn’t know that). Cade and Murdoch throw their shirts WITH AUTHORITY at the production assistant to show their major league assholes. Cade and Matt to start. Hardy with the headlock TD and they trade counters working the pinfall for a series of 1 counts. Hardy gets decapitated with a back elbow. Cade paintbrushes him but Hardy comes back with a hiptoss and another on Murdoch and back to the headlock TD. Cade powers up and out and tags in Murdoch. Hardy ducks a clothesline, gets a slam, and drops a fist. Jeff in with a springboard dropkick. They work a few quick tags and get some doubleteam moves. Jeff gets Whisper in the Wind but Cade breaks up the pin. Matt in and dumps Cade. Matt on all fours and Jeff steps off him for the plancha elbow drop (Air Hardy variation) on Cade and Murdoch. Back in, Matt hits the yodeling double ax handle for 2. Matt goes for a bulldog but Murdoch pushes him off. Murdoch and Cade work some quick tags for some generic heel offense. Matt reverses to a side Russian leg seep and tags in Jeff. Jeff hits a sitout drop kick on Cade and dumps him. He tries a suicide sitout dropkick but Cade counters and pull him off. Jeff eats it back first. Sporadic “Hardyz” chants throughout all of this. Crowd solidly with them. Cade hits a sitout uranage but Matt breaks up the pin. Murdoch tags in and they steal a Hardyz move, the assisted atomic drop leg drop, but it only gets 2. To the chinlock, we go. Jeff tries a jawbreaker but Murdoch counters to a neckbreaker. Cade in with a short arm clothesline for a couple of 2 counts. Murdoch in, Jeff counters a suplex to a small package for 2 but Murdoch waffles him with a big boot. Murdoch then drags Jeff by the hair all the way back to the corner. That’s the best thing they’ve done all match. After more generic double teams, Cade goes to the chinlock. Jeff counters to a jawbreaker but to no avail. Murdoch with a back suplex and some Taz crossfaces. Back up, Jeff gets a reverse mule kick and is close to the tag but Murdoch knocks Matt off the apron. Crowd’s pissed. Murdoch goes up for whatever but actually counters the propped boot(!). He tries to drop an elbow but Jeff rolls out of the way and finally gets the tag. Matt in with some mild right hands and his clothesline/bulldog combo for 2. Another attempt at the Air Hardy but Jeff whiffs. Matt gets the side effect but Cade breaks it up with a top rope double ax handle. Murdoch gets the Code Red for 2. Matt gets the Twist of Fate but Cade pulls him to the outside but Jeff is up to the top for the swanton. Matt fights off Cade and rolls in to get the 3 at 15:24 *** mostly for the match layout at the end and the Hardyz being in their element.

• Backstage, Shane pumps up Umaga and Vince dresses like he’s starring alongside Jesse Ventura in Black Hammer/White Lightning.

WWE Women’s Championship: Mickie James vs. Melina (c). Jerry quips, “I like women who will do anything . . . to retain the WWE Women’s Championship.” Mickie with a fireman’s carry takeover and they trade arm wringers. Mickie gets a 1 count off a monkey flip. Melina reverses a side headlock to a leg lock and Mickie James flips out and we get the ECW standoff. Another headscissors leglock that goes nowhere. Melina takes a break after getting poked in the eye, but then she steals on MJ with some forearms. MJ counters with another monkey flip and forearms. Melina cuts her off with a dual ninja throat thrust. Mickie goes up top but Melina dumps her. Melina with a hair toss for 2. Melina with a rope-assisted choke for another 2. She gets a variation of the Rings of Saturn but the ref catches her grabbing the ropes. Mickie gets a roll up for 2 but Melina cuts her off. She gets more chokes on the top rope. Mickie tries to counter to a powerbomb but Melina uses the momentum and drives MJ into the mat. Melina gets a crossface chicken wing for like 2 seconds before MJ powers out. They pull each other into splits in a nice spot. MJ gets to her feet first and takes down Melina with a low dropkick for 2. MJ with some clotheslines and hair pulls and a neckbreaker for 2. Mickey gets a cross body off the top for 2. Melina rakes the eyes and gets a reverse DDT for the pin to retain at 9:05. ** Not bad. Eons better than anything the current division has produced lately.

• Maria interviews Edge in the back. Edge says he’s ready to win his third world title. Maria asks Edge how he won his first world title. Edge reminds her of the circumstances at New Year’s Revolution 2006 with the money in the bank and then wants to know who wanted Maria to ask that question. Kennedy appears. He chews his gum and juts his head a few times and wishes Edge luck. I like Kennedy a lot and think he has plenty of charisma but his mannerisms here were weird.

• Very short EPK material for The Condemned.

WWE United States Championship: MVP vs. Chris Benoit (c). MVP gets his tunnel and Booker T’s old pyro during his entrance and still no one gives a shit. Feeling out process early. MVP with a couple of leg kicks and goes for a single leg but Benoit sprawls and MVP reverses to a front facelock. Benoit reverses to an armdrag TD and a drop toe hold and Benoit goes for a crossface. MVP gets the ropes and takes a breather. Compared to now, MVP has zero ring presence. He appears nervous. Back in, MVP goes to the side headlock TD. They work the hold and Benoit reverses to a headscissors. Every match has had that spot so far. MVP tries to kick out but can’t. He finally flips through and they do try the neckbridge spot but MVP pushes him back down. They do it again and Benoit gets the backslide for 2. The difference between here and the other matches is the slight hesitation and delay in the reversals. Rather than reel it off in 15 seconds, this took a minute or 2. If wrestling becomes too fluid and too predictable, it starts to look like a ballet and that’s not optimal. MVP goes for the reverse armbar but Benoit reverses to a back suplex. Benoit preps the sharpshooter but MVP gets the ropes. In the corner, Benoit pounds away but MVP whips him cross corner and Benoit eats it chest first and then MVP hits the drive by to Benoit’s upper back and that gets 2. MVP works a half nelson. Benoit powers out and gets a back elbow but runs into a belly to belly throw. MVP follows it up with a kick to the back. MVP works some neck wrench variation. MVP targeting Benoit’s neck. Follows up with a hard elbow to the back of the neck and Benoit chops to retaliate. Benoit ducks a punch and gets the Rolling Germans. Benoit sets up the headbutt but MVP grabs him. Benoit counters to a Northern Lights and gets a head of steam but runs into a flapjack on the ropes. MVP gets a few 2 counts. Hangman’s neckbreaker gets 2. Benoit counters a suplex to an armbar TD to prep the crossface but MVP gets the ropes. MVP gets back on the offense with a snapmare and to another neck vice/kimura/arm bar variation. MVP hits the Drive By again for a 2. They aren’t calling the move, so it’s not at a signature level yet. Benoit ducks another and goes back to the Germans. Crowd is mostly meh through this. Benoit gets 5 straight Germans. Benoit goes up top for the headbutt but eats knee. MVP get a half crab(?) that makes no sense psychologically but Benoit gets the ropes. Benoit fights out of a suplex but MVP flips through a crossface attempt and gets the double leg but Benoit rolls him up for 3 at 13:10. Didn’t see that coming. **1/2 I’m torn. I liked the story and the psychology pushed the story but the finish didn’t have much to do with either. Also, MVP couldn’t get the crowd to care about his neck work. He’s much better now at making the crowd care more while doing less.

• In the back, Todd Grisham interviews Cena. He’s got this camouflage motif in his gimmick that makes little sense outside of The Marine. Orton interrupts before Cena can talk. He wants a word. He tells Cena they’ve got three things in common: 1. They’re both young. 2. They’re both “incredibly handsome” (Cena shoots a glance at the camera that’s hilarious). 3. They’re both talented. Orton says they should team up tonight and work together. Cena cracks a few thinly veiled barbs questioning Orton’s orientation and then mocks the pose and splits. This was effective because it subtly mirrors the same promo that Edge cut convincing Orton to form Team Rated RKO. At the end, Ron Simmons appears to say his catchphrase.

Three-on-One Handicap Match for the ECW Championship: Vince McMahon, Shane McMahon, and Umaga vs. Bobby Lashley (c). Vince, Shane, and Umaga all get their own entrances. That strikes me as overkill. Among other things, this was set up by Lashley costing Umaga the IC strap in an awesome angle in Italy against Santino Marella in his first match. The morons in the first row bow to Vince during his entrance. Lashley manhandles Shane early with a couple of massive spinebusters and Shane takes a break. Umaga in. Big boos for him. He misses a charge and Lashley pounds away in the corner but eats a big boot coming in. Umaga works him over with a back elbow and some punches. He misses a charge and Lashley hits him with some clotheslines. Umaga with a headbutt but Lashley clotheslines him to the floor. Shane in but Lashley dumps him. Vince stalls and Umaga and Shane try to attack from behind but get beat down again. Hanging vertical suplex on Shane and Umaga gets drop toe holded onto Shane. Lashley gets a head of steam but Shane pulls the rope down and dumps Lashley. Umaga whips Lashley into the steps. Back in, Umaga gets a leg drop and some more shots. He awkwardly rakes Lashley’s stomach and back. Shane in with some boots and a reverse armbar. Then drops some knees on a hammerlock and works a regular armbar. Nice. Lashley pulls a Rampage and powerbombs Shane down out of the armbar but Umaga breaks up the pin. Umaga in and hits the standing diving headbutt. Umaga goes to the bearhug. Lashley elbows out but runs into a Samoan drop. Shane in with more knees and elbows then a Camel Clutch. This keeps going on for a while until Lashley gets to his feet and rams Shane into the corner. Lashley gets a T-Bone suplex and a few shoulderblocks. He almost kills Shane on a shitty back body drop. Then he gets a torture rack rib breaker. Umaga in but Lashley spears him. Lashley hits Shane with a Bulldog powerslam but Vince breaks up the pin. Lashley’s pissed. He picks up Vince but Shane distracts and Umaga hits Lashley with a fucking karate chop. Behind the ref’s back, Shane’s got the belt and waffles Lashley. Vince wants in to get the victory but Lashley kicks out. Lashley rolls up Vince but Shane breaks it up. Umaga with the top rope splash and Vince tries the pin again but only gets 2. Umaga with another splash and that finally gets the pin at 15:47 for Vince to become ECW Champion. They gave this match way too much time. I hate these types of matches. Lashley was bland as a face and the crowd was only behind him because of the odds and Vince/Shane/Umaga on the other side. ** Post-match, McMahon takes a victory lap and dons JBL’s cowboy hat.

• Another commercial for The Condemned.

• Backstage, Vince runs into the originals: RVD, Sabu, The Sandman, and Tommy Dreamer. McMahon gloats about being the most extreme wrestler and steals RVD’s taunt, Sabu’s taunt, Sandman’s taunt, and Dreamer’s taunt. What a sad excuse for a fucking egotrip. I vomit on this segment.

Last Man Standing Match for the World Heavyweight Championship: Batista vs. Undertaker (c). This entire feud is based around Batista losing at Wrestlemania XXIII and then coming to the ring and saying, “I want a rematch.” That’s it. That’s the entire video package, basically. At the bell, Batista runs toward Taker but eats boot. UT drops some elbows and pounds away in the corner. Whip but Batista gets the elbow up. Batista tries a whip and a clothesline but Taker ducks and preps the chokeslam. Batista elbows out. Another whip, another missed clothesline and UT hits the flying zombie clothesline. Taker with an arm wringer and then hits Old School. More boots and headbutts. JBL informs us that in this type of match there are no flukes; you have to beat your opponent so badly that he can’t get up. Tell that to the current writers. Another whip reversal and Taker jumps into a powerslam but Batista almost drops him too soon. Then Batista demands a count. Ha. JBL tries to cover by saying it’s the signs of Batista’s injured hamstring. I’ll buy that. Taker up at 6 but Batista dumps him. Batista gives him various head smashes until Taker cuts him off and does the same into the stairs. UT targets the bandaged hamstring with some kicks. Batista selling well here. Batista tries to fight back but UT goes back to the legs. UT with a Batista kick and an apron leg drop. Batista up at 5. Batista reverses a whip on the outside and Taker eats stairs. Back in, Batista goes up but UT cuts him off and hits the superplex. Both get up at 7. They trade blows and Batista sells the leg. Batista gets a clothesline and demands a count. WTF? UT up at 8. Another lariat, another count. Taker up at 4. Taker dumps Batista and preps the announce table. Whip, reversal, Taker eats barricade. UT hits something that Cole calls a backbreaker. UT picks up the stairs and rams them at Batista. Batista up at 7 and he bladed. Taker puts Batista on the announce table and jumps off the barricade to leg drop Batista through the Smackdown announce table. Batista up at 9. Back in, Batista hits a couple of Ho Trains and Snake Eyes but runs into a spear. Nice spot but doesn’t make a lot of sense. UT up at 7, spinebuster and UT is up at 5. Another spinebuster and another. UT up at 9. That whole leg psychology has went out the door since the spear. Batista preps the Demon bomb but UT powers into the corner. He ducks a right and gets the choke slam. Both are down. Taker up at 6, Batista up at 9. Taker mounts in the corner to punch but Batista counters to a power bomb. UT up at 9. Batista gets a chair and waffles Taker with it. Batista tries to Demon bomb UT but it’s reversed to a backdrop on the chair and Batista sells the leg. Huh? Batista up at 5. UT hits the tombstone. UT up at 7, Batista up at 9. UT boots him to the floor and beats him up the entrance ramp and onto the stage. Batista fights back. He preps the Demon bomb but Batista hits the hamstring to reverse out. UT measures the distance off the stage, pounds away, and preps a powerslam. But Batista slides out and spears UT and himself off the stage into the abyss – a gimmicked platform with mats, steel pillars, and pyrotechnic sparks. And it’s a double KO at 20:25. Right on cue with his music as he retains, UT gets up and then Batista staggers out. No stretcher jobs? Assholes. ***1/4 That was basically a regular match until the last spot. You don’t need a 10 count for clotheslines, spinebusters, and superplexes. It was solid work but didn’t utilize the gimmick. I liked Cena-Batista better last month, even with the duct tape.

• We get the results of the fan vote from JR. Who will win the Fatal 4 Way WWE Championship Match? Cena 50%, HBK 34%, Orton 10%, Edge 6%, and Triple H 75%. Not too many Edgeheads watching apparently.

Fatal-4-Way Match for the WWE Championship: Edge vs. Randy Orton vs. Shawn Michaels vs. John Cena (c). This was a week after the 50 minute non-title match in London where HBK finally beat Cena. Lots of nonspecific crowd noise at the bell. This is apparently tornado rules. Each contingent cheering/chanting for their guy. Cena and HBK discuss who can point at their chest more emphatically. The heels take offense and say they can point at themselves too. Cena punches and dumps Orton. HBK punches and dumps Edge. HBK opens up with chops on Cena. Cena reverses a whip and hits a suplex on HBK that gets 2. Off a whip, HBK gets a neckbreaker on Cena but Orton is in and clotheslines him down and dumps him. Edge is in and he clotheslines Cena and dumps him. Well, glad we got that settled. They trade shots and Orton dropkicks him to the outside. On the outside, Cena pounds him and rolls him back in to Orton. Orton tries another whip but HBK pulls him out on the other side. Michaels chops but Cena comes around and clotheslines both. But Edge this a baseball slide dropkick on Cena. Edge whips Orton into the stairs and slams Cena. He tries one on Michaels but he slips out and hits one. He goes up and hits a moonsault on all 3. HBK rolls Edge in. Edge cuts him off and whips him. He attempts an up and over but HBK doesn’t come in. They clothesline each other down. Cena up top hits the double fame-asser. He tries a pin only gets 2. Orton in. He clotheslines Cena down and dumps HBK and Edge. They trade shots until Orton hits his backbreaker hybrid for 2. Orton hits the Malenko stomp and gets a 2. Whip, reversal. Cena tries a spear but eats post and falls to the outside. HBK in. They trade chops and shots until HBK hits a flying burrito and kips up but right into spinwheel kick from Edge. Nice spot. He tries the pin but Orton breaks it up. They argue. They settle their differences and double team HBK. Cena tries to sneak in but Edge clubs him off the apron. Double whip and double backdrop. They hit the double Boston crab. Cena comes in and hits a Throwback on both. Another nice spot. Clotheslines and shoulderblocks for all. Then he hits a Proto-bomb on Edge. 5 Knuckle shuffle for Edge but HBK and Orton pull him out and throw him into the post then HBK throws Orton into the post from behind. Awesome. HBK preps a piledriver through the announce table on Orton but Edge saves him with a chairshot to the back. Orton gives him the thumbs up for the help but then eats a chairshot. Back in, Edge goes for a chairshot but Cena reverses to a drop toe hold and a STF. Edge gets the ropes. Orton in, another STF. Michaels in. Cena tries again but HBK rolls him up for 2. Another flying burrito and a kip up. Inverted atomic drop on Cena but Edge is up but he eats an inverted atomic drop. HBK dumps him. Another for Orton and he dumps him. A bodyslam for Cena and HBK up top for the elbow drop. He tunes up the band. Edge tries a spear but HBK dodges. Another body slam and goes up top again for another elbow drop. Orton in. More of the same. Cena cuts him off and goes for the FU off the top but Edge and Orton are up for a Tower of Doom/Samoan Drop spot. Cena tries an FU but Edge reverses first to an Edge-o-cutioner and then Cena reverses back to an FU and Edge reverses to an Edge-o-matic. Cena goes back to the FU and HBK is in and Cena picks him up too. But he slides out and preps Sweet Chin Music. Orton in through and RKOs him. Orton tries the pin but Cena drops Edge and breaks it up. Edge finally gets the Edge-o-cutioner on Cena for 2. Edge tries a spear but Cena leapfrogs. Orton pushes Edge toward Cena. Cena sets up the FU. Orton slides out and gets pushed into a spear. Cena hits the FU on Edge. Michaels up, hits the SCM and collapses. Cena falls on Orton and gets the 3 to retain at 19:40. **** A tad repetitive but the team ups then the betrayals were very good and clever. Good work from all and the crowd cared about all of the participants and everyone in the match has good chemistry with all of the others. Good stuff.

DVD Extras: Todd Grisham interviews Kennedy. No gum and less head jutting this time. And an RVD promo on Vince McMahon. This is one of the few times RVD’s shows a serious side and it makes his character better. Too bad they don’t do it more often.

The 411: By no means is this a must-see show. Almost all of the champs retain in hard fought contests and the only new champ was McMahon in that booking abomination. But all of the matches are decent to very good. Solid recommendation.
Final Score:  7.0   [ Good ]  legend

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