WWE – Backlash 2008 – DVD Review

Available at Amazon.com

Why call it Backlash? Simple enough, because it is all the remnants of WrestleMania thrown together so some things can finally come to an end. All of the heat and anger and hatred towards one another was built up to epic proportions at Mania and now must come to a final halt. Every Monday night after a Pay-Per-View, good ol’ Jim Ross and Jerry “The King” Lawler let us know that on Raw we will be witnessing the “backlash” of the prior night’s events. What better way to witness the “backlash” of the biggest PPV of the year then with a month’s build-up to err…Backlash.

On April 27, 2008, the WWE brought all three brands to the 1st Mariner Arena in Baltimore, Maryland so the superstars could inflict some pain on one another and move on to something new. The biggest storyline heading into this PPV is that Randy Orton defeated the odds and the skeptics by holding onto his WWE championship at WrestleMania XXIV after defeating both Triple H and John Cena. Both men feel as if they still deserved the title and therefore wanted another shot, but they weren’t the only ones. The self-proclaimed wrestling god, JBL, considered himself to be the number one contender and thus we were set up with a four-man elimination match for the title.

Other big matches included Edge getting his rematch against the Undertaker for the World Heavyweight title after losing it just one month ago to the Dead Man. Undertaker would be up against great odds though as Vickie Guerrero and the rest of La Familia were always lurking about. SmackDown‘s Batista was not happy at all about the way Raw‘s Shawn Michaels retired Ric Flair and felt as if Michaels should have laid down for his friend so his career could continue. Being a man of respect for both other wrestlers and the business; Shawn could not do that. And even though not asked for by Flair, revenge was being sought by the Animal.

Backlash has always been a good turning point for the middle portion of the year in the WWE as it kind of paves the way for new feuds to begin. Even though many of them come to a climax at Mania, there are still going to be rematch clauses and final lines that need to be drawn. Backlash gives the superstars those chances and then afterwards, it’s onto the summer and new battles can begin. But just because this PPV may be the blow-off to a lot of big time grudges, that doesn’t mean it can be taken lightly because there is a lot of big time action going on.

~ United States Championship Match: MVP (c) Vs. Matt Hardy – MVP was the longest reigning United States champion in WWE history and it is good to see that he held onto the title for so long. That guy has a bright future ahead of him and that was a damn fine way to start his career. This feud with Matt Hardy was also a good point in his career as it was one of the best built feuds in the WWE in a really long time. Matt and MVP were enemies, then teammates, then enemies again, and it lasted a long time without ever really having a pinnacle match until now. That is some old school stuff. The crowd is hot for this first match and they were not let down. A lot of back and forth action from both men and it lead to a nicely paced match with a great and clean finish.

~ Eve Torres Interviews Matt Hardy

~ ECW Championship Match: Kane (c) Vs. Chavo Guerrero – Chavo had held the ECW title for quite some time and then lost it in an embarrassingly short match at WrestleMania XXIV. Kane holding his first major world title for longer then twenty-four hours in his career is not one he was going to relinquish easily, but he’d have to deal with both Chavo and his bodyguard Bam Neely in this match. A lot of back and forth action, but nothing was ever really clean from Chavo as Neely would throw himself into the mix from time to time. Not an overly bad match though.

~ Todd Grisham Interviews Randy Orton

~ Big Show Vs. Great Khali – My dear God, I like Big Show but Khali is just unbearable to watch. Throwing him into a match with another giant that can’t move very fast and we’ve got a match that literally moves in slow motion. If you decide to watch this match, just be thankful that Mick Foley is on commentary and keeps you from going to sleep.

~ Randy Orton Taunts John Cena

~ Shawn Michaels Vs. Batista w/ Chris Jericho as Special Guest Referee – Ol’ DAVE was really upset that Michaels didn’t lay down for Flair at Mania allowing him to continue his career. Michaels is a true sportsmen and would never lay down for anyone so bing-badda-boom, we have a match. Throwing in the wild card of Jericho as the special guest referee was a nice touch, but he really didn’t measure into the outcome of this match whatsoever. The crowd is really hot for all three men involved in this match so it is rather difficult to determine who the bad guy would be here.

This is yet another match that went back and forth a lot with Batista showcasing his power and Michaels showing his wrestling ability and technical prowess. They kind of even each other out and one could only get the upper-hand if there was a mistake or an injury. And if you have been keeping up with WWE, you know that there certainly was an injury in this match to one of the competitors. Or was there? All I know is that is was done to perfection and I loved it.

~ Randy Orton Taunts Triple H

~ 12 Diva Tag Team Match: Good Girls Vs. Bad Girls – Beth Phoenix comes out with her crew including Victoria, Layla, Jillian, Melina, and Natalya. Mickie James heads out to the ring with her friends Cherry, Michelle McCool, Kelly Kelly, Maria, and Ashley. I could care less about the wrestling “ability” of any of the divas except for Beth, Mickie, Natalya, and Victoria. The rest of them are sub par, but mostly nice to look at. That excludes Melina though because…{shudder}. This match doesn’t last all that long and there is not really much wrestling ability needed because there is so much tagging in and out that no one diva can possibly get enough of a system rolling. The ending is rather fast-paced and action packed though making this not horrible.

~ World Heavyweight Championship Match: Undertaker (c) Vs. Edge – First of all let me say that Mick Foley on the announce team for SmackDown is an absolute Godsend. If you want proof of that, just listen to the beginning of this match where he takes us down memory lane and does a quick rundown of the Undertaker’s history. It is awesome and shows that Foley is and always has been one of the best speakers in the business.

The announcers are really building up Undertaker’s submission maneuver, the go-go-plata, as a move that has no escape route and is one dangerous maneuver. This is one fantastic match between two guys that can really go all out. Undertaker still has it in him to put on a very long and excellent match while Edge is still in his prime and ready for anything. I’m not sure which match was better, this or their Mania match, but these are two who I actually wouldn’t mind seeing a lot more of in the ring together.

~ CM Punk Wishes Randy Orton Good Luck

~ Fatal Four Way For The WWE Championship: Randy Orton (c) Vs. John Cena Vs. Triple H Vs. JBL – I was thrilled to death when this match was made into an elimination match because it adds a whole new level to a match with this many guys in it. Any singles matches that have more then two dudes in it should always be elimination style because it makes the match that much more exciting, and Jim Ross can still use his “the champion does NOT need to be pinned to lose the title in this match” line.

It was kind of expected that Cena and Trips would be involved in this match after the shocking win by Orton at Mania to keep his title. JBL just kind of threw himself into it which won’t draw fire from me because I like the guy. Before any eliminations happen, the wrestlers have a good brawl going on with all four men in the ring for the most part. It was nice not seeing just two men battle it out while the other two are “knocked out” on the floor for a length of time. That’s the beauty of an elimination match because it can start as a brawl and eventually end up as a one-on-one match. Seeing JBL eliminated first was not so shocking, but seeing it not come down to Cena and Triple H to end it did surprise me. I guess it’s time for Cena to be without the belt for a while and that couldn’t make me happier. Not a bad match at all to end a very good PPV.

The event is shown in 1.33:1 Full Screen format and all looks good. I did see a tad bit of pixilation during some of the pyro, but not much. It’s just that is the first time in a long time that the WWE DVDs have not come off perfect. Otherwise all is great looking as usual.

The event is heard in Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound and it continues to impress as the trend from the WrestleMania XXIV DVD set keeps going here with the music being a tad bit louder in the surrounding speakers. All commentary can be heard loud and clear through the center speaker as well.

Todd Grisham Interviews Triple H – Trips just won the title and goes into how it feels winning the gold for a twelfth time. That is about it and this interview lasts just under two minutes.

Raw 04/28/08: Aftermath Of WWE Championship Match Between Triple H & Randy Orton – The night after Backlash, Triple H and Randy Orton had a match for the WWE title and it was going back and forth until it was abruptly ended by then general manager and king of the WWE, William Regal. It really is a shame that Regal was suspended because he was being absolutely brilliant in recent weeks he had finally settled into a role that fit him perfectly.

TrailersBehind Enemy Lines III: Columbia, WrestleMania XXIV, and Twist Of Fate: The Matt & Jeff Hardy Story

Backlash has not always been that good a PPV considering it comes right after the big event of WrestleMania and sort of is a downfall from the huge hype. This year is a bit different though as pretty much every match was enjoyable. Sure the “battle of the giants” match was a big snoozefest and the divas’ match left a lot to be desired, but they were both kept short enough to not cause too much of a commotion. All three world championship matches delivered and then some with a few surprises thrown in along the way. A title change would have been nice, but the United States’ championship match gave us that and it happened from one awesome champ who held the title for almost a year to a guy that truly deserves it. Not much in the way of special features, but I’ve come to expect that from most WWE releases. Believe it or not, this makes two enjoyable WWE PPVs in a row with No Way Out and the Royal Rumble before them being pretty decent too. So far, Vince McMahon is batting about .800 in putting together some really fun shows with matches that are truly delivering.


WWE Home Video presents WWE Backlash 2008. Featuring: Triple H, Randy Orton, JBL, John Cena, Undertaker, Edge, Mickie James, Beth Phoenix, Big Show, Shawn Michaels, Batista, and many more. Running time: 180 minutes. Rating: Not Rated. Released on DVD: May 27, 2008. Available at Amazon.com