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Countdown to Backlash
By SLAM! Wrestling Staff





With Backlash upon us, the last installment of cross-brand sports entertainment should be completed tonight.

We can, perhaps, forgive WWE for a bit of a hangover on the intra-show feuding after 'Mania, but beyond tonight it would be too much, even in the most diehard brand split believer's eyes.

Fortunately, Backlash, has been the final battleground for many feuds in the past, so let's hope that indeed happens tonight.


WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT TITLE MATCH (LAST MAN STANDING)

John Cena vs Edge

SLAM! Predictions

Jon Waldman

It seems pretty obvious that this is where CM Punk cashes in his MITB briefcase. The question is does he beat Edge again, or take it from Cena, risking a heel turn? I'll go with the latter after Edge is defeated, very narrowly in the feature bout.

Andy McNamara

This could be where Edge exits to take his rumoured time off. The question is whether CM Punk will cash in his Money in the Bank following the conclusion of the match. If Cena wins I'm going with no Punk, if Edge sneaks out a victory then Punk cashes in the briefcase. In the end i'm saying that the annoying title reign of Cena continues.

Mark Xamin

Edge is one of the few people who have carried Cena to a decent match in the past few years. This is no doubt going to be a pretty good match, lots of broken tables, ladders, and chairs (oh my), and it will likely end with Cena overcoming the odds once again because let's face it, Cena just won the title. But don't be surprised to see CM Punk come out and cash in his Money in the Bank title shot right after, because Smackdown needs a champion.


 
ECW CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH

Christian vs. Jack Swagger
 

SLAM! Predictions

Jon Waldman

Though Christian deserves the title, I don't see Swagger losing the belt tonight, especially with the Tommy Dreamer clock ticking down.

Andy McNamara

Come on Christian! It just seems that the WWE staff is not fully comfortable pushing Christian yet. After a hard fought, entertaining battle it will be Mr. Swagger standing tall.

Mark Xamin

I'm going out on a limb here. One of Shane McMahon or Batista is turning heel here and costing Triple H the title. Maybe one of them gets DQed, or maybe they just beat the snot out of The Game, but Orton is leaving with the title and I'm hoping it's Batista that goes heel because Triple H could help him rejuvenate his career with a lengthy feud over the summer.


WWE TITLE MATCH (6-MAN CAPTAINS MATCH)

Triple H (captain)/Shane McMahon/Batista vs. Randy Orton (captain)/Legacy

SLAM! Predictions

Jon Waldman

The Batista turn almost seems too obvious, but that appears to be the inevitability. Orton wins amidst a clusterfrick.

Andy McNamara

Interesting dynamic here as treachery on the babyface side has been teased over the past couple of weeks. I think The Animal turns on HHH in frustration and that the champion's in-fighting results in a surprise Orton title victory.

Mark Xamin

I think Jeff is finally due for a win in this boring feud. I'm unbelievably tired of watching these two, and not just in this feud, in general. Jeff Hardy was a good Intercontinental Champion but as a main eventer...please get off my TV. Jeff wins and mercifully this feud ends.


  GRUDGE MATCH (I QUIT)

Jeff Hardy vs. Matt Hardy
 

SLAM! Predictions

Jon Waldman

This feud has absolutely buried Jeff so far, and I don't expect that trend to stop. Matt picks up the duke.

Andy McNamara

This should be another terrific match up! I'm thinking Jeff gets his win back here and the brother's have a final battle at Judgement Day Mark Xamin

I think Jeff is finally due for a win in this boring feud. I'm unbelievably tired of watching these two, and not just in this feud, in general. Jeff Hardy was a good Intercontinental Champion but as a main eventer...please get off my TV. Jeff wins and mercifully this feud ends.


 

GRUDGE MATCH

Chris Jericho vs. Ricky Steamboat



SLAM! Predictions

Jon Waldman

This should be a very strong match. This also should have happened at 'Mania. I'm just saying. Jericho wins.

Andy McNamara

I initially thought that there would be plenty of interference, but now I will go with a straight one on one 10 minute match to give Steamboat his final spotlight. Jericho definitely goes over and a mutual moment of respect is shared at the end.

Mark Xamin

My prediction -- Steamboat out wrestles everyone else on the card. But Jericho is winning this one as he's heading into Smackdown and he'll need to have some momentum if he's to take over as the top heel on the brand.


 

GRUDGE MATCH

CM Punk vs. Kane

 

SLAM! Predictions

Jon Waldman

This will be short, maybe with Punk taking a walk at the end to establish the heel turn coming later in the night.

Andy McNamara

No real interest in this one. Punk is beaten down by Kane for the majority of the contest only to pull out the underdog win at the very end.

Mark Xamin

The Punker gets the win because Kane has become so unbelievably stale that most people will probably head for the bathroom as soon as his music hits. I'm looking for this one to be pretty short because I believe Punk will be cashing in his Money in the Bank on Edge or Cena (see my Edge/Cena prediction).


 

KHALI KISS CAM

Santina "vs." Great Khali

 

SLAM! Predictions

Jon Waldman

Who did Santino piss off to get stuck in this stupidity? No one wins.

Andy McNamara

Whatever happens this segment should be hilarious. Khali actually kisses 'Santina'?

Mark Xamin

Umm...a cross dressing comedian making out with a bumbling gingivitis-ridden giant. I predict Beth Phoenix shoves "Santina" into Khali for the kiss and we all lose.


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Backlash? No, just a 'Mania hangover. The cure? WWE DVDs purchased from the SLAM! store.

-- compiled by Jon Waldman