Well, hello. It’s that crazy time of month again when we all attempt to play Nostradamus and predict the future. Believe me, peeps – if I could predict the future, I wouldn’t waste my Super Special powers trying to pick the winners of pre-determined wrestling matches – oh no – I’d be into the Lottery and the horses… That little rant is just my way of softening the crushing blow of defeat that has come to be a second friend to me.
With all that aimless babbling out of the way, let’s get into Backlash matches themselves…
Tajiri vs. The Coach
Well… uh… wow. What can you say about this? It’s been months, if not YEARS in the making. Well, that’s actually a lie. It has the feel of a match that’s been thrown together at the last moment to try and showcase exactly why Tajiri was shifted to Raw. I’m sure Tajiri is overjoyed at being taken away from the Cruiserweight Division, working with Jamie Noble, Nunzio, Rey Mysterio, Chavo Guerrero and the like, just for the pure exhilaration of working with The Coach.
The match with Al Snow on Raw this week was actually pretty cool, and I’d like to see a program with those two, where both men were given some time and some leeway in what they could do. I dread to think how awful this match is actually going to be… and the worst thing is – I see Coach winning, via the aid of some outside interference, either from Snow or Johnny Nitro.
Winner : The Coach
Lita vs. Victoria (c)
OK folks – get those toastie makers ready for this one. Any match with Lita in it is quite frankly going to either insult your intelligence, or your eyes – with her seeming lack of regard for either herself or her opponent, I cringe whenever she’s in the ring. For whatever reason, she’s popular with the live crowds, and that fact alone will probably earn her the title at Backlash.
Victoria is a great talent, but she hasn’t done anything with the title, and the WWE don’t look to have any great interest in doing anything with her right now… I get the feeling that the big plan is for Trish and Lita to feud, and everyone else can sink or swim on their own. Ho hum. Cheese, Ham and Worcester sauce toasties it is.
Winner : Lita
Edge vs. Kane
Edge is back in town, and he’s been hitting the weights. Pretty obvious to see where HHH’s future lies, huh? Kane’s done as a genuine threat on Raw, thanks to his WrestleMania ‘match’ with the Deadman, and so is now destined to wander the upper midcard, doing a grand total of absolutely bugger all. Kane’s role is set in this match – he’s there so that Edge can get a win against someone who’s in an established role. Kane fits that bill, and good luck to him.
Edge does have a bright future… if he can learn to drink beer on the ringposts and use one move to destroy everyone else on the roster, then hey, I think there’s a spot open for that kind of character now. Whoo! First Austin joke of the weekend – yeah! Anyway, so yeah, Edge to win with a spear.
Winner : Edge
Shelton Benjamin vs. Ric Flair
Benjamin’s move from midcard tag team obscurity into top line player on Raw continues here with a match against The Nature Boy. Even if Shelton loses, he won’t lose face, and may even come out on top. Hopefully Flair can keep with the pace and pull out the usual good PPV match he still has.
Benjamin doesn’t need to win here, he can take the loss by way of Flair’s nefarious means, or interference from Batista, and still come out smelling of roses, and I think that’s just what will happen here. Benjamin’s push will continue, but for his own sake, I hope it’s not a Lesnar-like ascent to the top. He’s one for the future, in the same way that Randy Orton and John Cena are, and he should be protected accordingly.
Winner : Ric Flair
Chris Jericho vs. Christian & Trish Stratus
The match we’ve all been waiting for since WrestleMania, according to Jericho himself… should be fun, with this show being in Canada, to have an all Canadian beat down match. Trish looks to be having a ball with her new evil Trish character – and wardrobe – and Christian could write the book on how to be a slimy heel.
Factor Jericho’s immense overness into this, and this here could well steal the show. Trish has just enough ring savvy to carry her part of this match, and Jericho and Christian gel superbly together, as witnessed many times in the past. I don’t see any way that Jericho can feasibly come out on top in this one. I see Christian taking the tainted win here, setting up a final, series settling gimmick match between the two.
Winners : Christian and Trish Stratus
Cactus Jack vs. Randy Orton (c)
Sick, sick things have been promised by both parties, apparently… and when Mick Foley wheels out Cactus Jack, something is always gonna happen. Foley is looking in incredible shape these days – I don’t recall him ever looking better since he joined the WWE. Mick is underrated as a psychological wrestler, and should be able to elevate this match beyond the usual move-whack-move-whack formula of these matches.
Now, Evolution are banned from Ringside… but who says that this match will stay at ringside? This seems to be a very Foley-esque stipulation, so no doubt there is a plan in place for Orton to come out on top without making Foley look like a useless jerk… I see some Evolution backstage interference making the difference, and Orton remaining as IC Champ.
Winner : Randy Orton
World Heavyweight Championship
Triple Threat Match
Chris Benoit (c) vs. Triple H vs. Shawn Michaels
Finally, Edmonton’s favourite son comes home with the Gold. I didn’t think I’d ever write “Chris Benoit, World Heavyweight Champion” in a meaningful way – but there we go – Canada can raise the roof for the Wolverine, and there’s not many more in the game today that deserve it.
The match at WrestleMania was a genuine classic, and I can’t see this one being any different. I do see the finish being different, however. Benoit will still walk away with the title, but I see Shawn Michaels being the guy doing the tapping out. I get the feeling this could well be the beginning of a heel turn for HBK, and a proper series of Benoit / HBK matches – allowing Trips the time to go make some movies, or work with Edge, whichever takes his fancy this week.
By all rights, this should be match of the night, and if it can live up to the standards of the WrestleMania match, if could well be a match of the year contender… and I still think Benoit will win and send an arena full of Canadians home happy.
Winner : Chris Benoit
So there we go. Backlash predictions logged and written… The show has potential to be good, with only 2 real clunkers on the card. Could this be the first good Raw Only PPV? Let’s hope so.
Until then, have fun, go mad.
Thanks for reading – be sure and pay a visit to these two sweet sites :
Sign up for The Live Wire mailing list – have this column mailed straight to you!