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Countown to WWE Backlash
By SLAM! Wrestling Staff




The WrestleMania tour takes its last stop with the annual revenge-based pay-per-view, Backlash.

Once again, 'Mania opponents will square off with one another while a couple new feuds will get their first taste of big-stage action. More than any WWE PPV offering in recent memory, this one has an an air of mystery, with no match really having the "sure-thing" feel to it.

Let's take a closer look at the action.


 
MAIN EVENT: WWE HEAVYWEIGHT TITLE MATCH

John Cena vs. Triple H vs. Edge
 

SLAM! Predictions

Bob Kapur

After having seen three straight incarnations of this match over the past month, fans might be tired of these guys, so they'll have to really step it up a notch. I don't feel too optimistic that they'lldo enough to make it fresh. Cena wins.

Jon Waldman

Well, the philosphy has been strong here, estabslishing that all three are on an even keel; but we still don't have an establishment of heels and faces. Heck, even Edge is starting to get some cheers. You have to figure that the title stays on Cena here, if only because Edge will really need to be kept strong, because he's on the cusp of being an untouchable main-eventer. Trips can afford the loss here, so look for him to take the fall.


TAG-TEAM GRUDGE MATCH

Mr. McMahon and "My Son Shane" McMahon vs. Shawn Michaels and God


SLAM! Predictions

Bob Kapur

The question here is what they'll do to wrap up this unfortunate storyline. Will Shane find redemption and turn on Vince? Better yet, will Shawn turn on God and join Vince's flock? Will the ref screw God? The possibilities are endless. HBK wins.

Jon Waldman

Well, surprisingly we have not heard any complaints from religious groups, but then again, maybe they realize just how lame this all is. Honestly, Vince needs a vacation, becuase this is quite possibly the lamest angle since Katie Vick. Michaels wins here, obviously, and I'm guessing we start seeing 10 plagues in the McMahon office soon.


  WINNER-TAKES-ALL MATCH

Shelton Benjamin vs. Rob Van Dam
 


WHAT YOU THINK
What match are you looking forward to at Backlash?
Edge vs Cena vs HHH - 32%
Benjamin vs RVD - 25%
Michaels & God vs McMahons - 15%
Kane vs Big Show - 9%
Mickie vs Trish - 9%
Carlito vs Masters - 6%
Ric Flair vs Umaga - 5%
SLAM! Predictions

Bob Kapur

This has MoTY candidate written all over it. If things go as they appear to be heading, RVD wins and uses his MitB shot at the ECW PPV against Cena. Too bad, because Shelton was doing great as I-C champ.

Jon Waldman

So much of this match is non-sensical, that there's only one reasonable conclusion to be made - the IC title is going bye-bye again. From the looks of Smackdown!, the US belt will soon have the same fate. What that means, likely, is we're getting Raw and Smackdown back as one brand, with ECW supposedly coming back as the new "second brand". Of course, RVD will get some help from Charlie Haas here as we transition to the Team Angle feud.


 

UNDERCARD

 


SLAM! Predictions

Bob Kapur

Kane vs. Big Show - Look for Show to "injure" Kane, taking the big red monster off TV for a bit so he can travel and promote his upcoming film.
Mickie James vs. Trish Stratus - It'll be interesting to see if Mickie can keep the fan support she had at WM now that they appear to be toning her down. Trish wins by countout, but Mickie retains the belt.
Carlito vs. Chris Masters -
This match came far too soon, as having these two team up for a while could have resulted in comedy cold. Carlito wins.
Ric Flair vs. Umaga
- This is a complete clash in styles, and I doubt it will work. Flair puts the big man over.

Jon Waldman

Kane vs. Big Show - I smell a suspension here as Kane gets ultra-violent. Show gets the DQ win.
Mickie James vs. Trish Stratus -
Trish as a brunette works for me. This feud continues to be hot, but I honestly don't know how much more it can go before the fans turn on it. Mickie retains, maybe with some help.
Carlito vs. Chris Masters -
Carlito goes over big time here. The Draft Lottery (if it happens) can't come too quicly for Masters.
Ric Flair vs. Umaga
- UMAGA! Forgive me, but this gimmick is working in my books. Umaga wins here.


Visit the SLAM! Wrestling store!

Yes, there was a WWE before the arrival of Umaga. Hard to believe, right? Check out all the classics, including other Samoan fighters, on WWE DVDs in the SLAM! Wrestling Store!

-- compiled by Jon Waldman