The WWE Performance Centre in Orlando Florida once again plays host to a top WWE event, as NXT performers line the studio for WWE Backlash. In the main event, Edge and Randy Orton put their in-ring skills to the test when they face off in The Greatest Wrestling Match Ever. Also on the card, WWE Champion Drew McIntyre battles Bobby Lashley in the challenger’s first WWE championship match in over 13 years, and Universal Champion Braun Strowman defends his title against The Miz and John Morrison in a handicap match. Asuka, the Raw Women’s Champion will collide with Nia Jax. Jeff Hardy will also seek some revenge against Sheamus following some inflammatory comments over the past few weeks, and three of the top women tag teams in the WWE will face off in a triple threat match for the Women’s Tag Team Championships.
+ Edge vs Randy Orton (The Greatest Wrestling Match Ever): straight up, this did not live up to that moniker. If you want a list of the best matches of all time in my opinion, let me know, but otherwise just know this was not it, despite the fake crowd noises edited over the top. That said, this was fine. The cinematic approach makes it a bit hard to judge this in terms of a wrestling match, but as far as an engrossing 45ish minutes of video this was good. I loved the callbacks to previous Edge vs Orton matches, as well as any combination of any of their major rivals (including a special tribute to Orton vs Christian from 2010, one of my personal favourite series of matches). Basically, this wasn’t the best, but it was far from the worst it could have been
+ Drew McIntyre (c) vs Bobby Lashley (w/ MVP) (WWE Championship): this was really good, and far and away the best match on the show. I’m a sucker for powerhouse hoss fights, and this ticked all my boxes. McIntye looked like a beast, and Lashley has such a fantastic physique that it makes everything he does look impressive. Clearly, there will be more in the future for these two, and I am more than okay with it
+ Jeff Hardy vs Sheamus: this was fine, but didn’t feel like the blow off of what was supposedly a blood feud. After how much vitriol has been spewed from Straight Edge Sheamus over the past few weeks, I did expect a bit more, but overall it was a solid mid card match
– The Street Profits and Viking Raiders continue their rivalry: I don’t know what the hell this was supposed to prove, but it just made both teams look like idiots. A surprising “return” in the middle of the video package was treated as a joke (and a somewhat racist one at that) and overall this just made both teams looks like goofs. I hated this in every conceivable way
– Braun Strowman (c) vs The Miz & John Morrison (Handicap Match for the Universal Championship): this was interesting, particularly the main moment of discussion towards the end, but this was not particularly good. Morrison should probably be a solo world champion contender in this company, but of course he’s saddles with a midcard gimmick
– Asuka (c) vs Nia Jax (Raw Women’s Championship): Asuka is fantastic, and in other news the sky is blue and water is wet. Nia Jax is horrendous in the ring, and I truly believe that her relationship to The Rock is the only reason she has not been demoted, if not outright fired after the multiple injuries she has inflicted on her coworkers. I do have to admit, however, Jax performed a Goldberg-style Jackhammer only for Samoa Joe to scream ‘Jax-hammer’ and that got a chuckle out of me
– Bayley & Sasha Banks (c) vs The Iiconics (Peyton Royce & Billie Kay) vs Twisted Bliss (Nikki Cross & Alexa Bliss) (Women’s Tag Team Championships): this was not very good at all, full of clearly rehearsed and still poorly executed sequences. Billie Kay, despite being one of my favourites, might be the worst wrestler in the company right now, but dammit she’s such a good character. Overall, this was not horrible thanks in part due to Bayley, Alexa, Peyton and especially Nikki, but overall hardly a pay per view worthy match
Should you watch this event: This was billed almost entirely around the main event, and simply put that failed to live up to those heights (but between you and me, I think it may have been a bit tongue in cheek). McIntyre and Lashley put on a fantastic match, and you may get a kick out of the Sheamus/Hardy match, too.