Inside Pulse 12

A2Z Analysiz: WWE Backlash 2006 (John Cena, Triple H, Edge)

backlash-2006

Rupp Arena – Lexington, KY – Sunday, April 30, 2006

Jim Ross and Jerry Lawler are ringside to call the action for this “Raw” brand pay-per-view. Hugo Savinovich and Carlos Cabrera are hosting the Spanish version of the show.

MATCH #1: Carlito vs. Chris Masters

These two tried to win the World Tag Team Titles from Kane & Big Show at WrestleMania 22 and were unsuccessful, so now they’re fighting each other. Carlito starts the match with a slap and that just makes Masters angry. Masters slugs Carlito down and chokes him with his own t-shirt. He misses a clothesline and Carlito hits a low dropkick and a low bulldog for barely a one-count. Masters comes back with a back body drop for a two-count. He tries a gorilla press slam but Carlito slips out and puts on the Master Lock to a huge pop. Masters breaks the hold but then Carlito low bridges him and Masters hits the floor. Carlito follows him out with a slingshot dive. Back in the ring Carlito hits 10 mounted punches, but Masters comes back with a Buckle Bomb. Take that Tyler Black! That gets a two-count for Masters. I wish Chris Masters was on Smackdown vs. Raw 2010. Masters hits a leg drop for two. He continues working Carlito over, focusing on the neck. He hits a neckbreaker for two. A solid clothesline gets another two-count. Masters hits Snake Eyes and signals for the Master Lock. Carlito counters with a victory roll and then hits the springboard reverse elbow. He grabs his apple and throws it up in the air to distract Masters, and then he hits a low dropkick. Carlito hits a series of punches and clotheslines, and counters a neckbreaker with a high dropkick for a two-count. The funny part is that Masters forgets to kick out and everyone looks stupid and the crowd boos. I would have just counted him down; it’s the wrestlers’ jobs to get their damn shoulders up. Masters goes for a belly-to-back superplex but Carlito knocks him down and hits a moonsault for two. Once again Masters goes for the Master Lock but Carlito slips out and hits the Back Cracker and puts his feet on the ropes for extra leverage to get the pin at 9:58. They were having a solid match there until Masters’ kick-out gaffe took the crowd out of it a bit. It’s funny to look back at the time that these two were on the rise.
Rating: **¼

MATCH #2: Ric Flair vs. Umaga (w/ Armando Alejandro Estrada)

This is Umaga’s pay-per-view debut. Umaga meets Flair in the aisle and they slug it out. They make it to the ring and Umaga is in control. Flair comes back by poking the eyes and hitting a couple of low blows, all out of view of the referee. Umaga comes right back and beats Flair down in the corner. He goes for the running butt splash but Flair rolls to the floor. Flair hits a couple of chops but they have little effect. Umaga sets Flair against the steps and charges at him but Flair moves and Umaga hits his head on the steel post and his body on the steps. Back in the ring Flair goes after the knee. Flair goes for the Figure-Four Leglock but Umaga kicks out of it and then ties Flair up in the Tree of Woe. Umaga hits a flying headbutt, which puts Flair in perfect position for the Running Butt Splash. He hits the flying headbutt off the second rope, and then finishes Flair with the Samoan Spike at 3:29. That was a fun little sprint and the right match for Umaga to have with Flair at this point.
Rating: **

MATCH #3: WWE Women’s Championship Match – Mickie James© vs. Trish Stratus

James has been the champion since 4.2.06, and this is her second defense. This is a rematch from WrestleMania 22, when James won the title from Stratus. James goes on the attack with an armbar but Stratus counters with a leg trip and gets a two-count. It’s all Stratus now, as she unleashes a flurry of offense on the champion, including a hard kick to the face that sends James to the outside. Stratus hits a Thesz Press off the apron; unlike Lita she manages to not injure herself. Back in the ring Stratus gets a two-count. Stratus hits a Stinger Splash and then mounted punches in the corner, but James counters by tossing her to the floor. Just as I make a joke about being injured, I believe Stratus got legit injured on that bump. James tries a series of covers but Stratus continually kicks out, so James chokes her and doesn’t break at the count of five for the disqualification at 4:05. Yeah that definitely seemed like a finish called on the fly. It was pretty much a squash up to that point anyway.
Rating: *¼

MATCH #4: Money in the Bank vs. Intercontinental Championship Winner Takes All – Rob Van Dam vs. Shelton Benjamin©

RVD was on the cusp of getting the biggest push of his life at this point. Benjamin has been the Intercontinental Champion since 2.20.06, and this is his fifth defense. RVD of course won the Money in the Bank title shot 28 days ago at WrestleMania 22. The crowd is majorly behind him as they trade athletic maneuvers in the early going. RVD is able to thwart all of Benjamin’s attacks, so the champion takes a powder. The challenger will have none of it and hits a slingshot dive to the floor. RVD throws Benjamin back into the ring but winds up paying for it, as Benjamin hits a sunset bomb to the floor. Back in the ring it’s all Benjamin now. RVD tries to come back and hit Rolling Thunder, which Benjamin awesomely counters to a Samoan Drop. Benjamin hits a pop-up superplex, which is pretty amazing. RVD makes the comeback with a series of kicks, and hits the split-legged moonsault for two. He tries the Five-Star Frog Splash and misses, and then eats a DDT for two. They go back to the floor and Benjamin tries to use the briefcase as a weapon, but settles for a superkick and throws the challenger back into the ring. Benjamin tries a cross body off the top rope but RVD rolls through for a near fall. RVD ducks a kick and hits a rana, which you don’t see him do every day. The referee takes an awkward bump and Benjamin tries once again to use the briefcase. Of course it winds up getting kicked back in his face. That gives RVD the chance to go up and hit the Five-Star Frog Splash to get the pin and win the Intercontinental Title for the sixth time at 18:41. They probably could have cut a few minutes of that, but it was still a pretty good match. It’s too bad they haven’t found a way to elevate Shelton Benjamin, who is not even close to the position now that he was in then.
Rating: ***½

MATCH #5: Big Show vs. Kane

You know what’s funny? Both tag-teams involved in the World Tag Team Championship match at WrestleMania 22, just 28 days prior to this, are now facing each other in singles matches. This was the “May 19” feud that was leading up to the release of “See No Evil.” Kane throws the first punches, but Show counters with a press slam. Show hits a headbutt and backs Kane into the corner for some chops to the chest. He whips Kane into the other corner and charges right into a boot. Show comes right back and starts working on Kane’s left arm. Kane takes a powder and Show follows him out, but when Show throws him back in the ring, Kane cuts Show off with a boot and throws him into the ring post. Kane takes control now and goes to work on Show’s right arm. He levels Show with a clothesline. They get back to their feet and Show counters with a bodyslam but misses an elbow drop. Kane continues attacking the arm. He goes up for a clothesline but Show catches him out of the air and hits a fallaway slam. Show hits a clothesline (with the injured arm), and then throws Kane into the corner and squashes him. He goes for the Chokeslam but Kane (sort of) counters with a DDT. Back on their feet Show hits a big boot and a legdrop, but shockingly that doesn’t get the pin. Show hits a powerslam for two. He decides to after the eye just like Kane did to him, but has no success as Kane pokes him in the eye instead. I spot an ROH sign in the crowd as Kane boots Show to the floor and follows him out. Then for some reason the arena turns all red and Kane’s voice comes over the PA talking about May 19. I think it’s supposed to represent the voices in Kane’s head, but that’s just stupid. Show grabs a steel chair from ringside and blasts Kane in the head with it. He looks remorseful about it, but at least it stops the voices. I never heard a closing bell, so I guess it’s some kind of no-contest. The red lights came on at about 7:32, so we’ll call it that.
Rating: ½*

MATCH #6: Shawn Michaels & “God” vs. Mr. McMahon & Shane McMahon

This feud was probably offensive to people who are strongly religious. The segments earlier in the show, like Vince multiplying fish and the bread, and healing Candice, pretty much represents the zenith of Vince acting like a crazy old man. I’m actually a little surprised Michaels agreed to go along with it. McMahon announces that this is a no holds barred match. Michaels starts the match with a slap to Vince’s face, and he’s able to handle both McMahons pretty easily early on. He clotheslines Shane to the floor and hits a slingshot somersault dive to wipe him out. They fight up to the entrance, and Shane takes Michaels down with some punches and teases a piledriver, but Michaels back body drops him. Vince is back now and he’s wielding a steel chair. Michaels regains control, throwing Shane into the set, and then hitting a cross body block on Vince that sends them hurtling off the entrance ramp. Michaels goes back up to battle Shane, but he’s recovered as well and he blasts Michaels with a chair. Shane goes to check on his dad, and Michaels is busted open. He takes Michaels back up to ringside and throws him around, into the ring post and the barricade. Back in the ring Shane continues working Michaels over. Vince limps his way back to ringside. Shane goes up to the top rope for an elbow drop but Michaels moves out of the way. Both men rise and trade punches, and Shane cuts Michaels off with a DDT. Shane makes the tag to his dad, who starts whipping Michaels with his belt. I’m not sure why Vince and Shane are bothering with tags and legal men, but they are. Shane goes under the ring and gives his dad a trash can, and Vince levels Michaels with it. Vince gets on the microphone to taunt God. He tells everyone that God has left the building, apparently abandoning his tag team partner. I think the crowd is just uncomfortable now. Vince goes for a Superkick but Michaels catches it and makes the fiery comeback. Shane tires to use a chair but accidentally hits Vince! Michaels is all over Shane now, hitting a bodyslam and showing him how to properly do the elbow off the top rope. He blasts Shane with the Superkick, and has one for Vince as well. Not content with that, he goes outside the ring for two tables. The greedy crowd chants “We Want Ladders” as Michaels sets the McMahons up on the tables. Michaels obliges and pulls out a really tall ladder. He goes all the way up top, but instead of jumping onto the McMahons, he changes direction and jumps onto the Spirit Squad, who had secretly made their way to ringside. The five-on-one advantage the Spirit Squad possesses takes over pretty quickly, and they beat Michaels down. The Spirit Squad gets in the ring to revive the McMahons and dispatch of the ladder. All five members pick Michaels up and slam him through a table, which is enough for Vince to get the pin at 19:58. JR calls it “Bullshit,” which gets bleeped. King calls it “the father, the son, and the holy Spirit Squad.” That certainly had a perverse appeal; it was just such wackiness from Vince McMahon it was hard to turn away from, you know the whole car crash thing.
Rating: ***

Matt Striker’s Classroom

Striker is holding this special edition of the Classroom seemingly just to insult the crowd. He introduces “one of the smartest men to even come from Kentucky,” Eugene, who is from nearby Louisville. Striker turns his insults toward Eugene, and challenges him to spell his own name. He turns his back, and when he turns around, he learns that Eugene has written “Loves Poop” under Matt Striker’s name. Eugene then starts a “you love poop” chant. He then actually picks his nose and tries to eat it. Instead he puts the booger in Striker’s mouth and then hits the Special Stunner. This did nothing for no one. If you’re going to run a segment like this when the audience is paying, it should at least lead to something.

MATCH #7: Triple Threat Match for the WWE Championship – John Cena© vs. Triple H vs. Edge

Cena has been the champion since 1.29.06, and this is his fourth defense. Lita is accompanying Edge to ringside here. I think that Lita deserves a lot of credit for getting Edge to the main event level the first time. JR notes that on this day in 1977, Superstar Billy Graham beat Bruno Sammartino for the WWWF Title in Baltimore. He fails to mention that on this date in 2000, at this show, The Rock pinned Triple H to win the WWF Title. Edge takes an immediate powder to let Cena and HHH fight it out. Cena takes the early advantage and hits that weird suplex that he does and Edge breaks up the pin. HHH hits an inverted atomic drop and they trade blows. HHH hits the Harley Race knee and Edge breaks up that pin too. They trade punches again and Edge is on the ring apron laughing at him. Cena and HHH realize this and pull Edge into the ring and start unloading on instead. Cena clotheslines him to the floor and goes after him. HHH comes out too and they take turns ramming Edge’s head into the announce table. Back in the ring HHH attacks Cena from behind and throws him to the floor and Edge pulls HHH’s head into the middle turnbuckle. HHH rolls to the apron and Edge goes for a suplex but Cena comes over and pulls HHH to the floor. Edge is down in the ring and Cena comes off the top rope with a splash for a near fall. Cena hits a spinning slam and goes for the Five Knuckle Shuffle and Lita pulls him to the floor. HHH throws him into the steps and now he goes after Edge. He hits the Facebuster and a clothesline for two. Edge gets a foot up on a charging HHH, but HHH hits a spinebuster anyway. Edge responds with an Edge-O-Matic for two. HHH puts on the sleeper. Edge reverses it and Cena comes in the ring and picks them both up for an F-U attempt but Edge comes off the ropes with a spear. HHH rolls to the floor and Edge follows him out there. He catapults HHH into the ring post and HHH is busted open. Edge then hits an Impaler on HHH on the Spanish Announce Table. Edge hits a missile dropkick on Cena for two. Edge stays in control and hits a spear in the corner. Cena gets a drop toehold out of nowhere and puts on the STFU. HHH breaks it up by hitting Cena with the microphone from the floor. Edge comes outside the ring and gets smashed in the face with a chair and he falls into the crowd. Now we’re down to Cena and HHH in the ring. Cena gets a quick STFU on the bloody HHH. He reaches the ropes and Cena has to break the hold. He tries the FU but HHH counters to a Pedigree, which Cena counters to the STFU. Edge comes back and the referee takes a bump. Cena sets up for a super F-U but HHH puts Cena on his shoulders and drops them down and everybody is down now. Lita comes in the ring with a chair. She goes for HHH and eats a spinebuster for her troubles. HHH has the chair now. He tosses it aside and goes for his sledgehammer. Edge spears him before he can use it. Edge tries to use the sledgehammer but Cena picks him up in the F-U and HHH hits a low blow so Cena drops Edge over the top to the floor. HHH tries the Pedigree but Cena sweeps the legs and jackknife pins HHH to win the match and retain the title at 17:33. That was a really fun three-way and HHH really bled a crazy amount. They also had some good “get rid of one guy so that just two can fight” spots and the crowd was really hot.
Rating: ****¼

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