To say this is long overdue would be an understatement.
Surprised me to see Easy E and his merry men starting off proceedings. Expected a promo from one of the top two angles to get us on the road for Backlash. Smarmy, slimy, egotistical Eric at his best here, talking down to the fans with his overbearing, oh so fake ‘love’ for them. As previously said, I was a little surprised with the approach to this promo, with a lot of looking back to WrestleMania, but as you progressed, I got where you were going, playing up Backlash as somewhat a night of redemption for Bischoff.
Firstly, he’s put Benjamin and Haas into direct competition with each other for the IC title. Then, they’ve got to defend the tag titles against five men. It surely equates to getting the belts back on the Spirit Squad. At least it’s a heck of a plan on paper.
TBH, I detest the Spirit Squad. Always have, always will, but you’ve got them portrayed perfectly as the dick heels they should be. So I can see why you’re persisting with them. With your writing they work, which is a shame, because that way, there is no way I can see them slipping off the radar for some time to come
And do I love AAE being paired up with Bischoff?? HELLS YEAH!!! Just patiently waiting now to see how you introduce Umaga to the world of Monday Night Raw. And that’s a splendid main event to perfectly ease us into Backlash. Plenty of questions to be asked going into that one, and Bischoff is providing them too, with potential answers to boot
Didn’t like how Bischoff all but glossed over the epic Backlash main event. More time was spent talking about Haas and Benjamin here. And while it’s a really intriguing issue, the most important angle going into Backlash is the ‘Do or Die’ match, and Eric spent very little time gloating over how he’ll basically kill off one of the two mens careers.
Big Show now?? It’s running into a very long opening shindig, covering four of the six matches set for Backlash. And yet more creepiness from the monster and the bigger monster. The torture for RVD continues after breaking the rules last week … and things just got very interesting.
I guess the choice of Maria and Dustin is like some sort of play (again) on TDK. Fully expecting them to do the opposite of what they just promised ala Dent & Dawes. I can live with it though, just for the fact that Bearer and Show are absolutely devastating as a pair; so sinister, so sick, so fucking bad.
Gotta say, the opening segment did seem to just go on, and on. From the Bischoff / Spirit Squad (who I continue to hate, but admire you persevering with them as featured stars) and then adding the Big Show & Bearer moment, it was just too much for one segment. Saying that, as I sit here, I’m trying to think up ways to change the format up, and have the Show/Bearer segment a little later, but if, say, that was to stand alone as it’s own segment later on, around the mid point, then it doesn’t allow long enough to build the suspense of whether RVD is going to show up. And, the Eric promo definitely needed to open proceedings, as it held the announcement of the main event, and the promo, had it come in the second hour, wouldn’t have fit. I guess it’s a rock in a hard place, as the promo was far too long for my liking, but since I cant think of a more viable solution, I cant criticise.
Excellent promo from Trish. Basic and simple, but oh so good at the same time. She’s certainly not happy at the minute, and rightfully so.
Good to see Trish picking up the win over Victoria, and the manner in which she did didn’t make Victoria look too weak. Even with this win, it wasn’t emphatic enough to suggest it’s one of those situations where the champion wins going into the PPV before losing the belt. Hard to call.
Oooooo, this tension is brewing perfectly between Benjamin and Haas. I’m going to save my thoughts on what will go down at Backlash until it’s time for predictions, but every time I think about these two pulling double duty, my mind is going on overtime thinking the possible scenarios you could run with. One of my favourite angles in BTB, and I’ve missed it dearly.
Moving on, and onto imo, a weak link of Raw - Carlito as MITB. Right now, I’m not able to buy into him, but I guess it’s a long road to take, and not an overnight main eventer just because of a briefcase. It’s going to be a really big challenge imo for Carlito to become a credible top tier guy, but it could all begin at Backlash. It’s going to take a while to win me over with him.
By the numbers stuff to build the undercard match for Backlash. I fully expect both Masters and Chavo to make an appearance at some stage during that one, but hopefully Carlito can score himself a clean win and move on.
As made clear after the match, Cade and Murdoch are set to be next in line for a shot at the tag titles. Not sure if they’re still heel here, and it hasn’t been made clear either way. Could imagine some fun promos between them and the Spirit Squad for sure, whilst any feud that TWGTT are involved in is golden. I even think I was critical of the tag team division on Raw, but with so much emphasis on the teams of Raw at the moment, despite whether I personally like some of them or not, it’s starting to look promising indeed … still not a touch on your awesome division on Smackdown.
Disappointed by the showdown between Angle and Cena if I’m honest. Nothing actually wrong with the segment, but the two men are about to basically, all but put the rest of their careers on the line at Backlash, and the final war of words is conducted in the locker room. Truly expected a big in-ring showdown at some point in the show, maybe even just before the main event. For what it’s worth, the segment itself was excellent, and well pitched, but I was expecting and hoping for something more grandiose for these two ahead of such a career important match at Backlash.
Called it last night on MSN. Robocop. Bit of filler squash matches never hurt anyone, and the Squad are ready for Backlash.
Not sure what direction this Torrie / Sleazy E angle is headed. It’s been a while (obviously), but as far as I remember, this one was brewing for the past few weeks too. I’m assuming there isn’t really a big picture for the angle, and it’s more of a side issue to promote Eric as a grade A sleaze ball.
Another big disappointment for me was the lack of hype for Ric Flairs massive announcement at Backlash. Just briefly mentioned in the commentators hype for Backlash didn’t help make it into an important issue. Wasn’t there a video package for it a few weeks ago?? You could’ve thrown it in just before the Backlash hype.
Jonathan Coachman: Coming out to the same music and wearing the same outfits, huh? Is it just me or are these trying just a bit too hard? Who do they think they’re kidding, fellas? We all know there’s tension between these so-called “best friends” and we all know that we’re just waiting for them to implode.
Golden commentary if you ask me. Colour me smiling. Awesome little piece tbh.
No RVD then?? Assuming he’s going to show up fashionably late perhaps??
Loved seeing Benjamin and Haas as equals to Angle and Cena; totally expected that to be the case of course, but I had to make the comment too. Tension brewed nicely throughout the match, building and building. Knew from the moment that Cena accidentally took out Angle with Haas that things would fall apart; and I wasn’t disappointed.
Not sure what Cena was going to do when he pulled Angle around, and that could spark a few good questions too; but the Angle Slam was emphatic. The walk out was fine too, Angle doesn’t care what happens to Cena tonight, he just wants to beat him at all costs come Backlash. Van Dam finally arriving to save Maria was the right option to take, why would he want her, a defenceless woman, to take the punishment over a veteran like Goldust?? Finish was good, as I wasn’t expecting Cena to go down clean to RVD ahead of Backlash, so that has to point towards a Cena win at Backlash, right?? Not in my view
Sick and twisted. Only way to describe the final segment. Didn’t feel like a closing angle heading into a PPV, but it still worked beautifully. When the hell do we find out what happened to Maria?? THAT’S THE QUESTION!!! I think you did the right thing leaving the rest to our imagination; less is more. Some may be disappointed that we didn’t see what was to happen to Maria, but at the end of the day, it leaves us all hooked on waiting to see what the outcome was. Terrific angle.
I’m so glad you’re back.