Arena Report for WWF Backlash - Sunday, 04/29/01
I went to last Sunday's WWF Backlash and I took a note pad along just so I'd remember the bits
to do a live report for this site.
- I usually forget stuff that seems
important at the time, and this works kinda' better.
- The notes that I could actually read later helped jogged my mind.
- This is more stream of consciousness on what happened and what I saw from
my point of view, being in the arena.
- It's not really a recap - if you want to
know everything that happened, check elsewhere - this is something you might not
be getting there.
When I stepped into the arena, I could hear Michael Cole and Tazz setting up the Big Show/Shane McMahon video package, so my notes really start from there.
The fans popped for the Shane and The Beanstalk nursery story (the first time).
- but then they were popping for everything right then - Molly doing push-ups, the
Divas video, the exterior of the building.
- During the following break, we got the normal intros for the announcers.
- Paul Heyman got a loud but mixed reaction.
- JR got a standing ovation, as usual.
- Jerry Lynn vs Crash Holly for the Light Heavyweight Title
- I'm still not totally sure why Jerry Lynn got such a big pop when he came out.
- Some of it had to be the big surprise factor.
- He'd been working house shows but that'd been kept low profile.
- It was only leaked that he'd be on the show a couple hours before.
- Some of it because there was strong support for ECW while it was here.
- Shows here always sold out.
- It seemed like we were one of the last to lose TV.
- Some just because crowds always pop big for the first wrestler in the ring because that means the show's actually starting.
- That's the reason why crowds seem into matches on
Jakked, I think - they're just happy to see someone they
- But it still was abnormally big.
- At any rate, Lynn's speech about bringing respect to the Light Heavyweight Title gives me hope for that title when I'd finally given up on it.
- On the other hand, the line about "showing what a great champion I am!" was the signal of his heel status.
- It kinda sets up for the belt being just a lever to get Lynn over now, not any long term push off the division.
- And it'll probably become insignificant once Lynn moves on, if not sooner.
- Oh well - I'll enjoy the stuff we get between now and then.
- The crowd got into the near falls and into the title switch.
- I don't think many noticed the tights being pulled until they pulled the tights.
- Crash was all distraught while he left.
- The Fink was dutiful booed when he shilled merchandise, though Undertaker's name got a pop.
- People were quiet for the Marilyn Manson video package - perhaps any effect it could have had was dulled by how many times it's been shown.
- Lita vs Molly Holly
- Lita got a really loud pop.
- Molly got a loud face pop too, but not as long.
- People tried to answer the Lita chant with a Molly chant but it didn't last long.
- I thought Molly might have hurt her neck off Lita's flying headscissors -
- She was slow leaving and held her neck for a while before going back into the Holly mannerisms.
- The Northern Lights Suplex Molly pulled out was quite good.
- Lita does indeed sing as part of her music, but they play it really low - probably a good reason about
doing it that way.
- They did react to the summary recap that ended Heat in all the expected spots.
- The voices in the video packages (particularly Ross and Vince) sounded slightly weird over the
- Higher pitched than normal, I guess, and it was kinda strange.
- Dudleyz vs X-Factor
- The start of the PPV was loud.
- And you know, I read house show and RAW reports, and there's bits that are repeated over and over:
- RTC teases a break up but don't,
- Kane's fireworks are really hot,
- Cover your ears when fireworks come on, because they're really really loud.
- Yet, I saw the Dudley Boyz video, and I didn't quite remember that
last part till about the second explosion.
- I had a strong headache by the time I got home.
- There was a significant difference between X-Factor and the Dudleyz in their reactions -
- People were loud the whole entrance for the Dudleyz
- But they gave up booing X-Factor a few seconds in.
- I think I counted four different strong X-Pac Sucks chants, but he barely even reacts to them anymore.
- Justin did a good job of interacting with people, having a running conversation with some people in the front row.
- Bubba could've been saying anything between the set up of the Wassup spot and when D-Von went for the
table - people were so loud, you couldn't have heard a difference.
- After the match and the 3D through the table, X-Pac was down for a while but seemed alright.
- Raven vs Rhyno
- There were some cheers for Rhyno, which kinda surprised me, since he's never really been pushed that way.
- It's weird noticing he's the same height as Finkel.
- Raven got a loud pop when he entered, but like X-Factor, it died down by the time he got to the ring.
- I think it's because he hasn't really been pushed that hard as a face (he never really had a moment where he turned face, he
sort of just ended up there), so people aren't totally sure what to make of him.
- The shopping cart spots were quite cool, though I thought Rhyno wasn't gonna be able to get it in the ring for a bit.
- There were a lot of nearfalls that people got into, expecting a title change a couple times.
- Raven sold the Gore all the way out.
- There was a slight face pop for Stephanie when she interrupted Shane's
- Austin got a lot of boos when he was shown walking.
- Jonathon Coachman said his contract is coming up soon on a recent Jakked, hence the reference to Kansas City, where he worked before joining the WWF.
- William Regal vs Chris Jericho
- Though the sound wasn't good for the first Duchess of Queensbury vignette, people did
figure out the joke.
- Regal was soundly booed, no surprise there.
- JR tipped his hat to her when she sat down on her throne, which I thought was hilarious.
- Jericho got a really big pop and really loud fireworks.
- I never noticed that people scream along with "Break the Walls Down" but they did here.
- There was a USA chant during this, which made me laugh.
- If Jericho ever realized that putting valets/outside people in the Walls of Jericho wouldn't win him matches, he'd probably go places.
- It's odd how many times he makes that same mistake.
- Vince got a mixed reaction in his vignette.
- And what was with that evil laugh? Like a bad movie.
- Kurt Angle vs Chris Benoit
- Strong big mixed reaction to Angle
- I think the fans wouldn't mind having him on their side.
- Benoit didn't get as loud a reaction as I expected.
- I think the problem with the match was that it was a Mixed Marital Arts/Ultimate Fighting-type match, and that really hadn't been built up to on the WWF TV.
- Even when Ken Shamrock did his Lion Dens match, they incorporated a lot more typical wrestling spots.
- Here, we got a lot of mat wrestling and working for submissions and not the usual spots.
- I was disappionted not to see the headbutt.
- Also, while I enjoyed the kneebar and cross-arm breaker (CODE RED!) used as legit feared moves, I think a lot of people
didn't get into them.
- They seemed to get into the moves after they already caused submissions, but the only non-finisher that they were into right away was the Sharpshooter, which isn't that surprising.
- Perhaps, instead of using unfamiliar holds, Benoit and Angle should've have used other high profile submission moves that are used as finishers
- I think fans might have been more into a near-submission if they were using the Walls of Jericho, Regal Stretch or whatever else what they could have taken.
- It probably would have helped if they announced the rules in the building
- The 30 minute clock was shown (the falls count wasn't shown on the big screen, but it was on the scoreboard),
- But there were obviously some rules about no submissions on the outside and breaks after submissions that we had to learn from the pantomime in the ring.
- I wondered if the finish of the match was supposed to be such a mirror of Wrestlemania XII's Iron Man
match - sure seems like that was the idea they played off later.
- There was a big pop for the last submission, and really every time Benoit went for the
- Shane McMahon vs Big Show
- Why did we have to see the Shane and the Beanstalk rhyme three times?
It wasn't that good.
- Nice that they finally got Shane his own music, and he got a couple "Shane-O-Mac" chants.
- The chairs might a surprisingly quiet sound for the shots that were being used.
- Show killed Shane with those chokeslams.
- And then came the scariest part of the show - when Show used the Torture Rack, I saw the
tall, blond muscled figure running to the ring and thought it was Lex Luger as the WCW representative.
- I've never ever been more happy to see Test in my life.
- Shane's dive (and we figured out it was heading that way as soon as he walked towards it) was 30 feet, easy, and incredible looking.
- It was on the other side of the arena, so I didn't notice how little contact
there was (or the pad that was landed on) until they showed the
- Christian vs Eddie Guerrero vs Matt Hardy
- With the three way, Christian was sort of in the middle.
- Like Angle, I think the fans wouldn't be opposed to him turning.
- Eddie, on the other hand, they truly disliked.
- Matt's shirt was really weird.
- I thought they worked in a lot of nice triple spots - seemingly put thought into a match that was a booker's afterthought.
- Eddie had words with Edge and Christian after the match, blaming each other for the title not being with either of them.
- Undertaker/Kane vs Steve Austin/Triple H
- I didn't take notes about the main event, just so I had everything ready when I was ready to take off, so I don't have as many notes.
- Triple H got more face response than Austin did.
- He did have some, but it was drowned out by some real hatred - lots of people personally offended that he turned his backs on them.
- Even up where I was, you could feel the heat of Kane's fireworks.
- Seemed like a lot of stalling, a long face in peril part for Kane (must've been four or five "clap your hands to get him out of the hold and to the tag" spots)
- The Kane/Taker both want to win stuff got started but never really resolved, which is annoying.
- When Austin and Taker fought to the outside, you could tell Taker was waiting for when he was supposed to go back to the ring.
- Mostly because he was sitting there choking Austin and looking right at the ring while Kane was taking everyone out.
- That's it. I took off after the bell rung, trying to beat the foot traffic out.
- It was a good show - not the greatest show, but I'd go again if I had the chance.
- Tickets are already sold out for the next Chicago WWF show, Raw on
- Maybe WCW will make a stop by?