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Promotional poster featuring Triple H
|Promotion||World Wrestling Federation|
|Date||April 29, 2001|
Backlash (2001) was a professional wrestling pay-per-view event produced by the World Wrestling Federation (WWF) promotion and presented by Castrol GTX. It took place on April 29, 2001 at the Allstate Arena in Rosemont, Illinois, and was the third event under the Backlash chronology. Seven professional wrestling matches were scheduled on the event's card.
The main event was a tag team match for the WWF Championship, the WWF Intercontinental Championship, and the WWF Tag Team Championship between The Two Man Power Trip (Steve Austin and Triple H) and the Brothers of Destruction (Kane and The Undertaker), in which the person to get the fall would win the Tag Team Championship as well as the championship of the wrestler who was pinned. The Two Man Power Trip won the encounter to win the Tag Team Championship, for Austin to retain the WWF Championship, and for Triple H to retain the Intercontinental Championship. Featured matches on the undercard included a Last Man Standing match between Shane McMahon and The Big Show, which McMahon won, and an Ultimate Submission match featuring Chris Benoit and Kurt Angle, which Benoit won.
The event featured seven professional wrestling matches that involved different wrestlers from pre-existing scripted feuds and storylines. Wrestlers were portrayed as either villains or fan favorites as they followed a series of events which built tension, culminating in a wrestling match or series of matches.
At WrestleMania X-Seven, Stone Cold Steve Austin took on The Rock for the WWF Championship. During the match, Vince McMahon interfered, which eventually led to Austin attacking The Rock with a steel chair to win the WWF Championship and in the process align himself with his long-time enemy. The next night on Raw is War, a rematch between the pair took place in a Steel Cage. Triple H interfered in the match, attacking The Rock and partnering up with Austin and McMahon. Briefly known as The McMahon Alliance, the pair began being referred to as "The Two-Man Power Trip" (or "The Power Trip" for short). On the episode of SmackDown following Wrestlemania, Austin assaulted his long-time friend Jim Ross after Ross criticised his alliance with Triple H and McMahon. That same night, Triple H defeated Chris Jericho to win the WWF Intercontinental Championship. While holding both major singles titles, The Two-Man Power Trip began feuding with the reigning tag team champions, the Brothers of Destruction. It was then decided the two teams would face off in a tag-team match "with all the titles on the line".
The feud between The Two Man Power Trip and the Brothers of Destruction continued. The next night on Raw is War, Austin and Triple H broke Kane's arm in storyline. It was then announced Kane would face Triple H in a Chain match for the Intercontinental Championship and Undertaker would face Austin for the WWF Championship at Judgment Day. At Judgment Day, Austin accidentally hit Triple H with a steel chair during his chain match with Kane, causing Triple H to lose his Intercontinental Championship. Triple H did not return the favor, however; instead, he helped Austin retain his title against the Undertaker. The next night on Raw, the Two-Man Power Trip faced Chris Benoit and Chris Jericho with the tag titles on the line. In this match, Triple H suffered a legitimate and career-threatening injury when he misstepped, causing him to suffer a tear in his left quadriceps. Despite his inability to place any weight on his leg, Triple H was able to complete the match. Near the end of the match, Jericho tried to pin Austin, but Triple H got in the ring and tried to hit Jericho with the sledgehammer. Jericho avoided the blow and the sledgehammer instead hit Austin in the chest, a situation Jericho and Benoit took advantage of to win the match and the titles.