| Date: April 21, 2002
| Venue: Kemper Memorial Arena | City: Kansas City, Missouri
| Attendance: 12, 489 | Buyrate: 400, 000
| tweet me: @BastionBlogger
One Man’s Journey To Stand Alone. That’s the tagline for this pay per view but it’s unclear who it applies to. Maybe it’s Hulk Hogan who is no longer part of the nWo and now stands alone. Hogan was attacked by the nWo at Wrestlemania and now finds himself as number one contender to the WWF Championship. But how did he get there? Well, since Wrestlemania, there has been a brand split, splitting half the roster to be exclusive to Raw and the other half to be exclusive to Smackdown. Hogan was drafted to Raw alongside the likes of Kurt Angle and Chris Jericho who both wanted a shot at Triple H’s Undisputed WWF Championship. The Rock, also a Smackdown competitor demanded that Hogan get the title shot and Vince McMahon obliged and gave Hogan the opportunity. So the match has been made, Triple H vs. Hulk Hogan for the WWF Undisputed Championship.
I’ll stick with Smackdown for now. Kurt Angle and Edge are two men that have had their issues as of late. Edge has embarrassed Angle, mainly with goofy stunts and encouraging “you suck” chants aimed at the Olympic gold medalist. Edge has also been the man to save Hulk Hogan from attacks from Kurt Angle and Chris Jericho. Kurt Angle and Edge go one on one tonight. Smackdown is the home to the Tag Team titles as Billy & Chuck were drafted by Vince McMahon. They have recently taken on a new manager and personal stylist in Rico. Tonight they square off against Maven and his mentor Al Snow. The other championship on Smackdown is the Cruiserweight title. Billy Kidman beat Tajiri for the belt after a change in attitude from Tajiri. He seems to be jealous of the attention his girlfriend Torrie Wilson has been getting and has dressed her up in the traditional Japanese geisha outfit. Billy Kidman is looking to become more well known by the audience and tonight he defends his title against Tajiri.
There are 5 Raw matches to Smackdowns 4 tonight. The biggest match is a number one contenders match in which the winner will go on to Judgment Day to face the champion, whether that be Triple H or Hulk Hogan. The number one contender will be decided tonight in a match between “Stone Cold” Steve Austin and The Undertaker. Undertaker was briefly named the number one contender by Raw General Manager Ric Flair but Vince McMahon was quick to point out that Smackdown get the first contender for the belt. Austin and Undertaker, won qualifying matches against Rob Van Dam and Scott Hall respectively and now two of the biggest names in the history of the company will square off tonight to decide who goes to Judgment Day and it’ll be Ric Flair himself who will serve as special guest referee.
The Intercontinental title will be on the line as Rob Van Dam defends against Eddie Guerrero who returned to Raw the night after Wrestlemania and attacked Van Dam. The two men seem to be at odds over who does the better frog splash and tonight the better frog splash will mean taking home the Intercontinental title. The Women’s title is exclusive to Raw and will be defended tonight as Jazz defends against Trish Stratus. Trish has had her problems recently with Molly Holly as well as Jazz. Also tonight Bradshaw, who has had his problems with the nWo as of late, will take on Scott Hall. X Pac has recently joined the nWo and Kevin Nash has been suspended. We’ll also see the PPV debut of Brock Lesnar, a monster managed by Paul Heyman, take on Jeff Hardy. Lesnar was supposed to take on Matt Hardy after Paul Heyman punked out his girlfriend Lita, but Lesnar injured Matt Hardy, taking him out of this match and replaced by his brother Jeff.
On Heat before the event, The Big Show defeated Steven Richards and Justin Credible in a handicap match. Let’s get to the main show.
A video package kicks things off with Hulk Hogan talking about Wrestlemania and Triple H talking about having to fight Hulk Hogan. It’s an emotional video package with dramatic music. Jim Ross then welcomes us to Backlash, he’s joined by Jerry Lawler!
Billy Kidman (c) vs. Tajiri – WWF Cruiserweight Championship Match
It’s a first appearance at a Backlash PPV for both of these men. Torrie Wilson (the wife of Kidman) is in the corner of Tajiri. Kidman hits some armdrags but Tajiri gets back into it with some kicks and chops. Kidman then goes for a standing hurricanrana but Tajiri blocks it and slingshots Kidman who lands on the middle rope and hits a dropkick for the first near fall of the night. Tajiri takes the fight to the outside where he slams Kidman into the barricade. Back in the ring and Tajiri hits a kneedrop. Tajiri has only ever won one match on pay per view. He applies a chinlock to Kidman who has only wrestled one singles match on pay per view, a match that he beat X Pac. He hits a hurricanrana and a backbreaker. Tajiri hits a baseball slide to Kidman in the corner giving the challenger the advantage.
Tajiri hits a backbreaker and turns it into a submission hold. A win for Kidman tonight would give him a 66.6% PPV win percentage. Tajiri hits some kicks and an elbow drop. Tajiri then goes for the tarantula and locks it on the second time of trying. Tajiri looks to finish it with a big kick but Kidman ducks it. He hits a dropkick as Tajiri attempts his handspring elbow which earns Kidman a 2 count. Tajiri hits a German suplex for a two count. Torrie Wilson is looking for her first victory as a valet and watched her man Tajiri get another near fall following a side kick. Kidman hits a facebuster and then sets up for a shooting star press which Tajiri gets out of the way of. Tajiri then hits his trademark kick to the face but Kidman kicks out!
Tajiri pops Kidman on the top rope and goes up with him but Kidman ends up hitting a powerbomb from the top rope! Tajiri kicks out of the pinfall attempt and Kidman gets Tajiri up for a powerbomb but Tajiri spits a red mist in Kidmans eyes! Kidman falls backwards and Tajiri lands on him to get the three! Tajiri wins the Cruiserweight title tonight in a good opener! After the match Michael Cole attempts to interview Tajiri who speaks in Japanese. It took the crowd a long time to get into this one but the last 5 minutes or so featured some great action.
Bradshaw is backstage when his old partner Faarooq appears and the two men embrace. Bradshaw says he’s going to take care of business tonight as the nWo’s music hits.
Scott Hall vs. Bradshaw
Scott Hall comes to the ring accompanied by X Pac who is wearing Kane’s mask. It’s a first time meeting between these two men. Bradshaw would have been just starting out in the WWF when Scott Hall left the WWF in 1996. X Pac causes a distraction in the early going and out comes Faarooq to lend his old partner a hand! Hall fires his toothpick into the eyes of Bradshaw as the bell finally rings and Bradshaw fires back with some big right hands and a DDT for the first near fall of the night. This is a third Backlash match for Bradshaw who previously lost in tag team action with Faarooq to the Big Boss Man and Bull Buchanan two years ago and won in 6 man tag action the year before. Faarooq takes both Hall and X Pac down on the outside. Back in the ring and Bradshaw hits some right hands and a suplex for a two count.
Kevin Nash is currently suspended so shouldn’t appear tonight. Both Bradshaw and Hall like a beer. Hall comes back with some right hands of his own and X Pac takes a cheap shot at Bradshaw. There has been a lot of brawling in this match. It’s been all punches and kicks in this one. Bradshaw takes Scott down with a big shoulder charge. Faarooq has had his problems with Test on Smackdown after the APA were split up in the draft. Bradshaw hits an elbow and a big boot before hitting a big clothesline in the corner. Bradshaw then hits a big clothesline from hell! X Pac puts Scott Halls’ foot on the ropes before taking a cheap shot at Bradshaw. Faarooq chases X Pac around the ring before ramming him into the ring post. In the ring Scott Hall hits Bradshaw with a low blow and rolls him up for the three! Scott Hall beats Bradshaw tonight! Not a great match between these two.
Vince McMahon is backstage and barges into Ric Flairs office. Flair is backstage with Arn Anderson and McMahon winds him up about the talent not respecting him.
Jazz (c) vs. Trish Stratus – WWF Women’s Championship Match
This is the second time these two women have fought on pay per view with the previous match at the Royal Rumble resulting in a win for Trish. Trish comes out first but oddly it’s Molly Holly who comes out second. Molly gets on the mic and says that the Women’s champion should be holy and pure like her. Molly then attacks Trish with the microphone and throws Trish out of the ring. Molly throws Stratus into the ring steps and out comes Jazz. Jazz throws Trish back in the ring and hits her with a sidewalk slam for a two count. Trish manages to fight back but Jazz hits a rolling Samoan drop. Trish hits a clothesline but Jazz hits her with some jabs. It’s back and forth now and Trish takes Jazz down with a big kick for a two count. This is Trish’s 11th PPV match putting her behind Chyna and Ivory for most PPV matches for a woman.
Stratus hits a hurricanrana and a neckbreaker for a two count. Jazz hits a big kick to Trish’s lowered head and then a sit-out powerbomb but Trish just gets her shoulder up. Jazz chokes Trish on the bottom rope but misses with a splash in the corner. Trish rolls her up for a two count and then tries for the springboard bulldog but Jazz blocks it and slams her down to the canvas for a two count. Trish isn’t really selling the injuries sustained from Molly. Jazz locks a weak looking Boston Crab on Trish before breaking the move and applying an STF. Trish can’t get to the ropes and she taps out. Jazz retains her Women’s title tonight in a decent match between these two.
We see some footage from Raw last week with Paul Heyman going through Lita’s thongs and offering her an easier match for her boyfriend Matt Hardy against Heymans client Brock Lesnar. Lesnar attacked Matt Hardy on the stage.
Backstage Paul Heyman is firing up Brock Lesnar who is breathing like a monster.
Brock Lesnar vs. Jeff Hardy
It’s a PPV debut for the “Next Big Thing” Brock Lesnar who is an absolute monster. He takes on Jeff Hardy who is substituting for the injured Matt Hardy. Lita is present for Jeff. Jeff has fought on one Backlash PPV before, that was in 2000 and he lost a 6 man match for the Hardcore title. Jeff attacks Lesnar as he gets in the ring but Brock soon takes the advantage. Jeff manages to ram Brock into the ringpost and back in the ring Hardy hits a high cross body for a two count. Lesnar then man handles Jeff and hits him with a belly to belly suplex. Paul Heyman screams at Lita as Brock hits another belly to belly suplex. Lesnar hits three huge backbreakers and a hard Irish whip. So far all 3 matches have ended with wins for the heels. Jeff hits whisper in the wind knocking Lesnar down and he follows that up with a jawbreaker and a legdrop to the crotch.
Jeff goes up top and he hits the Swanton Bomb but Brock Lesnar kicks out! Jeff goes outside and grabs a steel chair but Lesnar sees him coming and gets him up on his shoulder before nailing Hardy with an F5. Heyman screams at Brock not to pin Jeff but to hurt him. Brock hits a powerbomb before picking Jeff up and hitting another one. Lesnar hits another powerbomb and referee Teddy Long calls for the bell. Brock Lesnar wins the match and his PPV debut tonight against Jeff Hardy. This guy could be a huge star.
There’s a video package next for Kurt Angle and Edge.
Kurt Angle vs. Edge
This is a second time PPV meeting between these two men. Previously Edge defeated Kurt Angle in the 2001 King Of The Ring final. Both men have fought at two Backlash PPVs before, Angle lost to Chris Benoit at last years event and lost to Big Show the year before. Edge teamed with Christian in 2000 to beat X Pac and Road Dogg and lost in 6 man tag team action in 1999. Edge gets a decent reaction. This is the second match representing Smackdown tonight (the first was the Tajiri/Kidman match). Edge has spent most of 2002 feuding with William Regal and Booker T. Edge knocks Kurt Angle down with right hands and a dropkick. Both of these men won their matches at last months Wrestlemania over Booker T and Kane respectively. Edge clotheslines Angle out of the ring.
The two men battle outside the ring until Edge rolls Kurt back in. Angle is up to his feet quick and lays the boots into Edge as he re-enters the ring. Edge hits a spinning heel kick but Angle hits Edge with a German suplex. This is the 5th match of the night and Edge is looking to be the first babyface to win tonight. An “Angle sucks” chant breaks out but it’s advantage to the olympic gold medalist. Kurt hits some big knife edge chops before Edge hits some of his own. Kurt hits a belly to belly suplex for a two count. Kurt Angle has beaten Triple H and Kane in his last two PPV matches. This is a good rub for Edge who has been slowly rising up the card towards the main event. Angle is arguably the biggest heel on Smackdown. Kurt hits a suplex for another near fall. Angle has not missed a PPV since his debut at Survivor Series 99. It is his 34th PPV in a row, a record he currently holds.
Kurt locks on a sleeper which Edge gets out of but Kurt hits a German suplex. Edge then hits a belly to belly suplex of his own. The two men slug it out resulting in Edge hitting a flying forearm, a clothesline and a big back body drop. Edge hits a facebuster for a two count and a modified bulldog for another near fall. Edge goes up top but Kurt flies up there with him and hits a belly to belly suplex from the top rope for a two count. Kurt then locks the Ankle Lock on but Edge kicks him off quickly. Kurt hits 3 German suplexes and bridges for a two count. Kurt attempts the Angle Slam but Edge gets out of it and hits a suplex. Kurt rolls to the outside and Edge goes up top and hits a cross body to him, looking like he hit Angle right in the face.
Edge rolls Kurt back in and once again goes up top, this time flying off with a missile dropkick for a two count. Kurt then hits the Angle Slam from nowhere and Edge kicks out of the pinfall! Kurt pulls the straps down and locks on the Ankle Lock! Edge rolls through it but Kurt knocks him back down with a clothesline. Kurt then goes outside and grabs a steel chair but as he goes to nail Edge with it, Edge moves out of the way and the chair bounces off the top rope and nails Kurt back in the face. Edge rolls Angle up but Angle kicks out! Edge then attempts the Spear but Angle gets his foot up and hits the Angle Slam which is enough for the three! Kurt makes it 5 for 5 for heels tonight! And makes it 1-1 in PPV matches against Edge.
Chris Jericho comes out unannounced, this is the first PPV he hasn’t wrestled on since No Mercy (October) 1999. Jericho isn’t happy that he doesn’t have a match tonight. He reels off names like Billy Kidman, Trish Stratus and Maven having a match but the man that was Undisputed Champion 30 days ago doesn’t. It hurts his feelings. Jericho isn’t happy that Hulk Hogan is getting a title match tonight and decides to leave! Making a point of leaving makes me think he’ll be back later…
Ric Flair is backstage in his referee shirt with Arn Anderson. Flair says he’ll be calling it right down the middle. Undertaker then arrives and doesn’t say a word.
Rob Van Dam (c) vs. Eddie Guerrero – WWF Intercontinental Championship Match
This is a first time meeting between these two men on PPV. Eddie lost in a triple threat match for the European title at last years event and beat Essa Rios to retain the European title in 2000. This is Guerrero’s first WWF PPV event in nearly a year. Van Dam monkey flips Guerrero across the ring and follows it up with a spinning heel kick for a two count. Guerrero takes Van Dam down and follows it up with some kicks and punches. This seems to be a much meaner version of Guerrero who was fired in November due to substance abuse. Eddie missed all of the Invasion angle last year. Van Dam hits some martial arts kicks and a standing moonsault for a two count. RVD hits a suplex with a floatover, I’ve never seen that before. He gets a two count and then heads up top but Eddie crotches him up there and tries for a superplex but RVD hangs him up on the top rope.
RVD goes back up top and hits a flying kick before hitting another standing moonsault for a two count. 6 matches in and so far all heel victories. Van Dam sends Guerrero to the outside and misses with a moonsault. He then puts Eddie on the barricade and dives off the apron with a flying kick which he hits. Van Dam then attempts rolling thunder but Eddie gets his knees up. Guerrero then hits a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker. Guerrero then applies a surfboard type manouver that looks extremely painful. Eddie breaks that hold and applies another submission hold with Van Dam on his back. These submissions have slowed the match down a lot and the crowd don’t seem as into it. Eddie hits a dropkick and a springboard senton splash for a two count. Guerrero is the only man wrestling on this PPV that has deceased as I write this. No PPV held in America up to now has a full roster of talent still alive today.
Eddie Guerrero hits a nice springboard hurricanrana for a two count. He follows that up with a suplex and then heads to the top but Van Dam hits him with some kicks before setting up for a superplex. Eddie blocks it and hits an awesome powerbomb from the top for a two count. Van Dam old that brilliantly. This is the third title match of the night so far and only the Cruiserweight title has changed hands so far. Eddie picks up the Intercontinental titles but Van Dam takes it off him and as he does so, accidentally hits the referee down. Guerrero hits a neckbreaker on the title belt and then goes up top and hits the frog splash which is enough for the three! Eddie Guerrero wins the Intercontinental title in his return to pay per view! This match was slightly disappointing, I expected more out of it.
Video package for Austin and Undertaker next!
“Stone Cold” Steve Austin vs. The Undertaker – Number one contenders match for the WWF Championship with Ric Flair as special guest referee
This is the seventh pay per view match between these two men. Austin has won 4 of the previous 6 with Undertaker winning the other 2. This is a Raw brand match and the winner will face the winner of the WWF title match tonight between Triple H and Hulk Hogan. Undertakers rival Ric Flair is the special guest referee. Both men won matches at the 1999 Backlash event, they were both injured for the 2000 event and at last years show Austin and Triple H defeated Undertaker and Kane to win the tag team titles. Ric Flair is wearing some bright red shoes to referee in tonight. Only Triple H and The Rock have fought against each other more times on PPV than these two, Rock and Helmsley have fought 8 times.
Undertaker knocks Austin out of the ring in the early going. Austin fought on every PPV in 2001 and every PPV so far in 2002. He applies a headlock and then tries to take Undertaker down with a shoulder charge but can’t. There are some interesting combinations that could happen with different winners. Hogan and Austin is the one that appeals to me. Austin does some press ups in the ring and then knocks Undertaker down with a big right hand. Austin flips the bird at Undertaker a couple of times. Austin hits a hiptoss, an arm drag and a drop toe hold into an armbar. Stone Cold manages to pin Undertakers shoulders to the mat and Flair counts to two before Undertaker kicks out. Austin has main evented two of the four Backlash pay per views so far, walking in and out of both of them as WWF Champion.
Undertaker hits a big boot for a two count before applying an armbar of his own. Undertaker then heads to the top and hits old school, a single axe handle to the arm for a two count. Austin hits a Lou Thesz Press and drops an elbow for a two count. Stone Cold then clotheslines Undertaker out of the ring. Taker drags Austin out with him and lays into the Texas Rattlesnake with some chops before rolling him back in the ring where Austin clotheslines him right back out! Both men have only won one of their three PPV matches so far this year, with Austin beating Scott Hall and Undertaker beating Ric Flair, both matches at Wrestlemania. The two men battle to the outside and into the fans. The two go back to the ringside area where Austin attempts a piledriver but Undertaker back body drops him. Both men should definitely be counted out by now but Flair is letting it all go. Undertaker rams Austins head into his motorbike.
Scott Hall and X Pac emerge from the back as Undertaker smashes Austin into the ring steps and then lays him across the apron before hitting a leg drop on the apron. Back in the ring and Undertaker applies a leglock but Austin gets to the ropes. Flair forces Undertaker to break the hold. Undertaker takes Austin down for a near fall and then applies a chinlock. Austin gets out of it and applies a sleeper of his own but Undertaker fights him off and goes back to the chinlock. This has been a very slow match. Austin goes for a Stunner but Undertaker pushes him off and hits him with a clothesline for a two count. Austin hits some right hands but Undertaker hits him with a big clothesline for another near fall. Undertaker takes off one of the turnbuckle pad and tries to Irish whip Austin into it but Austin reverses it before the two men go down, clotheslining each other.
Both men get back to their feet where Austin hits Undertaker with big right hands taking him down to the floor. Austin then hammers Undertaker into the referee, taking Flair down! Stone Cold hits the Stunner on Undertaker but Flair is down! Austin revives Flair but turns around into a low blow from The Undertaker. Undertaker then hits Austin with a chokeslam and pins him but Austin kicks out! Undertaker, much like Jeff Hardy and Kurt Angle earlier, goes out and gets a chair but Flair takes it off him. Austin then hits a low blow on Undertaker but can’t take the advantage as Undertaker hits him with a big boot. Austin hits a spinebuster for a two count. Austin then attempts another Stunner but Undertaker pushes him into Flair, knocking the Nature Boy down again! Undertaker cracks Austin with a chair and pins him but Flair wakes up only for Austin to kick out again!
Undertaker motions for the Last Ride but instead looks to do something else but Austin fights him off and hits a clothesline for a two count. Undertaker grabs the chair again and swings it at Austin who gets out of the way. Austin lays into Undertaker with boots and grabs the chair but Flair tells him not to and Undertaker boots the chair into Austins face! Undertaker then pins Austin but Austin gets his foot on the rope and Flair doesn’t see it! Undertaker wins the match, his third PPV victory against Austin! The nWo didn’t get involved. Undertaker is going to Judgment Day to face the winner of Triple H and Hulk Hogan. Austin gives Undertaker a Stunner after the bell for good measure! A slow match between these two. This was The Undertakers 50th PPV win, the first man ever to reach this milestone.
Backstage Jonathan Coachman asks Flair if he saw Austins foot on the rope. He didn’t and so drags Flair off to watch a replay. Caochman asks what he has to say and Flair says “Oh shit”.
Billy & Chuck (c) vs. Al Snow & Maven – WWF Tag Team Championship Match
Only 5 men have fought more PPV matches that Billy Gunn and only The Undertaker has lost more. Al Snow and Billy Gunn are the only two men in this match to have fought at a Backlash event before, both in 1999 and both won their matches that night. Maven is looking for his first PPV victory tonight and he and Al Snow clear the ring of the tag team champions in the early going. Billy & Chuck then drag Maven out of the ring and throw him into the barricade. Chuck Palumbo and Maven officially start the match. Rico is ringside for Billy & Chuck. Chuck tags Billy Gunn in and Maven throws Billy into the ropes, accidentally knocking Al Snow off the apron. Maven hits Gunn with a DDT and Gunn tags out to Palumbo. Plenty of double teaming from the tag team champions here. Maven hits Chuck with an enzeguri and both men tag out.
Al Snow takes Gunn and Palumbo down, hitting them with clotheslines, back body drops and big right hands. Chuck Palumbo hits Al Snow with a cheap shot, taking him down and Billy then hits him with a neckbreaker for a two count. Billy tags Chuck who applies an arm bar. A “Rico’s gay” chant breaks out. Chuck hits a belly to belly suplex for a two count. Chuck tags Billy who misses with a big splash. Snow then drop toe holds Chuck into Billys crotch. Snow tags Maven who dropkicks Chuck out of the ring. Billy then hits him with the Fame-asser but Snow pulls Maven out of the ring. In the ring Chuck hits a superkick on Snow and then Chuck holds Maven for Rico but Maven gets out of the way and Rico hits Chuck with a big kick! Maven goes up top and hits a cross body on Gunn but only for a two count.
It has all broken down here. Snow chases Rico out of the ring and into the crowd as Chuck hits a superkick on Maven. Gunn covers Maven and that’s enough for the three! Billy & Chuck retain their Tag Team Championships tonight. Hopefully the tag team division gets a bit better, I’m not sure of Al Snow and Maven as legit contenders going forward.
There’s a video package next for Triple H and Hulk Hogan. It was Vince McMahon that named Hogan as number one contender. We know that the winner of this match will not only become WWF Champion but will also go on to defend against The Undertaker at Judgment Day.
Triple H (c) vs. Hulk Hogan – WWF Championship Match
It’s a first time meeting between these two men. Triple H once fought The Ultimate Warrior on pay per view but this will be very different. Triple H is the only man to have fought on every Backlash pay per view having previously beaten X Pac in 1999, lost to The Rock in 2000 and won in tag team action with Austin against Undertaker and Kane at last years event. He’s actually main evented 3 of the 4 Backlash pay per views but up to now has never walked out as WWF Champion. For Hogan this match may not seem as big as his match against The Rock last month but the WWF title will be on the line. There have been 8 matches so far tonight and a heel has won every single one of them. These two men are both considered babyfaces though so only a heel turn would mean a complete sweep for the heels. It’s a Smackdown brand main event.
Triple H is the more powerful in the early going. The crowd are behind Hogan in this one. He over-powers Triple H. Hulk has a 70% PPV win record from 30 matches whilst Triple H has a 49% win record from 65 matches. The two men go for a test of strength and Triple H takes Hogan down to one knee. Hulk gets back up and applies a headlock before taking Triple H down with a shoulder tackle. Triple H lays into Hogan with boots and right hands. Hogan comes back with a couple of weak looking clotheslines and some better looking right hands. This is Hogans first non “big 5” PPV since Tuesday In Texas when he battled The Undertaker for the WWF title back in 1991. The two men battle to the outside where Hogan shoves Triple H into the ringpost and then into the barricade. This is the 5th title match tonight, 2 titles have been successfully defended, 2 have changed hands. Hogan hits a suplex on the outside.
Back in the ring Triple H attempts a Pedigree but Hogan counters it and slingshots Triple H into the top turnbuckle before rolling the champion up for a two count. Hogan hits some clotheslines in the corners and then almost a diamond cutter for a two count. Hulk attempts a powerslam but Triple slides down the back and chopblocks Hogans knee to boo’s from the crowd. This is the first time Triple H has fought at a Backlash PPV as a face. He wraps Hogans knee into the ringpost. Triple H continues to work the knee before hammering away at Hogans face. Helmsley then applies a figure four leglock. He plays up to being the heel by using the ropes for leverage. Hogan turns the hold onto his belly putting the pressure on Triple H who quickly breaks the hold.
Triple H applies a sleeper hold and the crowd don’t seem too happy about the amount of submissions in this one. Hogan hits a desperation suplex to buy him some time. The two men get up to their feet and Hogan hits some right hands and a sledge. He seems to be Hulking up and he hits a big boot and the legdrop! Chris Jericho comes running out from the back and pulls the referee out before nailing Hogan with a steel chair! Jericho then throws the referee back in the ring and Triple H lays into Jericho, getting rid of him. Triple H turns his attention back to Hulk Hogan who starts to Hulk up! Hogan hits some right hands, a big boot and then misses with the legdrop. Triple H hits the Pedigree! He pins Hogan but out comes The Undertaker who lays out the referee! Undertaker nails Triple H with a chair and dumps Hogan on top of him but Hogan doesn’t want the help and he clotheslines Undertaker out of the ring before dropping a legdrop on Triple H! He hooks the leg and gets the 3!
Hulk Hogan wins the WWF Championship! The crowd can’t believe it, Triple H can’t believe it and I don’t think I can believe it! Hogan celebrates in the ring and Triple H stares him out before offering him his hand. Hogan shakes the hand and a bloody Triple H leaves the ring allowing Hogan to stay and celebrate.
And that was Backlash 2002. Despite it having 9 matches there felt like there were a few of the top stars missing. Guys like Chris Jericho, who wasn’t in action, The Rock, Bubba Ray Dudley, William Regal and Booker T. Anyway, we opener with a Cruiserweight title match that was a lot of fun. Two very talented stars in Tajiri and Kidman. I’m happy with the result, Tajiri is a huge asset to the division at the moment and has a strong character. It’s always good to kick the show off with a fast paced match so I expect to see more of this division opening pay per views. Scott Hall then beat Bradshaw with help from X Pac. It was nice to see Bradshaw and Faarooq back together despite only having broken up a few weeks ago. Bradshaw could be a real break out star now and I look forward to his singles run and potential matches with the likes of William Regal, Brock Lesnar, Booker T and The Undertaker.
Jazz beat Trish Stratus cleanly by submission but the attack from Molly Holly gives Trish an out. They need to develop this division and they have potential for two feuds going forward with Jazz vs. Lita and Trish Stratus vs. Molly Holly. Who knows, maybe we’ll get two Women’s matches on pay per view for the first time ever. Brock Lesnar beat Jeff Hardy when the referee decided to end the match. Lesnar is a beast who can wrestle and is quicker than any big man I’ve ever seen. This guy will have an undefeated streak for a long time, slowly moving up the card. I’m not sure what’s next for the Hardy Boyz, especially as the tag titles are on the other brand. Kurt Angle beat Edge in the match of the night. It was a fairly clean victory despite a chair coming into play at one point. You always know when Jim Ross says “this one is far from over” that he’s right. I think this feud will run into Judgment Day now, probably a gimmick match which I am all for.
Eddie Guerrero beat Rob Van Dam in a surprising result to become the fourth Intercontinental Champion of 2002 so far. The title belt came into play so I think this feud with continue. The match didn’t live up to my expectations as they are two very talented wrestlers. I like Guerrero so don’t mind him as champion. But I also liked Van Dam as champion so we’ll see what happens going forward. The Undertaker defeated Stone Cold Steve Austin to become number one contender to the WWF title. Referee Ric Flair didn’t see Austins foot on the rope which means we’re either going to see Flair and Austin go at it or Austin get added to the main event of Judgment Day. I would have liked to have seen Hogan vs. Austin but maybe they’re saving it for Summerslam. Undertaker is awesome as a heel at the moment and deserves to be in the main event.
Billy and Chuck successfully defended their tag team titles against Al Snow and Maven which was expected. The tag team division is pretty weak at the moment, especially as The Dudley Boyz and APA have split up and The Hardy Boyz are over on Raw. Even Scotty Too Hotty and Albert, who were one of the only tag teams on Smackdown, have now split up. In the main event Hulk Hogan defeated Triple H to become the Undisputed WWF Champion. It took involvement from Ric Flair and The Undertaker but when the match had finished it was Hogan who stood tall. It doesn’t look as though they wanted to give Hogan a clean win so this was best way to do it. It also looks like a last minute decision to put the belt on Hogan due to his popularity. It’ll be Hulk Hogan vs. The Undertaker at Judgment Day. An average pay per view, the first since the Brand Split, hopefully they can only improve from here.
Overall Rating: 56.1/100 (ranked joint 73rd out of 136)
Match Of The Night: Kurt Angle vs. Edge
Worst Match Of The Night: Scott Hall vs. Bradshaw
Surprise Of The Night: Eddie Guerrero wins the IC title
Worst Booking Of The Night: Kurt Angle wins clean
Superstar Of The Night: Hulk Hogan
Backlash 2002 Will Be Remembered For: Hulk Hogan winning the WWF Championship