Heading into Sunday, it felt like Backlash was the proverbial
redheaded stepchild of WWE PPVs this year. It was wedged between WrestleMania
and Money in the Bank, with a Network special Greatest Royal Rumble less than
10 days earlier.
Backlash felt like an afterthought, but solid performances
could salvage the show and at least make it entertaining from a wrestling standpoint.
And for about 20 minutes, it felt like that’s what we might have been in store
And then the opening match ended, and the show fell off the
How bad was Backlash? It wasn’t the worst event WWE has put
on in recent years, but it was a huge waste of time. The other big match that
should have been an in-ring gem ended with a thud. The main event induced groans
and sent fans heading for the exits before the final bell had finished ringing.
WWE has managed to turn Braun Strowman, once the hottest act
on Raw, into a “hot tag” guy in a comedy tag match, while the guy the company has
been grooming for years falters at consecutive shows, only to then beat another
guy who is far more organically popular and realistically threatening.
When an Elias time-filler “concert” merits a mercy “up,” you
know it’s a bad show. Let’s get to it…
Scott is a former journalist and longtime wrestling fan who was smart enough to abandon WCW during the Monday Night Wars the same time as the Radicalz. He fortunately became a fan in time for WrestleMania III and came back as a fan after a long high school hiatus before WM XIV. Monday nights in the Carlson household are reserved for viewing Raw -- for better or worse.