WWE Backlash 2020 advertised itself having the Greatest Wrestling Match Ever.
Of course, it goes without saying that it’s just a marketing gimmick. Randy Orton and Edge aren’t going to have the Greatest Wrestling Match Ever. Vince’s troll on Google, more or less.
But hyperbole aside, WWE Backlash 2020 had some decent-looking matches on its card.
Could WWE deal with everything on its plate with this show, though? Between the hype for Orton vs. Edge and this being the first show after a big creative team shake-up, the timing was right for this to be an interesting show.
Then again, it could easily b e more of the same. WWE Backlash 2020 could either be a sleeper hit or a dumpster fire. In other words, par for the course for WWE.
Preshow, United States Championship Match – Apollo Crews (C) Vs. Andrade (W/ Zelina Vega & Angel Garza)
Well, WWE Backlash 2020 starts with Apollo Crews in the preshow match. Guess there’s our answer for what happens to guys’ push with Heyman getting pushed out.
Kevin Owens is out for commentary, after getting screwed out of a title shot on Raw by Garza. Wow, literally all the new stars Heyman has been trying to build. They’re all out for this match. Say, remember when Kevin Owens was Universal Champion? For like an hour and a half? Four years ago?
Both guys brawl on the outside for a minute or two. Credit where it’s due, the fans are a welcome addition. Only took the other guys doing it first. For three months. Back inside, Andrade goes up top, but Crews chops him like a madman. Crews climbs all the way up top to set up for a superplex, but Andrade puts him in a tree of woe. Apollo dodges a double stomp and belly-to-belly’s him into the turnbuckle.
Explain to me how that’s more or less dangerous than the bucklebomb? Actually, I take that back. Someone’ll actually do it. Also, it’s probably way less dangerous. Anyway.
Andrade gets back into it and hits an over-the-ropes DDT, but it only gets two. It was the GREATEST JUMPING DDT EVER. The challenger heads up top, but Crews hits an enziguri and powerslams him off the top and hits a pair of standing moonsaults. Garza jumps on the apron to distract the champ. Owens leaves the announce station to hit the Stunner on Garza. Andrade turns around into a powerbomb from Crews, who pins and retains.
RIP everybody’s push. Born, like, a month-and-a-half ago. Buried, WWE Backlash 2020.
But it was the GREATEST BURIAL EVER!
Winner (And STILL Champion): Apollo Crews
Match Rating: **
WWE Women’s Tag Team Championship Match – Sasha Banks & Bayley (C) Vs. The IIconics Vs. Alexa Bliss & Nikki Cross
Okay, so they’re gonna do this triple threat rules across the board. Nikki, Billie Kay, and Bayley start. A whole bunch of nothing happens and everybody tags in their partners.
It’s the GREATEST BORING TRANSITION EVER. Peyton and Sasha work each other and trade pinfall attempts. Alexa tries to involve herself and gets a kick to the gut from Sasha. Now Alexa and Peyton trade pinfall attempts, and now Peyton and Sasha trade them before it’s broken up by Alexa.
All six women are in the ring now. It’s the GREATEST SIX-WOMAN STANDOFF THAT LEADS TO NOTHING EVER at WWE Backlash 2020.
Nikki comes in and brings her crazy with her, only to take a big kick from Peyton. Bayley is in now, and she beats down Nikki in the neutral corner. She goes for an elbow, and Nikki evades only to run into a kick from Billie Kay. It gets two.
Billie Kay works over Bayley’s shoulder and goes for a German suplex, but Bayley rolls forward for a pinfall attempt for two. On the outside, Sasha runs interference and clears the ring. She runs in for the double team. Bayley goes for the pin, but Nikki crazies back to life and breaks it up.
Alexa tags in and sends Karen Bayley to see the manager before hitting a Lou Thesz press on Bayley, Sasha, and then Peyton, before punching Billie Kay off the apron. Have I ever seen a Thesz press in a women’s match? If not, that was the GREATEST THESZ PRESS IN A WOMEN’S MATCH EVER.
I’m gonna take a break on that joke for a match or two.
Peyton does the top rope dive, and naturally all five other competitors catch it. The NXT captives, I mean fans, start a half-hearted “This is awesome” chant. Back inside, Alexa hits Twisted Bliss, but Sasha runs in for the roll up for the pin to retain.
Well, that was certainly a lot of nothing going on. And it led to nothing. Weak.
Winners (And STILL Champions): Sasha Banks & Bayley
Match Rating: * 1/2
Sheamus Vs. Jeff Hardy
We get a recap of this week’s SmackDown where Jeff threw a cup of urine at Sheamus. Sadly, it was not THE GREATEST URINE ANGLE EVER. That honor belongs to Steve Austin literally peeing on Arn Anderson back in 2002-ish.
And now, finally, the blowoff to the only storyline WWE knows how to write for Jeff Hardy. “Hey, folks, Jeff’s a drunkard!”
Sheamus starts out with boring big-guy beat-down offense. Wait, I could say that about any WWE match, couldn’t I? Jeff goes after the legs, presumably to neutralize the Brogue Kick. It’s been, like, four minutes and Jeff is already blown up.
Jeff gets choked out on the ropes. Sheamus whips him into the ropes but ends up on the apron. Jeff hits the baseball slide, and they fight on the outside. A splash off the steps puts Sheamus down in front of the announce desk. Jeff throws Sheamus back inside and picks up the ring stairs before just putting them down. Um. What?
On the inside, Jeff goes for a suplex, but Sheamus blocks and tackles Jeff into the corner. Sheamus drops Jeff knee-first on the ring post before playing to the zoo trainees behind the plexiglass. With a roster this deep, why are Sheamus and Jeff Hardy on PPV?
Sheamus goes for a Rock Bottom and just drops him before hitting a knee off the second rope. It only gets two. Seriously, this match sucks. Not quite THE SUCKIEST MATCH EVER. But it does suck.
Because he’s a dumb heel, Sheamus wastes time telling the “crowd” that they’re all enablers. Jeff is a drunk, you see. He hits a pair of Irish Curse backbreakers, but Jeff kicks out at two again. A stiff knee to the face gets another two-count. Sheamus wastes more time yelling at Michael Cole (well, that’s not really a waste). We go into Ye Olde Headlock. Jeff fights out of it and hits a back suplex, but he can’t capitalize. He goes up top and hits Whisper In The Wind but only gets two.
An inverted atomic drop followed by a dropkick to the face only gets two for Jeff. Sheamus goes for the Brogue Kick, but Jeff dodges and hits a sling blade. Jeff goes up top, but Sheamus crotches him. Sheamus McBeeker goes for a superplex, but Jeff pushes him off and goes for the Swanton but gets crotched again.
Jeff falls off and Sheamus hits White Noise, but Jeff kicks out. END. Make this END. WWE Backlash 2020 make this END. As if hearing and denying my plea, Sheamus locks in the Texas Cloverleaf. Jeff makes the ropes, so Sheamus kicks him while he’s down. Sheamus tries to pick Jeff up by his fishnet shirt, but just rips it more. We get the TEN CHEST CLUBS OF DOOM from Sheamus. He sets Jeff up for another White Noise, but Jeff holds onto the ropes. Jeff hits the Twist Of Fate and goes for the Swanton Bomb. He goes for the cover, but Sheamus gets a foot on the rope.
On the outside, Jeff runs the barricade and goes for a dive, but Sheamus hits the Brogue Kick. Back inside, Sheamus hits another for the pin. I hated every second of this. Thanks, WWE Backlash 2020.
Loser: Literally everyone ever.
Match Rating: Negative *
Raw Women’s Championship: Asuka (C) Vs. Nia Jax
Sigh. You’re testing my patience, WWE Backlash 2020. Ever oh-so-much, you are testing my patience.
Asuka comes out striking on Nia, and goes for the sleeper, but Nia brushes her off. The champion locks in the octopus submission, but Nia swings her off and somehow doesn’t injure her. Point, Nia.
An armbar attempt is shrugged off, and Nia throws Asuka into the ropes and drops her with a clothesline. Nia hits a splash in the corner and chucks Asuka to the mat. A walking powerslam gets two. Rest holds and slaps to the back of Asuka’s head follow, because heel. A spinebuster from Nia gets two. Every captive fan in the “crowd” is wearing a different shirt. It’s the GREATEST NOT-COMMERCIAL FOR WWESHOP EVER.
Nia hits a Jackhammer, and it actually looks pretty good. It only gets two, but if there’s anybody in WWE who should be using the Jackhammer.
The champion hits a Shining Wizard for two. She pulls Nia up and runs to the corner for a missile dropkick before hitting a running knee for another two-count. More knees from Asuka, but Nia hits a powerbomb. Asuka kicks out. Nia rushes Asuka in the corner, but runs shoulder-first into the post. Asuka heads to the top rope, but Nia intercepts her. She goes to suplex her, but Asuka locks in the armbar, using the ropes as leverage. Nia topples over the top. On the outside, Nia rushes her but runs into another armbar.
Nia breaks the hold, and they fight on the outside, only to get counted out. Asuka runs back inside well after “10,” as though she was legit trying to beat the count. After the decision, Asuka hits another kick off the apron. Um. Does she not know the rules? The timekeeper has to hand her the belt to make it clear that it’s OVER.
This sucked. It’s gonna take The Greatest Wrestling Match Ever to save WWE Backlash 2020 at this point.
Decision: Double-countout (Asuka retains)
Match Rating: **
Universal Championship Handicap Match: Braun Strowman (C) Vs. Miz & Morrison
Kayla Braxton had to break the news to Miz & Morrison earlier in the show that if either of them get the win, only that person is the Universal Champion.
Why is the backstage announcer having to explain the rules to the competitors? I hate this company so much.
Before the match, Miz & Morrison “debut” their new music video, which already premiered on the preshow. It’s THE MOST INCORRECTLY-NAMED PPV DEBUT EVER at WWE Backlash 2020.
And apparently we’re trying to get “Strowman Express” over as Braun’s new nickname. Yeah, that’ll save him.
Morrison is legal to start, and he flips and dodges Braun. Miz sheepishly comes in off the hot tag before immediately stalling on the outside. Like an idiot, Braun gets distracted by Morrison, allowing Miz to hit him in the back of the head. Both guys hit a double-dropkick. Morrison heads up top, but Braun throws him off. But Morrison rolls through and manages to tag in Miz again.
Miz begs off, so Braun kicks him in the gut and throws him into Morrison, knocking Morrison off the apron. Braun throws Miz over the top and follows him to the outside. Both guys sneak back in, and Morrison kicks Miz off the apron. Miz hits a dropkick through the second and bottom rope followed by a corkcscrew plancha from Morrison. That was pretty good.
Back on the inside, Miz locks Braun in a headlock, because that’s all either guy knows how to do. Braun walks Miz into Morrison on the outside. Morrison tags in and hits a chopblock and kicks at Braun while the champ is down. Miz comes back in, and they hit a double DDT, but Braun kicks out.
The champion throws Miz across the ring and goes for a running shoulder tackle in the corner. Miz makes the tag, and Braun goes into the post as Morrison tags in. A pair of kicks put Braun on the ground (including a missed running knee). Miz tags again and hits a double ax-handle from the top. He hits the Skull Crushing Finale and Morrison hits a diving stomp. Morrison goes for the pin, but Miz pulls him off. And it’s only just now occurring to both guys that only one of them can win the title.
Braun hits a chokeslam on Miz, and Morrison dives at Braun but walks into the running powerslam for the pin.
Well. That was easily the most action out of any match so far at WWE Backlash 2020. And it still sucked.
Winner (And STILL Champion): Braun Strowman
Match Rating: ** 1/2
WWE Championship: Drew McIntyre (C) Vs. Bobby Lashley (W/ MVP)
Please, WWE Backlash 2020. You’ve ruined so much, please don’t ruin Drew’s title reign. I say this without sarcasm, it’s been going really well. One of the few bright spots for WWE during the coronavirus pandemic.
Having said that, can Drew lose the sleeveless duster? He’s legit, he doesn’t need costuming.
Lashley goes for the Full Nelson before the bell. An army of referees have to rush to the ring to break it up. The official asks if Drew can go, and because he’s a dumb babyface he says yes. The bell rings, and Lashley proceeds to beat the living crap out of the champion.
Drew still hasn’t been able to take off his duster. Meanwhile, Lana watches the diagonal TV backstage. Lashley puts a boot to Drew’s throat in the corner, but Drew comes out of the corner and chops away only to get dropped by a clothesline. He goes for the cover, and Drew kicks out at two and then one.
Lashley tears off the duster and hooks in a rear chinlock that actually looks like it hurts. Drew fights to his feet and hits a northern lights into a bridge, but it only gets two. Lashley hits a neckbreaker for a one-count. The challenger stays on the beatdown and sets up for a running powerslam, but Drew escapes. Lashley braces himself against the ropes but gets clotheslined to the floor.
On the outside, Drew tackles Lashley into the plexiglass. Drew turns around and goes face-to-face with MVP, allowing Lashley to jump the champ from behind. Lashley picks up Drew and runs him into the post. The challenger gives himself some room and rushes Drew, but Drew sidesteps and sends Lashley and himself crashing into the barricade.
Back in the ring, Lashley hits a mule kick on the champion, and they do the BIG BEEF CHOPFEST. Drew scores with a couple of high knees before going up top and hitting a diving forearm. Both guys are down now. But Drew kips up, favoring his neck. He picks up Lashley, but the challenger breaks free only to walk into a spinebuster. Drew only gets two with that one.
Lashley hits a giant spinebuster, but Drew kicks out at one. They’re going the extra mile to make Drew look strong without making his opponents look like jokes. Vince? Roman? It can be done.
A flatliner from Lashley also only gets one. McIntyre gets to his feet but backs right into the Full Nelson, but Lashley can’t cinch it in. Lashley stands on the ropes and beats Drew in the corner. But Drew gets hi up in an electric chair position. Lashley holds onto the ropes, but Drew muscles out and hits a reverse Alabama slam for two. He didn’t get all of it, though (translation: Mild botch).
Drew throats Lashley on the top rope and goes for an ax-handle, but Lashley catches him on the way down and puts the champion in a crossface. The champion gets to his feet again and goes for a tombstone, but Lashley escapes and puts on the ankle lock. Drew escapes, and Lashley goes for a spear. But Drew locks in the Kimura. Lashley makes the ropes. With Lashley on the apron, Drew smashes the challenger’s face into the turnbuckle and hits a superplex. Both guys are down (again), and Drew kips up (again).
He rushes for the Claymore, but Lashley hits the spear for two. Lana comes out, apparently upset with MVP’s coaching. I wonder if there will be a finish that is in some way a distraction. She gets up on the apron and argues with the referee, and Lashley almost knocks her off. Drew pushes him into her, and she takes out MVP, allowing the champion to hit the Claymore for the pin.
Well, this was really strong until the stupid and unnecessary screwy finish. Still, easily the best match of the night so far on WWE Backlash 2020. After the match, both Lashley and MVP leave Lana laying on the floor.
Winner (And STILL Champion): Drew McIntyre
Match Rating: *** 1/2
Raw Tag Team Championship: Street Profits (C) Vs. Viking Raiders
In the parking lot, the Street Profits jump the Raiders and put them through the windshield of Braun’s car.
Oh no, it’s a cinematic match.
They throw the Raiders into a garage door, and get ready to beat them down with golf clubs. And for some reason, the Raiders come back up with their shields and spears and a bowling ball. The fight continues backstage, and they roll the ball into one of the Profits’ crotch (after a literal dream flashback to their game of bowling on Raw).
The fight continues, and a couple guys from both teams (I’m not gonna bother) go through a plate glass window. And we get another flashback to the Raiders eating turkey legs and playing golf. I hate this show. One hundred percent, I hate WWE Backlash 2020.
Both teams yell at each other, and Eric says, “Let’s take this outside!” The other three guys rightly point out that they’re already outside.
All four guys get ready to go at it, but a bunch of guys on crotch rockets show up. Led by Akira Tozawa. So both teams join forces to become the Viking Profits. Tozawa starts shaking his finger uncontrollably and calls for his motorcycle gang of ninjas to attack. There’s even a 70s Kung Fu movie soundtrack going. Damn, the racism is strong with Vince tonight.
Anyway, the Viking Profits overcome the ninjas, so Tozawa brings in a giant ninja with a sword to finish them off. So the Raiders use the Force to summon a turkey leg. This is like Russo WCW stuff. Both teams climb to relative safety on top of a truck and argue over who actually beat up the ninjas. All four guys wind up diving off the truck into a dumpster, and Ivor has another flashback to random women telling him he’s cute. Referee Jessika climbs to the top of the dumpster to remind the guys that their match is next.
They do a takeoff of the “there’s something alive in here” bit from the trash compactor scene in Star Wars. And so ends THE GREATEST CAREER-KILLING SKETCH EVER at WWE Backlash 2020.
You know, I normally don’t rate cinematic matches.
Winner: Literally no one.
Match Rating: Negative ***
THE GREATEST WRESTLING MATCH EVER – Randy Orton Vs. Edge
The announcers say they’ll use “unique camera angles” and “amplified audio” to “enhance the viewing experience” at WWE Backlash 2020. That sounds just awful.
Good lord, they’re piping in crowd audio, as though I can’t PHYSICALLY SEE (ON THIS DAY, CLEARLY) that there’s only 19 people in the audience.”
OH NO, they use canned audio from the late Howard Finkel. Well, I think Meltzer has this year’s winner for “most disgusting promotional tactic.”
They lock up and do some decent mat wrestling, all while still locked up. Orton slams Edge’s face into the mat. Another lockup, and Edge pushes Orton into the rope. A pair of running arm drags put Orton down, but the Viper evades the third, and Edge’s head bounces off the mat.
Edge gets a headlock takedown, but Orton rolls over for a one-count. Orton, still in the headlock, gets the knees up into a headscissor lock. Edge tries to reach for Orton’s ankle for leverage and eventually crawls out of it. He dives to lock in a headlock of his own, but Orton slides out of the way.
Orton pushes Edge into the ring, and Edge runs the ropes to evade the Viper, but Orton grabs the foot to trip Edge, forcing him to the outside. Edge uses the count to get a breather and comes back in at seven. They lock up again, and Orton forces Edge into the corner and hits a knee to the gut.
He whips Edge into the corner, but Edge slips under the ropes. Orton gives chase, and Edge puts him down with a big boot. Back inside, Edge goes for the pin and gets two. Orton lays in another kick to Edge’s ribs and puts Edge down with an uppercut. At least they’re pacing themselves at WWE Backlash 2020, unlike their WrestleMania match. Edge scores with an armdrag into a hammerlock. Orton escapes briefly, but Edge holds on and continues to work the shoulder.
The Viper finally gets to his feet and pushes Edge into the corner and stomps on Edge’s ankle. Orton whips Edge into the corner, but Edge catches him with a headscissors and tosses him to the outside. This is far from THE GREATEST WRESTLING MATCH EVER, but it’s pretty damn good.
Edge goes to the top turnbuckle, but Orton rushes up to the apron and nails him in the head. Orton tries to superplex Edge to the floor, but Edge headbutts him, knocking Orton to the apron. Edge props on the second turnbuckle and hits a flying shoulder tackle, knocking Orton to the floor and busting him open.
The Rated-R Superstar side of Edge emerges, as he smashes Orton’s shoulder into the apron. In the ring, Edge whips Orton into the ropes and hits a pair of standing knees to Orton’s gut followed by a side Russian legsweep into a crossface. Orton gets a foot on the bottom rope to break.
Edge dodges an RKO attempt and locks in the Antivenom arm triangle. He goes to whip Orton into the ropes, but Orton hits a modified neckbreaker. Edge rolls to the outside, favoring the neck. Orton follows and slings Edge neck-first into the plexiglass before bashing him into the apron, then the barricade, then the plexiglass, then the announce table. Okay, this is really good.
And now the neck into the steel steps twice before slamming him into the announce table, which doesn’t break. Orton throws Edge back inside and goes for the pin, but Edge kicks out at two. The Viper goes after Edge’s ankle with a couple of stomps.
To the headlock we go, and Orton has it cinched in tight. Edge fights his way out of it, but Orton shoves him neck-first into the top turnbuckle. Orton goes for Three Amigos, but Edge stops him at dos and hits the full tres. Both guys are on their backs, spent. And they punch and chop each other back to their feet. Edge backs Orton into the corner with a couple of chops, but Orton escapes and scores with a standing dropkick, sending Edge to the outside.
Orton throws Edge throat-first into a fixture on the outside. From the inside, Orton pulls Edge up the turnbuckles and nails a superplex. He goes for the cover, but Edge kicks out at two. Edge gets to his feet just in time to eat an uppercut from Orton. Both guys hit a crossbody on one another, and they’re both down again. They get to their feet, and Edge pulls himself up with the ropes and manages to kick Orton. Edge heads to the top, but Orton crotches him and sets him up for the draping DDT, but Edge escapes and hits the Edgecution DDT, but Orton kicks out.
Edge hits a running knee to Orton’s face followed by a running elbow to the heart. Orton kicks out at two. A diving crossbody from Edge gets another two count. Edge tries to spear Orton in the corner, but Orton dodges it only for Edge to lock in the crossface again. He slips the arms under Orton’s throat and starts to choke him out, but Orton reverses into a cradle. Edge tries to lock the crossface again, but Orton scores with an Angle Slam for two. Orton whips Edge into the ropes, but Edge bounces back and catches Orton with a powerbomb for two.
Both guys stagger to their feet, and Orton dumps Edge over the top rope and to the floor. Orton pulls Edge up and hits the draping DDT. The Viper signals for the RKO. C’mon, Randy, it never works when you call for it. He goes for it, but Edge reverses. Orton goes for it again, and Edge hits the Edge-O-Matic for two! I thought that was it.
Now it’s time for Edge to call his shot. He goes for the spear, but Orton dodges and Edge hits Christian’s Unprettier for two! They trade big moves, and Orton sets up for the Pedigree and hits it, but it only gets two. Edge crawls back to his feet, and Orton bounces him into the ropes, but Edge comes back with a Rock Bottom for two. Okay, let’s be done with the “Using other peoples’ finishers” business and head into the finish, guys. This is great, but you’re overstaying your welcome. Edge goes for the Sharpshooter, but Orton kicks him off.
Both guys lock up in backslide positions, but Edge hits a reverse chopblock and slides Orton down for a two-count. Edge slides to the apron, and Orton goes to pull him up and set up for another draping DDT, but Edge drops his throat on the ropes. Back inside, Edge gets a few quick roll-ups for two, but Orton hits the RKO out of nowhere! And Edge kicks out at 2.999-repeating!
Orton sets up for the punt, but Edge hits the spear. A second spear gets another super near-fall.
Edge looks like he’s running out of ideas. He whips Orton into the corner, but Orton counters. Edge comes back off the turnbuckle into another RKO for two. Orton seems to be out of ideas, and he pulls Edge up. But Edge locks in the Antivenom, and Orton escapes with a low blow before hitting the punt for the win.
It went a little long. And it wasn’t anywhere close to THE GREATEST WRESTLING MATCH EVER. But it was a great match, and a bright spot for an otherwise atrocious WWE Backlash 2020.
Winner: Randy Orton
Match Rating: **** 1/2
WWE Backlash 2020 sucked. Hard.
Edge vs. Orton was decidedly NOT THE GREATEST WRESTLING MATCH EVER. But it was great. Far, far better than expected. That and the WWE Championship match were the only highlights on this show, though.
Those two bright spots were not nearly enough to save the show. We got the worst cinematic match (which wasn’t even ADVERTISED as such). There was a complete mess in the form of Sheamus vs. Jeff Hardy. The women’s match was good enough not to be absolutely horrible.
Bottom line, this was a terrible, terrible show. Thanks to the WWE Network, you can skip to the good parts.
But I would recommend no living human ever watch WWE Backlash 2020 in its entirety.
Images courtesy of WWE.
'WWE Backlash 2020'
- Orton vs. Edge - not the greatest, but REALLY great
- Drew McIntyre and Bobby Lashley were awesome till the finish
- The Street Profits/Viking Raiders "match" was hot garbage
- Sheamus and Jeff Hardy was an exercise in sheer boredom
- The Universal Champion made everyone involved look like an idiot
- A great main event can't save an AWFUL undercard. The main event actually lifted the "in-ring action" score quite a bit.