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Sunday, 26 April 2009

Backlash Preview

Backlash. The latest WWE Pay Per View. Read about it on backslash backlash.

Or, indeed, read about it here, as you have chosen to do. I have had a few of you write to me and ask why I haven’t been updating so much of late. I apologise, but my schedule has been mad as of late. I’ve hardly been home and working on the read means I don’t get many chances to Blog. Will try to rectify this situation.

By the way, I would blog with more frequency but I have a slight problem. Because I write about wrestling professionally, when I think of an idea I want to write about I pitch it to write on a website or magazine. ( or Fighting Spirit Magazine available from WHSmith and precious few other bloody stockists) To this end, if you want to throw me a question down the line I’d be happy to give you an answer on the blog. Email rob the green at hotmail dot com, changing the format as appropriate. (I get a shitload of spam, don’t want to add to it by typing my email address too often.)

By way of a final piece of housekeeping, I’ll be back live tonight for Backlash to give my usual live blog, which is updated far more regularly and quicker than any other live wrestling blog. That is a scientific fact (Disclaimer, may not be a fact.)

Onto the Pay per View then, and I feel myself saying the thing that so often comes from my keyboard on PPV days. The card doesn’t look that appetising, but WWE have come up trumps so many times in the last two years or so on PPV. The (longest running) weekly (episodic) TV might not be up to much, but the big shows (not Paul Wight) tend to deliver.

Tonight is a test (Not Andr.....leave it) though. No Undertaker, Shawn Michaels, Rey Mysterio, Big Show, Kofi, Miz or Morrison, no Colons, no MVP Shelton or Umaga. The main event is a flimsy six man and the hype for the show features a rematch of a bout which was poor, had a twice filmed ending and lasted three minutes on Monday (Kane and CM Punk) and a segment about a man in drag kissing a 7ft4 Indian bloke. Hmmm.

CM Punk v Kane

We’ll start here, as it is such an odd choice of match. I like both of these guys – one for their wrestling, one for their character, and I’ll let you guess which is which – but was live in London for their match on Monday and it was poor. It was sloppy, with a botched ending, and the timing (maybe 3-4 minutes) they were given was horrifically short.

Even worse, Punk won cleanly, so why are we supposed to care about them having a rematch?

I have a horrible feeling about this, which I hope I might be wrong about. How about Kane beats Punk but Punk cashes in Money in the Bank? Punk is then champ with Edge and/or Cena demanding a rematch, and Kane arguing that because he beat Punk he ought to be number one contender. Could happen.

Prediction: Officially Kane to win. If the full scenario plays out then I get bonus points.

Santino/Santina/Khali kiss cam
I know this isn’t a match, so I can’t count it as a prediction really, but I wanted to offer an explanation as to why it’s on PPV. I can see the major blow up of Santino and Beth here. I can’t give a full picture as I can’t think how I’d do it, but I can see Beth interjecting and somehow (maybe on Raw) Rosa ends up siding with Santino. Their problem in all this might be how people end up post-angle. I think they’d want Rosa and Santino to be a heel couple with a Beth face turn, but the people will cheer for Santino no matter what.

I’m saying something major (well, major in context) may well happen since they’ve bumped this to PPV from regular TV.

Matt Hardy v Jeff Hardy – I Quit match
Until I read rumours of Jeff Hardy leaving I would have had him down as a banker winner. Now, I’m not so sure.

I still think Jeff could be pushed in a major way. If he leaves, he gets a big send off and the stage is set for if and when he returns. If he doesn’t leave, then all the better. The fear will likely be that he takes time off for burnout then goes to TNA (it’s happened before) so the more likely explanation is that Matt gets the stronger push out of this feud.

It’s likely to end here, I would think, especially with the two brother being on separate brands now. I feel for Matt a bit, and like Kennedy and Mysterio before him he may get lost in the Raw shuffle a little.

The scenario I envisage here is a rehash of the Bret Hart v Steve Austin match as Wrestlemania. You can put Matt Hardy over his brother one more time, but rather than uttering the words I Quit, Jeff simply cannot continue. He overcomes all odds to make sure he does not give in, but it’s someone else’s decision to stop the match. As long as Ken Shamrock doesn’t guest ref this, then we’re cool.

Prediction: Matt to win, but Jeff not to say “I Quit”

Chris Jericho v Ricky Steamboat

I can’t decide whether to be excited about this or not. It’s basically a filler match and a small capitalisation on Steamboat’s surprise (to some) success at Wrestlemania weekend. As someone who was there, the adulation of Ricky at Raw the night after Mania was truly special. I was chanting “You’ve still got it” for days.

I’m not to keen on this match, as like the words to that song they played for Ric Flair said “Leave the memories alone.” Steamboat could be remembered for his last two matches being a beautiful surprise, and not a B-show filler match.

I’d still expect this to be good. We’ve seen how Steamboat really does still have it and Jericho might be the best about at the moment, so this’ll likely be fun.

Prediction: Jericho to win, and possibly a nefarious act post-match to keep his heat sky-high and put The Dragon out of the picture.

Jack Swagger v Christian (ECW Title)

I’m not confident of predictions on any of the title matches tonight. This one included. Most of me says Swagger to retain. Partly because of them seemingly wanting to hold back Christian, partly because the internal reaction to Swagger v Cena two weeks ago was said to be very positive.

However, there are some Christian pointers. Someone, somewhere must have noted that Christian got by far the best reaction in Money in the Bank. If you are not going to give him the ECW title, why leave him on the brand in the draft? And this match has been done before on PPV, with Swagger winning. It seems to achieve nothing if the former Mr Cage is simply beaten again.

Prediction: I’m going to for the old guess you one you don’t want to win, so if you are right you get a point, if you are wrong you are happy about the outcome. Swagger to win, and I hope I’m wrong.

Edge v John Cena (Last Man Standing match, World Title)

Well there are three theories, and all stem from two obvious points. Those points are that Cena will be off House shows soon because he is shooting a movie, while Smackdown is shockingly without a World Title.

So, either they do the logical thing which is Edge wins and take the title to SD, or they have Cena win to swerve everybody, or they do either of the above and have Punk come in and steal the title like he did last year.

Going on the Punk theory for a second, that can work two ways, because it could be used to give Cena an excuse for dropping the belt. However, that makes little sense, because a) he’d then a) be mad at a guy on a different brand and b) would deprive us of the logical Edge v Punk feud. And Edge v Punk feud which would be more intense because Edge would be doubly mad since Punk cashed in last year MITB briefcase against him too.

The most likely thing, I think, is that a dirty rotten heel from Raw (maybe Jericho) helps Edge to victory, giving Cena both a reason for losing and a ready made feud on Raw while the title picture continues to revolve around Triple H.

I’ll offer this up, as something that I would do. I’d end the show with this match (already you know this isn’t going to happen since the build up is all about the Game) and have Edge win out in a really close one. Maybe both guys are counted out to nine and Vickie appears to throw water over Edge or something. Anyway, Edge wins, and Punk’s music hits. One of two things happens. Either Edge runs away and Punk can’t catch him, or Punk is just appearing to scare the shit out of the new champion, and the paranoid Edge character continues for a few weeks with Punk hovering and waiting to pounce.

Prediction: I’ll take the straightforward Edge title switch, for sensible reasons, and assume that he gets some help from somewhere. Would be wonderful to see post-match Punk, but no impromptu title match, just a build for the future. It’d make me watch Smackdown, that’s all I’m saying.

Triple H, Batista and Shane v Legacy

Even though I predicted this long before it played out on TV (obviously with Vince instead of Big Dave) I don’t want to see it. I hate the stipulation of someone other than the champion being pinned and there being a title switch, and I hate the fact that bloody Vince and Shane are powerless over Vickie to block this match. And what is Vickie’s motivation anyway?

That aside, looking at where the match goes, well it goes one of four ways, but with all but one leading to the same conclusion.

I foresee a Triple H and Batista rivalry, folks, and I see it being started tonight. So, either Batista gets pinned and Triple H is pissed off with him, Batista wins the match for Trips and later accuses his former Evolution chum of being ungrateful or Batista turns on his partners and wins the title for Randy.

The fourth scenario is that Shane is beaten costing Trips the title, but I don’t really see where that leads post Backlash. I suppose a further scenario is that Shane turns on his partners but that makes even less sense.

I like the Batista-loses-Trips’-belt angle the best. I think that’s the most likely, because there are logistics for two programmes then. The first leads a triple threat match between Triple H, Batista and Orton, which Orton wins after the other two beat the crap out of each other. Then, Orton can go his own way with the title while Trips and Dave face off, maybe at Summerslam.

Prediction: Triple H to pin someone and retain. I know that contradicts everything I’ve just said, and isn’t even in the list of about six scenarios I gave, but I don’t care. Logically, everything goes out of the window, and Triple H wins. That’s how things usually work.

Enjoy the show everybody, remember to keeping logging in during the PPV and I’ll keep you updated with my thoughts. Feel free to email in too. Robthegreen, followed by an at sign, with a hotmail, a dot and a com to follow.

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