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Countdown to WWE Backlash
By SLAM! Wrestling Staff




Backlash comes this year with a bit more intrigue than it usually does. Sure, we essentially get the standard return title matches, but somehow, there is a different feeling this year. Perhaps it's two undercard matches which are eagerly anticipated, or maybe it's the x-factor of JBL in the WWE Championship match. Either way, we should be in for a pretty good card tonight. Here's what the SLAM! crew expects to happen at Backlash.


MAIN EVENT - WORLD TITLE MATCH

Edge vs. Undertaker


SLAM! Predictions

Jon Waldman

As much as I hate to admit it, I'm starting to tire of Edge in the main event. It probably has to do with the lame Vickie angle that just doesn't seem to end as much as anything else, but Edge vs. Undertaker or Edge vs. Batista seems to be happening on a monthly basis now. Hopefully the Rated R Superstar moves to Raw in the draft (it is coming, right???) so his character can be as far away from Mrs. Guerrero as possible. I've got 'Taker, sadly, by DQ in this one.

Matt Mackinder

No way the title changes hands here. The Undertaker is on one last ride (no pun intended) and he can still draw wherever he goes. Both are injury-prone, but this should be a decent match. Hopefully there will be no post-match pyro injuries to any fans at the arena after ‘Taker keeps the belt.

Lewis Curry

The match will be pretty close to the one at WrestleMania. There will be a lot of interference by Edge's crew (including Vickie), but they should have a decent match. Kane should come and help 'Taker out to battle the new heel group. I'll take Undertaker.

Mark Xamin

It's too bad Edge's reign is over; he's the best heel in wrestling right now and he made Smackdown! so interesting. Undertaker is primed to hold the title at least through to Survivor Series in November, so 'Taker will retain.

Greg Oliver

This one falls under the standard rematch clause and hardly seems like a big deal. Undertaker wins again, and they won't be in the night's final spot this time.


 
GRUDGE MATCH
(Chris Jericho special referee)

Shawn Michaels vs. Batista
 

SLAM! Predictions

Jon Waldman

I really like the build here, but at the same time the feud feels rushed. That Jericho is in the equation makes me feel that there's going to be a spinoff feud in May/June. I'd bank on Y2J turning full heel and KO'ing Michaels, maybe with a Superkick to re-ignite their WM XIX feud.

Matt Mackinder

If charisma won matches, HBK would be undefeated and Batista would be the eternal jobber. In this Ric Flair man crush-fest, I see Michaels carrying the match and winning with Sweet Chin Music out of nowhere.

Lewis Curry

This has a lot of potential with Y2J in it as the ref. I expect it will be 15-20 minutes with Shawn carrying the load (I mean that figuratively and literally). Somehow Jericho sticks it to one of them and I think it will be the big man. I see a rematch here, maybe with Slick Ric down the road involved.

Mark Xamin

This match is the only reason I'm looking forward to Backlash. HBK can carry Batista to a great match, the feud has been built perfectly with an old school style... and the Chris Jericho element adds that much more intrigue. I'm going with Batista getting the win with Jericho's help, leading to HBK vs Jericho at the next PPV, and likely a feud with Batista through the summer. I can only hope HBK gets a title run at some point.

Greg Oliver

This has been a well thought-out, has had slow build and is an intriguing match-up to boot. They don't need Chris Jericho as a special referee to make it a better match, however. Batista has proven he can go if paired with an opponent who pushes him, like Undertaker. I think they might just steal the show, and Batista gets the duke.


WWE CHAMPIONSHIP FATAL FOUR-WAY MATCH

Randy Orton vs. HHH vs. John Cena vs. JBL


SLAM! Predictions

Jon Waldman

This one may be the hardest to call. I love Orton as champ, simply because it's different, but he's also in dire need of switching brands. Maybe he and Edge will flip shows? For that to happen, Randy has to drop the belt, so I'm guessing Triple H wins, with their next match being a "Loser Leaves Raw" bout. Meanwhile, JBL and Cena renew acquaintances.

Matt Mackinder

Somehow, Randy Orton leaves with the WWE Title still in his grasp. JBL’s best days are long gone, Triple H is getting ready for those late-night feedings again and Cena is turning into The Rock with his Hollywood bombs. It only makes sense for Orton to retain and start a feud with someone like William Regal or Mike Adamle. This IS the WWE ya know.

Lewis Curry

This is another match with great expectations. If correct, JBL will be first to be eliminated and then the real fun begins. With the remaining three, it should be outstanding. Hopefully, a couple of new holds will be thrown in as well. The finish should be great. My money is on HHH to get the strap but Cena would not be a bad second choice (if the boobirds do not come out and get him). It has the potential to "burn down the place."

WHAT YOU THINK
Who will win the Fatal Four Way at Backlash?
Randy Orton - 33%
JBL - 9%
Triple H - 43%
John Cena - 15%
Mark Xamin

Orton is going to retain, simply because any time someone goes over in a big match at WrestleMania, it usually means he's going to be the focal point of the show at LEAST until Summerslam. Orton retains here and probably goes one-on-one with Triple H at the next pay-per-view.

Greg Oliver

How badly does the creative team want to swerve people? They did it with Cena-Orton-HHH at Mania, with Orton retaining against all odds. The ultimate swerve here would be to give JBL the belt. My vote, though, goes to Orton retaining.


  ECW TITLE MATCH

Kane vs. Chavo Guerrero
 


SLAM! Predictions

Jon Waldman

Yikes. This is a horrible feud and should end, pronto. I like giving Kane the belt, but he needs a believable opponent. Chavo's not going to win this match without help from La Familia, and I think they'll be too focused on Edge tonight.

Matt Mackinder

Had this been the old ECW, Kane is the ideal champ. But he’s now the champ of Tuesday Night Velocity and the title means NOTHING. He’d be better off losing it to Chavito. But he won’t. Kane wins with an ever-boring chokeslam. Wake me when this is over and please do not have Mike Adamle call this match. He’s likely to butcher names right and left.

Lewis Curry

This one is hard to call but it may have its moments. I expect Chavo's new friends do to some interfering at the end. Chavo is a great cruiserweight but as a heavyweight he still has lot to work on. I would like to see Kane hold on the strap a little longer (he is way overdue for the big belt - like 10 years overdue. That's a long time in wrestling years folks). I'm taking Kane by DQ.

Mark Xamin

I hope Chavo wins, because Kane bores the hell out of me. He's been a snore ever since he lost the mask. But, sadly, he's going to retain the title here, and likely in dominating fashion, because titles rarely, if ever, change hands at Backlash.

Greg Oliver

Well, it'll last longer than their match in Orlando, but not by much. Kane wins.


 

GRUDGE MATCH
Great Khali vs. Big Show



SLAM! Predictions

Jon Waldman

This reminds me of the match that Stephanie and Vince McMahon had a few years ago. It was so terrible that I actually kept the DVD for a while, just so I could go back and relive the horridness of it. I expect that the same will happen when Backlash arrives in my mailbox. Show will get the win here and I half expect him to either injure Khali (in storyline, not the way Khali does in the ring) or for the Indian Giant to be moved away from Smackdown/ECW. Either way, Paul Wight wins here.

Matt Mackinder

Ugh. Why does Khali keep getting PPV matches??? Oh that’s right – because he’s big and can raise his arms in the air and bellow. That’s right. Show wins with one of his many finishers that Khali will, as always, fail to sell miserably.

Lewis Curry

This should not be too long here with Khali. A true match of the year candidate, NOT. Khali takes the W.

Mark Xamin

Big Show needs a win after jobbing to Floyd Mayweather at WrestleMania. This match's purpose is to clearly to re-establish Big Show as the true "giant" in sports entertainment, and with Khali about to take a little vacation to start his wrestling school (ha!) in India, look for Big Show to get the win and possibly put Khali out of action for a little while.

Greg Oliver

Poor Big Show. He goes from being the focus of WrestleMania 24 to, well, this. Sigh. I don't expect a true finish, probably with Khali being DQ'd. I also don't expect much of a match.


 

US TITLE MATCH
MVP vs. Matt Hardy



SLAM! Predictions

Jon Waldman

Matt's return to TV has been terrible. Losing to Orton and then beating MVP didn't do much of anything, and the KOTR match should have had some sort of screwy finish. The exchange on Friday certainly helped, but this feud needs a serious kick in the pants. MVP goes over, barely here (foot on the ropes seems like a good step), leading to a stipulation match next month.

Matt Mackinder

MVP has been US champ for almost a year, yet we never hear on TV who he beat for the title. Hardy has had a roller coaster last few months and a title run would benefit him. That being said, this is WWE and MVP will retain his title in what should be a four-star match. (And MVP beat Chris Benoit back at Judgment Day on May 20, 2007.)

Lewis Curry

Boy I can not wait for this one. They have both shown great chemistry in the past, so I would not expect to much to change here. If Hardy is going to win the big prize at the end of this year or at WM 25, this will be his practice belt for a while. There should be a lot of back and forth action here, and if given enough time, it should get both over huge. Lots of potential if done right. Matt wins the title.

Mark Xamin

Well, this one has been in the making for almost a year now. This is a feud done right. MVP has been the champ for as long as I can remember now, but this match is finally going to be the big blow off for what I think was the feud of the year in 2007. I've got to go with Matt Hardy.

Greg Oliver

This feud has lost some momentum, but it still should be a good match and hopefully kick it up a notch again. I think it's best to leave the strap on MVP at this PPV, but lead to a gimmick match down the road on Smackdown! or the next pay-per-view.


 

12 WOMAN TAG MATCH
Mickie James/Ashley/Cherry/Maria/Michelle McCool/Kelly Kelly vs. Victoria/Natalya/Beth Phoenix/Melina/Jillian Hall/Layla



SLAM! Predictions

Jon Waldman

If this match serves to transition the title focus to Natalya, then it's worthwhile. Otherwise, f'get about it. I'm guessing Beth Phoenix gets the duke over Mickie to further the notion that James's title win was a fluke.

Matt Mackinder

The pervert’s delight. Ah yes. The odds of a wardrobe malfunction in a cluster like this are endless. The team with Beth Phoenix on it wins after she pins Mickie James.

Lewis Curry

This should be ok when Victoria, Beth and Natlaya are in. I'm betting this will run about eight minutes or so. Look for Natlaya to get the fall for her team. I hope they do some wrestling here.


Greg Oliver

Mickie James' team wins. Whoopee.


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-- compiled by Jon Waldman