Since Backlash is in less than twenty hours of this writing, I expect this to be a shorter column but I hope it can provide some insight to the PPV. As usual, I’ll be discussing the matches and predicting the winners.
CM Punk/Kane is a match that there’s not too much steam behind it heading into the PPV but regardless, from a match quality prospective, I’d expect this to be a very solid match. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, Kane is one of the most underrated wrestlers on the WWE roster and he really deserves more of a push before he retires. Being underrated and under pushed has been and will probably continue to be the story of Kane’s entire career. Despite that, I still think Kane could be a more than capable main event contender if the WWE gave him the opportunity to do so because when it comes to the Heavyweights in wrestling, Kane has been one of the best of the past decade without a doubt. That being said, I think the winner of this particular match at Backlash will be CM Punk because Punk was relatively quiet prior to winning the money in the bank title shot but as a result of the win, I’d think the WWE will start building some momentum for him to eventually cash in the title shot.
Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat/Chris Jericho is a match that I’m really looking forward to and I expect it to be great. While a full fledged come back wouldn’t be to logical for Steamboat at this stage of his career, this mini come back so to speak has been absolutely fantastic the past few weeks. Steamboat still can get a crowd behind him, he can still go in the ring, and his arm drags are still poetry in motion. Most importantly, at least in my opinion, the return to the ring has really shown and emphasized how great of a performer Steamboat was in back in the day and how good he still is currently. It gives a whole new generation of wrestling fans and appreciation for Steamboat, who is without question on the level of a Flair, Dusty, etc. As for a winner, I have to pick Jericho because it would really give him an over the top push to possibly reemerge in the main event picture as a heel with a lot of heat.
The ECW title match is another match that I expect to be very good and I’ll predict a title change here with Christian winning the title. These two had one of the best matches that’s been seen on WWE’s ECW brand in the brand’s three year history a few months ago and if they are given enough time, I think they could have an even better match at Backlash. Swagger has had a decent title run and his stock has risen as a result of it but at this point, I think it’s time to give Christian a title to really solidify his return to the WWE. A quick side note about the ECW brand, with Christian, Swagger, Tyson Kidd, Finlay, and Evan Bourne it has become the brand that delivers the best bell to bell action in the WWE.
The I Quit match should be really good and could possibly steal the show. The Hardys feud has really added to and refreshed Matt’s character, which I would assume was one of the main objectives. Since Matt went over at Wrestlemania and has gone on to defeat Jeff numerous times on Smackdown, I’d predict that Jeff gets the win at Backlash, especially considering that an I Quit match has traditionally been designed for the heel to lose. I’ve read rumors online that Jeff could be leaving the company in a few months, which could be a factor in the match at Backlash but regardless, I’ll still pick Jeff to get the victory.
The Last man standing match is another that I expect to be really good but I don’t have a whole lot to say about this one because quite frankly, Edge/Cena has been seen so many times. However, I will say that I don’t see Cena losing the title just a month after winning it so I’ll predict that he retains the title. As for Edge, I could see him spending most of his time on Raw since Vickie Guerrero is the general manager and he could possibly continue feuding with the Big Show.
The WWE title match is a joke and quite frankly, I think the stipulation of the six man tag was put into place so that Triple H wouldn’t have to get pinned to lose the title. In reality, a title switch should have happened at Wrestlemania because a victory on the biggest stage in the WWE could have really propelled Randy Orton but because of the nature of the storyline and how things were set up, Triple H gets to win…again…surprise. In my view, Orton almost needs to win the title at Backlash to justify his huge push over the last few months, which is why I’ll pick him to win the title but even if he does win the title, I still think a title win at Wrestlemania would have done more to help his career. Don’t get me wrong here, I’m not even an Orton fan but after the WWE invested so much time into him wouldn’t it just make sense to do as much as possible to establish him as a main event star?
Overall, I think Backlash will be a very good PPV, especially because of a very solid under card. If you’re going to watch the show, I hope you enjoy it.