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The Crossface: Backlash 2003

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Guest TSMAdmin

Backlash is in the books and The Smart Marks have plenty to say about tonight’s card. Did it live up to our very low expectations or did they bombard us with shock and awe? Before we find out, meet the players…


Jared “JHawk” Hawkins: JHawk just caught the latest ROH show. Check out his On-Site report of Round Robin Challenge II.


Josh Lowmon: Josh gets his latest wrestling fix from recapping NWA:TNA Xplosion. Look for another recap soon!


Matthew: Matthew has plenty of thoughts on WWE. Catch them in his latest Searching for An Answer column.


Patrick Spoon: Patrick will soon be your new RAW recapper! For now, he is on Velocity duty.


William Hemlick: William moderates the Crossface chats, including the Backlash Preview.



Los Guerreros vs. Team Angle

JHawk: I get highly disappointed when the best match on paper opens the show because the rest of the show sucks in comparison. But these two teams never disappoint. Really good opening match with some good action and some basic comedy spots. I'm not really a fan of stealing the title belts, but at least they're trying to make the gimmick work.


Josh: I enjoyed the Angle poster on the outside. I thought it was pretty fast-paced and enjoyable. Of course the Mexican stereotype lives.


Matthew: Match of the night and that's not a good thing. There was too much standing around for my taste. It all went downhill from here.


Patrick: An extra star for the Kurt picture business. That was genius. This match got the crowd GOOD and fired up. Very good for an opener too, with several very believable near falls and good work all around. I don't remember any real awkward spots or anything blown, so ***1/2 is my REAL rating, but the markouts from seeing the Kurt picture stand and the MOTHERFUCKING LOWRIDER WITH SWITCHES~~!!!!! bump this up to ***** in my weird-ass mind. (Keep in mind: that is not the real rating I give it.)


William: Before we get started, I really hate the whole Hispanic stereotype that the Guerreros are living up. I’m glad the Guerreros cheat to win… but they’re not the heels. Am I missing something here? Team Angle tried to work in the submissions but they made no sense in the context of the match. A lackluster match made even more disappointing by the cheap ending.



Rikishi vs. Sean O’Haire

JHawk: Short, and therefore inoffensive, so no complaints. And even with Rikishi helping him, O'Haire has to be strong as hell in order to hold Rikishi up in the air like that. The right guy goes over, we move on, fair enough.


Josh: I was so excited for this match I spent my time making deviled eggs. It was a forgone conclusion so there was no point in watching.


Matthew: Terrible, Terrible match. Worst Match of the Night. We missed Benoit for this? Send O'Haire back to the minors, he's still not ready.


Patrick: Not much to say about this match, except PIPER GIGGED FOR A COCONUT SHOT!!! Otherwise, it was pretty much a glorified O'Haire squash in my eyes, good to get him over as a threat, even if most of the match was awkward as hell. 1/2*


William: The only positive thing about this match was O’Haire’s counter to the Stinkface. That’s it. Hell, they could have let O’Haire break out the Seanton Bomb since Hardy was fired. Instead, we get an overbooked pile of shit that has no business on any wrestling card, much less a PPV.



RVD and Kane vs. The Dudley Boyz

JHawk: On the one hand, this had me marking out once the Dudleys finally got fed up with Morley. On the other hand, we're back to where we were two months ago with the Dudleys-Morley feud. Either find a way to finally blow the damned thing off or cut your losses. The match was decent, nothing special.


Josh: Match # 2,454,343,411. Same old shit.


Matthew: Boring, but not offensive. Are the Dudleyz fired? Do I care?


Patrick: Here's how effective Morley was as a heel referee: I forgot he was in there. That isn't really good and kind of invalidates the "how dastardly!" element of having him as the referee in the first place. Either way, I was worried it was going to have a non-finish, with the Dudleys making up with RVD and Kane, but it had one, thank goodness. The crowd was SO into this match, as it has been through what I think is an incredibly boring storyline with Morley trying to screw over the various face tag teams. It was pretty much like any of the long Raw matches though. **1/2


William: This was a nice try but a really disjointed tag match. Part of me hopes that RVD is fired tomorrow so he can work with better wrestlers and be the focal point of some Indy company. I was so interested in this match that I spent most of it discussing the Pearl Jam concert I missed.



Trish Stratus vs. Jazz

JHawk: No complaints here other than Trish's apparently injured ribs being a virtual non-factor. A couple of innovative spots combined with solid technique leading to a good little match. Jazz should get a pretty nice reign out of this one.


Josh: I took a piss but caught some parts. It seemed solid enough.


Matthew: Pretty good match from the ladies, made to seem much better by the shit around it.


Patrick: A FUCKING SHOE!!!!!! A SHOE!!!!!! I officially Back the Mack and Jizz for Jazz or whatever they make up for her. Teddy Long

MADE this match with that ONE GESTURE. Otherwise, it was the usual solid affair between these two, and I love women's wrestling anyway, so **3/4 for a match that I felt was cut short.


William: This was your typical women’s match. Nothing was actively bad about it but neither the crowd nor I care about them anymore. The outside interference and cheap ending ruin another match on this show.



Rey Mysterio vs. The Big Show

JHawk: Basically what I expected. Rey got in just enough offense to make the decision seem in doubt before the choke slam finishes it. Good for what it was. The stretcher into the ringpost spot looked cool as hell, but hopefully Rey doesn't have a concussion after the fall he took.


Josh: Big man vs. small man match. Nothing special. The stretcher into the ringpost was brutal though.


Matthew: This match sucked ass. The backboard bump was cool. Now that Rey is out of the way, we can get ready for Lesnar/Show


Patrick: A big-ass squash, but with Show selling a little, since he was required to do the whole "I'm being embarrassed by the worthless under-250lb man" act. Otherwise very short and painful to watch. Rey getting killed afterward got laughs more than anything from the sports bar I was in. Not a good sign, and another reinforcement of the fact that WWE will never have its fans take cruiserweights seriously. 1/4* for hearing Michael Cole say "Rey just hit an 1857!"


William: This is a fucking disgrace. Where’s Benoit on this PPV? Instead of a possible Match of the Year contender (Benoit vs. Rey), we get a comedy match with a pathetic angle for Paul Wight Push #232948. Fuck Paul Wight, fuck Vince McMahon and Fuck this farce of a PPV.



Brock Lesnar vs. John Cena

JHawk: I'm pleasantly surprised with how this one turned out. Both men looked like quality uppercarders looking for that one final break into a permanent main event scene, and the crowd was actually primed for an upset by the end of it. I think they just turned John Cena into a star whether they wanted to or not.


Josh: I thought Cena did a good job and it was a decent match for the title. I am still of the mind that unless the match is HUGE (which Rock vs. Goldberg isn't in my opinion) that the title match should be at the top of the card.


Matthew: This match was okay but not great. Still, it was the second best match of the night. Unfortunately, it was heatless so Cena is fucked!


Patrick: I've asked before, and I'll ask again: WHY is Brock a fan favorite? There's little to nothing remarkable about his character whatsoever, nor is he ever really in any kind of bad situation to have the fans watch him fight back from. He just goes against heels now instead of faces. This was a little better than I expected, but there were a few REALLY glaring miscommunication spots, in which neither of the two I could really pin any kind of fault on, but Cena will be blamed probably. ***1/4


William: Very pedestrian match from the two young guns. For being the future of the WWE, these guys sure did move slow. There was too much lying around and I felt like I was watching an Undertaker match. Scratch that. Undertaker’s matches with Brock were much better than this. Once again, where’s Benoit when you need him? I was hoping these two would tear down the house in order to make a statement. Instead, they illustrated why the Fed has a reason for their lack of faith in the new guys.



HBK, Kevin Nash and Booker T vs. HHH, Ric Flair, and Chris Jericho

JHawk: Nothing bad, but nothing spectacular either. Notice that the two guys who did the least amount of work were the two men involved in the finish. But hey, that's the way WWE works right? Why is it that Triple H finally gets a cheap victory, and it's in a six man tag that doesn't really mean anything?


Josh: I think this was a solid match and they covered up for their weaknesses except for the plodding of Nash. I could see everyone JUMPING into his arms for the bodyslams. LIFT MOTHERFUCKER.... LIFT!


Matthew: What the HHHell was that? Why, it was a lousy match with a terrible finish. Any other night on any other show it would be worst of the night, but O'Haire/Rikishi, Show/Rey and the main event were all much worse. That is the nicest thing I could say about this crap.


Patrick: I timed it: Nash was the focus of the camera and thus prone to injury for 5:00 flat. He's already broken his previous record for staying healthy in a return match. Besides that and the odd move of having HHH go over, which was odd to me because there's no real way Nash can lay claim to a title shot, unless he goes the lame "it took a sledgehammer to beat me!" route. I felt this was good, and not as overbooked as I was afraid it'd be. Too bad we didn't get a Hurricane run-in. ***


William: When Nash was in, I was the only person in the bar yelling, “Tear your quad!” Sadly, the rest of the bar went nuts for him while I cried. When Jericho was in the match, everything ran smooth. It’s too bad he had so many negative obstacles to overcome. This also illustrated everything that is wrong with the WWE… has-beens, held-downs, the Clique sucking each other’s dicks, and HHH getting the pin. Just brutal.



Goldberg vs. The Rock

JHawk: Goldberg selling the arm? Not well, granted, but he was trying! Rock was pure gold as always, Goldberg actually seemed to put some effort in, and the result was somewhat favorable. I was just shocked that Gillberg didn't interfere.


Josh: I thought it was pretty good even given the reverse heat. I thought Goldberg sold the arm well. I think they wasted Goldberg vs. The Rock. . I would have built Goldberg vs. someone like Jericho and then save Rock-Goldberg for SummerSlam. This felt like HHH vs. Steiner in its insignificance.


Matthew: Wow, that blew. It was like a video game, albeit a really shitty video game with bad controls. They were just hitting random moves for no reason and with no flow. Yeah, the reign of Goldberg is gonna suck.


Patrick: If this program went one more month, Goldberg would be totally buried by the crowds no matter what Rock would do to put him over. The crowd knew whom the REAL superstar was in that ring tonight, and showed it. It seemed like it was just big move -big move -big move in my eyes, and the match as a whole suffered because of that. It did have a good bit of the spectacle I'd expected though. **. I'll miss Rock so much.


William: There was more stalling to start this match than Hogan and Rodman vs. DDP and Malone. You know a match sucks when the Rock’s facial expressions are the best part of the match. After Goldberg missed the spear, I was hoping this would shape up to be closer to the Goldberg-DDP match instead of Goldberg-Nash. About three minutes in, I knew in my heart that Goldberg has bombed in his first PPV. After this poor excuse for a match, let us hope he is the final bust in Vinnie Mac’s signing spree.



Overall thoughts:

JHawk: While nothing brought this show down to Great American Bash 91 levels, there wasn't anything good enough to make this among the most memorable PPVs of all-time. But what should have gotten time got time, what should have been short was short, and most of the booking made sense if nothing else. Thumbs up overall, but it didn't blow me away.


Josh: It was a solid yet forgettable show that wasted Goldberg vs. Rock. Every other match was just there like an extended edition of RAW or Smackdown with a PPV match given away for free.... except we had to pay $35 bucks for the motherfucker. A blown opportunity.


Matthew: This wasn't worth three hours of my life. What a disgrace.


Patrick: This card did the best with what it had, and ended up being quite watchable as a whole. It would still get a mild recommendation for the CAT that ran through the dressing room during the catfight. Whoever came up with that needs a raise, stat.


William: This is one of the worst WWE shows I have ever seen. Not one match was worthy of any true praise. If I gave star ratings, I don’t think one match would come close to ***. Honestly, if WWE produce too many more of these shows, we might not have a Backlash 2004 to look forward to (not that that’s a bad thing). This show was that bad and deserves a huge thumbs down. Oh yeah… where’s Benoit?


(Look for Dames' Diatribe of the show in the next couple of days!)


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